Morning arrival to Igoumenitsa by ferry. Drive on Egnatia motorway to Kalabaka. On the way we stop in the beautiful city of Ioannina. Walk next to the lake, the castle, the craft market and taking the boat, we visit the small island of Kyra Frosini with her tragic story. Next, after a short drive we stop at the traditional village of Metsovo to test its famous smoked cheese. Then driving west in Greece mainland, we arrive to Kalabaka.
Short drive to the unique Meteora to visit 2 of the most famous Byzantine Monasteries (about 300 steps) the Byzantine Monasteries standing between earth and the sky atop huge rocks and containing historical and religious treasures. One of the Monasteries we’ll see is the Great Meteoron (Monastery of the Transfiguration of Christ). It is the highest, largest and oldest of the six remaining monasteries of Meteora. The 1st monastery in the area was hand-built by a monk from Athos in 14th century. Then driving west, we arrive to Delphi.
Delphi city considered by the ancients Greeks to be the center (“omphalos”) of the world and a religious center. This is the place where you might get Pythia’s chrism for your future and the future of the world, as many other Kings and Emperors in the past have done. Even Alexander the Great got her advice before conquering the word. Guided tour to Archeological site, Temple of Apollo, theater, market and the famous “omphalos” (= navel of the earth), and finally the Delphi Museum with the amazing sculptures. Then driving south through central Greece, we arrive to Athens to your hotel. Walk by your own to Plaka, Athens old town.
Optional Dinner in a local tavern at Plaka.
Athens sightseeing, Constitution Square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the National Library. Driving down Herod Atticus str., you will see the Evzones in their picturesque uniform and the Presidential Palace. On your way to the acropolis you will see the Hadrian’s Arch, visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus and you will make a short stop at the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896. Then Acropolis, the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age (5th Century BC) of Athens, Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, and finally Parthenon, a place any civilized person has to visit. We complete our tour with the visit to new Museum of Acropolis. Then drive west on highway we arrive to Nafplio/Tolo. On the way we’ll have a short stop at Corinth Canal. Overnight at Nafplio or Tolo.
Day for swimming and sunbathing in the beautiful beach of Tolo.
Argolis, Epidaurus ancient Theatre – Mycenae – Nafplio
This day we’ll see Epidaurus ancient open theatre (16000 seats) famous for its acoustics (4th century B.C.). We visit the Homeric city of Mycenae, (1300 B.C.) home town of King Agamemnon, leader of Greeks in the Trojan war to see the Lions Gate, the Cyclopean Walls, the Royal Tombs. Then after a short stop at beautiful Nafplio, the first capital of Greece in its modern history, we drive through central Peloponnesus to Olympia.
Guided visit to Ancient Olympia, the archeological site with the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Hera, the altar of the Olympic flame, the Olympic stadium of 45,000 seating capacity where the first Olympic games took place in 776 B.C, the archaeological museum with the famous Hermes sculpture of Praxitelus. Then traveling on the west side of Peloponnesus we arrive to Patras for your departure by ferry. If the time permits before departure we’ll visit Achaia Klaus wine refinery at Patras, one of the oldest in Greece.