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WHAT TO SEE: Hordes descend on Delphi today, just as they once did to consult the oracle. Pronouncements about the future were given by the priestess in the Sanctuary of Apollo. There's also a theatre, marketplace, the Treasury of the Athenians, the Sacred Way, temples (including the Tholos, an unusual round temple) and the best-preserved stadium in Greece.
WHAT TO SEE: This spot in the north-east Peloponnese was the centre of Greek civilisation during the second millennium BC. Today you can see the magnificent Lion Gate, the Treasury of Atreus, and the grave circles where treasures such as the Mask of Agamemnon and Cup of Nestor were unearthed. Find time for the amphitheatre at nearby Epidaurus.
WHAT TO SEE: It was here that King Minos, the Minotaur and Theseus performed their feats. Sir Arthur Evans unearthed this 3,000-year-old Minoan palace in northern Crete. Four wings are arranged around a central courtyard, containing the royal quarters, shrines and throne room. Gung-ho restoration aside, it's as near anyone has got to the spirit of this remarkable place.
WHAT TO SEE: Imagination is required if you're to breathe life into the nine ancient cities of Troy, but a replica of the Wooden Horse helps. Until Heinrich Schliemann started excavating King Priam's city of Ilium in 1871, no one thought Homer was basing 'The Iliad' on a real location. But the walls outside of which, according to legend, Paris killed Achilles are still there.
WHAT TO SEE: This is the best-preserved classical city in the Mediterranean, housing the Temple of Artemis and the famous theatre which held 25,000 people. The bath complexes and aqueducts are remarkable, too.
6. Leptis Magna
WHAT TO SEE: One of the best- preserved Roman cities outside Italy. The extensive site, on the shores of the Mediterranean, is never overrun. In its day, it was synonymous with luxurious living and its baths are the finest around. You can even sit on a Roman toilet, built circa AD200.
WHAT TO SEE: Virgil's epic poem 'The Aeneid' is set here, but the city - now in Tunisia - looked to be destroyed in 146BC when the Romans reduced it to rubble. Luckily, Caesar had second thoughts and re-established it to make it the second-largest city in the Empire - and allegedly a den of iniquity. The fine ruins of theatres, baths, cisterns and temples stretch along the coast.
WHAT TO SEE: The commercial and military importance of North Africa to Rome cannot be overestimated: it was the granary of the Empire. Emperor Trajan established a frontier along the coast, and remains of settlements can be seen at Setif, Tipaza and Djemelia, which is an excellent example of town planning adapted to a mountain location.
9. Pont du Gard
WHAT TO SEE: The three-tiered Roman aqueduct over the Gardon Valley is the finest in the world. In a good state of repair, it was begun by Agrippa in 19BC and finished by Trajan over a century later. It spans 900ft and is built of limestone. It carried water 31 miles down a gradient of only 60ft to Nîmes.
WHAT TO SEE: The great row of seven Doric temples in the Valley of the Temples - strictly speaking a ridge - makes this one of the most breathtaking sites in the ancient world. The highlight of this Greek colony, founded in Sicily in the sixth century BC, is the night-time illumination of the Temple of Concord.