FOR STUDENT GROUPS ATHENS – ISTHMIA – NEMEA – NAFPLION – OLYMPIA – DELPHI- ATHENS
DAY 01: ATHENS Meeting at Athens airport. Transfer to the hotel in Athens. Overnight.
DAY 02: ATHENS Visit the Acropolis. Continue with a drive to the modern highlights of Athens. Stop at the “Kallimarmaro Stadium” where 1895 the first modern Olympic Games were organized. Return to hotel. Afternoon free. Overnight.
DAY 03: ATHENS – ISTHMIA – NEMEA – NAFPLION Leave Athens and drive to the Peloponnese. The first stop is at Corinth Canal. At the entry of the canal lies the site of Ancient Isthmia, the location of the quadrennial Isthmian Games. Today you can see only the remains of the temple and the starting gate used for track events. Continue on to Ancient Nemea. Visit the museum and the stadium which has the earliest known vaulted entrance tunnel. This stadium held the Nemean Games every two years and the winners were crowned with a wreath of wild celery. We end the day at NAFPLION. Overnight.
DAY 04: NAFPLION – ANCIENT MESSENE – OLYMPIA
Visit Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games and the most important sanctuary of Zeus. In the stadium, the starting line is still visible, inviting you to run. The official date of the first Olympic Games was 776 BC. The games lasted five days and the winners were crowned with a wreath of the olive tree. Visit the archaeological museum beside the ancient site. It contains interesting exhibits, the pediments and the metopes of the Temple of Zeus, the Statue of Nike, and of Hermes. Depart from Olympia to Rion, cross to Antirion, and from Nafpaktos, we arrive in Delphi, the Sanctuary of Apollo, the “omphalos” (navel) of the earth – whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic world. On the slopes of Mt. Parnassos, lies the archaeological site of Delphi. Overnight.
DAY 05: OLYMPIA – DELPHI – ATHENS We visit the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Treasury of the Athenians, the Stadium, and the Archaeological Museum containing masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture such as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias. After lunch, we start the return via Arachova to Athens. Overnight at the hotel.
DAY 06: ATHENS DEPARTURE Transfer from hotel to Athens Airport for departure.
Our mobile friendly website www.toursingreece.info Appropriate clothing is required for everybody that visits the monasteries.
Departures and prices
NOVEMBER-APRIL the 2-day tour to Delphi – Meteora is organized on Wednesdays only. MAY-OCTOBER the 2-day tour is organized on Mon, Wed, Thu and selected Sat – DECEMBER 2023 the tour departs on Dec 06, Dec 13, Dec 20, Dec 27 and in 2024 JANUARY 05, Jan 10, Jan 17. Jan 24 + Jan 31. – COMBINE THIS TOUR WITH THE 1-day TOUR TO ARGOLIS + NAFPLION.
PRICES in € p.p: *Entrance fees to be added: NOV-MAR + 8 € || APR-OCT + 15 € 3* superior Hotel – DBLB with breakfast = 135 + fees | SGLB = 165 + fees 4* Hotels – DBLB half board = 170 + fees | Single room = 215 + fees (Thu + Sat) hotel AMALIA | (Mon + Wed) Hotel GRAND METEORA * Follow the “4 steps to book” in the footer and send us the request. .
THE ABOVE PRICES INCLUDE: – transportation on air-conditioned buses – Pick up/drop off near your hotel (See the list on the footer of this site). (This service is from central hotels in Athens). – Entrance fees to the Delphi site and 2 monasteries. open on the day that you visit Meteora. – Short stopover at the monument of the Spartan King Leonidas at THERMOPYLAE – Services of the professional tour guide all along the tour. – 1-night accommodation in the hotel of your choice. – All taxes except the hotel tax of 1.50 € (in 3*) & 3.00 € (in 4*) per room, per night.
NB:Lunch on both days is not included. The bus stops at local restaurants, but the lunch is extra. In Kalambaka, the bus stops at the central square where there are lots of restaurants to choose from.
Copied from a client’s blog: The tour which I joined was organized by G.O. TOURS. However, I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL After browsing through the web, I found that ASTORIA TRAVEL offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially, I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price compared to the other travel companies? Is this a scam? Well, it was not a scam and the complimentary arrival transfer was true. I even booked my first two nights in Athens at Hotel Arethusa in Syntagma at a very cheap price through ASTORIA TRAVEL. Read more in the testimonials section…
This tour includes two of the most important sites, in mainland Greece. It presents a picture of ancient Greek civilization beginning with the Mycenaeans, the Greek Bronze Age, and continuing through Archaic, Classical, and, to a lesser extent, Hellenistic, and Roman Greece. It provides a glimpse of the spiritual splendor of Byzantine art and architecture. It is a full itinerary, but the pace is manageable. Plenty of time is available on the sites, allowing time for adequate exposition by the tour guide and time for further exploration on your own.
* The traditional village of Arachova. * The modern Village of Delphi. * The sanctuary with the temple of Apollo and the Oracle of Delphi. * The monument of Leonidas, the Spartan King, in Thermopylae. * 2 monasteries are visited. One of them is the nunnery of St. Stephen.
* NB. The archaeological museum in Delphi is not visited on this tour.
ORACLE OF APOLLO in DELPHI-the centre of the universe
According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. One flew east and the other one west. They met over Delphi, determining that the center of the world was there. A temple dedicated to the god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. The oracle of Apollo became a religious center where common people and kings alike, came to consult the priestess of the sanctuary. The ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses, the theatre, and the stadium.
METEORA-THE ART OF NATURE
Beautiful rocks from another world embrace Kalambaka. The monuments are under the protection of UNESCO and are recorded as the second largest Monastic community after the Holy Mountain. It’s a region of inaccessible sandstone peaks where the monks found protection and settled on these “columns of the sky” since the 10th c. AD. 24 monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties at the time of the great revival of the monastic ideal in the 15th c. Their 16th c. frescoes mark a key stage in the development of the post-Byzantine painting. The monasteries at Meteora grew out of the need to avoid Turkish persecution during the occupation in the 14th c. Monks lived in caves in the rocks of Meteora since the 11th c. but the inaccessible peaks provided safety for Greek Orthodox monks. Over time a large number of hermitages and monasteries were built on these rocks, making Meteora the second largest monastic complex in Greece after Mount Athos. Seeing the beautiful stone structure, surrounded by mist, is enough to make you understand why the monks and nuns selected this area for unceasing prayer. Today, from the many monasteries that existed, only six are open to the public: The monasteries of St. Nicholas Anapafsas, Grand Meteoron, Varlaam, Roussanou, Holy Trinity, and St. Stephan. The Holy Meteora is the most visited religious monument in Greece.
“Here at these barren rocks thousands of orthodox monks learned wisdom, humility, and morals “
DAY 1: The bus starts the pick up at 07.30 am and, traffic allowing, it departs from the terminal in the center of Athens at 08.30 am. Passing by THEBES (the town of mythical Oedipus), LEVADIA (short restroom stop), and the traditional village of ARACHOVA, you arrive in DELPHI at +/- 11.30 am. Delphi was considered by the ancient Greeks to be “the center of the universe”. With the professional tour guide, you will explore the legendary site of the Oracle.
13.30 The group proceeds for lunch, and at +/- 14.45 departs via AMPHISSA, LAMIA, and TRIKALA for Kalambaka with a short photo stop at THERMOPYLAE, the site of the famous battle between the 300 Spartans against the huge Persian army in 480 B.C. took place. In antiquity Thermopylae (= hot gates,) was a narrow coastal passage. Its name comes from its hot sulfur springs. “Hot gates” is also “the place of hot springs and cavernous entrances to Hades. After a brief rest stop outside Lamia, we shall arrive at your hotel in Kalambaka at +/- 19:00. Overnight.
DAY 2: 08.15 You visit two of the monasteries that are open on that day. 12:30 Return to Kalambaka for lunch and at +/- 14:00 you start the return and arrive in Athens at 19:30.
Time Tour Plan & Services 8:30 Depart from the terminal at +/- 08:30 11:30 After a short break outside Levadia you arrive in Delphi 11:45 With the professional tour guide you visit the sanctuary 13:45 Proceed for lunch at a local restaurant (not included in the price). 15:00 Continue to Kalambaka via Thermopylae (photo stop) and Trikala. 19:15 Arrival in Kalambaka. Check-in at the hotel and (optional) dinner at 19.30 08:15 Depart from the parking of Hotel ORFEAS 09:00 Drive to Meteora and visit 2 monasteries (entrance fees included). 12:00 Have lunch at a local restaurant. (Not included in price) 14:00 Start the return and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30. Hotel drop off by 20:00
Meteora is one of the most beautiful areas of mainland Greece and the monasteries are one of the country’s most unique attractions. Join one of the following tours and visit Meteora.
QUESTION: How many hours do we stay at the ancient site in Delphi? ANSWER: You spend 1.30 hours in the ancient site of Delphi. QUESTION: Is there any free time, or is it all guided? ANSWER: There is free time but I suggest you break from the group as early as possible. The tour doesn’t go to the top of the mountain to see the Delphi stadium. AT METEORA: You spend about 1 hour in each monastery but there is no need to break early. Appropriate clothing is required to visit the Monasteries and nunneries. Skirts below the knees for ladies and long trousers for gentlemen. The monasteries/nunneries provide wrappings that the visitors can wear over their clothing before entering. FREE TIME: After the guide takes you around, you have enough time to see whatever is left to see. IN DELPHI the 2-day tour to Meteora meets the 3-day classical tour, and the tour company usually moves guests traveling to Meteora onto another bus and they proceed to Kalambaka and visit Meteora together. For the 2-day tour to Delphi and Meteora clients: The restaurant in Delphi is 3 km after the modern Delphi village.
littlebluekingfisher, Bangalore, Re: Astoria Travel, Jan 14 My family and I are just back from a wonderful trip to Greece. I’d done some research and bookings before I ran into a brick wall trying to book train tickets to Meteora. Searching around I found a note by another traveller on Tripadvisor, who’d had exactly the same problem and stumbled on Astoria Travel. He’d had a great experience with them and recommended them highly. So I contacted Kosta at Astoria, and am blessing the stars that I did so! If we had a good, sensibly planned trip in which we saw as much as we could without being run ragged, it was thanks to Kosta. Over the course of several emails, he helped refine my plans; even to the extent of arranging to hire a taxi from Delphi to Levadia railway station to catch the train from there to Kalampaka and not lose a day. He also arranged our train and ferry tickets (to Santorini) — getting the latter at a cheaper rate than that quoted on the web! I wish we’d done our hotel bookings through him too, as according to people that we met in Greece, he got them good rooms at the hotel that we all stayed at lower than the rates that we were found through www.booking.com
I visited them at their office in Athens. It was impressive to see that Astoria Travel has been in business since 1958, and through experience has been able to attune its services and offerings to a very wide range of traveler needs. Their list of contacts is vast, which worked helpfully in our favor: Kosta just picked up the phone and got a taxi to pick us up at Kalampaka station (paying no more than the normal rates, despite being booked ahead). Moreover, they are a family-run concern, so their levels of friendliness, personalization of services, and traveler support are several notches higher than what a more impersonal agency could provide. I would highly recommend Astoria Travel not just for booking tickets, tours, and hotels, but for help and advice in planning your holiday as well. He graduated from a University in South Africa, his English is excellent and he is highly knowledgeable and courteous. _________________________________________________________________________________________________
From: https://travelbunny8.blogspot.com/2016/07/greece-4-days-classical-greece-tour.html (Visit the excellent blog site, read the description and comments)
If you wish to see the major sights of mainland Ancient Greece including UNESCO-listed ancient sites of Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, Delphi, and Meteora monasteries, then I recommend you to join a 4 Day Classical Greece Tour. The tour departs from Athens and returns to Athens.
5 UNESCO World Heritage Site in 4 days. I have to warn you that 4 out of the 5 World Heritage sites are in ruins. The tour which I joined was organized by G.O. TOURS. Information about the tour can be found on their website at http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/
However, I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL http://www.astoria.gr/price-tours-classical-4day.html that can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. I e-mailed Mr. Kosta and since I booked the tour through him in 4-star hotels, I got a free arrival transfer offer to my hotel. Actually, Kosta himself came to the airport and took us to the hotel.
After browsing through the web, I found that Astoria Travel offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially, I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price (20% cheaper) compared to the travel company’s price? Is this a scam? Well, believe it! I even book my first two nights in Athens at Hotel Arethusa (very near Syntagma Square) at a very cheap price through Astoria Travel.
I took the First-Class package as the price difference was not much compared to the Tourist Class package and the complimentary airport transfer sounded attractive. During the tour, some of my fellow travelers took the Tourist Class package. Frankly, I don’t think there was much of a difference compared to the First-Class hotels. In fact, the Tourist Class hotels were located nearer to the town center while the First-Class hotels were located at quieter locations outside the towns providing small luxuries (swimming pools, good dinners, breakfasts, etc.)
After checking into the hotel, you can actually explore the town of Kalampaka, and don’t miss the 9th-century church at Kalampaka. The church is about 15 minutes walk from the hotel.
The tour includes visits to two of the six monasteries of Meteora.
As the tour group was small, we got to know each other pretty quickly. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ Singh, Melbourne, posts 60, reviews 8. Re: Astoria Travel
Just came back from 2 days Delphi and Meteora tour arranged by Kosta. He gives such good service with fast replies and the issuing of vouchers. Kosta gives excellent value for money. He is highly knowledgeable, caring, and courteous. Very trustworthy. There were 6 of us going on the tour and on the morning of the tour, he personally came by and made sure we got on the tour! Great discount for the tour and we did save €’s by booking with him rather than directly with a tour company or Viator. On the bus, we met and became good friends with a couple that bought their tour from Viator and we could compare prices and services for the same tour in the same hotel. Kosta gives excellent value for money. He is highly knowledgeable, caring, and courteous. His English is excellent, he is very experienced, extremely helpful, and proud of Greek history and Greek culture.
Astoria Travel (est. 1958) 48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece. Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585. SEND your message to: email@example.com
In the footer of this website, you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer sounds interesting, send us the booking request.
The tour to Mycenae, Nafplion and Epidaurus is a popular one-day tour.
Argolis is one of the longest-occupied regions in Greece, with evidence of Neolithic settlements. It’s no surprise that Mycenae, mentioned in Homer’s Iliad, today is an essential step in every trip to Greece. Attractions such as Agamemnon’s fortress with the hilltop acropolis and Agamemnon’s Palace, the famous Lions’ Gate, the royal cemetery, the Treasury of Atreus, the sanctuary of Asclepius, the god of medicine with the amazing theatre of Epidaurus, and the elegant city of Nafplion, draw huge crowds of people.
DISCOUNTED entrance fees: – Juniors under 25 and E.U. students do not pay entrance fees. – Juniors <25 from other countries and E.U. seniors over 65 pay 12 € - Lunch (3 course menu) is 15 € extra per person.
The prices are per person, and include: – transportation on modern air-conditioned buses – Pick up / drop off from or near your hotel (See the list of hotels at the foot of the website) – The services of the professional tour guide all through the tour.
Copied from a client’s Blogspot: The tour which I joined was organized by G.O. TOURS. Information about the tour can be found at their website at http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/ However, I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL https://astoriatravel.gr/ After browsing through the web, I found that ASTORIA TRAVEL offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially, I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price (20% cheaper) compared to the travel company’s price? Is this a scam? Well, believe it! It was not a scam. I even booked my first two nights in Athens at Hotel Arethusa (next to Syntagma Square) at a very cheap price through ASTORIA TRAVEL.
The Corinth canal
The canal of Corinth – the mythical fortified city of Mycenae with the Lions’ Gate, the palace of Agamemnon, and the tomb of Atreus – The Epidaurus, with the sanctuary of Asclepius (the god of medicine), and the famous for its amazing acoustics theatre of Epidaurus & a short photo stop at the romantic and beautiful “Venetian” old town of Nafplion.
Mycenae was the kingdom of mythic Agamemnon. Myths related to history have inspired poets and writers over the centuries from Homer and the Greek tragedies of the classical period. The site was uncovered in 1874 by Heinrich Schlieman, who also founded and excavated the site of Troy. You enter the citadel through the famous Lions’ Gate.
Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. It was the capital of the Greek state in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential place for the young Bavarian Prince, Otto, the first king of the new country after the revolution against the Turks. The old town is beautiful, with old mansions and paved roads. The town’s fortresses, the Palamidi and the Acronafplia played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.
The priests of the sanctuary of Asclepius were excellent surgeons. Today, next to the sanctuary of Asclepius, there is a small museum, displaying the instruments and tools used by the priests to perform even brain operations. The administration of the sanctuary decided to build a theatre on the grounds of the sanctuary, to entertain the patients.
Time plan of the day tour to Argolis with a stop in Nafplion.
07:30 Start the pick up from the hotels. Departure from the terminal at 08.30 10:00 Arrival at Corinth canal. Short photo stop 11:15 Arrival in ancient Mycenae Visit the ancient site & museum 13:30 Mon, Tue, Thu, + Sat, drive to Nafplion. tHE OPTIONAL lunch (not inclkuded) is served on a seaside restaurant. We suggest that you TAKE THE TOUR without lunch AND SPEND THE LUNCH BREAK EXPLORING THE OLD TOWN. After Nafplion, we continue to EPIDAURUS to visit the ancient theatre. The UNESCO world heritage listed monument is the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius, the healer, and was the most popular healing centre in the classical world. Epidaurus is most famous for its theatre, one of the best-preserved classical Greek buildings and still used today due to its amazing acoustics. 15:15 Arrival at the site of Epidaurus Visit the museum & the theatre 18:30 Arrival in the centre of Athens Drop off at your hotel by 19:30
Map for one day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)
One day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)
Mycenae, the home of the Atreid’s royal family, is situated on a hill-top on the road leading to Corinth and Athens. The site was inhabited since Neolithic times (about 4000 BC) but reached its peak during the Late Bronze Age (1350-1200 BC), giving its name to a civilization that spread throughout the Greek world. During that period, the acropolis (= highest point of a city) was surrounded by massive “cyclopean” walls which were built in three stages (1350, 1250, and 1225 BC). The outer fortifying walls are large stones and must still look similar to 3500 years ago when they were built.
We enter the citadel of Mycenae through the famous Lions’ Gate, because of the two lions above the entranceway, the first monumental sculpture in Europe (13th century BC). Immediately on to our right, we come to Grave Circle A, a royal cemetery in which Schliemann found six shaft graves, 19 skeletons, and the incredibly rich burial furnishings which made his discovery one of the great archaeological finds of all time. This is where Schlieman found the ancient mask, which he called “the Mask of Agamemnon” but turned out to be the face of an unknown king from a period 300 years earlier. That mask is probably one of the most recognized ancient artifacts in the world and is still unofficially known as “the mask of Agamemnon”.
The rest of the site is interesting if you know what you are looking at, so take the time to read the material available in guidebooks. A ramp and stairs lead up from the grave circle to the palace on the top of the hill; unfortunately, little remains of the palace except for a Great Court and a megaron (a room with a central hearth and inner columns). The view when you get to the top of the hill is spectacular. You are really commanding the valley all the way down to Argos and Nafplion. From here you can follow a path down the back of the site to the Postern Gate and the Secret Cistern, a pitch-dark tunnel leading down some 80 steps through the solid rock. We can then return to the Lion Gate around the north side of the hill.
Outside the city walls, and across the road from Mycenae is the Royal grave or a treasury of Atreus, which is one of the most impressive parts of ancient Mycenae. You walk through a passageway into an enormous bee-hive tomb dug into the ground. This is known as “a Tholos tomb” and this was the way the ancient Mycenaeans began to bury their dead after the 15th century BC. The size of this tomb is incredible, and the stones are so massive that it’s believed that engineers who built Egyptian pyramids must have served as consultants when the Mycenaeans began constructing these “treasuries.”
A second tholos near the grave of Atreus was excavated by Schliemann and is called the Tomb of Klytemnestra; it is one of the latest and most finely constructed of the tholoi. The third one is called the Tomb of Aegisthus. is much earlier and its roof has collapsed. Returning down the modern road about a km we come to the most famous tholos, the Tomb of Agamemnon; the half-columns, which decorated its doorway, are in the Mycenaean Room of the National Museum.
Do not leave the site without a visit to the museum of Mycenae. Of the jewelry found in the graves, some are displayed at the site’s museum and some in the Athens Archaeological Museum.
In myth, Mycenae was the home of Agamemnon, commander of the Greek army, which fought against Troy, and historically it was the most powerful Greek state during the last third of the Bronze Age (1600-1100 BC), which is why this period is called Mycenaean. Heinrich Schliemann excavated here in 1874-76 and found in Royal Grave Circle A the rich treasures which prove that Agamemnon really lived and that Homer’s story of the Trojan War was history, not myth.
The myth of Mycenae is the story of the Pelopid dynasty. Pelops, who gave his name to the Peloponnese (=Island of Pelops), had two sons, Atreus and Thyestes. Atreus, being the older son, became king of Mycenae but later he punished his brother, who had an adulterous affair with Atreus’ wife Europe, by forcing him to eat his two sons for dinner.
Atreus had two sons, Menelaus and Agamemnon, who married 2 sisters; Menelaus married Helen(the beautiful Helen of Troy) and Agamemnon married Clytemnestra. When Helen ran off with the Trojan prince Paris, Agamemnon and Menelaus became commanders-in-chief of the great expedition, which fought and won the Trojan War. When Agamemnon returned from the war, Clytemnestra was not overjoyed to see him; she had taken a lover (Thyestes’ son Aegisthus) and Agamemnon, who had earlier, at the beginning of the Trojan war, sacrificed his daughter Iphigeneia so that favourable winds would blow his fleet to Troy, now drove up to the palace with his new concubine, the Trojan princess Kassandra. Clytemnestra, therefore, invited Agamemnon to come in and take a bath; she gave him a garment to put on (with no holes for his head and arms) and while he stood there with this bag on his head, she killed him with three blows of an ax. Later Orestes, the exiled son of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra, returned to Mycenae and killed his mother to avenge his father; for his crime of matricide, he was driven mad by the Furies (mythic emblems of guilt) until finally, in the Attic version, he was acquitted at the first Areopagus trial, under the Acropolis.
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