Most of us think of sun, sea and sand when it comes to planning a summer holiday. This year, why not combine splashing around with some sightseeing? Recharge those batteries, soak up the sun and discover the finest historical holiday destinations in Europe. If you’re interested in ancient civilisations, or you have a passion for archeology, here are some suggestions to inspire you.
Home to pristine white sand beaches and charming rustic villages, the Greek Islands are a perfect spot to enjoy a tranquil escape. Ancient Greece was a powerhouse and thankfully, there are many remnants of this fascinating era on display. Discover the ruins of Knossos in Crete and follow in the famous footsteps of King Minos and the Minotaur. Catch the ferry to Santorini to take in the captivating views of whitewashed houses and blue domes. Visit the bronze age village at Akrotiri. Flee crowds of holidaymakerswith a boat trip to the island of Aegina, where you’ll find the Aphaia Temple. Head over to Mykonos and catch a ferry to Delos, a UNESCO world heritage site. Meander at your leisure and enjoy being transported back in time.
Spain is blessed with numerous historic sites, and you can enjoy all kinds of sightseeing and archeological tours. Highlights include Alcazaba of Almeria, the Alhambra in Granada and Altamira Cave. If you’ve watched Indiana Jones, you may be familiar with the sight of Alcazaba de Almeria. This fortified hill, which dates back to 900AD, is a frequent film star. Head south to Granada to discover the iconic Alhambra. This impressive structure, which started life as a modest fortress, has strong Moorish influences. Take time to peruse the Islamic art and enjoy the views over the city from the top. Those interested in early cave art will relish the opportunity to visit Altamira. Some of the world’s finest examples of Paleolithic art are on display here.
Turkey is an intriguing land, which embodies the fusion between east and west. Eastern Turkey boasts a fascinating blend of ancient castles, temples and villages, which have defied the test of time. There’s scope to learn something new around every corner here. Visit Mount Nemrud to see the Tomb of Antiochus and take a stroll around Gobekli Tepe, one of the world’s oldest temples. Wander through the numerous ruins and fortresses. These battlegrounds reflect the unease and political struggles between eastern and western nations.
Head west to discover the archaeological wonders of Troy and Ephesus. The Temple of Artemis, one of the Ancient Wonders of the World, is particularly noteworthy.
Many of us flock to Europe each summer to enjoy sun-drenched days on the beach, but there’s so much more to see and do. Take a walk back in time, learn about ancient civilisations and be grateful for the chance to see some of the most incredible sights in the world. Book a tour to maximise your time and learn as much as possible and travel around as much as you can. You’ll head home with amazing memories, sun-kissed skin and an appreciation of times gone by.