Athens, Acropolis, Akcopolis' museum, Ossios Loukas, Delphi, Olympia, Nauplia, Epidaurus, Mycenae, Ancient-Corinth, Cape-Sounion
EN: Classical Tour
The National Library of Athens
Welcome in Athens! Meeting with our local tourist guide and transfer to Athens for a first bus-tour. This sightseeing tour will give you the opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. Our guide will take you to see the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896. Pass by the Presidential residence, ex Royal Palace, guarded by the Evzones in their colorful uniform; the Temple of the Olympian Zeus; the Hadrian's arch; the parliament and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, also guarded by the Evzones; the Academy; the University; the National Library; and the Constitution Square. Finally, transfer to hotel for accommodation, then a short info-discussion about the trip follows and subsequently a common dinner occurs.
The day begins with a visit at Acropolis. Standing proudly on the “Sacred Rock” of Athens, Acropolis is the most important site in the Greek capital. Here we visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of the city: the Propylea, the monumental gateway to the Acropolis; the Temple of Athena Nike, resting on a rocky outcrop, positioned so the Athenian people could worship the goddess of victory (= Athena Nike) in hope for prosperous outcomes in the war’s endeavors; the Erechtheion, associated with some of the most ancient and holly relics of the Athenians; and finally we stop to admire the Parthenon, an enduring symbol of ancient Greece, the Athenian Democracy and the western civilization. Built exclusively with pentelic marble during the 5th century BC, when Athenian Empire was at its highest power, the Parthenon took its name Athena Parthenos, Athens’ patron goddess. A visit at the Acropolis museum follows afterwards. This brand new museum has been founded to exhibit all the significant finds from the Sacred Rock and its foothills. Now it’s time to leave Athens and drive first to Ossios Loukas for a visit of one of the most impressive Byzantine monuments of the Mediterranean Sea. Walking around the monastery, you can admire the amazing natural beauty in harmony with the surrounding landscape. Finally in the afternoon we reach Delphi, where the accommodation and a common dinner occurs.
In Ancient Greece, people used to travel to Delphi to seek the wisdom of the famous Oracle. The Sanctuary of Delphi, set within a most spectacular landscape, was for many centuries the cultural and religious centre and symbol of unity for the helenic world. Your guide will lead you through the site; the Temple of Apollo, where the statues and all other offerings to the god were kept and the cult rituals took place; the Treasury of the Athenians, a small building which contains trophies from important Athenian victories and other votive objects dedicated to the sanctuary; the Ancient Theatre, where the musical contests of the Pythian games and other religious festivals took place; the Sacred Way, the main road leading from the entrance of the temenos to the altar of the Chians and the temple of Apollo; the Ancient Gymnasium, one of the most complete examples of an ancient gymnasium complex, which included the gymnasium proper, a palaestra and baths; the Ancient Stadium, one of the best preserved monuments of ist kind, situated above the sanctuary of Apollo, in the highest part of the ancient city and closely connected to the history of the Pythian games; the Castalian Fountain, where Pythia, the priests and the temple staff washed and where the water used to clean the temple came from; the Tholos of Athena Pronaia, perhaps the most characteristic monument at Delphi, a masterpiece of Classical architecture. The last part of your visit takes place at the Museum of Delphi, an archaeological museum which exhibits the history of the Delphic sanctuary. After leaving Delphi, we are ahead to Rio-Antorio famous bridge for crossing over to Peloponnese and drive to Ancient Olympia. Accomodation at the hotel and common dinner.
You ‘ve watched the Olympics in TV, now it’s your chance to walk among the remains in Olympia, where the Olympics began in 776 BC. The Games were held in honor of Zeus, king of the gods, and were staged every four years at Olympia. People from all over the Greek world came to watch and take part. Your guide will lead you through the Olympian monuments, among others, the Temple of Zeus, the largest temple at Peloponnese, a perfect example of Doric architecture; the Temple of Hera; the Bouleuterion, the council house, where the athletes registered and drew lots, and where their names and the program of events were announced; the Prytaneion, the administrative center of the sanctuary's political life and of the Olympic Games; the Ancient Stadium, where the ancient Olympic Games and the Heraia, the women's games in honor of Hera, were held; the Ancient Gymnasium, where athletes practiced track and field and the pentathlon; the Palaestra, used to practice boxing, wrestling and jumping; the Philippeion, dedicated to Zeus by Philip II of Macedon after his victory at Chaironeia in 338 BC, proving the important political role of the sanctuary at that time. The last part of your visit takes place at the Olympian Archaeological Museum, which presents the long history of the most celebrated sanctuary of antiquity, where the Olympic games were born. After leaving Olympia, we take the coastal road to Kalo Nero and then drive through Tripolis and Argos to the area of Argolis with a short stop in a beautiful and romantic city, Nauplia, the first capital of the newly born Greek state back in 1823. Finally we reach Tolo, an old fishing village for accommodation at the hotel and a common dinner.
The day begins with a drive to Epidaurus in order to visit the Sanctuary of the god-physician Asklepios, the most famous healing center of the Greek and Roman world. It is considered the birthplace of medicine and is thought to have had more than 200 dependent spas in the eastern Mediterranean. Afterwards you will stand at the Great Theater of Epidaurus, this amazingly well-preserved, 2300-year-old open-air theater in Epidaurus combines perfect acoustics with elegance and symmetrical proportions. Your next stop is at Mycenae with the ancient ruins dating from 1350 to 1200 BC and described by Homer. Τhe kingdom of mythical Agamemnon, is the most important and richest palatial center of the Late Bronze Age in Greece. You will visit among others the Treasure of Atreus, the most impressive of the preserved Mycenaean tholos tombs; the Lion Gate and the Cyclopean Walls. Last visiting point for today is the Ancient Corinth. Here you can see the ruins at Pirini fountain, the courtyard of Apollo, the foundations of a significant Roman basilica, the temple of the goddess Tyche (Fortune) or Apollo Klarios, the stores in the agora, the temple of Apollo, the ruins of the theatre and the Lerna fountain. In the evening we drive back to Athens for accommodation and common dinner.
Today is tour free day in order to spend a mind-relaxing day at city-center of Athens. As optional we suggest you to take part in one-day-cruise in Saronic islands, Aegina, Poros and Hydra.
Our day begins and we drive along the coastal road of the Saronic gulf, passing through some of Athens’s most expensive and beautiful suburbs and resorts to reach finally Cape Sounion, the southernmost tip of Attica, is a significant strategic point, whence the city-state of Athens controlled the sea passage to the Aegean Sea and Piraeus, also noted as the site of ruins of an ancient Greek Temple of Posseidon, the god of the sea, in classical mythology. The remains are perched on the headland, surrounded on three sides by the sea. Before returning back to city-center, you will have the chance to enjoy a tasting lunch at a fishing tavern by the sea.
Full of memories and after a great and remarkable journey to the Greek world, you are ready for departure.