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Thermopylae

Culture & History

Our most recommended Thermopylae Culture & History

Athens: Meteora Small-Group Day Trip & Visit to Thermopylae

1. Athens: Meteora Small-Group Day Trip & Visit to Thermopylae

Admire the authentic mainland of Greece, first visiting the historic Thermopylae, the original location of the famous battle between ancient Greeks and Persians in 480 B.C. See the battlefield, the statue of King Leonidas and visit the museum. The journey continues with beautiful views of the mountains and fields until you reach Meteora.  Visit 2 of the 6 remaining Byzantine monasteries, built back in the 14th and 16th centuries. Take photos and videos of the marvelous landscape while your guide shares the local history. Afterward, your driver will take you to Kalambaka, a scenic town below the rocks with many options for a delicious traditional Greek lunch.  Visit the oldest church in the area, where you can see a Greek inscription on the wall which testifies to the existence of an ancient Greek temple at the same location. During your free time in Kalambaka, you may also visit the Natural History Museum.

Delphi, Thermopylae full day private tour from Athens

2. Delphi, Thermopylae full day private tour from Athens

The day begins with a pickup from Athens in a private, air-conditioned vehicle. Head to the UNESCO World Heritage listed site of Delphi where your sightseeing adventure awaits. At the site, enjoy the freedom to visit the landmarks that interest you most and customize the experience to suit your group. Highlights of Delphi include the 4th century B.C. Temple of Apollo, the Sanctuaries of Apollo and Athena Pronaia, the Statue of Leonidas, and the Delphi Archaeological Museum. There’s also ancient stadiums and theaters to marvel at, as well as the impressive Thermopylae where a famous battle took place. Later, enjoy a visit to the town of Delphi, or if you’d prefer, explore the charming village of Arachova. Stroll around and mingle with the locals, grab a coffee or lunch, and shop for souvenirs. At the end of an unforgettable day, sit back and relax on the return journey to Athens.

Delphi and Meteora: 3-Day Tour from Athens

3. Delphi and Meteora: 3-Day Tour from Athens

From the classic Temple of Apollo to the towering rock monasteries of Meteora, explore the iconic sights of Greece on an enthralling 3-day tour from Athens. Day 1: Venture through Thebes, Levadia, and Arachova, arriving at Delphi around noon. Once considered the center of the earth and the universe, this ancient city played a central role in the classical Greek world, home to the Temple of Apollo, where the Delphic Oracle was situated. Tour spectacular works of craftsmanship from the era at the Museum of Delphi, including the unique bronze Charioteer, the Naxian Sphinx, and the Statue of Antinoos. After perusing the extensive archaeological treasures on display, enjoy a free evening to discover the modern town on your own terms before settling in for the night. Day 2: Leave Delphi for a journey through Central Greece, including a short stop in the historic city of Lamia, before crossing the Thessalian plain to Kalabaka; a small town built at the foot of the majestic Meteora, crowned by the extraordinary monasteries that bare its name, providing for one of the country's most unique attractions. Spend the night in Kalabaka, considered to be one of the most beautiful places in all of Greece. Day 3: Ascend Meteora to tour 2 of the incredible cliff-top Byzantine monasteries. Marvel at the fantastic views over Kalabaka and beyond from atop of these sandstone towers, which for centuries provided totally inaccessible retreats for the residing monks. On return to Athens, stop briefly in Thermopylae to see the heroic monument of Leonidas, King of Sparta, then arrive back at the capital in the late afternoon.

Private Delphi & Thermopylae Tour from Athens

4. Private Delphi & Thermopylae Tour from Athens

See the Gates of Fire, deriving from the hot sulphur springs and the cavernous entrance to Hades. Experience the monument of King Leonidas, erected in 1955 and created by the sculptor Vasos Falireas. At the Thermopylae Museum, learn about the 480 BC battle that changed the course of Greek history and western civilization before seeing the baths of Thermopylae. In Delphi, see the Temple of Apollo, the Ancient Theater, the Stadium, the Athenian Treasury, the Gymnasium, and the Sanctuary of Athena Pronaia. The Naxian Sphinx, which dates to 560 BC, is a fascinating stop before seeing the Metopes of the Athenian Treasury, Omphalos, Kleobis and Biton, Statue of Antinoos, and the famous Charioteer. Enjoy a traditional lunch on the Caldera at Delphi, overlooking fabulous Itea and Amfissa before driving back to a designated location in Athens.

From Athens: Private Historic Tour to Marathon & Thermopylae

5. From Athens: Private Historic Tour to Marathon & Thermopylae

Visit some of the most interesting and exciting sites of historical battles in the ancient Greek world, and learn about the battles while doing so. See the sites of the Battle of Marathon and the Battle of Thermopylae, and see their associated museums and monuments. Learn about the Battle of Marathon, during the second campaign of the Persians against Greece, and how the Persians and Greeks fought on the plain of Marathon in 490 BC. Visit the Archaeological Museum of Marathon, which explores the history of the area from prehistoric times to the Roman period with archaeological finds from different periods in the area's history. See finds from the tombs of those who died in the battle, and items from the Roman Sanctuary of the Egyptian gods in Brexiza. Move on to the site of the Battle in the Straits of Thermopylae, and learn about Leonidas of Sparta, and the heroic efforts of the heavily outnumbered Greek forces. See the statue of Leonidas and the Thermopylae Museum, its three exhibition halls, and multimedia presentations. Stop at the springs of Thermopylae, and see the hot thermal water that runs through the area and stays at 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) year-round. Take a coffee break here, where Hercules stopped to enjoy the natural spa after his triumphs. Return to Athens at the end of the day.

From Athens: Meteora and Delphi Private 2-Day Tour

6. From Athens: Meteora and Delphi Private 2-Day Tour

Leave Athens for a wondrous tour of ancient Greece. With a private driver and an overnight stay in Meteora, enjoy plenty of time to appreciate the exciting landmarks and towns that lie beyond the capital. Sample the local cuisine, learn about Greek mythology, and glimpse into the distant past. Before reaching Delphi, see the plain of Boeotia, the birthplace of King Oedipus and origin of many great legends. Pause at the Oracle of Delphi and Castalian Spring, a source of inspiration for generations of poets and warriors. Break for lunch in Arachova and head for Kalambaka where you’ll spend the night. Enjoy a leisurely stroll through the charming streets of these villages in Meteora. Check-in at your hotel with plenty of time to catch a sunset tour on the Meteora Rocks. Your driver will pick you up after a buffet breakfast to visit the Byzantine Monasteries of Meteora. See why these otherworldly structures that stretch to the sky are a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site. Next, tour some picturesque surrounding villages and dig into a traditional Greek lunch. Make a short stop at Thermopylae to admire the statue of Leonidas, a memorial of the battle of the 300 Spartans against thousands of Persian soldiers. Arrive back in your hotel in Athens that evening.

Private 2-Day Tour to Delphi, Meteora & Thermopylae

7. Private 2-Day Tour to Delphi, Meteora & Thermopylae

Start your two-day tour at the Delphi archaeological site to see the Castalian Spring, ancient sanctuary of Apollo, the treasury of the Athenians, the ancient stadium, and the theater. See artifacts from as far back as the 15th century BC, including the Naxian Sphinx, the statue of Antinoos, and a bronze sculpture of a charioteer. Visit the UNESCO-listed Osios Loukas Monastery before heading to the Arachova mountain village for lunch. After overnighting in Meteora, start your second day ascending upwards to the monasteries built on a natural formation of sandstone rock pillars from the 14th century. Head south towards the site of Thermopylae. Explore the monument and enter the newly-built visitor’s center, which recreates the ancient battle where King Leonidas famously led 300 Spartans into battle in 480 B.C. After pausing for lunch or a break by the sea in one of the many local villages, end the experience with lasting memories and photos.

Greece: 5-Day Tour of Classical Greek Sites from Athens

8. Greece: 5-Day Tour of Classical Greek Sites from Athens

Discover the essential sites of classical Greece on an immersive 5-day tour from Athens, and marvel at the ruins of Epidaurus, Mycenae, Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi, and Meteora. Follow in the footsteps of Greek gods in Delphi, and explore the Byzantine monasteries of Meteora. Admire feats of engineering, such as the Corinth Canal and modern Rio–Antirrio Bridge, and much more. Day 1: Depart from Athens for the Corinth Canal, a masterpiece of engineering that connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. Continue to Epidaurus to visit the UNESCO World Heritage monument reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo's son Asklepios, and the most celebrated healing center of the classical world. See the well preserved theater, still in use today thanks to its amazing acoustics. Your next stop will be Nafplia, where the afternoon is at leisure to walk in the old town or visit the new Nafplion Gallery to see paintings dedicated to the Greek Revolution of 1821. Overnight at Nafplion. Day 2: Depart Nafplion at around 12:30, traveling through the plain of Argos to Mycenae, where you will see the Tomb of Agamemnon. Then, depart for Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, driving through the cities of Tripolis and Megalopolis along the way. Overnight in Olympia. Day 3: Visit the archaeological site of Olympia to see the Temple of Zeus, Temple of Hera, and altar of the Olympic Flame. Admire the historic Olympic Stadium and learn more about the site at the dedicated museum. Continue to Rion via Patras, crossing the channel to Antirion on the new, state-of-the-art suspension bridge. Pass the city of Nafpaktos, before traveling along the coastal road to Delphi, known in ancient times as the “Navel of the World.” Visit the picturesque mountain village of Arachova in the afternoon, before an overnight stay in Delphi. Day 4: Explore the archaeological ruins of Delphi, where the museum contains the famous bronze Charioteer, Naxian Sphinx, and Statue of Antinoos, providing an insight into ancient Greek culture and history. Get spectacular views of the surrounding mountains from the Temple of Apollo, famed for its oracle. In the afternoon, you will drive through central Greece, passing the cities of Lamia and Kalambaka en route the Byzantine monasteries of Meteora. Overnight in Kalambaka. Day 5: Spend the morning exploring the mountain monasteries of Meteora, including the cliff-top Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron, accessible via rock-cut stairs. On your return to Athens, there is an optional stop at a factory that makes Byzantine style icons. Continue to Athens, via the heroic monument of Leonidas (King of Sparta) at Thermopylae, before an arrival in the Greek capital in the late afternoon.

Meteora full day private tour from Athens

9. Meteora full day private tour from Athens

We start our tour early in the morning from Athens till Meteora. Our driver will pick you up from your hotel/ apartment or the airport/ port. The travel time is about 4,5 hours. The first stop is at Kalabaka, a town of the municipality of Meteora in the Trikala regional unit, part of Thessaly in Greece. The population was 12,000 at the 2011 census, of which 8,330 in the town proper. The Meteora monasteries are located near the town. We arrive at Meteora and visit up to three Monasteries. Breathtaking at first site, the Monasteries are of great cultural and natural importance. Split from earthquakes, weathered from the wind and the water over millions of millions of years, these immense rocks are an authentic masterpiece of mother nature. The Meteora is a rock formation in central Greece hosting one of the largest and most precipitously built complexes of Eastern Orthodox Monasteries. The six (of an original 24) monasteries are built on immense natural pillars and hill-like rounded boulders that dominate the local area. Meteora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List and the name means "lofty", "elevated", and is etymologically related to meteor. Please be modestly dressed. Women are suggested to wear long skirts & long sleeves. If you do not have, you will be given a skirt on your way in. Next stop is at Kastraki, a picturesque village near Meteora, where we have free time for lunch at a traditional Greek tavern with your friends and family or shopping. As we leave the magnificent Meteora behind us, let us not overlook the Battle of Thermopylae of 480 BCE, which has long been the topic of cultural motivation, as it is perhaps the most famous military last stand of all time. The monument of the Great Leonidas, King of Sparta, in Thermopylae, will grace our path on our way back to Athens in the late afternoon. The drive is about 4,5 hours.

From Athens: City, Delphi, Meteora, and Santorini Tour

10. From Athens: City, Delphi, Meteora, and Santorini Tour

Experience Athens, Santorini, and points beyond on this tour. Wander the ancient temples of the Acropolis. Visit the monasteries around Meteora. Watch the sun set during a cruise around Santorini. Day 1Meet your driver at Athens airport for transfer to your hotel. Enjoy some free time in the city after checking in. Day 2Admire the Parthenon and the other archaeological wonders around the Acropolis. Spend time wandering the narrow streets of Plaka. The area is full of traditional architecture and culture.  Day 3Enjoy the scenery away from Athens. Discover the winter village of Arachova nestled in the mountains. Visit the historical sites and museums of Delphi, once home to the oracle of ancient Greek legends. End your day in the town of Kalambaka. Day 4Visit two of the monasteries of Meteora built on the cliffs above the town of Kalambaka. Learn more about the lives of monks. Dine on a traditional Greek lunch back in Kalambaka. Stop in Thermopylae to check out a statue of Leonidas, leader of the famed 300 Spartans. Return to Athens. Day 5Get an early start and catch a ferry to Santorini. Meet your driver on the island and transfer to your hotel. Explore during the area during the rest of your day. Enjoy the island’s renowned white buildings and sweeping views of the Mediterranean Sea. Day 6Spend your morning in town. Explore the shops or stroll around. Meet your driver at the hotel in the afternoon. Take a cruise around the island while enjoying a buffet. Marvel at Santorini’s volcano and hot springs. Enjoy the sunset sailing in the caldera. Savor Greek delicacies prepared onboard.  Day 7Return to Athens on the ferry. Enjoy views of the islands and the sea. Meet your driver at the terminal for the return to your hotel. Day 8Meet your driver at the hotel for return to the airport.

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What people are saying about Thermopylae

It was a complete treat to travel with Takis, our friendly driver, out from Athens to Thermopylae and on to Delphi, coming home via Arachova. This was a most relaxed way to experience these rich archeological sites with no rush and lots of much appreciated local advice and information along the way – including a delicious lunch recommendation with a spectacular view in Delphi itself. It was great to experience the juxtaposition of the sparse site of the Battle of Thermopylae with the vast number of ruins on the site at Delphi, and the drive out from Athens, between all the sites, and back into Athens was beautiful to experience as a passenger. The car was comfortable and the cold water was much appreciated. The drive through the UNESCO listed olive groves that surround Delphi as an unexpected highlight as well. Very grateful we were able to do this: it was a day to remember.

Really good experience glad we went for this over the train. It's quite a long journey but well worth it. Pick up was prompt, in a nice MPV. We even managed to get some sleep on the journey and we had a rest stop about half way there. We were dropped off as close to the entrance as possible at 3 of the monasteries with no time limits, enabling us to spend more time at Varlaam and less time at the Holy Trinity. Our driver also stopped off at a few viewing spots. Return journey was also good with the stop at Thermopylae and another rest stop.

This trip is not to be missed! We enjoyed the ride to Delphi which passed by a very beautiful town. At Delphi, we witnessed a magnificent view of the entire place and a gorgeous mountain view. We enjoyed this visit way more than Acropolis. Many thanks to our driver guide, George who picked us up on time, provided us sufficient time for toilet breaks and recommended a nice family restaurant where we enjoyed the most delicious Greek meal.

The Conpany Ancient Greece Tours was wonderful. We highly recommend our guide, Yannis with a (z)" to guide your tour! Thank you!

very knowledgeable, stress free traveling. great time management. safe driver.