Greece – encounter with the ancient world! Let yourself be enchanted by the impressive diversity of this state. Nature, culture and ancient history have never been so connected. Visit the meteor monasteries built on cliffs, the Oracle of Delphi or the numerous islands around Greece. The city on the seven hills and at the same time the capital of the country – Athens – awaits you with the famous Acropolis, the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion or the legendary site of Thermopile. Not to be missed is Crete, the island where Zeus fell in love with Europe, but also the island of the “fabulous labyrinth” of Knossos. You can also admire the small town of Oia on Santorini and the famous blue domed roofs, the island of Kos in the Aegean Sea, the monasteries of Meteora Varlaam and Metamorphoses, the mouse island Pontikonisi with monastery on Corfu, the Grand Master’s Palace of Rhodes, the Aegean island of Lesbos and one of the most popular places in Lesbos, Molivos. A round trip through Greece is worthwhile!
Athens’ most famous landmark, the Acropolis, rises on an area of over 3.6 hectares. Traces of human settlement from the Stone Age suggest that the area was inhabited thousands of years ago. Around 500 BC there was a Mycenaean palace that was destroyed by the Persians. Between 447 and 406 BC, the Niketempel, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion and the Parthenon were built on the plateau. In 161 AD the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, a theater on the Acropolis rock, was built. Other buildings that also belong to the Acropolis are the Roma and Augustus temples, the House of the Arrephoren and the Agrippa monument.
The New Acropolis Museum
A visit to the fascinating Acropolis attraction should be planned in the course of private trips or study trips to the Greek metropolis. A visit to the New Acropolis Museum, which opened in 2009, will also prove to be extremely worthwhile. In the entrance area, the path leads museum visitors over partially glazed floor areas, which allow a look into the depths of exposed ancient excavations. On the first floor there are numerous exhibits such as sculptures that were made between 600 and 500 BC. Several models of the Acropolis Plateau illustrate the changes that have taken place over the millennia.
Worth knowing for a visit to the Acropolis
During a sightseeing tour through the Acropolis, there are some rules that must be strictly observed. It is forbidden to smoke, eat or drink alcohol on the tour. Clear water is allowed because – if something is spilled – it does not leave any permanent traces. Acropolis visitors should also wear shoes with non-slip soles, because the paths lead partly over smooth stone surfaces. It is also advisable to obtain information about what and where photography is allowed and where photography is prohibited before the visit.
In ancient times, the center of the world
The legendary Greek Delphi is located on the southwest slope of the Parnassus Mountains, which is almost 2,500 meters high, at an altitude of around 600 meters. Today the place mainly consists of hotels. In ancient Greece, however, Delphi was considered the center of the world. Today tourists from all over the world come to Delphi, mostly in the form of study trips, to see the excavation sites of the Apollon sanctuary. Delphi came to fame and fortune in ancient times because of its oracle. God Apollo spoke to people through the oracle through the mouth of Pythia, an elderly woman in a state of trance. The oracle should provide the believers with advice and a glimpse into the future. The oracle’s statements were turned into answers that made sense by intelligent priests.
The excavation sites are around 1 kilometer from today’s town, above and below the road that leads from the Greek capital Athens to Delphi. The upper excavation site consists, among other things, of a Roman agorá, a place with seven Ionic columns. Further above are the six Doric columns of the temple, which was dedicated to the god Apollo.
The holy street, which was lined with sculptures and treasure houses on its sides, connected the two places. In the treasure houses, built in Delphi in the Doric style, the offerings were kept to protect them from damage and the effects of the weather.
The ancient gymnasium and the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia are located in the lower archaeological site. The Tholos in the district is considered to be the outstanding architecture of that era. The peristasis around the circular cella is formed by twenty Doric columns, on the inner wall of which ten Corinthian half-columns harmonize ingeniously with the exterior. This design was probably used for the worship of heroes.
The Delphis Archaeological Museum welcomes its guests with extraordinary treasures
In addition to the excavation sites, one of the sights of Delphi is the Archaeological Museum, which is definitely worth a visit. One of the museum’s outstanding treasures is the charioteer, a bronze figure from the 5th century BC.
Scenic jewel of the Cyclades
Archaeologists around the world associate the island of Milos in the southern Aegean with the “Venus of Milo”, the Roman goddess of love, desire and beauty. But because that very Venus was discovered by the farmer Georgios Kentrotas on April 8, 1820 on this Cycladic island, the statue can be assigned to the Greek mythology as Aphrodite. The original of the marble sculpture can be admired in the Louvre in Paris. It is 202 centimeters high and one of the most beautiful examples of Hellenistic art. A plaque on the dirt road to the Ancient Theater on Milos marks the site, and a replica is on display in the island’s archaeological museum.
Seventy beaches and many museums
After arriving from Athens by plane or by ferry from Piraeus, an island of colors awaits travelers. Over seventy beaches adorn the beautiful island with its crystal clear water and fine sand between karst and colored cliffs. Milos is of volcanic origin and therefore stands out from some of its neighbors in the Cyclades. Five thousand people live here and the small towns are called Plaka, Adamas, Polonia and Tripiti. The island offers an interesting mixture of seclusion and culture. Milos is graced with a number of museums, of which the local history museum, the church museum and the war museum stand out.
To the Catacombs of Tripiti
In the Middle Ages, Milos was a favorite anchorage for pirates. They settled in Kleftiko, Papafragas and Katergo. Mostly in caves that can still be visited today. The island of Aphrodite delights the visitors with numerous scenic jewels and with the colorful boats in the port of Adamas and the Syrmata, the houses of the fishermen. Filakopi is prehistoric with its archaeological excavations. They are among the highlights of a stay on Milos. The catacombs date from early Christian times and were once used as a cemetery. The history of the island is shown in the mining museum and impresses with its extensive collection of minerals that have been found on Milos over time. An abandoned sulfur mine can be reached by boat.