ATHENS, OLYMPIA AND THE CORINTH COAST
This tour begins in Greece’s capital, Athens, over which the mighty Acropolis looms. Move on to Olympia, where the Olympic Games were first played in 776 BC, and explore ancient Delphi for a further fascinating glimpse into the past.
Athens | Olympia | Delphi
• tour manager as your host
• nine nights half-board in 3 and 4-star hotels
• 19 meals: nine breakfasts, one lunch, nine dinners
• specialist local guide
• welcome drink and farewell get-together
• dinner in a traditional taverna
• audio guide
• included excursions in Athens, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Nafplio, Olympia Itea, Delphi and Arachova
• Greek cooking lesson and lunch in Ano Chora
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Day 1: Athens.
Make your own way to Athens where you can meet us for the scheduled group transfers to your hotel. Get to know your fellow travellers over a welcome drink tonight.
Day 2: Athens.
We’ll take in the main highlights of Athens today, including the site of the first modern Olympics, the Panathenaic Stadium. The Old Parliament building, originally built as a royal palace, now houses the National Historical Museum, while the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier lies in the square in front of the building. We’ll see both before we visit the city’s crowning glory, the Acropolis. The magnificent citadel is surrounded by important monuments including the Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, and we’ll also view archaeological findings from the site at the Acropolis Museum. This afternoon, there’s time to explore at your leisure. Alternatively, why not visit Cape Sounion on an optional excursion. Here we’ll see the Temple of Poseidon, perched on a headland offering beautiful views over the Aegean Sea.
Day 3: Epidaurus, Nafplio & Mycenae.
This morning we drive to the Peloponnese to explore the Argolic plain. Our journey takes us across the bridge that spans the famous Corinth Canal and we then continue to the ancient city of Epidaurus. Here we’ll see the wonderfully preserved Theatre of Epidaurus. Next stop is Nafplio, a pretty seaport town dominated by the Castle of Palamidi. Take a stroll through the medieval Old Town and maybe stop for lunch before we head to the ruins of Mycenae. This fortified palace complex was discovered in 1874, and on our tour we’ll see the magnificent Lion Gate, the royal cemetery known as Grave Circle A, the Royal Palace, located at the acropolis summit, and the Secret Stairway. This flight of 99 steps drops to a cistern deep beneath the citadel. We’ll also visit the Treasury of Atreus. En route to our next base, Nafpaktos, we’ll cross the Rio-Antirio Bridge – the world’s longest cable-stayed bridge – as we traverse the northern coast of the Peloponnese.
Day 4: Trikorfo Monastery & Trizonia.
Today, we’ll head to the mountain village of Trikorfo, where we’ll visit a relatively new monastery, built in 1991 and home to 16 nuns. We’ll also head to the small seaside village of Glifada, where we’ll board a traditional boat for a short cruise to Trizonia, the only inhabited island of the Corinthian Gulf. This pretty fishing village is a great place to enjoy a late lunch in a taverna.
Day 5: Olympia.
There’s a great morning ahead as an included tour takes us to Olympia, the site of the original Olympic Games in 776 bc. Set on the banks of the River Alfios, this ancient city is ours to explore as we take in the Temple of Zeus, the Palaestra, where Greek athletes practiced wrestling, and the workshop of Phidias, a Greek sculptor, painter and architect. The Olympia Archaeological Museum is also well worth a visit, and we’ll do just that before we head back to the hotel.
Day 6: Nafpaktos - at Leisure.
You can spend today at leisure, or join an optional excursion which takes you on a journey on the Diakofto-Kalavryta Railway. As we ride on a traditional cog train, we’ll take in stunning views. We’ll have time to explore Kalavryta, a lovely town on the bank of the river Vouraikos, before we drive to the monastery of Mega Spileo, which boasts wonderful mosaic floors.
Day 7: Delphi.
This morning, we’ll journey by road to Delphi. One of the most sacred sites in Greece, this was an important religious sanctuary. We’ll admire the Sanctuary of Apollo, where pilgrims would come to leave offerings to the gods, and the Treasury of the Athenians. We’ll also visit the museum of Delphi. This evening, we’ll take the metro to Plaka, the city’s Old Town, for a farewell dinner in a restaurant.
Day 8: Departure.
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