Arrival-Visit of Athens
After your arrival to Athens airport, you will meet your bus and guide and proceed to the city center. You will see the remnants of Parthenon, Erectheum and Propylaea over Acropolis Hill and admire Mars Hill, the place where St. Paul proclaimed to the Athenians about the one true God. On top of Acropolis Hill you will have a view to the Ancient Agora; the former center of the Athenian public life back in the ancient era. A panoramic tour of the city will follow where you will see most of the important sites of the city; the National University, the National Library, the Academy of Athens, the Parliament House, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Adrian’s Arch and the temple of the Olympian Zeus. Proceed to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Today you will drive to ancient Corinth of the Neolithic era, 7th century BC, and of strategic location connecting the western Mediterranean with Asia. You will see the Peirene Fountain, the Temple of Apollo, the Temple of Asclepios, the Roman Odeon, Glauce Fountain, as well as the museum that hosts many ruins and statues. Ancient Corinth has an importance in Christianity where St. Paul had established the first church during his stay for 18 months there on 49 AD. You will stop at the Corinth Canal, although had started to be dug in 67 AD, it was first used in 1893 and connected the Aegean with Ionian Seas. Continue to Mycenae, the Mycenaean civilization center, to view the Lion’s Gate, the Subterranean cistern, the Tomb of Agamemnon, part of the Cyclopean Walls. Continue to Olympia for dinner and overnight.
Today you will visit Ancient Olympia, the city of the ancient Olympic Games founded in the 8th century BC, celebrated every four years and dedicated to Zeus, father of all gods. You will see the Temple, the Council House, the Prytaneion, the Stadium, the Gymnasium and the Workshop of Phidias, the sculptor who wrought the golden statue of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the world. The archeological museum hosts a great variety of sculptures and bronzes, one of the richer collections of the world. Continue through the famous bridge of Rio heading to Delphi for dinner and overnight.
Visiting the ancient Temple of Apollo of the 4th century BC, you will gain a greater understanding of the Greek heritage and its influence. Delphi was considered the center of the world, the omphalos (navel), and the most important cultural and religion center of old times. In addition, you will see the Athenian treasury, the Theater, the Castalian fountain, the Stadium and the Tholos of Athena Pronaia. Continue to Kalabaka for dinner and overnight.
Today you will admire the unique hanging monasteries from the 11th century standing on the top of vesting rocks. There were 24 monasteries here, but only six are inhabited yet. You will visit at least one and have an idea of the monastic life through the years. Located over huge cliffs, the monasteries are accessible by stairs or pathways into the rocks. These monasteries are listed of UNESCO World Heritage. Continue back to Athens passing by Thermopylae, dedicated to the famous battle between the Spartan and Persian forces during the 480 BC. Reaching Athens, you will have free time to explore the ancient portion of the city, “Plaka“ area at the foot of Acropolis with its narrow paths, shops and taverns. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight.