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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.