Category Archive : Private Tours

Sacred site of Delphi

Stay in Athens and visit famous Greek cultural sites!

Delphi is Greece’s premier tourist attraction.

The sheer magnificence and grandeur of the location strike you. Below the site, a valley ringed by mountains provides breathtaking views from any location within the site. Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world. A temple dedicated to the god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. and housed the Oracle of Delphi, the greatest source of income for a thousand years. Delphi became a religious center. Kings and common people came to consult the priestess called PYTHIA. In a secret room below the tripod of the Pythia, the priests of Apollo interpreted her vague and wild cries and put them into ordered language. The marketing idea was: build a treasury house for your city-state. Bring your votives and valuable gifts and we shall keep them in it for you. It was a matter of convincing everybody that Apollo, Zeus, and the rest of the gods controlled their lives.

Today the archaeological site with the treasuries, the ancient temples, and the shrines, is one of the best in Greece, making Delphi one of Greece’s premier tourist attractions. It is a 2.30-hour drive from Athens making the visit to Delphi a comfortable 1-day trip.

The museum in Delphi houses impressive statues, jewelry, and other wares that have been unearthed from the site.

Unless you are a history guy you need a full hour to explore the ancient site. The Sacred Way starts at the ticket booth, winds up past a number of Treasuries and leads to the Temple of Apollo, where the Oracle was sitting.

For mobile users visit: https://www.toursingreece.info

dates & prices


NOV-MAR the tour to Delphi is organized Wed, Fri + Sun
APR-OCT the 1-day Tour to Delphi is organized daily

PRICES: Organizing tours throughout Greece since 1958 we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel.
We offer our tours at low prices without compromising the quality of our service.

For the One-day tour to Delphi without lunch:
ISI card holder price (ONLY holders of I.S.I. cards are eligible) = 49 €.NO Feec/NO lunch

ENTRANCE FEES: NOV-MAR you add 6 €, APR-OCT you add 12 €

DISCOUNTS:
– E.U. juniors under 26 and E.U. students do not pay entrance fees.

Lunch (3 course menu) is served in a restaurant outside the Delphi village and costs 10 € for everybody.
– Clients who take the tour without lunch may spend the lunch hour in modern Delphi village.
Fill the booking request and start the communication. We shall reply asap.
Bookings during the last 24 hours can ONLY be made in our premises, Stadiou 48, in the centre of Athens.

The tour services include:
– transportation on modern air-conditioned buses, with ample storage space for your luggage.
– the services of the professional tour guide all along the tour
– Pick up/drop off from or near your hotel (See the list of hotels at the foot of this website).
– Shortstop in the picturesque village of Arachova in Greece.

Copied from a client’s Blogspot:
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 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.

 

POPULAR TOURS: Afternoon to Sounion 33 € | 1 day Argolis 59 € | 2 days Delphi-Meteora 120 € | 4 day classical & Meteora | 1 day cruise
 

If our offer sounds interesting, please send us the booking form.

 

HOW TO BOOK A TOUR | BOOKING FORM | PAY ONLINE | CONTACT US

 

Itinerary

Time Tour Plan Services
7:30 Start the free pick up service, bring the people to the terminal and put them in the different buses to the destinations. Depart from the terminal at +/- 08.30
11:30 Arrival in modern Delphi village On the way, 25 mins break near Levadia
11:45 Visit the ancient site & the museum Entrance fees – See the price you paid
14:00 Drive to a restaurant 3 kl outside modern Delphi Lunch, is optional – See the price you paid.
15:30 Start the return towards Athens Stop at the village of Arachova
18:30 Arrival in the centre of Athens Hotel drop off by 19.30

History

If there is a site to visit in Greece then Delphi is this place. The sheer magnificence and grandeur of the location strike you. God Apollo had chosen the best spot to build his temple. Below the site, a valley ringed by mountains provides breathtaking views from any location within the site.

Delphi was considered to be one of the most important cities of ancient Greece. It was believed to be home to the goddess Gaia, or Earth, and later to Apollo after slaying Gaia’s son, the snake Python. The Pythian games—similar to the Olympic Games—were held here every four years to honour Apollo’s slaying of the Python dragon.

According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. The one flew east and the other one flew west. They both met over Delphi, determining that the centre of the world was there. A temple dedicated to the god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. The Temple of Apollo housed the great Oracle of Delphi, the world’s greatest source of income for a thousand years. The Oracle was the most eminent feature of Delphi, and some of the most important people from all over Greece—including demigods, according to Greek mythology—visited her to seek advice. The oracle of Apollo became a religious center where common people and kings alike, came to consult “Pythia”, the priestess of the sanctuary. In a room, below the Pythia, the priests listened and interpreted her vague and wild cries, and put them into ordered language.

Above the entrance to the temple of Apollo, the visitor reads ‘Know Thyself’ and ‘Nothing in Excess’. These sayings were read and pondered upon by all of the great kings, warriors, and noblemen who came here for advice. The true wisdom of the Oracle lies not within the words of the Oracle’s priestess, but within the walls of the temple itself.

The Pythian Games held in Delphi were one of four Panhellenic games held in ancient Greece, and they attracted competitors from all over the Greek world. Founded in the 6th c. BC and held in honour of Apollo the Games originally centered around the talents the god exemplified – music and poetry. However soon, athletic competitions were added as well. The best known was a great chariot race, held in the stadium of Delphi. The winners of the Pythian Games received a laurel wreath.

The 6th c. BC saw the political rise of Delphi ushering in a golden age that lasted until the arrival of the Romans in 191 BC. Numerous treasuries were built in the Sanctuary of Apollo to house votive offerings of grateful pilgrims. In the 4th century BC, a theater accommodating 5,000 spectators was constructed nearby. It was restored in 159 by king Eumenes II and later by the Romans.

The oracle of Delphi was abolished in 393 AD by Theodosius of Byzantium, the emperor who made Christianity the official religion of the Byzantine Empire. No longer used, the temples fell into disrepair and their materials were plundered for new buildings.

Site & Museum


Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world and thousands of pilgrims visited here, from kings and philosophers to common people to hear the prophecies of the Oracle and to watch and compete in the ancient games held here, the Pythian Games, similar to the Olympics.
The archaeological site is one of the best in Greece with ancient temples and shrines placed along the sacred way, making Delphi one of the best places to visit all year round. The site consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses of the City-States, the ancient theatre, the stadium at the top of the hill, the gymnasium, and hippodrome. The sanctuary was built in an imposing location, on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus. The Temple of Apollo, the treasury house of the Athenians, the Polygonal wall, the treasury houses of the different city States — where treasures from all over Greece were kept, and the Theatre are some of the most important buildings. It is a vigorous hike to the highest parts of the complex, to the theater and the stadium.

The remaining part of the ancient site, bellow the road, with the temple of Athena Pronaia, the Tholos (a circular structure with 3 of its original 20 Doric columns restored), the gymnasium and the sports facilities, used for training for the athletes that took part in the “Pythian or Delphian Games”, is not included in the guided tours. Select the tour option without lunch and while the group is having lunch you can visit them on your own, without the tour guide. The bus will pick you up on the way back to Athens.

Today, next to the archaeological site, there is an impressive museum, displaying hundreds of votive offerings and findings from the local excavations, that started in 1892, masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture. The highlights are offerings by the oracle visitors, such as the famous bronze statue of the Charioteer, the statue of Antinoos, the famous athlete Aghias, the two “kouros” statues, the Roman “omphalos”, being the sculptured stone that represented the navel of the world, and many others.

When you finish with the sightseeing, you proceed to a local restaurant for lunch (optional). Finding parking for the bus in the Delphi village is not possible. The restaurant with ample parking space is +/- 3km from the village. After lunch returning to Athens, the driver stops for 40 minutes at the nearby(10 km) traditional village of Arachova. The bus finally arrives in the centre of Athens at +/- 18.30.

Testimonials


By Provoensis, United States, 11 posts, 38 reviews. Re: Astoria Travel, Jul 31

My experiences with Astoria Travel have been varied in scope, but ALWAYS extraordinarily positive. I cannot praise Kosta and his team highly enough. From small-scale arrangements for my wife and me to multi-day academic tours for groups of 30+ university students, our experience has always been top-notch.
I regularly travel with a university group to Greece, and other colleagues from my university (in the USA) have been booking arrangements through Astoria Travel since 2003, sometimes 2 – 3 groups per year. Kosta’s heartfelt inclination to provide a high-quality academic experience for our students really shows. Above all, his reliability and his determination to help us provide an affordable program for them are apparent from beginning to end. On each program, he has been constantly calculating how we can shave down costs to the students’ advantage. He really tends to the smallest details.
Trustworthiness may be the most important aspect of a travel agent’s involvement with a group. In the many facets of our several tours arranged by Astoria, I have yet to be surprised by any bill or expenditure. Everything has been transparent and anticipated.
I recommend to all my colleagues at my university to work their Greek travel arrangements through Astoria Travel. For us Greece means Kosta.
______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Re: Astoria Travel Meteora trip Reviews.
Hi SomeGirl111. All the bus tours in Greece are organized by three Tour operators. The travel agents do not organize, they sell these guided tours at discounted rates. So, whoever you decide to buy your tour from, you will end up sitting in one of the T.O. buses. All three T.Os. use modern, air-conditioned buses., and knowledgeable professional tour guides. You travel on the same bus as visitors that paid the full brochure price. Astoria Travel was established in 1958 and is still operating and prospering. So, your question should be: is the price that they sell the tours organized by G.O.Tours, CHAT, or KEY Tours, good? What differs between the travel agents, is how fast they reply to you, and the way they answer your request. Being in the travel trade for such a long time, I am sure that they know the way to satisfy their clients.

ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information.

 

The famous ancient theatre of Epidaurus

The tour to Mycenae, Nafplion, and Epidaurus is a popular one-day tour.

Mobile users visit: https://www.toursingreece.info

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.

Our prices


NOV-MAR Organized on Tue, Thu, Sat, BUT… Sites/museums close at 15:00
APR–OCT the 1-day tour to Argolis is organized on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat

PRICES: Organizing tours throughout Greece since 1958, we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. Our prices are not matched.
Special price for ISI card holders’, NO lunch / NO entry fees = 49 €.
CLICK and see what we call “ISIC” price.

Send us the booking request and start the communication. We shall get back asap.

DISCOUNTED entrance fees:
– Juniors under 26 and E.U. students do not pay entrance fees.
– Students from other countries and E.U. seniors over 65 pay 12.00 €

– Lunch (3 course menu) is served in Mycenae for 10.00 € 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.

 

POPULAR TOURS: Afternoon to Sounion 33 € | 1 day Delphi 59 € | 2 days Delphi-Meteora 120 € | 4 day classical & Meteora | 1 day cruise
 

If our offer sounds interesting, please send us the booking form.

 

HOW TO BOOK A TOUR | BOOKING FORM | PAY ONLINE | CONTACT US

 

Trip advisor review us 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 (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.

Highlights

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.

Ancient Mycenae

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.

Beautiful NAFPLION

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”.

Sanctuary of God Asclepius and the amazing theatre of EPIDAURUS

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.

Itinerary

Time plan of the day tour to Argolis

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
13:00 Lunch in a local restaurant Lunch is optional. See the price paid.
14:15 Drive on to “Venetian” Nafplion Short photo stop at Nafplion
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

After Nafplion, we continue to EPIDAURUS and visit the ancient theatre. The UNESCO’S 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.

Map


Map for one day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

One day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

One day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

Ancient Mycenae


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.

Agamemnon


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.

 

CLICK here and see ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information on each tour is included.

 

The famous ancient theatre of Epidaurus

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.

Mobile users visit: https://www.toursingreece.info

Our prices


NOV-MAR Organized on Tue, Thu, Sat, BUT… Sites/museums close at 15:00
APR–OCT the 1-day tour to Argolis is organized on Mon, Tue, Wed, Thu, Sat

PRICES: Organizing tours throughout Greece since 1926, we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. Our prices are not matched.
1) NOVEMBER-MARCH: No lunch included = 59 + 12 entrance fees = 71 € per adult
APRIL – OCTOBER No lunch included = 59 + 24 entrance fees = 83 € per adult

2) The child’s price for the tour = 45 € (entrance fees on request)
3) Special price for ISI card holders’, NO lunch / NO entry fees = 49 €.
CLICK and see what we call ” ISIC” price.

Send us the booking request and start the communication. We shall get back asap.

DISCOUNTED entrance fees:
– Juniors under 26 and E.U. students do not pay entrance fees.
– Students from other countries and E.U. seniors over 65 pay 12 €

– Lunch (3 course menu) is served in Mycenae for 10 € extra per person.

MORE OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the highest one):
a) GROUP DISCOUNT: Make a team of 5 full paying or more passengers and gain 5%
b) ARGOLIS & 1 day CRUISE Combine the tour to Argolis with the One day cruise to 3 islands.

The prices quoted 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)
– Entrance fees to Mycenae and Epidaurus sites and museums.
– The services of the professional tour guide all through the tour.

 

POPULAR TOURS: Afternoon to Sounion 33 € | 1 day Delphi 59 € | 2 days Delphi-Meteora 120 € | 4 day classical & Meteora | 1 day cruise
 

If our offer sounds interesting, please send us the booking form.

 

HOW TO BOOK A TOUR | BOOKING FORM | PAY ONLINE | CONTACT US

 

Trip advisor review us 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 (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.

Highlights

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.

Ancient Mycenae

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.

Beautiful NAFPLION

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”.

Sanctuary of God Asclepius and the amazing theatre of EPIDAURUS

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.

Itinerary

Time plan of the day tour to Argolis

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
13:00 Lunch in a local restaurant Lunch is optional. See the price paid.
14:15 Drive on to “Venetian” Nafplion Short photo stop at Nafplion
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

After Nafplion, we continue to EPIDAURUS and visit the ancient theatre. The UNESCO’S 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.

Map


Map for one day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

One day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

One day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

Ancient Mycenae


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.

Agamemnon


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.

 

See ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information is included.

 

https://astoriatravel.gr/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Delphi_by_Albert_Tournaire.jpg
The ancient Delphi site with the treasuries and the temple of Apollo. Photo by Albert Tournaire

We want you to have a memorable time in Greece! Let a local tour expert organize your tours and make your dream come true.

Delphi is one of Greece’s most important tourist attractions. Easy to visit on a One day tour from Athens all year round.

The sheer magnificence and grandeur of the location strike you. Below the site, a valley ringed by mountains provides breathtaking views from any location within the site. Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world. A temple dedicated to the god Apollo was built in the 7th c BC. and housed the Oracle of Delphi, the greatest source of income for a thousand years. Delphi became a religious centre. Kings and common people came to consult the priestess called PYTHIA. In a secret room below the tripod of the Pythia, the priests of Apollo interpreted her vague and wild cries and put them into ordered language. The idea was: build a treasury house for your city-state, bring your valuables and we shall keep them for you in it.

The archaeological site today with the treasuries, the ancient temples, and the shrines, is one of the best in Greece, making Delphi one of Greece’s premier tourist attractions. It is a 2.30-hour drive from Athens making the one-day tour to Delphi a comfortable trip.

The Delphi museum houses impressive statues, jewelry, and other wares unearthed from the site.

Unless you are a history guy you need a full hour to explore the ancient site. The Sacred Way starts at the ticket booth. It winds up past a number of Treasuries and leads to the Temple of Apollo, where the Oracle was sitting.

Mobile users visit www.toursingreece.info

Days & prices


NOV- MARCH the tour operates 4 times per week; every Monday-Wednesday-Friday + Sunday
Apr- October the tour operates; every Monday-Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday + Sunday

PRICES: Our discounted prices are not matched. The price of the tour services without lunch are:
1) Nov-Mar: The adult price for the tour = 59.00 € + 6.00 € entrance fees = 65.00 €
Apr-Oct : The adult price for the tour = 59.00 € + 12.00 € entrance fees = 71.00 €
2) The child’s price for the tour = 45.00 € (no entrance fees apply)
3) The Student enabler price (ONLY for ISI card holders) = 49.00 €. CLICK and see what we call “Student Enabler” price
ONLY holders of International Student Identity Cards are eligible to this price.

Lunch(3 course menu) is served in a restaurant outside modern Delphi and costs 10.00 € extra for everybody.
Fill the booking request and start the communication. We shall get back asap.

The tour services include:
– transportation on modern air-conditioned buses
– the services of the professional tour guide all along
– entrance fees to the sanctuary of Apollo and the archaeological museum in Delphi, and
– Pick up/drop off from or near your hotel (See the list of hotels in the footer of this website).
– Shortstop in the picturesque village of Arachova, a popular winter destination in Greece.

MORE OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the highest one):
a) GROUP DISCOUNT: Make a team of 5 full paying or more passengers and gain 5%
b) DELPHI & the 1 day CRUISE Combine the Delphi tour with the One day cruise to the 3 islands and pay 135.00 € for both

The ONE DAY DELPHI TOUR can be organized as a private excursion (cost-shared between the passengers):
– Transportation of 1-4 passengers = 260.00 € (5-8 passengers the extra cost is 10.00 € per person).
In this private tour a) entrance fees, lunch, and drinks are not included in the price, plus
b) a local professional tour guide, can be arranged to meet you in Delphi at an extra cost.

Trip advisor review us WRITE A REVIEW ON OUR SERVICES. Your feedback helps us offer a better service.

Copied from a client’s blogpost:
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.

 

POPULAR TOURS: 1 day Argolis | 2 days Delphi-Meteora | 3 day explore Meteora | 4 day classical & Meteora | 5 day explore Meteora | 1 day cruise

 

HOW TO BOOK A TOUR | BOOKING FORM | PAY ONLINE | CONTACT US

 

Itinerary

Time Tour Plan Services
7:30 Start the pick up service and come to the terminal Depart from the terminal at 08.30
11:30 Arrival in modern Delphi village On the way, 20 mins break near Levadia
11:45 Visit the ancient site & the museum Entrance fees – See the price you paid
14:30 Drive to a local restaurant 3 km from Delphi Lunch, is optional – See the price you paid.
15:30 Start the return towards Athens Stop at the village of Arachova
18:30 Arrival in the centre of Athens Hotel drop off by 19.30

History

If there is a site to visit in Greece then Delphi is this place. The sheer magnificence and grandeur of the location strike you. God Apollo had chosen the best spot to build his temple. Below the site, a valley ringed by mountains provides breathtaking views from any location within the site.

Delphi was considered to be one of the most important cities of ancient Greece. It was believed to be home to the goddess Gaia, or Earth, and later to Apollo after slaying Gaia’s son, the snake Python. The Pythian games—similar to the Olympic Games—were held here every four years to honor Apollo’s slaying of the Python dragon.

According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. The one flew east and the other one flew west. They both met over Delphi, determining that the centre of the world was there. A temple dedicated to the god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. The Temple of Apollo housed the great Oracle of Delphi, the world’s greatest source of income for a thousand years. The Oracle was the most eminent feature of Delphi, and some of the most important people from all over Greece—including demigods, according to Greek mythology—visited her to seek advice. The oracle of Apollo became a religious centre where common people and kings alike, came to consult “Pythia”, the priestess of the sanctuary. In a room, below the Pythia, the priests listened and interpreted her vague and wild cries, and put them into ordered language.

Above the entrance to the temple of Apollo, the visitor reads ‘Know Thyself’ and ‘Nothing in Excess’. These sayings were read and pondered upon by all of the great kings, warriors, and noblemen who came here for advice. The true wisdom of the Oracle lies not within the words of the Oracle’s priestess, but within the walls of the temple itself.

The Pythian Games held in Delphi were one of four Panhellenic games held in ancient Greece, and they attracted competitors from all over the Greek world. Founded in the 6th c. BC and held in honour of Apollo the Games originally centered around the talents the god exemplified – music and poetry. However soon, athletic competitions were added as well. The best known was a great chariot race, held in the stadium of Delphi. The winners of the Pythian Games received a laurel wreath.

The 6th c. BC saw the political rise of Delphi ushering in a golden age that lasted until the arrival of the Romans in 191 BC. Numerous treasuries were built in the Sanctuary of Apollo to house votive offerings of grateful pilgrims. In the 4th century BC, a theater accommodating 5,000 spectators was constructed nearby. It was restored in 159 by king Eumenes II and later by the Romans.

The oracle of Delphi was abolished in 393 AD by Theodosius of Byzantium, the emperor who made Christianity the official religion of the Byzantine Empire. No longer used, the temples fell into disrepair and their materials were plundered for new buildings.

Site & Museum


Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world and thousands of pilgrims visited here, from kings and philosophers to common people to hear the prophecies of the Oracle and to watch and compete in the ancient games held here, the Pythian Games, similar to the Olympics.
The archaeological site is one of the best in Greece with ancient temples and shrines placed along the sacred way, making Delphi one of the best places to visit all year round. The site consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses of the City-States, the ancient theatre, the stadium at the top of the hill, the gymnasium, and hippodrome. The sanctuary was built in an imposing location, on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus. The Temple of Apollo, the treasury house of the Athenians, the Polygonal wall, the treasury houses of the different city States — where treasures from all over Greece were kept, and the Theatre are some of the most important buildings.

The remaining part of the ancient site, bellow the road, with the temple of Athena Pronaia, the Tholos (a circular structure with 3 of its original 20 doric columns restored), the gymnasium, and the sports facilities, used for training for the athletes that took part in the “Pythian or Delphian Games”, is not visited in the guided tours. Choose the tour without lunch and when the group is having lunch you can visit them on your own, without the tour guide.

Today, next to the archaeological site, there is an impressive museum, displaying findings from the local excavations, that started in 1892, masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture. The highlights are offerings by the oracle visitors, such as the famous bronze statue of the Charioteer, the statue of Antinoos, the famous athlete Aghias, the two “kouros” statues, the Roman “omphalos”, being the sculptured stone that represented the navel of the world, and many others.

When you finish with the sightseeing, you proceed to a local restaurant for lunch (optional), and after lunch, the driver stops for 40 minutes at the nearby traditional village of Arachova. The bus arrives in the center of Athens at +/- 18.30.

Testimonials


By Provoensis, United States, 11 posts, 38 reviews. Re: Astoria Travel, Jul 31

My experiences with Astoria Travel have been varied in scope, but ALWAYS extraordinarily positive. I cannot praise Kosta and his team highly enough. From small-scale arrangements for my wife and me to multi-day academic tours for groups of 30+ university students, our experience has always been top-notch.
I regularly travel with a university group to Greece, and other colleagues from my university (in the USA) have been booking arrangements through Astoria Travel since 2003, sometimes 2 – 3 groups per year. Kosta’s heartfelt inclination to provide a high-quality academic experience for our students really shows. Above all, his reliability and his determination to help us provide an affordable program for them is apparent from beginning to end. On each program, he has been constantly calculating how we can shave down costs to the students’ advantage. He really tends to the smallest details.
Trustworthiness may be the most important aspect of a travel agent’s involvement with a group. In the many facets of our several tours arranged by Astoria, I have yet to be surprised by any bill or expenditure. Everything has been transparent and anticipated.
I recommend to all my colleagues at my university to work their Greek travel arrangements through Astoria Travel. For us Greece means Kosta.
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Re: Astoria Travel Meteora trip Reviews.
Hi SomeGirl111. All the bus tours in Greece are organized by three Tour operators. The travel agents do not organize, they sell these guided tours at discounted rates. So, whoever you decide to buy your tour from, you will end up sitting in one of the T.O. buses. All three T.Os. use modern, air-conditioned buses., and knowledgeable professional tour guides. You travel on the same bus as visitors that paid the full brochure price. Astoria Travel was established in 1958 and is still operating and prospering. So, your question should be: is the price that they sell the tours organized by G.O.Tours, CHAT, or KEY Tours, good? What differs between the travel agents, is how fast they reply to you, and the way they answer your request. Being in the travel trade for such a long time, I am sure that they know the way to satisfy their clients.


In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer sounds interesting, please send us the booking form.

CLICK here and see ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information on each tour is included.

 

Ancient Olympia GreeceAncient Olympia Greece

You found the One day tour to Olympia that you are looking for

Itinerary & Prices

Olympia, site of the ancient Olympic Games.

The only way to visit Ancient Olympia in a day is by hiring a self-driven car, hiring a taxi, or, taking our day trip.
With the extra expense of a local tour guide, experience a 3 hours guided tour in the ancient site and the archaeological museum, and, on your own, in the museum of the ancient Olympic Games.

– Starting from your lodging at 06.45 am, we stop at Corinth canal (photo-stop), and arrive at Olympia at 10.45 am.
Meet the tour guide (recommended) and with her, visit the archaeological museum, and the  ancient site.
– When you finish 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.

In 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.
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Prices in euro, per person

3 persons 
4 persons
5 persons
6 persons
7 persons
8 persons
1-day trip
100.00
80.00
70.00
60.00
55.00
50.00
2-day trip
160.00
135.00
120.00
On request
On request
On request

The trip is costly and this is the reason that 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 and are paid locally.
A local professional tour guide can be arranged for an extra fee.

  • Bookings 3 -1 days before departure CAN BE DONE ONLY IN OUR OFFICE (48 Stadiou str. near Omonia square).
  • In order to book the tour you must fill and submit the booking form found in the top menu of this website.
  • Plan a 2-day trip combining ancient Olympia with the Venetian town of Nafplion, Homer’s Mycenae and the sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus, or, with the lakes of Polylimnio, Navarino, and Ancient Messene, an archaeological site generally accepted as the most beautiful site in Greece. We suggest hotels for you to choose.

Visit a similar One-day tour to Olympia and compare services and prices.

OLYMPIA minibus
The minibus seats 9 passengers in 3 rows of seats.

History of Olympia

Listen to Prof. Hale’s excellent lecture, and include Olympia in your itinerary.

Olympia became the most important religious and athletic center in Greece and must be included in everybody’s itinerary. The only way to visit Ancient Olympia on a day trip is by hiring a self-driven car or a taxi, or by taking our private day trip, preferably with the extra expense of a local guide.

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 myths and interesting stories about Olympia and the Olympic Games that the tour guide will talk about.
The professional tour guide will speak about:
* The four Pan-Hellenic Games, (the Games at Olympia were one of them. The other three were, the Isthmian, the Pythian, and the Nemean Games).
* Ancient Olympia was not a city as such. It was only the sanctuary, the stadium, the sports facilities, the VIP hostel, and the administration buildings,
* The city that was responsible for the organization of the ancient Olympic Games was ILIS, +/- 30kms from Olympia,
* The temple of Zeus, that housed one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world, the statue of Zeus, made by the Pheidias.
* The structures in the “sacred” sanctuary were dedicated to the gods, except the Philippeion and the villa of 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. They called them Heraia Games and were organized in favour of goddess Hera, Zeus’ wife, and sister.
* Learn the story of Kallipateira, the mother that disguised herself as a man in order to watch her son competing and winning in the Games.
* The story of Kinishka, the tomboy Spartan princess, a chariot owner, that became the first female Olympic winner.
* The lighting of the Olympic flame and the torch relay celebrated every year (summer, winter, youth Olympics, etc.).
* Following the Baron’s last wish, his heart was buried at Olympia, 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 Hippodamia, daughter of the local King, Oenomaus, fell in love and married Pelops. Pelops, a local hero, decided to name the whole peninsula after his name and called it Peloponnesus (= 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. 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. At Olympia, the victors’ prize was an olive branch wreath.

Olympic Games


The first recorded win in the ancient Olympic Games was in 776 B.C. and since then, the Games were held, between August 6 and September 19, every four years for over 1000 years, devoted to Zeus. The four years period between two Olympic Games was called an Olympiad and was used as a meter of chronology. The spirit of sport and friendly rivalry was the ideal of these Olympic games. The “Olympic truce”, that is the ceasing of fighting in the whole Greek world for as long as the Olympic games were on, was strictly observed with one or two exceptions. The Spartans in 420 BC were excluded from the games on the ground of truce breaking. In 426 BC emperor Theodosius II ordered the destruction of the temples and the Altis was burnt.
Taking part in the Games was a great honour for the athlete and his native city. The athletes were men of Greek origin that had not committed the crime of sacrilege(had done something unholy). The athletes competed nude. Women were forbidden to watch the games, with the exception of the priestess of goddess Demeter. Violation of this rule was punishable by death. According to Pausanias, the only time this rule was broken and the death sentence was not carried out, was the case of Kallipateira, daughter of the Olympic winner Diagoras of Rhodes, who came to the stadium disguised as the trainer to encourage her son Peisidorus who was taking part in the games. In her enthusiasm for his victory jumping over the trainers’ enclosure wall, her chiton fell down revealing her feminity. The Hellanodikai spared her life out of respect to her family, the Diagorides, who had three generations of Olympic winners: her father Diagoras, her brothers Eukleas and Kallianaktas nad her son Peisidorus. This incident was the reason for passing the law, which compelled the trainers to attend the stadium naked, like the athletes.

Organization of the Games.
The highest dignitaries of the Games were the 12 Hellanodikai (umpires), responsible for organizing the games and application of the rules. They had the authority to disqualify individuals because of violation of the rules and to impose fines and punish those concerned. They were helped by the alytai( a kind of policeman), the mastigophoroi (whippers), and the ravdouchoi(staff bearers). All of them answered the alytarch(chief of police). Being part of religious ceremonies, there was also, the theokoloi, who conducted the sacrifices, the spondoforoi, assigned to travel throughout the Greek world to announce the Games and the celebrations, the seers that gave prophecies and had special prestige, the priests for special sacrifices, the flute players, the dancers and the head of ceremonies.
Ten months before the beginning of the Games, the Hellanodikai stayed in a special building where they were informed of their duties and learned the rules of the Games. The athletes had to announce to them their participation one year before the Games began. One month before the Games they had to come to Olympia with their trainers in order to prepare themselves.
The Games lasted five days. On the first day, the opening ceremony was carried out. The athletes registered and in front of the Zeus Orkios, they and their trainers took a vow(orkos). They vowed that “they compete fairly and without violating the rules”. The Hellanodikai also took a vow to be honest and fair in their judgments. The second day included horse and chariot races in the hippodrome and the pentathlon. The third day was the most important. It included glorious rites devoted to the worship of Zeus in the morning. There was a large festive procession of priests, athletes, the Hellanodikai, and notables of Ellis and of the other Greek cities. In the afternoon the foot races were held. On the fourth day the so-called heavy events – wrestling, boxing, pankration, and the race in full armour took place. On the fifth and last day, the festive awarding of the prizes was carried out in front of the statue of Zeus. The crowning of the winners took place among the applause, the hymns and songs of the friends and relatives and the celebrations would last until the next morning. The Olympic winner received as a prize an olive tree crown as well as other important prizes in kind and money and the victory gave the athlete great fame during his lifetime and posthumously. A victory ode was written especially for him as well as a statue of the athlete was made. The statue portrayed the ideal of the “good and honest” man. His native city participated in his victory and his proud fellow citizens knocked down part of the city walls through which he made his entry.
The Events: The Olympic Games consisted of 10 events: running, pentathlon, jumping, discus, javelin, wrestling, boxing, pankration, chariot, and horse racing.
The foot – race is the oldest contest that took place in Olympia. The athletes were running nude, in an area around 600 feet (192.27m), called one Stadion. This distance gave its name to the area used for the performance of the event. The stadiums were situated on hillsides or in small valleys, thus enabling the spectators to follow the events. Later and as the crowd of spectators grew, artificial slopes were built and the spectators sat on the ground. The stadium at Olympia had a capacity of 45,000 spectators. There are no records of the achievements of the athletes during Archaic times as there were no means of keeping time.
Pentathlon The pentathlon was a combination of events. It included jumping, running, javelin, discus, and wrestling. The athlete had to combine many qualities and skills of the body.
Jumping Similar to the long jump. The athlete jumped into a pit holding halters in his hands.
Discus An event loved by the Greeks most and known from Homeric poems. A moment of discus throwing is captured in the famous statue of the Discus-thrower, opposite the Panathenaic Stadium, in Athens.
Javelin One of the favorite events of many mythical heroes. We find the “ekevolon” javelin throwing which was judged by the distance the javelin was thrown and the “stohastikon” javelin throwing where the javelin was thrown at a specific target.
Wrestling It is referred to for the first time in Homer’s Labours for Patroclus. One of the pentathlon events but also independent in the Pan-Hellenic games. Even today it is called Greek-Roman wrestling.
Boxing One of the oldest events, as shown by the early reference to the event by Homer and the representation of two children boxing on the mural from Akrotiri in Santorini.
The Pankration A combination of wrestling and boxing, it was considered as the most worthy event for men in the games.
The horse & chariot races Took place in the hippodrome, a space used for the horse races. The horse races comprised of various events and were conducted with horses, chariots, and a quadriga. The most spectacular event was the quadriga race, an event in which the most prominent historic personalities had competed.

Independently of the Olympic games, the HERAIA GAMES, foot races for women only in honour of goddess Hera, was also taking place in Olympia. These games were also held every four years. The women ran having their hair loose, dressed in short tunics. There is a perfect image of a statue in the Athens Archaeological Museum of a girl taking part in the games.

All options

Olympia is still in our lives with the lighting of the flame and the torch relay, ceremonies that every year will bring back memories of this tour.

Despite the damage by the earthquakes and the floods, the site is worth your visit. The setting is magical, making it the most beautiful major site in the Peloponnese. Both, the archaeological museum and the museum of the ancient Games are among the finest in Greece, making your visit to Olympia a must. There is no modern equivalent for ancient Olympia – a religious and at the same time an athletic centre. Men travelled from every part of the ancient World to compete in these Games and the winners became legends. Over 50,000 spectators came to watch the Games every four years and support the athletes.
The area was buried under the alluvial deposits of the two rivers until its discovery in 1852. Since then, millions of people visit Olympia every year and admire its wealth and importance in antiquity. A visit to the original site of the Olympic Games is a moving experience. Running in the original stadium is an unforgettable one.
If your visit to Greece is short and does not allow you to join a longer tour, take our ONE DAY TOUR TO OLYMPIA and visit the huge, but walkable, sacred ancient site.

Ancient Olympia has cultivated ideals. The importance of taking part in the Olympics was a great honour, being an Olympic winner was even greater.
The ancient Greeks visited the sanctuary of Olympia every 4 years. Join one of our tours and visit it once in your lifetime.

The whole region of Olympia is filled with history and beauty, and it is not difficult to imagine the atmosphere of the ancient games so many years ago.
With the Archaeological Museum exhibiting findings from the area, Olympia is generally accepted as one of the most interesting and educational sites you will find in the Peloponnese.

The archaeological site of Ancient Olympia is one of the most popular sites to visit in the Peloponnese. Birthplace to the Olympic Games, and home of the Olympic Flame, Olympia is a site that every visitor to Greece should include in his itinerary.

Join one of the tours below and visit the sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia:

Testimonials


thetis2017, Grantham, United Kingdom. “One day trip to the archaeological site at Olympia”

Kosta gives excellent value for money. He is highly knowledgeable, caring, and courteous. We shall definitely book another trip with him next year.
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GDS_10 Grand Rapids… Re: Astoria Travel

I can highly recommend Astoria Travel and Kosta in particular. He went out of his way to assist my wife and me during our visit to Athens in early May.
First, he got us rates in Athens’s hotels that were significantly lower than any we could book on the web. He gave us excellent advice about what would be open and what would be closed during a national strike on May 7 and booked us for a wonderful one-day cruise that day (at a rate lower than that advertised by other agents).
I had trouble finding someone to take us on a one-day trip to Olympia, Kosta volunteered and drove us there and back. He also accommodated my request to visit the site of the Marathon battlefield-again, driving us personally, explaining the vicinity and the history, and recommending a cafe and several special Greek dishes for lunch.
His English is excellent, he is knowledgeable, highly experienced, and extremely helpful.

 

Ancient Olympia must be included in everybody’s itinerary.

 

Meteora by train

SEE ALL THE TOURS that visit Meteora in guided tours or train trips.

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.

If your visit to Greece is too short, this is your chance to visit Meteora.

You understand why the first hermits chose this location to create their monastic community and seek communication with God.
See the 4 monasteries and the 2 nunneries from outside, and visit 2 or 3 of them if your time allows you.
Learn about the everyday life of the monks, admire their architecture and gaze at the priceless relics and treasures of the monasteries, cultural heritage of all Christian religions.

Finish your sightseeing, return to Kalambaka, have a light lunch, board the train and return to Athens at 21:30

Price & Inclussions


The price per person for the tour to Meteora includes your return B class train ticket and the 4 hrs tour on the rocks.

– 1 passenger: Train ticket (B class) 103 €
– 2 passengers: Train ticket (B class) 99 € p.p.
– 3 passengers: Train ticket (B class) 96 € p.p.
– 4 – 6 passengers: Train ticket (B class) 94 € p.p.

To secure your booking, please, click and see the terms, find the pay online link in the footer, and, deposit 50.00 € p.p.

INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:

* Meet and assist service at the Larissis Railway Station in Athens.
* Return train ticket. Pay 15.00 euro, and upgrade the train ticket to A-class (recommended).
* Upon arrival, you meet our driver and for 4 hours, you visit up to 3 monasteries.
* Explore the area with a local, English-speaking tour leader.

NOT INCLUDED in the price:
* 3.00 euros per person, is the entrance ticket to each monastery, and
* Your lunch and drinks on the train and while you are in Kalampaka.

Itinerary

* You collect your tickets from us and settle the account, at least a day before departure.
* Meet me at the LARISA railway station in Athens +/- 30 minutes before the train departure.
* Your train comes at 07:10 am. I shall help you find your seat.
* 07:20 – The train departs and following a scenic route you travel straight from Athens to Kalampaka(last stop).
* 11:30 – Arrive in Kalampaka and meet our English-speaking driver outside the railway station.
* 11:45 – Drive to Meteora. Visit up to 3 monasteries. See old hermitages and cloisters in the caves.
* 16:00 – Return to Kalampaka. Stop at a local restaurant for a light meal (not included in the price).
* 17:00 – The train departs from Kalampaka and arrives in Athens (LARISA station) at +/- 21:30

To secure your booking you deposit 50.00 € per person and you settle the balance in Athens.

Options to visit

CLICK and see all the options to visit the Meteora

We also offer packages for 2 or 3 days. During the extra day, join a Hiking Tour and explore the natural beauty. Discover the geology of the region and follow the trails that the first monks used centuries ago. Hike on the well-paved paths from the monastery of Grand Meteoron or the monastery of Varlaam all the way to the village of Kastraki and Kalambaka.

If the hiking tour is a difficult exercise, join the 4-hour morning tour and learn about monasticism at Meteora. Discover their cultural wealth and have a personal experience of the monastic community.

Our BEST SELLER is the 3 days/2 nights Meteora and Delphi, independent trip by train/taxi and bus.

Last-minute bookings are difficult. Plan in advance and get the best seats on the train.

Testimonials


KSL13, Level 6 Contributor, TripAdvisor member since 2005, From USA
Kosta is an all service travel agent
I booked a tour to Meteora via train with Astoria travel at a significant discount from other agencies. Kosta also picked us up from the cruise port and took us to our Airbnb. He also gave us lots of advice about life in Greece. He knows so much! And he truly loves his job and he is proud of his country. I hope that lots of people use his services! I did not feel that he was exploiting tourist dollars as most guys did. He is honest and reliable.

contact us

Astoria Travel, (Est. 1958)
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message

Travelling to Meteora by train is a comfortable and efficient way. A smooth and scenic ride.

Cape Sounion

Words cannot describe a place that calms you down and makes you enjoy the sunset like never before. Sounion Temple is a battery charger.
It’s a place that makes you reminisce about the splendour of Ancient Greece! Walk around the temple, find a spot on a rock, and renew your energy flows.

April-October, the tour departs daily from the heart of Athens at 15:00
November-March the departure is on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, 14.30.

PRICE: 33.00 € per adult + applicable entrance fees.

ENTRANCE FEES: E.U. juniors <26 and E.U. students, JANUARY – DECEMBER = free of charge.
Students from other countries and E.U. seniors over 65, JANUARY – DECEMBER, pay 4.00 €
Everybody else, NOV-MAR pays 4 €, while, from APR-OCT everybody pays 8 €.

The tour services include:
– transportation on modern air-conditioned buses
– The applicable entrance fees
– Pick up/drop off from or near your hotel, and
– the services of a professional tour guide.

Description

Enjoy a ride along the Saronic gulf coastline, and watch an amazing sunset at the Temple of Poseidon.
Drive-by beautiful sandy beaches, and countless coves, and watch the reflections of the sun on the waters, and the beauty of the scenery!
The crowning feature of the tour is Cape SOUNION, dominated by the spectacular Temple of POSEIDON overlooking the Aegean Sea.
A temple on the sea! with views that magnetize! The vastness of the sea enchants.
Beautiful colours at sunset, and the temple of Poseidon at the top of the hill.

Upon arrival at Cape Sounio, with your licensed guide, you enter the archaeological site for a detailed tour. Inhale views and history. Learn the Greek myth about the ship of King Menelaus who stopped briefly at Sounio on his way back from Troy and the myth of King Aegeas who drowned himself on that spot and since then the Aegean Sea got named after him; It’s the myth of the Cretan Minotaur, the Athenian hero Theseus, and his father Aegeas. Your tour guide will also talk about this area and about the source of wealth and power of ancient Athens, the silver mines of the nearby Lavrio. People built the temple to honour the god of the sea and safeguard the profits from the Lavrio silver mines.

Before building a temple, the ancient Greeks knew about the energetic properties of the land. You admire the beautiful temple, the location, and the setup. Take pictures of the Temple of Poseidon and capture magnificent photos with the sky dyed in deep yellow, orange, and red colors, creating a beautiful canvas!

Walk around the temple, find a spot on a rock, and renew all your body’s energy flows. Look closer at the engravings on the rocks to find famous names such as Lord Byron and many others. Those engravings were made back then when travelling was a privilege of the very few and going places was a long journey so marking the spot was a must.

Leave from Sounion at +/- 17:00 and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30

 

POPULAR TOURS: 1 day Argolis 59 € | 1 day Delphi 59 € | 2 days Delphi-Meteora 120 € | 4 day classical & Meteora | 1 day cruise

 

HOW TO BOOK A TOUR | BOOKING FORM | PAY ONLINE | CONTACT US

 

Private tour


Cape Sounion and the sunset over the Aegean Sea is a popular excursion from Athens for tourists.
A private trip including a refreshing swim at the beach by the foot of the temple of Poseidon or at one of the beaches of Legrena or Lavrio can be organized. Local tavernas serve fresh fish and seafood.
Depart from Sounion right after the sunset and arrive in Athens at +/- 21.30:
Transportation of 1-4 passengers = 160.00 €. 5-8 passengers the extra cost is 5.00 € per person.
In this private tour arrangement, the price covers transportation only. Entrance fees, dinner, snacks, and drinks are not included.

History


There is a reference to Sounion in Homer’s Odyssey. The poem mentions that as the Greek commanders sailed back from Troy, the helmsman of the ship of King Menelaus of Sparta died while rounding Sounion. Menelaus landed at Sounion to give his companion full funeral honours. Archaeological finds on the site date from as early as 700 BC. Herodotus mentions that in 6th c. BC, the Athenians celebrated a festival at Sounion, which involved Athens’ leaders sailing to the cape in a sacred boat.
Cape Sounion is well known for the Temple of Poseidon, one of the monuments of the Golden Age of Athens. Its remains are surrounded on three sides by the sea. The archaic temple was destroyed in 480 BC by Persian troops. The temple of Poseidon at Sounion was constructed in 444–440 BC by Pericles, who also rebuilt the Parthenon in Athens. It is located 60 m above the seawater. The design of the temple was rectangular, with a colonnade on all four sides. The total number of original columns was 36. Only 15 columns still stand today. The columns are Doric of 6.10 m high. They were made of locally quarried white marble.
On a lower hill about 300 m from the temple of Poseidon, there is the temple of Athena Sounias. It was built in 470 BC, replacing an older building of the 6th c. Its architecture was unusual as it had a colonnade on the southern and eastern, but not on the western or northern sides. A smaller Doric temple next to the temple of Athena is thought to have been dedicated either to the hero Phrontis or to Goddess Artemis. In 413 BC, during the Peloponnesian War against the Spartans, the Athenians fortified the site of Cape Sounion with a wall and towers to prevent it from falling into Spartan hands. The Sounion fortress was soon later seized from the Athenians by a force of rebel slaves from the nearby silver mines of Lavrio. The fortress was maintained well during the Hellenistic period with repairs and additions to the fortress made during the Chremonidean War (266–261 BC).
The architect who built the temple of Poseidon decorated it with sculptures made of Parian marble depicting the labours of Theseus as well as battles of Centaurs and Giants. The remaining sculptures are in the Museum of Lavrio, while the impressive kouroi [male statues] that once stood in the temple yard are on display in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.

Testimonials


mwen92 Singapore
Great & Reliable Tour Agency in Greece
My email messages had been promptly handled in a professional and efficient manner.
The pickups from all points were prompt.
Kosta took care of our 4 days trip to Olympia, Delphi, Meteora, and Cape Sounion. His knowledge and giving us pre-tour instructions were extremely helpful in our understanding of the sites, the local culture, and the Greek way of life.
We would definitely recommend anyone planning a Greek holiday to do it through Astoria Travel in Athens.

Tour the sites and museums at your own pace and then spent some time walking around the beautiful town of Nafplion before returning to Athens. Such a private tour is advisable for people that do not like to be confined to a preset schedule or travel with a large group of people.

ITINERARY
We start from your lodging in Athens, arrive after one hour at Corinth Canal and cross to the island of King Pelops. the peninsula of Peloponissos.
Arriving in the ancient city of Corinth, we explore an ancient city that several empires fought over throughout the centuries.
Continue to Mycenae, a mighty kingdom of ancient Greece, leader of the Greek city states during the Trojan war, according to Homer “a city of gold”. You will walk in through the  Lions’ Gate, see the Cyclopean walls, the remains of Agamemnon’s Royal Palace, the Beehive Tombs, and the Treasury of Atreus before arriving in the romantic Venetian town of Nafplion, one of the most beautiful cities in Greece, Have lunch in a traditional taverna in the charming old town and after lunch we proceed to Epidaurus to visit the ancient theatre and view the Sanctuary of Asclepius, the God of Medicine, whose snake-entwined staff (caduces) remains the symbol of medicine to this day.
Return to Athens at +/- 19:00

Cost shared between the passengers:
Transportation of 1-4 passengers = 260.00 €. 5-8 passengers the extra cost is 10.00 € per person.
In this private tour a) entrance fees, lunch, and drinks are not included in the price, plus
b) a local professional tour guide, can be arranged to meet you in Mycenae at the extra cost.

CLICK and see the One day guided tour to Argolis and the promotional price of 59.00 euro per person

Ancient Olympia GreeceAncient Olympia Greece

No other ancient site that has more relevance on today’s world than Olympia.

Itinerary & Prices

Olympia, site of the ancient Olympic Games.
Hand-colored halftone reproduction of a 19th-century illustration

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 06.45 am, we stop at Corinth canal for a short photo-stop, and arrive at Olympia at 10.45 am.
– 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.
_________________________________________________________________________

Follow the link and see the prices for the 1-day trip to 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 lunch 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 the overnight stay 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 for by you.

OLYMPIA minibus
The ir-conditioned minibus seats up to 8 passengers, and the driver, in 3 rows of seats.

Video


An excellent presentation. Prof. Hale speaks about the history of Olympia.

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 on 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.

Map


Photos

Stadium ancient Olympia Greece

Stadium ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia Greece

Ancient Olympia is a site that must be included in everybody’s itinerary.

 

The castle rock of Monemvasia

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

The rock of Monemvasia or Gibraltar of Greece

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

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.

History

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.

Video


See the video on Monemvasia

Map


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.

 

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia