When you are traveling, the word “ruin” takes on a whole new meaning. The ruins in Greece are some of the most fabulous sites in the world. Explore the ruins with GetAway Travel in September of 2023 on a Viking Cruise.
While Athens, the capital of Greece, is a favored travel site, Greece is actually composed of more than 2,000 islands and several offer great tourist experiences.
With its lush countryside, beaches by the blue sea, quaint villages and lovely villas, Greece and its islands hit all the marks for a prime vacation destination.
The birthplace of democracy
Athens, the capital of Greece, is one of the oldest cities in the world and is recognized as the birthplace of democracy as well as the arts, sciences and philosophy. Walk in the same steps where philosophers Socrates, Plato, Pericles, Euripides, Sophocles and Aeschylus debated matters that laid the foundations of governments.
Speaking of walking, it is against the law to wear high heels at any of the historic sites in Greece because of the damage that could be caused to the site. And, while it is acceptable to wear shorts, a t-shirt and flip flops (although sturdy footwear is highly recommended) touring the ruins, more conservative attire is expected from tourists entering churches or other religious sites.
Photos of the Parthenon in the Acropolis offer just a glimpse of what is even more breathtaking in person. The 68 soaring columns at the temple dedicated to Athena are a sight to behold. Another Greek temple close by is the Erectheion and it features statues of beautiful ladies holding up the structure. The Theater of Dionysus, the first stone theater ever built, is next to the Parthenon.
The Temple of Athena Nike is on the southeast side of the Acropolis. The smallest of the temples, it is dedicated to Nike who is a form of Athena. The temple is built of golden white marble.
Don’t skip the Acropolis Museum even if museums aren’t your cup of tea. It is a huge modern wonder and the partial glassed area of the main floor allows visitors to watch the ongoing excavations of ruins under the museum. There are hundreds of marble and stone busts and statues on display.
More museums, a stadium and shopping
The National Archeological Museum which was refurbished for the 2004 Olympics, houses a treasure trove of items related to Greek culture. The National Library of Athens looks like a temple and it has two fabulous marble staircases that lead to the entrance. The Benaki Museum has artifacts that explore all aspects of Greek culture including swords, jewelry, regional costumes, ceramics, sculptures and historic papers.
The horse-shoe shaped Panathenaic Stadium is paved in marble and it hosted the Panathenaic Games which were held to honor the goddess Athena. It was the site of the first modern Olympic Games and the finishing line for the 2004 Olympic marathon competition.
The Monastiraki Flea Market is not just any flea market, think the most fabulous bazaar of bargains you could imagine and that’s the flea market. Shop for hand-made gold and silver jewelry, t-shirts, knick knacks, rare books and artwork including icons.
Corfu and Katakolon
Corfu is known as the emerald island and it has charming villages with Venetian style buildings and also buildings that feature French and English architectural styles. It is renowned for its pristine beaches as well as nature preserves that have an amazing array of native bird life including flamingos, cranes, terns and swifts. Its inhabitants take their food seriously and enjoy a blend of Greek, Venetian and British food that includes fresh seafood, fruit, olives and vegetables. The Old Town area of Corfu is a World Heritage Unesco site ringed by museums that have vast collections of religious artifacts as well as Chinese and Japanese art and items from excavations.
The Palace of Saints Michael and George is a great example of regency architecture. Casa Parlante is a quirky 19th century mansion with animated figures that document life in that century in Corfu complete with realistic sounds and smells.
Although Katakolon is a small port and beach town, it is actually the second busiest port in Greece. One of its claims to fame is Olympia, the ancient site where the Olympic Games started in the 8th century. The torch for the Olympics is still lighted at the Temple of Hera.
If the Olympics don’t hold your interest, you can tour the Mercouri Estate, a family run vineyard. Tour the cellars and attend a wine-tasting session.
Enjoy the historic ambiance of Greece and its islands. If GetAway Travel arranges your getaway, you won’t have to worry about a ruined vacation — just touring some fabulous ruins. Reach your GetAway travel advisor at: (262) 538-2140, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com