Athens & Southern Greece Experience
Arrive at the airport of Athens, where you will be met by our representative and transferred to your hotel for check-in. Enjoy free time in Athens for a firsthand look at the beauty and culture of this famous city dating back to 1200 B.C. An orientation briefing will follow before dinner. Dinner and overnight.
After your breakfast, follow your guide to the world-renowned Acropolis to see the architectural miracles of the Golden Age of Pericles: the Propylea, the Erechtheum and, above all, the Parthenon (temple of Athena, goddess of wisdom). Have a panoramic view of the city and observe the Agora (marketplace) where many ancient philosophers spent their time. Continue with a bus tour of the center of Athens and admire the Old Olympic Stadium, the National University, the National Library, the Academy, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Constitution Square with the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and much more. You will also visit the National Archaeological Museum of Athens, one of the finest in the world. Its superb collections of sculptures, ceramics, jewelry and frescoes really stand out and are not to be missed. You can learn more about mythology, ancient religion, art and representations of divinities and various social groups like priests, soldiers or philosophers. The afternoon is free for exploration of the city. Don’t forget to visit the famous Plaka, with its many shops and cafes! Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Start your 5-day tour by traveling to scenic Delphi, one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth, according to a poet. Drive through beautiful countryside, pass the cities of Thiva (Thebes) and Livadia and see the town of Arachova, well-known for its local industry of rugs, carpets and leather goods. Arrive in Delphi and explore the archaeological site, which was once believed to be the “navel” (omphalos) of the world. Walk along the Sacred Way to see the Athenian Treasury, the Temple of Apollo where the oracle delivered her ambiguous prophecies, and the Theater. Also visit the Museum with its splendid collection of ancient works of art, including the Sphinx of the Naxians, the Silver Bull, the Column of the Dancers, the “Omphalos” and the pride of the museum, the 5 th century B.C. bronze “Charioteer”. Dinner and overnight in Delphi.
Drive on the new “hanging” bridge which connects the Peloponnese to the region of Continental Greece in order to reach Olympia. Spend your afternoon in Olympia, admiring the splendors of this unique place, where the ancient Greek ideas of unity, peace, and fair play flourished. See the impressive ruins of Hera and Zeus’s Temples, the Leonidaion, the Workshop of the sculptor Pheidias and of course, the famous Stadium where the Olympic Games were held. Also visit the Museum with its new display of amazing pieces of sculpture, pottery and the architectural remains of the ancient edifices. Don’t miss the pride of this museum, the “Hermes” of Praxiteles, one of the most wonderful ancient statues ever made. Continue to Kalamata for dinner and overnight.
Today you enjoy a tour of Kalamata, the capital and chief port of the prefecture of Messinia, built in the heart of the Messinian Gulf near the ancient city of Farai. Mentioned by Homer and 238 km from Athens, Kalamata is the land of Kalamatianos dance and the silk kerchief. It is also the land of succulent dark olives, honey-eyed figs and the honey-covered sesame sweet called "pastelli". Visit the castle built in the 13 th century by Geoffrey de Villehardouin. On the north side of the citadel there is a small Byzantine church, dedicated to the Virgin of Kalomata (of the good eye), from which the town may have acquired its name. There are many churches in town, the oldest being the historic church of Agii Apostoli (13 th century), where the Greek Revolution against the Turks was formally declared on March 23, 1821. In the afternoon you can enjoy some free time to swim and relax at the beach.
After your breakfast, travel north to visit Epidaurus, the site of the most popular Sanctuary of Asclepius in ancient Greece. Nowadays it is visited by thousands of people who want to admire the spectacular Theater and test its astonishing acoustics. This amazing Theater is preserved in an almost perfect condition, while the other remaining beautiful edifices of the Sanctuary, where the healings used to take place in a mystical manner, lie in ruins at a small distance from the Theater. In the small Museum nearby, find a number of stelae with medical records of the Sanctuary and also a collection of surgical instruments which were used by the physicians-priests of Asclepius. You then continue to Nafplion, one of the most attractive towns in the country. Dinner and overnight in Nauplion area.
In the morning, get acquainted with the lovely town of Nauplion, the first capital of Greece. Stroll around the promenade and explore the narrow streets and picturesque squares of Nafplion. Back to the hotel for dinner overnight.
After breakfast you drive back to Athens. The afternoon is free for exploration of the city. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Today experience the charm of the Greek islands by visiting three of the most attractive isles near Athens. Aegina has a lovely town full of neoclassical buildings and a well-preserved classical temple dedicated to the local goddess Afea. Poros is as small green island, closer to the Peloponnese than to Attica, which offers a pleasant walk on the promenade near the little shops. Finally, Hydra is an extremely picturesque place because of the unique architecture of its fortress mansions, which belonged to the shipowners of the island during the period of Ottoman Rule. Return to Athens for overnight.
Fly back home full of wonderful memories and valuable from your journey.