Greece is one—if not the most—influential civilization in the world. Aside from being the birthplace of democracy and famous philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, the Ancient Greeks also invented the Olympic games, the theater, and Greek lore and mythology. Not to mention, during their glory days, Greece was the central hub of trade, philosophy, athletics, politics, and architecture.
Aside from rich ancient history, Greece is also dotted with thousands of islands situated along the blue Aegean Sea, Mediterranean Sea, and the Ionian Sea. Its breathtaking white-pebbled beaches and stunning scenery are certainly unmissable vacation spots teeming with unique activities to try.
To discover the ancient wonders and modern delights of Greece, you can book Greece guided tours or create your own dream itinerary. If you choose the latter, this guide will help you choose the best tourist spots to add to your bucket list.
The Ancient Ruins of Greece
History buffs and avid fans of Greek lore and mythology will surely have a field day upon visiting Ancient Greece’s ruins. However, unless you’re staying in Greece for a long time, it would be impossible to explore it to your heart’s content in such a short time. So, here are the best places that you have to prioritize on your visit.
Acropolis literally translates to “highest point of the city.” As you would imagine, this iconic temple is situated at the top of the hill overlooking the whole city of Athens. As such, to reach the Acropolis, you would have to ascend a steep slope for a good amount of hours. Nevertheless, your visit to Athens will not be complete without visiting Acropolis, and worry not, because all your hard work will be rewarded with magnificent panoramic views of the city as well as the chance to see up close the proud remnants of the most well-known ruins preserved from the ancient world. The Parthenon, Propylaea, Erechtheion, and the temple of Athena Nike are all found here in Acropolis.
You can also find the Acropolis Museum here, which is touted as one of the most significant museums on earth as it is home to Athens’ ancient artifacts, replicas, and marble inscriptions.
During the ancient times, the city of Delphi was home to Apollo’s shrine and theater, where Pythia, the high priestess of the temple and the one famously known as the Oracle of Delphi—made prophecies about the future. This theater was built on a hill, offering spectacular panoramic views. Nowadays, Delphi is among the major tourist attractions in Greece.
You can also see the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, which translates to “Athena who is before the temple (of Apollo).” Hence, it is customary for tourists to first see the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia before even reaching the sanctuary of Apollo.
The old town of Rhodes, which was famously surrounded by medieval walls all over, has been inhabited since medieval times. What makes these medieval walls interesting is that it has seven gates, which are said to be the entrances to another world because walking through them would make you feel like you traveled back in time as you see the best-preserved fortified cities in Europe right before your eyes.
Another interesting thing about Rhodes is that it was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World—the Colossus of Rhodes. This giant statue of the Greek sun god Helios towered over the town for 54 years until an earthquake in 226 BC snapped the statue at its knees, causing it to topple over the land.
Despite being inhabited for nearly centuries, the town of Rhodes remains a majestic tourist spot, with the main square featuring a central fountain dotted with cafes and shops that you can explore.
The Modern Attractions of Greece
If history and Greek mythology is not your cup of tea, don’t worry because the sunniest place in all of Europe has more to offer, especially for beach lovers.
Known for its breathtakingly beautiful sunsets, white-washed houses, and infinite stretches of volcanic beaches, Santorini, located on the Aegean island, is the most popular tourist destination in all of Europe, especially for newlyweds and those wanting to catch a break from the monotonous city life.
Aside from the mesmerizing beaches, Santorini has a white stone Street, plenty of aesthetic hotels, and chic cafes that you can explore. But perhaps the most striking thing about this place is that it is situated at the edge of a cliff measuring about 1,300 ft high.
Myrtos Beach is a popular tourist spot in Greece because of the unbelievably magical color of its waters. The sight of its turquoise waters contrasted sharply with the bright white sand and pebbles of its coast is enough to make your jaw drop to the floor. The steep mountains and cliffs behind the beach of Myrtos also add to the beauty of this place. If you are a frequent beach-goer, nothing might ever top your favorite beach list once you get a glimpse of Myrtos Beach.
Novagio Beach, previously known as Agios Georgios, became known as the Smugglers Cove or Shipwreck Beach owing to the fact that this is where the boat carrying illegal cigarettes in 1983 washed ashore when it got shipwrecked. Despite its notorious moniker and history, Navagio Beach is a famous pebble beach in the Ionian Islands, thanks to its shimmering turquoise water and towering cliffs. If you are familiar with the story of Calypso, the nymph who detained Odysseus on her island, this beach is probably what Calypso’s island would look like if it really did exist.
Yet another popular tourist destination is the island and town of Mykonos, which is a part of the Cyclades between Naxo and Syros. Known as the islands of the winds, Mykonos is the perfect spot for a luxurious travel destination and romantic getaways. You can even shop for designer clothes at local boutiques here! You can also find local art pieces at various art galleries. Alternatively, you can tour its archaeological sites, such as the Ancient Delos.
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