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The Heart of Greece – A Discovery of the Ancient Classics

  • Nafpaktos, Central Greece ©GNTO / K Kouzouni

    Nafpaktos, Central Greece ©GNTO / K Kouzouni European Travel
  • Athens Acropolis ©GNTO / photo Y Skoulas

    Athens Acropolis - Greece, European Group Travel ©GNTO / photo Y Skoulas
8 day tour
Prices on request

Group tour to the heart of Greece where ancient and modern worlds collide

With it’s astonishing wealth of natural attractions, and a unique blend of histories and cultures, travel through the heart of Greece to some of the country’s most fascinating regions. Discover unique, yet awe-inspiring nature as well as an abundance of historical treasures. Greece was home to thinkers, philosophers and inventors; those who laid the foundations for our modern society were born here. On this tour, we will venture through the lands where those who gave us democracy, mythology, drama, and philosophy called home.

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Athens and the Acropolis, The Historical Metropolis of Europe

Dating as far back as the 5th Century BC, Athens has had a long, fascinating history.  Throughout this 2,500 year old history a multitude of invaders have come and gone however, one constant remained; the city itself. The symbol of the city, the great Parthenon has long stood atop Mount Pentelicus in the Acropolis citadel, serving as a constant reminder of this ancient past. The capital of Greece has shortage of things to see and is often described as an open-air museum with an abundance of  UNESCO World Heritage Sites, neo-classical and art deco architecture as well as ancient monuments.

From Sparta to Olympia, discover the mythological charm of The Peloponnese Peninsula

The term Legend is often overused however, in this sense, cannot be overstated when describing this region. From this peninsula, Jason and the Argonauts set sail in search of the Golden Fleece; Helen, hailed the most beautiful woman in the world, fled for a young prince from Troy; The vicious Lion of the underworld wrecked havoc upon Nemea before being slain by Hercules. These are but some of the tales of this region that have stood the test of time. Discover what provoked such entrancing tales to emerge about this land by passing over Corinth Canal from Attica to Peloponnese and visit Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia to see such highlights as the Tomb of King Agamemmnon, the sanctuary of Asclepeios and the the birthplace of the Olympic Games.

Crossing the Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge to Mainland Greece

Connecting the Peloponnese Peninsula and the Greek mainland the Charilaos Trikoupis Bridge or the Rion-Antirion Bridge is one of the world’s longest multi-span cable-stayed bridges and longest of the fully suspended type, truly a feat of modern day engineering. This will be one of few modern day spectacles to see before heading back in the ancient world, full of tales of oracles, temples and wars. Delphi, the ancient home of the Pythia, also known as the oracle of Delphi, who resided in the temple of Apollo. Visit the remnants of this sanctuary, located on Mt. Parnassus near the Gulf of Corinth, to see where the most powerful people in the world flocked to hear of one woman’s divine vision that encapsulated leaders and undoubtedly influenced the course of Greek history.

Welcome to Thessaly, Greece; land of the Centaurs and birthplace of Achilles

Thessaly, according the Greek mythology was where the hero of battle of Troy, Achilles was born, the location of the battle between the Titans and the Olympian god took place and of course the land of the centaurs. However, here with stop offs in the towns of Lamia and Trikala, be sure to savour the unique local wines and taste the remarkable regional produce before experiencing spiritual elevation on Meteora (UNESCO World Heritage Site), the towering stone pillars on which 24 byzantine monasteries lie. Discover Mount Pelion, where the Centaurs roamed and the ancient Greek gods spent their summers.

Greek Macedonia; The Mountainous terrain of Alexander the Great

Bordering Albania to the north-west, Bulgaria to the north-east and the sovereign state of North Macedonia to its north, it is not hard to imagine how this region has become a melting pot of cultures. However, the central region of Greek Macedonia, lies the capital city of the region; Thessaloniki. A stunning port city on the Gulf of the Aegean Sea. Here, discover the array of culture left by former occupiers. The Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans certainly left their mark here. However, the highlights of this area are the former capitals of Macedonia, the ancient city of Aigai, now called Vergina is home to the tomb of Philip II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great, as well as ancient Pella, the replacement capital to Aigai is considered to be the birthplace of Alexander the Great.

With so much culture, history and beautiful cuisine to see this tour will no doubt become as unforgettable as those legends who traversed this landscape. If you are looking more history of the classical lands why not see the heart of Italy.


Dates

Dates throughout 2021


Suggested itinerary by air

Day 1

Fly to Athens.

Fly directly from your chosen airport to Athens where you’ll be met and transferred to your hotel.

Day 2

Athens – Acropolis.

After breakfast enjoy a panoramic drive to the see the Parliament buildings, the Tomb og the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the National Library, the Panathenian Stadium (the site of the first modern Olympic Games), Hadrian’s Arch and the Roman Temple of Olympian Zeus. Afterwards, visit the Acropolis Hill with the famous Partheon and Erectheoin Temples. Visit the Acropolis Museum to see the marvellous sculptures. Afternoon at leisure before returning to the hotel for dinner.

Day 3

Athens – Corinth Canal – Epidaurus – Mycenae – Olympia.

This moring, travel towards Peloponnese penisula passing the Corinth Canal. Visit Epidaurus, the sanctuary of Asclepeios, the ancient God of healing. Visit the ancient theatre, famous for its remarkable acoustics, easily accommodating up to 12,000 people. Continue to Mycenae to visit the remains of the prehistoric citadel fortified with the Cyclopean Walls, the Lionesses Gate, the remains of the Mycenaean Palace and the Tomb of King Agamemmnon in which we will enter. Travel to Olympia through the provincial road of Patras. Check into hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 4

Olympia – Rion – Nafpaktos – Delphi.

Visit the archaeological site and museum of Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Visit the nearby archaeological museum containing exhibitis such as the Pediments and the metopes of the Temple of Zeus, the Statue of Nike and of Hermes. After the visits, continue to Nafpaktos passing over the bridge from Rion to Antirrion. Continue to Delphi and check into hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 5

Delphi – Kalambaka.

Morning visit to the archaeological site and museum of Delphi. Walk along the sacred way and see the sanctuary of Apollo, the Treasury of the Athenians and the theatre. After the visit depart from Delphi and pass by the towns of Lamia and Trikala to reach Kalambaka. Check into hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 6

Meteora – Vergina – Thessaloniki.

After breakfast, enjoy a spectacular drive up to the Meteora Monasteries. They were first built in the 14th century by monks seeking isolation and salvation. There are veritable Byzantine museums exhibiting superb icons, old manuscripts and unique mosaics. Continue to visit the first ever capital of Macedonia, ancient Aigai, now called Vergina. Here you’ll see the most important tomb and fabulous findings ever discovered, that of Philip II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great. Continue to Thessaloniki to check into hotel for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 7

Pella – Edessa – Thessaloniki.

In the morning we drive to ancient Pella, which replaced the older capital of ancient Macedonia State and it is considered the birthplace of Alexander the Great. In the 4th century BC, the city was laid out in the familiar Hippoamean patern of regular rectangular building blocks with impressive broad streets and a first class water supply network. Visit the excavation sites and especially the museum, which displays sculptures, relief and mosaics of Classical and Hellenistic times. From here, continue on to Edessa, a picturesque Greek traditional town full of small and large canals which criss cross it, covered myriad of bridges, with clean air, tree strewn streets and beautiful squares. You’ll have some free time to admire the local area before returning to Thessaloniki. Dinner and overnight stay.

Day 8

Departure and inbound flights to the UK.

Transfer to Thessaloniki Airport for your flights back to the UK via Athens.


We can provide a wide selection of 3 and 4 star hotels to suit your budget


You may also be interested in:

Amazing Athens

All Roads Lead to Rome

Classical Turkey – From Istanbul to Ephesus


8 days
2021 dates Prices on request
All prices are per person based on sharing a double or twin room and with coach driver's free place in a single room both are based on a minimum 25 full fare paying passengers. Prices do not include UK coach hire or travel insurance. Dates are subject to availability. Smaller groups can be quoted for on request. Greatdays Holidays Limited are a member of ABTA (Y0380) which means you have the benefit of ABTA's assistance and Code of Conduct. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. Greatdays Holidays Limited has an ATOL licence (4279) and all of our air package tours are protected under this licence. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the Civil Aviation Authority will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any monies you have paid to us for an advance booking. All the flights and flight-inclusive holidays on this tour are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLCertificate. Our website policy is to use only copyright free images or images which have been authorised to us for free use by the owner. If you consider an image to be unauthorised or to be your property, please contact us immediately and if invalid we will have the image removed. If your image requires crediting or is missing a copyright statement then we will be pleased to add this to the webpage, contact us at info@greatdays.co.uk

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