Capital : ATHENS
Languages : GREEK AND MOST EUROPEAN LANGUAGES
Currency : EURO CODE
Climate : SUMMERS TEND TO BE VERY HOT,WINTER IS VERY CHANGEABLE BUT USUALLY QUITE COLD & HUMID
Clothing : MAY -SEPTEMBER LIGHT WEIGHT COTTONs . THE REMAINDING MONTHS MAY BE COLD AND WET SO A WARM COAT AND RAINCOAT WILL BE NECESSARY
(Fri.) Board your overnight transatlantic flight.
(Sat.) Time to rest or to start exploring the Hellenic capital. At 6 p.m. meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink with your Tour Director.
(Sun.) Motor along the coast to the bridge crossing the spectacular Corinth Canal, then visit ANCIENT CORINTH, where St. Paul preached. Two more major features today: MYCENAE, where 19th-century excavations reveal impressions of the splendors so vividly described by Homer. Admire the Beehive Tombs, the Treasury of Atreus, Lion Gate, Europe’s oldest known monument, remains of Agamemnon’s Royal Palace, and the impressive fortifications of the Citadel. Then a short drive to EPIDAURUS for a tour of its amazingly well-preserved 2,300-year-old open-air theater. Overnight in nearby Nauplia. (BB,D)
(Mon.) Spectacular scenery on the way through the Arkadian Mountains. Then an afternoon in OLYMPIA, where the athletes of antiquity performed in honor of the King of Deities. Learn about the history of those original Olympic Games as you walk among the impressive remains of the Gymnasium and the Temples of Hera and Zeus. Also visit the MUSEUM which displays Praxiteles’ magnificent statue of Hermes. (BB,D)
(Tue.) Drive to the busy seaport of Patras, and proceed through the picturesque fishing villages along the south coast of the mainland to mystic Delphi. The afternoon is devoted to a fascinating tour of the ancient sanctuary of the god Apollo in its dramatic setting on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Hear about the Oracle and tour the EXCAVATIONS. End the day with a visit to the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM to admire the Charioteer, an extraordinary 5th-century B.C. bronze statue. (BB,D)
(Wed.) North via Lamia and Trikala to Kalambaka for an afternoon in the unreal, fantastic landscape of Meteora with its 24 rock-top monasteries. We have selected two of them for you to visit: VARLAAM MONASTERY, famous for its frescoes, and ST. STEPHEN’S, featuring a unique collection of icons and an incredible panoramic view. (BB,D)
(Thu.) Past Larisa to the comfortable coastal highway. Today’s highlight is a visit to THERMOPYLAE, the site of the heroic battle of Leonidas’ 300 doomed Spartans against Xerxes’ huge Persian army. On the way back to Athens, your Tour Director will tell you about Thebes, the setting of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, and Marathon, where in 490 B.C. 10,000 Athenians defeated more than twice that number of Persian invaders. (BB)
(Fri.) Sightseeing with a Local Guide features the Parthenon’s crowning beauty atop the ACROPOLIS, the Erechtheum with its Porch of Maidens, the beautifully preserved Theseum, Roman Temple of Zeus, Theater of Dionysus and the Agora where Socrates taught. Vistas of the Royal Palace, government buildings, and elegant homes in the modern city provide a striking contrast to the remains of the glorious past. The rest of the day is at leisure. Tonight, why not try out local fare and entertainment reminiscent of Zorba the Greek for a fitting farewell to this fascinating country? (BB)
(Sat.) Your homebound flight arrives the same day. (BB)