Visit the historic landmarks of Athens
The Mediterranean is open for sailing once more, with plenty of itineraries available that can take you to a range of stunning destinations including Rome, the Balearic Islands, Venice, Dubrovnik and many more. Pullmantur Cruises can take you to these charming towns, cities and islands in blissful style, enabling you to take advantage of an all-inclusive package which includes all drinks and meals on board.
While she is currently operating cruises to the islands of Spain, Horizon is set to relocate to the Greek Isles, where she will operate a series of enchanting itineraries. Commencing in May, the ‘Heading to the Greek Isles’ and ‘Greek Islands Cruise’ sailings offer the chance to visit Mykonos, Patmos, Satorini and – of course – the majestic city of Athens, via the port of Piraeus.
The Greek capital has much to offer in terms of culture, architecture and history and – this week – we take a closer look at some of the highlights you can expect to see during your visit.
It goes without saying that the Acropolis is one of the most spectacular landmarks in the world, single-handedly symbolising the history and culture of Greece. This UNESCO World Heritage site is home to many renowned buildings dating back to as far as the Bronze Age and the Greek Classical Age. The most well-known building is the Parthenon, which is well worth the steep climb, but other historic structures include the Erectheion and the Temple of Athena Nike.
Within walking distance of the Acropolis is the Ancient Agora, which offers a green and refreshing place with great views of the Parthenon. Here, visitors can admire the Temple of Hephaestus – one of the best-preserved ancient Greek temples. Also worth visiting here is the Museum of the Agora – a building which has been reconstructed in the ancient style.
Temple of Olympian Zeus
Construction on this once iconic temple began in the 6th Century BC, but it was not complete until the rule of Roman Emperor Hadrian, in the 2nd Century AD. It consisted of 104 colossal columns and was regarded as the largest temple in Greece. Sadly, it was largely destroyed just a century later by barbarians and was never repaired. Sixteen of the original columns survive to this day. Other nearby landmarks include the 1896 Olympic Stadium and Hadrian’s Arch.
If you would rather soak in the sights of Athens in a more peaceful way, you can head to the top of Lycabettus Hill by funicular railway. For a small fee, you can admire mesmerising views of the entire city from the comfort of a charming café.
Museums and galleries
Alternatively, if you want to admire the history and culture of Athens in a more digestible way, you may appreciate the wide range of museums and galleries on offer. Some of the best examples include the National Archaeological Museum, the New Acropolis Museum, the Benaki and Museum of Cycladic Art, and the National Gallery; although there are many smaller institutions also worth visiting.
Throughout the summer, Horizon and Sovereign will offer cruises to some of the most renowned destinations across the Mediterranean, while Monarch will offer cruises to the Norwegian fjords and the Baltic nations.