Athens Airport – El. Venizelos
Arrival at the Athens airport, welcome assistance and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Athens.
The day is dedicated to exploring the city of Athens. We will begin with a panoramic tour passing by the most important monuments and landmarks of the city. We will marvel the Panathinaikon stadium (the marble stadium where the first modern Olympics took place in 1896), pass by the ex Royal Palace and today the Prime Minister’s residence, the Zappeion (ex Royal gardens and today conference and exhibition hall), the temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, the Parliament with the tomb of the unknown soldier guarded by the colorful Evzones, Schliemann’s house, the Academy, the University, the National Library, the old Parliament, Constitution (Syntagma) square and St. Paul’s church. Our panoramic tour will end at the Acropolis, for our guided visit, including the Propylae, the temple of Athena Nike, the Parthenon, the Erechtheion. After your visit you will have free time on your own to explore Plaka, the old part of the town with the neoclassical buildings, the lovely narrow streets and the numerous little shops and tavernas. Early in the afternoon you will join us again for a visit to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon . Cape Sounion is located at the southern-most tip of Attica some 70 kilometers from the center of Athens. We will be driving along the coastal road of Attica, passing through some of the most prestigious suburbs of Athens, like Glyfada, Voula, Vouliagmeni and Varkiza. The temple of Poseidon is built on the top of a high rock, offering stunning panoramic views of the Aegean sea, and on a clear day you can spot up to 7 of the Cycladic islands. Return to your hotel in Athens for overnight.
After your breakfast we will depart for a full day excursion to Delphi. The drive will take you through the plains of Boeotia and the city of Thebes. The site of Delphi, lies under the shadow of mount Parnassos, it is naturally amphitheatrically positioned and faces the gulf of Corinth. It used to be the most sacred spot in the world and a pilgrimage center for many centuries in the antiquity. You will admire the Sanctuary of Apollo, we will walk the Sacred way, and visit the Doric temple of Apollo, home of Pythia (the oracle). We will also visit the local museum with many impressive findings from the area, with the most famous one being the bronze statue of the Charioteer. Later you will enjoy a lunch in a local restaurant before we start heading back to Athens. On the way back and close to Delphi we will make a short stop to the picturesque mountain village of Arachova with its beautiful mountain houses and the little shops with local products like hand-woven carpets, rugs and guilds, local wine, and local cheese. Return to Athens for overnight.
The day is dedicated to exploring the Argolic plain. We will take the road towards the Peloponnese. First stop will be at the impressive Corinth canal. We continue our drive to arrive at Mycenae for your guided visit. Mycenae, a UNESCO’s world heritage site, was the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon. Today, we can visit the ruins of the ancient Palace, Agamemnon’s tomb with its famous Lion’s gate, the Cyclopean walls and the Treasury of Atreus. After our visit, you will enjoy lunch at a local restaurant and later, we continue our drive to Nafplion. This picturesque little town, is dominated by the impressive Venetian Palamidi castle, and was the first capital of modern Greece. We will take a short stop to admire the narrow little streets with the picturesque and well preserved classical buildings, and we will also admire the famous Bourtzi island. The day continues with our drive to Epidaurus for a guided visit to the site and the theater famous for its acoustics. Epidaurus is listed in UNESCO’s world heritage monuments, and its theater is one of the best preserved classical theaters in Greece, still used in summer evenings for classical performances. It is the birthplace of Asklepios the healer, (Apollo’s son), and was the most celebrated healing center of the classical world. Return drive to your hotel in Athens for overnight
Breakfast and day at leisure for your own activities and explorations of the city. Alternatively we suggest to follow an optional day cruise to the Saronic gulf islands. You will visit the famous islands of Hydra, Poros and Aegina. During the cruise you will enjoy a lunch on board, and you will have the chance to learn some of the famous Greek dances! You will also have free time on each island to explore at your own pace. Return back to Athens in the evening. Overnight in Athens.
Breakfast and at the appropriate time, transfer to the airport for your departure flight.