ARRIVAL – TRANSFER TO HOTEL – DINNER IN OLD TOWN OF ATHENS, PLAKA
Transfer from the airport to the hotel. Pick up by our tour guide – short city tour. We visit Plaka, the old city of Athens with the winding pedestrian streets, small shops and taverns, glimpses of ancient and century-old architecture and a number of museums. Plaka is what Athens used to be before it grew to a sprawling modern metropolis. Dinner in traditional restaurant in Plaka. Return to our hotel.
ATHENS SIGHTSEEING – CAPE SOUNIO
In the morning we start our sightseeing in Athens. Enjoy a tour of Athens, combining many of the city’s principal modern and classical sights. For thousands years Acropolis has been the symbol of Athens, the sacred rock, the link that connects the magnificent ancient with the modern civilization. Entering on the south slope of the Acropolis, you’ll visit the Dionysus Sanctuary and Dionysus Theater before you walk up the slope leading to the Acropolis monuments. Panoramic views of the city will be perfect for your photo album. In this area we also visit Parthenon, Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike and Erechtheion. We continue to the new Acropolis Μuseum. In the afternoon optional excursion to Cape Sounio and the 5th century B.C. Temple of Poseidon with one of the most breathtaking panoramic views in the world. Return to our hotel in Athens.
ATHENS – OSSIOS LUCAS – DELPHI – OVERNIGHT IN THE AREA OF PATRAS
After breakfast, we travel to Delphi. Short stop to visit the monastery of Ossios Lucas. The monastery is famous for its wall paintings. We continue by visiting Delphi, perhaps best known for the oracle at the sanctuary that was dedicated to Apollo during the classical period. Later we travel via Itea and Galaxidi to Antirrion (through the modern and biggest Europeʼs suspension bridge, which connects Peloponnese with the main land). Overnight to our hotel in the area of Patras.
THE PANHELLENIC SANCTUARY OLYMPIA – BASSAE – SPARTA
In the morning we travel to Olympia, the Panhellenic sanctuary. We visit the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia, the place that first Olympic Games took place in 776 B.C., lies in the lush valley formed by the Alfios river. There is a temple of Zeus. Then visit the temple of Hera , the shrine of Pelops (one of the oldest in the sanctuary), the Council house where the athletes took the Olympic oath, the Treasury houses, the Gymnasium and the Palestra where they used to exercise for a month prior to the Games. Finally come to the stadium, where the marble starting blocks are still in position. We travel to Sparta. Dinner and overnight in Sparta.
SPARTA – MYSTRAS – EPIDAURUS – NAUPLIA – TOLO
Excursion to the Byzantine town of Mystras. Wander around the castle city the Upper and the Lower Town, and sense through the silence the city’s sheer grandeur: the Palace of the Despots (Anaktora), the Houses of Laskaris and Frangopoulos, the beautiful Cathedral of Saint Dimitrios and the impressive Monasteries of Our Lady Pantánassa, and of Οur Lady Perivleptos. Mystras was built as an amphitheatre around the fortress erected in 1249 by the prince of Achaia, William of Villehardouin. For a short period Mystras came under the control of the Venetians (1687-1715) but was again taken over by the Turks. It was one of the first castles of Greece to be liberated in 1821. Τhe city was abandoned in 1832, leaving only the breathtaking medieval ruins, standing in a beautiful landscape. We continue by travelling to the ancient theatre of Epidaurus. The theater of Epidavria is marveled for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken word from the proscenium or scene to all 15,000 spectators, regardless of their seating. We continue by visiting the town of Nauplia, a beautiful city with an excellent history and the first capital of Greece. Transfer to our hotel in Tolon (in the Gulf of Argolis). Dinner and overnight.
TOLON – MYCENAE – ANCIENT CORINTH – TOLON
Today at first we will visit Mycenae. Mycenae was the most powerful, brilliant and sovereign influence in Greece up to 1100 BC when it was destroyed by fire. Centuries later the tragic poets Aeschylus and Sophocles brought it back to life with the magic of their verses. One enters the Acropolis through the Lion Gate, the oldest example of monumental sculpture in Europe. We continue to Ancient Corinth, the first prefecture you come to in the Peloponnese – the first sign of warmth and excitement. The aromas of the sea, the mountains, the harvest of grapes and currants are all-encompassing, accompanied by the sound of bees buzzing around the sheds where the currants are drying. Here you will rediscover some old Greek myths, learn that Nemean wine is called “Heracles blood” and that retsina is the teardrop of a certain wood nymph. You will find out about gods, nereids and mortals; Zeus and Apollo. You will come upon columns, sanctuaries and ancient palaces. On this “flaming red earth” celebrated by the poet, you will hear the most sublime voices of the Greek land, Homer, Aeschylus, Sophocles. Return to our hotel in Tolon. Overnight.
TOLON – CRUISE TO THE SARONIC ISLANDS OF HYDRA AND SPETSES
Early morning departure from Tolon or Hermioni. This one day cruise is the perfect passport to this Aegean destination. In Hydra you will be indulged of this favourite resort of the International ‘Jet Set’. This is the Saronic known to connoisseurs, to lovers of history, culture and beauty. We continue to Spetses, a picturesque island with excellent and very scenic landscapes, beautiful houses and sunny beaches. Return to Tolon and transfer to our hotel. Overnight in Tolon.
After breakfast, transfer to Athensʼs airport, Eleftherios Venizelos. Departure.