SEE ALL THE TOURS that visit Meteora in guided tours or train trips.
For real pleasure, combine walking and touring between the monasteries. Give yourselves an extra day to explore Meteora on your own. The sight of the Meteora is a unique spectacle and experience, but walking on the well marked paths, between the rocks, is breathtaking. One morning in Kalambaka is not enough. Spend an extra night there, wake up early and go for a walk. Experience and observe the local flora and fauna, join the optional “sunset” tour and you will remember Meteora for the rest of your life.
Days & Prices
Unfortunately this guided tour operates ONLY between April-October,
You depart on Wednesday with a group and a tour guide, you visit the ancient site in Delphi and spend the night in Kalambaka. Thursday in Kalambaka, you are free to explore Meteora on your own – (take the optional morning hiking tour and in the afternoon join the optional “sunset tour”). Finally, Friday, with a group and a professional tour guide, you visit 2 monasteries that are open on Fridays and return to Athens at +/- 19:30
It can be combined and offered with other day departures but the return from Kalambaka to Athens is by train for extra 20.00 €.
***CLICK & SEE the alternative 3 days/2 nights independent tour, that we organize daily by train.
PRICES: All travel agents, in Greece and worldwide, offer the same tour at different prices. We are sure that our prices for this tour is not matched by any other company. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. So, why pay more? Our discounted prices, per adult, for this tour are:
1) Sharing a room with your partner, 2 nights with 2 breakfasts = 148.00 + 12.00 entrance fees = 160.00 €
2) For single travellers, 2 nights in single room, with 2 breakfasts = 188.00 + 12.00 entrance fees = 200.00 €
The hotel that we use in Kalampaka for this tour is the 3* “Hotel KOSTA FAMISI”.
The prices include:
– transportation on modern air conditioned buses
– Pickup / drop off from or near your lodging. (See the list of hotels in the footer of this page).
(This service is from hotels in Athens. The airport and the Port of Piraeus are not in Athens).
– The services of the professional tour guide on Wed & Friday. Thursday you are on your own.
– Hotel accommodation in single / double rooms including BREAKFAST, ONLY.
– The entrance to the ancient site of Delphi (April – Oct = 12.00 €, Nov – March = 6.00 €)
– The entrance tickets to the 2 monasteries visited.
– SINCE 2018, a hotel accommodation tax is applied and paid by clients to the hotels as follows: 3* hotels=1.50 € per room/per night.
MORE OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the higher one):
a) 5% TRIPLE ROOM DISCOUNT: Share a room with another 2 of your friends and gain 5%.
a) 5% GROUP DISCOUNT: Make a team of 5 or more passengers and gain 5%.
b) 5% ADVANCE BOOKING and payment discount. Follow the following 3 steps and save 5%.
# SUBMIT your booking request form at least 4 months before the scheduled departure.
# WITHIN ONE WEEK following our confirmation, pay a non refundable deposit of 50.00 € p.p.
# 2 MONTHS before the departure of the tour, settle the balance in full and save 5%.
– Read the details in the “4 Steps 2 book” link in the footer of this page and start the booking steps.
– In the footer of the website you also see our location, contact information, and working hours.
WRITE A REVIEW ON OUR SERVICES. Your feedback helps us offer a better service.
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 (30% 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.
DELPHI-the centre of the universe
Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world and thousands of pilgrims, from kings and philosophers to common people, came to hear the prophesies of the Oracle and to watch and compete in the Pythian Games, similar to the Olympics, that were organized in Delphi. The archaeological site is one of the best in Greece with ancient temples and shrines placed on the slopes of Mt Parnassus, makes Delphi one of the best places to visit all year round. It is a 2.30 hr drive from Athens.
According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. One flew east and the other one west. They met over Delphi, determining that the centre of the world was there. A temple dedicated to god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. The oracle of Apollo became a religious centre 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, while the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia consists of the best known landmark – the “tholos”, a circular structure with 3 of its original 20 doric columns restored, the gymnasium and the sports fascilities, used for training during the “Pythian Games”.
Today, next to the archaeological site, there is an impressive museum, displaying findings from the local excavations, that started 1892. The highlights are offerings by the oracle visitors, such as the famous Charioteer, the statue of Antinoos, the two “kouros” statues, the “omphalos”, being the sculptured stone that represented the navel of the world, and many others.
METEORA-the art of nature
In a region of inaccessible sandstone peaks, monks found protection and settled on these “columns of the sky” from the 10th c. onwards. 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.
More than a million people visit the area of Meteora every year and admire this “unique” natural phenomenon.
The huge rocks of Meteora were formed millions of years ago, a mixture of sandstone, pebbles and hard gravel. These mountain pillars are extraordinary, with horizontal stripes and strange shapes, reaching 600 m tall. The art of Nature; a rocky forest. Meteora have been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site and since 1995 the Hellenic government declared it a ” sacred area”, belonging to everybody and protected from any change or interference. What makes them even more remarkable are the exquisite monasteries, built by hermits during the 9th c. AD, at the pinnacles of the rocks. For centuries these towers of sandstone provided cliff-top retreats for the monks.
SHORT DESCRIPTION OF THE TOUR
1st DAY: Depart at 08.30 from Athens and driving via THEBES (the town connected with legendary Oedipus), LEVADIA (short stop) and ARACHOVA, the group arrives in DELPHI 11.30am. With the tour guide you visit the sanctuary of Apollo, and the archaeological museum, located near the site.
13.30 break up for lunch at a restaurand outside the modern Delphi town, and at 15.00 proceed after a short stop at THERMOPYLAE, the area where the Spartan king LEONIDAS and his 300 soldiers fought the Persians in 480 BC you arrive in Kalampaka, at +/- 19.00. Overnight in Hotel KOSTA FAMISI.
2nd DAY: Today you are free to explore the area of Meteora. Start in the morning hiking on the path towards Holy Trinity and St. Stephen. When you get up there, sit at the edge of one of the rocks, and let your mind travel million years back. Imagine that you wet your foot in the water of a huge lake. A lake covering the whole valley. Look at the horizon and imagine the lake drying gradually, recovering all this natural beauty in front of you. This is the most probable option of how all these were created. You are in front of a geological phenomenon universally unique, where words like admire, unexplainable, impressing which we usually find in many writings can describe it’s size only to one point.
Follow the same path for your return or walk on the asphalt road back to Kalampaka. Relax in one of the cafeterias and when you recover, walk to Kastraki and find the cave dwellings at Badovas. Here is where everything started. Here, you will see old hermitages, original cloisters, and monasteries built in the caves.
You haven’t finished yet. Walk inside the old town of Kalampaka and find the old Byzantine church. It’s the most important monument of Kalampaka. Another “must do” is to take the optional “Sunset tour”, visit one monastery (usually the Rousanou) and capture beautiful sunset photos. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Local tours: “Afternoon Sunset tour”, “Morning 4 hour tour” or “4 hours hiking tour”. Special price 20.00 € either one.
3rd DAY: After breakfast, meet and join the group and on the bus this time, drive to the METEORA and visit 2 of the monasteries that are open on that day. One of them is the St. Stephen (the only with easy access).
Return to Kalampaka for lunch, and after lunch you say farewell to mystical Meteora and start the return to Athens. Arrive in Athens, +/- 19.30.
DAY 1 – WEDNESDAY: The bus departs from the terminal at +/- 08.30
Passing from THEBES, LEVADIA (short stop) and the village of ARACHOVA, you arrive in DELPHI,
the famous “Temple-Bank”, at 11.30. Delphi was considered by the ancient Greeks and the Romans as the “the centre of the universe”.
With the professional tour guide you will explore the legendary site of the Oracle band the nearby archaeological museum.
13.30 The group proceeds for lunch, and at +/- 15,00 departs via THERMOPYLAE, the place where the famous battle between the Spartan King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan soldiers against the huge Persian army of Xerxes 480 B.C. took place (Short stop), LAMIA(stop for rest room), KARDITSA and TRIKALA for KALAMBAKA. Arrival at +/- 19:00, and overnight in hotel KOSTA FAMISSI.
DAY 2 – THURSDAY: This is the extra day. You are free to explore the area.
Wake up early to experience the surrounding terrace, the flora and fauna of the area.
We suggest that in the morning you explore the area on your own, using to local bus (May-October), to visit the monasteries, or, hire our taxi driver, or do an easy hiking trip.
In the afternoon, take the optional “SUNSET TOUR”. Our pre-booked price is 20.00 euro per person. The tour bus will pick you up from the hotel at +/- 15.30 and you will be back at +/- 20.00.
DAY 3 – FRIDAY: After breakfast, at +/- 08:15, meet the bus behind your hotel, join a new group, drive to the METEORA, and visit two of the monasteries that are open on Fridays. One of them is the monastery of St. Stephen, the only monastery easily accessible.
+/- 12:00 Return to Kalampaka for lunch and after lunch you start the return to Athens arriving at +/- 19.30.
Time Tour Plan & Services
08:30 Hotel pick up starts from 07.30 Depart from the terminal in Athens at +/- 08:30
11:30 After a short break near Levadia, arrive in modern Delphi village
11:45 With the professional tour guide, visit the ancient sanctuary site. Entrance fees included.
13:45 Lunch at a local restaurant, outside the modern village of Delphi.(Optional).
15:00 Via Thermopylae (short stop), Lamia (stop), Karditsa & Trikala, you proceed to Kalambaka
18:30 Arrive in Kalambaka and at 19:30 check-in the hotel of your choice.
09:00 Today you are free to explore Meteora. Do your hiking excercise and visit GRAND METEORO.
16:00 Take the optional “Sunset Tour”, and capture beautiful sunset memories. (Optional tour)
09:00 After breakfast, with a new group, visit 2 monasteries. Entrance fees included.
12:00 Lunch at a local restaurant. (not included in price).
14:00 Start the return to Athens and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30. Hotel drop off by 20:00
Astoria Travel (est. 1958)
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message
In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking” and the booking forms. If our offer looks interesting, please, send us the booking form.
Following the State’s COVID 19 measures the monasteries do not provide wrappings anymore.
Appropriate clothing is required for everybody that visits the monasteries.
For men: Sleeveless clothing and shorts over the knees are not allowed, and
For ladies: Skirts bellow the knees are required.
Organised on... & prices
NOVEMBER-MARCH this tour is organised ONLY on Mondays
APRIL-OCTOBER Click and see details and prices for this tour organised between April – October.
Highlights: Corinth canal-Epidaurus-Mycenae-Olympia(o/n)-Delphi(o/n)-Thermopylae-Kalambaka(o/n) and a short photo stop in Nafplion.
Free pick-up/drop off service is included (See the link in the footer of this website).
The pick up starts 07:30 on Monday, brings the people to the terminal and returns on Thursday at +/- 19:30
PRICES: The guided tours are organized by 3 big tour operators and are offered by travel agencies at different prices. People tell us that our prices are the best. Many clients ask the question: Why are your prices cheaper than others. The answer is simple: Organising tours throughout Greece since 1958 we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. Our discounted prices are not matched. Book in advance and save even more.
|Two choices||Total price in double room||Total price in single room|
|Option 1: 3* hotel with breakfast||320.00 + 24.00 entrance fees = 344.00 €||385.00 + 24.00 entrance fees = 409.00 €|
|Option 2: 4* hotel, 3 dinners & 3 breakfasts||435.00 + 24.00 entrance fees = 459.00 €
includes arrival transfer offer
|530.00 + 24.00 entrance fees = 554.00 €
includes arrival transfer offer
* Child (4 – 12 y.o.) pays 75% of the tour price (Entrance fees depends on Nationality.)
* E.U. Nationalities up to 26 y.o. enter free of charge. Other Nationalities pay full entrance fees.
* Infants up to 4 y.o. travel free of charge when they share the parents’ double bed
HOTELS at Olympia: NEDA, KRONION, or similar (3*) OLYMPIC VILLAGE, EUROPA, ARTY GRAND (4*)
HOTELS in Delphi: FEDRIADES, HERMES, PARNASSOS (3*) and AMALIA (4*)
HOTELS in Kalambaka: Hotel KOSTA FAMISSI, ALEXIOU, ORFEAS (3*), Hotel GRAND METEORA or AMALIA (4*)
* If our offers sound interesting read the “4 steps to book” in the footer and start communication.
* Fill the booking request and start the communication. We shall get back asap.
The tour services include:
– Modern air-conditioned buses
– 3 nights accommodation with 3 breakfasts & if you choose half board plus 3 dinners.
– Pick up/drop off from or near your hotel (See the list of hotels at the footer of the website), and
– The services of the tour guide along the tour.
– Complimentary arrival airport transfer wherever it is mentioned.
– The applicable entrances to sites and museums visited.
– All taxes except the “city tax” (1.50 – 3.00 € per room, per night). This city tax is paid extra by the client to the hotel.
Special discounts: (One option of 5% discount is applicable).
* Persuade a friend, share a triple room with your friend and save 5%
* Persuade your friends, make a team of 5 or more adults and save 5%
* Take advantage of our PAY IN ADVANCE 5% discount (see in the footer)
* Combine it with the 1 day cruise and pay a discounted price for the package.
WRITE A REVIEW ON OUR SERVICES. Your feedback helps us offer a better service.
Copied from a client’s blogspot:
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 (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. Read more in the testimonials section….
Visiting Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, and Kalambaka
This tour includes nearly all of the most important archaeological sites, and museums on mainland Greece. It gives a complete picture of ancient Greek civilization beginning with the Mycenaean, the Greek Bronze Age, the Archaic, Classical, the Hellenistic and Roman Greece. It also provides a glimpse of the Byzantine art and architecture.
It is a full itinerary, but the pace is manageable. Plenty of time is available on the sites and in the museums, allowing time both for adequate exposition by the tour guide and time for further exploration on your own.
The Amazing open THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS The priests of the sanctuary of god Asclepius were excellent doctors. The administration of the Asclipieion, in order to entertain the patients, decided to build a theatre. The small museum, displays the instruments and tools used by the priests, excellent surgeons, to perform even brain operations.
NAFPLION – “The town of the Venetians” in Greece. (Short photo stop). Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye with the Venetian influence everywhere. Nafplion was the capital of the new Greek state in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential palace of the Bavarian Prince, Otto, the first king after the revolution against the Turks. The old town is beautiful, with mansions and paved roads. The two fortresses, the Palamidi and the Akronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence.
MYCENAE – “the City in gold”, the kingdom of Agamemnon controlled the land and sea routes. 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 excavated the site of Troy.
You enter the citadel through the impressive Lions’ Gate.
OLYMPIA & the OLYMPIC GAMES The site of Olympia, was the location of the ancient Olympic Games, with the first recorded win in 776 BC. In addition to the numerous temples and sanctuaries, there are remains of sporting structures, such as the ancient Stadium, the Gymnasium, the Palaestra and others.
DELPHI – The famous “temple bank”. The pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, location on the oracle of Apollo, was the spiritual centre of the Greek world. Situated in a spectacular natural setting on the mountain of Parnassus, it was the symbol of Greek cultural unity from the 8th century BC onwards.
Driving from Delphi to Kalambaka you take a short stop at Thermopyllae, the place where Leonidas and the 300 Spartans fought the Persians. Overnight in kalambaka.
KALAMBAKA – The unique “ART OF NATURE”. Travel on the rocks of Meteora and visit 2 monasteries that are open on the day that you visit Meteora. Return to Kalambaka for lunch and after lunch start the return and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30
08:30 The pick up starts from 07.30am and the bus departs from the terminal at 08:30.
10:00 Arrival at Corinth canal. 20 min. short stop for photos
11:15 Arrival at the sanctuary of Epidaurus. Visit the museum & the theatre
12:30 Proceed to restaurant for lunch. Lunch is optional. It’s not included in the price.
13:45 Drive on to Nafplion. Short photo stop.
15:15 Arrival at legendary Mycenae. Visit ancient site & museum
18:30 Arrival at modern Olympia town. Check in the hotel of your choice
09:15 Visit the museum & the site of ancient Olympia. Departure and drive towards Patras
13:00 Stop for lunch at a local restaurant. Lunch is optional.
14:30 Drive to Delphi. Cross the Rio – Antirio bridge to the mainland
18:15 Arrival and check in the hotel of your choice in Delphi.
09:00 After breakfast visit the museum and the site. Optional lunch at a local restaurant.
15:15 Depart for Kalampaka. Short stop at Thermopylae. Arrival in Kalampaka at 19.00
08:30 Drive to Meteora and visit 2 monasteries. Return to Kalampaka at 12:30.Optional lunch
14:00 Departure for Athens with a short stop near Lamia. Arrival in Athens centre at 19.30
Short photo stop at Corinth canal
Visit the sanctuary of Asclepius and the Epidaurus Theatre
Visit the Mycenae Archaeological site & Tomb of Atreus
Visit the Olympia Archaeological site & Museum
Visit the Delphi Archaeological site & Museum
Visit 2 of the Meteora monasteries that are open on the day you visit Meteora
Short stop at Nafplion town
More info & Map
– These tours are organized by 3 Tour Operators. All the Travel Agents sell the same tours at discounted rates.
– Start the communication, and choose the travel agent that suits your budget.
* In the footer of the website find the “4 steps 2 book” and we look forward to receive your request.
* When we receive the message from the bank that the money have been deposited, we’ll send you the voucher.
* There is a deadline and the bookings are cancelled if they are not paid on time.
MAP – ROUTE OF THE TOUR
ESP4525, Bozeman, Montana, 62 Reviewed November 26, 2017
wonderful Athens experience
Just completed a 4 day 3 night tour of the major archeological sites in Greece that we booked through Astoria travel. We could not have been happier with the service they provided. The personal service we received from Kostas was more than we could have hoped for. We will definitely use them again if we get the opportunity.
(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 site 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. You visit 5 UNESCO World Heritage Site in 4 days. I have to warn you that 4 out of the 5 World Heritage Site are in ruins. 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 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 night 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 centre while the First Class hotels were located at quieter locations outside the towns providing small luxuries (swimming pools, good dinners and breakfasts, etc.)
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.
Emeo, San Juan, Puerto…, 41 posts, 35 reviews, Re: Astoria Travel Meteora trip Reviews
In the end of April we joined the G.O. Tour for the Classic 4 days tour in Greece. Due to unexpected medical reason, we decide not to commit until we had gotten an okay from our doctor.
Finally we confirmed the tour one day before we flew to Athens. We booked with Kosta. He was nice and very prompt. And he has one of the best rates in the internet.
In the morning of the tour day, Kosta even came to the main bus pick-up point to make sure we made it. We had a good time in the tour and made friends with several families and couples from different countries. We compared the prices we had paid and our price was the best.
Remember to print the voucher at home or hotel. The tour operators keeps the printed copy. Thank you Kosta!!! : )
Astoria Travel (est. 1958)
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +30 210 3250380, +30 6932888585.
Click here and send us a message
In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer looks interesting, please send us the booking form.
VISIT DELPHI BY BUS
To help the people that want to take a side trip to Delphi, we offer the “One Day tour to Delphi” for 59.00 euro (2016 price). Students pay 49.00 euro, cash in our office. We call it “enabler’s tour to Delphi” and includes: transportation, pick up / drop off from your hotel, and the services of the professional tour guide, during the tour. The entrance tickets to the museum and site (12.00 euro for adults or 6.00 euro discounted) as well as lunch is not included. You pay for them, on the spot. For information and bookings, please, contact us at: email@example.com mentioning the enabler’s tours.
If you still prefer to do the trip on your own, Delphi can be reached from Athens only by bus. There are no trains connecting Athens and Delphi.
However, Delphi, Olympia and the Acropolis of Athens are 3 places that a professional tour guide is needed. Without a tour guide, you leave from Delphi, with the feeling that you visited the oracle of Delphi, but you missed something.
In Delphi, the local professional tour guide that I recommend without a second thought is Penny (Pagona) Kolomvotsou. Her e-mail is: firstname.lastname@example.org, her Greek cell phone: 69 446 444 27 and she is the lady that is talking to Rick Steves about the importance of the Delphi sanctuary in my www.toursingreece.info/One-day-tour-Delphi.htm (Click and listen to her). She is extremely knowledgeable and graduated with a B.A, and M.A. degree in museum studies. She speaks German & English, fluently, and she is a pure Delphian lady, born and grown in Delphi. Her family owns the Hotel LETO DELPHI.
– F.Y.I. The entrance fees to the museum and the ancient site of Delphi cost 12.00 euro per adult.
– To get to Delphi by local bus, you depart from the bus terminal, located at 216 Liossion street. Go to the Attiki metro stop, and get a bus travelling along Liossion street. A taxi from your hotel should cost +/- 10.00 euro.
Call the bus station (++30 210 8317096) and check the timetables. Be at the terminal 30 minutes before the bus departure, get your ticket and find your bus. A single ticket costs 15.10 euros one way (Jan 2015). You cannot book in advance your bus tickets. You book your return seat at the bus station in Delphi when you get there.
Keep your ticket on you at all times. There are numerous inspections during the trip and a large fine applies if you don’t present a ticket.
1) All the options to visit Meteora (train and shared bus guided tours),
2) All the options to visit Olympia (Intercity bus and shared bus guided tours).
HOW TO BOOK a tour | INSTANT confirmation | PAY ONLINE | Send a message.
FROM ATHENS TO OLYMPIA BY BUS
When you visit Greece the five places that must be included in everybody’s itinerary are:
The Acropolis and the Archaeological museum of Athens, Olympia, Delphi and the “unique” site of the Meteora rocks.
The promotion of Ancient Olympia, a world heritage jewel and birthplace of the Olympic Games, is our concern.
Every year almost 2,000,000 people visit the archaeological site and the Museum of Ancient Olympia. Be one of them.
If you decide to visit Olympia on your own and on the intercity bus:
– The museums are excellent, while in the ancient site, a lot is left to your imagination.
– The visitors, limit their information to the brief description from the good but insufficient signs.
– Acropolis, Olympia and Delphi are 3 ancient sites that a professional tour guide is needed.
The history of Olympia is fascinating and without a tour guide you will leave, feeling that you missed something.
At Olympia, without any doubt, I recommend a young professional tour guide, GEORGIA KARANIKOLOU http://olympiatourguide.gr
Her e mail is: email@example.com and her Greek cell phone: + 030-6982 495884. She speaks English fluently. She is very knowledgeable, and she is not afraid to spend the extra time, to talk about the history and the local myths.
From 06.00 – 18.00, a bus departs every +/- 2 hrs, travel from Athens via Pyrgos and connects to the local bus. The phone No of the intercity bus ticket offices in Athens is 210 5136185.
The bus trip from Athens – Pyrgos = 315 km., 5 hours ride, and from Pyrgos-Olympia = 21 km, 30 min. ride. A total of a little under 6 hours if you include the bus connection delay (+/- 20 min).
– FYI the entrance to the archaeological museum and the ancient site at Olympia costs: Adults 12.00 euros, E.U. students and <19 y.o. are free, while other students and E.U. seniors pay 6.00 euro. - In winter season museums/sites close early. On weekends and public holidays, check in advance. - Contact the bus terminal directly ( 210 5134110 - 1) and check the departure times and prices.
CLICK & SEE ALL the guided tours that are organized from Athens and we sell at discounted prices.
Operating days and prices
To stand in the midst of the ruins of the church of Corinth and see the pillars, steps, and public worship place where Paul preached will enhance your understanding and love of I & II Corinthians. The ruins of this cultural centre are fascinating as you walk along the stone path that the Apostle walked.
See the Archaeological Museum, the Market Place, the Bema, and the Temples. The engineering skill and intellect of these people are evident in the water systems that still flow from ancient to modern day. Though most of ancient Corinth has either disappeared over the years or been destroyed by Earthquakes there is still a temple to Apollo built in the 5th c. BC. The Peirene Spring is said to have been a woman transformed by the tears she shed for her son who was killed by the Goddess Artemis. It still supplies old Corinth with water. The archeologists you may see working are from the Athens’ American School of Classical studies.
PRICES: All travel agents, in Greece and worldwide, offer the same tour at different prices. We are sure that our price for this tour is not matched by any other company. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel.
Our discounted price, per adult, for this tour is: 51.00 € p.p. + applicable entrance fees.
APRIL – OCTOBER, E.U. Juniors <26 and E.U. students, are allowed free of charge.
APR – OCT, students from other countries and E.U. seniors >65 pay 4.00 €
APRIL – OCTOBER everybody else pay 8.00 €
The price includes:
– Transportation by modern air-conditioned buses,
– the services of the professional tour guide, and
– the pick up / drop off (from the hotels in the list published in the footer)
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The drive to Corinth offers a variety of landscape viewing the Saronic Gulf and its islands. You pass from the industrial city of Elefsis, home of the ancient Elefsinian Mysteries, the most important cult religion of antiquity before Christianity.An hourlater we reach the Corinth Canal.(short stop). The 6,346 m long isthmus, is one of the 4 pre-20th century, man-made waterways on earth. The canal connects the Aegean Sea (East) with the Ionian Sea (West), today very popular for extreme sports (bungy jumping). The view from the bridgeatthetop of the canal, is breathtaking.
The opening of the canal was a very old idea. At the western entrance a paved way on which the ancient Corinthians pulled the ships on greased tree trunks from the one side to the other can be seen. The canal started in 1881 and was finished and opened, only in 1893.
The town of ancient Corinth where St. Paul lived, worked and preached for two years is 7km. from the canal, at the base of the hill of Acrocorinth. Acrocorinth was the Acropolis of Corinth and it rises about 600 m. (1800 ft). Ruins of a temple of Aphrodite, dominating the site, can be seen here.
Back in the ancient times Corinth was the capital of Roman Greece and one of the richest cities and this is quite evident by its remains. A huge agora (market place) and Apollo’s Temple (6th C.B.C). 7 of the 38 columns still stand. The ancient city of Corinth has been destroyed 3 times in its past and was rebuilt from scratch. The Romans seized, destroyed, and burned the city (146 BC) to the ground.
When Paul arrived in Corinth (51 AD) he arrived in a newly built city. The Corinthians collected a lot of money, by controlling the Corinth canal, and as a result of the wealth that they had, they were living a very immoral life.
You can see the remains of the theatre and the Roman Odeon, while among the ruins of the Roman Agora you can see the row of shops where Paul worked as a tent maker, together with Aquila and Priscilla, as well as the Bema, where Paul was judged by the Roman Governor, when the Jews of Corinth accused him.
Here in Corinth Paul created one of the biggest Christian communities in Europe. Read about Paul’s life in Corinth on the left hand side column of this page.
Corinth played a major role in the missionary work of Paul. Leaving Athens Paul visited Corinth, one of his beloved cities. He lived in Corinth for 18 months working as a tent maker and converting as many Jews and pagans as he could.
We will walk on the same paths that the Apostle of Nations walked and preached hundreds of years earlier. The Acts of the Apostles tell us that the Corinthian Jews turned against Paul. They dragged him to the court accusing him that he was illegally trying to persuade people to follow his preaching. Few weeks later he decided to leave Corinth. He sailed to Ephesus. He said goodbye to his friends and he left Corinth accompanied by Silas, Timothy, Aquila and Priscilla.
After exploring the museum and the site we proceed to the ancient port of Cechreae from where St. Paul sailed to return to Ephessus in 52 AD.
Apostle Paul is the patron saint of Corinth and the Corinthians built an impressive church in his honour. We will have the time to visit the Cathedral of St. Paul with the beautiful mosaic/mural depicting his vision.
Return to Athens +/- 14.00.
-Archaeological Museum of ancient Corinth
-Temple of Apollo
-Agora / Market place
-The Roman Bema
-The Theatre and Odeon / Asklepieion
History of Corinth
The tour guide will begin with the history of Corinth and its excavations and takes the visitors through the archaeological site from the Temple of Apollo to the Forum, the Fountain of Peirene, and more. Her lecture will cover the ancient monuments outside the fenced area of the site, including the Odeion, the Theatre, and the Asklepieion, and the various remains of ancient Corinth located within and outside the ancient Greek walls, including the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore and the Lechaion Basilica.
The site of ancient Corinth was first inhabited in the Neolithic period (5000-3000 BC), and flourished as a major Greek city state from the 8th c. BC until its destruction by the Romans in 146 BC.
Its commanding position on the Isthmus of Corinth, the narrow strip of land that separates the Peloponnese from northern Greece, was the primary basis of its importance. Corinth controlled the “diolkos”, the 6th-c. BC stone-paved roadway that connected the Saronic Gulf with the Gulf of Corinth. This overland route allowed ships, passengers and cargo to avoid the difficult and time-consuming trip around the southern end of the Peloponnese.
Being a leading naval power as well as a rich commercial city enabled ancient Corinth to establish colonies in Syracuse (on the island of Sicily) and on Corcyra (today Corfu). These colonies served as trading posts for the bronze works, textiles, and pottery that Corinth produced.
Beginning in 582 BC, in the spring of every second year the Isthmian Games were celebrated in honor of god Poseidon. The Doric Temple of Apollo, one of Corinth’s major landmarks, was constructed in 550 BC at the height of the city’s wealth.
Corinth was conquered by Philip II of Macedonia in 338 BC, but it was named the meeting place of Philip’s new Hellenic confederacy. Immediately after Philip was assassinated, Alexander the Great came to Corinth to meet with the confederacy, to confirm his leadership, and forestall any thoughts of rebellion. At the Isthmian Games of 336 BC, the Greeks chose Alexander the Great to lead them in war against the Persians.
In 146 BC Corinth was literally destroyed by the Romans, but in 44 BC it was rebuilt by Julius Caesar and became the capital of “Roman Greece”. The city prospered more than ever before and may have had as many as 800,000 inhabitants by the time of Paul. The city, mostly populated by freedmen and Jews, was devoted to business and pleasure.
Paul visited Corinth in the 50s AD and later wrote two letters to the Christian community at Corinth (the books of 1 and 2 Corinthians in the New Testament). When Paul first visited the city (51 or 52 AD), Gallio, the brother of Seneca, was proconsul of Corinth.
Paul lived in Corinth for 18 months (Acts 18:1-18), working as a tent maker and converting as many Jews and pagans as he could. Here he first became acquainted with Aquila and Priscilla, who became his fellow-workers.
Although Paul intended to pass through Corinth a second time before he visited Macedonia, circumstances were such that he first went from Troe to Macedonia before stopping at Corinth for a “second benefit” (2 Corinthians 1:15). This time he stayed in Corinth for three months (Acts 20:3).
It was probably during this second visit in the spring of 58 that Paul wrote the Epistle to the Romans. Paul’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, written from Ephesus, reflects the difficulties of maintaining a Christian community in such a cosmopolitan city.
A canal through the isthmus of Corinth was begun under the emperor Nero in 67 AD. Wielding a gold shovel, Nero himself was first to break ground, but the canal was not completed. Up to the 12th century, ships were dragged on rollers across the isthmus.
In 267 AD, the invasion of the Herulians initiated the decline of the city. During Alaric’s invasion of Greece in 395–396, he destroyed Corinth and sold many of its citizens into slavery. Nevertheless, Corinth remained inhabited for many centuries through successive invasions, destructions and plagues.
After 1204, when Constantinople fell to the Fourth Crusade, Corinth was a prize sought by all. Corinth was captured by the Turks in 1458; the Knights of Malta won it in 1612; the Venetians took a turn from 1687 until 1715, when the Turks returned; and the city finally came into Greek hands in 1822.
In 1893 a 4-mile (6-km) Corinth canal was finally completed, providing an essential shipping route between the Ionian and Aegean seas. Like its ancient predecessor, modern Corinth is the center of commerce between northern and southern Greece. Today, it has a population of about 30,000.
Systematic archaeological excavations of the area, initiated by the American School of Classical Studies in 1896, are still continuing today and have brought to light the agora, temples, fountains, shops, porticoes, baths and various other monuments. The finds are exhibited in the on-site Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth.
What to See at Corinth
The ruins of ancient Corinth, a short drive from the modern city of Corinth, are spread around the base of the rock of Acrocorinth, which forms a natural acropolis for the city. Most of the surviving buildings are Roman rather than Greek, dating from the city’s prosperous age after Caesar sacked and rebuilt much of the original Greek city. Much of the city has been toppled by recurring earthquakes over the centuries.
On the Acrocorinth itself are ruins of the Temple of Aphrodite, of which little remains. The Temple of Aphrodite had more than 1,000 sacred prostitutes at one time, exemplifying the ancient city’s reputation for luxury and vice. Also on Acrocorinth are the ruins of a stone minaret and ancient defensive walls.
The most notable ruin of ancient Corinth is the 6th-century BC Temple of Apollo, built on a hill overlooking the remains of the Roman marketplace (agora). Seven of the original 38 Doric columns still stand, and it is one of the oldest stone temples in Greece. The temple was still functioning in the time of Paul (50s AD) but was eventually destroyed by earthquakes.
Part of the foundation and a few pillars remain of the Temple of Octavia (known to scholars as ” Temple E”), dedicated to the sister of Emperor Augustus (27 BC-14 AD). The temple represents the imperial cult of Rome, which was spread throughout the empire.
A sacred spring is located along the northern edge of the forum—near the Lechaion Road. The spring was above ground in the 5th century BC but later building activities covered it. Near the spring is a secret passage leading to a small shrine. The passage was probably used by the priests but it is unknown in exactly what capacity.
Within the Roman Forum is the Bema, the public platform where St. Paul had to plead his case when the Corinthians hauled him up in front of the Roman governor Gallio in 52 AD.
Significant ruins of the Peirene Fountain, the major source of water for Corinth, can still be seen today in the Roman Forum. It was an elaborate structure that served as a meeting place for Corinthians. Frescoes of swimming fish from a 2nd-century refurbishment can still be seen, and niche in the wall probably contained a statue. The fountain is named for Peirene, a woman who wept so hard when she lost her son that she finally dissolved into the spring that still flows here.
North of the Theater, inside the city wall, is the Asklepieion, the sanctuary of the god of healing with a small temple (4th century BC). It is set in a colonnaded courtyard with a series of dining rooms in a second courtyard. Terra-cotta votive offerings representing afflicted body parts (hands, legs, breasts, genitals, and so on) were found in the excavation of the Asklepieion, many of which are displayed at the museum.
The Archaeological Museum of Ancient Corinth contains a number of artifacts of religious interest, including inscriptions of Gallio and Erastus, both mentioned in the Book of Acts; a synagogue inscription, menorah reliefs, and votive offerings of terracotta body parts to Asklepios.
TOURS TO ACROCORINTH
On the summit, above the Ancient Corinth, you will see the Acropolis of Corinth, the Acrocorinth. It was successively used and fortified by many conquerors including Romans, Byzantines and Turks. In this tour, you will have the opportunity to visit the castle. Through its imposing entrance gates, you will enter the castle and you will explore it. You will also experience the spectacular panoramic views which will amaze you.
ACROCORINTH TOUR HIGHLIGHTS
-First, Second, Third Gates
-Temple of Aphrodite – Views of Geraneia Mountain with the Blue lake and Temple of Hera.
-Acrocorinth Snack bar/ Restaurant with fabulous views.
Midday, enjoy a delicious traditional authentic lunch on a fabulous balcony overlooking the archaeological site… Gemelos’taverna!
There is no other ancient site that has more relevance on today’s world than Olympia.
Itinerary & Prices
The only way to visit Olympia in a day trip is by hiring a self-driven car or hiring a taxi, or, taking our private day trip, preferably with the extra expense of a local guide.
– Starting from your hotel at 06.45am, we stop at Corinth canal for a short photo-stop, and arrive at Olympia at 10.45am.
– Meet the tour guide (recommended) and spend 3 hours with her, visiting the archaeological museum, and the ancient site. (The suggested guided tour is longer than any other guided tour, but it’s the size and the history of Olympia that makes it long).
– When you finish with the sightseeing, relax having lunch in the peaceful setting of the modern Olympia town, and
– At +/- 16.00 start the return trip and arrive in Athens before 20.00. An enjoyable and memorable full day tour.
Comprising of the ancient site, the stadium and the Olympia museum, there is so much to see, that visitors should give themselves at least half a day to explore and experience ancient Olympia.
There is no price for 2 passengers. Persuade one or more friends to join you and share the cost of this day trip.
The price includes: transportation and tolls. The entrance fees, and the lunch mentioned, are not included.
A local professional tour guide can be arranged at the extra cost for her lecture.
Plan a 2 day trip and combine the tour to ancient Olympia with an overnight in the beautiful Venetian town of Nafplion, Homer’s Mycenae and the sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus, or, with the lakes of Polylimnio, the historical Navarino, and the rival city of Sparta, Ancient Messene, an archaeological site, generally accepted as the most beautiful site in Greece. Following our suggestions, the hotel is chosen and paid by you.
The ir-conditioned minibus seats up to 8 passengers, and the driver, in 3 rows of seats.
In the video Prof. Hale speaks about the sanctuary and the history of Olympia. An excellent presentation.
As a day trip Olympia cannot be visited on a tour bus. It is outside the mileage and working hours of a bus driver. The only way to visit it in a day trip is by hiring a self-driven car or a taxi, or by taking our private day trip.
Ancient Olympia, the Acropolis of Athens and the Oracle of Delphi are 3 sites that the services of a professional tour guide are appreciated. There are a lot of amusing myths and interesting stories about ancient Olympia and the Olympic Games that the tour guide will talk about.
History of Olympia
Olympia was the most important religious and athletic centre in Greece, and as such, it must be included in everybody’s itinerary. There are amusing myths and stories about ancient Olympia and the Olympic Games that your tour guide will talk about.
* The four Pan-Hellenic Games. The Games at Olympia was one of them. The other 3 were, the Isthmian, the Pythian and the Nemean Games.
* Olympia was not a city as such. It was the sanctuary, the stadium, the sports facilities, the VIP hostel, and the administration buildings,
* The city responsible for the organization of the ancient Olympic Games that took place at Olympia was ILIS, +/- 30kms from Olympia,
* The huge temple of Zeus, that housed one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, the statue of the god, made by the sculptor Pheidias.
* The structures in the “sacred” sanctuary were made and dedicated to the gods, except the Philippeion and the villa of emperor Nero.
* The Zannes, being the statues of the cheaters. (Emperor Nero was the biggest cheater of the ancient Olympic Games).
* The amazing organization of the ancient Olympic Games, similar and even better than today’s organization.
* The females had their own Games, the Heraia Games that were organized in favour of goddess Hera.
* The story of Kallipateira, the mother that disguised as a man watched her son competing and winning in the Games.
* The story of Kyniska, the cheeky Spartan princess, a chariot owner, that became the first female Olympic winner.
* The lighting of the Olympic flame and the torch relay is celebrated every year (summer, winter, youth Olympics, etc).
* Following the Baron’s last wish, his heart was buried at Olympia. It is at the base of the monument in the I.O.A. grounds.
* The emblems (the five Olympic rings) of the modern Olympic Games, revived by Baron Pierre De Coubertin.
The ancient Olympic Games started about 3000 years ago, when Hippodameia, daughter of the local King, Oinonaos, married Pelops, who decided to name the whole peninsula after his name and called it Peloponessus (= Pelop’s island). However only in 776 BC the first Olympic Games’ win was recorded, and that year marks the first Olympiad. Since then, every four years the Olympic Games were held attracting athletes of Greek origin from all the Greek city states. At Olympia, the victors’ prize was an olive branch wreath. A month before the opening ceremony, until a month after the closing day of the games, the Olympic truce was in effect and all hostilities were suspended, for the spectators to visit Olympia and return safely from Olympia to their city states.
Ancient Olympia is a UNESCO site that must be included in everybody’s itinerary.
The Greek people are friendly and welcome you to Greece.
Athens, is still one of the safest European capitals although there are areas that you do not need to walk through. Ask the hotel employees.
It’s very likely you’ll be as charmed by the Greek people as you will be, by Greece’s beautiful landscape.
If your time is limited, a guided tour is the best way to see places.
We offer the tours without the entrance fees, caring for clients that are allowed to enter to sites & museums f.o.c. or by paying discounted entrances.
Our final prices are not matched by any other company. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals.
CLICK on the links of every tour and see all the information. To help you choose what tour to take detailed information is included on each tour with descriptions, itineraries, prices and what is included, location details, operating days, admission rates, maps and facilities. We do hope that you find the time to explore the rich heritage of Greece and that your visit will be a rewarding and enjoyable one.
We would welcome your feedback, good or bad, in the trip advisor link.
* Afternoon sightseeing tour with a visit to the Acropolis, 35.00 €
* Morning walking tour of Athens historic centre, 35.00 €
* Afternoon tour to Sounion, the eastern cape with the temple of Poseidon, 33.00 €
* Full day tour of Athens. Morning city tour, lunch in Plaka, and afternoon tour to Sounion. April-October, 80.00 €
* Night Out in Athens with traditional Greek dinner and Greek dancing show, 58.00 €
* Morning half-day tour to Ancient Corinth. St Paul lived here for almost 18 months. April-October 51.00 €
* One day guided tour to Delphi. Visit the museum & the sanctuary of Apollo…Students 49.00 €, adults 59.00 €
* One day tour to Argolis. Mycenae, Nafplion & Epidaurus…Students 49.00 €, adults 59.00 €
* One day tour to Ancient Olympia Price shared by passengers
* One day tour to Meteora by train…from 69.00 €
* One day cruise to Hydra-Poros & Aegina. Price on request
* One day cruise and 1 day tour to Delphi 129.00 €
* One day cruise and 1 day tour to Argolis 129.00 €
* One day tour to Mycenae & the island of Poros 66.00 € without lunch, or 73.00 € with lunch
* Two day tour to Delphi at “slow pace”. April-October
* Two day tour to Nafplion at “slow pace”. April-October
* Two days to Delphi (site only) & Meteora. A popular tour from 120.00 € and arrival transfer offer for 4 star bookings.
* Two day “special” tour to Meteora by train…115.00 €
* 3 day tour, 1 night in Delphi & 1 in Kalampaka
* 3 days tour to Delphi with 2 nights in Kalampaka– Explore Meteora during your free day in Kalambaka… 148.00 €, April-October
* 3 days Classical tour – Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia & Delphi from 225.00 € and arrival transfer offer for 4 star bookings.
* 4 days Classical with Meteora monasteries tour from 320.00 € and arrival transfer offer for 4 star bookings.
* 4 days Monday’s special Classical tour. First night in Nafplio. April – October from 372.00 € and arrival transfer offer for 4 star bookings.
* 4 days Classical tour with Nafplio. April – October on Sun – Mon-Fri and selected Wed.
* 5 days Monday’s Classical & Meteora. First night in Nafplio. April – October from 422.00 € and arrival transfer offer.
* 5 days Classical tour with a day free in Kalambaka. April – October 380.00 €
* 5 days tour of Northern Greece. April – October 660.00 €
* 7 days Grand tour of Greece. April – October 890.00 €
Independent trips by train:
* One day tour to Meteora by train & local taxi from 69.00 €
* Two days train & hotel trip to Kalampaka 73.00€
* 2 days “special” Meteora, with “morning” and “sunset” tours 115.00 €
* By train, Meteora and Delphi, 3 days/2 nights 138.00 €
* By train, Meteora and Thessaloniki, 5 days/4 nights. Price on r/q
Independent trips on Intercity buses:
Private tours to:
* Half day tour to Marathon, Arch. museum, tomb and museum of Olympic Games.
* 1 day private tour to Olympia, museums & archaeological site.
* One day private tour to Delphi, monastery of Ossios Lucas and visit to the new museum of Thebes.
* One day private tour to ancient Corinth, Mycenae, lunch in Nafplion & Epidaurus.
* 2 day tour to Olympia, Ancient Messene & Nafplion(o/night).
* Two days tour to Delphi, Olympia(o/night) & ancient Messene.
Cruises to the Aegean islands
* One day cruise to Hydra, poros & Egina. Combine it with 1 day tours and pay a discounted price.
* 3 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi
* 4 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi
* 7 days cruise to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi
All options to visit
Other services that we offer:
* Private transfer services from Athens’ airport,
* Car, minibus, and motorcycle, rental services,
The castle or the rock of Monemvasia
The rock of Monemvasia or Gibraltar of Greece
The island of Monemvasia, known as the “Gibraltar of Greece,” is a massive rock rising from the sea and connected to the mainland by a causeway. The medieval town of Monemvasia dominated by a protective fortress can be reached only through a tunnel; Its name, comes from the words moni, meaning “single,” and emvasi, meaning “entry.” It is truly an amazing sight.
As you approach from over the hills you are hit with the image of an enormous rock in the sea, connected to the land by a narrow bridge. From the land it looks like just a mountain and if you look more closely you may see a tiny church perched on the top.
However if you cross the bridge and walk around the side of the mountain you will suddenly come to a wall stretching from the sea to the mountain.
Behind the wall is an ancient town protected from all sides by sea, wall and mountain. Explore the narrow, cobbled streets of this charming town, which was the commercial center of Byzantine Morea in the 13th century.
2000 years ago people built up a town at the top of a 300 meter rock to be protected from the barbarians.
The Rock was separated from the mainland by an earthquake in 337 AD and today the Monemvasia rock with its castle is actually an island accessible only through an entrance which many years ago used to be a portable, wooden bridge. This causeway links Peloponessus with the Rock of Monemvasia.
The settlement on the rock is divided into two sections, built at different levels, each with a separate fortification. The neighborhood on top of the cliff (300m) was named upper town, while the neighborhood close to the sea also protected from walls, was named lower town.
The castle fall to the Franks in 1249 after 3 years of surrounding but they gave it back to the Byzantines in 1262 after the battle in Pelagonia. The Byzantines kept it until 1460. Those two centuries where the golden ages for Monemvasia. The people of Monemvasia where very wealthy at that time due to the extensive trading, the privileges they had from the emperors of Costantinople (Istanbul), and due to the fleet they owned. The Monemvasians were trading a sweet red whine called Malvasia, produced from the surrounding area.
When Greece was occupied from the Ottomans (Turks) the Monemvasians preferred to pass their town to the Venetians and that was the first occupation by the Venetians, 1464-1550. During that period the Venetians transplanted the wine Malvasia in Crete, Italy and Malta where you may find this kind of wine with small variations.
Later, the castle passed to the hands of the Turks. A small period of Venetian occupation followed again 1690-1715 and finally Monemvasia was liberated in 1823 during the Greek revolution.
Remains of Byzantine and post-Byzantine buildings are preserved in the area of the Upper Town, not inhabited today.
The first building as you enter Lower Monemvasia is the house of Greek poet and writer Yannis Ritsos (1909 – 1990). He was born in Monemvasia in a family of landowners. His grave is not far from this house.
What to see and do
What to see and do
After breakfast, walk up to the church on the edge of the cliff atop Monemvasia castle and try your hand at throwing a small iron or steel metal object to the sea (it will be drawn in towards the side of the hill, never reaching the sea, due to a magnetic field emanating from the rocks below).
Beaches: To the north and south of Monemvasia there are beaches 2-3 km from the causeway at Gefyra. Some well liked beaches slightly further away are at Plytra (20 km) and the stretch from Viglafia to Neapoli (35 km) both of which on the west side of the peninsula, across from Monemvasia. The island of Elafonisi has some of the more scenic beaches.
Archaeology: The Richia Museum of Folklore: Richia, about 25 km from Monemvasia in a building of 1875, which was the first school in the village. With farm tools, spinning wheels, clothing and woven items.
Monastery of the Annunciation of the Virgin and Agios Georgios of Gerakas near Gerakas village, founded in 19th century.
There are many caves within easy reach: Kastania – at Kastania Voion (south of Monemvasia near Neapolis).
Vri Cave is north of Monemvasia with a precipice which you can climb down. You can find the entrance on the south west side and there is a lake below with crystal clear water.
21 km farther a very neat place to visit is Porto Geraka, a small village which landscape reminds small Fiord of the south.
Where to eat & drink – Monemvasia
If want to stay close, choose one of the four tavernas in Monemvasia. Inside the castle there is the Cafe Angelo which is at night a bar and in the morning breakfast is served, with the sound of classic music and a wonderful view. There are also two cafes to enjoy your coffee.
The tavernas on the seafront, over the causeway, at Gefyra, offer good food at good prices. A little further in the new town of Monemvasia you must taste the octopus fried with Ouzo. As there is just one “main” street – only about 200 metres long – you will find the shops, cafes and restaurants in one stroll through the castle.
See the video on Monemvasia
Most of Monemvasia’s residents today live by the port (Gefyra), which is a modern town with supermarkets, travel agency, bus connections and other services. The Rock is about 2 km from the modern port of Monemvasia, about a 20-minute walk or a few minutes by car. Cars aren’t allowed inside the walls of the old town and the parking is outside of the fortifications.
Most of the old town’s buildings are made from stone, and many have been renovated as summer homes for Greeks and foreigners. It’s a sunny town of tiled-roof houses, attractive shops and cafes, pleasant squares, and churches.
Sparti: One of the two most powerful city-states in Classical Greece, Sparta is located in the Evrotas river valley, almost completely surrounded by mountain ranges. Unlike most of the other Greek city-states, Sparta was not a fortified city-state center with huge religious and civic buildings, but it was a loose collection of smaller villages spaced over a large rural area. Traditionally, Sparta’s founding is given at the middle of the 10th century B.C. by the Dorian Greeks. By the 7th century the warlike Spartans had conquered all of the surrounding Laconia and Messenia, and by the next century much of the remaining Peloponnese was under Spartan control. In the 5th century Sparta allied herself with Athens and other city-states in order to repulse the Persian aggressor, but soon after this the two city-states fell out, embarking on a century-long struggle for supremacy in the Peloponessian War, which ended with Spartan victory in 405 B.C. By the 4th century, however, Spartan power declined with its defeat by Thebes in 371 B.C., and, by 193 B.C., she had entirely lost her territorial possessions. Sparta thrived briefly under Roman Imperial rule, but was sacked by the Goths in 395 A.D and completely abandoned.
We will visit the archeaological remains of ancient Sparta, including the 2nd century BC theatre, the sites most discernible ruin (virtually nothing remains of the ancient city). The monuments on the site have not been restored yet but there are plans in the works for this under the auspices of the European Union. Important monuments of the site include the temple of Athena Chalkoikos on the top of the acropolis ; the ancient theatre, dating from the early Imperial period, the orchestra and walls of which still stand; a circular building of unknown use, which some scholars think was some kind of assembly; remains of shops, constructed in the Roman Imperial period, which served visitors to the theater; and finally, the remains of a Basilica of the Middle Byzantine period, dated to the 10th century A.D.Mystras: Mystra enjoys one of the most beautiful situations in Greece, lying along a steep slope of Mt. Taygetos. At the top is the Kastro (fortified citadel), and on successive levels below are several Byzantine churches (most notably the Pantanassa), the Palace of the Despots, and everywhere spectacular views.
Few kilometers west to the Byzantine town Mystra on the slopes of Mt. Taygetos, an impregnable fortress, built by Guillame de Villehardouin in 1249. When the Byzantines won back the Morea from the Franks, Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus made Mystra its capital and seat of government and Mystras became the leading city of the Peloponnese. It was governed by a Byzantine Despot, usually either a son or a brother of the Emperor in Constantinople.It soon became populated by people from the surrounding plains seeking refuge from invading Slavs. From this time, until the last despot, Demetrios, surrendered it to the Turks in 1460, a despot of Morea (usually a son or brother of the ruling Byzantine emperor) lived and reigned at Mystra. Mystra declined under Turkish rule. It was captured by the Venetians in 1687 and it thrived once again with a flourishing silk industry and a population of 40,000. It was recaptured by the Turks in 1715, and from then on it was downhill all the way. It was burned by the Russians in 1770, the Albanians in 1780 and Ibrahim Pasha in 1825. Not surprisingly, at the time of Independence it was in a very sorry state, virtually abandoned and in ruins. Since the 1950s much restoration work has taken place. Once inside Nafplion Gate, the tour will see the main sites of this ancient city such as the Palace of the Despots.
Kyparisia: about 40 miles southeast from Mystras, through some of the most striking and at times hair-raising scenery in Greece, to Kalamata, and from Kalamata it’s another 32 miles to Kyparissia. Kyparisia: In his “description of Greece” Pausanias describes Kyparissia in these words: “having come to Cyparissiae we see a spring below the city near the sea. They say that Dionysus made the water flow by smiting the earth with his wand; hence they name it the spring of Dionysus. There is also a sanctuary of Apollo at Kyparissae, and another of Athena surnamed Kyparissian…there is a temple of Aulonian Aesculapius and an image of him” (4.36) Today, the Spring of Dionysus can still be seen on the beach of Ai Lagoudia in Kyparissia, a town on the south-western Peloponnese, but of the temples little remains. In Byzantine times Kyparissia was called Arkadia because of the Arkadian people who came to live there. The Arkadians built a massive castle on the site of the old acropolis, which was later rebuilt by the Franks. The castle and the ancient harbor are the main monuments on Kyparissia today. However, the town is a popular summer getaway because of its attractive beaches and summer festivities.
Pylos: The home of Nestor, the “elder statesman” of the Greek warriors at Troy, Pylos is located on the hill of Epano Englianos, near Navarino Bay, the southwest coast of the Peloponneseus. Occupied as early as the Middle Bronze Age, the site is dominated by a monumental structure, known as Nestor’s palace, which is the best preserved of the existing Mycenean palaces. Built in the Late Bronze Age (ca.1300 B.C.), the palace consists of 105 ground floor apartments. The most important compartments of the palace are the the big “throne room”, with its circular heath, a room with a clay bath tube, and stores with numerous storage jars. The walls of the palace were decorated with beautiful frescos. Thousands of clay tablets in Linear B script were found in the palace. (The Linear B script has been found to be based on the Greek language and was deciphered by a British archaeologist, Michael Ventris, in the 1950s).The palace was destroyed by fire in the 12th century B.C., and by a happy accident of chance, the linear B tablets were preserved by baking in the fire.
Spending the day in and around Pylos, visiting the Venetian castle at Methoni, the Mycenean palace at Pylos (called the Palace of Nestor, the garrulous old advisor in the Iliad), and the Pylos Museum. The Palace of Nestor was first excavated by Carl Blegen of Cincinnati in 1952 and was destroyed by fire at the end of the Mycenean period (around 1200 BC). It is quite a bit smaller than Mycenae, and it is here that the first Linear B tablets found on the Greek mainland were discovered in 1939.
– Morning Sightseeing with Acropolis and its museum
– Afternoon city sightseeing tour
– Walking tour of central Athens area
– Afternoon tour to Cape Sounion & Poseidon’s temple
– Combine morning Athens sightseeing & afternoon Sounio
– Athens by night, with dinner and Greek dance show
– Tour to the Marathon battle area (private tour)
– One day guided tour to Delphi – museum and the site
– Two days to Delphi – Guided tour in slow pace
– Two days guided tour, visiting Delphi & Meteora
– Three days, guided tour, 1 night Delphi & 1 Meteora
– Three days, visit Delphi with 2 nights in Kalampaka
– 3 days, independent visit to Kalampaka & Delphi
– Delphi and the monastery of Osios Loukas (private tour)
– Delphi with lunch at the port of Itea (private tour)
– 2 days guided tour to Delphi(site only) & Meteora
– Include the Delphi museum in the tour above
– 3 days tour. One night in Delphi and one in Kalampaka
– 3 days Delphi & Meteora with an extra day in Kalampaka
– Visit Meteora on your own by train – Independent trip
– One day trip to Meteora. Train and 3 hours round by taxi
– 2 days in Kalampaka and One in Delphi, independently
– 2 days Meteora “Special”, with “Sunset” & “Morning” tours
– One day tour to Mycenae, Nafplion & Epidaurus
– Two days guided tour of Argolis. Overnight in Nafplion
– Morning tour to St. Paul’s Ancient Corinth (Apr-Oct)
– Half day tour to Ancient Corinth and wine tasting (Apr-Oct)
– Ancient Corinth, Nafplion, theatre of Epidaurus (private tour)
– Tour to Ancient Corinth with lunch in Loutraki (private tour)
CLASSICAL TOURS OF GREECE
– 3 days classical tour of Greece to historical sites
– 4 days combining the classical tour with Meteora
– Monday’s special. 4 days classical tour. Overnight in Nafplio
– Monday’s special. Five days classical tour and Meteora
– Two days, Olympia & Nafplion, Epidaurus (private tour)
– Two days Delphi & Olympia (private tour)
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TOURS TO OLYMPIA FROM ATHENS
– 3 days – Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia & Delphi
– One day tour to Olympia (private tour)
– 2 day to Olympia & Nafplion (private tour)
– 2 day tour to Delphi & Olympia (private tour)
– Visit Olympia on the intercity bus, 2 days/1 night
Best price in the market
CRUISES TO THE GREEK ISLANDS
– 1 Day Cruise – Hydra, Poros, Aegina, for 65.00 €
– 3 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Kusadasi, Santorini
– 4 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Kusadasi, Heraklion, Santorini
– One day trip to Mykonos by ferry (July-Sept)
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BOOK YOUR LOCAL TRANSFERS
– On arrival, from the airport to the centre, 45.00 €
– On departure, from your hotel to the airport, 35.00 €
– From your hotel to the port of Pireaus, 20.00 €
– From Piraeus to your hotel in Athens, 25.00 €
– From your hotel to/from the port of Rafina, 40.00 €
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Short stay packages
Includes: Hotel, transfers, tours…
3, 4, 5, & 8 days stay
Lunch included, 65.00 euro
Transfer to / from the pier 10.00 euro
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Other useful services
– International & Domestic air tickets
– Ferry tickets to the Greek islands
– Group land tours’ organizing & arrangements
– College and Schools’ study tours