Akrotiri, Santorini Island
An excavation of an ancient city in Greece covered by ash and debris from a volcanic eruption in the 17th century BC that literally “blew the top” off of the island of Santorini, located in Akrotiri, Santorini of probably a Minoan wealthy trading city, of an unknown ancient name. In Akrotiri, a building covers the active excavation area, which is thought to be only 5% of the full ancient city area, for which a ticket is required to enter. If there is a guide available in the guide kiosk across from the ticket kiosk, we strongly recommend hiring a guide, as the explanatory signs within the excavation area are not as complete as what might be wanted and it is such an unusual site of a very advanced civilization living in apartment buildings with plumbing built into the walls for interior bathrooms complete with toilets, that having a guide may allow for more complete understanding of this ancient civilization. Also visit the very good Archeological Museum in Fira on Santorini, which has artifacts excavated from Akrotiri, including painted wall murals.
A Sacred Island, today only open from sunrise to sunset, this little island is just off of the Cycladic Island of Mykonos. Very easy to visit by tender from your yacht anchored close by, this little island inhabited since the 3rd millennium BC, reached the height of glory in the 400’s BC as the center of the Delian League. On arrival, in all directions on Delos are the remains of temples, homes, and monuments. There was an impressive array of different cultures that lived on this island, that left their mark. Shrines for Samothracian, Egyptian, and Syrian Gods are interspersed amongst the Greek shrines. A good museum is also on site exhibiting artifacts found in excavations on the island.
Old Town, Rhodes Island
Said to be the largest medieval walled city still in existence, the medieval walled city called Old Town, next to Mandraki Harbor in Rhodes was built by the various orders of Crusading Knights, including the Knights Hospitalier. Within the wall are a myriad of little stone walking streets and piazzas filled with shops, cafes, tavernas, and restaurants. Wander Old Town, as you cannot get lost once inside the walls and visit the Palace. For an excellent photo opportunity, walk the perimeter of OId Town, up in the parapets of the stone walls; the same walls once used by sentries guarding Old Town and the inhabitants within.
Known in ancient times as Buthrotum, Butrint, an active busy trading and fishing port from Hellenistic to Ottoman times, is located about an hour east of the Ionian Island of Corfu. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Butrint has been being excavated for the last 12 years and today is a fabulous historical archaeological site. Although in Albania, Butrint can be visited by crossing from Corfu by hydrofoil, by private yacht or ship’s tender, if large enough. The port of Saranda, near Butrint, is an international clearance port, so the site is easily visited by all nationalities, and is an outstanding side trip for all history buffs.
Cave of the Apocalypse, Patmos Island
It is here in this sacred Grotto that St. John the Apostle is said to have received the Revelations that are now contained in the Book of Revelations, part of the Christian Bible. While this is a significant location for devout Christians, this is also a significant location in the history of Christianity. You could walk up the hill to the Grotto from the Patmos harbor, however there are also vans and taxies that can be hired to reach this sacred location on this island; that is said to have one church building for every day of the year.
Monastery of Panormitis, Symi Island
Located in a lovely little bay, which is an excellent location for swimming and water sports, the members of this Monastery played an active role in the Resistance during World War II. Today, this still active Monastery has a small museum with exhibits about everyday life in the 1800’s in Greece. And also, a museum of religious relics and the various bottles with messages that have washed into this little bay, as the claim is that all waters of the world pass through the area at the mouth of this little bay, and any message sent in a bottle will eventually reach the Monastery of Panormitis in Symi on the world’s currents.
Visit the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum in Athens, again, visiting both with a Guide is recommended.