Full Tour of the Peloponnese, Delphi & Meteora (from Athens) 4 days, 3 nights
- Duration: 84 Hours (approx.)
- Location: ATHENS, ATTICA
- Product code: A FULL TOUR OF THE PELOPONNESE, DELPHI & METEORA 4 days, 3 nights CATT.
We first go to the Isthmus of Corinth, a narrow piece of land connecting mainland Greece and the Peloponnese. There we will see the manmade canal which connects the Corinthian and the Saronic Gulfs. The canal was finished in 1893, but its history dates to as early as 602 BC. It has a length of over 6km, and its sides are 78m tall at the highest point. There are bridges across the canal for cars and people to pass, and which sink up to 12m underwater to let boats through.
The ancient city-state of Corinth was located on the narrow strip of land connecting the Peloponnese to mainland Greece, known as the Isthmus of Corinth. It is a site of extraordinary history, being inhabited for the first time in the Neolithic Period.In ancient times, the city grew wealthy due to this strategic location and its control of the transportation of ships from the Corinthian to the Saronic Gulfs, and vice versa. It became one of the most important trade powers in ancient Greece, rivalling Athens and Thebes, and had an extensive network of colonies.
In 400 BC it had a population of 90,000 people. In addition to being in a strategic location, at the intersection between east and west, it was also on fertile soil.
It was also the location of countless ancient myths, such as the myth of Sisyphus. Games – including the Olympics – were held in the devotional area of Isthmia. The ancient city was destroyed by the Romans, who built a new city in its place.
With a professional guide, we see extensive ruins columns of the Temple of Apollo that testify to Corinth’s great prosperity. These have been uncovered since 1896 by the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and the Greek Ministry of Culture. It is also one of the places that Saint Paul visited and wrote letters to.
THE ANCIENT THEATRE OF EPIDAURUS
We travel to Epidaurus and see the world-renowned Epidaurus theatre. Built in the 4th century BC, it is famous for its acoustics, which are so perfect that words spoken on stage can be heard perfectly wherever you are in the audience.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF MYCENAE
The Homeric city of Mycenae was one of the first great centres of the Greek culture; settlement on this site dates back to the second millennium BC. According to Homer, Mycenae was the seat of Agamemnon, who led the Greeks against the Trojans to take back Helen, the wife of his brother Menelaus. The ruins of the ancient city are famous for the amazing “Cyclopean walls” - so named because the later Greeks thought that only a Cyclops could move such huge rocks into place. You will see the Lion Gate, which formed the entrance to the royal court and palace.
Stepping forward in history, we see the Palamidi Castle in Nafplio, built by the Venetians and famous for supposedly having 999 steps. According to legend, there were once 1000 steps leading to the castle, but one of them was crushed by Theodoros Kolokotronis, a leader of the Greek war of independence, during celebrations for a victory against the Ottomans.
Accommodation: We stay overnight at Epidaurus or Nafplio in a 3- or 4-star hotel or a small boutique hotel depending on availability, usually: Nafsimedon Hotel, Xenon Inn, Hotel Ippoliti, Apollon Hotel, Amalia Hotel Nafplio.
ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE OF ANCIENT OLYMPIA
We head to the valley of the river Alfios where a professional guide accompanies us to see the ruins of the ancient Olympia, the historic site of the Olympic Games. This was the greatest of the Panhellenic Games and every four years Greeks from all the different city-states would put aside their disputes and come together to compete.
The importance of Olympia can still be seen from its ruins, including the Temple of Zeus, which once contained a 13 meter statue of the god made of gold and ivory, the Temple of Hera, the stadium and the Shrine of Pelops. Even today, the Olympic Flame is lit in Olympia and then taken on a relay across the world to end up in the city hosting the Olympic Games.
Along with a professional guide, we visit Delphi - considered the religious centre of the ancient Greek world and the seat of Pythia, the greatest oracle. Located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo overlook the timeless beauty of the ancient landscape. People from all over Greece would travel to ask advice from Pythia, the oracle of Apollo. In fact, in some of the most important moments in history, her words had a great effect on the course of events, and it is recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.The Temple of Apollo is the centre of an extensive archaeological site that includes the Treasuries of the Siphnians and the Athenians, a theatre, and a stadium. We also visit the museum, which houses the famous Delphic Charioteer and the statue of Antinous, the lover of Hadrian.
The picturesque mountain resort of Arachova is one of the most popular places near Athens for skiing in the winter. There we will relax, enjoy the beautiful views, or have a coffee at one of the many charming cafés.
We then visit the site and museum of Leonidas’ 300 Spartans stand against the mighty army of the Xerxes of Persia - Thermopylae, or the “Hot Gates”. The Spartans and their allies lured the Persian army to this narrow pass between the cliffs and the sea and although they were defeated, their bravery allowed the other Greek city-states to mobilise and finally defeat the Persians at the Battle of Salamis.
KALAMBAKA -- METEORAFinally, we reach Meteora, where we stay. We will have dinner and enjoy the view of the monasteries that we visit the next day.
Accommodation: We stay overnight in Kalambaka-Meteora in a 3- or 4-star hotel or a small boutique hotel depending on availability, usually: Pyrgos Adrachti Hotel, Tsikeli Hotel (adults only), Doupiani House, Amalia Hotel Kalambaka.
At the stunning, fairy tale landscape of Meteora, we visit at least three monasteries (or more, time permitting), two of which are guided with a professional guide, before having a meal and returning to Athens late in the afternoon.
Monastery Holy Trinity (Agia Triada)
Monastery of Rousanou
EXTRAS that you can purchase while booking:
• Admission fees
• Accommodation in 3- or 4-star hotel, depending on availability
• Wholly private tour (your party only)
• Transportation to and from your central hotel in Athens or Piraeus
• Transportation to and from the cruise terminal of Piraeus port and Athens International Airport
• Professional guide at Ancient Corinth, Ancient Olympia, Delphi and two monasteries at Meteora
• Professional, English-speaking driver, who provides information and tips and does not enter the sites
• All fuel surcharges and toll roads
• Admission fees
• Accommodation in hotels
• Lunch or dinner each day for each passenger
• Coffee, drinks, and snacks
• By booking you must deposit 20% of the amount or full amount
• You will be charged the rest (80%) of full amount 8 days before tour date
• Prices on bookings are for adults and children above 12
• If you have children under 12 or infants please contact us before booking so we can inform you for the extra charge
• Children under 18 must be accompanied by an adult
• All prices are for 1 private vehicle, for 1 to 3 passengers with a sedan, 4-7 passengers with a minivan, usually Mercedes Benz and 8-14 passengers with a Mercedes Benz minibus
• You must be able to walk on unpaved or uneven terrain; otherwise the driver will do their best for you to see most of the sites
• Departure time is usually between 5:00am-9:00am, based on your preference!
• Duration: 4 days, 3 night
• We reserve the right to cancel a booking for a full refund in the case of bad weather or site closures
• Our drivers are professional, friendly, and knowledgeable. Their priority is your satisfaction and safety. All our drivers speak English and are ready to help and to provide tips!
• Our cars are well-maintained, clean, and have free Wi-Fi. Baby chairs, wheelchairs and most phone chargers are available on request, at no additional charge
• We reserve the right to cancel a booking for a full refund in the case of bad weather or site closures and health issues
• You can cancel free of charge up to 7 days in advance of the scheduled departure
• Cancellations between 3 and 6 days in advance of the tour incur a 50% cancellation fee
• Cancellations within 2 days of the scheduled departure incur a 100% cancellation fee
• After that time, no changes to pick-up times and no refunds or cancellations can be made
For any questions we will be more than happy to answer within 24 hours.