Greece is portrayed as the ultimate destination for the summer due to the sun and the lacy beaches of the numerous little and bigger islands, as well as the tradition and the local tastes that captivate each and every visitor. However, the Greek islands constitute history poles, so new archaeological excavations are being conducted constantly and unveil secrets of the past years that leave us speechless.
For those of you who are especially interested in the ancient years of Greece, add in your summer bucket list the islands below and you won’t be disappointed.
It is one of the Saronic islands of Greece that during ancient years was a sailing and trading rival of Athens, due to its placement between Attica and Peloponnese. On the north part of the island the Temple of Aphaia is located. It is a Doric order temple built by local porolithos in 480 BC, with 24 well preserved columns out of 34 that there were initially. The Greek myth says that Minos, the King of Crete, fall in love with the daughter of Zeus, named Vritomartis. The girl tried to run away from him diving into the sea. Some watermen found her, but one of them fall in love with her, too, so Vritomartis put herself into escaping again, when the boat was near to the island of Aegina. After she managed to come out of the water, it is said that she was disappeared with a divine intervention into the forest of Aegina. That’s why she was named ‘Aphaia’, which in Greek means that she was lost in the ether. From the place where the Temple of Aphaia is located, when the atmosphere is clean, you can see the Parthenon of Acropolis at Athens and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounio. It is said that these three temples create an isosceles triangle, the sacramental triangle of the antiquity!
Aphaia temple on Aegina island - credits: S F/shutterstock
The largest island of Cyclades group of islands offers a diverse landscape that spans both mountains and extended beach areas, as well as archaeological ruins. The most popular is Portara (in Greek: Gate), the huge entrance of the Temple of Apollo that dates back to the 6th century BC, and together with the foundations, are the only remaining parts of the temple. It was of Ionic order and was built by the tyrant Lygdami. But, after the fall of the tyranny it remained unfinished with the marble pieces being used for the construction of the Castle of Chora by the Venetians.