ATHENS & PELOPONNESE GRAND CIRCLE

6 nights/ 7 days
Olympia
Olympia
Acropolis Museum
Acropolis
Description
Highlights: Athens, Acropolis, Plaka, Mycenae, Epidavros, Nafplio Town, Tolo, Sparta, Mystras, Olympia, Patra, Kalavrita, Loutraki town
Operating: All year round
Departures: Daily

ITINERARY

 

Day 1: ATHENS- arrival

Upon arrival at Athens Airport meet and assist and transfer to your hotel in the city of Athens

Check in and balance of the afternoon/ evening free

Overnight in Athens


Day 2: Athens- City Tour

Breakfast in the hotel

Today after breakfast you will be picked up from your hotel and start your tour of the City including a guided visit to the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum
The Athens city tour starts with a photo stop at Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games took place in 1896. It is the only stadium built out of white marble. Proceed, passing by Zappeion and Temple of Olympian Zeus. You will then pass the Athens Trilogy which includes the University of Athens, the Academy of Athens, and the National Library. Continue passing by National Garden, Hadrian’s Arc, St. Paul’s Church, Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown soldier, Schliemann’s House (Numismatic Museum), Catholic Cathedral, Old Parliament, Constitution Square ,Russian Orthodox Church, and finally ACROPOLIS (visit Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Parthenon, Erechtheion with its Porch of Maidens)

Continue with a pleasant short walk passing by Herodion and Dionysos Theatre, in order to visit the ACROPOLIS museum.. Main attractions such as votives, artefacts of every day life, statues from archaic period, Caryatids, and of course the Parthenon hall with the metopes, the pediments and the frieze will impress you

After your guided visit of the Acropolis (New) Museum walk through Plaka (old part of the City) where you will make a stop for lunch and souvenir shopping

Transfer back to your hotel for a free afternoon

Overnight in Athens


Day 3: Athens- Tolo (Corinth canal/ Mycenae/ Epidavros/ Nafplio/ Tolo)

Breakfast in the hotel

Today after breakfast you will board on your coaches and depart for Argolis via the Corinth canal (short stop for photos) and then drive to Mycenae
In the second millennium BC, Mycenae was one of the major centers of Greek civilization, a military stronghold which dominated much of southern Greece. The period of Greek history from about 1600 BC to about 1100 BC is called Mycenaean in reference to Mycenae. At its height in 1350 BC, the citadel and lower town had a population of 30,000 and an area of 32 hectares
Visit the archaeological site and the Tomb of Agamemnon

Continue to Epidaurus and visit the Ancient theatre, world famous for its outstanding acoustics
The Asclepieion at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing center of the Classical world, the place where ill people went in the hope of being cured. Found in the sanctuary, there was a guest house of 160 guestrooms. There are also mineral springs in the vicinity which may have been used in healing. The sanctuary of Asclepius and is an UNESCO World Heritage Site

After Epidavros visit depart to Nafplio Town

Upon arrival in Nafplio take some free time for lunch
Continue with a tour of Nafplio Town- one of the most beautiful towns in Greece
Nafplio was the first capital of the newly born Greek state between 1823 and 1834. According to mythology, the town was founded by Náfplios, the son of god Poseidon and the daughter of Danaus (Danaida) Anymone. The town’s history traces back to the prehistoric era when soldiers from here participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War alike. The town declined during the Roman times and flourished again during the Byzantine times. Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors left their mark in the town and strongly influenced its culture, architecture and trad itions during the centuries. Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian or neoclassical buildings mesmerize the visitor with their unique architecture and beauty

Overnight in Tolo sea-side town or in Nafplio


Day 4: Nafplio/ Tolo- Monemvasia- Areopoli/ Mani

Breakfast in the  hotel

After breakfast you will depart to Monemvasia
Upon arrival transfer to the old town

The old town of Monemvasia is a perfectly preserved medieval settlement still inhabited, a world cultural heritage monument and a major attraction for every traveller in the Peloponnese. It has a unique, magical atmosphere and a fascinating history. Monuments and churches are scattered throughout the old town. An important archaeological collection is housed in the old mosque in the Square of Elkomenos Christos
At the other end of the causeway on the mainland is the new town of Monemvasia

After the end of the tour in the old town and the castle make a stop for lunch (free time)
After lunch depart to Gythio Town (optional stop) and Areopoli- Mani

Check in at your traditional settlement and enjoy an afternoon of relaxation surrounded by Areopolis’ traditional tower houses and castles, Byzantine monuments and narrow alleys, offering unique and unforgettable scenery

Overnight in Areopoli/ Mani


Day 5: Areopoli/ Mani- Mystras- Ancient Messene- Olympia

Breakfast in the  hotel

After breakfast you will depart with next destination the famous Mystras
Mystras occupies a steep foothill on the northern slopes of Mt. Taygetos, 6km. NW of Sparta. The castle on the top of the hill was founded in 1249 by the Frankish leader William II de Villeharduin. After 1262 it came under Byzantine control, and at the middle of the 14th century became the seat of the Despotate of Moreas. In 1448 the last emperor of Byzantium, Constantine XI Palaeologos, was crowned at Mystras. In 1460 the hill was captured by the Turks and in 1464 Sigismondo Malatesta of Rimini managed to capture the city but not the castle. For a short period Mystras came under the control of the Venetians (1687-1715) but was again taken over by the Turks. It was one of the first castles of Greece to be liberated in 1821

After Mystras continue your trip visiting the ruins of Ancient Messene
Messene is a significant ancient city in terms of its size, form, and state of preservation, and still has much to offer. It possesses not only sanctuaries and public buildings, but also imposing fortifications, and houses and tombs. It enjoys, amongst other things, the advantage of never having been destroyed or covered by later settlements, and is located on an unspoiled inland site. Its natural setting combines the grandeur of the mountains of Delphi with the low-lying, riverine tranquillity of Olympia, the dominating bare limestone mass of Ithome, the site of the ancient acropolis, with the low fertile valley around the ancient city

After the visit in Messene continue to Olympia- final destination of the day

Upon arrival in Olympia check in and overnight in your hotel in Olympia


Day 6: Olympia- Ancient Olympia- Patra

Breakfast in the hotel

After breakfast you will proceed to a guided visit of Ancient Olympia Archaeological area and Museum
Olympia in Greece was the site of the ancient Olympic Games, which were celebrated every four years by the Greeks. Olympia was situated in a valley in Elis, in western Peloponnesus, through which runs the Alpheus River. It was not a town, but only a sanctuary with buildings associated with games and the worship of the gods. Olympia was a national shrine of the Greeks and contained many treasures of Greek art, such as temples, monuments, altars, theatres, statues, and votive offerings of brass and marble. The archaeological site of Olympia is a Unesco Heritage site

After the end of your visit depart to Patra – the capital City of the Peloponnese and the 2nd most important commercial port of Gree
After lunch continue with a city tour

Start your exploration around the city from Aghiou Nikolaou (Ayiou Nikoláou), the most famous pedestrian street. There, 192 steps await to lead you to the Old City. A romantic stroll around its cobbled streets will reveal grand colourful neoclassic mansions, reminders f the city’s glorious past. Visit the city’s Medieval Castle, built in the second half of the 6th century A.D. on the ruins of the ancient Acropolis. Its walls enclose an area of about 22 sq.m.; it consists of a triangular external compound enhanced with towers and ramparts. Walk past the remaining buildings, and take in breathtaking views of the city

In the centre of the city, two historical monuments will certainly draw your attention: Saint Andrew Church, one of the biggest churches in the Balkans, and “APOLLON" Municipal Theatre, one of the first opera houses in Europe. It was designed in 1972 by the German architect Ernest Ziller. Since 1988 it permanently houses the Patras Municipal Regional Theatre

After the end of the tour transfer to your hotel in the outskirts of Patra- Psathopyrgos traditional sea side village Overnight in Patra area or city


Day 7: Patra- Kalavrita- Loutraki- Athens

Breakfast in the hotel

Today after breakfast you will visit Kalavrita area. 
A dreamy setting with picturesque squares, stone-paved streets and cute little houses welcomes the romantic souls! The trademark of Kalavryta is its small train, the “Odontotos” (a rare example of a fully functional cog railway). Its 22 km journey from Kalavryta to Diakofto is one of the most spectacular rack & pinion rail trips! The narrow gauge tracks follow the Vouraikos River through tunnels, over water-falls, along cliffs and through forests of pine and oleander.
The tragic history of Kalavryta reminds us the darkest side of human nature; in 1943 German occupying troops murdered all male population over the age of 14 and burned the town…Visit the memorial built to honour the dead, a large white cross on the top of the hill where the villagers had been executed, as well as the Municipal Museum of the Holocaust of Kalavryta where you can see exhibits related to the history and the traditions of the town

Kalavryta is associated with another glorious era of Greek History; nearby is situated the famous Monastery of Agia Lavra, where the Greek revolution against the Ottoman Empire was launched in 1821. It’s here that Germanos, archbishop of Patras, raised the standard of revolt.Don’t miss the awe-inspiring Monastery of Mega Spileon (Monastery of the Great Cavern) built in a giant cave and admire its wonderful frescoes and mosaic floors; explore the Cave of the Lakes, a true wonder of nature whose walls are ornamented with colourful stalagmite and stalactite formations

After your visit to Kalavryta you will depart to Loutraki Town. Upon arrival in Loutraki you will have free time to enjoy lunch in one of the local restaurants and enjoy some time by the beach or at the well known Spa treatment facilities of the town

Depart to Athens- overnight in Athens


Day 8: Athens- departure

Today after breakfast our representatives will transfer you to Athens International Airport

INCLUDED SERVICES

Accommodation

  • 3 nights in Athens city center hotel on the sected board type (BB, HB, FB)
  • 1 overnight in Tolo on the sected board type (BB, HB, FB)
  • 1 night in Areopoli/ Mani on the sected board type (BB, HB, FB)
  • 1 night in Olympia on the sected board type (BB, HB, FB)
  • 1 night in Patra area on the sected board type (BB, HB, FB)

Transfers

  • All transfers with private luxury coach


Licensed Guide service of the selected language

  • Licensed guide throughout the trip and mentioned visits

BETIS TRAVEL assistance


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