Category Archive : Guided Tours

Discover Greece through the centuries in a 7-day tour: Prehistory, the Classical Period, Roman Domination, the Byzantine Empire, the Crusades & Modern Times.

Full Description

Day 1: Leave the Capital by the coastal road to the Corinth Canal (short stop). Visit Epidaurus and the famous for its acoustics Theatre. Next stop is Nafplio where you will have the opportunity to take memorable photos of the Palamidi Fortress and the surrounding area. Proceed to Mycenae and visit the Tomb of Agamemnon and the Archaeological Site. Drive on to Olympia through the towns of Tripolis and Megalopolis. Overnight in Olympia where held the Olympic Games in Ancient Times. Dinner

Day 2: In Olympia visit the Archaeological Site with the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, the Stadium (ancient), the spot where the torch of the modern Olympic Games is lit and the Archaeological Museum.

On the way to Delphi you will pass through the towns of Ilia and Achaia and the bridge that connects Rio from Antirion and crosses the Corinthian Bay. Drive through the beautiful towns of Nafpaktos and Itea. Dinner in Delphi and overnight.

Day 3: Visit the most famous oracle of the ancient times, the Temple of Apollo, the Treasury of Athenians and the Museum where you will see Greek sculptures as the Sphinx, the famous athlete Aghias and the bronze Charioteer.

Departure for Kalambaka the picturesque town at the foot of the gigantic rocks, the famous Meteora.

Day 4: Next stop is Meteora that means “middle of the sky”, seems to be “suspended in the air”. In Meteora you will visit ageless Monasteries and you will see first-hand unique specimens of Byzantine art.

Depart from Kalampaka arrive in Thessaloniki, the second largest city of Greece (dinner & overnight).

Day 5: At Thessaloniki, visit, in the morning, the era that throughout the Byzantine Empire was the “co-reigning” city. Visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture and the most characteristic churches of the Christian world. The rest of the day is free to explore more the city. Dinner & overnight.

Day 6: Departure for the historical Macedonia. Stop at Edessa where you will see the famous Waterfalls. Second stop at Naoussa where was the Aristotles School and the great philosopher taught the doctrines of morals and politics to Alexander the Great and the other Macedonians.

Next stop at Vergina (ancient Aigai). Visit the royal tombs of of King Philip II, Alexander’s father, and exlore the unique museum.

You will visit Veria (Biblical Beroea) and the Saint Paul’s Bema and stroll through the old Jewish neighborhood and the market area.

Return to Thessaloniki. Dinner & overnight.

Day 7: Visit the capital of Alexander the Great, Pella and see the exquisite floor mosaics of the 4th century villas and the new Museum.

Next stop at the Archaeological Park of Dion, the sacred city of Macedonians cited at the foot of Mount Olympus, the highest Mountain of Greece and the residence of the 12 Gods of the Greek Mythology.

Return to Athens through Thessaly and the Valley of Tempi, pass by Lamia and see the Leonida’s Monument and Thebes.

Arrival at Athens: Late in the afternoon

The tour includes:

Overnight accommodation
Meals as per itinerary (Breakfast & Dinner)
Professional Guide
Entrance Fees
Pick-up service from your hotel (most of the hotels in Athens)
Transportation with luxurious air-conditioned coach
All taxes

Explore Macedonia, the land of Alexander the Great in a unique journey of 7.000 years of Greek history!

Description
Day 1: Leave the Capital by the towns of Thebes, Levadia and the picturesque village of Arachova. Arrival in Delphi.

Visit the most famous oracle of the ancient times, the Temple of Apollo, the Treasury of Athenians and the Museum where you will see Greek sculptures as the Sphinx, the famous athlete Aghias and the bronze Charioteer.

Departure for Kalambaka the picturesque town at the foot of the gigantic rocks, the famous Meteora. Dinner & overnight.

Day 2: Next stop is Meteora that means “middle of the sky”, seems to be “suspended in the air”. In Meteora you will visit ageless Monasteries and you will see first-hand unique specimens of Byzantine art.

Depart from Kalampaka to Thessaloniki along the longest river in Greece, Aliakcmon.

Arrival at Thessaloniki, the second largest city of Greece (dinner & overnight).

Day 3: At Thessaloniki, visit in the morning the era that throughout the Byzantine Empire was the “co-reigning” city. Visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture and the most characteristic churches of the Christian world. The rest of the day is free to explore more the city. Dinner & overnight.

Day 4: Departure for the historical Macedonia. Stop at Edessa where you will see the famous Waterfalls. Second stop at Naoussa where was the Aristotles School and the great philosopher taught the doctrines of morals and politics to Alexander the Great and the other Macedonians.

Next stop at Vergina (ancient Aigai) where you will see the royal tombs of Macedonia among others the tomb of King Philip II, Alexander’s father, and enjoy your visit at the unique museum.

You will visit Veria (Biblical Beroea) and the Saint Paul’s Bema and stroll through the old Jewish neighborhood and the market area.

Return to Thessaloniki. Dinner & overnight.

Day 5: Visit the capital of Alexander the Great, Pella and see the exquisite floor mosaics of the 4th century villas and the new Museum.

Next stop at the Archaeological Park of Dion, the sacred city of Macedonians cited at the foot of Mount Olympus, the highest Mountain of Greece and the residence of the 12 Gods of the Greek Mythology.

Return to Athens through Thessaly and the Valley of Tempi, pass by Lamia and see the Leonida’s Monument and Thebes.

Arrival at Athens: Late in the afternoon

The tour includes:

Overnight accommodation
Meals as per itinerary (Breakfast & Dinner)
Professional Guide
Entrance Fees
Pick-up service from your hotel (most of the hotels in Athens)
Transportation with luxurious air-conditioned coach
All taxes

Athens Walking City Tour with Acropolis

Half-day Morning Tour – Daily Service from April to October

Dep. 09.40 from Hotel Amalia – Tour ends approximately 13.00 hrs. at the Acropolis

The tour begins in front of the Parliament in Syntagma Square where you will see the Monument of the Unknown Soldier and the change of the famous Guards. A pleasant walk will follow through the National Garden and on to the Zappeion Hall, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Hadrian’s Arch. From here you will enter the Plaka area heading to the Acropolis and visit with your guide the Propylaea, the Temple of Nike, and the Parthenon, the monuments that remind us of Glory of Ancient Athens and the Golden Age of Pericles. See also in the surrounding the Athenian Agora, the Observatory, the Hill of Democracy (Pnyx), Mars and Philoppapus Hill, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, and the Theater of Dionysus. At the end of the tour, and since you are so close, do not miss the opportunity to visit on your own the New Acropolis Museum.

Price: 34,00 € per person.

N.B.: The Entrance Fee to the Acropolis it is not included in the price

Description
Day 1: Departure for Delphi via Thebes, Levadia and the picturesque village of Arachova and arrive in Delphi.

Visit the famous oracle of the ancient times, the Temple of Apollo, the Treasury of Athenians and the Museum where you will see Greek sculptures as the Sphinx, the famous athlete Aghias and the bronze Charioteer.

Day 2: Morning free. Leave for Kalambaka through the town of Lamia. Arrive in Kalambaka at +/- 19:00. Overnight.

Day 3: Visit Meteora that means “middle of the sky”, seems to be “suspended in the air”. In Meteora you will visit ageless Monasteries and you will see first-hand unique specimens of Byzantine art.

Return to Athens via Trikala, Lamia and a short stop to Thermopylae where you will see the Leonida’s Monument (short stop)

Arrival in Athens: Early in the evening

The tour includes:

Overnight accommodation
Meals as per itinerary (Breakfast & Dinner)
Professional Guide
Entrance Fees
Pick-up service from your hotel (most of the hotels in Athens)
Transportation with luxurious air-conditioned coach
All taxes

Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae, Olympia & Delphi

April-October, the 3 day tour is organized on Mon, Tue, Sat & selected Thu.
November-March, the tour is organized only on Mondays.

Places visited

Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae, Olympia & Delphi

The Amazing open THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS
The priests of the sanctuary of god Asklepius were excellent surgeons. On the ground of the sanctuary, the administration of the Asklipeion, in order to entertain the patients, decided to build a theatre. Today, next to the sanctuary of Asklepius, there is a small museum, displaying the instruments and tools used by the priests, excellent surgeons, to perform even brain operations.

NAFPLION – the “Venice” of Greece

Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. Nafplion was the capital of the Greek state in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential palace 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 Akronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.

MYCENAE – “City in gold”
Mycenae, the city that controlled both the land and sea routes, 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 to contemporary literary and artistic creations. 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 776BC. In addition to the numerous temples and sanctuaries, there are remains of sporting structures, such as the ancient stadium, the gymnasion, the paleastra 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 spoectacular natural setting on the mountain of Parnassus, it was the symbol of Greek cultural unity from the 8th century BC onwards.

Highlights

Highlights

Visit of Epidaurus Theatre
Visit of Mycenae Archaeological site & Tomb of Agamemnon
Visit of Olympia Archaeological site & Museum
Visit of Delphi Archaeological site & Museum
Visit of Meteora Monasteries (2 monasteries)
Entrance fees to the sites included
Short stop at Nafplion
1 night hotel accommodation at Olympia
1 night hotel accommodation in Delphi
1 night hotel accommodation in Kalambaka (Meteora)
3 breakfasts, 3 dinners
Professional guide
Transport by modern air-conditioned coach
Pick up / drop off service from most of the hotels in Athens
All taxes

Excluded:
hotel night tax
Personal expenses, drinks and beverages at dinner,
Tips to your drivers & guides

Operating days and prices

Our prices are discounted and paid in advance.
Please, read in the footer of this page “how to make and secure a booking”.

Languages: Mondays & Wednesdays=English + French. Thursdays and Saturdays in operation=English

HOTELS at Olympia: NEDA, KRONION, ANTONIOS, or similar (Tourist) OLYMPIAN VILLAGE, EUROPA, ARTY GRAND (First)
During 2018 (especially in May and June) there is a PROBLEM WITH HOTEL AVAILABILITY AT OLYMPIA.
HOTELS in Delphi: FEDRIADES, HERMES, PARNASSOS (Tourist) and AMALIA (First)

PRICES per person in euro

IN TRIPLE ROOM IN DOUBLE ROOM IN SINGLE ROOM
Tourist class 250.00 265.00 320.00
First class 323.00 340.00 420.00

* Dinner is offered in some tourist hotels. The cost is 12.00 euro per night extra.
* Upgrade the 3 star hotel at Olympia to the 4 star OLYMPIAN VILLAGE by paying 12.00 E p.p.
* The above prices are valid for departures until October 31, 2018.

April-October, the tour is organized Mon-Tue-Sat & selected Thursdays.
November-March, the tour is organized only on Mondays

More info

__________________________________________________________________

Map

These tours are organized by 3 Tour Operators. The Travel Agents sell them at discounted rates.

Start the communication, and choose the travel agent that sells the tour that you want at the price that suits your budget.

Please, read the rules on HOW TO BOOK AND SECURE a booking.
When we receive the message that the money have been deposited, we shall send you the voucher.
There is a deadline and the bookings are cancelled if they are not paid on time.

Operating day & Prices

3 days – Visit the ancient site of Delphi & at least 2 Meteora monasteries
The tour is organized exclussively by Astoria Travel in English, ONLY between April-October,
You depart on Wednesday with a group and and a guide and visit the ancient site of Delphi. Thursday, in Kalambaka, you are free to explore Meteora on your own – (take the optional morning hiking tour and in the afternoon join the “sunset tour”). Finally, Friday you visit 2 monasteries that are open on Fridays with a group and a professional tour guide and return to Athens at +/- 19:30

***CLICK & SEE the alternative 3 days/2 nights independent tour, that we organize daily by train.

The hotel that we use in Kalampaka is the 3* “Hotel KOSTA FAMISI”.
(April – October)The discounted prices, per person, for the tour services are:
1) Sharing a double room with your partner, 2 nights with 2 BREAKFASTS: 160.00 €
2) For single travellers, 2 nights in single room, with 2 BREAKFASTS: 200.00 €

The above 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 webpage).
(This service is from central hotels in Athens’ centre. 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 tickets to the ancient site of Delphi and the 2 monasteries visited on Friday.
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 and start the booking procedure.
– There is a cancellation deadline if the bookings are not paid on time.
– Bookings during the last 48 hours, can be done only in our office, located on 48 Stadiou street.
– See our location, contact information and working hours in the footer of the website.

Useful links: 4 STEPS 2 BOOK / booking-form / PAY ONLINE / Send us a message

Highlights & Decription


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. You will see hermitages, original cloisters, and monasteries built inside the caves.
You haven’t finished yet. Walk in the old town of Kalampaka and find the old Byzantine church. It’s the most important monument of Kalampaka, or take the optional “Sunset tour”, visit one monastery (usually the Rousanou) and capture beautiful sunset photos. Return to the hotel for overnight.

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 flat access).
Return to Kalampaka for lunch, and after lunch you say farewell to mystical Meteora and start our return to Athens. Arrive in Athens, +/- 19.30.

Detailed itinerary

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

All options to visit Meteora

 

GUIDED TOURS IN SHARED BUSES

 

Duration (days)
Guided or Private
Highlights, Places visited
Guided tour in shared bus
Delphi, Thermopylae, Meteora
3 day Delphi & Meteora
Guided Tour in shared bus
1 night Delphi, 1 night Meteora
3 day Delphi & Meteora 160.00 €
Guided tour in shared bus
2 nights in Kalambaka
4 day classical tour & Meteora
Guided tour in shared bus
Argolis, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora
5 day Monday Special & Meteora
Guided tour in shared bus
Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora
Guided Tour in shared bus
Guided tour
 
 
 

 

INDEPENDENT TRIPS TO METEORA BY TRAIN

 
Duration (days)
Guided or Private
Highlights, Places visited
1 day Meteora by train from…62.00 €
Independent trip and private taxi
Train ticket & taxi hire
1 day Meteora, train & shared bus
Independent train trip
Train & tour of Meteora in shared bus
2 days trip train package
Independent train trip
Train ticket & hotel
2 days by train – “Meteora special”
Train ticket, hotel, Sunset & morning tour
 
 
 
 
 
 

Operating days & prices


The 2 days guided tour to Delphi and Meteora between April – October is organized: Mon, Wed, Thu and selected Sat.
From November – March this tour is organized ONLY on Wednesdays.
Languages: Mon & Wed=English + French. Thursdays and Saturdays=English

CLICK HERE and see our alternative 3 days/2 nights Kalambaka and Delphi, independent tour, by train.

OUR PRICES are: (if they suit your budget, read the “4 steps 2 book” link in the footer and proceed).

Option 1: 3* hotel – (breakfast only): Double room = 120.00 p.p., single=142.00 (dinner costs + 15.00 € extra p.p.).
Option 2: 4* hotel – (dinner & breakfast): Double room = 170.00 p.p., single=215.00 (Includes free arrival transfer).

Hotels: 3* Hotel KOSTA FAMISI or Hotel ORFEAS and 4* hotel AMALIA(Thu & Sat) or Hotel DIVANI(Mon & Wed)

MORE OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the highest one):
a) Share with a friend a triple room and save 5% on the double room rate.
b) 5% GROUP DISCOUNT: Make a team of 5 or more passengers and gain 5%, or
c) 5% ADVANCE BOOKING and payment discount. Follow the following 3 steps and save.
# SUBMIT your booking request form 4 months before the tour departure.
# WITHIN ONE WEEK following our confirmation, pay a non refundable deposit of 50.00 €, p.p.
# TWO MONTHS before the departure of the tour, settle the balance in full.

THE ABOVE PRICES INCLUDE:
– transportation on modern, air conditioned buses
– Pick up / drop off from your hotel or near it (See the list of hotels in the footer of this website).
(This service is from hotels in central Athens. The airport and the Port of Piraeus are not in Athens.
– Services of the professional tour guide all along the tour.
– Entrance tickets to 2 of the monasteries open on the day that you visit Meteora.

NOT INCLUDED IN THE PRICE:
– Entrance fees to the ancient site of Delphi, are not included.

JANUARY – DECEMBER: <19 and E.U. students enter free. Other students and E.U. senior citizens pay 6.00 € For other adults: NOVEMBER - MARCH pay 6.00 €, while, APRIL-OCTOBER pay 12.00 € p.p. - Lunches on both days. The bus parks at a local restaurants, but the meal costs 10.00 € extra. - This tour allows you time to visit only the ancient site, the museum is not included. [tabby title="Places visited"] Oracle of Apollo in DELPHI-the centre of the universe
According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. One flew east and the other one west. They met over Delphi, determining that the 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 rest of 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 OMFALOS, 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.

Itinerary

DAY 1: The bus starts the pick up at 07.30am and traffic allowing it departs from the terminal in the centre of Athens at 08.30am.
Passing from THEBES (the town of mythical Oedipus), LEVADIA (short rest room stop) and the traditional village of ARACHOVA, you arrive in DELPHI, the famous “Temple-Bank”, at +/- 11.30am. Delphi was considered by the ancient Greeks, “the centre of the universe”. Here, with the professional tour guide you will explore the legendary site of the Oracle.

13.30 The group proceeds for lunch, and at +/- 14.45 departs via AMPHISSA, LAMIA and TRIKALA for Kalampaka with a short photo stop at 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. Arrival at your hotel in Kalampaka at +/- 19:00. Overnight in Kalambaka.(Dinner is optional).

DAY 2: 08.15 After breakfast drive to METEORA, and visit 2 of the monasteries open on that day.
12:00 Return to Kalampaka for lunch and at +/- 14:00 you start the return to Athens. Final arrival in Athens between 19.30 – 20.00.

Time Tour Plan & Services
8:30 Hotel pick up starts from 07.30am. Depart from the terminal in Athens
11:30 Arrive in modern Delphi village after a short break near Levadia
11:45 With the professional tour guide, visit of the ancient sanctuary site
13:45 Lunch at a local restaurant (optional).
15:00 Via Thermopylae(photo stop), Lamia, Karditsa & Trikala, proceed to Kalambaka
19:15 Arrival in Kalambaka. Hotel check-in and optional dinner at 19.30
08:15 Depart from the parking of Hotel ORFEAS, and visit an icon exhibition
09:00 On the way to Meteora, visit 2 of them. Entrance fees included
12:00 Lunch at a local restaurant. (not included in price)
14:00 Start the return to Athens – 19:30 Arrival in Athens – Hotel drop off by 20:00

4 STEPS TO BOOK a tour | INSTANT confirmation | PAY ONLINE

Video & Route map

All options to visit Meteora

GUIDED TOURS IN SHARED BUSES

 

Duration (days)
Guided or Private
Highlights, Places visited
Guided tour in shared bus
Delphi, Thermopylae, Meteora
3 day Delphi & Meteora
Guided Tour in shared bus
1 night Delphi, 1 night Meteora
3 day Delphi & Meteora
Guided tour in shared bus
2 nights in Kalambaka
4 day classical tour & Meteora
Guided tour in shared bus
Argolis, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora
5 day Monday Special & Meteora
Guided tour in shared bus
Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora
Guided Tour in shared bus
Guided tour
 
 
 

 

INDEPENDENT TRIPS TO METEORA BY TRAIN

 
Duration (days)
Guided or Private
Highlights, Places visited
1 day Meteora, train & taxi
Independent train trip and taxi tour
Train trip Athens-Kalambaka-Athens & private taxi tour
1 day Meteora, train & shared bus
Independent train trip
Train & tour of Meteora in shared bus
2 days trip train package
Independent train trip
Train ticket & hotel
2 days by train – “Meteora special”
Train ticket, hotel, Sunset & morning tour
 
 
 
 
 
 

ATHENS – CORINTH CANAL (short stop) – ANCIENT CORINTH

Organized from April – October, on Mondays & Fridays.

OUR PRICE = 59.00 € p.p. includes: Transportation on modern air-conditioned buses, te services of the professional tour guide, and entrance ticket to the ancient site.

Starting from 07.30am the bus picks up clients from the central hotels inAthens (see the list in the footer), brings them to the terminal in the centre of Athens, and departs at +/- 08.30

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, by controlling the Corinth canal, collected a lot of money, 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.

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.

Return to Athens +/- 14.00.

The castle or the 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.

More info about Ritsos: http://www.mikis-theodorakis.net/ritsos_e.html

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

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.