Unesco World Heritage Sites in Greece: A quick guide

Unesco World Heritage Sites. Greece is full of magnificent archaelogical sites dating back to ancient times, the byzantine or other important eras. Unesco protects 18 of the most important sites of cultural importance and we suggest your seeing at least three when you come to Greece. Which ones? Continue reading and you will find the ones that suit your tastes, destination and time.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Greece 

Acropolis, Athens

Acropolis is the most famous landmark in Greece and I dare say in the world. It dates back in the 5th century and you can visit it while your staying in Athens.

Read more about it in our extended post about Athens

Read about the Acropolis Museum on GTF blog.

Unesco World Heritage Sites in Greece: A quick guide. Acropolis, Athens
The Acropolis, Athens, Greece Unesco World Heritage Sites.

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Meteora

Meteora are well known all around the world because of the natural beauty of the landscape but also for the magnificent architecture and building techniques used for the construction of the monasteries. Ideal visit not only for religion oriented tourists but also for nature lovers.

Read all the details about your visit in our featured post here.

Unesco World Heritage Sites in Greece: A quick guide. Meteora monasteries
Meteora, Greece. Unesco World Heritage Sites.

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Archaeological Site of Mystras

The city of Mystras played very important role during the last few years of the Byzantine Empire. Actually, the last Emperor of the Byzantine was Konstantinos Paleologos and leaved there. It is located on the hills of Mt Taygetos in the Peloponnese and was the last fortified city conquered by the Ottomans after the Fall of Constantinopole. Rich history, wonderful scenery and can be accompanied with a tour of Mani and a visit to Sparta and Kalamata.

Unesco World Heritage Sites in Greece: A quick guide. Mystras, Peloponnese
Mystras, Peloponnese, Greece. Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Mount Athos

Mount Athos or Holly Mountain is located on the eastern peninsula of Halkidiki. Halkidiki is located on northern Greece, close to Thessaloniki and hosts the monastery community of greek christians monks. The area is restricted and only male visitors can enter after issuing official permission. The architecture is unique and of artistic value and attracts the interest of man specialists around the world.

Book a cruise to Mount Athos Monasteries from Ouranoupolis or from Thessaloniki.

(According to Greek law the boat is not allowed to moor next to the beach or to let people on Mount Athos, so you may see the monasteries from a certain distance).

mount athos, greece, monastery
Monastery of Agios Panteleimon, Mount Athos, Greece. Here is the second largest bell in the world, weighing 13 tons. (Photo by 12019 on Pixabay)

Take a sightseeing cruise around the holy monasteries of the western section of Mount Athos on the only Glassbottom boat in the region. Combine this experience with the opportunity to explore the only inhabited Halkidiki island: Ammouliani. Book here.


Medieval City of Rhodes

The Old City of Rhodes was built by the Knight Order of Saint John of Jerusalem between the 14th and 15th century. Of course the Gothic features are not the only dominant style cause after the knights, the Ottomans and then the Italians added their own architectural style in the city.

Read our post about the Medieval City of Rhodes in Greek here (you can use the automated translation)

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Unesco World Heritage Sites in Greece: A quick guide, Rhodes, street of the Knights of Rhodes
Me and my sister with our families in Rhodes. Street of the Knights of Rhodes

Archaeological Site of Philippi

The ancient city of Philippi was one the greatest cities of the past. Since King Phillipos B’ conquered the city, it became a great power and an architectural example of the time. One of the buildings that survived is the Ancient Theatre of Philippi which is still used today. Another important fact is that in the area, the first christian church in european ground was built by Apostolos Pavlos in 49 A.C.


Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments of Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is the birth town of our two “greek travel families” and we are really attached to it. So, we wouldn’t agree more that the heritage and the cultural wealth of the city is huge. During the Byzantine era, Thessaloniki was one of the most important cities as far as the spread of Christianity is concerned and so you can find many churches and monasteries such as the church of Saint Demetrius, the church of Panagia Halkeon, the church of Saint Nicolas Orfanos and the Rotonda of Saint George. The Byzantine Walls of Thessaloniki are also included in the protected sites list.

Read our posts about Thessaloniki here and here.

Unesco World Heritage Sites in Greece: A quick guide, Rotonda of St. George, Thessaloniki
The Rotunda is a 4th century vaulted circular building in Thessaloniki, similar to the Pantheon in Rome.

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Old Town of Corfu

The Old Town of Corfy is mostly Italian influenced as far as architecture is concerned. The vibe of the city, as it was not destroyed, ruined or abandoned as other old cities, is lively and many residents live there. Actually the Square of Listes is the most famous one and the Spianada square is the second biggest in Europe (after the Square of Saint Mark in Venice).

Old Town of Corfu, Greece. Unesco World Heritage Sites.

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Archaeological Site of Delphi

The archaelogical site of Delphi is located in mainland Greece (about 2 1/2 hours from Athens) and it was famous even from ancient times as it is said that it was the center of Earth. The Temple of Apollo and Pytheia, the Priestess with the Prophecies, attracted people from all ancient Greece. Don’t forget to also visit the newly renovated New Museum of Delpi.

Read about Delphi on our extended post here and about its museum here.

Unesco World Heritage Sites in Greece: A quick guide, Delphi, Peloponnese
Archaeological Site of Delphi, Greece. Unesco World Heritage Sites.

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Temple of Apollo Epicurius at Bassae

The Temple of Apollo Epicurius is located in the Peloponnese, close to the area of Korinthia. It was constructed by Iktinos, who was also the architect of the Parthenon, and it is a magnificet temple. Though, a big part of the temple was stolen by the British in the 19th c. and most of this parts are still exhibited in the British Museum.

Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus

The Sanctuary of Asklepios was the most important healing site in ancient Greece. It is located in the Peloponnese and in the archaelogical site you can also find the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, where you can still watch some of the most important tragedies or comedies of ancient writers.

Read more in our extended blog post here.

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Archaeological Site of Olympia

Peloponnese is the land of one more archaelogical site of utmost importance. In 776 BC the first Olympic Games started to honor God Zeus, so you can also see part of its temple. The Olympic Games in ancient Greece were as important as they are today (even more I dare say) as the winners were honored like heroes.

Read more in our extended blog post here.

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Unesco World Heritage Sites in Greece: A quick guide, Archaeological site of Olympia
Archaeological Site of Olympia, Greece. Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Monasteries of Daphni, Hosios Loukas and Nea Moni of Chios (1990)

The Monastery of Daphni is located in Athens, the Monastery of Osios Loukas in mainland Greece and the Monastery of Nea Moni in Chios. Even thought they are far away from each other they share some common architectural features and of course they were build during the Byzantine era.


Archaeological Site of Aigai (Vergina)

This unique underground museum and the whole archaelogical site are located in northern-western Greece. The City of Aigai was the capital city of the Empire of the Macedonians. Philippos and then his son, Alexander the Great, were the most important kings and are known all over the world for their bravery and their capabilites as Generals. In the museum you can see the actual tomb of King Philippos and some of the most magnificent gold exhibits, such as the gold crown of the King.

Read more about our memorable visit to the site here.

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Archaeological Sites of Mycenae and Tiryns

Both sites are located in the Peloponese. In the town of Mycenae was the Palace of King Agamemnon, which played an important role in the Trojan War. The city gave its name to an entire civilization, the Mycenaean civilization.

Read more about the ruins and the history in our extended blog post here.

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Unesco World Heritage Sites in Greece: A quick guide, Myceane
Grave Circle A, Mycenae, Peloponnese, Greece. Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Delos

According to mythology. God Apollo was born on Delos, an island in the Cyclades, very close to Myconos. Except for its religious importance in ancient times, it also played a political role in the 5th century. Nowadays, the island of Delos is inhabited but it attractes thousands of visitors every year as a very important archaelogical site.

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The Historic Centre (Chorá) with the Monastery of Saint-John the Theologian and the Cave of the Apocalypse on the Island of Pátmos

The village of Chora in Patmos, the Monastery of Saint John the Theologian and the Cave of Apocalypse are all located in Patmos, which is in the Dodecanese. It is said that Saint John the Theologian was inspired and afterwards wrote the Book of Revelation in this cave. The whole island is emblematic and it is famous among religious travellers.

Unesco World Heritage Sites in Greece: A quick guide, Chios
Chios island, Greece

Pythagoreion and Heraion of Samos (1992)

The port of Pythagoreion played an important role during the Classical and Roman times. Close to Pythagorion, there is the Ancient Sanctuary of goddess Hera, who was born in Samos.

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Have you visited any of these sites or are you willing to do so? We are waiting for your comments about these or other heritage sites all over the world.

Callie

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Unesco protects 18 of the most important sites of cultural importance and we suggest your seeing at least three when you come to Greece.

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Callie
Hey there! I am Callie and I am a full time family lifestyle and travel blogger on our first blog Anthomeli! Mmmm, now that I am thinking about it, I’m not only that. I am a translator, an English teacher, a mum, a wife and of course a sister and a daughter. Too many titles for one person, but when you are a life enthusiast living in sunny Greece then everything is possible! As a family travel passionate I am going to show you, here on our second blog, the Greek Travel Family, how to spend quality and valuable time with your kids during holidays! Our family of 3, my husband, my daughter and myself, enjoy enriching our life through travel. So, are you coming along?

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Comments

    • Thank you so much for your comment. Yes, and if you see it up close is even more fascinating! Hope you can visit in the future!

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