18.04.2019

5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites to visit in Greece

18.04.2019

The 18th of April is granted as World Heritage Day. Find below 5 UNESCO World Heritage Sites of great importance and get inspired for your next getaway in Greece with Minoan Lines.

Greece is famous for two things: its beauty and its rich heritage! Apart from gorgeous sandy beaches, picturesque islands and beautiful locations, Greece is also home to more than 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites. On the occasion of the World Heritage Day, celebrated every year on the 18th of April, we selected 5 of the most important UNESCO World Heritage Sites located in Greece, that are a stone's through away from some of our destinations.

The World Heritage Day was established in order to enhance awareness of the impact culture has on humanity and also to preserve the heirlooms of great cultural heritage over time. That being said, are you ready for a trip down history lane?

The Sacred Rock of Acropolis in Athens

This architectural gem bequeathed by the ancient Greek masters to the world will never cease to amaze you. First, you will get greeted by the Propylaea, the grand entrance that leads to the Acropolis, the city of Pericles and its historical monuments. On the southern side of the Propylaea, you'll see the Temple of Athena Nike, home to a sanctuary of the prehistoric period. The view from the temple is amazing! On your left, you'll find the Erechtheon, where you can admire the replicas of the Caryatids, the statues that are supporting the south facade. Most of the original statues are housed in the Acropolis Museum and one in the British Museum. Last stop, the imposing Parthenon. The world-famous architectural masterpiece, that was dedicated to the goddess Athena and built from the finest white Pentelic marble and the greatest architectural masters of the time Iktinos and Kallikrates.

The Sacred Rock of Acropolis in Athens

Once you set foot on this sacred rock you will realise what makes this landmark a universal symbol of ancient civilization and the most important ancient site in the Western world.

The Acropolis joined the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1987 and since then some of its parts are being restored. Due to that, most of the original sculptures and friezes have been replaced with casts, and are now stored and exhibited in the ultra-modern Acropolis Museum.

How to get here:
You can either visit Athens by car or public transport via our Heraklion - Piraeus - Chania itineraries or via our Greece - Italy itineraries by car.

Other things to do:
Read our 48-hour guide in Athens and get the most out of your visit!

The Divine Meteora in Central Greece

The grand rocks, the monasteries suspended in space, the virgin nature and the sun peeking through the clouds, as if you are experiencing a divine intervention, create a heavenly atmosphere. The route there is not an easy one, but once you arrive, you'll believe you have arrived in heaven. Everything around you will seem unreal. The monasteries built on vertical rocks (originally there were 24!), creating one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries, the monks living there and keeping the place alive despite the adversities.
The Divine Meteora in Central Greece

Today, 2 million visitors from around the world come to Meteora to get close to nature, tame those rocks and get to admire the work of those monks. The Meteora complex joined the UNESCO World Heritage Site list in 1988 and is preserved ever since.

How to get here:
You can access this spot via the port of Igoumenitsa (Greece - Italy itineraries) in just 2 hours and 15 minutes. You won't regret it!

The Holy Island of Delos

Delos, the birthplace of gods Apollo and Artemis, is awe-inspiring even to this day. The fact that you are not visiting a monument or just a museum but you are stepping into history, as the whole island is, in fact, a one of a kind, unique to the world archaeological site that accommodates the largest collection of monumental heirlooms from the Archaic, the Classical and Hellenistic times, makes this experience unbeatable!

The island is also home to the Archaeological Museum of Delos, which is worth visiting for its unique and rare exhibits.

The Holy Island of Delos

This remote island is only accessible by boat via the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos if it is not very windy. The trip lasts only half an hour and on your way back you will also get the chance to visit Rhenia. Rhenia is a deserted islet with paradise-like beaches and crystal-clear waters which will be rewarding after a long day of sightseeing.

How to get here:
You can reach Mykonos via our Heraklion - Cyclades itineraries.

Other things to do:
Find out how to have the ultimate experience while island hopping in Cyclades!

The Historical Town of Corfu

Corfu, the jewel of the Ionian Sea, has always been the target of great historical empires because of its strategic location. The strongest influence was that of the Venetians and it is predominant in the great architecture of the island. The Old Town of Corfu, recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage Site, will grab your attention right away. A stroll in its “kantounia”, the narrow alleys with the imposing houses and in Liston, the pedestrian street featured in many photos, with the old mansions and the arcades which house the city’s most popular restaurants and coffee shops is also a must. The town's Old and New Fortresses are two other imposing sites not to miss.

The Historical Town of Corfu

How to get here:
You can reach Corfu via the Greece - Italy itineraries and experience the mythical island of the Phaeacians!

Other things to do:
Find out here some of the most amazing bike tours in Corfu and the Ionian islands.

The Golden Mycenae

Another ancient relic, another great opportunity to admire a staggering World Heritage Site located in the heart of the Peloponnese. The land where the Mycenean civilization, one of the world's most important civilizations, operated and thrived will fascinate you.

Some of the most important monuments onsite are the Cyclopean walls, that were built by giants according to Greek mythology, the imposing Lions Gate, a sign of the Mycenean Palace's grandeur and power, the Agamemnon's golden mask and the Treasury of Atreus. Also, in the Archaeological Museum of Mycenae, you will get the chance to learn more about the life, the activities and the customs of this rich civilization that dominated one of the most prominent periods in the history of Ancient Greece.

The Golden Mycenae

How to get here:
The port of Patras is located in the Peloponnese and from there the archaeological site of Mycenae is only 2 hours away by car. 

Other things to do:
Learn more about the top 5 beaches in the Peloponnese, on how you can offer your kids unforgettable vacations in the Peloponnese or even plan a road trip.

Celebrate World Heritage Day by booking a trip with Minoan Lines in order to visit one of the above, today!

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