Treasures of Atreus Tour

Greece's best bits [Classical Tour with Athens]

About Treasures of Atreus Tour

Summary

Our most popular holiday by far. Visit the classical sites of the Greek mainland and enjoy a leisurely four days in its capital to explore or relax.

Activity code: GR-TREASURES

Duration: 8 Days

START / FINISH - Athens

This wonderful holiday is part city break and part guided tour with a choice of hotels in each. The itinerary includes famous locations in the Peloponnese and mainland as listed above. Overall it is a perfect introduction to the best Greece has to offer away from its fabulous beaches. If you or your family have any interest in Classical and ancient Greece then you will not be disappointed by this package.

This recommended and very popular holiday includes a city break in Athens together with the "Classical Tour" - a group cultural tour with qualified English-speaking guide; however if you are looking for a more independent holiday then we can also offer a completely tailor made itinerary.

Highlights of the Treasures of Atreus Tour

  • Athens: Hadrian's Arch, Temple of Zeus, Odeion of Herodus Atticus and the sacred rock of the Acropolis crowned by the Parthenon. Don't miss the impressive Acropolis Museum, housing 4000 priceless finds. Soak up the atmosphere of Plaka with its busy winding streets, watch the changing of the guards at Syntagma Square. So much to see and do....
  • 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 mooted 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 excavating - what he unearthed 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 romantic towns in Greece with a mediaeval town and cobbled alleyways, a lovely promenade and 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.
  • Delphi: 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 and 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!

What's included in this Greece Holiday:

  • two main options for accommodation...
    • 4* hotels throughout (or 5* in Athens & 4* on tour section)
  • 4 day Classical Tour on HB basis with English-speaking tour guide / escort
  • All entry fees as per itinerary
  • 4 nights in Athens on BB basis
  • Arrival and departures transfers in Athens
  • Half Day Athens guided tour
  • Fully detailed itinerary with sightseeing information
  • FREE travel app with all your documents, maps, weather and much more
  • 24hr local assistance
Not included: In January 2018 Greece introduced an Overnight Stay Tax of 0.50 to 4 Euros per room or apartment per night, which is payable locally - the amount varies according to the category of the accommodation (i.e. most self catering and 1-2 star hotels = 0.50 Euros,  5 star hotels = 4 Euros).

Why not extend your stay with a relaxing few days (or longer) on one or more of Greece's beautiful islands - please ask us for further information or suggestions!

Contact us to enquire or to request a quote.

Itinerary

  • DAY 1: Athens

    Upon arrival at Athens Airport you'll be met by one of our transfer drivers and taken directly to your hotel in the centre of Athens.

    The rest of the day will be at leisure.

    • Overnight in Athens.

  • DAY 2: Athens City Tour

    In the morning you'll have a chance to explore and take photographs of this beautiful city on your included city (group*) tour.

    * A private tour can be arranged if you prefer.

    You'll pass by the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian's Arch, Parliament and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library, and Constitution Square (Syntagma). Youll visit the Parthenon and the new Acropolis Museum, which houses every artifact found on the rock and beneath, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece.

    The afternoon will be at leisure. Time to explore further or head down to Plaka to sample some of the local restaurants.

    • Overnight in Athens.

  • DAY 3: Start of the Classical Tour - Argolis Region and Olympia

    It's an early start from Athens this morning and your first stop will be for photos at the Corinth Canal which links the Ionian and the Aegean seas- if you are fortunate there may be a ship passing through!

    Proceed to Mycenae famed for its Lion's gate, Royal Tombs, Cyclopean Walls and associations with Agamemnon.

    Next stop, Nafplion - many say that it is the most romantic town in Greece.

    In the afternoon you'll visit the ancient theatre at Epidavrus, whose acoustics are reputed to be the best in the world.

    Finally you will head across to Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games.

    • Dinner and overnight in Olympia.

  • DAY 4: Olympia to Delphi

    After breakfast there will be a visit to the archaeological site of Olympia with the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Hera, the altar of the Olympic flame, the Stadium and the Archaeological Museum.

    A short stop in Patras before continuing to Rion where you cross the Corinthian Bay on the magnificent Rion-Antirion bridge.

    Pass by the city of Nafpaktos and from there along the coastal road to Delphi, once regarded as the centre of the universe.

    • Dinner and overnight in Delphi.

  • DAY 5: Delphi to Kalambaka

    This morning there will be a visit to the archaeological site and the museum of Delphi. Delphi was once 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 rocks, crowned by the world famous Meteora monasteries.

    • Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka.

  • DAY 6: Meteora and return to Athens

    After breakfast you will be able to visit a few of Meteora's Byzantine monasteries. 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.

    • Overnight in Athens.

  • DAY 7: Athens (optional extra sightseeing, excursions)

    Spend the day at leisure, take an optional cruise to the nearby Saronic Islands or an afternoon tour to Cape Sounion to witness the famous sunset.

    • Overnight in Athens.

  • DAY 8: Departure to Airport or next stage of holiday...

    You will be picked up from your hotel and taken to Athens Airport.

    Alternatively you may choose to extend your holiday in Greece by staying a bit longer in Athens or popping across to one of the islands for a more leisurely few days.

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Independent Holidays for all budgets since 1998