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.
A tour to the historical Marathon battle area
A visit to the archaeological site, the Tymvos burial mound in an olive grove with a plaque that commemorates the great victory and the Marathon Museum and if the weather permits it, a swim at the sandy beach of Shinias where the Persian fleet landed, is one of the things you must do when you visit Athens.
Marathon is still one of Attica’s loveliest and well known spots. Everyone has heard the story of the Persian army defeat at Marathon at the hands of the Athenians. Imagine marching several thousand miles only to be wiped out 27 miles from the city you came to conquer by an army a fraction of your size. There is not much to see of the battlefield really. Main source of information about the battle in Marathon is the historian Herodotus. According to him, the Persian fleet landed 100,000 troops on Shinias in the year 490 B.C. Against this huge army the Athenians brought 10,000 soldiers and with the help of 1,000 Plataian soldiers, thanks to an ingenious strategic plan of the Greek army commander, Miltiades, they were victorious. They formed the Greek letter (Pi) with weak centre and strong sides, and when the battle started, the central section retreated and the sides closed in and squeezed the panicked Persian soldiers. Thousands of Persians were killed or drowned in the swamp nearby, (where the rowing venue of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games is), while the Athenians had 192 soldiers dead, all burried in the tymvos area. It is E.N.Gardiners’ observation that, ” the victory of the Greeks over the Persians…was the victory of a handful of trained athletes over the hordes of flabby barbarians.”
Legend wants an Athenian soldier named, Philippides, to run from the battlefield all the way into Athens in order to bring the good news. He ran all the way from Marathon to the Athenian Agora. He collapsed and died immediately after he delivered his one word message; Nenikikamen (We have won). In memory of this great victory, the Marathon run was performed in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and since then, it is the last event of the Olympic Games. Here is the starting point of the authentic distance. If you think that you are fit enough, you are free to try your physical condition on this classical Marathon run 42,195m.
Today’s amazing thing about Marathon is the marble dam, the only dam in the world made out of marble, that holds the water that supplies Athens.
HALF DAY TOUR TO MARATHON
Upon request, we organise half day tours (+/- 5 hrs) from Athens to Marathon driving along the Athenian North suburbs. At Marathon we visit the “tymvos” burial mound, the museum and end the tour at the sandy beach of Shinias for a swim.
Morning sightseeing tour including Acropolis and the New Acropolis museum.
The tour price includes:
Transportation by modern air-conditioned coach.
Pick up / drop off service from the hotels mentioned in the list shown in the footer.
The lecture of the knowledgeable Professional Guide all along the tour,
The entrance fees to the Acropolis hill and the New Acropolis museum.
Home of the first Olympics, Athens, has been continuously inhabited for over 7,000 years. It is one of the oldest cities and the most ancient capital of Europe.
Due to its cultural and political systems it has a great impact on the European continent. It is the birthplace and the cradle of democracy and western civilisation.
Well-known as the center for the arts, learning, and philosophy, it is also the place of most of the wise men in western philosophy, western literature, and significant mathematical principles.
A magical city once worshipped by gods and people take a sightseeing tour of Athens where you will be guided to all the must-see places to make you feel that you have seen the best of Greece!
Today a large section of the town’s historic center has been converted into a 3 km pedestrian zone.
It is the symbol of Athens, the sacred rock, the connection between ancient and contemporary civilizations. The monuments that stand today on the Sacred Rock are dated from the prehistoric period up to the ancient times. There is not even one person (Greek or foreign visitor) that does not want to pay due honour to this sacred rock and see its beauty and glory. A visit to the sacred rock of the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum is a must and an unforgettable experience.
On the top of the list of all Athens attractions, the greatest and finest sanctuary, dedicated to goddess Athena, the city’s patron, dominates the center of the modern city from the rocky hill known as the Acropolis. The Acropolis of the 5th c.BC is the most accurate reflection of the splendor, power and wealth of Athens at its greatest peak, “the golden age of Perikles”. A plan to undertake large-scale conservation and restoration on the Acropolis, is still in progress.
On the 3.5-hour morning sightseeing tour, drive through one of the oldest cities of the world and see the best of modern Athens.
Take a coach tour of the city’s top sites, and with the expert guide, discover and hear his lecture about some of Greece’s greatest treasures
The 3.5-hour sightseeing tour of Athens combines modern Athens with the city’s ancient sites. See top attractions such as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Constitution Square and the all marble Panathenaic Stadium, see the Temple of Olympian Zeus and learn about the glory of ancient Athens. Finally, climb to the top of the Acropolis hill and see the world-famous Pantheon temple, the Parthenon, listening to its incredible features from the expert guide.
07:30am The pickup service bus starts from central hotels and bring everybody to the terminal.
From here, near Syntagma square area, your tour of Athens begins at about 08:45am.
As the bus passes in front of top Athens’ attractions, the professional tour guide talks about the historical importance of this glorious city. You pass by the Greek Parliament building with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (this was the first palace of Greek King Otto in 1834), the all marble Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 were held followed by driving on Panepistimiou Avenue and the so called trilogy of Athens: The old University, the National Library and the Academy, 3 beautiful neoclassical buildings, built by the Bavarian architects that Otto’s father, king Ludwig of Bavaria, (1825-1848), brought with him to Greece. See the gigantic temple of Olympian Zeus — completed in the 2nd c, AD, and Emperor Hadrian’s Arch, before you arrive at the masterpiece that everybody admires: the Acropolis witrh its monuments.
Stroll up to the site that served as the citadel, and walk around the buildings as you hear about its glorious days during the 5th c. BC. Explore the Acropolis on foot, see the glorious Parthenon and the other highlights, such as, the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechteion with the karyatides. Take advantage of the free time and explore the rest of the site independently.
Continue your tour with a visit to the New Acropolis museum, one of the world’s best museums. Your ticket lets you stay as long as you wish inside the museum.
So, after the end of the guided tour you are allowed to stay and explore the museum on your own. Walk around the spectacular Parthenon Hall with the incredible sculptures. See its incredible friezes, and the other archaeological exhibits. Wander around in the galleries. There are more than 4,000 ancient objects to view and admire.
Read more about Parthenon in: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parthenon
The tour :
Depart for PANATHINAIKO STADIUM, where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896 (short stop).
Pass by the Prime Minister’s residence and the Ex Royal Palace (guarded by colourful Evzones),
the Zappeion Conference and Exhibition Hall and the National Gardens,
The temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, St. Paul’s Church,
The Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown soldier,
Schlieman’s House (today Nomismatic Museum), the Catholic Cathedral,
The ACADEMY, the University and the National Library,
the Old Parliament, Constitution Square, the Russian Orthodox Church, proceed to the
ACROPOLIS (visit Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, PARTHENON and Erechtheion, and finish the tour at about 01.30pm, with a visit to the New Acropolis museum.