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Duration: 8 days Visiting: Greece
Your Journey Begins
Board your overnight flight to Europe (not included).
Welcome to Athens
You will be met at the airport and transferred to your tour hotel, where there is time to settle in and relax. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception, an opportunity to get to know each other over a delightful evening of dinner and wine.
The Monasteries of Meteora
A scenic journey takes you north to Thermopylae, site of the famous battle between the Spartans and Persians. Stop for a wonderful photo opportunity before driving through the market town of Trikala, famous in ancient times for its sanctuary to Asklepios. Continue to the amazing Monasteries of Meteora, meaning ‘in the air’, incredibly perched on top of pinnacles of rock. Visit one of the monasteries and enjoy stunning views over the Peneios Valley and Pindos Mountains. Then on to your hotel in Kalambaka for dinner.
Delphi, Centre of the Ancient World
Drive south through fertile Thessaly, ‘the bread basket of ancient Greece’, before arriving at Delphi, clinging to the side of Mount Parnassus at 2000 ft. Ascend the Sacred Way, once lined with offertory temples and statues to the honour of Apollo. See the splendid Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians which has been recreated by modern archeologists, (though without the riches that once filled it!) Pass the superb Polygonal Wall – its stones so perfectly interlocked, that even thousands of years have not harmed it. You'll approach the legendary Temple of Apollo itself, where the mysterious Oracle of Delphi breathed her enigmatic ‘words’.
Olympia, birthplace of the Olympics
Cross over to the Peloponnese, via the soaring Rio-Antirrio Bridge and continue to Olympia. See the Olympic Stadium where the original games were first held in 776 BC, plus the athletes’ gymnasium and the city’s ancient temples. In the evening, join a qualified chef for an entertaining cookery demonstration, followed by a delicious dinner of authentic Greek flavours.
Epidauros and Nafplion
Travel through the delightful Arcadian Mountains takes you into the heart of Argolis. Visit the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidauros with its superb 4th century BC theatre, still in use for the annual festival. Visit the museum and the Asclepeion before reaching the elegant seaside town of Nafplion.
Mycenae and the Sacred rocks of Athens
Head for the ruined city of Mycenae, featured in the epics of Homer. Walk through the Lion Gate, see the giant Cyclopean stones which were used to build the city walls and visit the 'beehive' tombs. Later, meet the artisans and view beautiful works of art at a family-run pottery studio. Continue across the breathtaking Corinth Canal and make your way back to Athens for a city sightseeing tour. The highlight, of course, is a visit to the Acropolis, dominating the frantic bustle of modern Athens with its serene presence. Admire the Parthenon, built in the honour of the goddess Athena and still amazing in its grace, despite the loss of the Elgin Marbles. Then see the Temple of Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. In the evening, enjoy a hearty Celebration Dinner in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.
Your tour comes to an end with a transfer to Athens Airport.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.
Kalambaka (Scenic) - Greece
The Divani Meteroa is surrounded by the majestic towering rocks known as Meteora, in the charming village of Kalambaka
Delphi (Central) - Greece
The Amalia hotel is located within walking distance from the famous attractions of Delphi, the Archaeological Museum, the temple of Apollo and the Castalia Fountain.
Olympia (Scenic) - Greece
Antonios/Arty Grand Hotel/Amalia, Olympia
Nauplia (Scenic) - Greece
Nafplia Palace is located on the slope of the ancient fortress of Akronafplia. It offers rooms with views of the Argolic Bay and spacious private balconies overlooking Nafplio and the Bourtzi island fort.
Athens (Central) - Greece
Divani Caravel/Crowne Plaza, Athens.
Notes: Seasonal adjustments and/or black out dates apply. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the order of this itinerary may change at short notice. 29 Dec: Includes a New Year's Eve Highlight Dinner in Kalambaka.