glentFrom the desk of glentzes
More than 5000 years of history has evidently left its footprints on the landscape of Greece. The country is home to several archaeological sites, landmarks, monuments and cities that have withstood the test of time. However, there are many others that fell into obscurity only to resurface later when they were unearthed by archaeologists in the last 200 years.
These sites and monuments stand testimony to the great cultural civilization and the ideas that not only influenced the country but also the whole of the western thought. Many visitors are drawn to the country to enjoy the sun and unearth the wealth of information that these sites have to offer. For the visitors who are planning a visit to Greece, here are some suggestions of ancient sites that they can visit.
The Acropolis (Athens): No matter how many photos you have seen, the sight of the Acropolis will take your breath away – especially when you see the lights change the colour of the marble of the building from rose to honey to deep red and white. And if the crowds there become a bit unnerving, just think of the number of people who came here in ancient times during religious ceremonies that were held here.
Nemea (Peloponnese): This beautiful site houses an impressively restored stadium and a museum. From here you can enjoy the views of the romantic Doric temple and see the three long-standing columns and several newly restored and re-erected ones.
Olympia (Peloponnese) & Delphi (Central Greece): Both these ancient cities are integral to the history and culture of Greece. Olympia, with its massive temples and shady groves of trees, is where the Olympic Games began. Delphi, set on mountain slopes overlooking olive trees and the sea, is famous for the Delphic Oracle. It is also one of the most beautiful ancient sites in Greece.
Palace of Knossos (Crete): The palace is famous for its frescoed walls and what seems to be an unending maze of rooms and levels, stairways and corridors. The story goes that King Minos ruled over the richest and most powerful of Minoan cities and that his daughter Ariadne helped Theseus kill the Minotaur in the labyrinth.
Delos (Cyclades): This tiny isle is located about 3.2km (2 miles) offshore of Mykonos. Delos was considered by the ancient Greeks to the spiritual centre of the Cyclades. Many considered it to be the holiest sanctuary in all of Greece. The extensive remains here testify to the island’s former splendour. From Mount Kinthos, you can see many of the Cyclades and on a clear day, the entire archipelago.
Greece has more ancient sites than can be covered in one visit. Come to the country once and you will be tempted to visit time and again. In fact, tourism remains one of the most important and resilient even in the current economic times. Private Greece villas are fast emerging as the most sought out accommodation options for those looking for a more personalized stay.