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Athens Travel Guide

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Archaeological Sites in Greece

The Acropolis hill, or "The sacred rock" of the Acropolis along with the ruins of the Parthenon dominate the modern architectural imitations. From all parts of Athens, the white marble monuments which adorn it scintillate against the blue sky of Attica. The deep gashes which these monuments bear with dignity in now way detract from the awe with which the visitor senses emotional contact with the full expression of the architectural contribution which the ancient Greeks made to this domain of art. The monuments on the Sacred Rock, whose highest point stands 156 meteres above sea level, are the work of the Golden Afe of Pericles, a period when the world's greatest sculptors and architects of all time lived. Phidias, Mnisicles, Iktinos and kallicrates are the names behind the creation of this wonder which has shone like the sun through the centurys.

The Acropolis

The Agora
The Agora was the core of ancient Athens - an open space which was the nucleus of political, commercial, administrative and social activity for centuries. People shopped, argued and listened to the philosophers here. Inhabited since Neolithic times, the Romans, Persians and Slavs have all had a say in the lengthy history of the Agora. The area was eventually abandoned in the 6th century only to be rediscovered as a residential area in the 19th century. Though now in ruins, there is plenty to see and learn. Visit the Temple of Hephaistos, the Stoa of Zeus, the Eleutheriosm, the Stoa of Zeus, the Eleutherios, the Temple of Apollo, the Patroos, the Monument of the Eponymous Heroes. Altar of the Twelve Gods. The Odeon of Agrippa, the Royal Stoa (Stoa Basileios) and the Tholos.

This is situated about one hundred miles northwest of Athens, Delphi is considered by archeologists to be one of Greece's hugest cultural treasures. The complex includes the Temple of Apollo (home to the famous oracle) the sacred Corycian Cave and the Castalian Spring. In mythology, Delphi was regarded as the centre of the world or the "Navel of the Earth". Legend has it that the shrine was originally watched over by the she-dragon Pytho who was eventually slain by Apollo. Allow at least a half-day for visiting the site.

The sanctuary of Asclepios at Epidaurus is a spiritual site worth traveling around the world to visit. In fact the earliest Greeks did just that in order to pay tribute to their spiritual entities in the face of Asclepios, and to ask the gods for remedies for their physical ailments. It was a curative center as well as a cultural center in earliest times. Epidaurus was built round the 3d Century BC and it is adorned with a multitude of buildings most famous of which is the ancient Theater of Epidaurus. This is one of the very few theaters that retains its original circular "Orchestra" and it is a rear aesthetic sight.

Mycenae was the legendary home of the Atreides - victors in the Trojan War. Situated on a small hill-top on the lower slopes of Euboea Mountain north of Corinth, Mycenae has been populated since around 4000 BC and civilization flourished there until about 1350-1200 BC. The ruins of earliest Mycenae are situated near the centre of modern day Mycenae. The town has a citadel housing the ruins of an Acropolis, a palace, Royal Tombs, Cyclopean Walls and the tomb of the Greek hero Agamemnon. The sights from this ancient town are simply stunning.

Olympia is situated in the West Peloponnesus and was the site of the first Olympic Games. Every four years athletic competitions were organized at Olympia in honor of Zeus. The Games started in 776 B.C and continued until 5th century B.C. There is much to see at Olympia with some of the most important monuments of the site including the temple of Zeus, The Temple of Hera, the Stadium, the Bouleuterion where athletes were sworn in, the Prytaneion (site of the eternal flame) the Treasuries, the Gymnasium and the Leonidaion (a guesthouse dating from 330 BC). The Archaeological Museum at Olympia contains some attractive exhibitions.

Archaeological Museums in Greece

National Museum of Athens
The museum contains some of the best examples of Greek art. Artifacts from prehistoric Greece all the way up to Roman times are exhibited in its halls. Highlights include a large collection of Mycenaean artifacts, archaic Kouros statues, and masterpieces from the Classical and Hellenistic eras. This is by far the largest museum of Greece, and it gives refuge the best examples of Greek Art and Culture from the entire country. The building had been renovated in 2004, and some of its collections have been enhanced.

The Acropolis Museum
The Acropolis museum is one of the main archaeological institutions of Greece. It is erected atop the Acropolis rock to the east of the Parthenon temple. The museum was built to house the rich archaeological finds that have been unearthed during excavations on top and around the Acropolis which, during its long history was decorated with art from a multitudes of eras. If you love art, the Acropolis museum will not disappoint with its exhibition of mostly Archaic and Classical sculptures from the various Acropolis monuments. The highlights are the parthenon freeze, a large collection of Kouros and Kore statues, and the original Caryatides statues from the Erectheon.

The Byzantine Museum
The Byzantine Museum owns a collection of Byzantine art from the 4th to the 9th century. Contained in a Florentine-style villa, the collection involves Byzantine and post-Byzantine icons, sculpture, manuscripts, wall paintings, mosaics, woodcarvings, bronze engravings, lithographs and prints. The whole Museum complex includes both permanent and temporary exhibitions, a library, conservation laboratories, a caf and restaurant, educational areas, a shop and an open-air archaeological park.

The Museum of Cycladic Art
Founded in 1986 to keep the collection of Cycladic and Ancient Greek art belonging to Nicholas and Aikaterini Goulandris, the Museum of Cycladic Art is stored in a magnificent neo-classical building and houses relics from over 5,000 years of Cycladic history.

Vergina Royal Tombs
The royal tombs of Vergina have been restored recently to become one of the most fabulous museums / archaeological sites of Greece. The rounded hill, known as the Great Tumulus was created in ancient Greece to protect the tomb of the Macedonian king Philip II and others. Today, visitors who enter the tumulus enjoy an excellent exhibit of the artifacts found in the royal tombs alongside the tombs themselves. It is a great example of how the presentation of the artifacts in proximity to their original context allows for a unique experience and the best level of understanding.

Best Beaches of Greece

The beaches of Greece are one of the major tourist attractions that each year attracts thousands of tourists from around the world. For the Greeks it is a unique opportunity to find job options for a few months in many of these areas. Let's see what are the most important beaches.

Plaka Beach
Plaka beach is a lovely three-mile stretch of shoreline, which is actually emergent, and apparently deserted. It is an ideal place to enjoy the beach and sea, away from more busy and noisier beaches on the island.

Vroulidia Beach
Located to the south of Hios (Chios) Island, is the small but scenic Vroulidia beach. With its stunning white sand, and the overhanging rock on the cove that actually hides most of the beach from passers-by, this beach is one that is rarely crowded. You will surely adore your times here at Vroulidia.

Lalaria Beach
This attractive white-pebbled beach is one of the jewels of the Sporades Islands. It has beautiful blue green waters, with white cliffs, and is visually stunning to look at. One of the main reasons why this beach is so beautiful is that it is not as easy to reach as other popular beaches on the island. If you have the patience to make your way down to the beach, you will surely be rewarded once you set down to enjoy the summer sun and sea.

Mikro Beach
Mikro is one of the many mysteries that the region of Pelion has to offer. This beautiful sandy beach is ideal for relaxing holidays in Greece. With a selection of bars, cafes, restaurants, as well as several accommodation establishments, this will be a perfect opcion for peaceful family holidays in Greece.

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