greece

7 of the Most Exciting Museums to Visit While Traveling around Greece

Greece remains one of the most beautiful countries on the planet, offering a number of exciting outdoor adventures for its travelers. However, tourists should not ignore the incredible culture that also exists in Greece. This country has a rich heritage that visitors can explore through a number of different museums. Specializing in everything from archaeology to art, Greece boasts some of the most celebrated museums in all of Europe.

Some of the must-see museums across the country include the following:

 

  1. Archaeological Museum of Delphi

Located in Delphi, the Archaeological Museum of Delphi contains relics from the Delphic sanctuary, which formerly housed one of the most important Greek oracles. Here, visitors can see a wide range of sculptures and statues that were left at the sanctuary as donations. These pieces of art speak to the religious and political conditions of Greece through the entire Classical period. The museum presents the story of Delphi in chronological order and does a great job of explaining the context of each part of the permanent exhibit. This exhibit explores the various ups and downs of the sanctuary over the centuries, with a focus on the Archaic period. Visitors should be sure to check out the bronze Charioteer, as well as the digital reconstructions of the sanctuary.

Delphi

Image by Egisto Sani | Flickr

 

  1. National Archaeological Museum

The largest museum in Greece, the National Archaeological Museum has become one of Athens’ primary attractions. When it was first established, the museum held findings from archaeological digs in and around Athens, but it now holds interesting pieces from across the country. Altogether, the museum has more than 11,000 exhibits that look at Greek culture from the Prehistoric period up to Late Antiquity. Today, the museum has five main permanent collections that examine prehistoric art, vases, sculptures, and metallurgy from Greece, as well as antiquities from Egypt and the Near East. One of the major highlights of the museum is the Antikythera device, which people in the first century BC used to make astronomical calculations.

 

  1. Archaeological Museum of Iraklion

Visitors to Crete should make time to explore the Archaeological Museum of Iraklion, which provides a comprehensive glimpse into Minoan culture. The museum has everything from bronze figurines to intricate gold jewelry. It also boasts some of the incredible frescoes that come from Knossos and feature various dancers and athletes that still speak incredibly well to modern culture despite being more than 4,000 years old. In addition to Minoan artifacts, the museum has pieces on display from Greek, Roman, and Neolithic peoples who inhabited the island.

 

  1. Battleship Averof Naval Museum

To get more acquainted with modern Greek history, visitors can head to Faliro, a seaside suburb of Athens that is home to the Battleship Averof, which contains a naval museum. This unique floating museum allows individuals to explore most of the ship, which was built in 1909 and played a critical role in the Greek navy. At the museum, people get a glimpse of all the missions it took part in while learning about how the ship actually operated. Located in the same Faliro Bay complex as the battleship is the Trireme Olympias, a reconstruction of the ships the Greeks used in the ancient world. The reconstruction is meant to be as faithful as possible to the ships that were used more than 2,500 years ago.

 

  1. Museum of Cycladic Art

Rated one of the top museums in Athens, the Museum of Cycladic Art looks at prehistoric artworks produced on the Cyclades, a string of Greek islands. Most visitors are struck by how modern the artwork here looks despite the fact that it is several millennia old. Cycladic art is defined by minimalism with smooth and elongated figures that have inspired artists like Picasso, Modigliani, and Henry Moore. Some art historians contend that the pieces in this museum represent the first attempts at artistically depicting a human face. Alongside the main collection, the museum often houses travelling modern exhibits and displays some Ancient Greek and Cypriot work.

 

  1. Acropolis Museum

A newer museum in Athens, the Acropolis Museum is architecturally stunning, five-story structure that displays many of the riches recovered from the ancient Acropolis. The museum features 36 of the 115 frieze panels that are on display in Greece, as well as numerous sculptures and statues. Interestingly, the path through the museum is designed to mimic the climb toward the Acropolis. On the ground level, the museum has a glass floor that provides views of current archaeological digs taking place at the Acropolis, which include excavations of an early Christian settlement and an ancient neighborhood.

 

  1. Palace of the Grand Master

At the peak of the Castle of the Knights in Rhodes is the Palace of the Grand Master. This palace was first constructed as the residence of the Grand Master of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem and served as an administrative center for the government. Now a museum, visitors can see beautiful mosaic floors brought to the fortress from the island of Kos and a furniture collection representative of the 16th and 17th centuries. In addition, the interior yard features a number of Greek and Roman statues. A highlight of any visit to the palace is an exhibition that covers 24 centuries of the island’s history.

Advertisements
Greece

7 of the Most Impressive Ancient Sites to Visit in Greece

Many people associate Greece with its gorgeous islands and spectacular beaches, but the country has an incredibly rich history. One of the main reasons to explore the country is to see the many ancient ruins that immerse visitors in the past. These ruins exist in and around the biggest cities in Greece, as well as more remote parts of the country.

Whether or not visitors are history buffs, there is a lot to be gained from a trip to one of these sites, from learning how people used to live to seeing some of the most iconic structures of the ancient world. Some of the top ancient sites to see in Greece include:

 

  1. The Acropolis

acropolis-2725910_1280

Perhaps the most recognizable ancient monument in the world, the Acropolis sits on a high hill overlooking Athens. The Acropolis actually consists of several different structures, including the Parthenon, the temple of Athena Nike, the Propylaia, and the Erechthion. The climb up provides visitors with sweeping views of Athens while they move up toward the marble buildings, which are more than two millennia old. Visitors can easily appreciate the impact that these buildings have had on architecture around the globe, especially the columns of the Parthenon. Cities throughout the world have buildings modeled after this structure.

 

  1. Epidarus

While Epidarus is a fairly small town, it is a must-see site for people who are interested in the ancient world. Here, visitors will find the Temple of Asclepius, which is dedicated to a god with healing powers. Historically, Epidarus was a major pilgrimage site because of this temple, and the money that these pilgrims bought help fund a number of construction projects. Perhaps the biggest attraction in the city is the theater, which is still celebrated for its incredible acoustics. People can hear what is happening on the stage perfectly from any seat in the ancient structure. The theater is still used for concerts and other performances during the summer months.

 

  1. Mycenae

One of the most influential sites in classical Greece, Mycenae became famous as the home of Agamemnon, a king who united the city states throughout the region. Mycenae served as the seat of Greek culture throughout the Bronze Age, and many of the city’s structures have been meticulously preserved.

2729270560_9b23ab9669_b

Image by davida3 | Flickr

Visitors should be sure to check out the Lions’ Gate, which consists of massive stacked stones, as well as a large tomb that is believed to belong to Agamemnon’s father. This tomb has a distinctive cylindrical shape. Mycenae also has remnants of the palace and fortress that were once the heart of the city.

 

  1. Rhodes

Not all of the sites worth visiting in Greece are thousands of years old. In Rhodes, two structures dating to the 14th and 15th centuries are worth seeing. The older building is known as the Grand Master’s Palace. It was built by the knights of Rhodes as a fortress after the Ottoman Empire invaded. The original structure was mostly destroyed in the 1800s, but it was rebuilt in a unique, pseudo-medieval style.

The other structure worth a trip to Rhodes is Monolithos Castle, located on a massive rock above a small village. The fortress was built to protect the area from enemy attacks. Visitors need to climb up a narrow path to get to the castle, but the top of the rock has sweeping views of the nearby Fourni beach.

 

  1. The Agora

Located in Athens, the Agora is a symbol of the ancient world in Greece. Located not far from the Acropolis, the Agora served as a central marketplace for ancient Athens. The market operated for almost 5,000 years, with various parts being demolished and rebuilt over time. Archaeologists are still working on uncovering the whole market.

The

Visitors should spend some time at the Temple of Hephaestus, which has been very well preserved since it was originally built, and at the Stoa of Attalos, which has been meticulously rebuilt. The latter structure is a long building with colonnades that stretches along one side of the market.

 

  1. Olympia

This city is the namesake for the modern Olympics. Olympia hosted the Pan-Hellenic Games, held every four years, in the ancient world. A central attraction at Olympia is the Temple of Zeus, which housed one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, a statue of the god that was 12 meters tall. A number of other ruins are located in Olympia. These include historic baths, known as thermai, and a monument to an unknown hero, which is known as the Heroon.

 

  1. Knossos

Located on the island of Crete, Knossos was the capital of Minoan Crete. Visitors will find a massive palace that, according to myth, sits on the site of the labyrinth in the story of Theseus and the Minotaur. People should be sure to check out the beautiful murals and other works of art that have been preserved for thousands of years. Considering its age, the palace has a number of interesting features, including porticoes and irrigation drains. One of the most impressive parts of the tour is the Royal Chambers.

sailing

Spotlight – 7 Exciting Outdoor Adventure Trips in Greece

While some people want nothing more than to sit on the beach and relax during vacation, other people see this time as the right opportunity for adventure. Greece is widely known for its beauty and its long history, but few tourists realize that it is also a great destination for outdoor activities. Across the mainland and the islands, a number of great opportunities exist for getting outside and enjoying some adventure.

Among these opportunities are the following:

 

  1. Kalymnos – Rock Climbing

rock climbingOnce a major destination for archaeologists, Kalymnos now receives relatively few visitors. In an effort to drive additional tourism, the island decided to capitalize on its natural resources and introduce Massouri and Armeos, two resorts in the northwest part of the island that are focused on rock climbing.

Kalymnos features towering limestone cliffs and provides easy access to Telendos, a tiny islet known for its great rock-climbing cliffs. New routes continue to open up along these cliffs, adding to the many that are already available. The island also hosts a major climbing festival each year, usually during October. Because summers in Greece can get so hot, a rock-climbing adventure is best enjoyed in the spring or fall.

 

  1. Corinth – Bungee Jumping

People who want a simply thrilling experience during their vacation in Greece may want to head to Corinth, which has developed a reputation for bungee jumping. Here, individuals dive right over the aquamarine waters of the Corinth Channel and take in the breathtaking scenery while enjoying one of the biggest adrenaline rushes available. The cliffs along the Corinth Channel are particularly picturesque, so individuals should be sure to bring their cameras along for this adventure.

 

  1. Aegina – Sailing

Because Greece has such an abundance of gorgeous water, it attracts a number of sailors each year. One of the prime destinations for advanced sailors and novices alike is Aegina, which is a short boat ride away from Athens. This island is home to the Aegean Sailing School, which offers six-day family sailing holidays that people can book. During the adventure, individuals sleep aboard the vessel while learning how to steer, gain speed, and slow down. Of course, there is plenty of free time for swimming and sight-seeing.

sailing

 

  1. Thessaly – Mountaineering

Tourists who want to spend some time in the mountains of Greece should head to Thessaly, which is home to the towering Mount Olympus. Here, individuals will have the opportunity to kayak, rock climb, explore rugged canyons, mountain bike, and hike. In addition to inspiring vistas of Mount Olympus, these trails provide excellent views of the Aegean Sea, the River Pineios, and Tempi Valley. Families that do not have a lot of mountaineering experience can engage companies like Olympos Trek in Larissa that plan set adventures, including many of the activities mentioned earlier.

 

  1. Peloponnese – Skiing

For most people, Greece is not the first place that comes to mind when talking about great skiing destinations in Europe. However, the country has some great slopes in regions that are not as warm as others. For example, Mount Parnassos, which has an elevation in excess of 8,000 feet, receives significant snowfall each year. This region has some great ski resorts, with multiple slopes catering to individuals of all skills levels.

Advanced skiers and snowboarders should check out Kellaria and Fterolakka, two of the larger trails. Altogether, the region has more than a dozen runs, with three of them rated as extremely difficult. Tourists also flock to Mt. Helmos on Peloponnese because it is so close to Athens. The ski resort in Kalavryta has a number of green runs and a few with very steep and winding trails.

skiing

 

  1. Arcadia – Hiking

People who love hiking need to check out Gortynia in Arcadia. This area has eight different trails, including the Zygovisti-Elati trail that has become popular among the most daring hikers. This trail features a massive incline that takes individuals more than 5,000 feet above sea level, but it rewards their efforts with incredible views of massive boulders and thick forests covering the local hills. On the latter part of the path, hikers will see the red-tiled roofs of Elati, a small settlement surrounded by old, fortified walls. Visitors can finish their hike here and enjoy some of the delicious local food, such as baklava soaked in honey.

 

  1. Paros – Windsurfing

Part of the Cyclades, Paros is an island that has hosted the Professional Windsurfing Association World Cup on multiple occasions. Throughout the summer, New Golden Beach gets a continuous breeze that makes it ideal for the sport. Because the breeze can die down at times, beginners also find it a great place to learn. Individuals can rent equipment on the island and hire instructors to help them learn. Windsurfing fans may even encounter some Olympic medalists practicing on the island.