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 theatre.
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.
- 08:00 Our tour starts from Athens
- 09:15 Arrival at Corinth Canal (20min stop)
- 11:00 Arrival at Epidaurus theater (1H-30min stop)
- 13:00 Arrival in Nafplion and lunch break
- 15:00 Arrival at Mycenae (1.5hour stop)
- 17:00 Arrival in Nafplion and overnight stay
After breakfast, we depart for Bassae driving through the mountains of central pelopponese. The temple of Apollo Epikourios, one of the most important and most imposing temples of antiquity, stands in the bare and rocky landscape of Bassae. It is unique in the history of ancient Greek architecture because it combines a variety of novel ideas both in its external appearance and in its internal arrangements. Indeed, Pausanias considered it to be among the finest temples of the Peloponnese in terms of sheer beauty and harmony.
The building is dated to 420-400 BC and is believed to be the work of Iktinos, who succeeded in combining masterfully several Archaic features imposed by the conservative tradition of the Arcadians with the characteristics of the new Classical style. The surviving temple is not the first one to have been constructed on the site.
The earliest Τemple of Apollo erected in the late seventh century BC, possibly at the same location, was rebuilt at least twice in approximately 600 and 500 BC. Many architectural features from these two phases survive, including a large terracotta acroterion with ornate painted decoration, roof-tiles and antefixes.
We then continue to Olympia to stay overnight.
- 09:00 Depart from Nafplion
- 12:00 Arrival at Bassae (1Hour stop)
- 13:45 Arrival in Anient Olympia,time for lunch and free time. Overnight stay in Olympia
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, return to Athens arrrving in the evening.
- 09:00 Ancient Olympia sightseeing after breakfast (3hours time)
- 12:30 Lunch time
- 14:00 Departure for Athens
- 18:00 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!
- Guests must be able to walk over paved, and packed dirt surfaces. Many are uneven. At Mycenae there are several inclines required to visit sites.
- Comfortable clothing and sensible, flat-soled walking shoes are recommended. Hat,sun glasses and sun screen are strongly suggested.
- Photography is permitted throughout the tour.
- Our prices are much better in comparison to those of other travel companies, because we are ourselves the tour operator and we do not use third party providers.
- It’s always a great idea to bring a bottle of water and sunscreen with you because in the warmer months it becomes quite hot and sunny.
- A hat to protect your head and shade your face is also recommended when spending a significant amount of time in the sun.
- Do not accept ‘gifts’ from street vendors approaching tourists. They may offer you roses, but if choose you accept, you will be expected to pay or give a tip for them.
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 (Valid for: Archaeological Museum of Mycenae, Mycenae, Treasure of Atreus)
- For the Archeological site of Ancient Olympia: Full:€9, Reduced: €4
- For the Archeological site of Bassae: Full:€3, Reduced: €2
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:
- 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
- Young people, under the age of 18, after demonstrating the Identity Card or passport to confirm the age