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Classical Greece - Mythology and Olympic Games

Athens - Mycenae – Epidaurus – Olympia – Delphi – Osios Loukas

 

Highlights

Athens :  Acropolis of Athens, Parthenon. Erechtheion, New Acropolis Museum

Argolis: Myceane, Epidaurus, Palamidi

Olympia:   Archaeological Musem , Ancient Stadium , Hermes of Praxitelis

Delphi Oracle , Sacred way , Temple of Apollo

Osios Loukas  The Monastery

 

Day 01 – Arrival Athens

Arrival at Athens Airport. Our assistant will meet you and escort you to the waiting Bus. We recommend a walk in the centre of Athens in order to get the feel of the Greek metropolis

Check-in the Hotel. Overnight

 

Day 02 – Full Day Athens

Breakfast at the Hotel. Our Bus Driver will meet you in front of your hotel and the Panoramic tour of Athens begins. You will pass by the Presidential Manor (former Royal Palace), The Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympics took place in 1896 (short photo stop), Hadrian´s Gate, the Memorial to the unknown soldier guarded by the presidential Guard (Evzones), The Parliament, Academy, National Library, Omonia Square, Constitution square.

You will arrive in Acropolis where you will visit Parthenon and Erechtheion. Immediately after walk to the New Acropolis Museum. The Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis houses finds from the sanctuaries that were founded on the slopes of the Acropolis, as well as objects that Athenians used in everyday life from all historic periods. On the left-hand side, finds from some of the key sanctuaries of the slopes are exhibited. On the right-hand side, finds from the smaller sanctuaries and settlements that developed on the slopes of the Hill are displayed. In antiquity, the slopes of the Sacred Rock constituted the transition zone between the city and its most famous sanctuary. This was the area where official and popular cults, as well as large and small sanctuaries existed alongside private houses. For the first time ever, it is possible to view the coffered ceiling of the Propylaea and the sculptures from the parapet of the temple of Athena Nike, and finally, the Caryatids – or Korai of the Erechtheion at proximity on the balcony overlooking the Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis. The main monuments that constitute the Classical Acropolis are the Propylaea, the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion.

We do suggest a walk in Plaka, the old Athenian quartier. Return to the Hotel. Overnight

Day 03 – Argolis - Olympia

After Breakfast leave by the Coastal Road to the Corinth Canal (short stop for photos). We will visit Mycenae Archaeological site and the tomb of Agamemnon. We will continue to the town of Nafplion where will visit Palamidi. The fort of the Palamidi, which has been preserved in excellent condition, is one of the greatest achievements of Venetian fortification architecture.

The hill of Palamidi, which takes its name from the Homeric hero Palamedes, does not seem to have been systematically fortified until the second Venetian occupation. The construction of the fort was basically carried out during the time of Venetian General Superintendent of the Fleet, Agostino Sagredo, from 1711 to 1714, marking the fort not only as a major feat in terms of its fortifications, but also in terms of the speed with which it was constructed. The engineers Giaxich and Lasalle designed a fort that was based on a system of mutually supporting and mutually defending bastions, which are built one above the other on an east-west axis and are connected to each other by a wall. The total of eight bastions are self-contained so that if one of them was breached, the rest could continue their defence. Free time in Nafplion for lunch.

We will visit the famous theatre at Asclepius of Epidaurus which is one of the most important monuments of ancient Greece. It combines perfect acoustics, elegance and symmetrical proportions. It was built around 340-33 BC, so that the patients of the Asklepion could watch theatrical performances and was in use until the 3rd century AD. Imagine it how it once was, when musicians, singers and actors performed here every four years in the spring. Imagine the dramatic performances and rituals that honoured the god of medicine, Asclepius, and be transported to another time.

We continue to Olympia. Overnight

 

Day 04 – Olympia – Delphi

Breakfast at the Hotel

A day’s visit to the birthplace of the Olympic Games will not suffice, so much is there to absorb. The scale of ancient Greek history never ceases to astound us. In this corner of the Peloponnese, the father of gods and men was worshipped; this is the site of Zeus’ most magnificent sanctuary.

The centrepiece of the shrine, his gold and ivory statue, crafted by Phidias, stood 13.5m tall and was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It no longer exists but you will be able to admire first-hand the famous Hermes by Praxiteles. Both the site and the museum offer a vivid picture of the splendour, the glory and the breadth of a civilisation that gave so much to the world. You’re on the fast track for a time-travelling adventure through history, through the glory of Ancient Greece. On your marks. Get set. Go!

We continue to Delphi. Overnight.

 

Day 05 – Delphi – Osios Loukas - Athens

Breakfast at the hotel.

Layers of myth and history enhance the natural magnificence of Delphi. It is told that Zeus sent two eagles in opposite directions to determine the fulcrum of all existence. When they met at Delphi, he proclaimed it the “navel of the world”. Tradition also relates that at Delphi a sanctuary existed, dedicated to Mother Earth and guarded by the dragon Python. Apollo, disguised as a dolphin, arrived at Kirra, Delphi’s port, slew the dragon and founded his own sanctuary in its place, the Temple of Apollo.

The Delphic oracle was an important spiritual and religious centre from the 6th century BC to the 4th century AD and rewarded the god-fearing with credible, if ambiguous, prophecies. Ancient pilgrims expressed their gratitude in the form of dozens of magnificent offerings that came to light during excavations. Like a worshipper in ancient times, you’ll walk up the Sacred Way to the majestic Temple of Apollo, which was decorated by Athenian sculptors. Pythia issued her prophecies from its inner sanctum. The temple is surrounded by monuments dedicated to the ancient Greek city-states, leaders and ordinary people and the whole place still exudes a unique energy. Stand before it and look carefully at the ruins. They date from a temple built in 330 BC on the foundations of an earlier Doric temple erected in 505 BC. North of the sanctuary you’ll find the theatre, where music and drama contests were held. Walk even higher and you’ll come to the Stadium, where the Pythian Games took place. 

On the way to Athens we will make a short stop in the monastery of Hosios Loukas, situated in a picturesque valley teemed with olive trees. Byzantine monasteries are built in sites characterized by amazing natural beauty, always in harmony with the surrounding landscape, following the example of the ancient temples. The Byzantine abundance of the monastery still functioning today was recently brought to light due to a successful restoration project. The monastery was founded around the middle of the 10th century AD by the monk Loukás from Stýri. His relics are exhibited in the Katholicon (main church of the monastery).

Return to Athens. Overnight

 

Day 06 – Departure day

Transfer to the Airport for your departure flight

 

This program includes

  • Accommodation in a 3* Hotel on Bed and Breakfast
  • All transfers and tours as per our detailed Programme with a Deluxe Bus

 

Not included in the programme

  • Guide service at archaeological sites.
  • Entries in archaeological sites and public museums are usually free for European students under 18 years old and in possession of a School identification. Send us proof of your school and two photos of the group leader, then we can get a free pass for the teachers.
  • Meals 








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