If you do not know why Greece is called the cradle of civilization, you must visit its attractions. The ruins of ancient temples, amazing monuments of history and architecture show tourists how prosperous this state was. But also the modern beauty of Greece attracts visitors - the nature, the beaches and the delicious local food. Don’t know what to see in Greece? Especially for you we have compiled a list of popular places of this country, which included the most interesting sights in Greece.
The centuries-old and eventful history of the country has caused that there are a lot of sights here. The guides in Greece are able to organize an introduction to the numerous tourist attractions - you can arrange with them upon arrival or in advance, telling them about your preferences.
The Acropolis has always been and still is the hallmark of Athens. This truly magical place is visited every year by thousands of tourists who want to see with their own eyes the most interesting sights in Greece.
Athens’ Acropolis was able to withstand many natural disasters and destructive wars. Neither disasters nor people managed to destroy the historic structure, striking the imagination with its incredible shapes and grandeur.
The first temples of the Acropolis were laid during the Archaic period. After that, the large-scale construction of the hill began. At first this place was the residence of the king. Over time it began to acquire architectural forms that have remained virtually untouched to this day. So gradually the Acropolis was transformed into a small town.
The sculptures that had been located in the Acropolis were, for certain reasons, replaced by exact replicas. Their originals are now in various museums in Europe. Now instead of the majestic structure there are only ruins. Architects are trying to restore some of the most important elements of the structures. To complete this project will take them many years.
Official site: http://odysseus.culture.gr
In the heart of Athens sits a one-of-a-kind stadium that is known to the world as Panathinaikos. Tourists pay special attention to this attraction in Greece. The ancient structure was built of white marble. After the restoration of the destroyed elements in the stadium, the first Olympic Games were held, which are recorded in modern history.
Travelers who wonder what to visit in Greece should definitely visit Panathinaikos. In ancient times, this stadium was used to host the Panathenaic Games, which were considered the most important festivities in Athens.
The overhaul of the stadium was carried out two centuries ago, immediately after it was excavated. The work was sponsored by the figure of Zappas. He also financed the Olympic Games in 1870 and 1875.
Nowadays Panathinaikos is used not only as a venue for sports competitions. The stadium also hosts various concerts and exhibitions that are dedicated to Greek culture. Therefore, during a visit to this attraction, visitors to Athens can not only enjoy the views of the stadium, but also learn more about its history.
Official website: http://www.panathenaicstadium.gr
A list that compiles the sights of Greece would not be complete if the Temple of Olympic Zeus were missing. It is so large that it exceeds even the legendary Parthenon. Its construction lasted for 650 years. If you believe the famous myths, the temple was built on the site of the sanctuary of the ancestor of the Greeks Deucalion.
Inside the architectural construction were two huge statues. The first was made of ivory and gold. It represented Zeus, the god of Olympus. The second was created in honor of the Emperor Hadrian, who was actively involved in the construction of the temple. Unfortunately, both statues were destroyed.
If a traveler does not know what to see in Greece, then he should go straight to Athens to visit the legendary Temple of Zeus.
Now the site is not in the best shape. From the temple survived only one part. It is believed that it was destroyed in a major earthquake. It is also possible that it was taken apart for building materials.
The corner of the temple of Zeus that is still standing consists of fourteen individual columns, two of which stand alone and one of which is in a fallen position.
The Knossos Palace was excavated and partially reconstructed at the beginning of the last century and tops the list of “The Best Sights in Greece”. Today it is one of the most visited places of Crete, a favorite of many tourists.
Historians consider the palace of Knossos the center of the Minoan civilization, which in its heyday was the most developed state in the world. The palace consisted of more than 1300 rooms - it’s not difficult to guess that it occupied a huge area. In its chambers, at least 12,000 people could easily be accommodated. If legends are to be believed, Knossos was at that time the property of King Minos, whom many know from the myths about the famous Labyrinth and its eternal inhabitant Minotaur.
The palace of Knossos had to be rebuilt several times, as it was badly hit by earthquakes, tsunamis and fires. Two centuries ago, a major reconstruction began. Archaeologist Evans, who discovered the site, was able to restore a part of the legendary palace.
Today, tourists have the opportunity to enjoy the unique architecture of the time. Evans did a good job of restoring the palace. Therefore, visitors to the island are difficult to understand which of the existing buildings are the remains of an ancient structure, and which were recreated by the efforts of an archaeologist.
In the city of Delphi, as in other resort areas, you can see interesting sights in Greece. Here is the temple of Apollo. For its construction it was necessary to collect money from all the people of the country. Also a large sum for the project was donated by the rulers of neighboring states. The rectangular structure was decorated with many pillars. Six of them were located on the facades and fifteen were on the sides of the temple.
Many local tours include a visit to this picturesque site. Unfortunately, the Temple of Apollo has not survived to this day in its original form. Some of its parts had to be constantly restored due to collapses. During the restoration, the architects were guided by a previous plan which envisaged preserving the shape and number of the columns.
The outside of the temple can be seen unusual friezes, which are dedicated to the war of the centaurs with the Amazons. All sculptural compositions of this place were created with the violation of classical forms and proportions, due to which they attract the attention of tourists.
For a long time, tourists did not know about the existence of the Temple of Apollo, as it is remote from the main cities of Greece. However, over time it has become an important architectural monument of the area.
Visitors to the island of Zakynthos who are interested in the sights of Greece should definitely visit the one-of-a-kind Navagio Beach. Travelers can get here only by boat, as the place is hidden from prying eyes.
Tourists who do not know what to see in Greece will be glad to visit Navagio, the pearl of these lands. The local beach is covered with golden sand and washed by crystal clear water. It’s a true slice of paradise that you never want to say goodbye to.
Navagio is also called the island of shipwrecks. This is because in the past, a smugglers’ ship sank here. It is still not known exactly why it happened.
The beach will please travelers who want a break from the bustling metropolis. After all, in these parts there is not even the slightest sign of civilization. Here a person begins to experience a kind of detachment from the outside world, which fills him with calm and harmony. Navagio gives its guests a unique opportunity to merge with pristine nature.
When going to sunbathe, do not forget to bring sunscreen and a panama. Otherwise protect yourself from the sun’s rays is not possible, because in clear weather on the beach is absolutely no shade. So tourists should take care of personal comfort beforehand.
In the northern part of Greece, near the city of Kalambaka, there is a unique place called Meteora. It is distinguished by its beauty and unusual history of appearance. In addition, there are several monasteries.
Under the influence of natural phenomena over the millennia were formed by huge stone pillars, the height of which - from 300 to 600 meters. Climb such rocks would not risk many of today’s climbers, but that did not stop hermits to build temples there.
Attractions in Greece rightly include the monasteries of Meteora. Six of them remain active now: four men’s and two women’s monasteries. In the past, getting to such places was a problem. You could climb the steep cliff using a ladder or could be lifted in a basket with a winch. Now there are steps in the rock for safe ascent.
The monasteries are open to pilgrims and tourists from April to September and November to March. If you come for a weekend, you can visit all the monasteries, spending in each of them about an hour.
Restoration work has made available to view the ancient frescoes. In the monasteries there are souvenir stores, where you can buy something to remember. The monasteries of Meteora can be safely included in the list of the most beautiful places on our planet.
Official site: https://www.visitmeteora.travel
Mycenae is one of the most ancient cities of Greece. When planning a trip to this country, don’t miss the opportunity to visit it. Excavations in the Mycenae area reveal more and more treasures, and the Lion’s Gate is one of them. Tour guides are sure to tell the history of this structure.
Greek cities have their own feature - they were built on the hill and defended by a strong wall. The wall that surrounded Mycenae was 900 m high and 6 to 10 m thick. The Lion Gate served as the main entrance. Four blocks weighing up to 20 tons each were used to construct it. They were machined beforehand, fitting each other to the size. Above the gate there was a bas-relief with lions. According to some assumptions, it appeared a little later. Unfortunately, the heads of the animals have not survived. The heads of the animals have not survived, but archeologists say the figures were made of gold and looked at those who entered the gate. The lions were not chosen by chance - they were considered the symbol of the Mycenaean dynasty, which ruled at that time. The structure dates from the 13th century B.C.
If you are looking for things to see in Greece, visit Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the ancient Olympic Games. You can come here any time of the year. In winter you can visit interesting places, and in summer you can add relaxing at the beach.
Ancient Olympia is now a nature reserve with museums and ancient temples. Start your acquaintance better with the sites located in the open air. Here you can easily feel the power of the old buildings, including the temples of Zeus, built in 470-456 BC, and Hera. The remains of the latter are said to be the oldest and date back to 1096 BC.
In ancient times people came here not only for the competitions, but also to worship the gods. Near the temple of Hera was the stadium where the competitions took place. The Olympic flame is lit here even today before the games. To the west of the temple you can see the ruins of Philippeion, a circular building framed by columns. Construction was begun by Philip II and completed by his son Alexander the Great. Not far from this site are the ruins of the administrative building of Ancient Olympia.
One of Greece’s most famous landmarks, Mount Olympus is located right on the picturesque shore of the Aegean Sea, in Thessaly. In reality, Olympus would be easier to call three mountains. The highest mountain range includes three peaks at once: Mytikas, Skolio and Stephani. Each of them rises to almost 3,000 meters above ground level.
The highest peak is Mitikas. It has a height of 2917 meters and falls into the picturesque abyss Casania. It is not surprising that this picturesque place was chosen by the gods of ancient Greece as a place of their residence. The “Throne of Zeus” is still preserved here - it is a luxurious throne that looks like the top of Stephanie.
Today it is difficult to imagine the sights of Greece without the Mountains of Olympus. They are a National Reserve and are protected by UNESCO. The status of a National Park was given to these beautiful places back in 1938. In 1981, UNESCO named the mountains of the gods of Greece “Part of the World Natural Heritage”. Another status the mountains received in 1985. Then they were recognized as part of the “Archaeological and Historical Heritage”.
The national park invites tourists to enjoy the exquisite natural scenery. The mountains are now inhabited by mountain goats, urchins, deer, squirrels, wolves, wild boars and foxes. Climbing to Olympus is possible with the help of special elevators. The peaks themselves are conquered by climbers.
Official site: http://www.olympusfd.gr/us/infos.asp
Absolutely all travelers are talking about how amazing excursions in Greece are, and you can join their number, just by studying the list of the most interesting sights before the trip. Photos and descriptions will be important criteria in choosing where to go after arriving in the territory of Ancient Hellas.
This small island is considered one of the most beautiful vacation spots in Greece. Legends say that in ancient times, Santorini broke away from Libya in a natural disaster or was created from a special piece of land chipped away from this country by the gods. When evaluating what to see in Greece, you should definitely include the island of Santorini in this list.
Findings of geologists confirm this legend. The island has become a reminder of the ancient geological disaster. Pompeii of the Aegean Sea was called Santorini by French geologist F. Fouquet. Scientists have established that the tectonic fault, which marked out this beautiful area, occurred in the Tertiary period.
Further the appearance of the island was completed by the volcanic activity, which made it round. By the way, the locals often call the place of their residence - Round Island.
There was an ancient civilization on the island, which was buried by volcano eruption around 1500 B.C. This catastrophe in those ancient times ruined many cities of Crete.
The sights of Greece would not be as romantic without this island. Today Santorini is still a volcano. It is the largest active volcano on the planet and its eruptions have gradually made the general shape of Santorini crescent-shaped. The island will delight tourists with its beautiful scenery and incredibly pleasant climate.
Official website: http://www.santorini.net/
Among the legendary historical monuments of Greece, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is the Palace of the Grandmasters. The first owners and builders of the Palace were the legendary Knights of the Order of Saint John - the Hospitallers.
They dominated the Rhodes from 1309 to 1522. That is more than 200 years. It was from the Palace of the Grand Masters these two centuries ruled virtually the entire territory of the Eastern Mediterranean. Nineteen Grand Masters, on whose will all the decisions of the Hospitallers depended, held their meetings here.
The beautiful island of Rhodes had previously been the center of power in the territory. The Palace of the Grand Masters was erected on the site of the former temple of Helios and the Byzantine fortress that had replaced it. During the Templar period the pompous and sumptuous palace was used as a place for ceremonial receptions and negotiations.
Today there are two major exhibitions permanently open in the palace. One tells the story of the time of the Crusaders. And when you see the second, you can learn about the life of the inhabitants of the island in antiquity. The exhibition covers more than 205 halls.
One of the main attractions and the calling card of the island of Mykonos are the windmills. When a ship is just approaching the shores of the island, you can see a spectacular sight of spinning windmills.
The first mentions of windmills are found in the notes of travelers who visited Greece in the XII-XIII centuries. Even then they amazed by their grandeur and beauty. This is not surprising, because the construction of such buildings required as much effort as the construction of a huge sailing ship. Another important detail was the careful choice of place for their construction. Mills in the form of rounded towers built of stone were characteristic of that area. The roof was mostly made of thatch.
In ancient times there were more than 600 mills. They worked practically around the clock. The fortunate location of the island contributed to the successful trade in flour. Now there are only 7 of them left, and they are not used for their intended purpose. There are exhibition halls, restaurants and cafes, which can be visited by all comers. One of the mills is used as a hotel, where tourists can spend an unforgettable time on one of the most beautiful islands in the world.
The Greek island of Kefalonia is famous for its various architectural monuments and amazing nature, which attracts tourists. What to visit in Greece and where to go, many tourists are interested. The main attraction is the lake in the cave Melissani. Its water is so clear and transparent that you can see what is at a depth of ten meters.
The existence of the cave became known relatively recently when it was accidentally found by a shepherd. It happened in 1951, after which excavations began in this place, and in 1963 the cave and the lake were opened to all.
Approximate size of the cave - 160x40 m, the entire territory of the lake. After the earthquake, part of the vaults were destroyed, resulting in a hole at the top, which illuminates the cave. Another unusual phenomenon is the water, which is both salty and fresh. The salt water is brought by a current from the Ionian Sea, 14 km away.
Archaeological excavations have revealed that in ancient times this place was used to worship Pan, the god of fertility and shepherding. There is also a legend that the appearance of the lake is associated with the unrequited love of the nymph Melissana to the god Pan. Her tears were transformed into water. According to tradition, couples who visit this place must hold hands and put them together in the water for their love to be long and strong. And those who haven’t found their soul mate yet are advised to wash their hands with the lake water.
To enjoy all the beauty of the lake, you first need to go through a narrow corridor and get to the pier. This is best done at noon.
Official website: https://kefaloniaisland.org/sights/melissani-cave/
One of the most amazing places on the island of Rhodes is the Butterfly Valley. The locals have given it its name, Petaludes. This amazing wildlife reserve is located 30 km from Rhodes city and is a park near the gorge.
What to see in Greece and what place will be remembered for a long time? If you are asking this question, be sure to visit the reserve. Only here you can see such a fantastic spectacle, as myriads of colorful nocturnal butterflies flying down. They are attracted by the smell of styrax. During the day, they usually sleep, nestled on the branches of bushes or trees styrax. A loud sound or an awkward movement is enough to wake up red-winged beauties.
They gather during the mating season from May to September. During this time, they should not be disturbed. For tourists who are thirsty for new discoveries and knowledge, there is a museum in the reserve.
In addition to butterflies, here you can see lizards basking in the sun or some rare birds. They like to settle near waterfalls or on the rocks.
You can get to the Valley of the Butterflies by climbing up the mountain path. The journey is not easy, and it is better to prepare comfortable shoes in advance. Another surprise awaits those who reach the top - the opportunity to visit the seventeenth-century monastery built by Alexander Ypsilanti.
Northern Greece has endless possibilities for travel, endless sea, spectacular mountains, spectacular gorges in its lands. Attractions of the north, however, are not limited to nature. At the island of Corfu, in the capital city of Corfu is an architecturally significant monument - the Achilleion Palace, built in the late 19th century. The complex carries the second name “palace of the sad empress” which is related to the history of the acquisition of the land by Empress Elisabeth, who experienced a series of family tragedies and found solace in the tranquility of the picturesque area. In the palace garden the princess, inspired by mythology, placed a number of sculptures of ancient Greek gods, and the interior of the palace was decorated with wall paintings and carved furniture, the decor of which reproduces the images of mythological characters. After a tour of Achilleion, from the shores of Corfu you can sail straight to the Italian coast and visit the sights of Italy - here the two countries are separated from each other by only a hundred kilometers of sea space.
If you want to study the sights of ancient Greece briefly, without the possibility of a long tour, you should definitely visit Delphi - it is an ancient Greek religious center, the birthplace of numerous myths and legends, and now a major archaeological reserve. The ruins of the former buildings rest on the slope of Mount Parnassus, 10 kilometers from the Gulf of Corinth, at an altitude of 700 meters above sea level. It is difficult to believe but the ancient city is over three thousand years old! Its rich history is traced in such archaeological sites as the Temple of Apollo with the Delphic Oracle, the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Athena Pronaea, the Stadium, the Amphitheatre and the ancient Gymnasium. After wandering around the numerous ruins you can go to the local museum of ancient Greek culture or go 1.5 km away from the ancient city to a miniature town with hotels, restaurants, and other amenities for guests.
When choosing the attractions of Greece for children, a trip to the island of Crete, to the town of Gournes, which is known in the tourist environment because of the giant aquarium, which is a complex of structures with huge tanks, where you can see a variety of representatives of marine fauna, is definitely worth including in your itinerary. There are a total of 60 exhibit tanks, which are home to around 2,500 different marine organisms from around 250 species. The design of the reservoirs most accurately reproduces the natural topography of the seabed, so you get the feeling of being somewhere in the waters of the Mediterranean. A walk through the complex, equipped with beautiful lighting, turns into a fascinating journey through the depths of the sea, which arouses genuine interest in children and adults alike.
Official website: https://cretaquarium
The historical treasure of Greece is the medieval city of Rhodes, an invaluable open-air museum. Everything in the city, from the walls and gates to the forts and temples, keeps the rich history of the city and of Greece in general. Rhodes was founded in the 5th century BC and during its long history has experienced a series of bright events, which left their mark on the city’s architecture. In general, the city consists of 2 parts: one of them modern with a developed tourist infrastructure, the second - the ancient, so-called Old Town. What you can see today in the Old Town is a series of structures dating from the Middle Ages: powerful walls with 11 entrances, of which only 5 remain in working order, the oldest synagogue in the country of the 16th century, the immense Rhodesian fortress from the time of the Knights’ Order, the church of Saint Panteleimon of the 14th century, the Acropolis with the remains of the ancient theater, and finally, the Colossus of Rhodes - or rather, what remains of the monument to the ancient Greek god Helios.
In the southernmost part of mainland Greece, the region of Laconia, there are two outstanding ancient Greek cities, Sparta and Mistra. While the first is familiar even to those who have not traveled, the second is known only to explorers and the few tourists traveling within the Peloponnese. Mistra, founded by the Crusaders in the 13th century, stands on the steep slopes of the Taighet mountains. It is now an abandoned ghost town, which for many centuries has kept intact valuable historical monuments - the remains of houses, fortifications, churches, monasteries and the ruins of a medieval castle on a hill. Today Mistra is a small village that can be reached by car or bus from Sparta in a few minutes. To reach the protected archaeological area you must climb up from the settlement along one of the two paths, one leading to the Upper Town, the other to the lower buildings.
For any Christian, the holy mountain of Mount Athos is a place full of the deepest meaning. It is a land of monasticism, a kind of state within a state, living according to its own, spiritual laws. For example, the monks here use the old style calendar - the Julian calendar, and their monastic republic is not subject to secular authority, but to the Patriarchate of Constantinople. This region is called the fief of the Blessed Virgin Mary - the Virgin Mary guards the peace of the monastic brethren. In the bosom of unspoiled nature of Mount Athos there are twenty monasteries, among which one is Russian. An important point: the holy land can only be set foot on the man, and they will have to obtain special permission. But do not forget that the land of Athos is divided into two parts - the religious and the usual, where women can also come. Since the coastline of the peninsula of Halkidiki goes deep into the Aegean Sea for 20-30 kilometers, there are innumerable beaches here.
For those traveling to Greece for the first time and with limited time, we recommend making an itinerary of what to see in Greece in a week. It should include the most iconic and iconic places that will form an overall portrait of this Balkan country. Lindos, located on the island of Rhodes, near its capital, should definitely be included. According to historical data, the ancient city was founded in the 12th century BC. Here, on the top of the hill, is the Acropolis, the ancient buildings of which lead a long staircase with many aisles. The whole ancient city is arranged on several levels: the interesting objects on the first level are the relief rock paintings of the Podium and the ship, on the second there is a knight’s fortress and a temple from Roman times, on the third there is the Portico and the ruins of a Byzantine church, on the last there is the temple of Athena of Lindia.
The Greek island of Kefalonia also has its own interesting places that are appreciated for their pristine natural beauty. Among them is the beach of Myrtos, a cozy and secluded sandy corner by the sea, hidden in the midst of huge, overgrown hills. Myrtos is among the most picturesque and clean, from an environmental point of view, beaches in the world. The strip of sandy beach has a rounded shape, and from its western part in the evening offers excellent views of the sunset. Despite its pristine appearance, Myrtos is well equipped for recreation - there are sun loungers, umbrellas, showers and bars, although another part of it remains untouched by civilization, representing an ideal place for complete isolation, silence and solitude. To get to the beach you can take the asphalt road that leads to the coast itself, where there is a small parking lot.
Some 3,000 islands surrounding the Balkan Peninsula are island Greece. The sights of Crete make a huge contribution to the treasury of the country, because of the huge number of memorable places and interesting objects collected on this island. The Venetian harbor of Chania is one of them. It was built in the 14th century during the Venetian rule and today it is the heart of the old town of Chania. Today only some of the old Venetian fortifications remain, the best preserved being the Firkas bastion, the covered docks, the customs building and, finally, the recognizable symbol of Chania, the Egyptian lighthouse. Today the harbor is one of the favorite places for recreation - along the coastline there are many bars, restaurants and cafes, sitting in which you can not only taste the Mediterranean cuisine, but also enjoy the beautiful sea panorama.
Often a trip to the iconic places of Greece is spent in hectic and constant travels, which it is advisable to dilute with a more relaxing holiday - for example, by going to the island of Crete, where there are such non-tourist places of Greece that are famous for the pristine nature, with its inherent atmosphere of calm and detachment. One such place is Samaria Gorge, located in the mountain range Lefka-Ori. It has the official status of a national park, and there are several hiking trails of varying difficulty, saturated with the fantastic beauty of these places. A large part of the gorge are thickets of pine, oak and cypress trees, and more than 400 species of plants, mostly endemics. The total length of the gorge is about 13 kilometers, the altitude to be climbed varies from 200 to 1000 meters and the total unforgettable hike takes about 6 hours. Next to Greece is an ideal country for a budget holiday - Bulgaria. While in Greece, consider visiting that country as well. Read about sights of Bulgaria and plan for your next trip to Europe!