Visit three Unesco World Heritage sites from the Classical and Byzantine Greece period on this 3-day private tour of Greece from Athens! Traveling privately with your driver, your tour includes excursions to Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nafplion, Sparta, Mystra, Caves of Diros with overnights in Nafplion and Gytheio, in 4-star hotels. See UNESCO World Heritage-listed monuments, like Epidaurus, Mycenae and Mystra and Diros Caves the most important natural site in Greece.
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 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 ofPalaces, golden jewelry and other relics that were mentioned byHomer, proving that whatHomerwas writing, was based on facts and was not just myths.
We will head to Nafplion where you have the opportunity to explore this beautiful city. Overnight in Nafplion.
- 08:00 Our tour starts from Athens
- 09:15 Arrival at Corinth Canal (20min stop)
- 11:00 Arrival at Epidaurus Theater (1.5 Hour stop)
- 12:00 Lunch break
- 14:00 Arrival at Mycenae (2Hours stop)
- 17:00 Arrival in Nafplion and overnight stay
We depart in the morning towards south of pelopponese until we reach Sparta, a prominent city-state in ancient Greece, situated on the banks of the Eurotas River in Laconia, in south-eastern Peloponnese. It emerged as a political entity around the 10th century BC, when the invading Dorians subjugated the local, non-Dorian population. Around 650 BC, it rose to become the dominant military land-power in ancient Greece.
Spartiates underwent the rigorous agoge training and education regimen, and Spartan phalanges were widely considered to be among the best in battle. Spartan women enjoyed considerably more rights and equality to men than elsewhere in the classical world.
We continue on to Mystra, the ‘Wonder of the Morea’, was built as an amphitheatre around the fortress erected in 1249 by William of Villehardouin. Reconquered by the Byzantines, then occupied by the Turks and the Venetians, the city was abandoned in 1832, leaving only the breathtaking medieval ruins, standing in a beautiful landscape.
The beauty of the churches of Mystras, which during the Paleologus Renaissance had been covered with dramatic frescoes, the renown of the libraries of Mystras and the glory of its writers (including Georges Gemiste Plethon and Jean Bessarion who brought neo-Platonic humanism to Italy) gave substance thereafter for the legend of the “Wonder of Morea”.
After lunch we head to Gytheion where we wll stay overnight.
- 08:00 Departure for Sparta
- 10:30 Arrival at Mystra
- 13:00 Lunch Time in Sparta and free time
- 17:00 Arrival in Gytheio and Overnight stay
After breakfast, we depart for the area of Mani where you will be able to admire the Caves of Diros, the “Gates of the Underworld”. The Diros Caves are located approximately 12 miles south of Areopolis and they are part of an underground river. About 5,000 meters have been exposed and accessible by small boats and through narrow passageways. One is surrounded by formations of stalagmites and stalactites.
Archaeological research has shown that the caves have served as places of worship in Paleolithic and Neolithic times and their inhabitant believed that the caves were the entrance to the underworld.
After lunch, we start our way back to Athens.
- 09:00 Depart for Diros Caves
- 10:15 Arrival at Diros Caves (1.5hour stop)
- 12:30 Lunch Time
- 14:00 Departure for Athens
- 17:00 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!
This tour does not include entrance fees to any archeological site and museum, 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 area of Mystra: Full:€5, Reduced: €3
- For Diros Caves: Full: €12, Reduced: €7
Free admission days
- 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
Reduced admission for:
- 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.
Free admission for:
- Young people, under the age of 18, after demonstrating the Identity Card or passport to confirm the age (not valid for Diros Caves)
- 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