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10 of the Best Ancient Sites to Visit in Greece

Author: David Pettitt

For most, the first images that come to mind when thinking of Greece are archaeological remains and grandiose ancient ruins. A cradle of western civilisation and the birthplace of philosophy and history, democracy, medicine and mathematics, ancient Greece was a sophisticated society reflected, in part, by the scale, magnificence and grandeur of its architecture. From temples, theatres and sanctuaries, civic monuments and mausoleums this blog selects 10 of the very best ancient sites to visit in Greece.

1 Acropolis, Athens

Acropolis Athens
Acropolis, Athens

Proudly dominating the city of Athens for more than two millennia, the Acropolis is arguably the best-known ruin of the classical world. Instantly recognisable, this astonishing and impressive ancient complex sits high atop a rocky outcrop, comprises of the Parthenon, Propylaia, Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheum and epitomises the zenith of the great Athenian Golden Age.

Featured in ‘Athens and Delphi City Break

2 Delphi, Central Greece

Delphi
Delphi, Central Greece

‘Navel of the Earth’ where heaven and earth once met, Delphi is the location of the Temple of Apollo which was once home to the most influential oracle of the ancient world. An incredibly important religious institution spectacularly sited on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, it was here that the revered priestesses of Apollo, known as the Pythia, delivered Apollo’s sought-after prophecies.

Featured in ‘Self-Drive: Classical Greece

3 Meteora, Central Greece

Meteora
Meteora, Central Greece

Located close to the town of Kalambaka, the UNESCO protected Eastern Orthodox monasteries of Meteora tower above the Plain of Thessaly. Dating to the Byzantine period, Meteora was once one of the most important monastic communities in Greece – their inaccessibility ideal for those seeking a life of pious solitude. Today only six out of the original 24 monasteries remain.

Featured in ‘Self-Drive: Classical Greece

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Speaking to one of our experienced sales consultants is the best way to begin your Greece holiday enquiry.

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4 Acropolis of Lindos, Rhodes

Acropolis of Lindos
Acropolis of Lindos, Rhodes

Set high above the charming white-washed town of the same name, the Acropolis of Lindos with its crenelated walls and prominent coastal position ensured that Lindos remained an influential trading centre well into the Middle Ages. Highlights include the Temple of Athena Lindia, the remains of a theatre, the Castle of the Knights of St John and the 13th century Church of St John.

Featured in ‘The Best Greek Islands

5 Mycenae, Peloponnese

Mycenae
Mycenae, Peloponnese

Home of Agamemnon, capital of the ancient Mycenaeans and mentioned in a host of Classical Greek myths, not least the Homeric poems, Mycenae remains one of the most important sites of ancient Greece. Believed to have been inhabited since the Bronze Age, Mycenae is best known for the Lion Gate which is the largest surviving prehistoric sculpture in the Aegean region.

Featured in ‘Self-Drive: The Spectacular Peloponnese

6 Epidaurus, Peloponnese

Epidaurus
Epidaurus, Peloponnese

The breathtaking theatre of Epidaurus is one of the best-preserved of the ancient world. Thought to have been able to accommodate more than 13,000 spectators, the theatre was renowned at the time for its excellent acoustics. Today the theatre is still used for concerts with productions of the great comedies and tragedies of ancient Greece still performed over the summer months.

Featured in ‘Self-Drive: The Spectacular Peloponnese

7 Olympia, Peloponnese

Olympia
Olympia, Peloponnese

Famously the setting for the Pan-Hellenic Games, an event now widely considered to be the precursor to the modern Olympic Games, the sanctuary of Olympia was a religious site dedicated to the god Zeus. The complex once housed a large gold statue of Zeus – one of the seven wonders of the ancient world – with archaeological remains including the stadium, palaestra, baths and temples.

Featured in ‘Self-Drive: Classical Greece

Speak to a travel expert

Speaking to one of our experienced sales consultants is the best way to begin your Greece holiday enquiry.

It allows us to answer any questions you may have as well as make suggestions and recommendations for your planned trip.

We are available on evenings and weekends by prior appointment so please do not hesitate to book a call in with us at a time convenient to you.

Book An Appointment

8 Agora, Athens

Agora Athens
Agora, Athens

Located beneath the Acropolis of Athens, the Agora was considered the heart of the ancient city. Similar to a modern-day marketplace, the Agora was both a place where merchants came to sell their wares but also a meeting place for everyday inhabitants of the city. Today the Agora provides an unparalleled insight into the religious, commercial and cultural life of ancient Athens.

Featured in ‘Discover Athens and Crete

9 Knossos, Crete

Knossos
Knossos, Crete

Knossos, ancient capital of Minoan Crete, is the grandest archaeological site on Greece’s largest island. Best known for its association with the ancient myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, this Minoan palace sat at the heart of much wider complex. The exceptional wealth of the Minoan civilisation, revealed through surviving murals, works of art, rooms, halls and chambers are a highlight of the site.

Featured in ‘Self-Drive: Images of Crete

10 Temple of Apollo, Naxos

Temple of Apollo Naxos
Temple of Apollo, Naxos

The unfinished Temple of Apollo is both the best known landmark on Naxos and its defining symbol. Dating to the 6th century BCE when Naxos was at its zenith, its then ruler commissioned the construction of a grand temple. Outbreak of war meant that the temple was never completed and today all that remains is the huge marble gate that guards Naxos harbour.

Featured in ‘Cyclades Island Hopping: Paros, Naxos and Santorini

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