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COSMOPOLITAN

...A majestic journey through time that breathes history and character...
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Day 1: Arrival – Kavala

(First day on our program could be modified depending on your flight times)
Arrival at ‘Makedonia’ Airport on Thessaloniki, meeting and orientation with our representatives. Transfer by bus to Kavala, and check-in our hotel. We will have a walk on the sites of the city that foretell its rich history. Kavala was known as Neapolis in ancient times and Chrystoupolis during the Byzantine era. Our first stop will be at the Step of St Paul, a memorial monument on the relics of an ancient pillar where Apostle Paul’s left his first footprint on European ground. We will continue, through the old city, to Mohamed Ali square where Christian and Islamic heritages are evident. We will then move on to the late-medieval Acropolis-Castle, used successively by Byzantines and Ottomans, which still overlooks the city. Our next stop is on the impressive 16th century Aqueduct, 52 meters high and consisting of 60 arches; built during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. We will complete our walking-tour by observing the neoclassical mansions and big tobacco warehouses that evoke the memory of a distant past when a multinational (Greek, European and Jewish) wealthy bourgeoisie was dominating the city. Kavala at the time was  known as the “Mecca of tobacco”. Dinner, free time and overnight stay.
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Day 2: Philippi – Lydia – Amphipolis - Thessaloniki

Breakfast and transfer to the archaeological site of Philippi (listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Philippi was a vibrant Hellenistic city, reshaped by the Romans into a "small Rome", and later became a centre of early-Christian worship. At Philippi took place the formidable battle referred in Shakespeare’s tragedy “Julius Caesar”. Most importantly it was the first place in Europe where Christianity was preached by Saint Paul, and where the first Christian Church was established. The monuments of Philippi exemplify various architectural types and reflect the development of architecture during the Roman and Early Christian period. Next to Philippi is located the Baptism Site of Saint Lydia, where the first Christian conversion in Europe took place. On our way to Thessalonica, we’ll visit the Archeological Site and Museum of Amphipolis, the place where Alexander the Great prepared for his Asiatic conquering campaigns. Amphipolis is also the place where after Alexander's death, his wife Roxanne and their small son Alexander IV were exiled and later murdered. Arrival at Thessaloniki, a city enlisted in UNESCO World Heritage List for its Paleochristian and Byzantine Monuments. We will visit the Rotunda, a massive 4th century AD dome embellished with high quality mosaics, which reflects the rich multicultural history of Thessalonica. Rotunda has a long history and has been used as a pagan temple, a Christian church and a mosque. We will also see the neighboring Arch of Galerius, celebrating Romans’ Galerius victory over the Sassanid Persians. Check-in our hotel, dinner, free time and overnight.
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Day 3: Thessaloniki

Breakfast and visit to the Museum of Byzantine Culture honored with the "Museum Award" by the Council of Europe. We will explore the rich history of Thessalonica, from the paleochristianic era (4th century AD) to the post-Byzantine era (17th century AD), admiring the monuments that expose its religious and social life. We will also visit the nearby Archaeological Museum, exhibiting artifacts from the Archaic, Classical, and both Hellenistic & Roman periods. Afterwards, we’ll visit the 15th century Ottoman White Tower on the waterfront of Thessalonica, which is the emblem of the city. There we will have time for a short break and a stroll along the magnificent coastal road. We will visit the Upper Town (Ano Poli), the most traditional part of the city that features small stone-paved streets, old squares and houses in traditional Greek and Ottoman architecture. There we will observe the Heptapyrgion that functioned successively as a Byzantine citadel, an Ottoman fort and an infamous prison. We will also visit the Tower of Trigonion to admire both the medieval architecture and the spectacular view of Thessalonica bay. Short break (taverns, coffee) and visit to the Church of Saint Demetrius the Great Martyr, who is the Patron Saint of Thessalonica. The temple has been used continuously, since the 4th century AD, as a place of Christian worship. We’ll admire the stunning mosaics and frescoes as well as the unusual shrine (ciborium). We’ll also visit the Crypt underneath the Church (where Saint Demetrius had martyred) hosting a collection of significant Byzantine Christian artifacts. Return to our hotel, dinner and overnight stay.  
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Day 4: Thessaloniki

Breakfast and visit on the Jewish Museum, which foretells the vibrant presence of the Jewish community in Thessalonica from 3rd century AD to the Second World War. Our next visit is on the Museum of Macedonian Struggle. It displays and educate visitors about the social, economic, political and military developments of early 19th century in the southern Balkans and the agonizing struggles to balance between tradition and modernization in a rapidly changing society. Short break at Aristotle’s Square, the connection link between the architectural history of Thessaloniki and its modern style. It is there that the heart of the city beats and the cafés are crowded all day long, while dozens of happenings and events are held in the square throughout the year. Our next stop is the Roman Forum, the ancient center of political and public life. A large open area surrounded by buildings of various functions some of which were elegant and impressive, displaying the financial prosperity of the city. Our last stop will be to Hagia Sophia, an impressive 8th century AD domed basilica with an imposing architecture, beautiful wall paintings and elaborate mosaic that is included as a World Heritage Site on the UNESCO list. Return to our hotel, dinner and overnight rest.
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Day 5: Thessaloniki – Vergina – Pella – Kalampaka

Breakfast and transfer to the archeological site of Pella, to experience a magical journey through time to the glorious capital of the ancient Macedonia kingdom, where Alexander the Great was born.  We will observe the monumental palatial complex, the biggest forum of the ancient world and the outstanding mosaic floors. Our next visit will be at a Winery in Naoussa, where you will see one of the largest aging cellars with more than 3,000 barrels and the oldest Greek wines in Greece.  While there we can experience a unique multimedia show celebrating the world of wine and unique history of the company. We’ll have also the opportunity to taste wines alongside traditional local recipes. We will continue with a visit at the archaeological site of Vergina (Aigai), listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. North mentioning is that the museum is built over the tombs, leaving them in situ and showing the tumulus as it was before the excavations. Among many others, we will also admire the tomb of Philip II (father of Alexander the Great). We will also visit the Palace, considered to be not only the biggest but, together with the Parthenon, the most significant building of classical Greece. This unique building, utterly revolutionary and avant-garde for its time, would become an archetype of palaces in the Hellenistic world and beyond. Transfer to Kalampaka, check-in our hotel, dinner and overnight stay.  
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Day 6: Kalampaka – Meteora – Thessaloniki

Breakfast and visit to Meteora, one of the most impressive and peculiar places in Greece. Meteora consists of a cluster of huge dark rocks, on tops of which some of the most spectacularly monasteries in the Orthodox world are built, and its included in UNESCO lists of World Heritage. We will have the opportunity visit three of the most important and historical ones, viz. Monasteries of Varlaam, Great Meteoron and St. Stephen. Afterwards we will visit the nearby Meteora Natural History Museum, which contains a rich collection of birds and mammals, as well as a comprehensive mushroom museum, the first of its kind in Greece. Break for lunch in Kalampaka and transfer to a nearby winery where besides wine we can try another extract from grape, which for Thessaly region is known and it’s called tsipouro, - an alcoholic drink similar to ouzo. Transfer to Thessaloniki, check in our hotel and overnight rest.  
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Day 7: Delphi - Athens

Today we’ll be visitng Delphi an ancient Greek city, housing the most important oracle of the ancient world. Delfoi is referred to as the “Bellybutton of Western Civilization”. The city is mentioned in Homeric times called Peitho (Persuasion). At the beginning of historical times it was one of the cities of ancient Phocis, but gradually the role of the city was strengthened and developed as a pan-Hellenic center and holy city of the ancient Greeks. It was also the center of the Delphic Amphictyony. Delphi retained its significant position until the end of 4th century AD when Emperor Theodosius abolished the oracle. In the following centuries, the city declined and was finally abandoned during the period of the Slavic invasions. Here we will visit the archaeological site and museum. In the afternoon we will have free time in Delphi, whilst in the evening we will depart for Athens for accommodation and overnight stay.  
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Day 8: Panoramic Tour of Athens - Acropolis Museum-Filopappou

Today we’ll have a panoramic acquaintance tour with the city of Athens. A city at the center of Mediterranean cultures that throughout its long history fused cultural influences and disseminated knowledge. We’ll see the former Royal Palace, the Stadium, Gardens of Zappeion, Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian's Arch. The Theatre of Dionysus, Syntagma Square, Parliament, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Academy, the University, and the National Library while finally we’ll stroll towards Athens’ Cathedral. We continue our sightseeing tour to New Acropolis Museum, which is located approximately 300 meters southeast of Parthenon, in the historic neighborhood of Makrygianni. We will observe the excavated findings from the Settlement and the Sanctuaries located on the slopes of the Acropolis. The sculptures at Acropolis dated to the Archaic period (such as Hecatompedon, Ancient Temple, Offerings), as well as parts of Metopes, Frieze and Pediments, are some of the exhibits at the New Acropolis Museum. Moving on to Filopappou Hill. Whatever season you choose to visit this hill, you will be rewarded. This walk has all the ingredients of an unforgettable experience… beautiful greenery and important monuments. “Socrates Prison”, “Kimoneia Graves”, ancient Koili Street and a commercial avenue full of houses and shops are some of the places of interest. The “Museum of War Memorial”, Filopappos Monument and a constant great view of Parthenon and Acropolis make up for a truly fantastic walk. Free in Athens city center. Overnight stay.
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Day 9: Acropolis / walking tour (Theseion, Monastiraki Flea Market, Plaka, Anafiotika)

Today’s tour includes a guided visit at the archaeological site of Acropolis, the sacred rock of Athens. Upon this rock and during the Golden Century of Pericles, the ancient Greek thought and civilization was expressed in an ideal way and some of its top monuments were built. In the classical times (450- 330 BC) three important temples were built on the foundations of older ones, and that is Parthenon (dedicated to Athena), Erechtheum  (dedicated to Athena and Poseidon) and the Temple of Athena Nike. The entrance to the sanctuary was the monumental Propylaea. From the foot of the sacred rock along the paved road, an exceptionally beautiful route, one arrives to Thiseio. It is a neighborhood of Athens located northwest of Acropolis, near the Observatory. Important monuments of Thiseio are «Thiseion», more correctly "Hephaesteion», and that is the Temple of Hephaestus as well as the Stoa of Attalus where the Enlargement Treaty of EU was signed. Today the area is known as a recreation place with many cafes and taverns-restaurants. We continue to Monastiraki, which is a neighborhood of Athens, named after Monastiraki Square, which in turn took its name from the Church of Pantanassa that is located within the square. The neighborhood is known as a Flea Market due to its many antique shops and other commercial stores. Plaka is the most historical neighborhood of Athens that has been continuously inhabited since antiquity. Plaka buildings are preserved and protected by the State since the Second World War and today in the area there are many thriving shops, restaurants, cafes, museums, galleries and houses of historical Athenian families.Finally we wiil visit Anafiotika, a scenic tiny Cycladic architectural built neighborhood founded by workers from the island Anafi. Overnight stay and rest.  
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Day 10: National Archaeological Museum – Sounio or Daily cruise to Argo-Saronic Gulf

Choice A: This morning, we’ll visit the National Archaeological Museum that houses some of the most important artifacts from a variety of archaeological locations around Greece, dating from prehistoric to late antiquity. One of the museum highlights is the Antikythera mechanism, known as the Antikythera astrolabe or analogue computer. It is an ancient artifact believed to be a computer engineered for precise astronomical observations, and it resembles a complex clockwork mechanism. Later on we’ll go by the coastal road (Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza) to Cape Sounion where we’ll be mesmorised by the ruins of the ancient Greek Temple of Poseidon (5th century BC), and enjoy the awesome panoramic view. If the sky is clear enough we’ll have the chance to see seven at least islands in the horizon. Return to Athens for overnight stay. Choice B: Breakfast and departure for Palaio Faliro, where we’ll take the cruise-boat and depart at 08.15 for a day cruise to Aegina, Poros and Hydra islands. On this cruise we will enjoy with all our senses a sunny, carefree day by the sea and discover the hidden 'secrets' of those three distinctive Greek islands that float graciously in the aquatic gem called Saronic Gulf. We’ll stay in each island as per the ship's itinerary; have lunch on board and get entertained with dances and songs from the orchestra onboard. The cruise will end in the evening. Transfer to the hotel and later on we’ll attend either a theater performance or dance alongside the familiar melodies of bouzouki.
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Day 11: Return back home

After breakfast we’ll have free time and later on transfer to airport for our flight back home.
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End of Tour

COSMOPOLITAN

€830

per person

…A majestic journey through time that breathes history and character…

KAVALA

Kavala, the capital and main port of the Kavala prefecture is amphitheatrically built on the slopes of Mt. Symvolo forming one of the most picturesque cities in Greece. The city’s breeze sweeps through its historic buildings, which perfectly reflect the city’s modern character.

Kavala boasts a unique character reflecting its recent past. Neoclassical mansions and big tobacco warehouses evoke the memory of a distant past when a wealthy bourgeoisie was dominating the city. In the Mecca of tobacco as Kavala was named in the past, thousands of tobacco workers, male and female, earned their living. Their faces will remain alive for all eternity thanks to the black and white photos adorning the walls of the city’s Tobacco Museum. At the cobblestoned, lined with palm trees port, stand one next to another modern buildings and fish tavernas, while fish boats cast their reflection on azure waters.

Azure City…

The city’s most popular meeting point is Eleftherias Square while the most buzzing point is Megalou Alexandrou Pedestrian Street. It features chic shops, cafes, bars as well as a tobacco warehouse that has been transformed into a shopping center. Close to Eleftherias square lies the old scenic neighborhood of Agios Nikolaos, where also the homonymous church – a former mosque- is situated. On the relics of an ancient pillar one can see Apostle Paul’s footprint, left there from the time that he first visited Macedonia.

The stunning coastal city of Kavala, often used as a gateway to the northeastern Aegean Islands, is a unique destination in its own right. Cultural highlights include the aqueduct of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent and quality museums of history and industry. Fascinating Ottoman buildings scattered through its pastel-hued old town, Panagia. Sheer relaxation can be found at countless nearby beaches and bustling harbor-front eateries.

Modern Kavala was once ancient Philippi’s port. More infamously, Ottoman Pasha Mehmet Ali (1769–1849), eventual founder of Egypt’s last royal dynasty, ruled here. He ordered his fleet to slaughter tens of thousands of Christian Greeks on islands such as Kassos and Psara during Greece’s independence struggle. Islanders still commemorate these events annually.

 

THESSALONIKI

Thessaloniki is easy to fall in love with – it has beauty, urban chaos, history and culture, a remarkable cuisine and wonderful vast sea views. This is Greece’s second largest city, with the streets bursting full of life and vibrancy.

Thessaloniki  is a vibrant destination, full of surprises. It evolved into a unique mosaic of different cultures and civilizations, Thessaloniki will offer you a wonderful travel experience. The different neighbourhoods are little worlds unto themselves. When you climb up to the Byzantine walls and take in the whole of Thessaloniki at sunset, you see what a sprawling, organic city it is. Old and new cohabit wonderfully. The Arch of Galerius, an intricate 4th-century monument, overlooks the busy shopping drag of Egnatia. Thessaloniki’s most famous sight, the White Tower, anchors a waterfront packed with cocktail bars. The New Waterfront has breathed life and opened up space for long walks and cycling. By night, the city reverberates with music and nightlife.

The food…

The cuisine and food culture reflect its multicultural history while the city’s intense nightlife will surprise you! An ideal city break destination that you’ll definitely fall in love with!

It doesn’t really matter if you are a street food lover or you prefer a traditional tavern or a luxurious restaurant. Thessaloniki is the place for every taste and style! The options are countless and inspired by many food cultures and cuisines. You will find a huge variety of dishes and flavors. Gyros, mpougatsa, souvlaki, patsas and of course, tsoureki are some of the delicious popular options the locals love. You’ll find them in every corner of the city.

Wonderful museums, cozy bars, impressive night clubs, and a shopping paradise in Tsimiski Avenue and Mediterranean Cosmos. This city is full of surprises for everyone! The more time you’ll spend walking around the city center, the more secrets will be revealed to you. You’ll get this unique feeling of finding a small treasure in every step!

Dance like the locals in Valaoritou area. Find out why Ladadika is an all-time popular destination for everyone! The variety of the historic bistro’s, bars, restaurants and clubs will stun you. You understand the reason Thessaloniki is such a beloved destination! A youthful city that hosts countless of music concerts, cultural events and various festivals all year round!

 

ATHENS                     

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world’s oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.

Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus, which had been a distinct city prior to its 5th century BC incorporation with Athens. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political and cultural life in Greece.

The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments.

Modern times…

In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political and cultural life in Greece. With equal measures of grunge and grace, Athens is a heady mix of history and edginess. Cultural and social life plays out amid, around and in ancient landmarks. The magnificent Acropolis, visible from almost every part of the city, reminds Greeks daily of their heritage and the city’s history.

Although individuals have endured difficult circumstances since the start of the economic crisis in 2009, the city is on the rise. There is crackling energy creating a lively urban bustle. Athenians and tourists alike hang out in open-air restaurants and bars where they linger for hours.

Beyond Athens, down the Attica peninsula, are more spectacular antiquities, such as the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, as well as very good beaches, such as those near historic Marathon.

  • Departure
    Kavala / Athens

Tour Location

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INCLUDED:

  • Accommodation based on sharing a twin or double bedded room.
  • All transfers from/to the airport.
  • All transfers/tours as per the program.
  • Choice of selected Hotels.
  • Half-board (Breakfast & Dinner).
  • Experienced Tour Guide.
  • Civil Liability Insurance.
  • Entrances to all museums and archaeological sites as per the program.
 

NOT INCLUDED:

  • Drinks, souvenirs and personal expenses.
  • Whatever is Optional as per the itinerary.
  • Tips and gratuities.
 

NOTES:

  • Air fares are not included in the price. Return Airfare can be arranged/included upon agreement.
  • Prices are based on groups of 25 travelers.
  • Prices can/will be subject to change depending on the number of participants and the duration of the journey.
  • The program might be altered on the day but no visits/tours shall be missed.

INFORMATION:

Here you'll find useful information for preparing your trip to Greece. We give you practical tips on documentation, safety, healthcare, what clothes to pack, currency, tourist cards, public holidays… so you're all set when you arrive.    

General Information

Capital of Greece: Athens Official language: Greek The currency: Euro (€) Climate: Mediterranean Population: 11.306.183 (2010 estimate) The country is a Presidential Parliamentary Democracy Calling code: The international calling code of Greece is +30  

Exchange Currencies

Greece is a Member-State of the European Union and uses its uniform currency – the Euro (€). Greece, as is the case with the other Member-States of the E.U. uses eight coins as follows: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents (lepta in Greek) and 1 and 2 Euros. The banknotes are issued in the following denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros. Currency exchange rates are clearly displayed in every bank that accepts currency exchange, while credit card holders may acquire money from the ATMs of the collaborating banks. Greek banks are open for the public from 8:00 to 14:30 Mondays to Thursdays and from 8:00 to 13:30 on Fridays. They are closed on Public Holidays. Euros can also be exchanged for notes of other foreign currencies at exchange offices that are situated at the airport and certain main ports, in the larger cities, as well as at many tourist destinations. A passport is required when exchanging currencies.  

Time Zone

Time Greece: GMT +2  

National celebrations and Holidays 

New Years Day: 1st of January Epiphany: 6th of January. Sea water is consecrated in the area of Piraeus. The priests throw the Cross into the sea and young men dive to catch it. Ash Monday: 41 days before Easter. It is the day people begin the Lent. On Ash Monday Greeks fly kites, eat meatless food and celebrate Koulouma. Athenians gather on Philopappou Hill. Independence Day & Celebration of Evaggelismos: 25th of March. Military parade. Easter: From Holy Friday until Easter Monday. On Holy Friday evening every church decorates the Epitaph (Bier of Christ). During the procession of the Epitaph the streets of every city or village in the country are full of people. It is a religious procession where everybody holds lit candles in their hands and sings hymns. Night of the Resurrection: It is celebrated in midnight before Easter Sunday with fireworks and candles. Easter Sunday: On Easter Sunday Greeks eat barbecue lamb. The celebrations include singing and dancing all day long. Labor Day: 1st of May. Flower feasts all around Athens. Pentecost: It is celebrated 50 days after Easter. Assumption of the Virgin Mary: 15th of August. 28th of October: National Celebration. Military parade. Christmas: 25th-26th of December.  

Health & Safety

In order to have access to necessary health care, tourists from member states of the European Union (EU) wishing to visit Greece must be holders of the European Health Card (EHIC) or any other legal Community document issued by their competent social security agency. In these cases, the necessary treatment in Greece is provided by Social Security Institute Health Units (polyclinics) or doctor’s offices in the region; Regional clinics (former rural clinics) or the Health Centres of the National Health System; and the outpatients’ departments of the hospitals on contract. In order to have access to necessary health care, tourists from countries other than the member states of the European Union wishing to visit Greece must consult their social security agency for information before travelling.  

Useful Numbers:

Ambulance Service: 166 SOS Doctors : 1016 Duty Hospitals and Clinics: 1434 Pharmacies: 1434 Open Line for alcohol drug Addiction: 210 36 17 089 Poisoning First Aid: 210 77 93 777 Police: 100 Tourist Police: 1571