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CLASSICAL

...Locals in Attica & Peloponnesus claim to have the best of everything to give. And that’s no myth….
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Day 1: Arrival in Athens

After your arrival at "Eleftherios Venizelos" airport of Athens, our representatives will welcome and transfer you to the hotel for check in and accommodation for the night.
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Day 2: Isthmus of Corinth – Mycenae – Nemea Winery - Nafplio

Today we’ll pass by Corinth Canal where there will be a short stop for photos. We continue to the archaeological site of Mycenae, one of the most important archaeological sites in the world. The magic veil of the myth of the Atreides, a symbol of heroic Greece. The "Mycenaean civilization" was named as the first advanced civilization and was centered at Mycenae. The Lion Gate, the Palace Complex, the Vaulted Tombs which Pausanias called "Treasury", with most important those of Lions, Aegisthus and Clytemnestra, as well as Heraion is among the archaeological findings we’ll visit. The visit to the museum is essential because it excites the imagination and sheds light on many questions about the Mycenaean civilization. Then we’ll visit a winery in nearby Nemea, known for its qualitative and luscious wines. Next stop will be in Nafplion, a captivating old city, with the preserved architectural style and the two Venetian castles, Acronauplia and Palamidi. Nafprio was the first capital of the free Greek state and its aura is pervasive. We can see here the Archaeological Museum, Vouleftikon (Parliamentary), which housed the first parliament of the free Greek state and the Old Mosque. We’ll visit Palamidi and have free time in the old town. By the afternoon we will check in at our hotel in Nafplion, free time, overnight stay.    
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Day 3: Nafplio – Mystras - Sparta

Our trip today will focus at the ancient Epidaurus, a historical city built at the foot of three mountains; Arachnaio, Koryfaio and Tithio, where, according to mythology Asclepius was born. Its strategic position, but mainly the Asklepieion, contributed so that the city experienced unprecedented growth. Here we can see and admire the ancient theater, which is the most beautiful and best preserved in Greece. Destined for the entertainment of recovering patients, it boasts a capacity of 13,000 spectators. It’s divided into two parts, one made of 21 seated rows for the people and a lower one, with 34 seated rows for the priests and rulers. We continue by visiting the adjacent museum. After that we go to the castle of Mystras, the Byzantine town of Peloponnese through mountainous Mani. Today it’s in ruins and a valuable source of knowledge of history, art and culture dating from the last two centuries of Byzantium. The story of the Mystras «dead city» in nowadays starts from the mid-13th century, when the conquest of the Peloponnese completed by the Franks. In 1249 William II Villehardouin built his castle on the east side of Taygetus, on top of a hill with steep and conical form, called Mystras or Myzythras. In 1460 Mystras surrendered to the Ottoman Empire and then its decline begins. Our next stop is Sparta, check in at hotel, free time in the city. Overnight stay.
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Day 4: Sparta – Monemvasia – local winery - Kalamata

Breakfast and departure for the medieval, Byzantine, and Venetian castle town of Monemvasia, which is carved and built into rock. Within the medieval walls of Monemvasia there is one of the best-preserved and the most visited live castle-town in Greece. Dozens of churches, rich merchants mansions, fountains, “hammam” baths, and winding roads are kept in remarkably good condition. As result they preserve the pure atmosphere of the settlement, which since the Byzantine times and up until the 19th century played an important role in the history of the region. No vehicles are allowed inside the castle, so it will be a pedestrian tour. The central cobbled road that starts from the castle gate leads to all the major sights, as well as restaurants, bars and shops. The second settlement can be reached from the central square with the Cannon, the church of Christ Elkomenos and the Archaeological Museum. There the path to the Upper Castle or Goula begins. Worth experiencing is the view from the walls of the Upper Castle right along the uphill route between the pomegranates and date palms. After that a short tour to a nearby winery for local wine varieties tasting that will excite you. Arrival in Kalamata in the afternoon in our hotel, free time, overnight.  
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Day 5: Kalamata - Ancient Olympia - Patras

After free time in Kalamata market we’ll go through the Gulf of Kyparissia to the archaeological site of Olympia, the city of ancient Greece located in Elis, known for hosting the Olympic Games in classical times. A site comparable in importance only to the Pythian Games held in Delphi. In Olympia was the gold and ivory statue of Zeus, sculpted by Pheidias, known as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The origins of the Olympic Games date to 776 BC and held every four years. Here we can see the stadium, the place where sporting activities were held, as well as the rest of the archaeological site and museum. There you will be taken to a different era with its famous collections of ceramics, bronze, sculptures and collection of the Olympic Games and other very notable exhibits as Hermes of Praxiteles, the helmet of Miltiades and more others. Arrival in Patras, check in and overnight.
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Day 6: Patras – Kalavryta – Mega Spilaio - Patras

This morning we’ll go to St. Andrew's Church, patron of Patras. The church is the largest in Greece and the Balkans and was erected at the point where Saint Andrew martyred. Transfer to Kalavryta either by bus or «odontotos» (rack mountain railway). Kalavryta played a leading role in the initiation of the Greek Revolution against the Turks, and was also active during the Second World War. Then we’ll visit the Monastery of Agia Lavra, famously linked with the Greek War of Independence. The call for "Eleftheria or Thanatos (Freedom or Death)" was first heard on 17 March 1821, kick starting the revolution against the Ottoman rule. Our next stop is the Monastery of Mega Spilaio (Great Cave), carved straight into the rock at an altitude of 924 metres… a landscape of rare beauty. The monastery which is considered the oldest in Greece, was founded at this location in 362 A.D. by the Thessalonian brothers - monks, Symeon and Theodore. Return back to Patras in the afternoon, free time, overnight  
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Day 7: Patras – Nafpaktos – Galaxidi - Delphi

After breakfast, we depart for Rio, via by the multi-span cable-stayed bridge of Rio-Antirio. It is 2,880 m (9,449 ft) long, and connects Peloponnesus with western mainland Greece. Our first stop is the seaside town of Nafpaktos by the Corinthian Gulf. Built between Antirrio and the mouth of Mornos river, it is one of the most archaic Greek cities. As result, it experienced periods of great prosperity and was associated with important historical events. This is confirmed by the excellent fortification, which starts from the port and  continues with three successive walls leading to the castle. We continue our tour to the picturesque Galaxidi. A few kilometers from Delphi, Galaxidi is a place that raised mythological figures such as Apollo and Pythia. Modern Galaxidi is built on the site of ancient Haleion, a city of Locris (3000 BC), which was a remarkable naval and commercial state. Check in Delphi, accommodation, relax, overnight stay.  
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Day 8: Delphi - Athens

Today we’ll be visitng Delphi an ancient Greek city, where the most important oracle of the ancient world used to be operated. 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.  
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Day 9: 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 10: 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 11: National Archaeological Museum - Sounio

This a day for you to decide how you want to spend it. You can either have free time around Athens to do sightseeing and shopping or go for the optional planned activities of the day which are as follows: In the 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 the prehistoric era to late antiquity. One of museum highlights is the Antikythera mechanism, known as the Antikythera astrolabe or analogue computer. It is an ancient artifact resembleing a complex clockwork mechanism believed to be a computer engineered as an instrument for precise astronomical observations. Later on we’ll go by the coastal road (Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, Varkiza) to Cape Sounion where we’ll see the ruins of ancient Greek Temple of Poseidon (5th century BC), and enjoy the panoramic view. If the sky is clear enough we’ll have the chance to see seven at least islands. Return to Athens for overnight stay.    
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Day 12: 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

CLASSICAL

€890

per person

…Locals in Attica & Peloponnesus claim to have the best of everything to give. And that’s no myth….

ATHENS        

Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world’s oldest cities. Peloponnesus and Athens had the most powerfull ancient civilazations. 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.

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 many transformations.

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 in galleries, political debates and even on the walls of derelict buildings. This creates a lively urban bustle, but at the end of the day, Athenians build their own villages in the city, especially 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.

 

PELOPPONESUS

The Peloponnese or Peloponnesus is a peninsula and geographic region in southern Greece. It is separated from the central part of the country by the Isthmus and Gulf of Corinth. During the late Middle Ages and the Ottoman era, the peninsula was known as the Morea, a name still in colloquial use in its demotic form.

In 2016, Lonely Planet voted the Peloponnese the top spot of their Best in Europe list.

The peninsula has been inhabited since prehistoric times. Its modern name derives from ancient Greek mythology. Specifically the legend of the hero Pelops, who was said to have conquered the entire region. The name Peloponnesos means “Island of Pelops”.

The Mycenaean civilization, mainland Greece’s (and Europe’s) first major civilization, dominated the Peloponnese in the Bronze Age. Its stronghold’s remains at Mycenae at the north-east of the peninsula is simply brathtaking. The Mycenean civilization collapsed suddenly at the end of the 2nd millennium BC. Archeological research has found that many of its cities and palaces show signs of destruction. The subsequent period, known as the Greek Dark Ages, is marked by an absence of written records.

The stuff of legends…

The Peloponnese  is the stuff of legends. Literally. It is here that Hercules fought the Nemean lion and gods walked the earth, meddling in mortal affairs. Celestial and mythological charms aside, this region bears tangible traces of the many civilisations that once called it home.  This is evidend in its classical temples, Mycenaean palaces, Byzantine cities, and Ottoman, Frankish and Venetian fortresses.

The very topography that kept invaders at bay for centuries – lofty, snowcapped mountains, vast gorges, sandy beaches and azure waters – now draws visitors of a very different kind. Filoxenia (hospitality) is as strong here as anywhere in the country. The food is among Greece’s best and the region’s vineyards are contributing to Greece’s wine renaissance.

Locals claim to have the best of everything to give. And that’s no myth….

 

DELPHI

Delphi is famous as the ancient sanctuary that grew rich as the seat of Pythia; the oracle consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. Moreover, the Greeks considered Delphi the navel (or centre) of the world, as represented by the stone monument known as the Omphalos of Delphi.

It occupies an impressive site on the south-western slope of Mount Parnassus, overlooking the coastal plain to the south and the valley of Phocis. It is now an extensive archaeological site with a modern town of the same name nearby. It is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site in having had a phenomenal influence in the ancient world, as evidenced by the rich monuments built there by most of the important ancient Greek city-states, demonstrating their fundamental Hellenic unity.

Thankfully Ancient Greeks chose Delphi as their navel of the earth and built the Sanctuary of Apollo. Otherwise, someone else might have made this eagle’s nest of a village a go-to tourist attraction. Its cliffside location is spectacular and, despite its overt commercialism and the constant passage of tour buses through the modern village, it still has a special feel. Ancient Delphi (and the adjoining village of Delphi) is 178km northwest of Athens.

 

  • Departure
    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