Greece is a fascinating country with a long history and many fascinating traditions. This vacation features the major sites, starting in Athens with its Acropolis and lively Plaka district dotted with cafés and archaeological findings. Discover Meteora with its extraordinary monasteries built atop rock formations; ancient Delphi, sight of the Delphic Oracle; and Olympia, sight of the first Olympic Games. Test the acoustics at the Epidaurus Theater, and explore Mycenae, where Agamemnon’s golden mask was found. Cross the Corinth Canal and return to Athens for the conclusion of your Greek adventure.
Day #1 Arrive in Athens, Greece. Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to start exploring the Greek capital. Later, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers and maybe join them in an optional evening out.
Day #2 Athens–Kalambaka. This morning’s included sightseeing features the highlights of Athens with a visit to the Acropolis. In the afternoon, after bypassing Lamia into Thessaly and by way of Trikala to Kalambaka, spend the night in the vicinity of Meteora, which will be visited tomorrow. (B,D)
Day #3 Kalambaka–Meteora–Delphi. A short drive to Meteora, which is a cluster of monastic buildings perched in an unforgettable manner on a set of rising rock formations. Your included visit is certainly the day´s highlight. Later, retrace your steps southwards to reach Delphi for an overnight. (B)
Day #4 Delphi–Olympia. Included morning sightseeing in Delphi, in ancient times known as the “Navel of the Earth.” Located five minutes from the village, the ancient site, backed by imposing Mount Parnassus, is in one of the most beautiful natural settings in the country. Sightseeing will guide you along the Sacred Way to see the Temple of Apollo, some of the treasures, and the theater. This afternoon, follow the Gulf of Corinth through Nakpaktos to Antirion over the new spectacular bridge towards Olympia for an overnight. (B,D)
Day #5 Olympia–Epidaurus–Nauplia. The original home of the Olympic Games, first held in 776 BC, Olympia was a sacred precinct to the god Zeus, whose temple once housed one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. This morning’s included sightseeing takes in the ancient stadium where the games were held and the temples of Zeus and his wife, Hera. Later, travel across the mountains of Arcadia, passing through Tripolis before entering the Argolis, land of Greek myths and legends. Stop awhile to visit the Epidaurus theater, which can still seat 14,000 spectators. Overnight in Nauplia on the Argolic Gulf. (B)
Day #6 Nauplia–Mycenae–Corinth Canal–Athens. This morning, visit the imposing ruins of the site of Mycenae with a Local Guide (entrance fees included), the ancient city Homer called a “city rich in gold.” It was here that the Golden Mask of Agamemnon was unearthed, along with many other treasures that matched exactly Homer’s descriptions in the Iliad. Enter the city by the magnificent Lion’s Gate and stroll up to Agamemnon’s Royal Palace. Then, to the Corinth Canal for a brief stop before continuing to Athens for two overnights. (B)
Day #7 Athens. An opportunity to see island life from the cruise ship on the optional three-island cruise, visiting Aegina, Poros, and Hydra. Poros is a lush island with a maze of narrow streets. Aegina is the main producer of pistachio nuts in Greece, while Hydra, where beautiful boutiques line the scenic harbor, is home to a large artist’s community. (B)
Day #8 Athens. Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (B)