Greece is known for its long history, wonderful architecture and fascinating culture. Many visitors are attracted as much by its historical sites as the great weather and marvellous beaches.
Parthenon, Acropolis, Athens
One place that shouldn’t be missed once you arrive in Greece is the Parthenon on top of the Acropolis. Located in Athens, this ancient temple has also served as a church, fortress and mosque among other things, and has been a prominent feature of the city’s skyline since 432 BC.
Meteora, Central Greece
This is a collection of several rock pillars which house six monasteries in central Greece. Access to the monasteries was made difficult in order for worshippers to show their faith in God. Climbing these rocks back in the 14th century involved long ladders and nets were used to haul up goods as well as visitors to the monasteries. Ropes were only replaced when they snapped, meaning a high level of bravery was needed.
Delphi Theatre, Central Greece
Built in the 4th century BC, the Delphi Theatre was situated on a hill to allow spectators to see the whole of the sanctuary as well as the valley below. The theatre is a prominent archaeological site and was significant because it was considered to be the sanctuary of Apollo. It has been remodelled several times since the original was built, but still has the same design and feel of ancient times. The theatre attracts many visitors each year, so choose when you visit carefully to avoid the crowds.
Located near ancient Sparta, Mystras was the capital of Peloponnesus during the 14th and 15th centuries. It was finally abandoned in 1832. The medieval ruins are a popular attraction for travellers and it has been mistaken for ancient Sparta itself by Western visitors in the Ottoman period when it was still inhabited.
Palace of Knossos, Crete
A labyrinth of stairs, corridors, floors and rooms awaits visitors to the Minoan Palace of Knossos. King Minos was the ruler of the richest and most powerful Minoan cities. According to the myth, Ariadne was his daughter and helped Theseus kill the Minotaur in the labyrinth. The palace can be busy at peak times of the year.
Greece, particularly the islands, is fantastic to visit in peak season between July and August, but you also won’t miss out on the sun in June or September and you’ll find that tourist attractions are that little bit quieter!
Image via Flickr ( L*Ali)