This four-day tour of classical Greece is a great way to make history come alive. You’ll visit sites such as Mycenae, Corinth Canal, Olympia, Delphi and mountain-top monasteries, with time to explore on your own after a guided introduction. The tour begins in Athens and includes coach transportation, accommodations, and breakfast and lunch daily.
Day 1: Athens – Corinth Canal – Mycenae – Epidaurus – Olympia
The first stop will be Corinth Canal, a man-made canal that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf and separates the Greek mainland from the Peloponneese. This canal was a long-time in the making: It was first proposed in the 1st century, but construction didn’t start until 1881. Though it was completed in two years, the 6.4-km (4-mile) long canal never generated the anticipated commercial traffic, and is now mainly used by tourists.
Up next is Mycenae, a major Greek civilization in the second millennium BC. At its peak, the citadel and tower town had about 30,000 residents; today, it has ruins. It is one of the major archaeological sites, dating back to prehistoric times, in Greece After a guided tour, you’ll have time to explore the ruins on your own, following in the footsteps of the Romans who were early tourists there. Mycenae had been abandoned by the time they arrived.
In the afternoon, you’ll travel to Epidaurus, said to be the birthplace of Asclepus, the god of medicine. As a result people flocked to this ancient Greek town in hopes of being cured, since it was the most famous healing center in the classical world. It also was known as a sanctuary and for its famous theatre, which is being used again in the 21st century. At its peak, Epidaurus was a wealthy city with many great buildings but today, it is an important archeological site. After your visit to Epidarus you’ll continue to Olympia (or to the seaport of Nauplia depending on the travel dates) to spend the night in a hotel.
Overnight: Amalia (4-star hotel) in Nauplia or Olympia (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Day 2: Olympia – Antirion – Delphi
The second day of the tour begins at Olympia where the first Olympics were held, beginning in the eighth century BC Ancient Olympia also was a sanctuary town with temples to Zeus, the father of Greek gods, and Hera, his wife. Olympia was a Greek national shrine back then, because of its many treasures, including a huge statue, made of ivory and gold, of Zeus; it was named one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.
In the afternoon, you’ll skip ahead a few millennia for a tour of Antirion (Antirrio). The scenic drive involves crossing over the Rion-Antirion Bridge on the Gulf of Corinth. This Greek landmark, which opened to traffic in 2014, is 1.8 miles long, making it one of the world’s longest fully suspended cable bridge. After spending free time exploring in Antirion and the nearby town of Nalpaklos, you’ll end the day with dinner at your hotel in Delphi.
Overnight: Parnassos or Hermes (3-star), or Amalia (4-star) in Delphi (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Day 3: Delphi – Kalambakka
The third day begins early because there’s so much to see in Delphi, a town that ancient Greeks thought was the center of the world. Today, Delphi is considered one of the most important archeological treasures in Europe. At the Delphi Archeological Museum, you’ll view artifacts dating back to 13th century BC. Top treasures include the Charioteer of Delphi and Sphinx of Naxos. In the late afternoon, you’ll travel through picturesque towns enroute to Kalambakka where you’ll overnight.
Overnight: 4-star or 3-star hotel in central Kalambakka (Breakfast and Dinner included)
Day 4: Kalambakka – Meteora – Athens
Awesome aptly describes what you’ll see today: mountaintop monasteries at Meteora, which translates as “suspended in the sky.” These 11th century Eastern Orthodox monasteries, built on natural pillars, are a good place to recharge your spiritual batteries, regardless of your religious preference. Your guide will walk you up a path to the six monasteries. Stunning views await those who make the climb. The tour returns to Athens, with stops Thermopylae and Kamena Voural hot springs along the way.