Greece is a popular tourist destination and features on many people’s travel bucket lists.
But when you’re a fan of ancient history, those Mediterranean islands are even more appealing. So keep reading, because, in this Greece travel guide, the top 5 locations for the history buff await.
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Some things are just better seen from the water’s edge, and so it is with historical Greek sites. So rent a sailboat and set sail for this famous historical site. When you go ashore, explore the ancient ruins of Phillipi in the coastal city of Kavala, located in Northern Greece.
Originally founded in the 4th century BCE, Philippi is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Known as Krenides (meaning “springs”) at the time of its establishment, this city was of significance to both military leaders and the first Christian missionaries.
Phillipi is regarded as the birthplace of European Christianity, thanks to the efforts of the apostle Paul. It’s even mentioned in a book of the New Testament in the Christian Bible. This site is now the location of an archaeological museum. Tours through the ruins and museum last from 2 to 3 hours.
One of the fun facts about Greece is that it’s been around for a very long time. No trip to Greece would be complete without a visit to the Acropolis, where a 5th-century BCE citadel sits overlooking Athens.
When most people hear about ancient Greece, this is the image that most often springs to mind. This flat-topped rock housing an ancient temple with marble Doric columns is a testament to Greek history and architecture.
The Acropolis is home to the temple of the goddess Athena, known more widely as the Parthenon. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the greatest architectural marvels of ancient Greece still standing today. Guided tours are available to view the Acropolis, Parthenon, and Temple of Athena.
The Ruins Of Delphi
In the distant past, Delphi was the seat of the famous Oracle. All important figures of the classical Greek world consulted this Oracle about their trials, their triumphs, and their wartime strategies.
This place was considered by ancient Greeks to be the center of the world, as evidenced by their placement of the stone monument known as the omphalos (navel).
Greek mythology recounts the tale of a monstrous serpent killed by Apollo at this location. The serpent’s name was Delphyne, and thus Delphi earned its name. Accounts differ, though, and some say it was an entirely different serpent. It’s a secret that Apollo has taken with him into the mists of time.
A museum has been erected to allow access to the site, and there is much to see and do here. But to view these historical treasures from a whole new perspective, enquire about the Delphi paragliding flights that take you over the area. Professional instructors organize each flight, which lasts 20 to 30 minutes.
Knossos is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and is possibly the oldest city in Europe. And the palace of Knossos was, at one time, the ceremonial and political center of the Minoan civilization.
Sometime before the end of the Late Bronze Age, the palace was abandoned. The reason for its desertion is unclear, although theories have suggested that a great disaster befell the site.
Many archaeological finds were made on this site. Axe heads of precious stone, statuettes of Minoan deities, and evidence of cloth production have all been unearthed here.
Private, guided tours of Knossos Palace are available and include air-conditioned, round-trip transfers from Athens.
Temple Of Poseidon
The god of the sea, storms, earthquakes, and horses, Poseidon, was one of the twelve Olympians of Greek mythology. The temple dedicated to this deity is found at Cape Sounion, the rocky promontory at the southernmost tip of the Attic peninsula.
Poseidon was a deity of great importance, as his mastery of the sea bode well for loyal devotees who sailed the waters surrounding Greece. Athens was a port of great significance then, which explains why Poseidon, as the god of the sea, was so revered.
Who knows if Poseidon is still keeping watch over Greece? Either way, this is an ideal Mediterranean vacation spot. Group tours of the site of Poseidon’s Temple are available. You can travel here by car or bus from Heraklion.