Classical Greece and Meteora

Argolis - Olympia - Delphi - Meteora

About Classical Greece and Meteora

Summary

Greece through the centuries will unfold before you on this four day tour.

Activity code: Ath14

Duration: 4 days

START - / FINISH - Athens

Highlights of the Classical Greece & Meteora Tour

  • Corinth Canal: This feat of engineering joins the Ionian to the Aegean and helped make Pireaus into the international port it is today. The idea of a canal was first suggested during Roman times but it wasn't until the 1890s that it was actually constructed.
  • Mycenae: Homer wrote in the Iliad and Odyssey of a 'city, rich in gold', the capital of Agamemnon. The German businessman and archaeologist, Heinrich Schliemann, believed that many of the places in these works actually existed so he set about trying to find this golden city. He successfully located Mycenae and began excavations - what he unearthed there made Mycenae one of the richest treasures in the classical world.
  • Epidavrus: a stunning theatre, which dates from the 4th century BC. This 14,000 seat theatre blended so perfectly with its surroundings that it wasn't discovered until the 19th century. Nowadays many events are held here thanks to its fantastic acoustics.
  • Nafplion: one of the most beautiful and romantic towns in Greece. It boasts a wonderful mediaeval old town with cobbled alleyways, a lovely promenade and is overlooked by the Palamidi Fortress. From here you have stunning views over the bay and the Mycenae Plain (you do have to make some effort though as there are 999 steps to the top!) Nafplion is also known for 'Bourtzi' the Venetian fortress situated on a rocky islet just off the coast, originally this was built to protect Nafplion from sea attack, this became home to executioners in days gone by.
  • Olympia: enjoys a beautiful location in a valley with wild olive and plane trees. This is the birthplace of the Olympic Games. You'll see where the athletes trained, the Stadium, the wrestling school, the altars and the various temples. Originally only men were allowed to spectate as the athletes were naked, however the story is told of a woman from Rhodes who disguised herself as her son's trainer to gain admission. Her unbridled joy at her son winning revealed that she was female -she escaped the customary death sentence but all trainers in future had also to appear naked!
  • Delphi: enjoys the most fabulous location on the slopes of a mountain terrace, dwarfed by Parnassus. In ancient times it was believed to have been the centre of the earth but it became most famous for its oracle. People used to journey there to consult the oracle on matters of love, business affairs or war. A sacrifice would be made, the priestess would chant the prophesies, which were then interpreted by a priest.
  • Kalambaka: your base from which to explore Meteora. It is one of the holiest places on earth, huge monasteries built on top of granite boulders, 400m above the ground. The site was chosen as an escape from raiders but also as a place of solitude to be near to God. Logistically it was a difficult place, any provisions had to be winched up in baskets from ground level!
  • Departure time: approximately 08:45
  • Return time: approximately 19:00
  • From 4th of April to 27th of October 2017: Every Monday, Tuesday, Saturday
  • Thursdays only the following dates: 20/APR, 11/MAY, 25/MAY, 08/JUN, 22/JUN, 06/JUL, 20/JUL, 24/AUG, 07/SEP, 21/SEP, 12/OCT

What's included:

  • 4* accommodation on HB basis for 3 nights
  • Comfortable air-conditioned coach throughout
  • Pick up / drop off in Athens
  • English-speaking tour guide / escort
  • All entry fees as per itinerary.

 

Itinerary

  • DAY 1: Argolis Region and Olympia

    You'll leave early morning for the Argolis region. There'll be a short stop for photos at the Corinth Canal which links the Ionian and the Aegean - if you are fortunate there may be a ship passing through! Proceed to the ancient theatre at Epidavrus, whose acoustics are reputed to be the best in the world. Next stop, Nafplion - many say that it is the most beautiful and romantic town in all of Greece. There will be a short photo stop here. Then to Mycenae famed for its Lion's gate, Royal Tombs, Cyclopean Walls and associations with Agamemnon.

    Depart for Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, via the central Peloponnese and the towns of Tripolis and Megalopolis.

    • Dinner and overnight in Olympia.

  • DAY 2: Olympia to Delphi

    Visit the archaeological site of Olympia with the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, the Ancient Stadium and the Archaeological Museum. Then drive on through the plains of Eliad and Achaia before continuing to Rion where you cross the Corinthian bay on the magnificent bridge.

    Pass by the picturesque town of Nafpaktos and along the coastal road to Itea before heading up to Delphi, once regarded as the centre of the universe [the "Omphalos"].

    • Dinner and overnight in Delphi.

  • DAY 3: Delphi to Kalambaka

    Visit the archaeological site and the museum of Delphi. Delphi was also renowned for its oracle and pilgrims used to journey from far and wide to consult on matters of life, death, love and warfare.

    In the afternoon you'll travel through some scenic villages on your way to Kalambaka, a small town built at the foot of the majestic grey rocks and crowned by the world famous Meteora Monasteries.

    • Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka.

  • DAY 4: Meteora and return to Athens

    Visit the Byzantine monasteries of Meteora in the morning. These impressive monasteries were built on top of the granite rocks to be out of harm's way especially during times of trouble. Monks also sought solitude in this very peaceful location.

    Return to Athens via the monument to heroic Leonidas at Thermopylae.

Gallery

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