Explore the Ruins of Ancient Greece


Based in south eastern Europe, Greece is a country oozing with tradition, beauty and a rich history. Picture the stunning beaches of Rhodes and Corfu, the lively heartbeat of Kefalonia and the intriguing history of Athens and Crete. And not forgetting the tempting Greek cuisine which will tantalise your taste buds!

But make sure to add some zest to your holiday plans by visiting the iconic sites of Ancient Greece. A day of discovery at some archaeological spots promises to fascinate those of all ages, from kids to adults! Below we have delved into the most mesmerising areas which make for exciting days out…

Minoan Palaces in Crete

Boasting the name of Greece’s largest island, Crete has a special place in the heart of locals and visitors alike. Shining with a diverse landscape, it has vibrant towns, striking golden beaches and a lively nightlife, alongside untouched rugged hillsides and ancient ruins. A villa holiday in Crete promises to satisfy any taste. Opt to explore the coastal towns, weave your way through the colourful streets, or relax on the calm shores before heading for a day of exploration at the Minoan Palaces.

Crete contains a number of Minoan sites, such as the famous Knossos, alongside Malia, Phaistos and Zakros. Thought to be Europe’s oldest city, Knossos will intrigue you with its sprawling grey rocks meeting ruins of stone slabs and red pillars. The area was home to the Minoan royal family as early as 7000 BC. Strewn with olive trees, the lush green surroundings provide a perfect backdrop to your day out.

The site was famously excavated by Sir Arthur Evans at the start of the 20th century. Nowadays, you have the freedom to explore this historic gem and delve into its throne rooms, halls and bedrooms connected by vast spiral stairways. If trinkets are more your thing, various Minoan artefacts are displayed at the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion.


One of Greece’s many UNESCO World Heritage Sites, Delphi is located at the base of Mount Parnassos. Why not add this iconic spot to your Greek holiday itinerary? It’s definitely a worthwhile visit! Famous myths, originating from 510 to 323 BC, tell of Zeus sending two eagles from the west and east sides of the universe. It was at Delphi where the two crossed paths, and it was then famously known as the ‘centre of the world’. It held significant religious and cultural meaning in Ancient Greece, and now attracts thousands of visitors each year who admire its striking beauty and historic relevance.


Standing as one of the most famous places in Europe, Olympia was home to the Olympic Games in Ancient Greece from 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. It became a shrine for Greeks and was made up of temples, monuments, altars and theatres. Located on the west of the Peloponnese peninsula, it homed the Statue of Zeus which proudly stood as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. On a visit here, you’ll enjoy taking in the historic atmosphere and visit the shops, cafés and restaurants. Discover more at the Historical Museum of the Olympic Games. Explore the surrounding ruins, sensing the history coming alive before your eyes!

The Great Theatre of Epidaurus

Sprawling steps and a curving arch form this historical gem. You’ll cherish views of the theatre’s design which ensures the perfect blend of beauty and acoustic harmony. It impressively seats up to 14,000 spectators, and was historically used for theatre productions, games and singing for the worship of Asclepius. Today, thousands of visitors admire its dramatic elegance, with ancient plays taking place regularly within the grounds. You’ll have the freedom to walk around and soak up the atmosphere within classic surroundings. A trip here promises to leave you with lasting memories and visions of Ancient Greece you can reflect on for years to come.

Acropolis of Athens

Sitting proudly on a hilltop overlooking the Greek capital of Athens is Acropolis, home to four of the most treasured ruins in the world: Parthenon, Propylaia, Erechtheion and the temple of Athena Nike. These stunning marble creations have existed for over 2000 years! They remain in an impressive condition today, making the spot a perfect addition to your Greek holiday adventure. They provide a treat for your eyes as well as your curious mind. During your visit here, capture treasured images of the high rising ruins and temples overlooking the vast capital city which stretches towards the horizon. This Greek superstar promises to be a highlight of your holiday!

The Acropolis of Lindos, Rhodes

The Greek Island of Rhodes may be well known for its impressive beaches and tempting eateries, yet it is home to some incredible archaeological scenes which provide a perfect day trip during your villa holiday. The atmosphere and surroundings of The Acropolis of Lindos will take you back in time. You’ll be left in awe of the classic diversity which radiates from this Greek island. Within the ruins of the Citadel, you’ll delve into a history which spans 3000 years. More recent historical landmarks can be admired at the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knight, a medieval castle situated on the island. You’ll create special memories as you jump through the eras with a choice of historic locations to visit and treasure.

Where will your Greece villa holiday take you? Explore our selection of over 400 villas in Greece!

Helen Wright

Helen Wright is a Junior Content Executive at James Villa Holidays.

If I'm not in the gym attempting to keep fit or challenging myself to a new personal...

See all articles by Helen Wright

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