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Athens – Argolis – Gythio – Mystras – Kalamata – Olympia – Athens
Meet Greece through the centuries in this 3-day trip, starting with Prehistory, then travel through the Classical period and Roman domination, the Byzantine Empire, the Crusades until the Modern times.
Athens – Epidaurus – Nafplion – Mycenae – Gythio (L-D)
In the morning, meet with our guide at the lobby of the hotel and start the drive along the Attica western coast to Peloponnese. One hour later you will make your first photo stop at the Corinth Canal. After a short break, continue to the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus, one of the best Ancient Theatres worldwide with amazing acoustics. Visit the Theatre , and then continue to Nauplio, the first capital city of Modern Greece. There will be a short stop for picture taking before continuing to Mycenae, an ancient town with great power during the ancient years, with the famous “Gate of Lions” and the “King Atreus Tomb”. After the tour, lunch will be offered at a nearby restaurant. Following lunch continue the drive to the southern Peloponnese seaside town of Gythio, a charming little harbor town with a long promenade with colourful fishing boats, Cafes and taverns by the sea. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Gythio – Mystras – Kalamata – Ancient Olympia (B-L-D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive to the mystical tower town of Mystras, located six kilometres NW of the city of Sparta, and capture this destination’s medieval splendour.
You will be guided around the castle city and sense its 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.
Stroll through the Kástro (the Frankish Castle), the Upper Town and the Lower Town whose architecture creates a dreamy setting. Imagine Frankish princes and princesses living in palatial mansions; foreign delegations arriving bearing gifts, and peasants, pilgrims or traders filling the bustling streets.
Mystras’ historical importance is tremendous. The castle on the top of the hill was founded in 1249 by the Frankish leader William II de Villeharduin. In the 14th century Mystrás became the seat of the Despotate of Moreas, whereas in 1448 the last emperor of Byzantium, Constantine XI Palaeologos, was crowned here.
In 1460 the hill was captured by the Turks and in 1464 Sigismondo Malatesta of Rimini managed to capture the city but not the castle. 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.
A lunch will follow. After lunch, continue the drive to Kalamata, on the picturesque road at the footsteps of Mount Taygetos and on to Ancient Olympia for dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Ancient Olympia – Athens (B-L)
Breakfast at the hotel. Start early in the morning by visiting the Archaeological site of Ancient Olympia, the Museum and the Stadium where the first Olympic Games took place in 776 B.C. Its extensive ruins include athletic training areas, a stadium and temples dedicated to the Gods of Hera and Zeus. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia exhibits finds from the site, including a statue of Hermes attributed to the sculptor Plaxiteles. Leaving Olympia, we drive towards central Peloponnese mountains to one of the most picturesque villages of Arcadia called Dimitsana for traditional lunch at the village. We return to Athens via the National road early in the evening.