8-day Tour - Classical Greece
Discover the treasures of Ancient Greece
Athens – Delphi – Epidaurus – Mycenae – Tiryns – Ancient Olympia
Day One – Athens
..Welcome to Athens, the fabled and vibrant metropolis of Greece….The 8-day classical Greece tour begins with our private chauffeur service taking you to your hotel located in the heart of the historical center of the city with an amazing view on the Acropolis. You can spend some hour in leisure to wash away your journey and when rested we are ready for our first walk in the picturesque cobblestone streets of Plaka, the oldest neighborhood of the city, the so-called “the neighborhood of the Gods”. We will wander for a while through the ruins of the Roman and Ancient Agora where Socrates and Plato used to hang out. We just begin to dive into a 6.000 years old culture…
We will have our dinner in a charming, traditional tavern where we will savor Mediterranean tastes and flavors, Greek dishes and fine wine as well.
Day Two – Athens Philosophy Tour
We will start our philosophy tour with a visit to the Lyceum of Aristotle. This place of learning was one of the most significant sites of ancient Greece and one of the oldest gymnasia of Classical Athens. Founded by Aristotle in 335 BC in a grove sacred to Apollo Lyceius and because of Aristotle’s habit of walking about the grove while lecturing his students, the Lyceum was known as “Peripatetic School” (from the word “peripatos” which in Greek means stroll). Here Aristotle and others taught philosophy, mathematics and rhetoric
We will continue towards the archaeological site of the Ancient Agora of the Classical Athens, which is located to the northwest of the Acropolis. The Agora was the heart of ancient Athens, the focus of political, social, administrative and commercial activity, the cultural and religious center of the city and the seat of justice. We will wander through the remnants of the most significant buildings and structures, such as:
– The Monument of the Eponymous Heroes – a marble podium that bore the bronze statues of the ten heroes representing the tribes of Athens
– The Bouleuterion -which served as a meeting-place of the 500-member Boule (Senate), made up of fifty citizens, from each of the ten Athenian tribes, chosen by allotment each year.
– The Tholos – the headquarters of the 50 prytaneis who served as the executive committee of the Boule (Council) for an interval of 35 or 36 days.
– The Altar of the Twelve Gods – an altar and sanctuary dedicated to the twelve Olympian Gods.
Our lecturer, Efimia Karakantza, Tenured Assistant Professor in the University of Patras and Fellow in the Center for Helenic Studies in the University of Harvard, will be your guide and you will finish this tour with a deeper comprehension of ancient Athenian society and a basic answer to: why Athens is widely considered the touchstone of western civilization, the birthplace of democracy, philosophy, sciences and classical art.
This special day will be completed with a fine dining experience in a delightful and atmospheric roof garden restaurant in the shadow of the sacred rock of the Acropolis where you will relish traditional Greek dishes with Mediterranean inflections and marvelous wine.
We drink, eat and converse…just like the Greeks. Classical Greek learning was a joyful thing carried out in public places, often accompanied by marvelous wine and food…we are describing the famous Symposium, a convivial meeting for drinking, eating and intellectual discussion. During these gatherings and in the midst of all drinking philosophical questions were thoroughly examined: “Where do we come from?”, “What is the nature of a human being?”, “What is truth, what is justice?”, “What is happiness or the art of living well (Eudaimonia in Greek)?”… and so on…This is our concept we seek to replicate and share with you.
All topics, all questions are welcome!
Day Three – Delphi
At the foot of Mount Parnassus lies the Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, which had the most famous oracle of ancient Greece. According to mythology, it is here that the two eagles sent out by Zeus from the ends of the universe to find the navel of the world met
The sanctuary of Delphi, set within a most spectacular landscape, was for many centuries the cultural and religious center and symbol of unity for the Hellenic world. The temple of Apollo, the treasuries of Athenians and Siphnians, the ancient theatre, the Tholos of Athena Pronaia, the Sacred Way and the Castalian Fountain are some of the most important and priceless monuments the visitor can enjoy walking through the impressive ruins of this great archaeological site. We will have a full guided tour in the archaeological site and the museum.
In Delphi we will savor traditional local food, grilled meat and delicious homemade pies. Late in the afternoon we return to our hotel in Athens.
Day Four – Acropolis of Athens – New Acropolis Museum
Finishing our breakfast we are ready to visit the sacred hill of the Acropolis. During this focused walk we will look closely at the Acropolis and its essential role in the city.
Our visit will cover the main buildings of the Acropolis, including:
– The Propylaea– the monumental entrance to the Acropolis
– The Erechtheion – an ancient Greek temple which was dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon
– The temple of Athena Nike – Nike means victory in Greece and Athena was worshipped as goddess of victory in war and wisdom.
– And, of course, the Parthenon.
We will complete our tour with a visit to the stunning New Acropolis Museum which is located by the southeastern slope of the Acropolis on the ancient road that led up to the “sacred rock” in Classical times. It is an archaeological museum focused on the findings of the archaeological site of the Acropolis of Athens and it was built to house every artifact found on the rock and on the surrounding slopes. The museum hosts its collections, the “Gallery of the Slopes”, the “Archaic Gallery” and the “Parthenon Gallery” across three levels as well as in the archaeological excavation that lies at its foundations.
Day Five – Epidaurus
Epidaurus Asclepieion: The birthplace of medicine
After finishing our breakfast we join our chauffer for our trip to the Peloponnese. We leave Athens and taking a scenic coastal drive we pass the Corinth Canal which connects the two Greek Seas -The Aegean and the Ionian Sea – and we reach Epidaurus.
In a valley surrounded by mountains, healing springs, green scenery, deep blue waters nearby, there is one of the oldest alternative medicine healing centers of the world with the best preserved theater of ancient Greece and Unesco’s world heritage sites, we are describing the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus.
Asklepieion -considered to be the birthplace of medicine- was one of the most extensive sacred sanctuaries and celebrated healing centres of the Classical world. It was an impressive complex of buildings –temples, athletic facilities, the theater, baths, a guest house for 160 guests, stoas, gymnasia, stadium, tholos (a 14 Corinthian columned cella and a mysterious underground labyrinth), a ceremonial Hestiatoreion (banqueting hall) etc.
Epidaurus The Theater: An ancient Greek acoustic miracle
Architectural perfection, complete harmonization with the natural environment and perfect acoustics -which allow excellent intelligibility of unamplified spoken words from the skênê to all 15,000 spectators- are the unique characteristics of the Epidaurus Theater, the best preserved ancient theater in Greece. We will have a full guided tour with our expert guide to the archaeological site and the museum.
Later In the afternoon we arrive at Nafplio. When rested in the hotel we will begin exploring the picturesque Old Town with its cobblestone alleys and its neoclassical well preserved mansions. You can take a walk to the Palamidi Castle which proudly stands 216 m above sea level or visit the postcard perfect venetian Bourtzi fortress.
Our day will be completed with a dinner at a restaurant specializing in authentic sea food delights.
Day Six – Mycenae and Tiryns
Finishing our breakfast we will visit the ancient citadel of Mycenae, steeped in myths and legends,which is located in a short distance – about 22 km – from Nafplio
Mycenae and Tiryns, two great archaeological sites, in the north-eastern Peloponnese are the impressive ruins of the two greatest cities of the Mycenaean civilization, which dominated the eastern Mediterranean world from the 15th to the 12th century B.C. and played a major role in the development of classical Greek culture.
The myths related to its history have inspired poets and writers over many centuries, from the Homeric epics and the great tragedies of the Classical period to contemporary literary and artistic creation.
Mycenae, ‘Rich in Gold’, the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon, first sung by Homer in his epics, is the most important and richest palatial center of the Late Bronze Age in Greece. Most of the monuments visible today were erected between 1350 and 1200 BC, when the site was at its peak. Palatial complexes, imposing Cyclopean masonry, the famous “Tomb of Agamemnon” (also known as the “Treasury of Atreus”), huge arches and fountains comprise one of the greatest architectural complexes known to the ancient world
We will have a full guided tour in the archaeological site and continuing our journey towards the Elis region we arrive at Olympia where we will have our dinner.
Day Seven – Ancient Olympia
In western Peloponnese, in the beautiful and serene valley of the Alpheios river, the so-called “the valley of the Gods” lies the most celebrated sanctuary of ancient Greece dedicated to Zeus, father of both gods and men. Known for having been the birthplace of the most important athletic event of all times; the Olympic Games, Olympia today is one of the most popular destinations in Greece. According to the World Heritage website, there is probably no ancient archaeological site anywhere in the world that has more relevance on today΄s world than Olympia.
We will have a full guided tour with our expert guide to the archaeological site and the museum. We will visit the ancient Stadium, the temple of Hera, the Philippaeum, the temple of Zeus, the Phidias workshop, the Palestra and many other buildings, such as athletic premises used for the preparation and celebration of the Olympic Games, administrative buildings and monuments and our tour will be completed with the visit to museum.
The Archaeological Museum of Olympia, one of the most important museums in Greece, presents the long history of the most celebrated sanctuary of antiquity, the sanctuary of Zeus, father of both gods and men, where the Olympic Games were born. The sculpted decoration of the temple of Zeus, the most important example of the Severe Style in Greek art, the statue of Nike by Paionios and the Hermes of Praxiteles are the museum’s pieces de resistance.
Late in the afternoon we take the way back in Athens.
This is the departure day. We say our last good-byes and our chauffer service will take you to the airport for your flight back home. Have a nice trip and keep your memories.
8-day Classical Greece Tour. Book Now!
This is a private tour available all year round and flexible in dates
Tour Price: 4.800,00 euro per person – a minimum of two (2) participants is requested
Tour Price for one (1) person: ask a quote
Full Package of the 8-day classical Greece tour includes:
- Seven (7) night accommodation (five in 5*hotel in Athens, one in Nafplio and one in Olympia in boutique hotels) as described in the itinerary with daily buffet breakfast
- Five (5) meals with drinks (wine, beer, water) in specially chosen restaurants as described in the itinerary – Special wine orders are not included -Special diets are provided.
- Guided tours with our expert tour guides in the archaeological sites of Athens, Delphi, Epidaurus, Mycenae, Tiryns and Ancient Olympia as described in the itinerary.
- The services of our lecturer mrs. Effymia Karakantza , professor of Ancient Greek Literature, University of Patras, fellow in Ancient Greek Literature University of Harvard.
- Private chauffeur service from and to the airport and during the whole tour
- Entrance fees to all the archaeological sites and the museums stated above.
- English speaking host 24/7
Price does not include:
- Travel expenses to and from Greece
- Transfers unless stated in the itinerary
- Items of personal nature
- Any other excursions or activities which are not included in the tour.
- For booking the tour a payment in advance of 20% of the tour price is requested. Once you pay the requested amount you will receive a confirmation pro forma invoice.
- Final payment is due 30 days before the start date of the tour.