Greece has history at every turn. All around the country and the islands, there are ancient sites of various historical periods: from remains of ancient Greek temples to Byzantine monasteries and Neoclassical mansions. Some of the most interesting archaeological sites include the Acropolis of Athens, the Sanctuary of Delphi, the Palace of Knossos in Crete, Ancient Olympia and Mycenae. Greece also boasts of many World Heritage UNESCO Sites such as Rhodes medieval town, Meteora, Delos Island and Saint John monastery in Patmos Island.
Cruises in Greece is the best way to see the Greek islands. The four-day cruise aboard Celestyal Olympia from Piraeus would take in the majestic and picturesque Mykonos, Kusadasi, Patmos, Rhodes, Heraklion and Santorini. It is a hectic and busy cruise, but it will be rewarding! It is perfect for sampling the various islands, cultures and history!
Sitting on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, Delphi is a famous sanctuary, dedicated to the Greek god Apollo and home to the Oracle of Delphi. In the ancient times, it was believed that Delphi was the centre of the world (the navel of the Earth). When asking for a prophecy, people would come with valuable offerings to the Oracle of Delphi. Delphi had many treasuries to guard these gifts such as the Treasury of Athenians. Before entering the temple, pilgrims had to wash in the Castalian Spring. When Christianity became the dominant religion of the Byzantine Empire, the oracle of Delphi was closed as a pagan place. The Archaeological Museum of Delphi hosts findings from the site and the region. The most famous exhibits are the Charioteer and the Sphinx.
Meteora is truly one of the most impressive rock formations in the world with its ‘hanging monasteries’. Monks and hermits have been finding refuge in this unique rock formation for more than a thousand years. The word Meteora means literally “hovering in the air”. Of the 24 monasteries that were built between the 13th and 16th century, only six eastern Orthodox monasteries remain in place on these ancient structures atop its massive rock pillars and the village and countryside below.
Crete is an island blessed with a diversity of the landscape: the rugged mountains, the endless beaches and the turquoise seas, the many cities and villages, and stunning countryside. The island is the birthplace of the first advanced society on European soil, the Minoans. Heraklion is the largest city of Crete and famous for the Palace of Knossos, a well-restored and sprawling work of Arthur Evans who spent much of his life and his inherited fortune to make Knossos what it is today.
Rhodes, the largest and most popular island of the Dodecanese island group, is known as the “Knights Island” with a rich historical past. The ancient city of Rhodes was designed by the greatest city planner of antiquity, Hippodamus of Miletus. Stone walls, stone-paved alleys, elegant mansions, and a medieval castle – all things of a medieval fairy tale! The Palace of the Grand Master and the Street of the Knights are certainly the highlights.
The Palace of the Grand Master was originally a Byzantine fortress built at the end of the 7th century AD. It was converted by the Knights of the Order of Saint John into the residence of the Grand Master of the order and the administrative headquarters of their state. It had 158 rooms with only 24 open to visitors. The rooms have antique furniture, exquisite marbles, sculptures, carpets and fine Oriental vases. The floors are paved with a mosaic of ancient Roman and Byzantine art. Today, this magnificent building is a museum.
Mykonos, the famous island in the Aegean! Everywhere you look, there is a maze of white-washed alleyways. Give yourself some tome to wander, getting lost in the narrow streets is half the fun. Little Venice is made up of homes that were built in the 18th century and have their foundations in the sea. The Windmills is another attraction. Powered by the north wind, these windmills used to ground grain into flour until the early 20th century. There is time before the cruise departs to check out some of the best restaurants in the Mediterranean.
Santorini – the precious gem of the Aegean! It is famous for its stunning caldera, the volcano, and the romantic sunset. Perched on the edge of steep cliffs, the villages of Santorini offer an amazing view of the Aegean Sea and the submerged volcano. Spend some time exploring Oia and Fira with the traditional Cycladic architecture.
Greece should be in every traveller’s wish list. The country is the perfect place for an enjoyable holiday. Greece is famous for its beautiful landscape, long coastline with amazing beaches, sunny weather and rich history. Plus, Greece is also a significant biblical place that traces the footsteps of Paul on his journey to spread the word of God.
Paul’s missionary journeys changed the world, and when you, too, follow In the Footsteps of Paul, you will see the New Testament coming alive in a whole new way!
See the ancient marketplaces of Thessaloniki and Philippi, explore the archaeological ruins at Delphi, stand on the spot in Berea where Paul preached, take in the awe-inspiring views of Meteora, enjoy an exciting four-day Greek Isle cruise to Mykonos, Patmos where John wrote the Book of Revelation, Rhodes with its Crusader-era Masters Palace, Heraklion, beautiful Santorini, a stop in Kusadasi with a chance to see fascinating Ephesus, view the ruins of Corinth where Paul lived and worked with Priscilla and Aquila, and see the Acropolis and Mars Hill where Paul stood to deliver his famous Areopagus sermon about the ‘Unknown God’.