The Parthenon
The Temple Of Poseidon
Thermopylae

The Parthenon

Dominating the Athenian skyline, this beautiful, world-renowned monument is dedicated to Goddess Athena, the virgin patron of Athens. Constructed in 438 B.C. by Ictinus, Callicrates and Carpion, under the supervision of Phidias, the Parthenon is the most important surviving monument of the ancient world and stands as an enduring symbol of Ancient Greece and the Athenian Democracy.

The Temple Of Poseidon

The Temple of Poseidon, at Sounion, the tip of the Attica peninsula (45 miles southeast of Athens), was built in 440 B.C. However, archaeological findings show the area was a site of worship as far as 700 B.C. Carved into the base of one of the columns of the Temple of Poseidon is the name of the famous romantic poet Lord Byron. It is possible he made the inscription during his first visit to Greece.

Thermopylae

The pass of Thermopylae is the historical site of the battle that took place in 480 B.C. between the Greeks and the Persians. Under the command of King Leonidas of Sparta, the greatly outnumbered Greek army remained in the pass to prevent Xerxes’ vast cavalry and infantry force further invading the land. They held ground for three days before being outflanked via a hidden goat path, which according to legend, was shown to the Persians by a traitor named Ephialtes. However, their feat gave the Greek army enough time to reassemble and successfully combat the Persians in following battles. The epigram on the monuments reads : Oh stranger, tell the Lacedaemonians (Spartans), that we lie here, obedient to their words.
Friday, December 15, 2017

Corinthian Canal - Isthmus

Argolis, Sparta, Monemvasia, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora & Mount Olympus Tour

Seven days Argolis, Sparta, Monemvasia, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora & Mount Olympus tour starts with a 45-mile drive along the National highway to Peloponnese. We reach the well-known Corinthian canal or else Isthmus canal that connects the Saronic Sea and the Corinthian Sea.

Temple of Apollo

After a short stop for pictures, we continue with a ten-minute drive through the orange and lemon tree fields and arrive at Ancient Corinth and its unique museum, the Temple of Apollo-the God of Oracles and the Sun, the Roman baths and finally the Vima (step) from where St. Paul preached to the Corinthians in 52 A.D.

Theatre of Epidaurus

We leave Ancient Corinth and after a forty-minute drive along the scenic coastal road of Saronic Gulf, we reach ancient Epidaurus (3rd Century B.C), a spiritual place worth visiting for its sites such as the Sanctuary of Asclepius and the ancient Theatre with its unique acoustics. The Sanctuary of Asclepius was a healing and culture centre of ancient times and the Theatre of Epidaurus is one of the very few that retains its original circular Orchestra and it is a rare aesthetic sight still used in our days.

Nafplion

Leaving ancient Epidaurus, we continue our tour with a thirty-minute drive to Nafplion, a picturesque seaport town near the north end of Argolis Gulf.
Nafplion became the first capital of modern Greece from 1829 to 1834 by John Kapodistrias, few years after the beginning of the Greek War of Independence (1821) against the Turkish custody. Nowadays Nafplion attracts a great number of travellers from all over the world and has become a popular day or weekend road trip for Athenians.

Palamidi Castle

During our visit in Nafplion, we visit the Palamidi Castle, which was the last construction of the Venetian Empire, and the Acronafplia Castle, the walls of which date back to pre-classical times. These two castles are located on a hill above the old town.

Bourtzi Castle

We conclude our visit to Nafplion by having lunch at a picturesque restaurant by the sea enjoying the view of the Bourtzi Castle situated on a small islet in the Argolis Gulf at the entrance of the port.

 

Ancient Citadel Of Mycenae

Leaving Nafplion, we continue our tour with a thirty-minute drive through orange and lemon tree fields to an imposing site on the top of a rocky hill located in the Northeast part of Peloponnese in Argolis, the ancient citadel of Mycenae. Mycenae was the centre of power in the Late Bronze age from 16th century B.C. to 11th century B.C. The Acropolis of Mycenae protected the royal families inside the famous Cyclopean walls. The Lion Gates, followed by a steep path through ancient buildings and pathways, will lead you to the Palace of the mighty leader of the Greeks against the Trojans, Agamemnon who was murdered by his wife Clytemnestra and her lover after he had returned victorious from the Trojan War.

Tomb of Agamemnon

Leaving the Acropolis of Mycenae, we make a short stop on another hill opposite the Palace visiting an impressive monument, the Treasury of Atreus also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon.

 

After the conclusion of the Argolis tour, we continue driving through the mountains, in central Peloponnese, arriving at Sparta, a prominent city-state in Ancient Greece, situated on the banks of Eurotas River in Laconia, in southeaster Peloponnese and spend the night. Sparta was unique for its social system and constitution, which was completely focused on military training and excellence. That is why Sparta was recognized as the leader of the Greek forces during the Greek-Persians wars.

Acropolis of Sparta

The next day, after breakfast, we visit the Acropolis of Sparta, the Archaeological Museum, and the olive oil Museum followed by a scenic drive to Mystras, a fortified town that served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of Peloponnese in the 14th and 15th centuries, experiencing a period of prosperity and cultural flowering. The last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI Palaiologos, was despot at Mystras before he came to the throne at Constantinoupolis.

We conclude our visit to Sparta and Mystras by having lunch at a local restaurant tasting the Greek cuisine.

Monemvasia

After the conclusion of the Sparta tour, we arrive at Monemvasia, whose name derives from two Greek words, mone, and emvasi, meaning only entrance. Located in the southeaster Peloponnese and separated from the mainland by an earthquake in 375 A.D, called as the Giblardar of Greece. The city was founded by the Byzantines in the 6th century and became an important port.
We will spend the night at a hotel in either the old or the new town of Monemvasia. The next morning, after breakfast, we will visit the remains of Byzantine Churches such as St. Sofia, Byzantine houses and public buildings and a vast cistern that ensured a water supply at times of siege.
In the war of Independence, Monemvasia was a major Turkish fortress which fell after a four month siege in July 1821.

Diros Caves

We continue our tour driving furthermore to the east south of Peloponnese arriving at Diros Caves, the most beautiful lake caves in the world. Located in Mani area, they have been systematically explored since 1949. In the ten thousand square meters explored so far, Diros is comprised of chambers with a lot of stalactites and stalagmites that form imposing pillars. You explore them by small boats.

We conclude our visit by having lunch at a local restaurant by the sea tasting the Greek cuisine.

Temple of Hera

After the conclusion of the Monemvasia tour, we arrive at Olympia via picturesque towns and villages through olive and vineyards fields and stay for the night.
Olympia is well known for the Olympic Games, held every four years to honour God Zeus, beginning in 776 B.C. The next day, after breakfast, we will visit the Temple of Zeus, where the gold and ivory statue of God Zeus stood, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Temple of Hera, where the Olympic Flame lights every four years, the workshop of Phidias, the ancient Olympic stadium and the Archaeological Museum.

Praxiteles Hermes

The Archaeological Museum exhibition contains findings from the prehistoric era. Among them, you can admire the well-known statues of Praxiteles Hermes and the Nike of Paionios.

 

Rio Antirio Bridge

We conclude our visit to Olympia by having lunch at a local restaurant tasting the Greek cuisine followed by a drive to Delphi via Patra, Rio and the largest bridge in Europe, connecting the Peloponnese with Central Greece. We continue driving via picturesque seaport towns of Central Greece such as Nafpaktos and Itea arriving at Delphi in the afternoon and stay for the night.

Delphi

Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town on the southwestern slope of Mount Parnassus in the valley of Phocis. In Greek mythology was the navel of the earth, the site of the Delphic Oracle and a major site for the worship of god Apollo after he slew the Python, a dragon who protected the navel of the earth. Apollo spoke through his oracle. The priestess of the oracle known as the Pythia had to be an older woman and sat on a tripod seat over an opening in the earth. Apollo possessed Pythia and she prophesied. People consulted the Delphic Oracle on everything from important matters of public policy to personal affairs. The Oracle exerted considerable influence throughout the Greek world and consulted before all major events. The ancient Stadium held the Python Games, which were one of the four Pan-Hellenic Games held every four years.

Treasury of the Athenians

The next day, after breakfast, we visit Castalia spring, the ancient Sanctuary of Apollo, the Treasury of the Athenians, the ancient Stadium, and the ancient Theatre, the unique bronze Charioteer, and the Museum.

Temple of Athena Pronaia

We conclude our visit to Delphi by a visit to the Temple of Athena Pronaia and the Gymnasium.

We continue driving through the mountains of central Greece, arriving at Kalambaka, an important town well known due to the second largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox Monasteries in Greece, after Mount Athos, Meteora. We spend the night in a hotel either at Kalambaka or at Kastraki village.

Monastery of Holy Trinity

The next morning, after breakfast we visit the six suspended in the air Monasteries built on natural sand stone rock pillars. The Meteora Monasteries date back to the 11th century and are included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage sites. The James Bond movie For your eyes only was filmed at the Monastery of Holy Trinity.

Mountain Olympus - Litochoro

We conclude our visit to Meteora by having lunch at a local restaurant and continue our tour driving north, to Mount Olympus and the beautiful town of Litochoro, set on the slope of Mount Olympus and stay for the night.

Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece, was regarded as the home of the Twelve Olympian Gods of the ancient Greek world. According to mythology, it was formed after the gods had defeated the Titans in the Titan war, and soon the Gods inhabited the palace. It is the setting of many Greek mythical stories. It is a National Park of Greece and a World Biosphere Reserve.

Archaeological Site of Ancient Dion

The next day, after breakfast, we visit the archaeological site of Ancient Dion, the site of a large Temple dedicated to Zeus, as well as a series of Temples to Demeter and to Isis (The Egyptian Goddess was the favourite of Alexander the Great) and the Museum. Alexander assembled his armies in Dion before beginning his conquest wars.

Thermopylae

We conclude our visit by having lunch at a local restaurant, followed by a drive back to Athens through picturesque towns of Central Greece and a short stop at Thermopylae, the Hot Gates. An important town well known for the battle among the Greek forces including the 300 Spartans and their leader King Leonidas and the Persians in 353 BC.

Monument of King Leonidas

The monument of King Leonidas was erected by the battlefield reminding all of us of the sacrifice of those patriots for a free country.

 

Finally, we drive back to Athens by the National highway.

 

 

Please take a look at the right of the page for additional tour information.

 

Argolis, Sparta, Monemvasia, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora & Mount Olympus Tour

Entrance fee required :

8 Euros for Ancient Corinth and the Museum
12 Euros for Ancient Epidaurus
12 Euros for the Acropolis of Mycenae and the Treasury of Atreus
5 Euros for the Olive Oil Museum
12 Euros for the Acropolis of Sparta, the Museum and Mystras
12 Euros for Diros Caves
12 Euros for Delphi and the Museum
3 Euros for each Monastery at Meteora
12 Euros for Vergina
8 Euros for Dion and the Museum

Sites Opening Hours

  • Winter : From November 1 to March 31 08:00 until 15:00
  • Summer : From April 1 to October 31 08:00 until 20:00
  • January 1st : closed
  • January 6th : 08:00 until 15:00
  • Shrove Monday : 08:00 until 15:00
  • March 25th : closed
  • Good Friday : 12:00 until 17:00
  • Holy Saturday : 08:00 until 15:00
  • Easter Sunday : closed
  • Easter Monday : 08:00 until 20:00
  • May 1st : closed
  • Holy Spirit day : 08:00 until 20:00
  • August 15th : 08:00 until 20:00
  • October 28th : 08:00 until 15:00
  • December 25th : closed
  • December 26th : closed

Free Entrance & Free Entrance Days

  • Free entrance : For students from E.U (student id is required)
  • Free entrance : For children under 19 years old
  • Reduced entrance fee for students outside the E.U
  • Reduced entrance fee for citizens over 65 years old from E.U Countries


Free Entrance Days

  • National holidays
  • The last weekend of September
  • The first Sunday of every month (except for July, August and September)
  • Sundays from first of November until 31st of March
  • March 6th
  • April 18th
  • May 18th
  • June 5th
  • September 27th

Custom Tours

Custom tours are available according to your specific needs.
Furthermore, you can combine several tours into one.
Feel free to contact us, inform us about your interests and your Hellenic Private Tour will be provided, tailor made just for you.

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Useful Information

  • Police : 100
  • Tourist Police : 171
  • Fire Department : 199
  • First Aid : 166
  • Life Line S.O.S : 112
  • On Duty Hospitals & Clinics : 1434
  • Doctor S.O.S : 1016

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