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Thessaloniki – Thermopylae – Athens – Argolida – Olympia – Delphi – Meteora – Vergina – – Thessaloniki
Explore the most famous monuments of Greece, all seen at once on the same guided tour. By starting and ending in Athens, this tour brings participants in contact with history, architecture, nature and introduces to them the modern way of life in Greece.
Arrival at the airport of Thessaloniki and transfer to your hotel, in the city center. Check in to your room. The rest of the day free at leisure. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Thessaloniki – Thermopylae – Athens (Saturday)
Breakfast at the hotel. Meet our guide and begin the tour with a panoramic drive around the city. See the main landmarks of the city. Make a brief stop at the White Tower, in order to take some pictures. Then continue your tour by visiting Agios Demetrius Byzantine church which is the most important church of Thessaloniki for religious, historical and artistic reasons. The most famous and interesting part of the church, is the underground ancient “Crypt”. The crypt was re-discovered after the fire of 1917 and was finally restored as an exhibition/museum in 1988. According to the Christian Tradition, the saint was imprisoned here and died in 303 A.D. You will also have the opportunity to visit the Archaeological Museum which displays and interprets artifacts from the Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman periods, mostly from the city of Thessaloniki but also from the region of Macedonia in general. Lunch optional and departure for Athens. 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 for dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Then, meet with the guide for the Sightseeing Tour of Athens. This tour allows you to see the most important monuments and sites of the city, the Sydagma (Constitution) Square, the Parliament, the Monument to the Unknown Soldier, the National Library and along the street named Herod Atticus: the Evzones, the Presidential Palace, the Panathenaic Stadium and Acropolis in direction: Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Jupiter. Afterwards visit to the Acropolis with age gold masterpieces of Athens and National Archaeological Museum. The rest of the day at leisure or alternatively you can participate in the optional excursion to Cape Sounion and the Temple of Poseidon, with its amazing views over the Aegean Sea. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Athens – Corinth – Epidaurus – Nafplion – Mycenae – Olympia (Monday)
Breakfast at the hotel. Embark on the coach and drive by the coastal road to the Corinth Canal (short photo stop). Continue the drive and visit the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus and its exceptional acoustics, which permit the 14,000 spectators to perfectly hear the conversations at the center stage. Then proceed to the town of Nafplion (short photo stop)and afterwards drive on to Mycenae, one of the major centres of Greek civilization in the second millennium BC with its Acropolis, the Palace and the famous Lion Gate. You will also visit the Tomb of Agamemnon which is one of the many ‘beehive’ tombs in the vicinity of the ancient site of Mycenae. It is by far the best preserved of these tholos tombs. Lunch optional at Mycenae and departure to Olympia. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Olympia – Arachova (Tuesday)
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning visit the Archaeological Site with the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, the Ancient Stadium and the Archaeological Museum. There is probably no ancient archaeological site anywhere in the world that has more relevance on today’s world than Olympia, the place where the ancient Olympic Games were held. Then drive through the stunning bridge connecting Peloponissos and the Mainland at Rio, pass by the picturesque seafront town of Nafpaktos (Lepanto) and continue on the coastal road to the town of Arachova. On the way you will make a stop for lunch optional. After approximately an hours drive, you will arrive at Arachova, a village on the mountain well renowned for its colourful rugs and carpets. Check in to the hotel. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Delphi – Kalambaka (Wednesday)
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning visit the pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, where the oracle of Apollo spoke and was the site of the omphalos, the ‘naval of the world’. Blending harmoniously with the superb landscape and changes with sacred meaning, Delphi in the 6th century BC, was indeed the religious centre and symbol of unity of the ancient Greek world. While at the site, visit the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the Museum. Afterwards, lunch optional will be served at a nearby restaurant. Departure for Kalambaka, a small town stated at the foot of the astonishing complex of Meteora gigantic rocks. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
Meteora – Vergina – Thessaloniki (Thursday)
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 optional and then drive to Vergina, a small town in northern Greece near Veria, principal of the prefecture of Imathia. The town became internationally famous in 1977, when the Greek archaeologist Manolis Andronikos unearthed what he claimed was the burial site of the Kings of Macedonia, including the tomb of Philippe II, father of Alexander the Great. These finds established the site as the ancient town of Aigai. Visit the museum which was built to protect the tombs, and was inaugurated in 1993 to exhibit the artifacts and show the tumulus as it was before the excavations. The two most important graves were not despoiled and contained the main treasures that you can admire in the museum. The tomb of Philippe II, the father of Alexander, was discovered in 1977 and is separated in two rooms. The main room included a marble sarcophagus, and inside was the larnax made of 24 carat gold and weighing 11 kilograms. Inside the golden larnax the bones of the dead were found and a golden wreath of 313 oak leaves and 68 acorns, weighing 717 grams.
The facade of the tomb of Alexander IV of Macedon: In 1978 another burial site was also discovered near the tomb of Philippe, which belongs to Alexander IV of Macedon son of Alexander the Great. It was slightly smaller than the previous and was also not despoiled. Your guide will accompany you inside the museum to see some of King Philippe’s most important possessions, including the King’s Shield and gold-trimmed breastplate. According to legend, the golden chest containing the King’s bones was washed with wine and wrapped in purple cloth. Also you can learn how it was unearthed before seeing the golden chest. Also on display are gold diadems of unparalleled artistry, lavish wall paintings and a golden wreath of oak leaves.
Following the visit of Vergina Archaeological site, our bus will take us to the city of Thessaloniki early in the afternoon. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
*In order to visit the Monasteries, skirts for the ladies and long trousers for the gentlemen are required.
After breakfast at the hotel, depart to the the airport of Thessaloniki.