Visit five Unesco World Heritage sites on this 4-day private tour of Greece from Athens! Traveling privately with your driver, your tour includes excursions to Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi and Meteora, with overnights in Olympia, Delphi and Meteora.
We depart Athens through the coastal road to reach the impressive Corinth Canal (short stop). We will then continue to Epidaurus,with a brief stop at the site of the ancient port of Kechreae where St. Paul disembarked for his return to Ephessus 52AD.
Epidaurus was known in antiquity as a healing center, the place where the god of medicine Asclepius was born and worshipped. The sanctuary was collecting a lot of money from the people that came here to be treated. The management of the sanctuary decided to spend some of the money for the entertainment of the patients.
Between 340-330 BC, they decided to assign a local architect, Polykleitos, to build a theatre. The amphitheatre of Epidaurus, famous for its remarkable acoustics and symmetrical beauty, the most perfect theatre of Ancient Greece, is a well preserved monument, still in use today during the ” Summer Athens’ Festival”. It seems that the ancient Greeks, knew about acoustics, much more than we think, that they did. Today, thousands of people visit the area to admire its fantastic acoustics of the Theater.
We then continue on to Nafplion for a short stop.
We then continue on to Mycenae one of the most significant historical monuments of Greek civilization. Mycenae was the kingdom of the mighty Agamemnon, leader of the Greek army during the Trojan war. With the tour guide, visit the remains of the ancient city, see the Lions’ Gate, the circle graves, the cult centre, the Palace complex on the summit of the citadel, where Agamemnon was slaughtered by his wife, Klytemnistra, and at the end, visit the treasury of Atreus (the largest and best preserved of the surviving “tholos” tombs).
Excavations begun in 1841 but it was 33 years later that the German Archaeologist Heinrich Schlieman unearthed tombs, pieces of Palaces, golden jewelry and other relics that were mentioned by Homer, proving that what Homer was writing, was based on facts and was not just myths.
After lunch, in Mycenae, we depart for Olympia driving through the picturesque mountains and villages of central Pelopponese.
Overnight at Olympia.
- 08:00 Our tour starts from Athens
- 09:15 Arrival at Corinth Canal (20min stop)
- 11:00 Arrival at Epidaurus theater (1Hour stop)
- 12:30 Arrival in Nafplion and lunch break
- 14:30 Arrival at Mycenae (1.5hour stop)
- 19:00 Arrival in Olympia and overnight stay
After breakfast,spend the morning exploring the ancient site of Olympia, where the ancient ideas of unity, truce and fair play flourished. See the impressive ruins of the temples of Zeus and the temple of Hera, in front of which the Olympic Flame is lighted and the torch relay starts, the Gymnasium (for training of the naked athletes), the Palestra (school and training fascilities for the wrestlers), the Leonidaion Hostel, the Workshop of the sculptor Pheidias, the Stadium where the Olympic Games were held, the beautiful aquaduct and the amazing 7 echo portico, that bounced back the echo, 7 times (another acoustics miracle), and the statues of the cheaters.
Emperor Nero was the biggest cheater of the ancient Olympic Games, taking part in the chariot races, and the guitar event that he invented. Walk across the way to the Museum and see the amazing pieces of sculpture and pottery and the architectural remains of the ancient edifices.
After lunch, we depart for Delphi crossing over Rio Antirrio bridge (the longest suspension bridge in Europe).
Overnight stay in Delphi.
- 09:00 Ancient Olympia sightseeing after breakfast (3hours time)
- 12:30 Lunch time
- 14:30 Departure for Delphi
- 18:00 Arrival in Delphi
After breakfast,you will explore Delphi known as the centre of the world, the popular oracle of Apollo, who spoke to the mortals through the priestess Pythia. Walk up the Sacred Way of the Treasury houses to the Temple of Apollo, next to which there was the exact spot that was believed to be the “navel” (omphalos) of the earth, and the Theater, with the Stadium at the top of the hill.
After lunch, we continue to Kalambaka. Overnight in Kalambaka.
- 09:00 Delphi sightseeing after breakfast (3hours time)
- 12:30 Lunch time
- 14:30 Departure for Meteora
- 18:00 Arrival in Meteora and overnight stay
In the morning drive up to Meteora and visit two of the Byzantine monasteries, perched on top of gigantic natural sandstone rock pillars of weird shapes. The whole area of Meteora is a unique phenomenon and it is considered by UNESCO part of our world’s heritage.
After lunch, start driving back to Athens. On the way to Athens we stop at Thermopylae: where the famous battle between the Spartan King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan hoplites against the Persian army of Xerxes 480 B.C. took place. The monument to Leonidas and the 300 cypress trees reminds us of the sacrifice of the heroic Spartans.
The words “Molon Lave” translated as “come and get them” is written at the base of the statue. This was Leonidas’s answer when Xerxes asked him to surrender his weapons. After the battle, opposite the memorial, a stone plaque was placed: “Stranger, tell the Spartans that we lay here obedient to their laws”.
After that sort stop we continue our way back to Athens.
- 09:00 Meteora Monasteries visit (3hours time)
- 12:30 Lunch time
- 14:30 Departure for Athens
- 17:30 Arrival in Athens
Alternative Tour Options:
There are so many other things to see in this area. Keep in mind that your driver is at your disposal, so if you would like to adjust the proposed itinerary at all, just let him know!
- A proper dress code is required to enter monasteries of meteora.Ladies need to wear a skirt and the gentlemen need to wear long trousers.Knees and shoulders MUST be covered for both men and women.You may risk refused entry if you fail to comply with these dress requirements.
- There are plenty of opportunities to take photographs and videos on this tour, so be sure you have plenty of film and batteries, and your cameras handy!
- Photography is permitted throughout the tour.
- Comfortable shoes for hiking are essential for this trip.
This tour does not include entrance fees to any archeological site and museum,meals, hotel accommodations, gratuities, or other client personal expenses. Driver’s hotel expenses are not included in the price but If our company book the hotels we use frequently you can avoid this cost. If you wish to book your own hotels then you need to pay a room for the driver.
Admission Fees for Sites and Museums (Tickets available only at the ticket office)
- For the Theater of Epidaurus: Full: €5, Reduced: €2
- For the Archeological site of Mycenae: Special ticket package: Full: €9, Reduced: €4
- For the Archeological site of Delphi: Special ticket package: Full: €9, Reduced: €4
- For the Archeological site of Ancient Olympia: Full:€9, Reduced: €4
Meteora Monasteries: Full:€2
- 6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri)
- 5 June (International Enviroment Day)
- 18 April (International Monuments Day)
- 18 May (International Museums Day)
- The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
- Every first Sunday from November 1st to March 31st
- 27 September, International Tourism Day
- 28 October
- Greek citizens and citizens of other Member – States of the European Union aged over 65 years old by showing their ID card or passport.
- Students of Higher Education Institutes and equivalent Schools from countries outside the EU by showing their student ID.
- The accompanying parents on educational visits of elementary schools.
- Young people, under the age of 18, after demonstrating the Identity Card or passport to confirm the age
- Cultural Card holders
- Journalists with a journalist identity card
- Persons accompanying blind and disabled
- Persons possessing a free admission card
- The escorting teachers of schools and institutions of elementary, middle school, high school, university and graduate level education during their visits
- University students and students at Technological Educational Institutes or equivalent schools of Member – States of the European Union and students at Schools of Tourist Guides, by showing their student ID