Greek islands have been part of human history since primordial times. If your purpose of visiting Greece is your love for history, ancient ruins, ancient battles, and tales of warriors, kings, and gods, these are the islands you should visit.
Crete is the largest of all the Greek islands. It is situated in the southern part of the Aegean Sea where there are fine-sand beaches and the White Mountains. Regarded as the birthplace of the Minoan civilization, Crete is the first place people who want to visit Greek islands for historical and archaeological sites think of. Here, you’ll find remnants of great cultures and civilization, everywhere you go. There is the Minoan Palace of Knossos, Phaistos palace and The Palace of Malia, just to mention a few.
There is no way you’re going to talk about the history of the Greeks without mentioning Delos. For thousands of years, locals and visitors have always seen Delos as a holy sanctuary. It features mosaics, temples, a theatre, and other ruins. You can also find here the statues of lions, which are one of the biggest attractions for visitors from all over the world. The crown jewel of Delos is the Sanctuary of Apollo situated down the Sacred Way; you should not miss this.
For most people, Rhodes remains one of the best preserved ancient sites in the whole of Europe. Apart from the UNESCO listing of the Rhodes Old Town, the island is also reputed for having so many edifices that will make the heart of any history fan jump. On Rhodes, you’ll find a labyrinth of narrow cobbled alleyways, Ottoman Mosques, medieval gates, and Italianate villas. There is also the Palace of the Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, dating back the 14th century. You can also visit the hilltop churches at Tsampika and Monolithos for history and stunning views.
Many years ago, Aegina used to be a rival to Athens, because of its proximity to the city. Many famous ancient Greek temples are situated here like the Temple of Aphaea. It’s been well-preserved for ages and offers an incredible panoramic view of the sea. You will also find the Temple of Aphaea, which is located inside of a sanctuary complex dedicated to the Aphaia goddess. Hiking trails can also take you to places like the ancient village of Paleochora and the Monastery of St Nectarious.
Visiting Naxos is like a walk through time. It has plenty of well-known historical sites like Portara, which is a mysterious ancient door overlooking the main town. You will also enjoy viewing the Venetian Streets of Naxos Chora, as well as the traditional marble villages. However, the main attractions are Kouros of Apollonas dating back 8th to 9th century, and the Temple of Demeter, hilltop ruins of 530BCE converted to a church in the 16th century. You can also visit the Venetian Museum and an Archaeological Museum in Naxos Chora, all of which have plenty of surprises for visitors.