Grand Tour of Greece
Duration: 10 Days / 9 nights
Valid from: Specific days
Program Schedule: specific days, upon request
Places visited: Athens, Epidauros, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Kalambaka, Meteora, Thessaloniki, Veria, Naoussa, Pella and Vergina
1st day: Athens
After your arrival in Athens our representative will meet you and assist with your transfer to your Hotel in Athens. Enjoy the rest of the day free to have a first impression of the City.
2nd day: Athens – Sightseeing
Athens Sightseeing – In the morning we begin our visit of Athens showing the highlights of the city with a panoramic tour in the center. We will see the Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Zeus and after to the Constitution square called “Syntagma” where the presidential guard, called “Evzonos”, is in front of the Greek parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Then we will pass by the Presidential Residence and the Panathinaikos stadium that was originally built in 329aC, where the first Olympics of the modern era in 1896 were held. After the drive through the center, we will visit the Acropolis and Parthenon, this magnificent monument built during the Golden age of Pericles at the time of 447BC dedicated to the Goddess Athena. Finally, we will visit the new Acropolis Museum, a building of a modern architecture, with the unique antiquities from the Acropolis.
After the tour, enjoy a free afternoon to explore the center of Athens which lies around Acropolis, passing through Plaka, Monastiraki and Thissio with a pleasant atmosphere of the ancient city.
3rd day: Epidauros, Mycenae and Olympia
In the morning we leave Athens to Corinth Canal. After a brief stop in the Canal which connects the Aegean Sea with the Ionian Sea, we continue to Epidauros. Here we enter into the culture of the 4th century BC and admire the Theatre of Epidauros, which is famous for having an exceptional acoustics that allows almost perfect hearing of the unamplified voice stage for any of the 15,000 places in which each viewer can be seated. The city of Epidauros was one of the most important pilgrimage centers of antiquity for having the famous shrine of the God Asclepius doctor. The theater for his see is now the best-preserved theater of antiquity. Depart for Nauplion, this picturesque town which was the first capital of Greece after the Turkish rule, in 1821. This beautiful town, nestles at the foot of the cliff were the Palamidi Fortress lies on the top. After passing by the old town we continue and visit the Acropolis of Mycenae, the Homeric city of King Atreides, the city “rich in gold” of the ancient poets, where we will see the tomb of Agamemnon, the “lions gate” and Cyclopic walls among other interests of antiquity. Late in the afternoon, depart to the birthplace city of the Olympic games called Olympia, through Tripolis and Megapolis in the center of Peloponnese.
4th day: Olympia
After breakfast we will visit the archaeological site of Olympia, the site of the Olympic games of the Classic Era, which were held every four years during antiquity, from the 8th century BC to the 4th century AD. We will see the temple of Olympian Zeus with the famous statue of Zeus, which was about 13 meters and was made out of gold and ivory, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world that the sculptor Phidias took about twelve years to build. We will go by the old stadium, that hosted the various sports of the Olympic games, and the archaeological museum. Leaving Olympia northward and through the plain of Ilias and Achaia, we arrive at the magnificent bridge which unites the Rio with Antirio and passes over the bay of Corinth. Continuing our path and passing through the picturesque towns of Itea and Nafpactos we reach the “center of the ancient world” Delphi.
5th day: Delphi
In the morning we will visit the archaeological site and museum of Delphi, where we see the Omphalos which was the “navel / center of the universe” and whose fame extended far beyond the borders of Greece, kept in the temple of the wrath Apollo. Inside the museum enjoy some masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture as the famous athlete Aghias and the Brass Charioteer. The Oracle of Delphi acquired great influence in the world. The predictions of the priestess of Apollo called Pythia, influenced the decisions and had a great impact on the history of the cities of ancient times. Walk the Via Sacra which arrives at the temple of Apollo. After visiting and getting to know this legendary location, we will continue our journey to the town of Kalambaka, an inspiring and impressive destination.
6th day: Meteora
Kalambaka is at the foot of this astonishing complex of Meteora, an impressive backdrop of gigantic rocks that appear to be suspended in the air, formed over 60 million years ago. On top of these rocks, the monks who settled after the 12th century, despite being almost inaccessible, built 24 monasteries in the hermit ideal time of the 15th century. Today six of these are kept which enjoy excellent specimens of Byzantine art. Meteora is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Depart from Kalambaka, drive through the plain of Thessaly and the valley of Tempi, arriving at the Archaeological Park of Dion. Behold the gigantic figure of Mount Olympos, the highest mountain in Greece and home to Zeus and the 12 Gods of Greek Mythology. After the visit depart for Thessaloniki, the second largest and the most vibrant city in Greece. Overnight in Thessaloniki.
7th day: Veria, Naoussa and Pella
Depart in the morning for a special approach to the history of Macedonia. First stop, Veria (Biblical Beroea) to visit Saint Paul’s Bema (podium), and then stroll through the old Jewish neighborhood and the colorful market area. A walk in a city where the past and present merge to the point of being one. Next stop Naoussa, to a site of exceptional beauty and importance: Aristotle’s School, the impressive scenery where the great philosopher taught ‘the doctrines of morals and politics’ to Alexander the Great and Macedonian youths. Only a few miles away is picturesque Edessa where we see the town’s famous landmark, the Waterfalls. Then comes Pella, the capital of Alexander the Great and Ancient Macedonia. See the exquisite floor mosaics of the 4th century B.C., villas in site as well as in the new Museum. Return to Thessaloniki to overnight.
8th day: Thessaloniki
In the morning visit the city that throughout the era of the Byzantine Empire, was the “co-reigning” city, second in population and prestige only to Constantinople. Visit unique monuments and feel the glorious Byzantine past in some of the oldest and most characteristic churches of the Christian world as well as in the Museum of Byzantine Culture, awarded the Council of Europe’s Museum Prize for the year 2005. In the afternoon take the time to discover the delights of this wondrous city that offers a range of beautiful sites, traditional culinary, coffee bars and much more.
9th day: Return to Athens
Drive to Vergina, for an unforgettable experience, a visit to the unique Museum, created in the Great Tumulus covering the royal tombs of Macedonia. See the astonishing findings from the tomb of King Philip II, Alexander’s father, and feel the thrill of the greatest discovery of the 20th century.
After the visit we shall start driving south and through Thessaly, Lamia, Thermopylae (stop at the Leonidas’ Monument, King of Sparta) and Thebes, arriving in Athens in the early evening.
10th day: Return
Transfer from your hotel to the airport for your onward flight.
3 nights in Athens at your chosen Hotel category
1 night in Olympia at your chosen Hotel category
1 night in Delphi at your chosen Hotel category
1 night in Kalambaka at your chosen Hotel category
3 nights in Thessaloniki at your chosen Hotel category
6 dinners during the Classical tour
Arrival and departure private transfers in Athens
Orientation meeting with representative on arrival in Athens for a local guidance and assistance in the transfer.
City tour in Athens, Acropolis and the museum with official English speaking guide, including entrances.
Services of professional English-speaking guide and modern air-conditioned motor coach (Days 2-8)
Entrances as per itinerary
Everything that is not specifically stated on the itinerary and inclusions