Athens, Delphi, Olympia, Epidaurus, Nauplia, Mycenae, Sparti, Mystras, Ancient Corinth
EN: Peloponnese with Athens & Delphi
The Evzones at the monument of the Unknown Soldier in Syntagma
The National Library in Athens
Ancient Greek column in Delphi
Temple ruins in Delphi
The ancient theater of Epidaurus
The treasury of Atreus in Mycenae
The entrance to the Stadium in Olympia
The archaeological site of Olympia
The archaeological site of Sparta
The medieval city of Mystras
Ruins in Ancient Corinth
The Canal of Corinth
Arrival in Athens. Meeting with our local tourist guide and transfer to the hotel in Athens or in Mati. After the accommodation in the hotel, a short info-discussion about the trip follows and subsequently a common dinner occurs.
In the morning begins the visitation of Athens, the cradle of the European Culture. Sightseeing through the Greek metropolis, past the Byzantine museum, the War museum, the Palace, the ancient stadium, the Zappeion, the Temple of Zeus and the Arch of Hadrian. Further across the Syntagma Square, face to the Parliament and the monument of the unnamed soldier. Going on to the highest rock of Athens, where the Acropolis stands proudly, facing the entire city. 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. Finally, after a walk around Plaka, return to your hotel for dinner and accommodation.
Today it’s time to leave Athens and drive to Delphi. 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 center and symbol of unity for the Hellenic 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 its 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. In the afternoon, you drive to Peloponnese and reach your hotel in the area of Corinth for 5 overnights. Dinner and accommodation.
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. Continue for a short stop in a beautiful and romantic city, Nauplia, the first capital of the newly born Greek state back in 1823. Later, you reach 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. Finally, return back to your hotel for dinner and accommodation.
In the morning, begins your excursion to Olympia. 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. In the afternoon, you take the road back to the area of Corinth for dinner and accommodation.
Today your excursion begins with a small tour at Sparta, the mythical place of Homeric heroes. Authentic natural beauty, picturesque villages, crystal clear waters, lush vegetation, interesting flora and fauna, imposing snowy peaks make up the beautiful landscape of Sparta. Your next stop is at Mystras, “the wonder of the Morea”. During the Byzantine period, Mystras used to be the second most important town after Constantinople. Among others you will visit the Medieval Castle and several Byzantine churches and discover the region around, which is crossed by many trekking paths, leading to beautiful spots. In the afternoon, return back to your hotel for dinner and accommodation.
First visiting point for today is the Ancient Corinth, once most important port and effective place of Apostle Paul, who visited Korinth in his first trip two times and stayed there 18 months. He established in Korinth the largest christian community in Europe. You will visit also the small port in Lechaio, where Paulus first arrived in Corinth. Among others 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. Drive further to the port of Isthmia, where a cruise through the Corinth Canal will follow. Return to hotel for accommodation and dinner.
Full of memories and after a great and remarkable journey to the Greek world, you are ready for departure.