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Discover the best of historic and mythical as well as modern Greece. Begin your vacation with two nights in Athens and guided sightseeing that includes the amazing ancient Acropolis as well as time at leisure. Cross the Corinth Canal and marvel at the perfect acoustics of the Epidaurus Theater and at the remains of the Mycenae fortress. Visit Sparta and Olympia, legendary home of the Olympic Games, then cross the spectacular Rion-Antirion Bridge and spend time in mythical Delphi. Marvel at the extraordinary rock-top Meteora monasteries before returning to Athens.
Destinations & Sightseeing
Individual headsetsInside visits and special features:Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.Sightseeing:Visits to Epidaurus, Nauplia, Mycenae, Sparta, Mystra, Olympia, Delphi, Kalambaka, Meteora
Scenic Highlights: Peloponnese, Mount Parnassus, Arcadian Mountains, Corinth Canal, Rion-Antirion Bridge
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
- Acropolis Athens
- Archaeological site of Mystras
- Archaelogical Site of Olympia
- Archaeological site of Mycenae
Transportation: Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach
Meals & Itinerary
Buffet breakfasts daily; 3 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 Arrive in Athens, Greece
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to start exploring the Greek capital. Later, meet your Tour Director.
Day 2 Athens
An opportunity to see island life from the cruise ship on the optional three-island cruise, visiting Aegina, Poros, and Hydra. Poros is a lush island with a maze of narrow streets. Aegina is the main producer of pistachio nuts in Greece, while Hydra is home to a large artist community and where beautiful boutiques line the scenic harbor.
Day 3 Athens–Corinth–Epidaurus–Nauplia
Join the included sightseeing tour of Athens, featuring the highlights of this ancient capital with a visit to the ACROPOLIS. Next, west to the CORINTH CANAL. Journey into the Argolis to stop in EPIDAURUS, located in the hilly countryside dotted with pine trees and oleanders. In this magnificent setting, you’ll visit the OPEN-AIR THEATER that can still seat 14,000 spectators. Head for the coast and overnight in Nauplia.
Day 4 Nauplia–Mycenae–Sparta
This morning, enjoy the included excursion to the archaeological site MUSEUM OF MYCENAE, a city fortress cursed by the gods but rich in gold and warrior kings. Motor south in the afternoon deep into the Peloponnese to Sparta for an overnight.
Day 5 Sparta–Mystra–Olympia
Your morning highlight will be the included sightseeing of the medieval BYZANTINE CITADEL OF MYSTRA, at one time known as the “Florence of the East.” In the afternoon, drive to Olympia.
Day 6 Olympia–Delphi
Focus on Olympia, where the athletes of antiquity performed in honor of the king of deities. Learn more about the history of the Olympic Games on the optional sightseeing tour. In the afternoon, drive north to Patras, the capital of the Peloponnese and the west coast’s largest port. Then, proceed via the spectacular RION-ANTIRION BRIDGE through the picturesque fishing villages along the south coast of the mainland to mythical Delphi.
Day 7 Delphi–Kalambaka
Optional morning sightseeing of the archaeological site in Delphi. Once called the “Navel of the Earth,” Delphi was the greatest Oracle of the ancient world, where people flocked to seek advice. Now, it’s one of the grandest sights in Greece; its theater and Temple of Apollo still stand in their lovely natural setting. In the afternoon, drive north by way of Lamia and on to Trikala in Thessaly for an overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 8 Kalambaka–Meteora–Athens
A short drive to Meteora, which is a cluster of MONASTIC BUILDINGS perched in an unforgettable manner on a set of rising rock formations. Your included visit is certainly the day’s highlight. Later, drive south to Athens for an overnight. Why not join the optional Greek dinner?
Day 9 Athens
A full day at leisure to explore the unseen parts of the city, do last-minute shopping, or maybe even join an optional excursion.
Day 10 Athens
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
ATHENS Golden Age (F) or Acropolis Select (ST)NAUPLIA Rex (ST) or Victoria (ST)SPARTA Maniatis (ST)OLYMPIA Olympion Asty (F)DELPHI Apollonia (F)KALAMBAKA Antoniadis (ST)
The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.
A Greek Evening
Situated on the Galatsi hill, this venue is a true taste of everything Greek beginning with the panoramic views of Athens for as far as the eye can see. An outside barbeque awaits your choice of souvlaki and while this is cooking, see the presentation of the traditional loom, wood fired oven and the water mill used for grinding flour. While you enjoy your souvlaki with olives, bread with olive oil and of course Greek ouzo, the Zafiro chef will provide a tutorial lesson of how to make some of the basic Greek dishes of mousaka, greek salad & tzatziki. The menu for tonight will include the traditional appetizers of spinach pie, feta cheese pie, stuffed vine leaves, beans in tomato sauce, meatballs, tzatziki and aubergine salad dips and Greek salad and the main course served is moussaka. This is accompanied with unlimited red or white wine. While enjoying your meal you will be entertained by the musicians and 6 Greek dancers in traditional costumes performing well known Greek dances such as Syrtaki and Hasapiko. Don't miss the opportunity to join in the circle dancing and maybe even break a plate!
Approximate value: 50 EUR per person
An early departure from the hotel with your Tour Director at approximately 7.15am, and drive to the designated port for embarkation on today's cruise of the Saronic Gulf. Departing at 8.00 am, begin sailing towards the island of Hydra, located approximately 37 nautical miles from the southern mainland. You will notice that donkeys are used for transportation on this small island as cars, by law, are prohibited. On Hydra you will stay approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes allowing for a walk around the shops along the quay or a swim in the Aegean Sea. Departing Hydra, en-route to the island of Poros, a Greek style buffet lunch is served with many of the local traditional foods including Greek salad, stuffed vine leaves, fish roe salad, beans, beetroot, tzatziki, local cheeses, and main courses with fish, beef, pork, chicken or vegetables are served. The island of Poros, 31 nautical miles from Piraeus and with only a 200 meter wide stretch of sea separating it from the town of Galatas on the mainland, is a popular weekend destination for Athenian travelers. The cruise remains on Poros for approximately 1 hour before departing for your final destination, the island of Aegina. The island of Aegina with a population of 13,550 is the largest of the 3 islands visited today. The ship remains at the port for approximately 2 hours allowing time for shopping, swimming or sightseeing. Even though an extinct volcano substitutes for 2/3's of the island, Aegina is well known for cultivating pistachio nuts and exporting worldwide. Estimated time of return to the port after todays cruise is approximately 7:30 pm.
Approximate value: 90 EUR per person
Escorted by your Tour Director, depart from your hotel and make your way along the harbor front until you reach the port of the Caique boats. Here you will be welcomed on-board by the Captain and taken to the island of Bourtzi which is located approximately 450m from shore. You will have time to explore the Bourtzi Fortress, built to provide protection to the town of Nafplio mainly against pirates. After the Greek War of Independence of 1821, where the fortress was active in defending the town against the Turks, the next few unsettled decades saw the fortress occasionally housing government officials in need of a secure and protected environment. In 1865 the fortress became the permanent residence for the town's executioners, and finally from 1930 to 1970 The Bourtzi Fortress was used as a Hotel. After approximately 30 minutes to explore the small island of Bourtzi, return to the port with the local Caique and after a short 5 minute walk to a nearby Taverna, you can enjoy a traditional 3 course meal listening to the bouzouki player entertain with traditional Greek tunes. The meal starts with "Gemista" which is an oven baked tomato, stuffed with rice, onion, garlic, and a combination of herbs. For the main course you can choose between oven baked lamb on the bone or chicken breasts served with potatoes cooked with olive oil and oregano, accompanied by a traditional greek salad with tomatoes, cucumber, onion, feta cheese and olives. Finally for desert a traditional baked semolina dish called Ravani is served with ice cream. You will also enjoy the local red or white barrel wine or soft drinks. After your meal allow for some free time to leisurely walk amongst the narrow "Venetian" streets enjoying the tall houses, decorative squares and colorful shops. Estimated time of return to your hotel is approximately 10 pm.
Approximate value: 35 EUR per person
The tour today begins with your tour director escorting your group from the hotel to the Archaeological site of Olympia where you will meet your local Greek guide at the entrance to the site. Considered today as being one of the most interesting and educational sites you will find throughout the Peloponnese, Olympia is mostly famous for being the venue of the Ancient Olympic Games and home to the Olympic flame. Today you will see the remains of a gymnasium, ancient temples, the stadium, housing structures, and just outside the site, the archaeological museum hosting findings from the ancient site and from other excavations in the surrounding areas with well labeled exhibits including the famous statue of Hermes of Praxiteles and Nike Paionios. The games held in Olympia, were actual athletic events with a religious element as they were dedicated to the god Zeus. The Temple of Zeus, located close to the stadium, was built in the 5th century BC by a local architect and made of limestone and marble. Historical records narrate that a giant statue of Zeus was found inside the temple made of ivory and gold. The site of Olympia also houses one of the oldest temples in Greece, The Temple of Hera. This was constructed in the 7th century BC and is the alter where the Olympic Flame is lit for todays modern Olympic games. As did the ancient Olympians, you can enter the Stadium through the archway and run on the ancient track stretching just over 200 meters.
Approximate value: 25 EUR per person
Enjoy this typically Greek dinner outing in this very nice restaurant with wonderful views of the valley with the olive trees. Taste delicious appetizers while you are given a presentation of the wine industry and production in Greece. Later enjoy a Greek style three-course meal with free flowing wine.
Approximate value: 35 EUR per person
Delphi Archeological Site
The sightseeing tour today begins with your Tour Director escorting you to the entrance of the Archaelogical site of Delphi where you will meet and continue with a local guide. Located on top of a hill overlooking a valley blanketed with olive trees, Delphi is among the most popular ancient sites in Greece. During the 8th century B.C. Delphi became internationally known as the "naval" or center of the earth, considered to be the holiest of all holy sites. The reason being the powers of Pythia, the priestess and Oracle of Delphi. The Oracle could supposedly tell the future. Sitting on a tripod inhaling ethylene gases in a state of hypnotic trance and muttering words incomprehensible to mere mortals, holy priests were needed to interpret her visions into a common language and deliver the prophecy to whoever was requesting it. For this reason no major decision was made without consulting the Oracle of Delphi first. While visiting Delphi you will see the Temple of Apollo which housed the oracle, the various treasuries holding the offerings made to the god Apollo and the Oracle, the stoa of the Athenians where trophies were displayed from their sea battles, the ancient theatre, the grand alter, the Naval of the Earth stone, the marketplace, statues, ceramics and many artifacts from excavations at Delphi. You will also have time to visit the archaeological museum close to the site and finally, walking downhill, to see the Sanctuary of Athena Pronea consisting of several altars, temples, two treasuries and the Tholos, a round construction rather unusual for the ancient Greek architecture.
Approximate value: 25 EUR per person
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