Athens and Peloponnese – The Ruins speak of Ancient Epics and legends!

We were nonplussed on visiting Athens dissuaded and swayed by our friends that most of the archeological sites are in ruins and there would be nothing for us to see there. A visit to Santorini by ferry from Athens was on cards and we decided that we should spend some time exploring the unearthed greek history which laid the foundation for the western civilization.

Finally, we did it and we are glad we did it!

Athens, the capital city of Greece is well known for its compelling antiquity and the archeological sites. The ancient sites beckon the inquisitive tourists and history buffs from all over the world.

Day 1 – Argolis full day tour – 350 km tour circuit which included Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, and Nafplio starting from Syntagma Square in Athens.

Our first stop was the spectacular Corinth Canal. The azure waters flowing through the high rocky cliffs of the narrow man-made canal was awe-inspiring.

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The Ancient Corinth – Even though the site only remains of the foundations and pillars of the temples, shops and pathways but the city looked very impressive.

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Apollo Temple in Ancient Corinth
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Shops in Ancient Corinth

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An archeological Museum displayed fine mosaics, busts of Roman rulers and comprehensive collection of Greek pottery.

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The fortress of Acrocorinth provides with spectacular views over Peloponnese.

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Mycenae – Other than the main access to the citadel the Lion Gate, which has a relief of the two lions above the entranceway and Lions Tholos Tomb nothing much remains of the archaeological site of Mycenae.

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Nafplio – We drove along acres of orange farms with the farmers selling oranges all along the way and even savored on some of the sweetest and juiciest oranges ever. We drove to Akronafplia fortress which rewarded us with the spectacular views over the city and the Nafplio Harbor.

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Bourtzi castle in the middle of the Harbor

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The theater of Epidavros is the best preserved ancient theaters and is still used for frequent plays and concerts. The astonishing acoustics of the theater is such that, regardless of seating, one can hear the slightest sound clearly.
We drove back to Athens through the south coast of the Saronic Gulf enjoying the views of the calm blue sea.

Day 2 – Athens city sightseeing

The first agenda in the morning was to visit the Syntagma Square to watch the impressive guard changing ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and then to the Acropolis.

Acropolis in Athens is a complex of several ancient monuments of great architectural and historic significance. Theatre of Dionysus is an ancient theater dedicated to Dionysus, the god of winemaking and Grape harvesting.

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Propylaia is a huge entrance building to the main Acropolis complex.

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The imposing building on entering the complex is the magnificent Parthenon. It is a former temple dedicated to the goddess Athena and had 46 outer columns and 23 inner columns in total. It is said to be set on fire, ravaged by earthquakes, looted for its sculptures and almost destroyed by the explosion.

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The other interesting temple is the Erechtheum dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon and is popular for the porch of maidens.

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The hot scorching sun had drained the energy out of us. We descended the hill into the charming district of Plaka where the cobbled streets are lined with souvenir shops and restaurants and quaint houses have bougainvillea adorned balconies.

Not far from Plaka are the temple of Olympian Zeus and the Arch of Hadrian.

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It is disheartening to see the ruins of the temples and places of worship being unearthed by excavation. Has God been partial when it comes to this wonderful land of mythology and legends which haveΒ been revered as the ‘Land of Gods’? The unearthed architectures are so astonishing that certainly, these structures in their years of glory must have been the most remarkable structures.

What do you think of the archaeological sites of Athens? Do share with us in Comments.

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20 Comment

  1. Glenny says: Reply

    these are amazing photos. I wanna visit this one day πŸ™ I love greek gods/goddesses

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Glenny. Greece is a treasure trove of ancient monuments. It is definitely worth a visit πŸ™‚

  2. These pictures are spectacular! And the post is great! I hope to be able to visit Athens one day and explore the history.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Courtney. Glad you liked the pictures and the article. Keep us updated if you get to explore the historical wealth!

  3. Amazing photos, so want to be there now instead of being in the snow (live in Finland)

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks Gill Jacob. Do plan to visit Greece but summers are scorching hot and you would start praying for snow πŸ˜‰ Finland is on our bucketlist we wish we would make it some day πŸ™‚

  4. Sofia says: Reply

    Great roundup! I hope to visit Greece one day πŸ™‚

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thanks a ton Sofia.. We wish that your dream of visiting Greece may come true very soon πŸ™‚ Keep us updated!

  5. That is absolutely amazing. I would love to go someday. When you think about how they must have made those buildings that long ago… it’s incredible.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      True Justine… These monuments epitomize their glory even when they are in ruins.. We cannot just stop wondering on how it could have been to visit them in ancient times.

  6. Gecca says: Reply

    I’m glad that there are places like these that chooses to preserve of what is a big part of history and culture. I just wish that these will still be around for generations to come. I love your post by the way! I hope someday I’ll be able to see those ruins in real life.

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Agree with you Gecca. Even though we have progressed massively but these ancient monuments and structures never stop to entice us.

  7. eleni says: Reply

    Amazing! Your whole blog and journey is honestly inspiring. you should have come a bit further to Cyprus. x

    1. GOBeyondBounds says: Reply

      Thank you so much Eleni. We missed it this time but we will keep in mind next time we visit Greece or any nearby country πŸ™‚

  8. Visiting Greece and it’s ruins is a bucket list item for me ever since I read tales of the Greek heroes in high school literature class! I would visit during the fall months though as scorching heat make me ill !

  9. Oh, what I would do to visit Greece! So much history and old architectures to be explored. Maybe one day! Thanks to your post I feel I’m there, too. Cheers~!

  10. Omg the photos! Greece is easily on everyone’s bucket list and certainly on top of mine. Will bookmark this post for future reference. Thanks heaps!

  11. I have wanted to go to the Parthenon since my teacher told us about it when I was 11 years old, it is still on my bucket list. Greece is so beautiful and you have captured it in your photos, thank you for showing us how great it is.

  12. The history of Ancient Greece absolutely fascinates me, I really want to visit here at some point! Looks like there’s many great sites to visit as well!

  13. It looks like there weren’t too many tourists which is rare these days. Thank you for sharing as I don’t encounter blog posts about Athens these days. Most of the ones I read are from a few years back.

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