Live, love, laugh and traveling the world should be at the top of everyones bucket list of things to do before the Grim Reaper comes for you. And because we are all mere mortals with limited time here on earth, why not make the most of it by planning the vacation of a lifetime to six unforgettable travel destinations exploring the ancient world such as Rome, Greece, Israel, Egypt, China and Peru.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but being up-close, in-person to bare witness to incredible ancient sites and treasures located throughout the world is certainly a better way to create lasting memories. Imagine walking in the footsteps of greatness. Imagine you and your family traveling to places where extraordinary figures such as Jesus, Cleopatra, Socrates and Julius Caesar once lived, prayed, reign, taught philosophy and fought fiercely on the battlefields among other things thousands of years ago. From spectacular ancient architectural structures to breathtaking landscapes, experience the wonders and fascinating history of Israel, Rome, Greece, Egypt, China and Peru.
Surprisingly, even the not-so rich and famous can plan the vacation of a lifetime to any one of these fabulous destinations. So what are you waiting for? Its time to make your vacation dreams a reality. Heres a tourist guide to some of the most popular must-see attractions to visit while vacationing at any one of the six bucket list travel destinations exploring the ancient world:
1. Rome, Italy: According to folklore, Romulus and his brother Remus are said to have founded Rome in 8th century BC. Stories of famous and infamous figures, victorious conquest, greed and political corruption are all part of the intriguing tales of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire, once thought to be the greatest Empire in the world.
Thanks to the ancient Romans who made significant contributions to the cultural development of the arts and construction of spectacular architectural structures, travelers have plenty to enjoy while visiting the fabulous city of Rome. So, when in Rome, do visit The Colosseum, which was the epic center for entertainment featuring chariot races, gladiators who fought to their death and the persecution of Christians who were crucified, devoured by wild animals and other horrific events as part of the public spectacle; Vatican City, the papal residence, which was built over the tomb of Saint Peter, 11 Vatican Museums, Michelangelos Sistine Chapel and St. Peters Basilica, the worlds largest Basilica of Christianity; The Pantheon temple which was dedicated to all the Gods; and the Catacombs, underground burials that span from the early second century to the fifth century (A.D).
2. Athens, Greece: According to Greek mythology, Athens was named after Athena, the goddess of wisdom. And it is said that the first settlement of Athens was situated on the rock of Acropolis in 3000 BC. From Alexander the Great to Plato and Socrates, the art of warfare, literature, arts and philosophy developed by the ancient Greeks among other achievements has left an indelible mark on the world.
Get you to the Greek? The first must-see tourist spot is situated on a hill towering over the city of Athens, The Acropolis, which is believed to have been inhabited since the 7th Millennium BC; Another site to behold is The Parthenon temple which was constructed on the Acropolis at the behest of Pericles, a Greek politician, in 447 BC at the height of the Athenian Empire; Next stop, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, completed in 2nd Century AD, which was the largest temple, even larger than the Parthenon in size; Ancient pottery, jewelry, weaponry are among the collection of art, representative of all the cultures that flourished in Greece society are on display at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens; and if youre looking for some fun in the sun, visit the beautiful sandy beaches in Varkiza, Agia Marina and Vouliagmeni.
3. Jerusalem, Israel: In search of spiritual enlightenment? For more than 3,000 years of recorded history, Jerusalem is considered one of the holiest places in the world. Each year, thousands of the religious faithful, those on a path of self-discovery and curiosity seekers alike, travel to Jerusalem to visit the Old City, for an awe-inspiring journey to find their reason for being. For Christians, the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, considered the landmark site where Jesus was crucified, buried and resurrected is the most important sites to visit; Travelers are also welcome to place a personal note at the Western Wall which is the remains of the Second Temple that was destroyed in 70 CE and considered the most sacred site in Judaism; Next on the tour should be the magnificent architectural treasure, the Dome of the Rock, the place where Muslims believe Mohammed rose to heaven which is one of the holiest sites of Islam; Love to shop? Like a scene from the Arabian nights, the Souq Market is the perfect place to buy jewelry, religious paraphernalia, souvenirs, etc.; and for fun teachable moments visit Mini Israel entertainment theme park to see exact replicas of some of the countrys historical landmarks.
4. Beijing China: Many people were given a glimpse into the mysterious world of communist China during the 2008 Summer Olympics held in Beijing. As a tourist, experience the beauty and splendor of ancient Chinese culture while visiting the residence of the Ming and Qing emperors, today a museum and public park known as the Forbidden City, which still conserves its wonderful halls, walls, palaces, gardens and a collection of precious relics from old dynasties; Tiananmen Square, the biggest public square in the world, bordered by museums, parks, the zoo and Beijing University; and Badaling a famous section of Chinas most iconic structure, The Great Wall that was constructed during the Ming dynasty is located about 45 minutes outside of the city. The Great Wall of China, known as “long Wall of 10,000 Li” in China, spanning about 5,500 miles was originally conceived by Emperor Qin Shi Huang (c. 259-210 B.C.) in the third century B.C. to prevent incursions from barbarian nomads into the Chinese Empire, the wall is one of the most extensive construction projects ever.
5. Cairo, Egypt: Today, the country of Egypt and its people are in the midst of uncertainty as they try to establish their democracy. But this isnt the countrys first upheaval in its more than 5,000 years of existence and probably wont be its last which is why Egypt should remain on your bucket list of extraordinary travel destinations. With any luck, the country will stabilize and tourist will feel comfortable visiting the land that Kings and Pharaohs like Tut and Cleopatra once lived and reign. Tourist can sail along the Nile, the worlds longest river; visit the burial grounds and tombs of ancient Egyptians in The Valley of the Kings; Ride a camel while gazing upon the mysterious Pyramids of Giza that begin construction in 2630 B.C.E; marvel at the majestic Sphinx; plan a day trip to see the temples of the ancient Egyptian capital Luxor and Karnack; or travel to the city of Alexandria, Egypt for the day to see, Pompeys Pillar, constructed in the 4th century to honor Emperor Diocletian and Catacombs, the largest Roman cemetery.
6. Machu Picchu, Peru: In the year 1200, Mano Capac became the first Inca Emperor and established the Inca Empire. Shrouded in mystery, a true testament of the ingenuity and development of the Inca civilization has come to life through the unearthing of archeological ruins located 2,430 m above sea level, in the midst of a tropical mountain forest in an extraordinarily beautiful setting called Machu Picchu. Once considered a dominant force in the world, the Inca people who created Machu Picchu probably developed one of the most amazing urban creations of its time. The beautiful landscape of Machu Picchu covers about 32,500 tropical mountainous forests of the Peruvian Andes and is one of the most intriguing cultural sites to visit in Latin America.