ARRIVAL AT THE AIRPORT OF ATHENS-CONTINUE TO TOLON IN THE ARGOLIC GULF
Arrival at the airport of Athens, “Elegtherios Venizelos”. Reception and introduction to the tour guide. Then we will continue our journey to Tolon in the Argolic Gulf. Overnight.
A SCENIC WALK IN THE MOUNTAIN VILLAGE OF KALAVRYTA-JOURNEY TO THE AREA OF PATRAS
In the morning, after breakfast, we will travel by bus to Diakofton, along the Corinthian Gulf (about 20 minutes away). From there, we will travel downwards with the legendary cog railway through the Vouraikos Gorge towards the mountain village of Kalavryta (about 1 hour away). On our way to the Cave of the Lakes we will visit the historic monastery of Aghia Lavra, an important national memorial in Greece. With about 20 minutes with bus ride, we will reach the Cave of the Lakes, where we will be guided. Afterwards, we will return to Kalavryta for lunch. On our return from Kalavryta to our hotel, we will visit the Mega Spileon monastery so as to enjoy the breathtaking view of Vouraikos Gorge. Then, we will return to our hotel in the area of Patras.
TRIP TO VILLAGE OF PYRGOS DIROU-VISIT TO THE STALACTITE CAVE-TRIP TO SPARTA
We will visit the area of Diros, on the west coast of Mani peninsula, where a secret underwater world will be revealed. The stalactite cave of Pyrgos Dirou is the most visited sight in Mani. It was discovered for the first time in 1900 and it has been systematically explored and accessible since 1949, while its scientific research holds until now. A 5000-meters-long system of tunnels and lakes has been explored. It is all year round open and its attractiveness is due to that a part of this endless labyrinth is navigable. The course is about 1300 meters long and lasts about 25 minutes. A part of the tunnels is also walkable. After our visit, we will go to our hotel in Sparta.
DAY TRIP TO ARGOLIS (EPIDAURUS-NAUPLIA-MYCENAE) AND CANAL OF CORINTH-CONTINUE TO ATHENS
After breakfast, we will head towards Epidaurus, an old town of Peloponnese, famous in the antiquity for its theater and the temple of god of medicine, Asclepius. The important sights in Epidaurus are the following: the 4th century BC temple of Asclepius, designed and built by architects Theotokos and Timotheos, and the theater with its marvelous acoustics, planned for 14000 spectators. Afterwards, we will visit Nauplia, the first capital of Greece after the Ottoman rule. Its main sights include the Bavarian Lion in the entrance of the city and the archaeological and folklore museums of the city. Then, we will visit Mycenae, one of the oldest cities not only in Europe but also in the world, the powerful and glorious city of the king who won the Trojan War. The site was excavated by Heinrich Schliemann in 1876/77 and discovered 19 corpses richly studded with gold and precious stones. Schleiman thought, he had found Agamemnon’s grave, but we do not know it for sure, as long as it may belong to an older generation than the king of the Trojan War. Later, we will continue our journey towards Athens along the west coast of the Saronic Gulf. We may also have a short stop for photografs at the Canal of Corinth. Arrival at our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
BOAT TRIP TO THREE ISLANDS-AEGINA-POROS-HYDRA
In the morning, we will go to Piraeus. Our first stop will be at Aegina (the largest of the Saronic islands), an island with long history. Ellanion hill has been a center of Zeus’ cult. We will also have the opportunity to enjoy the beautiful countryside around the temple of Aphaia, one of the best preserved ancient temples with its carefully restored low wall. The island is full of pistachio trees, mere than anywhere in Greece. Our next stop will be at Poros, another attractive island, where we will find the sanctuary of the god of sea, Poseidon, also center of an ancient war alliance. The third island of out trip will be Hydra a rocky island, however bearing a great atmosphere. Very impressive are its picturesque harbor as well as the gracious houses, mostly artists’ summer houses. Hydra is also similar to Aegean islands. An important sight in Hydra is also the cathedral in the center og the city. Return to Piraeus by ship and from there by bus to Athens.
MORNING CITY TOUR IN ATHENS-AFTERNOON JOURNEY TO PAEANIA-VISIT TO KOUTOUKI CAVE-TRIP TO CAPE SOUNIO
In the morning, after breakfast, we will start our city tour in Athens. Acropolis is not only a landmark in Athens but also the national monument of Greece, standing 155 m over the sea-level and -taller than any building in the plateau- visible from far away. Moreover, you may admire the original sculptures in the new Acropolis Museum. Acropolis of Athens is a large castle hill, dedicated to Athena, the state-goddess of Athens. Short coffee-break and shopping in the old town of Athens, Plaka. In the afternoon, we will head towards Paeania, where we are going to visit the cave of Koutouki. The cave is on the slopes of Ymettos. Although its entrance is rather narrow, seeming like a trap, the inner place is quite spacious. The cave was discovered in 1926, but access to it was difficult. Afterwards, we will visit Cape Sounio, the southern end of Attica before the Aegean Sea, where the 5th century BC temple of Poseidon, god of sea, is located. The sunset from Cape Sounio is unforgettable and one of the most impressive in Greece. Then, we will have lunch in a local fish tavern before our return to Athens.
TRANSFER TO THE AIRPORT OF ATHENS-DEPARTURE
Transfer to the airport of Athens, “Eleftherios Venizelos”.