Historical Greek Treasures
11 Nights: Athens, Argolis, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora, Crete
TRAVEL ALL YEAR ROUND
Discover the historical, archaeological and authentic beauties of Greece, by exploring Athens, Argolis, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora and Crete.
• 3 Nights Luxury Accommodations at Hotel of your Choice in Athens
• 1 Night Luxury Accommodations at Hotel of your Choice in Nafplio
• 1 Night Luxury Accommodations at Hotel of your Choice in Olympia
• 1 Night Luxury Accommodations at Hotel of your Choice in Delphi
• 1 Night Luxury Accommodations at Hotel of your Choice in Kalampaka
• 4 Nights Luxury Accommodations at Hotel of your Choice in Crete
• Private Full Day Tour of Athens with an English-speaking driver and licensed guide
• Private Sunset Sounion Tour with an English-speaking driver
• Private 5 Day Tour to Argolis-Olympia-Delphi-Meteora with English-speaking driver
• Airfare from Athens to Crete
• Airfare from Crete to Athens
• Round-trip Airport/Port Transfers
• Breakfast Daily
• All Hotel Taxes and Service Charges
Welcome to Athens, the land of mythical Gods and the heart of Ancient Greece, a powerful civilization and empire.
Upon arrival, your private driver will pick you up from Athens International Airport and take you to your luxury hotel. Enjoy your afternoon and evening exploring the vibrant culture and nightlife of Modern Athens. Ask your Leisure Travel Consultant for recommendations of their favorite restaurants, cafes and entertainment options.
Athens - Full Day Private Guided Tour of Athens
In the morning, after breakfast at your hotel, your driver and your licensed English-speaking guide will meet you at your hotel lobby, to begin your tour around Athens’ most important historical sites.
During your Private Athens Day Tour, you will be visiting the Acropolis Hill, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Presidential Guard change and the Trilogy. Your licensed guide will be joining you for about 3 hours, in order to show you around Athens city center, Acropolis hill and Ancient Agora.
Between sightseeing, you can have some free time to enjoy lunch at one of the restaurants that we will suggest you. You can optionally extend this tour to visit the new Acropolis Museum, on your own or with your private guide.
Athens - Half Day Private Sunset Tour to Sounion
Spend the morning at leisure in Athens, at your own pace, to further explore Athens city center and walk around picturesque Plaka or Psiri areas.
In the afternoon, leaving Athens city center, we will drive out of the city along the southern coastline of Attica, the famous Athens Riviera, definitely one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe, to end up to one of the most impressive sites of the Attica region, the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion. Built during 444–440 BC, this temple is one of the major monuments of the Golden Age of Athens, surrounded by the sea, creating a magical landscape.
Athens, Ancient Corinth, Mycenae, Nafplio
After breakfast and check out from your hotel, our representative, will pick you up and your historical tour of Greek mainland begins! You will take the western coastline of Attica to visit the Corinth Canal, probably the oldest major construction work in Greece (dated 1880-1893) that really changed everything in transportation, allowing ship interconnection between the Ionian and the Aegean Sea.
You will visit Ancient Corinth, an impressive archaeological site including the Temple of Apollo (one of the earliest Doric temples in the Peloponnese and Greek mainland), Bema of Saint Paul (Roman Forum), a large elevated rostrum standing prominently in the center of the Roman Forum of ancient Corinth, wherefrom the city’s officials addressed the public.
You will continue to the Archaeological Museum, which houses a large collection of artifacts of the local archaeological site and smaller sites in the neighboring area, and Acrocorinth, the acropolis of ancient Corinth, a typical example of castle architecture, which was the fortified citadel of both ancient and medieval Corinth. Situated at the top peak of the Acrocorinth, lies the Temple of Aphrodite, the protector deity of the city of Corinth.
We will then drive a 35km distance to Argolida prefecture, to visit the archaeological site of Mycenae, the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon, the most important and richest palatial center of the Late Bronze Age in Greece. Its name was given to one of the greatest civilizations of Greek prehistory, the Mycenaean civilization.
Final stop for the day, will be the city of Nafplio, 20km away from Mycenae, probably the most beautiful and romantic city of Greece, and the first capital of the Hellenic Republic between 1823 and 1834. Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian or neoclassical buildings create a unique scenery that will capture your mind.
Relax during lunch, inside the old picturesque town or by the sea with amazing views of Bourtzi.
Following you will check in at your hotel in Nafplio and enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. Explore the old medieval quarter and wander inside the many narrow stone paved streets of Nafplio or enjoy swimming at a beautiful beach nearby.
Nafplio, Epidaurus, Olympia
After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel to visit Palamidi fortress. There is the option either to follow the famous steps (999 in total) until the castle entrance or to drive directly to the top and be rewarded with stunning views over the whole surrounding area.
Palamidi castle, perched above Nafplio, yields the reward of stunning views over the whole area. Admire gates dating back to the Bronze Age at the Acronafplia fortress, standing tall behind the Old Town. Bourtzi, located on a tiny island off the harbour, was also built by Venetians in the 15th century and has known a long history as a castle, a prison, a hotel, an office for tourism and housing for the Greek government. Reachable by boat, the Bourtzi is now used to host events and concerts during summer.
Next stop is the site of Epidaurus, 25km from Nafplio, where we will visit the sanctuary of Asklepios and the ancient theatre of Epidaurus.
The sanctuary of Asklepios was the most famous healing center of the Greek and Roman world. It is considered the birthplace of medicine and it is thought to have had about two hundred dependent spas in the eastern Mediterranean. Its monuments are true masterpieces of ancient Greek art, and a precious testimony about the practice of medicine in antiquity.
The ancient theatre of Epidaurus was constructed at the end of the 4th century BC. It is considered to be the most perfect ancient Greek theatre with regard to acoustics and aesthetics, and because of its exceptional architecture and aesthetics, the theatre was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1988 along with the Temple of Asclepius. With a capacity of 13,000 to 14,000 spectators, the theatre hosted music, singing and dramatic shows that were included in the worship of the god-physician Asclepios. It was also used for healing patients, since there was a belief that the observation of dramatic shows had positive effects on mental and physical health.
After lunch, we will head towards Olympia, in Elis prefecture at a distance of 200km, where you will be taken to your hotel.
After breakfast, you will be picked up from your hotel to visit the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia, a major Panhellenic religious sanctuary of ancient Greece, where the ancient Olympic Games were held.
The site was primarily dedicated to Zeus and drew visitors from all over the Greek world, helping to build the identity of the ancient Greeks as a nation.
The archaeological site held over 70 significant buildings, and ruins of many of which survive, the most important being:
The Temple of Zeus, which was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Hera dedicated to Hera, queen of the Greek Gods, the Philippeion, the Prytaneion, one of the oldest and most important buildings at Olympia, the Bouleuterion, or Council House, whose members were responsible for the organization of the games, the Palaestra built in the third century BC as part of the gymnasium complex, used to practice boxing, wrestling and jumping, the Gymnasium where athletes practiced track and field and the pentathlon, the Stadium: where the ancient Olympic Games and the Heraia, the women’s games in honor of Hera, were held.
Closing, we will visit the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, one of the most important museums in Greece. It presents the long history of the most celebrated sanctuary of antiquity, the sanctuary of Zeus, father of both gods and men, where the Olympic games were born.
After having lunch, we will drive about 240 km towards Delphi, to check in at your hotel. Enjoy your free afternoon at leisure to relax and walk around Delphi or visit Arachova nearby, to have dinner and drinks at the various bars and restaurants or the area.
After breakfast, we will visit the famous archaeological site of Delphi. This place is famous as the ancient sanctuary that grew rich as the seat of Pythia, the oracle who was consulted about important decisions throughout the ancient classical world. The ancient Greeks considered the center of the world to be in Delphi, marked by the stone monument known as the omphalos (navel).
We will pass by with optional stops, at the most important monuments, while you will also have a private tour of two hours with our licensed guide, at the archeological museum of Delphi and the outdoor archeological site (Sanctuary of Apollo/ The Oracle).
The most prominent edifices on the sacred slopes of Delphi are: the Temple of Apollo probably the most important building in the sanctuary, the ancient theatre of Delphi where the musical contests of the Pythian games and other religious festivals took place, the Tholos of Athena Pronaia perhaps the most characteristic monument at Delphi, the Stadium where the athletic events took place, the Castalian spring where Pythia, the priests and the temple staff washed, the Treasury of the Athenians a small building contained trophies from important Athenian victories and other votive objects dedicated to the sanctuary, the Treasury of the Siphnians which housed the precious votive offerings dedicated by the Siphnians to the sanctuary and the Archaeological Museum which exhibits the history of the Delphic sanctuary and reflect its religious, political and artistic activities from the eight century BC to its decline in Late Antiquity.
After Delphi, you will head north for about 160km to find Kalampaka, the town right below the rocks of Meteora, to check in at your hotel.
Meteora, Athens, Crete
After breakfast, you will start the tour to the Monasteries of Meteora until lunchtime in the afternoon. This impressive site is a rock formation hosting one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries, second in importance only to Mount Athos.
Meteora is an inspiring and sensational setting of overwhelming rock formations, and this tour is much more than simply visiting an exquisite landscape. It is a pilgrimage to a holy place for all Christians around the world. Meteora has become a preservation ark for the 2000-year-old Christian Orthodox creed, while it is also included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The six monasteries, among the original twenty-four, built on immense natural pillars and hill-like rounded boulders that dominate the local area, are the Monastery of Great Meteoron, the Monastery of Varlaam, the Monastery of Rousanou/St. Barbara, the Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas, the Monastery of St. Stephen and the Monastery of the Holy Trinity.
After lunch, we will drive you back to Athens, about 350 km driving distance, to connect with your flight to Crete via Athens International Airport. Upon arrival, our representative will be waiting to transfer you to your luxury hotel.
Crete, Greece’s largest island, offers a mix of wild mountains, stunning beaches, rich culinary traditions, and a history dating back to the Minoans of the Bronze Age. From west to east, Chania, Rethymno, Heraklio, Elounda, and Agios Nikolaos, are considered ideal bases for travelers, offering walkability and proximity to attractions and beaches.
Enjoy a relaxing day on your own or take an optional private full-day tour to Heraklion and the Palace of Knossos, one of the greatest sites of the Ancient Greek World. You will wander around the Palace of King Minos and the Minotaur marveling at the first European Civilization and continue to a beautiful village nearby for a vineyard picnic experience. Closing the tour, you can continue to the Archeological Museum of Heraklion and the exploration of Heraklion city with stops at the Old Port, the Venetian Walls, the Municipal Market, museums, churches, and shops of your preference.
DAY 10 & 11
Spend your days relaxing at one of Crete's endless turquoise beaches, discover charming villages surrounded by olive groves, hike through scenic gorges, and learn more about the island's ancient civilizations.
If you have chosen to stay in Chania, you can pick among various optional tours and activities, such as a private tour of Chania Old Town, to discover more about its Venetian harbor and explore the historical city center with the narrow streets and the Market.
Another option would be a Private Chania Jeep Safari, during which you will enjoy lunch and a Winery Visit, along with splendid views to the gorge of Samaria (the biggest canyon of Europe), the Libyan Sea and the Aegean. Leaving the cosmopolitan city of Chania, we will drive you through rough roads to the authentic part of Chania, where you will get a different view of the Cretan landscape, full of olive, lemon and orange groves. Admire Samaria National Park and enjoy delicious Cretan snacks, with a cup of mountain tea with honey. Enjoy lunch in a typical Cretan Tavern before visiting Anoskeli winery for a wine tasting!
If you choose to stay in Elounda or Agios Nikolaos areas, you can optionally enjoy a unique private tour to Lassithi Plateau, including olive oil tasting & lunch. Driving from the coastal plains into the sacred mountains and the caves that fringe them! Visit one of the most important sacred sites of Minoan Crete and one of the largest caves on the island. Enjoy lunch in an authentic tavern, where they combine Cretan Greek cuisine with seasonal ingredients and local products!
Ask your travel advisor for recommendations about beautiful beaches and more memorable activities to explore while in Crete.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Heraklion airport, to connect with your departure flight via Athens International Airport.
All itineraries are samples and can be further tailored to your travel preferences & budget.