Cultural, historic & discovery tour of Greece featuring Athens, Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi and Meteora
This short 7-day Greece tour provides a great introduction to Athens and some of the surrounding highlights from ancient Greek history as well as getting a taste for the country's spectacular coastal and mountain scenery. We start with a tour of Athens itself, taking in the ancient sites of the Acropolis and some of modern Athens below as well. Next we head west towards Mycenea with several stops and some scenic coastal scenery along the way. Our guide will provide explanations about Greek history and mythology, relating them to the places you're visiting. Its an amazing feeling seeing the actual places where heroes and heroines from mythology played out their stories.
Our next stop is Olympia, birthplace of the Olympics and more ancient sites, before we head back towards Athens with a stop to tour the temples and ruins at Delphi on the way.
This is a small-group tour that runs weekly all year round, staying in comfortable hotels at around the 4-star level. We can also arrange the tour privately if you would prefer not to join a group.
Acropolis & Parthenon in Athens, Mycenae, Mediterranean coast at Nafplion, Palamidi fortress, ancient theatre of Epidaurus, birth place of the Olympics at Olympia, Temple of Apollo at Delphi, clifftop monasteries at Meteora
- Small Group
Day 1 : Arrive in Athens, transfer to hotel
Upon arrival into Athens airport (ATH) you'll be met by one of our representatives who will then transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is then free for you to settle in, relax after your flight, and have a look around the area independently before meeting the group and starting the first sightseeing tours tomorrow morning.
Extra day in Athens - pre-tour, Single Room Supplement (GRSGCG)
Day 2 : Athens, city tour
Our tour of Athens starts this morning at the Panathenaikon (Kallimarmaro) Stadium where we'll learn about the first Olympic Games of the modern era which were held here in 1896. Continuing on we make several other stops to see more of ancient and modern Athens, including the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian's Arch, the Parliament building, memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library, and Constitution Square (Syntagma).
In the afternoon we head to one of the most important and famous ancient sites in the world, the Acropolis, which sits on top of a rocky hill overlooking the city, providing great views. You'll see the temple of Erechtheion, the Propylae, the Temple of Athena Nike, and of course the most famous of Greek relics, the Partheno where you'll see the original home of the marble sculptures removed by Lord Elgin that are now held in the British Museum in London.
We'll then return to our hotel and have a free evening to find one of the city's famous local tavernas or restaurants, perhaps sampling the bustling atmosphere and winding streets of the Plaka.
Day 3 : Mycenae, Palamidi fortress & Nafplion
We leave Athens early this morning and cross the Corinth Canal en-route to the UNESCO WOrld Heritage Site of Mycenae. Here we'll see the home of mythical Agamemnon, the Lions gate, royal tombs and the Cyclopean walls. After touring these sites with our guide we head on to Nafplion which was the first capital of Greece in the region of Argolis. The picturesque town here nestles at the foot of a cliff with the mighty ramparts of the Palamidi Fortress towering above. We'll spend the night here and you can head into town in the evening to eat and explore the twisting streets, sophisticated atmosphere, see the numerous Venetian and Turkish buildings, and enjoy the views.
Day 4 : Olympia, drive to Delphi
We leave Nafplion early this morning and head to Olympia. This is the birthplace of the Olympic Games, which are thought to have begun here in 776 BC as part of a religious festival in honour of the king of the gods, Zeus. We'll visit the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia and learn more about the games' history, taking in the Temple of Zeus and Hera, the Stadium, the altar of the Olympic flame, and the museum which hosts an impressive statue of Hermes of Praxiteles.
Later in the afternoon we leave Olympia and head north over the Rio-Antirio Bridge to Delphi.
Day 5 : Tour of Delphi, then through Central Greece to Kalambaka
Delphi was once considered the centre of the ancient world and we'll tour a range of sites here including the remains of the Temple of Apollo which are remarkably well preserved. We also take in the Temple of Athena, the Oracle of Delphi and the Castalian Spring before you can explore the Archaeological Museum of Delphi which hosts some of ancient Greece's best remaining masterpieces such as Eniochos the bronze Charioteer.
Later we head further inland through some beautiful villages and towns of Central Greece, seeing some of the traditional local architecture, before arriving at the small picturesque city of Kalambaka which nestles at the foot of the mountains of Meteora.
Day 6 : Clifftop monasteries of Meteora. Return to Athens
This morning's tour is truly spectacular, as we explore the unique landscape and rock formations of Meteora. There are towering cliffs here with ancient Christian monasteries built perched on the tops. We will visit some of the monasteries and also enjoy the amazing views to them across the valleys and marvel at how they must have been built.
We'll then return to Athens, passing Trikala, Lamia and Thermopylae, taking a short stop on the way to see Leonida's Monument. Finally we back to Athens in the early evening for your final night in the city.
Day 7 : Athens, transfer to airport
Your tour ends after breakfast this morning and your time is free for some final exploring of Athens, or souvenir shopping at your leisure before we transfer you back to the airport for your departure. Extra nights in the Athens hotel are available on request.
Extra day in Athens - post-tour
Touring with Encounters Travel
Encounters Travel specialise in creating imaginative, adventurous small group tours all around the world for the open minded traveller. They are always looking for new ways to add value and excitement to your travel experiences so that you see more than just the usual tourist spots, as well as having great fun at the same time. Their tours are designed to give you the best possible experience in each country, whilst at the same time providing good value for money without making compromises.
You will see and learn about local cultures and historic sites while enjoying some more adventurous activities along the way. They also try very hard to keep the overall style and inclusions/exclusions of their tours as consistent as possible from country to country, while taking into account the different highlights and activities available in each destination. Their escorted group tours are hosted by specially selected experts who bring their knowledge and skills to add an extra dimension to the tour.
Encounters Travel are committed to travelling responsibly, and leaving a positive impression and impact on the countries through which they travel.