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Exploring Ancient Greece

Day 1 Depart from North America
  • Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America.
Day 2 Athens - Eleusis - Tolo
  • Ancient Eleusis Explore this center for religious devotion from the Mycenaean period that served as the base for the annual Eleusian Mysteries. Thousands of people came to this site to be initiated into the rites every autumn. Highlights will include the remains of the Greater Propylaia, the Ploutonion, the Lesser Propylaia, the Telesterion and the Anaktoron. Our visit will also include a visit to the small Museum with artifacts from the ancient sight.
  • 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.
Day 3 Mycenae - Corinth - Epidaurus
  • Mycenae 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.
  • 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 the huge rock fortress located just outside Corinth known as the Acrocorinth. This famous fortress could withstand lengthy sieges due to the presence of the upper Peirene spring on the southeast side of the ramparts. Enjoy one of the most sweeping views in all of Greece, stretching over 35 miles in all directions from the Geraneia range in the northeast to the peaks of the Ziria in the southwest.
  • Epidaurus A celebrated therapeutic and religious center of the Classical world dedicated to the healing god Asklepios. The 3rd century BC complex contains a variety of structures, with the most important and impressive being the ancient Theater. This impressive venue, known for its exceptional acoustics, is the best preserved of all the ancient theaters in Greece, and is still used today for performances.
Day 4 Tolo - Mystras - Olympia
  • Mystras Majestic Mystras occupies a panoramic site on a spur of the rugged Taygetos range. Founded by the Franks in 1249, it was later the seat of the Byzantine province of Morea. By the 15th century, it had grown to become a major Byzantine cultural center, before it was abandoned totally in 1832. Enjoy a stunning view of Mystras from the Kastro, or Castle Area. Enter the site through the castle itself, and then explore the monasteries, churches, palaces and houses that line the narrow, winding streets.
  • Despot’s Palace A rare example of Byzantine civic architecture, this massive palace is highlighted by the Throne Room of the rulers of the Cantacuzene and Palaiologgos dynasties.
  • Olympia 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.
Day 5 Olympia
  • 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. 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 6 Delphi
  • Delphi Delphi is both an ancient site and a modern town located on Mt. Parnassus. The modern town was moved after the discovery of the archaeological site, and is a lovely place to explore and enjoy the views. The ancient site was one of the most important religious sites in the Greek world and home to the famous Oracle of Delphi.
  • Sanctuary of Apollo The most important sacred site in the Greek world. This was a major site for the worship of the god Apollo, believed to have slain the Pytho, a deity who lived here and protected the mythological center of the earth. Walk along the Sacred Way, which winds up a hill towards the main temple of Apollo. We will pass an array of dedicatory objects and the old Treasury as we wind up the path, as the Ancient Greeks did during their sacred processions.
  • Doric Temple of Apollo Visit the spectacular ruins of the home of the Pythia, the oracle who would deliver the prophecies of the gods.
  • Delphi Archaeological Museum This museum displays some of the finest works of art in Greece. The museum’s 15 rooms chronicle the history of Delphi from the 15th century BC to the 4th century AD, and includes many magnificent treasures donated from locations throughout the Classical world.
  • Walking Tour through the Monastiraki Travel from the Delphi Area to Athens and 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.
Day 7 Athens
  • Acropolis Visit the Acropolis which has dominated Athens for over 2,000 years; habitation traces indicate that it was occupied as early as the Neolithic age. 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.
  • 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.
Day 8 Athens & Cape Sounion
  • National Archaeological Museum Explore 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.
  • Hadrian's Arch 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.
  • Cape Sounion One of the most famous and picturesque places in Attica. The Cape is located 69km southeast of Athens at the southernmost point of the Attica peninsula.
  • Temple of Poseidon Visit the Temple of Poseidon, located on the cliffs of Cape Sounion on at the edge of Chora Sfakion the Aegean Sea. The present temple ruins, built around 440 BC and dedicated to the Greek god of the sea, include an Ionic frieze and many original columns.
Day 9 Departure from Athens
  • Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our Tour Director accompanies us to the airport on our final day.