Best Old Towns to Visit in Greece
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The country of Greece is rich in history, and many of these historical places are still standing today. In some instances, many of the historical sites are concentrated in one specific area, and is characterized by its older construction and proximity to historical landmarks. These districts are fascinating because they clearly have a modern presence, as well. They make for some of the most fascinating places to visit in Greece. Here’s a look at some of the best “old towns” to visit while in Greece.
As one of Greece’s largest cities, Thessaloniki has a lot to offer visitors. The Old Town, or Ano Poli as it is known to the locals, is an area is rich in attractions and history. The paved streets are lined with stone houses, which adds to the charm of a leisurely stroll. The Old Town is home to a number of Byzantine monasteries and churches. Agios Nikolaos Orfanos Church features paintings that date back to the 1300’s, a courtyard, and a marble temple. The Ataturk Museum is housed where ancient Turkish leader Kemal Ataturk once lived. Other museums in Thessaloniki Old Town include the War Museum and the Jewish Museum.
Located on the island of Crete, Chania Old Town is an ideal destination for anyone who enjoys adventure and nightlife. Chania is known for its nightlife, which peaks during the tourist season. Whether you are in the mood for a romantic dinner at a quiet establishment or want to try traditional Greek dancing in the streets, you’ll find it in the Old Town. Be sure to pay a visit to the Venetian Lighthouse. The lighthouse is part of the Venetian fortress, which allows you the opportunity to walk along the walls of the fortress to get there. Another way to view the Venetian Lighthouse is by boat tour.
The small town of Monemvasia is an old medieval town that is rich in history. The town is home to an old medieval fortress. The first section of Monemvasia that you will enter is known as Lower Town where you will encounter Plateia Dsami, the main square. Here, you will find restaurants and shops. Next, you can walk a path that will lead you to the Upper Town, which sits on top of a large rock. It is here that you will see the 12th century Church of Agia Sofia. The Upper Town is mostly in ruins, but what is left is worth exploring and the view from the area is breathtaking.
The Old City of Rhodes Island, Greece is an impressive sight that is surrounded by medieval walls that include seven gates. Entering these gates and stepping into Rhodes Old City will transport you back in time. The 3rd century Temple of Aphrodite, the Palace of the Grandmaster, and the Lodge of the Knights of Aiberne are stops you’ll want to make when visiting the Old City. The Street of Knights is a walk you won’t want to skip. The street has been restored and is lined with the buildings where warriors spent much of their time. You can spend time at the New Hospital-Archaeological Museum while on the Street of Knights.
When in the mood for a meal or shopping, head to Orffeos Street. Found near the Gate of Saint Anthony, the area is spacious with a wide road. As you stroll, you’ll come to Ippokratous Square, a largely commercial center.
Within the Acropolis, in Athens, there are a number of sites you’ll want to see. The Temple of Athena Nike is a small marble temple that was built around 425 BC and houses a statue of Athena as Victory. The Erechtheion is a sanctuary that once housed the cults of Poseidon, Athena, and Erechtheion. The Parthenon, maybe the most well-known site, is the largest Doric temple and the only one made completely of Pentelic marble. The Parthenon is dedicated to Athena Parthenos.
While in Greece, you won’t want to miss the chance to visit some of these historical old towns.
Categorized in: Greek Travel Guide
This post was written by Greek Boston