Arrive in Athens and transfer to your hotel. Since the museums are closed in the afternoon, we recommend you take a walk around the Plaka and Psiri area . Psiri is a neighborhood full of small restaurants, most with live music. Here you can enjoy the famous Greek bouzouki folk music. It is the most fashionable neighborhood in the city of Athens today. A neighborhood in the old town where young and enterprising people settled and created a leisure area that really has life day and night, every day of the week. We recommend dinner based on portions, in this way you will taste the best of Greek cuisine and also at very affordable prices. Here you will get to know the authentic Greek atmosphere and enjoy the Greek night.
Monastiraki Square is also a regular meeting place. Monastiraki is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Athens (along with neighboring Plaka) and the perfect place to get your first taste of the city. As you get out of the metro or walk to its square, you will see the Acropolis as a backdrop and you will understand why you decided to visit Athens . The views are beautiful.
After breakfast, we suggest taking the Guided Tour of Athens.
The guide will pick you up at the hotel to start the tour with a visit to the New Acropolis Museum , which is located at the foot of it. Inaugurated in 2009, it is a modern glass structure that contrasts with the works exhibited inside: the precious sculptural decoration of the sacred rock temples of the ancient city and the essence of classical sculpture. Other works such as statues-offerings from the archaic, classical and Hellenistic periods, and various finds from the sanctuaries located at the foot of the hill. After the visit of the museum and going up to the Acropolis to visit the sanctuary of the goddess Athena, patron saint of the city in ancient times, we will pass through the ancient theater of Dionysus , the cradle of tragedy, comedy and drama, as well as through the ruins of the sanctuary of Aesculapius, therapeutic center of ancient Athens.
At the Acropolis we will visit the masterpieces of the 5th century BC: the monumental entrance of the Propylaea, the temple of Athena Nike , the Erechtheion with the statues of the Caryatids , and finally the Parthenon , the most emblematic work of the ancient city. From the top of the hill we will see the Roman odeon of Herodes Atticus , the monument to Philopappus , erected on the top of the hill of the Muses, as well as the Pnyx , the terrace where the public assemblies of the first direct democracy were held of antiquity, and in which the heart of the political life of Athens beat.
We will continue our tour of Athens passing through the Areopagus , the hill on which Saint Paul preached the Christian faith to the Athenians, and through other interesting monuments around the Acropolis, before reaching the center of the modern city.
Free afternoon in Athens to explore its colorful streets full of flowery buildings, enjoy its shops, bars and all the life that the city offers.
In the morning you can visit the National Archaeological Museum which is 5 minutes from the Omonia metro station. We recommend that you spend at least two hours to see the museum. After the visit, take the metro at Omonia Square and get off at Sintagma (red line). In front of the parliament is the Monument to the Unknown Soldier and right next to it, on Amalias Avenue is the entrance to the National Gardens and the Zapio . You can take a walk through the gardens and then visit Zapio.
From Zapio you have two options:
a) Take the exit towards Vasilissis Sofias avenue. Right in front is the Benaki Museum, one of the most important museums in Athens. It has more than 33,000 works on display, which record the character of the Greek world from ancient times to the period of formation of the new Greek state and the Asia Minor catastrophe of 1922.
A short distance from the Benaki Museum is the Goulandri Museum of Cycladic Art where different pieces of the Cycladic Civilization are exhibited.
b) Take the Basileos Konstantinou street exit, cross the avenue and visit the Panathinaiko Stadium or Kalimarmaro where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held.
For lunch you can take the tram from Syntagma to Avenida Poseidonos for a walk along the beach. Between the Faliro Delta and the Trokantero marina up to the Palaio Faliro beach you can enjoy a walk with great views.
A very good place to eat is all the taverns that are in Mikrolimano. To get there you can take the bus from Faliro.
Early departure, after breakfast we continue towards the Peloponnese Region. Our first stop will be at the famous Corinth Canal , a great architectural work designed in ancient times by Periandro, Tyrant of Corinth and completed by the French in 1893, thus facilitating the passage from the Ionian Sea to the Saronic Gulf and saving days of navigation. for boats
Next, through the orange and lemon groves of the Argolis, we head towards the ancient city of Mycenae. Homeric city of enormous importance in ancient times where one of the most important cultures of ancient Greece, the Mycenaean culture, developed.
The entrance to the royal citadel is through the Gate of the Lions , the oldest sample of monumental sculpture in Europe. Inside we will see the Royal Tombs , the Palace complex and the rest of the houses of high dignitaries, as well as other important constructions. Once outside the acropolis of Mycenae, we will visit the monumental vaulted tomb called Tomb of Agamemnon , where the archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann discovered the famous Treasure of the Atreus (the different pieces are exhibited in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens and highlights the incomparable gold mask ).
Then we leave for Epidaurus , a sanctuary dedicated to Asclepius, god of medicine, where the most famous theater in the ancient world for its acoustics is located. It consists of a circular clay orchestra (stage) almost 20 m in diameter, surrounded by horseshoe-shaped steps, divided into two levels by a corridor, the diazoma. The lower level has 32 rows of stands, divided into 12 kerkidès by 11 stairs. The upper level has 20 rows of stands and 22 kerkidès.
The acoustics of the Epidaurus theater are exceptional, allowing spectators in the upper tiers to hear and distinguish the actors even when speaking in a low voice. Currently, this privileged place is still used to carry out different representations. It is believed that this theater could reach a total capacity of more than 14,000 spectators, which makes it one of the largest ancient theaters and with the highest seating capacity. Visit of the museum and departure to Olympia, crossing the mountainous region of Arcadia.
Late arrival at Olympia. Dinner and accommodation.
After breakfast, visit the archaeological area of ancient Olympia . It is known for the celebration every 4 years (an Olympiad) of the most important Athletic games that still bear its name, the Olympic Games . The first ones on record were held in 776 BC and lasted until the end of the 4th century when Emperor Theodosius abolished them. The resumption of the Games, already in the modern era, was in 1896 at the request of Baron Pierre de Coubertin and they were held in Athens, but never again in their cradle, the ancient city of Olympia. Although the flame that is kept alive during the celebration of the games, it is always lit from the same original and solemn one in the old Sanctuary of Olympia and from there it travels the world to the organizing city.
Olympia was also famous as a religious center, and for its gigantic gold and ivory statue of Zeus made by Phidias, (carved after the victory over the Persians in the Second Persian War).
This statue, now missing, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, which contributed to Olympia being one of the most important religious sanctuaries in Ancient Greece. Near the temple, archaeological excavations have found the workshop of Phidias, with numerous tools of the sculptor.
The abundant treasures accumulated in the temple led to its looting by the Arcadians. From 342 BC, it was a protectorate of Alexander the Great, who used Olympia to announce his Rescript on the Banished from 324 BC
We will visit the Pritaneo (building where the ceremony for the proclamation of champions was held), the Filipeion , the Doric Temple Hereon , dedicated to the goddess Hera. In his honor, special running competitions were held, the Hereas, in which only virgins from the Elis region participated. Southwest of the Hereon is the Pelopius , an altar built in honor of Pelops, after whom the Peloponnese region was named. Near it, the Doric Temple of Zeus . Outside the sacred enclosure we will visit the Boulefterion, the Palestra, the Gymnasium, the Baths, the Stadium and the Archaeological Museum of the Olympic Games .
At the end of the visit, free lunch in a village tavern and departure to Delphi. We will cross the Achaia region and the new Olympic bridge, which was built for the 2004 Olympic Games (it is the largest suspension bridge in the world).
We arrive at Delphi . Dinner and accommodation.
After breakfast we will visit the archaeological area of Delphi . The Oracle of Delphi was a large sacred site dedicated mainly to the god Apollo, who had his temple in the center. The site located on the site of the ancient city of Delphi (which no longer exists today), at the foot of Mount Parnassus, in the middle of the Phocis mountains.
From the rocks of the mountain sprouted several springs that formed different sources. One of the best-known fountains was the Castalia Fountain, surrounded by a grove of laurel trees consecrated to Apollo near this fountain, some minor goddesses of song and poetry, called Muses, would gather together with the nymphs of the fountains. In these meetings Apollo played the lyre and the divinities sang.
The Oracle of Delphi became the religious center of the Hellenic world. Famous for its oracle and the prophecies of the Pythonesses who, inhaling the vapors that sprouted from cracks in the earth, entered a trance pronouncing the Divine Oracle. Here all the high officials of the cities (Polis) went before making an important decision to ask for advice from the Gods.
A sacred fence, called Peribola , surrounded the entire enclave of the Sanctuary. The Vía Sacra began in the south-eastern corner of the enclosure, passing in front of the small buildings called treasures, the stadium and various monuments, until reaching the Temple of the Oracle, Temple of Apollo.
The so-called treasures (θεσαυρυς) were small temples where votive offerings and donations from the polis were kept, which were often very rich and valuable, true jewels. In the archaeological site we will visit the Theater, the ancient stadium where the Pythian games were held, the Temple of Apollo and the treasures of the different cities.
Then we will visit the magnificent Museum of Delphi , where true wonders are kept, especially the famous Auriga. Free time for lunch. After lunch and crossing Mount Parnassus and the plain of Thessaly.
We arrive in Kalambaka . Dinner and accommodation.
Breakfast and then we go up to the monasteries to make the visit. Meteora has been an austere monastic center since the 11th century, which is not only an ideal place for prayer for those who seek to exercise humility, discipline desire or relaunch faith, but is also a center that attracts the visitor's attention with in order to admire that miracle of nature, unique in its kind and that invites peace and tranquility to those who visit it.
The strangeness and majesty of this place, called many to get away from the world and retire to this incredible place, thus giving rise to the Meteor Monasteries , converted over time into an oasis for the spirit. We will make a complete visit of this fantastic place with its monasteries suspended from the sky, one of the most interesting sites in all of Greece. Currently, of the 21 monasteries only 6 are inhabited. Inside we can contemplate beautiful fresco paintings, as well as original icons worked by the monks themselves, true works of art. We will visit the two most important.
Free time for lunch. Then return to Athens with a brief stop at the Thermopylae pass, at the monument dedicated to the Spartan king Leonidas, who with his 300 Spartans, fought the famous battle against the Persian invaders.
Arrival in Athens and transfer (OPTIONAL) from the hotel to the port of Piraeus to take the overnight ferry to Crete.
Early morning arrival in Crete and transfer (OPTIONAL) to leave your luggage until you can take possession of your room at noon.
Start of your stay in Crete...
During your stay in Crete we recommend that you visit all the places of interest around Heraklion by car, with ease.
Six kilometers south of Heraklion are the ruins of the Minoan Palace of Knossos, which was discovered, excavated and partially reconstructed by the English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. Wall paintings, baths, colonnades and Ariadne's villa are preserved in good condition in this palace.
Further south, about 65 km from Heraklion , is Mátala . Huddled around an idyllic bay, Mátala was nothing more than a fishing village, until in the 1960s it became a reference center for hippies from all over the world. Now it is a vibrant summer resort that continues to grow. In Matala, according to Homer, Menelaus, the husband of Helen of Troy, was shipwrecked. In Hellenistic times it served as a port for the city-state of Gortyn . The cliffs, standing on the beach, were excavated in Roman times to serve as tombs. Some time later, they served as a home for the first Christians and, recently, for the hippies.
We also recommend visiting the Elounda area and the Lasithi prefecture and its capital Agios Nikolaos , built on the Gulf of Mirabelo, whose main feature is Lake Voulismeni , in the heart of the city, which was formed, they say, after the collapse of the Thira volcano in ancient times. From the town of Plaka You can go by boat to the island of Spinalonga with its Venetian fortress that was used as a leper colony from 1903 to 1957.
In the Lasithi region, as in the whole island of Crete, there are plenty of impressive beaches where you can enjoy the sea and the sun, swim in crystal clear waters and visit sites of archaeological interest.
West of Heraklion, about 80km away, is Rethymno , a beautiful seaside town that keeps many traditional elements alive. In Rethymnon you can visit the Fortezza, the Nerantzi Mosque and the Rimondi Fountain. In the Rethymno region it is worth visiting the Preveli Monastery, built in the 16th century. If you continue about 3 km to the south you will find the impressive Preveli Lake, surrounded by pine trees, and you can bathe in its crystal clear waters.
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