10 Incredible Ancient Greek Sites To Add To Your Bucket List
When it comes to ancient sites in Greece you are spoiled for choice. So much so that choosing which to see on your Greek holiday might become an issue. But not to worry! We have handpicked the best of the best so writing your bucket list will be easy. Enjoy our top ten!
The Acropolis has a long and colourful history and it is one of the most defining features of the capital city, Athens. A trip to the top is a must-do for those visiting. The views atop this ancient Greek site are spectacular. Marvel at the Parthenon and city beyond or gaze over the magnificent Odeon of Herodes Atticus, you can even watch a show here in the evening!
The Agora is probably one of the most underrated ancient Greek sites. Perhaps this is because it lies in the shadow (literally) of the Acropolis. So if you are in Athens don’t forget to visit! The word agora in Greek means “assembly place”, and in ancient times this is exactly what the site was used for. The Stoa of Attalos would have once contained rows of shops where Athenians would go about their daily business. The Agora offers an amazing chance to picture exactly what every day Athenian life was once like.
Theatre of Epidaurus
This is an important ancient Greek site because despite being built at the end of the 4th century BC, it remains one of the most well-preserved theatres in all of Greece. This magnificent theatre is located at the Sanctuary of Asklepios, the Greek god of medicine, in the Peloponnese. Because of the acoustics spectators had no trouble hearing the performance, even those sitting at the very back. An incredible feat by modern standards!
Immortalized in Homer’s Iliad, the mythical Agamemnon was the all-powerful king who united Greeks leading them into the famous 10-year Trojan War. You can visit his homeland and walk among the ruins of his once-dominant capital. The splendour of his kingdom is still evident in Mycenae, a castle-palace perched on the top of a Peloponnese hill. The views go on for miles!
Meteora translates to ‘suspended in the air’ and when you see this ancient Greek site you will know exactly how it came to have this name. Located in central Greece, it is one of the most unique monasteries in all the world, and quite fittingly included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Built in the 14th century, hermit monks inhabited these monasteries for hundreds of years. Their precarious position helped actively discourage visitors and conquerors, allowing the hermits to freely spend their days in pursuit of salvation.
Delphi and the Sanctuary of Apollo is arguably the most important of the ancient Greek sites. The mystical legend of the oracle also makes Delphi one of the most important ancient Greek cities. Climb the slopes of Mount Parnassus and see where the famed Pythia once channelled the Greek god Apollo. See the remains of offerings and treasuries in the museum that contained small fortunes, all in hopes that people could find answers to their most personal questions.
This once prosperous ancient city was the birthplace of the ancient Olympics. The first Olympic events date back to 776 BC and were held at the very ancient Greek site in Olympia that you can visit today. Competitors came from far and wide, from all over Greece to compete in the games.
Not all the important ancient Greek sites are on the mainland. The island of Crete is home to the Palace of Knossos, a fascinating archaeological site that was once home to the Minoans. The Minoans were an ancient civilisation that thrived between 3000 BC and 1100 BC, their name deriving from the famous King Minos in Greek mythology.
Lindos is the perfect ancient Greek site for history lovers and island lovers alike. On the island of Rhodes, you can enjoy a stroll to the top of the acropolis and observe its time-honoured remnants. At the top, you can enjoy the birds-eye view vantage it gives you of the village below and the wide expanses of the South Aegean Sea. The Temple of Athena Lindia here dates back to the late 4th century BC and along with the backdrop, it makes the climb a magical and worthwhile experience.
The small island of Delos is unlike any other ancient site in Greece. Just a short boat ride from the island of Mykonos you can explore the remains of the extensive excavations. Here you can only visit by day, and like ancient times no one is allowed to be born or die on the island! Delos was one of the most important religious centres in Classical times, being the birthplace of the Greek gods Artemis and Apollo.
☞ Related: 3-days To Explore Mykonos Island In Greece