CHAT TOURS: Classical Tour with Meteora Four Days
Tour-Depart 8:30am/Return 7:00pm
Thursday departures on select dates.
Departures: Apr. – Oct. 2016,- Mon, Tues & Sat.
Nov. – Mar.-Every Mon.
DAY 1: Start from Athens and drive westwards along the scenic coast, stop for a short break at the Corinth Canal and enjoy the breathtaking views. The Corinth Canal is a junction of international sea transport that serves ships coming from the western Mediterranean and Adriatic en route to eastern Mediterranean and Black Sea ports and vice-versa.
Continue along the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf to Epidaurus. On the cape of “Nesi” at Palaia Epidaurus is the theater of the ancient city. The theater is quite well-preserved (Apart from a few rows of seats). The semicircular seating is made of limestone with poros staircases. The theater is marveled for its exceptional acoustics, which permits an almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken word from the ancient stage to all 12,000 spectators, regardless of their seating.
Then depart for Nauplia, the first capital of Greece in 1829. Stop in the town for a short visit. Continue to Mycenae. Mycenae, ‘Rich in Gold’, was the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon, first sung by Homer in his epics, is the most important and richest palatial centre of the Late Bronze Age in Greece. Its name was given to one of the greatest civilizations of Greece; the Mycenaean civilization. In the afternoon depart for Olympia – Dinner & overnight in Olympia (D).
DAY 2: Olympia, the most celebrated sanctuary of ancient Greece, dedicated to Zeus, the father of the gods. Olympia sprawls over the southwest foot of Mount Kronios, at the point where the Alpheios and the Kladeos rivers meet. in a lush, green landscape. Although secluded near the west coast of the Peloponnese, Olympia became the most important religious and athletic centers in Greece. The site is famous for the Olympic Games. The greatest national festival and highly prestigious world-wide games were held every four years to honor Zeus. Visit the Archaeological site & the museum. After drive via Patras to Rios, across the channel to Antirrion. Cross the “State of the Art” new suspension bridge considered to be the longest and most modern in Europe. Drive through the town of Nafpatktos then continue to Delphi – Dinner & overnight in Delphi. (B, D).
DAY 3: At the foot of Mount Parnassos, within an angle formed by the twin rocks of the Phaedriades, lies the Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, which had the most famous oracle of ancient Greece. Delphi was regarded as the center of the world. According to mythology, it is here that the two eagles sent out by Zeus from the ends of the universe to find the navel of the world met. The sanctuary of Delphi, set within a most spectacular landscape, was for many centuries the cultural and religious center and symbol of unity for the Hellenic world. It was the seat of the Pythian Games, the second most important games in Greece after the Olympics, which were held every four years.
Visit of the archaeological site and the museum. Among the many archeological treasures is the unique bronze statue of the Charioteer dedicated to Apollo by Polyzalos, the tyrant of Gela, in 478 B.C. when he won the chariot-race at the Pythian Games. This incomparable statue is an example of ”true” Attic style, the work of a major artist.
After, depart for Kalambaka. Stop for a short tour of the village.
Dinner & overnight in Kalambaka. (B, D)
DAY 4: Today, visit one of the most amazing places in Greece – Meteora!-Meaning ‘suspended in air’. The name Meteora soon came to encompass the entire rock community of 24 monasteries, the biggest and most important group of monasteries in Greece after those in Mount Athos There were no steps at the time and the main access to the monasteries was by means of a net that was hitched over a hook and hoisted up by rope and a hand cranked pulley. Monks descended in the nets or on retractable wooden ladders up to 130 feet long to the fertile valleys below to grow grapes, corn and potatoes. Each community developed its own resources and by the end of the 14th century, the Grand Meteoron emerged as the dominant community.
The rock monasteries have been named a world heritage site by UNESCO.
After, drive back to Athens, passing through, the ancient battle ground of Thermopylae and stop for some photos. (Date and time for the stop in Thermopylae is subject to change).