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Greece & TurkeyRegional Journey
Duration: 7 days Visiting: Greece
Welcome to Athens.
An Insight host will meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel, where there is time to settle in and relax. At 19:00, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception, and get to know your fellow travellers over a delightful evening of dinner and wine.
The Parthenon, Mycenae and on to Olympia.
Your exploration reveals this ancient city as your Local Expert takes you to the Parthenon, built atop the Acropolis. See the Temple of Athena Nike, also known as the Temple of the Wingless Victory, and the six stone-carved caryatids that make up the Porch of the Maidens on the Erechtheion. Your journey continues, following the shores of the Saronic Gulf to pass the Corinth Canal dividing the Peloponnese and mainland Greece. Arrive at the ruined city of Mycenae, featured in the epics of Homer. With your Local Expert, walk through the Lion Gate, visit the royal beehive-tombs and see the giant Cyclopean stones used to build the city walls. Meet the artisans and view beautiful works of art when you visit a family-run pottery studio. Travel on to the elegant town of Nafplio, known for it's beautiful architecture, colourful shops and cafes. You then continue to Olympia where dinner is served at your hotel.
It's all in the name. Ancient Olympia is the site where the Ancient Olympic Games began in 776 B.C., in dedication to the god Zeus. See the ruined Temple of Zeus that was built to honour the chief of the gods. Continue your exploration through time to the athletes gymnasium and the Ancient Stadium of Olympia with the characteristic arch. The starting and finishing markers for the sprint track are still marked by stones and there is time to capture your own memory with a photo at the starting line. In the evening, join a local chef for an entertaining cooking demonstration showcasing classic Greek cuisine. Experience the authentic Greek flavours as you savour dishes prepared for your Highlight Dinner.
Delphi, Centre of the Ancient World.
Travel north to Patras and cross the soaring Rio-Antirrio Bridge to the mainland. Follow the coastal road before stopping at the foothills of Mount Parnassus. Ascend the Sacred Way of Delphi with your Local Expert. Pass the Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians and Polygonal Wall with its interlocking stones still perfectly intact after thousands of years. You'll approach the Temple of Apollo, where for 14 centuries the mysterious Oracle of Delphi breathed her enigmatic ‘words,' rumoured to have successfully predicted events related to the Argonauts expedition and the Trojan War. Your journey continues to Kalambaka where dinner is served at your hotel.
The pinnacles of Meteora.
With your Local Expert, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora, meaning 'in the air.' The massive pinnacles of smooth rock are ancient, yet could also be the setting for a futuristic science-fiction tale. Visit one of the monasteries, that adds to the strange and beautiful landscape and enjoy stunning views over the Peneios Valley. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Why not explore with a relaxed walk on the nature trails? Alternatively, you may wish to visit the Natural History Museum.
Thermopylae and to Athens.
Journey south to Thermopylae, famous as the mountain pass where King Leonidas led his Spartan army, along with fellow Greek soldiers, into battle against the Persians in 480 B.C. See the memorial dedicated to Leonidas and his courageous Spartans. Travel on to Athens, City of Gods, to see the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Wingless Victory and Hadrian's Arch. In the evening, enjoy a hearty Celebration Dinner in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.
This morning after breakfast, your Grecian odyssey comes to an end. Take a complimentary transfer to Athens Airport for your onward journey.
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.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
Athens (Traditional) - Greece
Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre is located in the central Athens suburb of Ilissia, named after the hidden historic river that still flows below the main road. Your traditional, yet comfortable room offers all modern amenities to ensure you stay, whether short or long, is most enjoyable.
Olympia (Traditional) - Greece
This is a unique place that combines the energy, the space, the serenity of Ancient Olympia, set in a green landscape filled with olive trees. From every corner of the white marbled spacious lobby, guests enjoy the endless green scenery along with the open air terrace of the lounge café.
Kalambaka (Traditional) - Greece
Surrounded by the majestic, towering rocks known as Meteora, in the charming village of Kalambaka.