Monday’s Classical Greece Four Day Special Tour from Athens

Merging Nafplio, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia and Delphi

Start next week off with an exploration of Venetian fortresses, heroic kings who epically sailed to war to reclaim their beautiful brides, giant Cyclopes who built strongholds, mystical oracles who whispered in the ears of great leaders and weaved the future of entire city-states, the birth of the Olympic Games, and more…

  • Duration

    4 Days

  • Location

    Nafplio, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, Delphi, Greece

  • Adults (T Class)

    530.00 €

  • Children (T Class)

    265.00 €

  • Single Supplement

    84 €

From: 530.00 €

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As we make our escape from the hustle and bustle of the hectic capital, get comfortable on our modern luxury bus and enjoy the ride while we make our way to the famed Corinth Canal.

Feast your eyes on this beauty! The view is astonishing.

Back in 602 BC, the tyrant of Corinth, Periander, one the Seven Sages of Antiquity, dreamt of uniting the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf. He figured he could offer a shorter route to ships navigating all around the treacherous southern capes of Peloponnese. But, alas! Such an ambitious endeavor at the time was beyond his means and the technical woes were far too many. Later on, the Roman Emperor Nero, also found that out the hard way.

It wasn’t until 1869, when the Suez Canal, a gigantic-scale project, opened up to naval traffic, that the Corinth Canal finally received the backing and technological platform to come to life and earn a place in the pantheon of marine engineering, 25 centuries after its original conception.

Our first destination, nestled in a small Peloponnesian valley, is the well-known Epidaurus: the sanctuary of the heroic god of medicine in ancient mythology, Asclepius. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is celebrated as the birthplace of medicine and is believed to have catered for more than two hundred dependent spas in the eastern Mediterranean region. As you take in the striking surroundings, explore the Temple of Asklepios, and the Tholos in this exceptional archeological site. Serving as notable testament to the brilliant engineering minds of the past, dating back to the 4th century, the Theater of Epidaurus continues to host performances to date due to its astonishing acoustic properties. You will stand in awe of this gorgeous and symmetric monument, seating up to 14,000 people, allowing for perfect audibility of unamplified speech on stage.

Let’s climb back on our comfortable bus and take a drive down to the romantic seaport town of Nafplio which holds a special place in history as the capital of the First Hellenic Republic up until 1834. According to myth, it was founded by Nafplios, the son of god Poseidon, and it deployed soldiers both during the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War.

An important military stronghold in the past, it has faced adversity innumerable times but still stands strong today and provides for a popular and relaxing get-away destination for Athenians. You will have the afternoon off to stroll around the picturesque “old town” and perhaps even pass by the Nafplio Gallery of Art if you wish. Its walls are adorned by art dedicated to the Greek Revolution. Quaint and full of historical venues, Nafplio is an ideal location for our first overnight stay.

On the second day, back on our luxury bus around noon, following a leisurely morning where you are free to enjoy Nafplio’s beauty by day, get ready to visit the prominent setting for Homer’s works, Argolis. Our destination, Mycenae, birthing city of the Mycenaean civilization, is described in the Iliad as a “wide-wayed” “well-founded citadel”. Homer’s other characterization of this palatial center of the Late Bronze Age, “Golden Mycenae”, is actually supported by gold recovered during excavation works. Do your own “digging round” as you visit the Treasury of Atreus, the Royal Tombs and the Lion Gate with its bastion, still welcoming us after all this time. Check out the Cyclopean Walls, built by none other than Cyclopes, under the orders of Perseus, the mythical founder of the citadel. His descendant, Eurytheus, was the instigator of the twelve labors of the divine hero Hercules.

After lunch, travelling through the cities of Tripolis and Megalopolis, we will find ourselves on the road to the birth place and cradle of the Olympic Games, Olympia. There, we will kick off our shoes for the night in the home city of the most celebrated sanctuary of ancient Greece.

On the morning of the third day, the World Heritage archeological site of Olympia, situated in the beautiful valley of the Alpheios river, awaits you. A unique worldwide symbol of peace and competition at the service of virtue, it sits on a lush, green landscape, at the confluence of the Alpheios and Cladeus rivers. Marvel at the remarkable sanctuary, known as “Altis” (meaning “grove” as it once brimmed with olive trees used to make the wreaths that crowned the champions), and its historical monuments including the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Hera, the Pelopion and the altar. In combination with a closer look at the awe-inspiring altar of the Olympic flame, this visit will certainly stay engraved in your memories as you stroll into the Stadium, where the High Priestess continues to light the Olympic torch.

In the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, presenting the long celebrated history of the sanctuary of Zeus, father of both gods and men, you will find on permanent display collections which cross 12 halls and over 3,500 years of history as well as the world renowned masterpiece statue of “Hermes of Praxiteles”.

As we continue on this full blown visit to all the important landmarks of Classical Greece, we will come across a more modern achievement.  The Rio–Antirrio Bridge is one of the world’s longest multi-span cable-stayed bridges and the longest of the fully suspended type. It is considered an engineering masterpiece as it overcame difficulties like deep waters, seismic activity and the expansion of the Gulf of Corinth due to plate tectonics.

On our way to Delphi, the mythical “center of the earth”, we will pass by the city of Nafpactos, famous for the battle of Lepanto, and ride along the scenic coastal road. In the afternoon, enjoy the crisp mountain air with a visit to Mount Parnassos, in the charming town of Arachova. There, you will find lovely tavernas and restaurants, a wide variety of shops and quaint cafés.

Delphi is the perfect place for a soothing good night’s rest, as we drift off wondering if the ancient all-wise oracle would pay us a visit in our dreams.

The morning of the fourth day of our tour will find us on the grounds once visited by men thirsty for knowledge into their future, travelling from all corners of Greece and beyond. Apollo’s oracle, Pythia, famously spoke with his words, sharing wisdom and advice and a sitting with her was of absolute importance if you were planning on sacking any other city-states or even setting off to Troy to reclaim the Beautiful Helen… Leonidas, warrior-king of Sparta, was famously also offered by the Delphic Oracle a glimpse into what would become of him and his men. Periander, as well, shared his plan for the Corinth Canal with the mysterious prophetic oracle and she did not fail to warn that Zeus would not look kindly upon a mere man, even a Sage, making a virtual island out of the Peloponnese; that was a godly decision to be made.

Visitors today may not have their fortune told but they can enjoy a plethora of distinguished ancient monuments such as the monument of the Argive Kings, the Athenian Treasury, the Stoa of the Athenians, the Polygonal Wall, the Platea and the Temple of Apollo. The Archeological Museum of Delphi reflects the sanctuary’s religious, political and artistic activities throughout the centuries. Inside, you will find the frieze of the Treasury of the Siphnians, the immense Sphinx of Naxos, the Statue of Antinous, the metopes of the Athenian treasury dedicated to the heroic deeds of Theseus and Hercules, and The Charioteer of Delphi, among other fascinating exhibits.

On our way back to Athens, in the late afternoon, you will have gained valuable insight into Greek history, mythology and civilization. Share your experiences with Blue Travelista as we drop you off at your hotel lobby.

Highlights

  • Corinth canal with its amazing views
  • Overnight stay in Nafplion, the nation’s first capital
  • Mycenae Archaeological Site
  • Epidaurus Archeological Site – Asklepios Sanctuary
  • Ancient theater of Epidaurus with its incomparable acoustics
  • Olympia Archaeological Site- birth place of the Olympic Games
  • Olympia Archeological Museum
  • Rion-Antirrion bridge, a feat of engineering
  • Castalia Spring – regarded by Roman poets as a source of poetic inspiration
  • Delphi Archeological Site – Navel of the World
  • Delphi Archeological Museum

Inclusions

  • Pick up and Drop off Service from centrally located hotel in Athens
  • Transport by luxury air-conditioned bus with free wifi connection
  • Services of Professional licensed guide
  • Admission / Entrance fees
  • Hotel accommodation based on your choice (A class / T class)

Not included

  • Hotel accommodation tax
  • Gratuities (optional)
  • Drinks and beverages
  • Lunch

Good to know

  • All the mentioned prices are per person on twin sharing basis. In case of one traveler the single supplement option has to be chosen.
  • If you do not require the hotel pick-up service, please check in 15 minutes prior to the tour starting time

Tips by a local

When visiting archeological sites and doing some of our own “digging around”, we recommend using some sunscreen and always wearing loose fitting clothes and comfortable walking shoes. Greece is, after all, a warm and sunny country so put on a hat when you are out in the sun and enjoy the tour.