The immense arts and cultural heritage of Greece have bequeathed upon the modern generations a plethora of treasures exhibited at world-class sites and museums that are well worth visiting. In fact, Athens is one large outdoor museum in itself. However, Athens is not only limited to archaeology. You can also find other kinds of sites and attractions of world-wide significance that feature its unique identity depending on your interests. Here is a list of the 5 must-visit sites and museums in Athens that you shouldn’t miss on your sightseeing tour of the Greek capital.
The Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, renowned for its acoustics, its symmetry and its complete harmony with the natural landscape, has been described as the largest and most beautiful "stone speaker" in the world. Located in the northeast Peloponnese, less than a two-hour drive from Athens, this world-class attraction makes a rewarding day trip. Every summer, lovers of the theater visit the extraordinary open-air amphitheater to enjoy live dance performances, concerts, operas and the incomparable works of great tragic and comic poets.
The imposing cluster of "columns in the sky" has been in Meteora for centuries. In addition to a religious landmark, Meteora is a sign of unparalleled beauty in Greece as well as a global, majestic geological phenomenon. It is no coincidence that Meteora has been characterized the most important monastic state after Mount Athos. Today, it remains at the top of the list of the most popular attractions in the country and one of the top day trips from Athens.
Delphi lies in the lush green slopes of Mount Parnassus in Central Greece. Here, the most important religious center of antiquity flourished, attracting visitors from all over the world. Famous thanks to its renowned oracle, the city of Delphi continues to attract visitors from every corner of the world. Easily accessible from Greece’s capital, Delphi, the ‘navel of the earth’ is one of the top day trips from Athens.
The small cruise port and seaside town of Katakolon, or Katakolo, offers an excellent opportunity to experience authentic Greek culture and to discover its secrets and rich history. This quiet fishing village is one of the lesser-known areas of Greece, although it can undoubtedly boast of being the land from which the Olympic Games began. It is here that you will discover the ancient site of Olympia, along with a true feel of local life and Greek countryside.
The great rock of Monemvasia, known as the "Gibraltar of Greece", is one of the wonders of the Peloponnese.This shorn off mass of limestone sits cantilevered on the southeastern tip of Laconian land, transporting visitors on a dreamlike journey through time and history.Castle walls, narrow cobbled streets, rich merchants' mansions, dozens of churches, low arches, marble imperial thrones, coats of arms, and Byzantine frescoes give the impression of a fantastic town that has been left untouched by time and leaves no visitor unmoved.
Mykonos Island is one of the most famous and most cosmopolitan destinations in Greece. Lying in the heart of the Aegean, yet very close to Athens, Mykonos offers a variety of activities aimed to satisfy your heart's every desire. Although Mykonos is considered one of the more expensive Greek islands, it is actually possible to book a Mykonos tour with The Travel Insiders and have a fab time in Mykonos on a budget with best quality solutions for all.
Travel further south along the western coast to what is known as the "legs" of the Peloponnese to discover castles, fortresses and castle-towns scattered from hills to the most southern shores of the peninsula. Having changed hands from the Franks to the Byzantines to the Venetians and the Ottomans, every castle has distinguishing differences making each visit a unique experience.
The Peloponnese is not only home to numerous monuments and historical - archaeological sites but also legendary castles, fortresses, and castle-towns. Unearth the myths and tales of battles and chivalry spread throughout the Peloponnese. These destinations are perfect for a family holiday all year round. Derived from fairy tales, built by giants and irrigated by thousands of years of history, the legendary castles of the Peloponnese offer mystical journeys and magnificent views.
The golden ivory statue of Zeus in Olympia was the first, in chronological order, of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, rising to its pedestal in the temple of Zeus in 430 BC. It was fantastic and inspired awe and admiration for every visitor, an indication of the magnificent artwork of Phidias.