Explore Greece

Enjoy opportunities of being in the right place at the right time

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Have a rest and relax

Get out of a daily routine

Seek for peace and simple resting while introducing yourself to new horizons.

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Water & Amusement Parks

Acqua Plus Water Park

Acqua Plus Water Park is the most popular water park on the island of Crete, and it is located less than 20 miles from Heraklion. It's situated on a hill which offers spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes. The water park is split into two different sections, one for adults and one for children. The garden section combines local Cretan plants and flowers with more exotic ones. There is a water slide beneath a weeping willow tree, and games are located among the palm trees, bougainvilleas and French marigolds.Acqua Plus Water Park offers more than 50 slides, games and facilities. Some slides are slow and calm, while others are fast and exciting. Some are body slides and some slides have tubes. The park also has different pools, some specifically for kids, where visitors can swim and enjoy the water. There's even a lazy river where visitors float calmly in a tube as a more relaxing way to experience the park.

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See different sceneries

See different sceneries worldwide

Discover a vast number of beautiful places in our planet that you may not even know about yet.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Mt. Parnassus (Parnassos)

Mt. Parnassus is one of the many places in Greece that occupies very real space on the landscape, and is also central to such a number of Greek myths that you might be surprised to learn that the mountain is not a myth of its own. The mountain is in central Greece, just north of Delphi. It is associated with several prominent figures in Greek mythology. Mt. Parnassus was said to be the home of the Muses, sacred to the god Dionysus, sacred also to the god Apollo, home to the winged horse Pegasus, and closely tied with poetry, learning, and music.Today, Mt. Parnassus is a draw for visitors year-round. In the winter, there are two ski resorts on its slopes. In warmer weather, the mountain is an excellent location for hiking - views from the summit are spectacular.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Vouliagmeni Lake (Limni Vouliagmenis)

Vouliagmeni Lake is located approximately 15 miles outside of Athens, Greece. It is an oval-shaped lake with brackish water that is fed by both the sea and underground springs. The lake is only 20 inches above sea level, so it often overflows and is replenished by the underground springs. At the bottom of the lake is a labyrinth of underwater caves with 14 tunnels. The composition of the lake's water consists of various elements and is used as a mineral spa famous for its healing properties. Many people come here to treat various physical ailments such as skin conditions, arthritis, headaches and more.Aside from therapy reasons, the lake is also popular for leisure and recreational activities. The water temperature is consistently between 71 and 84 degrees Fahrenheit which makes for pleasant swimming. There are beach chairs and umbrellas near the shores of the lake, and a nearby restaurant serves traditional Greek food.

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Wildlife & Zoos

Cretaquarium (Thalassokosmos)

Crete’s gleaming white sea aquarium opened in the island’s former American Base in December 2005 and is the largest in Greece, showcasing the magical fish and marine ecosystems of the Mediterranean Sea. As well as educating visitors on the mysteries of the deep, the aquarium plays a serious role in researching and conserving sea life and in caring for injured fish and marine life.More than 2,500 fish from more than 250 indigenous species, ranging from sand tiger sharks to microscopic sea horses, can be seen in 60 tanks filled with 1.7 million liters of seawater, each carefully themed for a local Mediterranean marine environment. The aquarium has walk-through tanks with sharks, loggerhead turtles, comical groupers and velvety rays floating overhead, as well as 100 observation spots where entertaining and informative information is laid out for children as colorful shoals of fish flit in front of their eyes.

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Sights & Landmarks

Mt. Lycabettus (Lykavittos)

Looming 886-foot (270-meter) over the city, Mount Lycabettus is Athens’ highest peak and with the crowds flocking to the nearby Acropolis, it’s the best bet for those seeking out a viewpoint away from the crowds. While adventurous travelers can hike to the top in less than an hour, the easiest way to scale Mt Lycabettus is by riding the funicular railway, which runs from Kolonaki.At the top of Mt Lycabettus is the striking Orthodox chapel of Saint George, built in the 19th century over the ruins of a Byzantine church, but the real highlight is the stunning panoramic view over Athens. For the full experience, head there to dine at one of the two hill-top restaurants, attend one of the summer shows at the hill-top concert venue or time your visit to witness the mesmerizing sunset.

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Geological Formations

Santorini Volcano

The volcanic eruption of Thira that put an end to the thriving Minoan civilization was so cataclysmic, it may have spawned the legend of Atlantis.The explosion occurred around 3600 years ago, scooping out the once-circular island’s center and west coast, and creating the sea-filled caldera and signature sheer cliffs where Santorini’s townships teeter today. Since then, there have been perhaps a dozen major eruptions.The volcano is quiet today, though the nearby island of Nea Kameni in the center of the caldera still emits puffs of steam. It’s thanks to the caldera that towns like Oia boast such stunning sunsets, providing a low-lying, obstruction-free observation point as the sun sinks into the sea.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Navagio Beach (Shipwreck Beach)

Tucked into an isolated cove on the northern coast of Zakynthos (also called Zante) in the Ionian Islands, Navagio Beach is one of the biggest visitor attractions on the island. Already beautiful and shaded by dramatic marble-white cliffs, it acquired its notoriety in October 1980, when a freighter that was being chased by the Greek Navy ran aground there and was abandoned. Today the Panagiotis still languishes in the soft sandy bay, slowly sinking, rusting and gathering a coat of graffiti under the steep white limestone cliffs that protect the beach.Thanks to its popularity and despite the fact that it can only be reached from the sea, Navagio Beach gets packed with day-trippers and tourist boats in high season; to escape the crowds try to visit early in the morning or in late afternoon. There are no facilities whatsoever at the beach, so at the height of summer take umbrellas for shade, water and sun cream as well as picnic supplies.

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Geological Formations

Samaria Gorge

Samaria Gorge is legendary amongst hikers, with more than 1,000 walkers hitting the rugged river valley trail daily in summer. Europe’s longest gorge offers a wildflower-bedecked river trail with cliff-top views of Crete’s endangered wild goat, the kri-kri. The walk begins at Xyloskalo, where a steep stone pathway with wooden rails enters the gorge. It finishes 16km (10 miles) later on the coast at Agia Roumeli. Along the way, the stone walls of the gorge close over the trail, at some points reduced to only a couple of feet wide. At their most impressively narrow, the craggy canyon walls are known as the Iron Gates. Water fills the stream in spring, while in summer the riverbed rocks become stepping stones. And at the end of the trail, in Agia Roumeli, the beach offers hikers a chance to revive with a refreshing dip in the sea. Samaria Gorge and its rare wild kri-kri goats are protected by national park on Crete’s southwest coast, between the towns of Agia Roumeli and Sougia.

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Learn while traveling

Educate yourself while traveling

Witness diverse culture of people and learn history on the go.

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Classes & Workshops

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Ancient Thera

The archaeological site at Akrotiri may be closed, but fortunately you can get your fill of excavations at the site of Ancient Thira. There’s a mix of ruins to explore, including Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine remnants, excavated in the 1890s. Take a tour to identify the different structures – temples, houses, the market (agora), theater and gymnasium.At its height, this was a thriving center, with dramatic sanctuaries hewn into rock, temples, an impressive theater and porticoed administrative buildings. The central area is the Agora, the old commercial hub, encircled by temple sanctuaries ringing the city. There are also ancient cemeteries here, unearthed since the 1960s. Don’t miss the views over the coast while you’re here.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Byzantine & Christian Museum

The Byzantine and Christian Museum is housed in the lovely Neo-Classical Villa Ilissia in the Athens suburb of the same name; it was built in 1848 as the residence of Sophie de Marbois-Lebrun, the philanthropic US-born Duchess of Plaisance. Having had an architectural facelift in 2004, the museum has one of the best displays of Byzantine icons and mosaics on earth. Its priceless exhibits are laid out chronologically to trace the development of early Christian and Greek Byzantine culture from the 4th century onwards, drawing on more than 25,000 treasures from across the Greek world including religious statuary removed from ruined churches in Attica. Among the Coptic priestly vestments, pottery, the frescoes, armor and fragmented mosaics is a world-beating collection of more than 3,000 glittering Byzantine icons. Modern-day religious art in Greece is covered in a series of ever-changing temporary exhibits.

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Museums & Exhibitions

National History Museum (Ethnikó Istorikó Mouseío)

Covering the period from 1453 to the 1940s, Athens’ National History Museum takes visitors from the Ottoman years right up until the Greek-Italian War. The museum is housed in an ornate Neoclassical palace dating back to 1813 and has seen several incarnations; it was once the home of King Otto, the first Greek monarch after independence in 1832, before being taken over by Greek Parliament, who in turned moved out to the current Parliament Building in Syntagma Square in 1932. Lastly, the Old Parliament building housed the justice ministry before opening as a museum in 1962, showcasing turning points in Greek history from the Byzantine rule to the build up to the Wars of Independence in the 1820s and the disastrous Asia Minor Campaign in 1919.

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Buildings & Structure

Arch of Hadrian

Erected in honor of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century A.D, the monumental gateway of Hadrian’s Arch remains one of the most striking remnants of ancient Athens. Located on the ancient road between the Athenian Agora and the Olympieion, the elaborate structure was supposedly built to honor the arrival of Hadrian in 131 AD.The Arch, standing in front of the once magnificent Temple of Olympian Zeus (the Olympieion), formed a symbolic gateway between the old city district and the new Roman-built city, erected by Hadrian. Notably, two inscriptions feature on the sides of the arch: the western side, looking onto the old city reads ‘ This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus’ and the eastern side, facing the Olympieion, reads ‘This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus’.

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Well-known Landmarks

Temple of Hephaestus

The Temple of Hephaestus was built just two years before the Parthenon. It is located in the ancient agora, not too far from the Acropolis. Sometimes it is referred to as the Temple of Thission based on some opinions that the temple may have been dedicated to Theseus. It was built in 450 B.C., most likely by the same architect who built the Parthenon. The temple was designed in a Doric style with six columns on each end and 13 columns on each side.Hephaestus is the Greek god of volcanoes and metalworking, and he was the only one of the Olympic gods who was not physically perfect and had to perform manual labor. He was the god responsible for crafting the armor with the fatal weakness that was worn by Achilles in The Iliad. Statues of Hephaestus can be found in the temple, as well as statues of Athena and several friezes depicting scenes with other gods.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Cape Sounion

Greek legend says that the king of Athens jumped from a cliff into the water below, forever tying his name–Aegeus–to the Aegean Sea into which he fell. Cape Sounion is where he is said to have jumped.Cape Sounion sits at the southernmost point of mainland Greece outside Athens. In addition to the promontory's legendary importance, there are also ancient ruins you can visit nearby. There is a Temple of Poseidon dating from the 5th century B.C.E., into which the poet Lord Byron reportedly carved his name in 1810. Because of its geography, Cape Sounion is also a popular spot from which to watch the sun set into the sea. Archaeological work continues today at Cape Sounion, but the area is more commonly known as a retreat from Athens. Many wealthy Athens residents keep second homes here, and many of the day-trippers to Cape Sounion are Athenians–not just foreign tourists.

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Religious Architecture

Monastery of Profitis Ilias (Moni Profitou Iliou)

The monastery of Mount Profitis Ilias is perched on the mountain of the same name, the highest point on Santorini at 1,853 ft (565 m) above the Aegean Sea in the south of the island. Built in the early 18th century out of sizeable stone and resembling a fortress, the monastery was dedicated to the prophet Elijah and initially enjoyed great wealth. It once also functioned as a secret school of Greek culture during the dark days of Turkish occupation of the country, but its power began to decline in 1860 and it was badly damaged by the earthquake in 1956. Today Profitis Ilias is successful once more; its three domed church has become a museum hosting an exceptional and significant collection of Greek Orthodox icons, early, hand printed books and bibles, wrought-iron artwork, wooden carvings and elaborately embroidered clerics’ robes. The resident monks put on displays of traditional carpentry, shoemaking, local cooking and wine making as well.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Propylaea

The Propylaea is an ancient gateway in Athens, Greece that leads to the famous Acropolis. It surrounds the natural entrance to the plateau where the Acropolis is located. This entryway is actually a collection of impressive buildings that were built from 438 to 432 BC. Today you'll see two large structures with a smaller one in the center, but this is because most of the center structure is missing. When it was complete, it looked like the front of a temple with Doric columns. Inside the structure are several Ionic columns.The stairway visitors walk up while approaching the Propylaea is built into the natural rock of the plateau. The Propylaea itself is made of the same marble that was used in constructing the Parthenon. Though it is in a ruined state today, it is still an impressive structure, and visitors can imagine how much more striking it must have been in ancient times.

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Well-known Landmarks

Erechtheion

Perched on its craggy escarpment overlooking the heart of Athens, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Acropolis (its name means ‘high city’ in ancient Greek) is the most famous classical site in the world. The colonnaded Parthenon may be first stop for most visitors, but the marble remains of the Erechtheion stood at the very soul of the Acropolis, marking the spot where the mythical ancient Greek gods Poseidon and Athena fought for ownership of the fledgling city. Named after the legendary King Erechtheus, the temple was built on the north side of the Acropolis hill between 420 and 406 BC, to a design by Athens’ great statesman, Pericles. It was a relatively late addition to the complex of temples and theaters, replacing an older temple as the center of religious ritual at the Acropolis.Built on a slope and fronted by six Ionic columns – still almost complete after 2,500 years – the Erechtheion is best known for its ornate Porch of the Caryatids.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Mycenae

Squeezed between two hills on the arid plains of the northeastern Peloponnese, fortified Mycenae was the major settlement in the powerful Mycenaean civilization that held political and cultural sway over the Eastern Mediterranean from the 15th to the 12th century BC. The Bronze Age city is regarded as the home of the legendary Agamemnon and is UNESCO World Heritage-listed for its profound cultural influence upon later Greek civilizations. Covering around 32 hectares and at its peak with a population of around 30,000, the ruins at Mycenae were excavated in 1874 by Heinrich Schliemann, who also worked at Troy. Highlights include the Lion Gate, the main entrance into the citadel carved with figures of mythical lions; the Treasury of Atreus – also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon; the scant remains of the Royal Palace; and the Cyclopean Walls, whose massive stone blocks are all that remain of the original fortifications.

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Well-known Landmarks

Akrotiri

In 1967, archaeologists uncovered the spectacularly well-preserved remains of an ancient Bronze Age Minoan village at Ancient Akrotiri, destroyed by a mighty volcanic eruption in around 1650 BC.The most famous Minoan site outside Crete, the sandstone remains of Akrotiri’s buildings reach several stories. Their door and window lintels are spookily intact, along with stone walls and porticoes, courtyards and rooms. As at Pompeii, the buildings were preserved by the volcanic ash. Fortunately, unlike Pompeii, it appears that the villagers were safely evacuated, as no skeletons have been unearthed during the excavation. The excavation site has been closed for several years, though restoration is continuing. To get an idea of what lies beneath, visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, where gorgeous frescos of boats, fishers, wildlife and everyday people from several millennia ago are displayed. You can also see personal artifacts like pottery and furniture.

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Well-known Landmarks

Meteora

Meteora, in central Greece, is a place of natural beauty and man-made wonder. The huge natural rock towers are home to cliff-top monasteries built by Eastern Orthodox hermit monks in the 14th century. The monks settled in the area from the 9th century and began by living in the caves and fissures of the rocks. They built the inaccessible monasteries - 6 of 20 survive - to fend off Turkish invaders. UNESCO has identified the area as having world significance.

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Well-known Landmarks

Temple of Olympian Zeus (Naós tou Olympíou Diós)

The Temple of Olympian Zeus (or Olympieio) has been a ruin almost since it was built. The Athenian rulers who began its construction in the 6th century BC set out to build the greatest temple in the world, but it was not actually finished until about the 2nd century AD (over 600 years late!) by the Roman emperor Hadrian. By then it was the largest temple in Greece, bigger than the Parthenon. In the 3rd century AD it was looted by barbarians and its glory days were over. Since then it has slowly fallen into ruin.The temple was dedicated to the worship of Zeus, king of the gods of Mount Olympus, and once contained a massive statue of the god. Of this, there is no trace and only fifteen of its original 104 columns still stand. Over the centuries much of its marble has been recycled or stolen for other temples, or perhaps, over the centuries, a bit of garden paving.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Agora of Athens

The political and social heart of the ancient city of Athens, the famous Agora of Athens (or the Forum of Athens) is one of the city's most important archeological sites -- the remainder of the civic center and marketplace where Greek democracy was first brought to life. Today, the ruins are regarded as the best-preserved example of an ancient Greek agora, standing to the northwest of the Acropolis between the hills of Areopagus and Kolonus Agoraios. Dating back to the 6th century BC (before which it was used as a residential area), the vast area was originally laid out by Peisistratus and featured an elaborate drainage system, a series of fountains and a temple devoted to the Olympian Gods. Later additions included the temples of Hephaestus, Zeus and Apollo, a series of altars and a concert hall, before the agora was finally abandoned after a Slavic invasion in the 6th century AD.

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Well-known Landmarks

Temple of Poseidon

Follow the road to Cape Sounion, circling the idyllic Saronic Gulf, and you come to one of the most iconic sights in Greece: the columns of the Temple of Poseidon, framing the blue sea backdrop since 44 BC. One of the temple’s remaining Doric columns is inscribed by none other than Lord Byron, who visited the temple in the early 19th century. The ancient Greeks certainly knew how to choose a temple location, as Cape Sounion is a remarkable site. The Temple of Poseidon is perched on a rocky hilltop overlooking the sea, a gleaming white beacon for ancient (as well as modern) travelers along this dangerous stretch of coast.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Athens National Archaeological Museum (Ethniko Arxaiologiko Mouseio)

One of the world's great museums, Athens’ National Archaeological Museum houses the most important finds from antiquity unearthed from the many archaeological sites scattered throughout Greece. A visit to the National Archaeological Museum provides the ultimate overview of Greek history and art, underscoring their influence on Western civilization. The scores of exhibits range from prehistory through to late antiquity.Highlights include glittering artifacts from Mycenae, spectacular Minoan frescos from Santorini, and intricate Cycladic figurines. There are objects excavated from Troy, Neolithic ceramics, marble sculptures from the Aegean islands, jewelry and weapons, and mummies and statues from ancient Egypt.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Acropolis of Lindos

One of Rhodes’ three most prominent ancient cities, the site of Ancient Lindos lies 45km south of modern day Rhodes city, making a popular attraction for those intrigued by the history of ancient Greece. Founded by the Dorians in 10th century BC, Lindos was once a major trading center connecting Greece to the Middle East, before falling into decline after the city of Rhodes was established in the fifth century.Today, the modern town of Lindos has grown up in the shadow of the acropolis and a 14th century medieval castle surrounds the ruins of the ancient citadel, keeping watch over the town from its dramatic clifftop perch. Standing proud atop the 116-meter tall rock, the remains of the acropolis include the Doric Temple of Athena Lindia, dating back to around 300BC; parts of the 20-columned Hellenistic stoa; and a 5th-century BC propylaeum (temple entrance).

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Museums & Exhibitions

Acropolis Museum (Museo Akropoleos)

Until the 17th century, the Acropolis stayed largely intact until being hit by gunpowder, a Venetian bombing and tourists. After the creation of the Greek State, it was decided that a museum was needed to protect the heritage of Ancient Greece. The first museum was built in 1865 but it was replaced in 2007 with the new 25,000 square meter (6.2 acre) museum near the base of the Acropolis.Today the Acropolis Museum (Museo Akropoleos) houses original pieces from the temples of the Acropolis. In the Parthenon Gallery, the famous marble frieze is recreated with both original marbles and casts.The Archaic Gallery has statues which pre-date even the Acropolis itself, and the Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis shows items used by earlier settlers.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Acropolis of Rhodes

Keeping watch over the northeastern tip of the island, the remains of the ancient Acropolis of Rhodes dominate the skyline of Rhodes city from atop the hill of Ayios Stefanos. Although lacking the typical fortification walls of other ancient acropolis, the Hellenic city of Rhodes is notable for its architectural flair, seamlessly blending the buildings and sanctuaries into the natural landscape. As one of the most accessible and evocative of all Rhodes’ ancient sites, touring the acropolis makes a popular excursion for those staying in the modern city.Today, parts of the site are still being excavated, but the viewable ruins paint a striking portrait of the former city. The undisputed star of the acropolis is the grand Temple of Apollo, exquisitely restored and partially reconstructed as part of the Monte Smith Park, which crowns the hill. Other notable ruins include the remnants of an 800-capacity Roman Odeion theater; the Temple of Athena Polias and Zeus Polieus.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Archaeological Museum of Olympia

The site of the Ancient Olympic Games in Olympia in the Peloponnese was lost to time and earthquake until 1875 when excavation began to uncover the ancient stadium (which could seat 20,000), the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Hera (where the Olympic Flame is still lit from the sun), and many other important buildings.Today they are only ruins, foundations and columns mainly but still of great interest and one of the most visited ancient sites in Greece.Adjoining the site is the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, which contains some of Greece's most valuable historic artifacts found in the Altis or sanctuary to Zeus. The museum is famous for its sculpture collection including Nike who was said to come down from the sky to hand a palm leaf to the victors. The large terracotta collection is also renowned and this modern museum is a great way to get a feel for how it was to be at those ancient games.

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Well-known Landmarks

Delphi

Delphi is the second-most important archeological site in Greece (after the Acropolis in Athens). In ancient times Delphi was considered the place where heaven and earth met so the gods were close-by. Established around the 7th century BC, Delphi was a sanctuary to the god Apollo. It was here that the Oracle of Delphi was situated, the most trusted oracle in the ancient world from which the spirit of Apollo gave advice on everything from domestic matters to wars.Delphi had a theatre and temples as well as the oracle, and has a well preserved stadium which once held chariot races. These were excavated from the mid-1800s and today the ruins stand impressively in their mountain landscape. Many believe the place to have a special magic and report being moved spiritually when visiting Delphi. Ancient engravings on the stone such as 'Know Thyself' and 'Nothing in Excess' could be from today's self-help movement.

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Buildings & Structure

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Mnemeíon Agnostou Stratiotou)

Athens' Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Mnēmeíon Agnōstou Stratiōtou) commemorates all those Greek soldiers who died in service of their country over its long history. Among its inscriptions are quotes from Pericles Funeral Oration as written by Thucydides in his History of the Peloponnesian War : 'and one bed is carried empty / made for the unknown ones.' During major holidays, politicians and officials lay wreaths at the tomb.The tomb is guarded 24 hours a day by the Presidential Guard (the Evzones). These are the hand-picked strongest men of the army - also the most handsome! Their traditional uniform features a skirt, stockings and pom-poms on their shoes, all of which makes the hourly Changing of the Guard ceremony even more worth seeing. On Sundays at 11am they stage an impressive full ceremony with formal uniform and an army band.

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Religious Architecture

Panagia Tourliani Monastery

Ano Mera is the second-largest settlement on Mykonos, and as far from the island’s party-crazy reputation it is possible to get. A whitewashed cluster northeast of Mykonos Town (also called Chora), life rumbles on here as it has done for centuries. There’s a daily fresh produce market in the village square and Ano Mera is popular with local families for leisurely Sunday brunches in traditional tavernas. The village’s chief claim to fame is the 16th-century whitewashed monastery of Panagia Tourliani and its church, which is fronted by an intricate marble bell tower and ornate triple bells. Founded in 1542 by monks from the neighboring island of Paros and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, the monastery’s Byzantine styling is apparent in its red dome and its layout around a fountain-filled courtyard.

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Well-known Landmarks

Parthenon

The Parthenon (Parthenonas), one of the world's most famous buildings, represents a high point in ancient Greek architecture. Built around 440 BC, the Parthenon's classical architecture has influenced buildings ever since - and still does today.Built for worship of the goddess Athena, it was to give thanks for the salvation of Athens and Greece in the Persian Wars. Officially it is called the Temple of Athena the Virgin; the name Parthenon comes from the Greek word for virgin.In the 2,500 years of its existence, the building has been a temple, a treasury, a fortress, and a mosque; in the 6th century AD the Parthenon became a Christian church, with the addition of an apse at the east end. Today it is one of the world's leading tourist attractions.

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Buildings & Structure

Academy of Athens (Akadimía Athinón)

The lovely Neoclassical Academy of Athens was built in the mid 19th century during the post-independence re-flowering of Greek culture and is home to the national institutes for sciences, philosophy, fine arts and humanities, following in a tradition first established by Plato in around 387 BC. It is part of a triumvirate of neighboring buildings known as the ‘Neoclassical Trilogy’ designed by Danish architects Theophil and Christian Hansen and encompassing the National Library and the University of Athens. With a marble façade, the main entrance is through an ornamental colonnaded portico topped with sculptures on the carved pediment representing the birth of Athena and flanked by statues of Athena and Apollo standing on slender columns – all are the work of sculptor Leonidas Drossis in the 1870s and are guarded by two philosophical-looking sculptures of Plato and Socrates.

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Experience fun and excitement

Have a good time

Travel long distances just for fun and explore places where being happy is a way of life.

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Tickets & Passes

Skip the line Tickets

Top Attractions

Places of Natural Beauty

Paradise Beach

After a day relaxing on the sand or jet-skiing through the water, Paradise Beach is where holiday makers come to party when the sun goes down. During the day, you can rent an umbrella and beach lounge, and make the most of the beach’s bar service. At night, there are a couple of restaurants in town, but it’s the pumping music played by beach club DJs that draws the mostly young crowds. Paradise Beach is fine for the family during the day, but the scene turns loud and sexy after dark. Don’t come here to sleep! As well as the beach dance floor, there’s the famous Paradise Club all-night party megaclub, that’s been a favorite rave scene since 1993.

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Theatres & Cinemas

Odeon of Herodes Atticus (Odeio Irodou Attikou)

Herodes Atticus was an aristocratic and wealthy Greek who funded several great building projects in ancient Athens, including the Odeum (also Odeon or Herodeion), which he commissioned in 161 BC in memory of his wife. Found at the bottom of the southern slopes of the Acropolis, it was a concert hall with 32 rows of seating around a semi-circular, tiled stage and covered with a wooden ceiling to aid acoustics. Able to accommodate an audience of 5,000, the Odeum’s three-story exterior was adorned with four vast arches and decorated with statues of the muses.Destroyed in 267 AD by Germanic invaders, the Odeum was neglected until the 1950s, when refurbishment saw the seating and stage restored. It is today a popular open-air venue thanks to its spectacular setting underneath the Acropolis and the venue for many magical summertime open-air concerts and staging of classical plays as well as the Athens & Epidarus Festival from June through August.

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Stadiums & Arenas

Panathenaic Stadium (Panathinaiko Stadio)

Athens was the site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896, but the stadium where the events took place - the Panathenaic Stadium - predated those games by many hundreds of years.The Panathenaic Stadium (also called Panathinaiko Stadio) we see today was built on the remains of a 4th century B.C.E. stadium, which was a refurbished version of a 6th century B.C.E. stadium. It retains its original name, built for the Panathenaic Games in about 566 B.C.E., although the original seating was wooden. In 329 B.C.E. it was redone in marble. In 1869, the entire site was excavated and renovated, and in 1896 it was the setting for the first modern Olympic Games, when roughly 80,000 people packed into the white marble stands. Today, the stadium holds about 45,000. When Athens hosted the 2004 Olympics, the Panathenaic Stadium was the location for the marathon finish line.

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Stadiums & Arenas

Olympic Stadium (OAKA)

Greece is where the Olympic Games began in the 11th century BC, as a festival dedicated to the god Zeus. The first modern Olympics was held in Athens in 1896 in the Panathinaiko Stadium, a 4th century BC stadium which was restored for the games. When Athens won the right to hold the 2004 games, people wondered if the chaotic and polluted city could make it work; they did. The result was a rebuilding program which re-invigorated the city and its transport system.The Olympic Stadium of 2004 was originally built in the early 1980s for the European Olympic Championships and was remodeled by famous architect Santiago Calatrava for 2004. It seats around 70,000 and is now home to the major Athens football clubs and concerts. The stadium is called Spiros Louis Stadium after the winner of the 1896 marathon.

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Celebrate a special occasion

Go for a romance travel

Escape from home routine and find a romantic place to celebrate your special occasion.

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Tickets & Passes

Half-day Tours

City Tours

Full-day Tours

Top Attractions

Cultural/Heritage Places

Theatre of Dionysus

The Theatre of Dionysus is an impressive ruin on the southern slope of the Acropolis in Athens. You can climb up and sit in the semi-circle of marble seats ringed around the stage area. In its heyday, around the 4th century BC, the theatre could seat 17,000 people. You can still see names of the important people inscribed on the throne like seats in the front row (although this area is roped-off to conserve it). It was in this theatre that the plays of Sophocles, Euripedes, Aeschylus and Aristofanes were performed.Dionysus was the Greek god of wine, agriculture and theatre, known to the Romans as Bacchus, hence the word Bacchanalia. The theatre is in the area of the Sanctuary of Dionysus, which also housed temples to the god. Excavations in the late 1800s rediscovered this important site and the Greek Government has recently announced its intention to restore the theatre.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Nea Kameni

Centered around a ruggedly beautiful volcanic crater, the small island of Nea Kameni offers a dramatic photo opportunity, with its dark cliffs sculpted from lava rock and natural thermal waters tinted orange by the mineral-rich seabed. Floating off the coast of Santorini Island, Nea (New) Kameni and neighboring Palea (Old) Kameni lie at the heart of the mostly-submerged Santorini caldera, and are Greece’s newest volcanic islands - Nea Kameni dates back just 425 years.Reachable only by boat, Nea Kameni makes a popular choice for cruises from Santorini Island, with visitors free to explore the unique volcanic landscape and bathe in the natural hot springs, legendary for their healing and rejuvenating minerals.

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Well-known Landmarks

Theatre of Epidaurus

The Epidaurus Theater is a stunningly well-preserved ancient theater constructed in the 4th century BC. It was built by the architect Polykleitos on the side of a mountain and merges perfectly into the surrounding landscape of undulating hills, overlooking the Sanctuary of Asklepius. For centuries, Epidaurus Theater remained covered by trees, until excavations revealed the ancient monument towards the end of the 19th century. Despite repairs and restorations over the years, particularly to the seats, the stage itself has been retained as it was since ancient times. Today, the theater is a popular venue for the annual Athens Festival productions, which are held here every summer.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Koules Fortress

Situated at the end of the Heraklion’s inner harbor near the Old Harbor jetty is the Koules Fortress. Koules is the Turkish name for the fortress but the Venetians dubbed it the Rocco al Mare and the Castello del Molo in the 16th Century. It was a defensive mechanism, which stopped the Turks for 22 years and then became a Turkish prison for Cretan rebels. The harbor is now a drop off point for commercial and passenger ferries; the inner harbor is a concrete maze of apartments that now forms modern Heraklion.The exterior is impressive, decorated with three stone lions of St. Mark (a symbol of Venetian imperialism), as well as embankments and cannonballs that will transport you to another century. Inside, you can find art exhibitions. Music and theatrical events are held on the upper level. Make sure to make your way to top for impressive views of the harbor. A thorough visit should take about an hour.

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Buildings & Structure

Achilleion Palace

Located in the village of Gastouri on the island of Corfu, Achillion Palace was built by Empress Elisabeth of Austria in 1890. Designed by Italian architect Raffaello Caritto, the palace was built in a Pompeian architectural style and features paintings and sculptures of Achilles throughout. Among the sculptures is the famous Dying Achilles in the center of the palace gardens, sculpted by the Greek Ernst Herter.After Empress Elisabeth was killed, the German Kaiser Wilhelm II bought the palace and used it as a summer residence. During World War I, it was used as a military hospital and during World War II, it was used by the axis powers as a military headquarters. Eventually, it was turned over to the control of the Hellenic Tourist Organization and today it is a museum with certain rooms and the gardens open to the public.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Chrissi Island

Chrissi Island sits about 9 miles south of the town of Ierapetra on Crete. It is 4.35 miles long and 1.25 miles across at its widest point. The island is a protected area and has been designated as a wildlife refuge. The largest naturally formed Lebanon cedar forest in Europe can be found here. Many of the trees are around 200 years old and 23 feet tall, though some are as old as 300 years old and 33 feet tall.There is a small bar on one side of the island, a small tavern on the other side, an Orthodox church of St. Nicholas, and a lighthouse. The beaches are covered in bits of shells that give the sand a pinkish golden look. The relatively shallow waters surrounding Chrissi Island make for good snorkeling. Other popular activities include swimming and walking through the cedar forest. Due to its protected status, overnight stays are not allowed.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Paros

The holiday island of Paros is the place for chilling out and napping on the beach, soaking up the relaxed Aegean vibe. Away from the beaches, terraced hills climb up to the mountainous interior, where the island’s famous pure white marble is quarried. The Paros marble has been famous for millennia, used by the ancient Greek genius who carved the beautiful Venus de Milo and by the sculptors who adorned Napoleon’s tomb. Your main base on the island is the port of Parikia, at the head of the bay on the northwest coast. There’s a labyrinthine old town to explore, a 13th-century Venetian fort and taverna-thronged waterfront for sunset drinks and seafood meals. The Panagia Ekatontapyliani church is a highlight of the entire Cyclades, with an ornate interior dating from the year 326. Make sure to visit the Byzantine Museum while you’re in the church grounds, filled with icons and other artifacts from the early Christian era.

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Greece

25 Featured Attractions

Cultural/Heritage Places

Ancient Thera

The archaeological site at Akrotiri may be closed, but fortunately you can get your fill of excavations at the site of Ancient Thira. There’s a mix of ruins to explore, including Hellenistic, Roman and Byzantine remnants, excavated in the 1890s. Take a tour to identify the different structures – temples, houses, the market (agora), theater and gymnasium.At its height, this was a thriving center, with dramatic sanctuaries hewn into rock, temples, an impressive theater and porticoed administrative buildings. The central area is the Agora, the old commercial hub, encircled by temple sanctuaries ringing the city. There are also ancient cemeteries here, unearthed since the 1960s. Don’t miss the views over the coast while you’re here.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Byzantine & Christian Museum

The Byzantine and Christian Museum is housed in the lovely Neo-Classical Villa Ilissia in the Athens suburb of the same name; it was built in 1848 as the residence of Sophie de Marbois-Lebrun, the philanthropic US-born Duchess of Plaisance. Having had an architectural facelift in 2004, the museum has one of the best displays of Byzantine icons and mosaics on earth. Its priceless exhibits are laid out chronologically to trace the development of early Christian and Greek Byzantine culture from the 4th century onwards, drawing on more than 25,000 treasures from across the Greek world including religious statuary removed from ruined churches in Attica. Among the Coptic priestly vestments, pottery, the frescoes, armor and fragmented mosaics is a world-beating collection of more than 3,000 glittering Byzantine icons. Modern-day religious art in Greece is covered in a series of ever-changing temporary exhibits.

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Sights & Landmarks

Adrianou Street

Adrianou Street is one of the main roads in the Plaka neighborhood of Athens, Greece. It is the oldest commercial street in Athens still in continuous use and with the same layout, direction and use since antiquity. It runs from Thesseion in the Monastiraki flea market towards Hadrian's Arch in the Roman Agora, and it is the largest street in Plaka. The street is located below the Acropolis and is lined with restaurants and cafes.There are also lots of shops along this road where you can find factory-made items as well as handcrafted pieces sold in shops owned by the artists. It's a popular place to shop for jewelry, postcards, crafts, antiques, and more. Since it is a pedestrian street, it is a good place for a leisurely stroll while exploring the neighborhood. It's also a great place to have dinner with a view of the Acropolis and soak up the atmosphere of ancient Athens.

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Museums & Exhibitions

National History Museum (Ethnikó Istorikó Mouseío)

Covering the period from 1453 to the 1940s, Athens’ National History Museum takes visitors from the Ottoman years right up until the Greek-Italian War. The museum is housed in an ornate Neoclassical palace dating back to 1813 and has seen several incarnations; it was once the home of King Otto, the first Greek monarch after independence in 1832, before being taken over by Greek Parliament, who in turned moved out to the current Parliament Building in Syntagma Square in 1932. Lastly, the Old Parliament building housed the justice ministry before opening as a museum in 1962, showcasing turning points in Greek history from the Byzantine rule to the build up to the Wars of Independence in the 1820s and the disastrous Asia Minor Campaign in 1919.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Paradise Beach

After a day relaxing on the sand or jet-skiing through the water, Paradise Beach is where holiday makers come to party when the sun goes down. During the day, you can rent an umbrella and beach lounge, and make the most of the beach’s bar service. At night, there are a couple of restaurants in town, but it’s the pumping music played by beach club DJs that draws the mostly young crowds. Paradise Beach is fine for the family during the day, but the scene turns loud and sexy after dark. Don’t come here to sleep! As well as the beach dance floor, there’s the famous Paradise Club all-night party megaclub, that’s been a favorite rave scene since 1993.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Mt. Parnassus (Parnassos)

Mt. Parnassus is one of the many places in Greece that occupies very real space on the landscape, and is also central to such a number of Greek myths that you might be surprised to learn that the mountain is not a myth of its own. The mountain is in central Greece, just north of Delphi. It is associated with several prominent figures in Greek mythology. Mt. Parnassus was said to be the home of the Muses, sacred to the god Dionysus, sacred also to the god Apollo, home to the winged horse Pegasus, and closely tied with poetry, learning, and music.Today, Mt. Parnassus is a draw for visitors year-round. In the winter, there are two ski resorts on its slopes. In warmer weather, the mountain is an excellent location for hiking - views from the summit are spectacular.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Megalo Kavouri

Megalo Kavouri, which means big crab, is one of the two main beaches in the coastal town of Vouliagmeni about 12 miles from Athens, Greece. The second beach is called Mikro Kavouri. Some parts of the beach are sandy while others are pebbles, and there are several coves. Megalo Kavouri has a large sandy cove with shallow water. The roads near the beach are lined with palm trees, providing welcome shade in the hot summer months. The beach is a popular choice for sunbathing, swimming, and other water activities due to the safe waters and the amount of space on the beach. The beaches in Vouliagmeni are consistently awarded the EU blue flags for environmental excellence.Megalo Kavouri has plenty of beach facilities, lounge chairs, and umbrellas. Several restaurants, cafes, and fish taverns that serve local Greek cuisine are located near the beach. There are lots of hotels and resorts in the area as well.

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Sights & Landmarks

Anafiotika

Sprawling up the northern slopes of the Acropolis and peeking above the rooftops of Plaka, Anafiotika is a tiny enclave of steep, cobbled alleyways lined with squat, whitewashed stone houses reminiscent of villages in the Greek Islands. The area was developed by skilled craftsmen from the Cycladean island of Anafi, who arrived in Athens in 1843 to work in the building boom that followed independence from the Hellenic Republic. Taking advantage of an ancient decree that allowed people to keep their property if they could build it between sunset and sunrise, the islanders worked on grand neo-classical palaces by day and their own cramped quarters by night. Part of Anafiotika was torn down in the 1950s and now only around 50 of the artisan dwellings remain, tucked between the miniscule churches of Agios Georgios tou Vrachou and Agios Simeon, both also the work of the Anafi islanders. Their descendants still live in their mini-homes, amid splashes of color from scented gardens.

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Buildings & Structure

Arch of Hadrian

Erected in honor of the Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd century A.D, the monumental gateway of Hadrian’s Arch remains one of the most striking remnants of ancient Athens. Located on the ancient road between the Athenian Agora and the Olympieion, the elaborate structure was supposedly built to honor the arrival of Hadrian in 131 AD.The Arch, standing in front of the once magnificent Temple of Olympian Zeus (the Olympieion), formed a symbolic gateway between the old city district and the new Roman-built city, erected by Hadrian. Notably, two inscriptions feature on the sides of the arch: the western side, looking onto the old city reads ‘ This is Athens, the ancient city of Theseus’ and the eastern side, facing the Olympieion, reads ‘This is the city of Hadrian and not of Theseus’.

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Theatres & Cinemas

Odeon of Herodes Atticus (Odeio Irodou Attikou)

Herodes Atticus was an aristocratic and wealthy Greek who funded several great building projects in ancient Athens, including the Odeum (also Odeon or Herodeion), which he commissioned in 161 BC in memory of his wife. Found at the bottom of the southern slopes of the Acropolis, it was a concert hall with 32 rows of seating around a semi-circular, tiled stage and covered with a wooden ceiling to aid acoustics. Able to accommodate an audience of 5,000, the Odeum’s three-story exterior was adorned with four vast arches and decorated with statues of the muses.Destroyed in 267 AD by Germanic invaders, the Odeum was neglected until the 1950s, when refurbishment saw the seating and stage restored. It is today a popular open-air venue thanks to its spectacular setting underneath the Acropolis and the venue for many magical summertime open-air concerts and staging of classical plays as well as the Athens & Epidarus Festival from June through August.

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Sights & Landmarks

Psiri

Psiri sits underneath the Acropolis and along with its neighbors Plaka and Monastiraki, is one of the buzziest districts in Athens. It’s not so long ago that it was a down-at-heel artisan area best known for its abandoned buildings and leather shops, but Psiri is undergoing a facelift and is currently one of the hottest addresses in the city. Yes, its narrow, meandering streets are still covered with graffiti and there are local grocery shops unchanged for decades but today Psiri is a magnet to locals and – increasingly – visitors alike. For starters, it’s slowly becoming home to small independent boutiques selling organic soaps, unusual handmade jewelry, old posters and glittering icons; and often market stalls selling homemade produce line the streets. And by night Psiri undergoes a radical transformation as cool cafés, bars, restaurants and local ouzeries open on to the alleyways and the laidback crowds come strolling in.

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Gardens & Parks

National Gardens of Athens (Ethnikos Kipos)

With nearly 40 acres of well-kept gardens, sky-high forests and ancient ruins the National Gardens of Athens offers travelers a natural escape unlike any other. Commissioned by Queen Amalia in 1838, this unique destination is home to more than 500 species of plants and animals and a vast landscape dotted with the busts of Greek poets, gods and political figures.Travelers can wander the grounds, which offer a scenic escape from the chaos of Athens, and sip hot coffees at the small outdoor café after combing through the Botanical Museum or the garden’s small zoo. Close proximity to the Olympic stadium makes it a perfect stop for those on a tour of Athen’s most famous historical sites.

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Sights & Landmarks

Monastiraki

The neighborhood of Monastiraki in central Athens is known for its bargain shopping, vibrant nightlife, and an array of historic ruins and monuments. The word “Monastiraki” means “little monastery,” and refers to the small monastery in Monastiraki Square. It’s all that remains of a once-great monastery in this area. A more modern house of worship, the Tsisdarakis Mosque, was built in 1759 during the Turkish occupation.Surrounding Monastiraki Square, there are narrow streets lined with shops of every variety. On Sundays, there is also a flea market off the main pedestrian avenue, where you’ll find antiques, furniture, jewelry, books and nearly everything else you can imagine. The remains of Hadrian’s Library are directly across the street from the Monastiraki Metro station, and both the Roman Agora and the Ancient Agora are also nearby.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Theatre of Dionysus

The Theatre of Dionysus is an impressive ruin on the southern slope of the Acropolis in Athens. You can climb up and sit in the semi-circle of marble seats ringed around the stage area. In its heyday, around the 4th century BC, the theatre could seat 17,000 people. You can still see names of the important people inscribed on the throne like seats in the front row (although this area is roped-off to conserve it). It was in this theatre that the plays of Sophocles, Euripedes, Aeschylus and Aristofanes were performed.Dionysus was the Greek god of wine, agriculture and theatre, known to the Romans as Bacchus, hence the word Bacchanalia. The theatre is in the area of the Sanctuary of Dionysus, which also housed temples to the god. Excavations in the late 1800s rediscovered this important site and the Greek Government has recently announced its intention to restore the theatre.

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Well-known Landmarks

Temple of Hephaestus

The Temple of Hephaestus was built just two years before the Parthenon. It is located in the ancient agora, not too far from the Acropolis. Sometimes it is referred to as the Temple of Thission based on some opinions that the temple may have been dedicated to Theseus. It was built in 450 B.C., most likely by the same architect who built the Parthenon. The temple was designed in a Doric style with six columns on each end and 13 columns on each side.Hephaestus is the Greek god of volcanoes and metalworking, and he was the only one of the Olympic gods who was not physically perfect and had to perform manual labor. He was the god responsible for crafting the armor with the fatal weakness that was worn by Achilles in The Iliad. Statues of Hephaestus can be found in the temple, as well as statues of Athena and several friezes depicting scenes with other gods.

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Sights & Landmarks

Agios Nikolaos

Sitting on the crescent of Mirabello Bay, Ag Nick is a buzzy and contemporary seaside resort nestled around Lake Voulismeni, which links to the town’s massive harbour via a narrow channel lined with seafood restaurants under brightly colored awnings. The town has a couple of appealing museums but the real joy of a visit is the chance to scour its goldsmiths for hand-crafted jewelry at decent prices, enjoy the open-air market on Wednesday and stroll around the vibrant marina, with its bobbing yachts and traditional, brightly painted wooden fishing boats.The best beach in Agios Nikolaos is at Almyros, just south of town and easily accessible on foot along the coastal boulevard. Popular day trips include the traditional whitewashed village of Kritsa, famous for its location in the foothills of the Dikti Mountains; and the deserted Venetian fortress at Spinalonga, which was a leper colony until 1957.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Cape Sounion

Greek legend says that the king of Athens jumped from a cliff into the water below, forever tying his name–Aegeus–to the Aegean Sea into which he fell. Cape Sounion is where he is said to have jumped.Cape Sounion sits at the southernmost point of mainland Greece outside Athens. In addition to the promontory's legendary importance, there are also ancient ruins you can visit nearby. There is a Temple of Poseidon dating from the 5th century B.C.E., into which the poet Lord Byron reportedly carved his name in 1810. Because of its geography, Cape Sounion is also a popular spot from which to watch the sun set into the sea. Archaeological work continues today at Cape Sounion, but the area is more commonly known as a retreat from Athens. Many wealthy Athens residents keep second homes here, and many of the day-trippers to Cape Sounion are Athenians–not just foreign tourists.

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Religious Architecture

Monastery of Profitis Ilias (Moni Profitou Iliou)

The monastery of Mount Profitis Ilias is perched on the mountain of the same name, the highest point on Santorini at 1,853 ft (565 m) above the Aegean Sea in the south of the island. Built in the early 18th century out of sizeable stone and resembling a fortress, the monastery was dedicated to the prophet Elijah and initially enjoyed great wealth. It once also functioned as a secret school of Greek culture during the dark days of Turkish occupation of the country, but its power began to decline in 1860 and it was badly damaged by the earthquake in 1956. Today Profitis Ilias is successful once more; its three domed church has become a museum hosting an exceptional and significant collection of Greek Orthodox icons, early, hand printed books and bibles, wrought-iron artwork, wooden carvings and elaborately embroidered clerics’ robes. The resident monks put on displays of traditional carpentry, shoemaking, local cooking and wine making as well.

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Sights & Landmarks

Plaka

Plaka is the oldest residential district of Athens. Its historic narrow lanes and stepped alleys wind up the lower slope of the Acropolis. Once the heart of working class Athens, then the centre of music and nightclubbing, nowadays it's full of cafes and restaurants, also shops which tend to be aimed at tourists with prices to match. But it's definitely the nicest part of Athens to wander around between visits to the nearby archaeological sites and museums.Head up the steps to the small area of Anafiotica. This is like a little Greek island village transplanted to Athens. It was built by the migrant workers who came to build the Presidential Palace in the 19th century when it was King Otto's palace.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Propylaea

The Propylaea is an ancient gateway in Athens, Greece that leads to the famous Acropolis. It surrounds the natural entrance to the plateau where the Acropolis is located. This entryway is actually a collection of impressive buildings that were built from 438 to 432 BC. Today you'll see two large structures with a smaller one in the center, but this is because most of the center structure is missing. When it was complete, it looked like the front of a temple with Doric columns. Inside the structure are several Ionic columns.The stairway visitors walk up while approaching the Propylaea is built into the natural rock of the plateau. The Propylaea itself is made of the same marble that was used in constructing the Parthenon. Though it is in a ruined state today, it is still an impressive structure, and visitors can imagine how much more striking it must have been in ancient times.

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Places of Natural Beauty

Red Beach

Most of Santorini’s pocket-sized beaches are made of dark volcanic sand and pebbles set against black, austere cliffs, but perhaps its most unusual beach is near the Minoan ruins at Akrotíri on the south coast. Aptly named Red Beach (‘Kokkini Ammos’ in Greek) for its blood-red sand and gently crumbling burnt-umber cliffs, the crescent of beach forms a bizarre Martian landscape of red and black lava boulders scattered over grainy red and black sand. Rocks thrown up by ancient volcanic activity lurk just offshore in the calm bay, forming perfect platforms for sun worshippers, and the crystal-clear waters are paradise for snorkelers.Open-topped wooden boats, known as kaiks, trundle backwards and forwards between Red Beach and Akrotíri disgorging a constant stream of visitors.

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Sights & Landmarks

Fira

Santorini’s main town perches on the cliff top overlooking the caldera, with better daytime views than Oia and twinkling night-time vistas.Fira swarms with holidaymakers and cruise visitors, so find some quiet time in the town’s museums and churches. One museum focuses on Ancient Thira, with relics and figurines unearthed from Ancient Akrotiri. For local history and before-and-after displays on the devastating 1956 earthquake, visit the Megaron Gyzi Museum. Pop into the cathedral next door while you’re here. To find out about local traditions, visit the folklore museum housed in a cave.There are some lovely jewelry shops to browse in Fira, running along the edge of the caldera, and a paved walkway runs beneath the edge of the lagoon, heading north to meet the cliff-top path to Oia, 8km (5 miles) away. Tours run from Fira over to the volcanic island of Nea Kameni, or you can take a dusk cruise to catch a legendary Oia sunset from the water.

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Scenic Landmarks

Pyrgos (Pyrgos Kallistis)

Pyrgos is a picturesque hillside village set on a volcanic crater at the highest point of the Greece’s Santorini, offering panoramic views of the rest of the island. At the top of the village sit the ruins of Kasteli Castle, remnants of the former capitol of the island before it was moved to Fira (where it remains today.)Pyrgos is as beautiful as the rest of the island, but also has a special historic charm — with traditional white houses, Byzantine churches, Cycladic architecture, and small winding cobblestone lanes and paths. Some of the churches has beautiful old frescoes visible on the walls. The area sees far fewer tourists than the rest of the island, so it keeps a peaceful atmosphere. Though the town has merely 700 inhabitants, there are tavernas and local restaurants. Visiting the village is a way to experience the traditionally preserved culture of the Greek islands.

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Scenic Landmarks

Oia

If you came to Santorini for the sunsets, the town of Oia is where you want to be when the sun sinks towards the horizon to such glorious effect.Perched on the steep edge of the caldera, with open views of the sea, the village is quieter than the island’s main town, Fira, at least outside sunset hours.A string of tavernas turn their faces to the caldera for those views, and it’s fun exploring the town’s tiny backstreets and rocky cliff face, where homes have been carved from the volcanic rock.There’s some seriously chic boutique accommodations in Oia, complete with infinity pools and spas. The lucky people staying on for the evening dine in Oia’s gourmet restaurants, perched on terraces to catch the best views. Follow the 300 steps leading from the top of the caldera and you reach the fishing port of Ammoudi. Boats sail from here to the nearby island of Thirassia.

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Well-known Landmarks

Erechtheion

Perched on its craggy escarpment overlooking the heart of Athens, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Acropolis (its name means ‘high city’ in ancient Greek) is the most famous classical site in the world. The colonnaded Parthenon may be first stop for most visitors, but the marble remains of the Erechtheion stood at the very soul of the Acropolis, marking the spot where the mythical ancient Greek gods Poseidon and Athena fought for ownership of the fledgling city. Named after the legendary King Erechtheus, the temple was built on the north side of the Acropolis hill between 420 and 406 BC, to a design by Athens’ great statesman, Pericles. It was a relatively late addition to the complex of temples and theaters, replacing an older temple as the center of religious ritual at the Acropolis.Built on a slope and fronted by six Ionic columns – still almost complete after 2,500 years – the Erechtheion is best known for its ornate Porch of the Caryatids.

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