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Greece Historic Tour


Ancient cities, beautiful country, and romantic islands

The Acropolis, Parthenon, theaters, stadiums, and museums

The World of Plato, Socrates, Aristotle, and Apostle Paul

The Acropolis with the Parthenon dominates the skyline. View from the Filapappou Hills.

The Acropolis with the Parthenon dominates the skyline. View from the Filapappou Hills.



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Athens

Acropolis & Parthenon

The Parthenon up close.

The Parthenon up close.

Our trip to Greece was very inspiring and most enjoyable. I spent several days exploring Athens. I did this mostly on foot, but on one day with a driver/guide. The most famous sight in Athens is the Acropolis. It is a very prominent feature of the Athens' skyline since it towers over the surrounding area. For a good view of the Parthenon I went to the Filapappou Hills, and the picture at the top of this page was taken from there. The view is good because you are at the same elevation as the Parthenon. The Acropolis contains the impressive Parthenon, pictured above, which is a temple dedicated to Athena the Virgin. Construction on the present building began in 447 BC, and modifications to it have continued for centuries.

Erechtheion Temple & theater of Dionyssos

Erechtheion Temple.

Erechtheion Temple.

Nearby the Parthenon is the Erechtheion Temple, which honors a king. A porch to this temple, which faces the Parthenon, will catch your eye because columns in the shape of attractive maidens support it. It is shown above. From the Acropolis you can look down on the Theater of Dionyssos, where festivals were held in the 6th century BC. It is pictured below.

Theater of Dionyssos.

Theater of Dionyssos.

Rock of Areopagus & Ancient Agora

The entrance to the Acropolis was built by the Romans. In fact, many of the Ancient Greek sights are a combination of both Greek and Roman constructions.

The Rock of Areopagus.

The Rock of Areopagus.

Near the entrance to the Acropolis is the Rock of Areopagus. This is where Apostle Paul preached to the Athenians. It is worth climbing the rock to get a great view looking down on Ancient Agora, and especially the Thission Temple (also known as the Hephaistion Temple), seen below. But be careful, the rocks are very slippery and somewhat difficult to climb.

Thission Temple in Ancient Agora.

Thission Temple in Ancient Agora.

In Ancient Agora you can walk in the footsteps of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. You can also visit the prison where Socrates was held and forced to drink the hemlock that took his life.

The Plaka

Next to Ancient Agora and below the Acropolis is the Plaka, which is one of the most popular areas of Athens. It contains many shops, cafes, and restaurants. You can spend days in the Plaka shopping, and we especially enjoyed the restaurants with outdoor seating, as can be seen below.

The Plaka with sidewalk cafes.

The Plaka with sidewalk cafes.

Parliament, Unknown Solider & National Gardens

There are a number of other fascinating things to see in Athens. It is interesting to visit the Tomb of the Unknown Solider, which is located at the Parliament Building. The marching guards are very impressive, and are shown below.

Guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.

Guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.

Next to the Parliament Building are the National Gardens, which are very attractive and quite extensive. I took a number of relaxing walks in the gardens. On your walks you encounter a number of the thousands of cats that live there. A picture of the National Gardens is below.

The National Gardens.

The National Gardens.

Lycabettus Hill & St. George Chapel

The highest hill in Athens is Mount Lycabettus. At the foot of the hill is an upscale area with nice shops. Rebecca and I enjoyed walking around this neighborhood before hiking all the way to the top. Getting to the top is quite a climb, but once there the view is worth it. You can see all of Athens as well as the coast. If it is operational you can also get to the top by taking the funicular. At the summit you find the white washed St. George Chapel, a 19th-century Greek Orthodox Church, seen below. On top of the hill there is also an amphitheater that is popular for concerts.

St. George Chapel on top of Lycabettus Hill.

St. George Chapel on top of Lycabettus Hill.

Other things to see in Athens

There are other things to see in Athens. For example, the National Archaeological Museum is very interesting, and it contains many artistic works of Ancient Greece. I also visited the Panathenaic Stadium. It is big seating 80,000 people. This modern day stadium was built for the first modern day Olympics held in 1896. The original stadium was built in 330 BC. The ancient contests were for men only, and they competed in the nude.

Outside of Athens

Cape Sounion & Temple of Poseidon

A good day trip is to start in the morning with a driver/guide visiting the important sights in Athens. Then in mid afternoon head for Cape Sounion south of Athens. At Cape Sounion is found the Temple of Poseidon, seen below, which was built in the 5th century BC. The temple is a beautiful sight to see and it rests on a cliff nearly 200 feet (61 meters) above the waters of the Aegean Sea. It is most impressive in the late afternoon when it is bathed by the colors of the setting sun. From the cliff you have great views of the rugged coastline.

Temple of Poseidon at Sounion.

Temple of Poseidon at Sounion.

Corinth Canal

On a very full day we did a fascinating trip that started with a visit to the Corinth Canal, pictured below. Rebecca and I made this trip to the west of Athens with a driver/guide. The Corinth Canal was built across the isthmus between the Gulf of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf. Attempts by the Ancient Greeks to build the canal were unsuccessful. So in the 7th century BC a road was constructed across the isthmus so that ships could be moved on rollers. The canal was finally built 1892-93 with the help of dynamite blasting through rock 285 feet (87 meters) deep.

Corinth Canal.

Corinth Canal.

Ancient Corinth

We then went to Ancient Corinth, which was a prominent city in the 8th century BC. It is seen below. Most of the recovered buildings are of the Roman era. The early Greek buildings were destroyed.

Ancient Corinth.

Ancient Corinth.

A prominent building was the Temple of Apollo, although not much of it remains. It was built in the 6th century BC. Apostle Paul lived in Corinth 51-52 AD, and preached to the Corinthians known for their vices. On the mountain overlooking Ancient Corinth is a medieval fortress. From the fortress are good views of the countryside and waters.

Ancient Mycenae

Rebecca at the Treasury of Atreus Tomb at Mycenae.

Rebecca at the Treasury of Atreus Tomb at Mycenae.

Not far from Corinth is Mycenae, which in about 1400 BC ruled much of mainland Greece. Located between mountains and surrounded by beautiful fields the ancient city is in an attractive setting. Important things to see are the Lion Gate at the entrance and the Circle Grave. Nearby is the enormous tomb Treasury of Atreus. It was looted long ago, so what it contained is unknown. Rebecca is pictured above at the entrance to the tomb.

Nauplion

Fortress in harbor at Nauplion.

Fortress in harbor at Nauplion.

We stopped at Argos to visit a pottery factory. They have rediscovered the ancient techniques for making pottery. The showroom is filled with beautiful things, and we bought some pretty vases based on ancient designs. We then went to Nauplion, which is on the Gulf of Argos. You immediately notice a fortress on an island in the harbor, seen above. Another fortress is on the hill above the town. This was a nice place for lunch.

Theater of Epidauros

Our last stop of the day was at Epidauros. Here is found the magnificent Theater of Epidauros. It was built in the 4th century BC. The Theater seats 14,000 people, is well preserved, has impressive natural acoustics, and is still in use today. A view of the theater is shown below. As we headed back to Athens we realized that this had been a very special day.

Sunny at the Theater of Epidauros.

Sunny at the Theater of Epidauros.

Ancient Delphi

One of the prime destinations in Greece is Delphi, and this is another day tour from Athens best done with a driver/guide. The ancient ruins are located next to the steep slopes of a mountain. From the ruins there are spectacular views both up the mountain and of the gentle slopes away from the mountain. Ancient Delphi is famous for oracles, which were used in making important decisions, such as whether to go to war. You can see what remains of the Temple of Apollo, the Theater which seats 5,000 people, and the Sanctuary of Athena, all of which were built in the 4th century BC. The ruins of the Sanctuary of Athena, which is a nice photo opportunity, is shown below.

Sanctuary of Athena at Delphi.

Sanctuary of Athena at Delphi.

There are other things to see including a Stadium and a fine museum that contains many interesting art works of Ancient Greece.

Islands of Aegina, Poros, & Hydra

A totally different day tour is to take a cruise to the islands of Aegina, Poros, and Hydra in the Saronic Gulf. Our first stop was Aegina. This island is known for its pistachio trees. Like other parts of Greece there are many olive trees, and we were shown olive trees that were 1000 years old. The most important ancient sight on the island is the Temple of Alphaia. It is considered one of the best-preserved temples in Greece, and is presented below.

Temple of Alphaia at Aegina.

Temple of Alphaia at Aegina.

The second port-of-call was Poros. The last stop was Hydra. This island has an attractive harbor with boats, buildings, and attractive mountains in the background. See below. Hydra is considered special, and it has been declared a National Treasure by both the Greek government and the Council of Europe. All of the islands have cafes, restaurants, and shops. As we left Hydra for the boat trip back to Athens there was a spectacular sunset over the Gulf Waters. Our visit to Greece was coming to an end. This country with so much history has so much to offer. It is a place to go back to.

Hydra.

Boats at Hydra.

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Photo of Sunny at Theater of Epidauros by Rebecca Breeding. Remaining photos by Sunny Breeding. We sell prints and images.