Are your kids huge Percy Jackson fans? If so, they might be interested to know that some of the places they have been reading about in the Percy Jackson books actually exist in Greece today! Here’s a look at the most important must see sites in Greece for Percy Jackson fans.
The Acropolis in Athens
What was it: The Acropolis is a dominating natural rocky outcrop, that has been fortified over the centuries with walls and other structures. Towering over central Athens, it has been used as a place of refuge and worship and has a history dating back thousands of years.
In the Percy Jackson books: In ‘The Blood of Olympus’, Percy Jackson and the rest of the The Argo II’s crew travel there and battle part of the Giant Army alongside the gods.
Today: The Acropolis is one of the most visited archaeological sites in Greece, and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site due to the collection of buildings on its peak which includes the famous Parthenon. Take a guided tour here to find out more about Greek Mythology, and the central role that the Acropolis played in the development of Athenian and ancient Greek society!
The Temple of Poseidon at Sounion
Location: Near Athens
What was it: A magnificent ancient Greek temple dedicated to Poseidon, the Greek God of the Sea!
In the Percy Jackson books: Fans of the Percy Jackson books know that Percy is the son of Poseidon. As the God of the Sea, Poseidon can control the waves and communicate with sea creatures. This temple is dedicated to him!
Today: Standing in place for over 2000 years, the Temple of Poseidon looks out onto the Aegean Sea at Cape Sounion. The majority of people visit as part of a day trip in and around Athens. During this time, they can soak up the vibes of the temple, and then witness an amazing sunset as the sun disappears into the waters where Poseidon resides!
Location: 2.5 hours drive from Athens
What was it: A place of pilgrimage in the ancient Greek world. People would travel from hundreds of miles around to visit Delphi and listen to the prophecies of the Oracle!
In the Percy Jackson books: It is due to the Oracle’s prophecies that Percy and his friends embark on many of their adventures.
Today: Delphi is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the archaeological site includes two temples which are the Temple of Apollo and the Temple of Athena Pronaia. Spending some time here, it is very easy to see why the ancient Greeks called Delphi the navel, or center of the world! Delphi is normally visited as a day trip from Athens, or as part of a larger road trip taking in other major places of interest around Greece.
Location: About an hour’s drive from Athens
What was it: Corinth was a very powerful kingdom in the ancient Greek world. It’s control of a trade route across the Peloponnese before the canal was constructed provided constant riches.
In the Percy Jackson books: Fans of the books may remember Media from ‘The Lost Hero’. She was a powerful sorceress from Corinth, and in Greek mythology was actually even more evil!
Today: When you mention the name Corinth today, most people come up with an image of the famous Corinth canal. This is definitely a marvel of engineering, and certainly worth seeing on a trip to the Peloponnese. Nearby are two important archaeological sites. One is ancient Corinth, and the other is Acrocorinth high up on a hilltop. The view from Acrocorinth are truly spectacular, and you can also find the ruins of a sanctuary dedicated to Aphrodite, who is Piper’s mother from the books. The Corinth area can be visited as a day trip from Athens, or as part of an extended mythological tour of the Peloponnese.
Location: About a 1.5 hour’s drive from Athens
What was it: An independent city state, famous for its incredible theatre and also its healing sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius. In a similar manner to Delphi, people would travel hundreds of miles to Epidaurus seeking cures for their ailments. There were over 160 guest rooms for travellers to stay in over 2000 years ago!
In the Percy Jackson books: Asclepius, the God of Medicine, features in the Percy Jackson books, and gave a potion to Festus who then brought Leo back to life.
Today: Epidaurus is another UNESCO World Heritage site due to the Sanctuary of Asclepius.It is a very interesting place to visit, and one can only imagine how busy the place must have been with people coming and going looking for cures. Most visitors today though are more amazed by the acoustics in the theatre at Epidaurus. It is possible for one person to stand in the center of the ‘stage’ and whisper a word, which another person can then hear way up in the furthest seats away from the stage. Even today, people are unsure of how this place was designed in this way! Visiting Epidaurus is a popular tour from Athens.
Location: The western Peloponnese
What was it: Athletes from all around the ancient Greek world would travel to Olympia every four years in order to compete in games and competitions. During the period of the games, there would be a truce where no wars were fought! The Olympia complex included stadiums, training fields, and places for the athletes to stay.
In the Percy Jackson Books: The scene of a deadly Olympic Games from the book ‘Blood of Olympus’ where Percy and his friends battle Nike.
Today: Ancient Olympia is a UNESCO World Heritage site and birthplace of what we now call the modern Olympic games. There are numerous ruins on the site, including temples dedicated to Zeus and Hera, and even a running track. Visitors can often been seen racing each other on the track, which is a fun and very unique thing for the family to try!
What was it: The palace of Knossos was the very heart of the powerful Minoan civilization that once dominated the Aegean and Mediterranean. Thought to be home to the legendary King Minos and the Minotaur, it is thought to have been destroyed by a powerful earthquake.
In the Percy Jackson books: Percy and Annabeth accidentally discovered the Labyrinth in the “Battle of the Labyrinth”. They also fought with Minotaurs.
Today: Knossos was rediscovered in the 20th century. Over time, it is thought that the Labyrinth may have referred to the palace itself due to its complex design and layout. It is the most important archaeological site on the Greek island of Crete. Include a visit here on our 7 day mythological tour of Greece!