After you are greeted by your English speaking driver at your hotel, you will make your way to Kerameikos, the biggest and most important necropolis in Athens.
Kerameikos (from which the English word ”ceramic” is derived) was named after the community of the Kerameis (potters),which in turn derived its name from the word Keramos (pottery clay), who occupied the whole area along the banks of river Eridanos.
The walls of Athens, which were constructed in the 5th century B.C. by Themistokles, divided te area into two sections: The Inner Kerameikos which was the potter’s quarter of the city and τhe Outer Kerameikos of an important cemetary and numerous funerary sculptures erected along the road out of the city towards Eleusis. It also covers the public graveyard (Demosion Sema) where Pericles delievered his funeral oration in 431 BC.
The wall had two gates, Dipylon and the Sacred Gate, placed at the outset of the most important processional roads of Athens, the Panathenaic Way which led to the Acropolis, and the Sacred way which led to Eleusis along which the procession moved for the Eleusinian Mysteries.
The finds from the excavations of Kerameikos are exhibited in the Museum of Kerameikos and the National Archeological museum.
After your visit to Kerameikos ends,we start our drive towards western Attica (optional short stop at Plato’s Academy along the way) to reach the Athenian suburb of Eleusina, one of the most important archeological religious sites in the world as it was the home of the Eleusinian mysteries,as well as, the birthplace of Aeschylus, the father of Tragedy and Drama.
From as early as 1700BC up to the 4th century AD, Eleusina was the site of the Eleusinian Mysteries, or the Mysteries of Demeter and Kore. These Mysteries revolved around a belief that there was a hope for life after death for those who were initiated. Such a belief was cultivated from the introduction ceremony in which the hopeful initiates were shown a number of things including the seed of life in an ear of corn. The Mysteries are attributed to Demeter and her duaghter Kore, or Persephone, and were created while Demeter searched for her lost daughter who had been abducted by Hades.
After a lunch break, we will drive back to Athens to our next destination, the National Archeological Museum of Athens which is the largest Archaeological museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek art.
The museum’s collections are organized in sections:
- Prehistoric collection (Neolithic,Cycladic,Mycenean)
- Sculptures collection
- Vase and Minor objects collection
- Santorini findings
- Metallurgy collection
- Stathatos collection
- Vlastos collection
- Egyptian Art collection
- Near Eastern Antiquities collection.
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!
- Comfortable clothing and sensible, flat-soled walking shoes are recommended. Sun glasses and sun screen are suggested.
- Walking: Difficult.To climb up to the Acropolis, guests must be able to walk over paved, inclined paths, some with steps, then climb a series of steps to reach the propylea. The walking surfaces on top of the Acropolis are uneven.
- Disabled access at the Acropolis is provided by a wheelchair stair climber lift elevator.Please do keep in mind that this is an elevator strictly available to disabled visitors only.
- visitors using a wheelchair or some other kinetic equipment,
- visitors with some kind of physiopathological situation that affects their kinetic ability either permanently or temporarily and
- visitors that have a certified rate of disability whether this is affecting their kinetic ability or not.
- The New Acropolis Museum is closed on Mondays. On this day you will visit instead the National Archeological Museum
- The order of the sites may change due to crowds, traffic and demonstrations.
- Photography is permitted throughout the tour except for the Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis and the Archaic Gallery, at the New Acropolis museum.
- We do our best to ensure that every stop described is available for your visit. There are some times when a site or building is closed at the last moment with little to no warning. We assume that those in charge make those decisions based on external information and for the visitors’ safety and we apologize when this causes inconvenience and disappointment.
- 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.
- The area around the Acropolis Hill and Syntagma Square (changing of the guards) can become quite crowded, especially during the peak travel months, so be aware of your surroundings and keep your belongings close to you.
- 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.
Did you Know?
That the Antikythera mechanism is an ancient analog computer designed to calculate astronomical positions? It was recovered in 1900–1901 from the Antikythera wreck, but its significance and complexity were not understood until a century later. The Antikythera mechanism and one of its latest reconstructions is kept today at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens.