Greece is a country with a fascinating history of more than 4.000 years. It has more than 100 archaeological sites scattered around the country and the islands that attract hundreds of thousand of visitors every year from around the world.
One of the most popular things you can do when visiting Greece especially if you are a history lover is to explore the main archaeological sites of the mainland including Olympia – the birthplace of the Olympic games, the oracle of Delphi and the impressive monasteries of Meteora.
After exploring the capital, Athens you can embark on a 4-day journey that will take you to Peloponnese and Central Greece making stops to some of the most important archaeological sites:
Top historical sites in Greece
In Ancient times slaves used to carry the ships over this narrow piece of land that separated the Adriatic Sea and the Aegean Sea. Although the idea of creating a canal first came by tyrant Periander in 7th c BC a construction finally started in 1893 and was completed in 1913 after 11 years of work. It is considered as a wonder of modern engineering.
The archaeological site of Epidaurus is part of the UNESCO world heritage centres. During the ancient times, it was considered one of the most famous Aslipieion and many people from around the whole Mediterranean came to be cured. Part of it is the ancient theatre of Epidaurus built in 4th century BC that was considered the best theatre of the antiquity and nowadays is among the best-preserved theatres in Greece. During the summer a lot of theatrical performances are held there.
You can read more about Epidaurus in my post: Archaeological Site of Asklipieion at Epidaurus
Nafplio is one of Greece’s most picturesque seaside towns and the first capital of the new state. You can admire the Palamidi castle, the neoclassical buildings and walk the cobbled streets.
Ancient Mycenae was the kingdom of Agamemnon, and it was considered one of the greatest prehistoric civilisations. Here you will see the tomb of Agamemnon, the Lion Gate of Mycenae which was the entrance to the Acropolis and also the Archaeological Museum of Mycenae that houses the findings of the excavations.
You can read more about Mycenae in my post: Mycenae Archaeological Site
Olympia was the most important religious and athletic centre in ancient Greece. The famous Olympic games were held here every four years to honour Zeus. Here you will see the sanctuary dedicated to Zeus, where the athletes used to train, and the museum that houses the famous Hermes of Praxiteles statue.
Delphi is a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the most famous sanctuaries of antiquity. It was home to the oracle that was consulted before any important political decisions at the time. Here you will see the ruins of the temple of Apollo that was worshipped onsite, the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia, the theatre, the stadium and the archaeological museum.
You can read more about Delphi in my post: A Day Trip from Athens: Delphi – Tales from Greece
Meteora is another UNESCO world heritage centre and one of the most important religious centres in Greece. Meteora is also an area of unique natural beauty. Big rock formations that reach the sky and on top of them you will spot the famous monasteries. During the 11th century, a monastic community of more than 20 monasteries was slowly created in the area. Nowadays only 6 have survived and remain open to the public.
You can read more about Meteora in my post: A full guide to the monasteries of Meteora Greece
In my opinion, this 4-day trip around Greece is the perfect way to discover Greece’s most important sights in the Mainland. It is also a perfect trip during the winter months and can be combined with a city break in Athens.
I wouldn’t recommend that you do this journey by public transport as it is difficult and time-consuming. I would either suggest that you rent a car or book a 4-day Classical Greece tour with Antelope travel that is currently 30% off.
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Have you been to any of the above archaeological sites?