Step back in time on a historical holiday in the Mediterranean. This sun soaked region of Europe with its dry climate and light spring showers is the heartland of the regions oldest and most developed civilisations. Thousands of ancient ruins and cultural wonders litter the islands of the Aegean, making it the perfect getaway for cultural holidaymakers who want to enjoy the sun in the Aegean and learn more about the civilisations of Ancient Greece.
In 2,700 BC, the Minoan’s were the most technologically advanced civilisation in the whole of Europe and the capital city was centred on Crete. The civilisation thrived and prospered for more than a thousand years until a volcanic eruption caused the complete destruction of the Minoan civilisation in 1420 BC. Despite the devastation caused by this natural disaster, it is still possible to explore the ruins of the temples and palaces of Minoa if you decide to take a cheap holiday in the Aegean.
The island of Rhodes has had a turbulent history. Over millennia it has been fought over, conquered, settled and re-conquered by Greeks, Persians, Macedonians, Egyptians, Romans, Byzantines and Turks. This mixed history has given the island a rich cultural and archaeological heritage. Although the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the wonders of the ancient world has been destroyed, much of its history is there for anyone who is interested.
Skopelos was famous throughout the Ancient World as a source of great wine, so a visit to the island would be a perfect opportunity to indulge and see if this still holds true. Nowadays it is not only the local wines, which are still produced in local vineyards, but also the incredible food, that makes a visit to Skopelos so worthwhile.
The island of Leros used to be the stronghold of the medieval order of the Knights of St. John until a peace treaty signed in 1522 saw the island handed over to the Ottomans. Although the island was incorporated into the Ottoman Empire, it was given a special autonomy status similar to Hong Kong, giving its government greater say in the management of the island. Visitors with a sharp eye can see the affects of this policy today in the medieval churches and mosques that sit alongside each other on this picturesque holiday getaway.
The history of Cyprus is just as confusing as the history of Rhodes. It is a long tale of one occupying nation replacing another over millennia. For the enthusiastic amateur historian the signs of this history are everywhere and it will make for a fascinating holiday. From the Sanctuary of Apollo at Hylates to the Venetian walls of Nicosia, there is plenty to see and take in.
Wow great post and the pictures. Greece is my top destination to travel in Europe. The food and the people make it a great spot to travel all throughout the year.
There’s so much to see in the country. I really want to visit the hilltop monasteries in the North.