Grand Tour of Greece
Arrive and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.
In the morning, walk with 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). Take in a panoramic view of the city and observe the Agora (marketplace) where many ancient philosophers spent their time. Continue to the center of Athens and admire the National University, the National Library, the Academy, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Constitution Square with the House of Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The afternoon is free. Overnight at the hotel.
Your five-day classical tour of Greece begins with a scenic drive to the legendary Canal of Corinth, where you stop for pictures. Drive on to the Homeric city of Mycenae to see the remains of this prehistoric acropolis, its Palace, the Grave Circles and the famous beehive Tombs. This was the kingdom of Atreus and his son Agamemnon, the leader of the Greeks in the campaign against Troy. Continue to Epidaurus which was known in antiquity as a healing center, where the god of medicine Asclepios was worshipped. Nowadays, thousands of people visit the area to admire the Theater and its fantastic acoustics. Drive to Olympia for dinner and overnight.
Spend the morning 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. Then, go north to Patras and drive on the new “hanging” bridge which connects the Peloponnese to the region of Continental Greece, in order to reach Delphi. In the evening dinner and overnight in Delphi.
In antiquity Delphi was the site of the most important and famous oracle in the then-known world, the oracle of Apollo (the god of light and music), who spoke to the mortals through his priestess Pythia and was known for the oblique nature of his prophecies. Walk up the Sacred Way to see the Treasuries, the Theater and the Temple of Apollo, next to which was the exact spot that was believed to be the “navel” (omphalos) of the earth. Visit the Museum of Delphi and marvel at the splendid collection of artifacts from the excavation, including the bronze “Charioteer”, one of the best-preserved ancient works of metallurgy. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Delphi.
In the morning, start the drive by the central Greece towns of Amphissa, Lamia and Trikala to Kalambaka. Here you find scenery of unique and striking beauty: perched on top of gigantic granite pinnacles, you see the ageless Meteora Monasteries full of treasures of Christian art. Visit one of the amazing Byzantine monasteries of Meteora. Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka.
Drive by Trikala and Larissa to Thessaloniki, the largest town in Northern Greece. Visit the most interesting museum of Thessaloniki and continue sightseeing of the city. Dinner and overnight.
Start the return drive to Athens, through the Tempi Valley, Larissa, Lamia and Thermopylae, famous for the ancient battle that took place there. Farewell dinner in Plaka. Overnight in Athens.
Transfer to the airport for your departure flight.