Day 1 :
Departure from your airport
Day 2 :
Arrive in Athens - Tolo
- Arrive in Athens:
Our Greek Tour Director will meet us at the airport and accompany us 24-hours per day throughout our tour. Our tour will also include local specialist guides at many of the sights around Greece that will lead interactive and engaging tours as well as discussions and debates.
We continue on our journey from Athens to Tolo.
The resort town of Tolo, on the Peloponnese peninsula, features the beauty and charm of a traditional Greek fishing village highlighted with sandy beaches. The present town was founded in 1870, but the Bay of Tolo was mentioned as far back as the writings of Homer, and played an important role throughout history. Our accommodations tonight will be in Tolo. Breakfast and dinner will be included at the hotel.
Day 3 :
Nafplion - Mycenae - Epidaurus - Olympia
- Mycenae and Epidaurus:
We continue on our journey from Tolo to Olympia. En route, visit Mycenae and Epidaurus.
- Theatre of Epidaurus:
Take time to visit the theatre of Epidaurus, the most famous and best preserved of all the ancient theatres in Greece. The acoustics are still a marvel of engineering. At Epidaurus the students will engage in a group discussion within the theater on the construction of an acoustical masterpiece. Designed by Polykleitos the Younger in the late 4th century BC, the theater is well-known for its near-perfect acoustics that will be demonstrated by our Greek guide. Our discussion will focus on the mathematical and engineering genius that went into designing a theater that maintains its acoustics to current day. In addition the students will learn about the origins of Greek drama and will be asked to write their own short play, which they will perform at Epidaurus.
- Mycenae's Palace Complex:
Visit Mycenae and the fortified Palace Complex uncovered by archaeologist Heinrich Schielmann in 1874. Highlights will include the 13th century BC Lion Gate; Grave Circle A, with its six royal family shaft graves; the Royal Palace and the Secret Stairway, a flight of 99 steps that lead down to a cistern deep beneath the citadel.
- Treasury of Atreus:
We will also visit the treasury of Atreus, the most outstanding of the tholos tombs at Mycenae. The tomb dates back to the 14th century BC and is one of only two double chambered tombs in Greece. It has 120 ft. dromos flanked by dressed stone and a small ossuary that held the bones from the previous burials. A 30 ft. long lintel stone stands over the entrance; weighing almost 265,000 lbs., it is still not know how it was hoisted into place, and it is a genuine tribute to Mycenean building skills.
Our Greek guide will lead the students in a discussion on the Trojan War and Homer's Iliad while utilizing the archaeological evidence found in the remains at the Mycenae site. Topics discussed may include the Greek Heroes and Myths, Greek Warfare and Military Strategy, the Curse of the House of Atreus, 19th Century Archaeology in Greece, Tholos Tombs Around the Globe, or Greek Myths in Western Art.
The modern town of Olympia is filled with shops, tavernas, and museums, and is a wonderful place to relax and wander. Most visitors, however, know Olympia only as the birthplace of the Olympic Games, which were first held here in 776 BC, in one of Zeus' most sacred places. Through the games, Olympia has cultivated the ideals of humanity since ancient times.
Our accommodations for the next two nights will be in Olympia. Breakfast and dinner will be included at the Hotel.
Day 4 :
Katakolo - Olympia
- Katakolo's Museum of Ancient Greek Technology:
We will stop in Katakolo to take a tour of the Museum of Ancient Greek Technology, which includes over 200 operating models of ancient Greek technology; it is the most complete exhibition of its kind in the world. The exhibits are accompanied by rich explanatory material including audio-visual and interactive displays.
- Ancient Olympia Complex:
Tour the remains of the Ancient Olympia Complex, including the Palaestra, Pheidia’s Workshop, and the Temple of Zeus, which once contained a 12m statue to Zeus that was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Take time to participate in a few running events at the stadium during the visit.
- Olympic Games Activity:
After our tour of Olympia our Greek Tour Director will assist us in organizing our own early Olympic Games followed by a group discussion on the use of sport in diplomacy.
- Archaeological Museum of Olympia:
Visit the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, one of the most important museums in Greece. The museum’s permanent exhibition contains finds from excavations of the sacred precinct of the Altis. This precinct dates from prehistoric times to the early Christian period.
Day 5 :
Olympia - Corinth - Corinth Canal - Athens
Today we will travel from Olympia to Athens. En route we will visit Corinth.
Corinth is one of the most ancient cities in Greece and was one of the largest and most prosperous. It eventually became an important Roman colony and drew significant historical figures, such as St. Paul, who worked and lived here after leaving Athens.
Explore the remains of ancient Corinth, where excavations continue (you may see archaeologists at work).
- Temple of Apollo:
The most interesting surviving building at ancient Corinth is the 6th century BC Temple of Apollo, which stands on a hill overlooking the remains of the Roman Agora. Only 7 of the temple's 38 monolithic Doric columns are standing, the others having long since been toppled by earthquakes.
- Corinth Canal:
View the Corinth Canal which connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. The canal is very narrow and is unserviceable to most modern ships but it was a huge accomplishment when it was finished in the nineteenth century as it was an idea that had dated back over two thousand years.
After our visit to Corinth we will view the Corinth Canal and engage in a discussion on the engineering behind the canal's creation and the effects this had on Greek commercial, political and cultural life.
- Plato's Academy:
En route to Athens we will stop just outside of the city to explore the archaeological site of Plato's Academy. The site today is located on either side of Cratylus Street in the area of Colonos. On both sides of Cratylus Street we will view important monuments, like the Sacred House of the Geometric Era, the Gymnasium, the Proto Helladic Vaulted House and the Peristyle Building, which is perhaps the only major building that belonged to the actual Academy of Plato. According to an unvarifiable story, dated some 700 years after the founding of the school, above the entrance to the Academy was inscribed the phrase "Let None But Geometers Enter Here". On the site, our Math instructor will pose a problem to be studied and solved by the students using the dialectic method.
Athens is one of the oldest and greatest cities of Western Civilization, with a recorded history that extends back 3,400 years. During the Classical period Athens was a center for the arts, learning, and philosophy. It was the home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum. Modern Athens is still a vibrant city with a rich culture that takes great pride in its long and complex history.
Our accommodation for the next four nights will be in Athens.
We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Day 6 :
- Greek Orthodox Church Service:
During our time in Athens we will attend a church service together.
At this time of year, the Greek Orthodox Chuch recognizes 'Great Lent' which is the most important fasting season in the church year in the Byzantine Rite of the Eastern Orthodox Church, and prepares Christians for the greatest feast of the church year, Pascha (Easter).
Visit the Acropolis which has dominated Athens for over 2,000 years, and habitation traces indicate that it was occupied as early as the Neolithic age.
Visit the Parthenon, the temple to Athena which crowns the Acropolis and overlooks the entire city.
The Erectheion is dedicated to Poseidon and Athena and the goddess's own olive tree, her gift to the people of Athens, stands at the west of the temple.
The Elgin Marbles are famous sculptures from the Parthenon frieze that are now housed in the British Museum in London. Great Britain acquired them in 1816 when Lord Elgin sold them for &35,000. At the Parthenon, the students will engage in a debate, facilitated by our Greek guide, as to whether they feel the Elgin Marbles should return to Greece or remain in the British Museum in London. The debate will focus on archeology and excavations and reasoning provided by the various governments for ownership of artifacts.
- Theatre of Dionysus:
Visit the Theatre of Dionysus, located on the southern slopes of the Acropolis. Able to seat up to 17,000 people, the theatre was used for the performance of major dramatic works written by men such as Sophocles and Euripides. The theatre was closely tied to the Cult of Dionysus as well, who used performances as celebrations of their deity.
- Acropolis Museum:
The Acropolis Museum contains a superb collection of sculptures from the area. The monuments of the Acropolis have withstood the ravages of past centuries, both of ancient times and those of the Middle Ages. Until the 17th century, foreign travelers visiting the monuments depicted the classical buildings as being intact.
View Hadrian’s Arch, an enormous triumphal arch built by the Roman Emperor, which is still a symbolic entrance to Athens.
- Temple of Olympian Zeus:
Explore the Temple of Olympian Zeus, once the largest temple in Athens. Though currently in ruins, its enormous size is suggested by the 15 columns that remain of the original 104. At one time, this was among the most important temples of the city, but over the centuries it was quarried to provide stone and building materials for the houses and churches of medieval Athens.
Temples were the most important public buildings in ancient Greece and have served as the basis for architecture ever since. While on the Acropolis the students will participate in a group discussion on the development of Temple Architecture in ancient Greece and its significant impact on architecture through modern day. Students will learn terminology and study the engineering skills required to build these massive temples to the Gods.
Day 7 :
- Hellenic Mathematical Society Tour:
Today, we will enjoy a tour of the Hellenic Mathematical Society (HMS), which is a learned society that promotes the study of mathematics in Greece. It was founded in 1918, and published the Bulletin of the Greek Mathematical Society. It is also a member of the European Mathematical Society. In addition to our tour, we will have the opportunity to meet some of the members and possibly learn about current research or national math contests.
- Local Athens school visit:
Today we will visit a local school in Athens and we will spend the morning attending various Math Classes with the Greek students. We will have an opportunity to witness the way math is taught in Athens and compare the style and approach of our own. The students will have the opportunity to ask questions and discuss various math problems with the Greek teachers and students. This will serve as a wonderful cultural connection and possible life-long friendships can be forged. (This activity is subject to final confirmation).
- Museum Herakleidon:
Visit the Museum Herakleidon, which has been bringing art, education, and culture to the general public since 2004. It aspires to help prepare young people, both intellectually and emotionally, to face the growing demands of our world. Today, Herakleidon Museum invites children and adults to come into contact with science, art, and mathematics, through creative play with judiciously chosen and designed interactive exhibits.
This evening we will dine in the lively Plaka Area, the historic heart of Athens.
Day 8 :
Take a Walking Tour through the Monastiraki, an old area of Athens that takes its name from a sunken monastery. This section of the city is highlighted by the Fethiye Mosque, the Tsistaraki Mosque, the Roman Agora, the remains of Hadrian’s Library, and the unique Tower of the Winds.
- Tower of the Winds:
A highlight of our walk through the Monastiraki will be the octagonal Tower of the Winds, built as a water clock and weather vane by the astronomer Andronikos Kyrrestes in the 1st century BC. After fully observing each of the eight sides, the students will engage in a discussion that compares ancient astronomy, timekeeping and weather prediction as compared to our modern versions today.
- Ancient Agora:
Discover the Ancient Agora, the political heart of Athens from 600 BC. With shops, a theater, and schools, the agora served as the center of social and commercial life. Highlights of the complex include the Hephaisteion, a particularly well-preserved temple, and the Stoa of Attalos, a reconstructed, colonnaded building that houses a small museum with finds from the agora.
- National Archaeological Museum:
Explore the National Archaeological Museum, the largest museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world. Its original purpose was to protect items from 19th century excavations in and around Athens. However, the collection quickly grew to include important treasures from all over Greece.
After our tour of the National Archeological Museum, we will meet with a local expert to learn more about Euclid's Antikythera Mechanism and why it is considered the world's first computer! The students will then participate in a group discussion and have the opportunity to ask questions and probe deeper into the research and conclusions made after the discovery.
Day 9 :
Athens - Samos
- Island of Samos:
Early this morning we will transfer by private bus to the Athens airport. We will take a short 55-minute flight from Athens to the Island of Samos. We will have use of a private coach and driver, while touring on Samos.
The Island of Samos is the most mountainous and densely forested of the Northeastern Aegean isles. Samos appears wild and mysterious as the hills that plunge into the sea are jagged with cypresses, and craggy peaks hide among the clouds.
We will travel to Pythagorio on the southeastern side of the island. Pythagorio is a unique cultural jewel of the Aegean, which has been declared as a Unesco Cultural World Heritage Site. This was the location of the ancient city of Samos, which was home to by several great philosophers, including Pythagoras, Aristarchus, Epicure and Aesop. We will take a guided tour of the archeological sites in the area. Our tour will also include , the Castle of Likourgos, the Church of Metamorphosis, the Church of Spiliani with its chapel in the cave, and the Roman Baths. We will make a mandatory photo stop at the statue of Pythagoras.
We will dig deeper into the method Eupalinos employed to make the two groups meet in the middle of the mountain. In planning the digging, Eupalinos used what are now well-known principles of geometry, which were codified by Euclid several centuries later. Our discussion will center around the tunnel, the use of math including horizontal and vertical planes, and other masterpieces of ancient engineering.
- Archeological Museum:
We will conclude our day with a tour of the Archeological Museum, which is one of Greece's largest archaeological collections. Samos was a major power player in the Aegean from as early as the 7th century BC. Early Samarians traded with cities on the Black Sea and Egypt, dug elaborate tunnels and built magnificent sanctuaries to the gods. From the Heraion, a sanctuary devoted to the goddess Hera, wife of Zeus, comes one of six monumental kouroi, statues of naked youths that flanked the roadway leading to a massive temple. Towering more than 16 feet, the gray-and-white marble kouros is the largest free-standing statue from ancient Greece to survive intact. Other statuary from the Heraion includes the Genolos Group, named for the sculptor who inscribed his name on the bases of his pieces.
Our accommodation tonight will be on Samos; breakfast and dinner will be provided at the hotel.
Day 10 :
Samos - Athens
- Traditional Greek Line Dancing:
Our coach and Tour Director will accompany us to the airport for our flight back to Athens.
We will enjoy our evening meal together in a local restaurant.
Cross Cultural Connection - Mousaka & Sousta!
As a wonderful conclusion to our time in Greece, we will enjoy an evening learning some traditional Greek line dancing, before heading to a local taverna for dinner, music and dance. We will live like a local and reflect on the Greek history, culture, and cuisine we have experienced while here in Greece.
Day 11 :
Departure from Athens