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10 Best Documentaries About Greece To Watch

These documentaries about Greece show a land steeped in ancient history and vibrant culture. Its breathtaking landscapes, rich mythology, and contributions to art, philosophy, and science have left an indelible mark on human civilization.

Documentaries about Greece offer a unique opportunity to delve into this captivating Mediterranean nation, uncovering its fascinating past, exploring its modern challenges, and immersing yourself in the timeless beauty that continues to define Greece today.


Documentaries About Greece

From the sun-drenched islands of the Aegean to the bustling streets of Athens, these documentaries provide a window into the heart and soul of Greece, where tradition and innovation, history and contemporary life, coexist in a harmonious blend.

Naturally, there are many documentaries about Greece out there apart from these but these are some of the best you can watch.


A Greek Odyssey With Bettany Hughes (2020)

This documentary series features renowned British historian and broadcaster Bettany Hughes. In this immersive journey through Greece, Hughes takes you on an extraordinary exploration of the country’s rich history, culture, and mythology.

Throughout the series, you are treated to a visually stunning odyssey as Hughes travels to various locations across Greece, including its iconic cities, ancient archaeological sites, and picturesque islands.

She weaves together the past and present, providing a deep understanding of Greece’s enduring influence on the world.

Hughes’ expertise and passion for Greek history and archaeology shine through as she delves into the fascinating stories of the Greek gods, philosophers, and legendary figures.

The documentary series also highlights Greece’s contributions to literature, art, and science, making it a comprehensive and enlightening portrayal of this remarkable nation.

Trailer:

The Greeks (2016)

This documentary series offers an in-depth exploration of the history, culture, and impact of ancient Greece on the world. Produced by PBS, this three-part series takes you on a fascinating journey through the rise and fall of one of the most influential civilizations in history.

Narrated by actor and producer Liam Neeson, “The Greeks” combines stunning visuals, expert interviews, and engaging storytelling to bring the ancient Greek world to life. The series is divided into three episodes, each focusing on a different aspect of Greek civilization:

  1. “Cavemen to Kings”: This episode delves into the early history of Greece, from its prehistoric roots to the emergence of the first city-states. It explores the development of Greek culture, politics, and philosophy in the archaic period.
  2. “The Good Strife”: This episode covers the transformative period of the Greco-Persian Wars, where Greece faced the mighty Persian Empire. It also explores the birth of democracy in Athens, the life of Athenian statesman Pericles, and the impact of the Peloponnesian War.
  3. “Chasing Greatness”: The final episode examines the classical period of Greece, marked by the accomplishments of figures like Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. It also delves into the conquests of Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic era that followed.

My Greek Odyssey (2018-2020)

This series takes you on a delightful journey through the stunning landscapes, culture, and lifestyle of Greece. It is hosted by Australian actor and television personality Peter Maneas, who embarks on a personal exploration of his Greek heritage.

The show combines travel, adventure, and cultural exploration as Peter Maneas travels across Greece, visiting various regions, islands, and cities.

Through his engaging and relatable storytelling, viewers are introduced to the diverse beauty and charm of Greece, from the pristine beaches of the Greek islands to the historical landmarks of Athens and beyond.

Maneas engages with locals, participates in traditional activities, and savours Greek cuisine, providing an immersive experience for viewers.

Clip from the series:

Greece: Secrets of the Past (2006)

This visually stunning documentary about Greece takes you on a mesmerizing journey through the rich history and archaeological wonders of Greece, unveiling its secrets from antiquity to the present day.

Narrated by Nia Vardalos, a Greek-American actress, it combines breathtaking cinematography with cutting-edge 3D technology to offer an immersive and educational experience.

The documentary explores some of Greece’s most iconic historical sites, including the Acropolis in Athens, the Palace of Knossos on the island of Crete, and the ancient city of Mycenae.

Through expert interviews and historical reenactments, it delves into the achievements of ancient Greek civilization, including its contributions to art, architecture, philosophy, and democracy.

One of the notable aspects of “Greece: Secrets of the Past” is its use of 3D imagery to recreate ancient Greece. Viewers can witness the majesty of the Parthenon and other ancient structures as they might have appeared in their heyday.

This innovative approach brings the past to life and provides a fresh perspective on the ancient world.

The documentary also highlights the ongoing efforts of archaeologists and historians to uncover the mysteries of Greece’s past, showcasing recent discoveries and the painstaking work involved in piecing together the nation’s history.

You can watch it for free on YouTube:

Samos: The Greek Island of Dreams (2016)

Samos is known for its lush landscapes, stunning beaches, and historical significance. The documentary showcases the island’s iconic sites, such as the ancient city of Pythagoreion (named after the famous mathematician Pythagoras), the Heraion, and its beautiful coastal villages.

Through stunning cinematography and insightful storytelling, “Samos: The Greek Island of Dreams” immerses you in the island’s rich heritage, its connection to ancient Greece, and its contemporary way of life.

It’s a visual feast for those interested in Greek travel, culture, and the Mediterranean’s breathtaking scenery.

If you’re passionate about exploring Greece’s hidden gems and unique islands, this documentary is likely to provide a delightful and informative glimpse into the beauty and history of Samos.

Greece with Simon Reeve (2016)

Travel journalist Simon Reeve embarks on a journey through Greece, uncovering stories of resilience, economic challenges, and the enduring spirit of the Greek people.

The documentary series is divided into two episodes, each focusing on different aspects of Greece:

“The Wild East”: In the first episode, Simon Reeve travels to the eastern part of Greece, including the islands of Lesbos and Chios. He delves into the challenges posed by the refugee crisis, offering a compassionate and informative look at the plight of refugees arriving on Greek shores.

The episode also explores the impact of the economic crisis on Greek communities and the resilience of the Greek people in the face of adversity.

“The Axis of Change”: In the second episode, Reeve heads to the northern part of Greece, near the border with Macedonia. He examines the complex issues surrounding the refugee crisis and explores how the crisis has affected relations between Greece and its northern neighbours.

The episode also delves into Greece’s political landscape, including the rise of far-right political parties.

Trailer:

Olympia: The Truth Behind the Ancient Games (2016)

Delve into the history of the ancient Olympic Games, which originated in Greece, in the ancient city of Olympia, and were held in honour of the Greek god Zeus. It examines the historical context of the games, their religious and athletic significance, and their enduring legacy in the modern Olympic movement.

Through expert interviews, historical reenactments, and visits to archaeological sites, the documentary sheds light on the rituals, competitions, and athletes who participated in the ancient Olympics.

It also explores the cultural and societal aspects of the games, providing insights into the lives of ancient Greeks and their reverence for athleticism and competition.

This documentary not only offers historical insights but also connects the ancient Olympic Games to their modern counterpart, emphasizing the continuity and global impact of this iconic sporting event.

This is one of the best documentaries about Greece for the history and impact of the Olympic Games.

Mysteries of Greece (2020)

This National Geographic documentary explores the mysteries and legends of Greece, including ancient ruins, myths, and archaeological discoveries.

The Island of Crete (2015)

This documentary focuses on the history and culture of the island of Crete, known for its ancient Minoan civilization and beautiful landscapes.

The Real Greek Odyssey (2011)

Historian Michael Scott retraces the steps of Odysseus in this documentary, exploring the historical and mythological aspects of the famous Greek epic, the Odyssey.


Greece

These documentaries about Greece show its ancient history to its modern culture and natural landscapes.

Whether you’re interested in history, mythology, travel, or simply admiring the beauty of Greece, one of these documentaries about Greece should suit your interests.

For more reading on Greece take a look at my travel guide to Crete.


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