Europe

Highlights of Greece Itinerary

Duration
10 Days Itinerary
From
USD $2,595 Dates/Prices
Day
Day 1
1

Athens

Welcome to Athens, the capital of Greece. Named after Athena, the Greek goddess of wisdom, Athens can trace its history back centuries and is considered the birthplace of Western civilization.

After our arrival into the city we meet for a welcome drink in the oldest wine bar of the Plaka before a souvlaki dinner. The Plaka district nestles on the Northern and Eastern slopes of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Acropolis and is a fitting neighborhood from which to commence our small group tour.

[Dinner]

Day 2
2

Athens: Tour the ancient Acropolis

Explore ancient monuments, lively markets and vine-covered tavernas in Athens. Walking is one of the best ways to experience this quintessentially Athenian atmosphere.

After breakfast we embark on a tour of the city including the 4th century Panathinaikon Stadium, the Zappeion, the ruins of the Temple of Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch, Athen’s central square—Syntagma Square, the new and old Parliament, and more. We enjoy free time for lunch before we continue to the Acropolis for a guided tour and a visit to the Acropolis Museum. The crowning glory of the Acropolis is undoubtedly the impressive Parthenon, long considered the finest example of classical Greek architecture.

On foot, we make our way to the Plaka district. In Plaka, we spend some time on our own for lunch and to explore the old city, its narrow streets and numerous shops. Later in the afternoon we enjoy a scenic drive along the coast of Attica. During our drive we pass through some of the most prestigious southern suburbs of Athens on our way to the southern-most tip of Attica, Cape Sounion. Here, we visit the Temple of Poseidon, built atop a rock overlooking the Aegean Sea – on a clear day you can even spot some of the nearby islands. We enjoy dinner this evening at a local seafront restaurant.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 3
3

Athens to Kalambaka: The monasteries of Meteora

The quaint city of Kalambaka is our destination today, located at the foot of the rocky sandstone outcrops of Meteora. Travelers are rewarded with amazing views of the monasteries perched high above, giving the township a truly dramatic backdrop. On our way to Kalambaka we stop at the site of the Battle of Thermopylae and view the statue of Leonidas, King of Sparta.

Special Experience

After some free time for lunch in Kalambaka we take off to explore the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Byzantine monasteries of Meteora where monks have been settled since the 14th century. Suspended high in the air, they float above the fertile farmlands of the Thessaly plains. We visit two of the monasteries, which still function as such today, and witness breathtaking views as the sun sets.

We return to our hotel for our evening meal.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 4
4

Kalambaka: Ioannina and Metsovo

We journey to Greece’s north and the cities of Ioannina and Metsovo. Ioannina sits on the Western shore of Lake Pamvotis and, after we explore the old quarter and its Byzantine castle, we board a boat to the small island of the lake. We walk on the island and visit the museum of Ali Pasha. We have free time for lunch before we drive to Metsovo, one of the region’s most beautiful villages and famed for its unique architecture and local dairy produce. We enjoy dinner in Metsovo before returning to our hotel in Kalambaka for the evening.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 5
5

Kalambaka to Nafpaktos: Delphi

In ancient times, Delphi was considered the center of the known world, the point where heaven and Earth met. Located on the slopes of Mount Parnassos with views over the Corinthian gulf, Delphi was a place where people from around the world would visit to receive an oracle from Pythia. We tour the ruins today visiting the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Treasury of the Athenians and the museum of Delphi with its famed bronze charioteer.

We travel to the small village of Glyfada where we take a short boat ride to the islet of Trizonia. On the island we enjoy lunch at a local tavern that specializes in seafood. Then, it’s on to Nafpaktos where we check in at our hotel before an evening walk through the Venetian-influenced port town. Its center is alive with little bars and local restaurants.

[Breakfast and Lunch]

Day 6
6

Nafpaktos: Heroes of Olympia

Welcome to the Western Peloponnese region, home to ancient Olympia in the ‘Valley of the Gods’. Today we explore the impressive ruins of the stadium and gymnasium, and visit the Archaeological Museum of Olympia. The museum houses some of the most important works of Classical Art including the statue of Nike by Paionios, the Hermes of Praxiteles and one of the richest collections of bronze works in the world.

We return to Nafpaktos stopping at its castle, built at the top of the township and offering spectacular views across the gulf of Corinth. Those of us with energy to spare can opt to walk back to the old port through the narrow cobblestone streets of the upper town.

[Breakfast]

Day 7
7

Nafpaktos to Nafplio: Odontotos Railway

We journey across the Argolic plain to the town of Nafplio today. Its mix of ancient walls, castles, fountains and neoclassical architecture makes this town a photographer’s delight. We stop along the way at Diakopto, a small town at the lower end of the Vouraikos gorge.

Special Experience

All aboard for a spectacular train ride connecting Diakopto to Kalavryta on the Odontotos ‘rack and pinion’ Railway. Many bridges span over the Vouraikos River and we pass through tunnels and picturesque countryside on our journey. 

Next, we visit the Cave of the Lakes with an amazing array of stalagmites and stalactites. A short drive takes us to the area of Planitero. Here, we enjoy a late lunch of fresh local trout before continuing to Nafplio.

[Breakfast and Lunch]

Day 8
8

Nafplio: Mycenae and Nemea

We travel to the city of Mycenae and explore the citadel and its cyclopean walls. The blocks of the walls are so large that they were thought to be placed by giant one-eyed Cyclopes. We continue to the region of Nemea, renowned for its wine. Here we visit a local winery and sample the local drop.

Special Experience

We connect with the local culture with a visit to a nearby village where we get hands-on with a Greek cooking experience. Here we learn more about Mediterranean cuisine before indulging in a delicious lunch.

Our afternoon is at leisure in Nafplio.

[Breakfast and Lunch]

Day 9
9

Nafplio to Athens: Epidaurus and Corinth

In antiquity, Epidaurus was the healing center of the Greek empire. Today we travel here and visit the ancient theater of Epidaurus, the best-preserved in Greece, on our journey back to Athens.

We continue towards ancient Corinth, home to Saint Paul and where he inscribed the first and second letters to the Corinthians. We visit the ruins of the ancient city, the agora (the market) where Paul’s trial took place, the temple of Apollo and the fountain of Peirene. We then travel to the Corinth canal, before continuing on our way to Athens.

We head to the Plaka district when we arrive back in Athens, towards Monastiraki and its famous flea market. Our walking tour gives us great views along the Acropolis and of Athens’ best-preserved temple, the Temple of Hephaestus. We reach a local restaurant in Thisio where we enjoy our farewell dinner this evening with views overlooking ancient Agora and the Temple of Hephaestus.

[Breakfast and Dinner]

Day 10
10

Depart Athens

Our tour concludes after breakfast this morning. We bid farewell to our new friends and to the ancient history of Greece.

[Breakfast]

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