SUNDAY: ANCIENT CORINTH – MONASTERY OF ST PATAPIOS (at additional price)
Corinth is one of the largest centers of Ancient Greece flourishing around 17th-16th century BC. Since those times, the remnants of the magnificent temple of Apollo with its monolithic columns have survived till nowadays.
The Roman period is represented much more extensively: the temple of Octavia, the fountain of Pirena, the baths of Evrikl and so on. Apostle Paul lived and preached here for 1.5 years. Two of his messages to the Corinthians were included in the Bible. When approaching Ancient Corinth, the first things that draw your attention are Acrocorinth and the Corinth Canal. Acrocorinth is a mountain of about 670 meters high with a beautiful panoramic view from the top. During the ancient times, the acropolis of the Ancient Corinth was here; while what can be seen now are the ruins of a Byzantine fortress. The canal connecting the Aegean and the Ionic sea is at 4 km from Ancient Corinth. Constructed at the end of the 19th century, it still produces a very strong impression. Further, our program includes a visit to one of the most famous Greek monasteries – the monastery of St Patapios.
It is a functioning women’s monastery situated at a height of 700 meters above the sea level, 14 km from the resort town of Loutraki. The hallows of St Patapios are kept in the monastery.
An excursion to Dephi, one of the most interesting mystical places uniting the Hellenistic world in the ancient times. A religious center owing its fame to the temple of Apollo was located here. Everybody was trying to get here in order to receive a prediction of the Oracle. It is also here that the Pythian Games were held. You will see the historical and cultural monuments of the 6th-2nd centuries BC: the temple of Apollo the Pythian, the treasuries of the Sythnians and Athenians, the theater, the stadium and other buildings. You will be able to wash yourself with the water of the Castalia spring, see the “hub of the world” and admire wonderful antique sculptures. The archaeological preserve in Delphi is included in the list of the world cultural heritage. After the excursion – a transfer to Kalambaka and registration at a hotel.
An excursion to Meteora – “the eighth miracle of the world” – monasteries “hovering” between the earth and the sky, one of the main sights of Greece. A visit to a functioning men’s and women’s monastery. After the excursion – departure for Athens. On the way, a stopover at the pass of Thermopylae, the monument to Ling Leonidas and 300 Spartans who gained glory during the famous battle against numerous Persian army. Return to Athens.
WEDNESDAY: ATHENS - ACROPOLIS - MUSEUMS OF ACROPOLIS
An overview excursion through Athens including a visit to the Acropolis. You will see the historical and cultural monuments, which constitute the glory of Greece: the Parthenon, the Erechtheum with its famous caryatids, the Propylaea, the Temple of Zeus the Olympian, the white-marbled stadium where the first modern-time Olympic games took place in 1896, as well as the building of the Parliament, the Athens University and the Academy of Sciences. Those interested could visit the new museum of the Acropolis.
THURSDAY: PELOPONNESE-ARGOLIDA-CORINTH CANAL-MYCENAE-NAFLIO-EPIDAVROS
A transfer to the north-eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula – Argolida. The first stopover is at the Corinth Canal, a magnificent construction of the 19th century. Then Mycenae follows with its “cyclopic” walls of the ancient city built with huge stones and the famous “Lion’s Gate”, the kings’ tombs of the 16-15th centuries BC, the palace of the Mycenaean kings, the famous “King Agamemnon’s Tomb” – all these bring to mind the heroes of Homer’s epic works Iliad and Odissea. Then, through the beautiful town of Nafplio with its medieval fortresses, the first capital of independent Greece, you go to Epidavros, the sanctuary of the god of healing Asclepius, where you will see one of the best preserved theaters of Ancient Greece with fantastic acoustics, which used to accommodate 14000 spectators.
FRIDAY: PLAKA-MONASTIRAKI (at additional price)
A walking excursion through the old part of Athens introduces you to the historical monuments of the classical, Roman and Osman periods, such as the Ancient Agora, the Roman Agora, the Tower of Winds, the Central Cathedral, Muslim mosques of the 15th century and Byzantine churches of the 10th century. The excursion ends on Monastiraki – the oldest and one of the most popular trade squares of Athens. At the flea market, which is called a “square”, there is a great many things which a tourist could not only see but buy as well. The Monastiraki Market is an exposition of scraps of the old Greek everyday life, where the main buyers are strangers fascinated by the charm of unusual old Greek things, and designers buying rare accessories for interior decoration purposes.
CAPE SOUNION-LAKE VOULIAGMENI (at additional price)An excursion to Cape Sounion – southernmost point of Attica, where on a rock above the sea there is a temple of Poseidon (440 BC) and, according to legend, a wish made at the temple at the sunset will definitely come true. The program includes a stopover at the picturesque Lake Vouliagmeni with its hot springs – those willing can take a plunge.
SATURDAY: CRUISE TO THE ISLANDS OF THE SARONIC GULF – AEGINA, POROS AND HYDRA (at additional price)
We suggest devoting this day to an exciting sea journey to three islands of the Saronic Gulf: Aegina, Poros and Hydra. Each of these islands is interesting and remarkable in its own way. On board the cruise ship we will offer you lunch and a folklore program.
Meteora (1 monastery) - €2
Delphi (museum and arch. zone) - €9
Epidavros (museum and arch. zone) - €6
Mycenae (museum and arch. zone) - €8
Acropolis (arch. zone) - €12
The tour operator MOUZENIDIS TOURS keeps the right to change the sequence of the excursions included in the program.