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Athens – Epidaurus – Nafplio – Mycenae – Gythio – Mystras – Kalamata – Olympia – Arachova – Delphi – Kalampaka – Meteora – Athens
Discover the most famous monuments of Greece and enter their soul, in a tour that offers the unique experience of uniting great history with modern life of today.
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 – 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.
Olympia – Arachova (B-L-D)
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. Leaving Olympia, cross the amazing bridge of Rio-Antirion, one of the longest bridges in Europe, Nafpaktos with its’ remarkable port and stop for lunch at a seaside tavern before reaching Arachova, a traditional and at the same time modern small village in an altitude of 1000 meters and a famous winter resort in Greece. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Arachova – Delphi – Kalambaka (B-L-D)
Breakfast at the hotel. Meet our guide and visit the archaeological site of Delphi. The site lies under the shadow of mount Parnassos, and is naturally amphitheatrically positioned, facing the gulf of Corinth. It used to be the most sacred spot in the world and a pilgrimage centre for many centuries in the antiquity. Admire the Sanctuary of Apollo, walk the Sacred way, visit the Doric temple of Apollo, home of Pythia (the oracle). Continue by visiting the Delphi museum.
After lunch in a local restaurant drive through Central Greece and the cities of Lamia and Trikala, before arriving at Kalambaka, a small traditional town that is built at the foot of the majestic grey rocks of God, at the shadow of the great Meteroa Monasteries. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Kalambaka – Meteora – Athens (B-L)
Breakfast at the hotel. Visit Meteora, famous for its impressive scenery with ageless Monasteries*, that contain priceless historical and religious treasures as well as exquisite specimens of Byzantine art, standing between earth and sky atop huge rocks. Once you finish visiting the monasteries proceed to the town of Kalambaka for Lunch and then return to Athens passing by the heroic monument of Leonidas at Thermopylae (short photo stop) where 300 strong Spartans battled the army of the Persian Empire. Arrive in Athens early in the evening.
*In order to visit the Monasteries, skirts for the ladies and long trousers for the gentlemen are required.