Classical Greece with Sparta and Mystras 8 days tour will show you all the most important places of Ancient Greece and the ruins of the Medival city of Mystras
Day by Day Itinerary
DAY 1: ATHENS
Upon your arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Tonight we will have a panoramic tour of Athens and we will take you to a nice Greek restaurant at Pendeli mountain for dinner
DAY 2: ATHENS – HALF DAY CITY TOUR – GREEK NIGHT
This tour gives you an opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. Our expert guides will take you to see the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896 (shortstop).
Continue and pass by the Prime Minister’s residence (ex Royal Palace) guarded by the Euzones in their colourful uniform, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Hadrian’s Arch, the Parliament and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, theNational Library, the Constitution Square (Syntagma). On the Acropolis visit the Architectural Masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally “the harmony between material and spirit”, the monument that “puts an order in the mind”, the Parthenon.
Tour will end by visiting the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum, “State of the art” in museum construction and very rich in content.
Afternoon free to visit Plaka (The old Athens city) with lots of souvenir shops, restaurants and taverns.
Tonight we will take you to a restaurant with Greek popular music (the transportation is included but not the meal and the drinks)
DAY 3: ATHENS – EPIDAURUS -NAUPLION – SPARTA
Leave by the Coastal Road to the Corinth Canal (shortstop). Drive on and visit Epidaurus which was a small city in ancient Greece, at the Saronic Gulf. Reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius, the healer, Epidaurus was known for its sanctuary, the cult of Asclepius at Epidaurus is attested in the 6th century BC. as well as its theatre, which is once again in use today.
The Sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The theatre is marvelled for its exceptional acoustics, which permits almost perfect intelligibility of non-amplified spoken word from the proscenium or scene to all 15,000 spectators, regardless of their seating.
Then proceed to the Town of Nauplion, the first capital of Greece. We will see the Bourtzi and the Palamidi fortresses and have lunch in a nice restaurant. Then we drive to Sparta.
DAY 4: SPARTA – MYSTRAS – VYTINA – STEMNITSA – DIMITSANA – LAGADIA – OLYMPIA
After breakfast in the hotel, we will visit Mystras. Mystras is a fortified town situated on Mt. Taygetos, that served as the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea in the 14th and 15th centuries, experiencing a period of prosperity and cultural flowering. The site remained inhabited throughout the Ottoman period when it was mistaken by Western travellers for ancient Sparta.
The frescoes in the Peribleptos Monastery Church, dating between 1348 and 1380, are a very rare surviving late Byzantine cycle, crucial for the understanding of Byzantine art.
In 1989 the ruins, including the fortress, palace, churches, and monasteries, were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
We will leave Mystras and drive to Olympia following the non-tourist roads. We will have a lot of drive through the forest, passing through the villages of Vytina, Pirgaki and Elati and arrive in the famous Stemnita with a lot of stone houses with a special colour. Then we go to Dimitsana, a small town that stands on the top of a small hill, with nice houses and a special open-air Hydropower Museum which we will visit inside. We continue to Lagadia village, famous for its architecture, built on the slope of the mountain. We leave the village and drive from the mountains to the flat Ancient Olympia, the Cradle of the Olympic Games for overnight.
DAY 5: OLYMPIA – WINE TASTING – DELPHI
Olympia was a sanctuary of ancient Greece, known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, the most famous games in history.
The sanctuary, known as the Altis, consists of an unordered arrangement of various buildings. Enclosed within the temenos are the Temple of Hera (or Heraion/Heraeum) and Temple of Zeus, the Pelopion and the area of the altar, where the sacrifices were made. The Hippodrome and later stadium were also to the east.
To the north of the sanctuary can be found the Prytaneion and the Philippeion, as well as the array of treasuries representing the various city-states.
Olympia is also known for the gigantic ivory and gold statue of Zeus that used to stand there, sculpted by Pheidias, which was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Antipater of Sidon.
After the visit to the ancient places, we will go to a famous winery for inspection and wine tasting with Greek meze.
Then drive on through the plains of Eliad and Achaia until the magnificent bridge which is crossing the Corinthian Bay from Rion to Antirion. Pass by the picturesque Towns of Nafpactos (Lepanto) and Itea, arrive in Delphi for overnight.
DAY 6: DELPHI – METEORA
Delphi was the centre of Ancient World – the “Omphalos” (Navel of Earth) – whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic World.
On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios.
Visit the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the Museum containing such masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias. Depart for Kalambaka, a small Town situated at the foot of the astonishing complex of Meteora, gigantic rocks for overnight.
Before going to bed we have to admire the sunset on the top of Meteora and have dinner in a nice place outside the city.
DAY 7: METEORA – ATHENS
Meteora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. Among striking scenery, perched on top of huge rocks which seem to be suspended in mid-air, stand ageless Monasteries, where you can see exquisite specimens of Byzantine art. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and the Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The Meteora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Return to Athens via Trikala, Lamia, Thermopylae (visit the Leonida’s monument). Arrive in Athens in the evening and transfer to your hotel.
DAY 8: ATHENS – AIRPORT
According to your departure time, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.
The ideal time for this tour: April to October
The ideal size of the group: 4 to 8 persons
Official English speaking guide only on the Athens city tour
The price per person will be calculated according to the number of persons participating
Hotel category can be from 3* to 5* (5* hotels not available in all places)