Ancient Greek Discovery Tour
Ancient Greek Discovery Tour
Embark on this authentic 10 day escorted small group tour of Greece and immerse yourself in the realm of classical Greece.
Traverse the fabled Peloponnese, where myths come to life, and explore the resplendent cities of Macedonia – once the very abode of Alexander the Great, who embarked on his illustrious expedition to the East. Witness the geological marvels of the Thessalian Meteora, a testament to nature's grandeur, transformed into Christian monastic havens during the late Byzantine era.
Our tour will venture into the heart of Greece's enchanting landscapes. Exquisite beaches we've thoughtfully curated for your enjoyment which are perfect havens for both relaxation and rejuvenating swims. Delve into the annals of Greek mythology and history, as their most glorious chapters unfold before you. And no voyage to Greece would be complete without savouring its culinary wonders.
Join us on this true odyssey, where every step brings you closer to the soul of Greece. This tour is a tapestry woven with ancient legends, natural splendours, and unforgettable experiences.
Day 1 – Corinth Canal and Epidaurus
We leave from Athens and travel to the famous Canal of Corinth, where we will visit the Museum of Ancient Corinth and the archaeological site. We will see the temple of Apollo, the fountain of Peirene and the spot from where the Apostle Paul spoke to the locals. Our tour will then continue as we will find ourselves in the town of Loutraki and Iraion (Ancient sanctuary) where we will dive into the blue waters of the fantastic Lake Vouliagmeni. Enjoy lunch in the tavern by the lake, before we drive south to Ancient Epidaurus, the archaeological site of Asklepieion. During our visit we will be able to watch an Ancient Theatre performance in the evening (from late June to mid-August). Our evening will be completed with a dinner at a historic tavern in Lygourio or in Nafplio.
Overnight stay at Nafplio
Driving distance today is 210 Km: about 3 hours’ drive
Day 2 - Ancient Mycenae
Leaving this morning, we depart for Palamidi, the huge castle on the hill. From there we have a panoramic view of the Argolis plain and get a deep immersion into the Greek mythology, prehistory and history. We can imagine the figures of Perseus, Adrastos, Atreus, Hercules, Agamemnon, Ifigeneia, Orestes, the monster Hydra in Lerna and so many others. The glory of Greece is in front of us.
A few kilometres below, opposite the Argolic Bay we will visit the Ancient Mycenae, one of the most glorious cities of Argolis. (a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site) This is one of the most popular archaeological sites in Greece. We will learn about its history, as it was the realm of mythical Agamemnon, and it is considered to be the most important and richest palace of the late Bronze Age. We will enjoy a wine tasting with traditional Greek food at a local winery, before we travel to Argos, the most ancient city in Europe and the springs of Lerna, where you can dive into the waters of the Amymoni river. We will have lunch at a local fish tavern at the village Myli by the sea before we visit the romantic city of Nafplio where we end our day with dinner.
Overnight stay in Nafplio.
Driving distance today is 110 Km: about 1 hour and 45 minutes’ drive
Day 3 – Sparta and Monemvasia
Our tour continues today to Sparta, the glorious ancient city of the south Peloponnese. This is the city of Tyndareus, his sons Castor and Pollux, Menelaus and the beautiful Helen, and the city of so many heroes. Unfortunately, today there is not much left of the famous city. Fanatic priests in the 18th Century destroyed what was left after the earthquakes and the wear of time. We visit the river Evrotas, the statue of Leonidas, the archaeological site and the archaeological Museum. Then we head to the enchanting castle of Mystras (a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site), where from the top of the hill we will descend the narrow corridors and the streets of the castle-city. We will visit the castle, the Byzantine churches, the monasteries and the palace of Palaiologoi.
We will try the local food in Mistras or Sparta and after lunch we will get to the romantic town of Monemvasia. Here we can wander in the uniquely preserved medieval castle-city roads with its arched alleys, churches and mansions. Overnight at a romantic hotel in the castle of Monemvasia.
Driving distance today is 300 Km: about 4 hours’ drive
Day 4 - Diros Caves and Cape Tainaron
Depart for Gytheion, the largest and one of the most beautiful cities of Mani. Once there, we will have a walk on the dock and the isle of Kranai, where Paris and the beautiful Helen spent their first night before sailing for Troy. We will take a boat trip to visit the beautiful and exquisite Diros Caves. The crystal-studded stalactites and stalagmites are spectacular in shades of rose, green, amber, black, blood red, and purple.
Our next stop is Cape Tainaron (Cavo Matapan) located in the middle leg of the Peloponnese peninsula. Here we visit the small temple of Poseidon, which also functioned as a necromancy. Following a good path, we will reach the lighthouse (optional), built in 1882 and which dominates the Cape Tainaron, said to be the 2nd southernmost tip of continental Europe. Walking back we take our bus and drive to the beautiful bay of Porto Kagio, where we will have our lunch in a local fish tavern by the sea. On the way back to Areopolis we will visit the settlement of Vathia, the most photographed traditional settlement of the Peloponnese, and the beautiful settlement of Gerolimenas.
We are now in the heart of Mani, and Areopolis, with its central location is its capital. We will have the opportunity to see this beautiful small town, the gorgeous coastal settlement of Limeni in the bay of Oitylon and also the magical coastal settlements of Neo Oitylo and Karavostasi. In the evening we will walk in the traditional part of Areopolis and admire the local architecture, the towers and the churches. A traditional dinner at a local tavern will follow.
Overnight at Aeropolis or Limeni.
Driving distance today is 190 Km: about 3 hours and 20 minutes’ drive
Day 5 - Kalamata
Today we head to the Messenian Mani and Kalamata. This is a gorgeous city, the capital of the district of Messinia. We stop at Stoupa for a swim at the famous beach of Kalogria and the fabulous bay of Phoneas gorge. We are close to Kardamili, a beautiful seaside village famous for its rich traditional cuisine. We will have lunch before take a tour through the fascinating city of Kalamata. We will also visit Pylos, a small town built in the bay of Navarino. Here we will stop at Heroes Square for a coffee. Dinner in a local tavern in Pylos.
Overnight stay in Pylos.
Driving distance today is 140 Km: about 2 hours and 45 minutes’ drive
Day 6 - Ancient Olympia
After our breakfast, why not take a morning dip at Voidokilia beach. Its golden sand and its blue-green waters make it without doubt one of the most beautiful and impressive beaches in the Mediterranean Sea. Then it is worth visiting the Palace of Nestor, the legendary wise king of Pylos, who took part in the Troy campaign.
On our way to Ancient Olympia we will have lunch in the fishing village of Kakovaton, about an hour’s drive before getting to Ancient Olympia. We arrive at Ancient Olympia for a journey back in time to the greatness of ancient Greece and to the place that gave birth to the Olympic Games. We ‘ll visit the Museum, the archaeological site (a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage site) and the ancient Olympic stadium. Here we will have the opportunity to see, among others, the Temple of Zeus, the ancient stadium. You will also see the spot where the Olympic flame lights up before traveling to the place where the Summer and Winter Olympics take place. You can enjoy a late afternoon walk in a scenic landscape on the road above the ancient stadium leading to the Olympic Academy premises. Dinner at a local tavern.
Overnight stay in Olympia.
Driving distance today is 120 Km: about 1 hour and 50 minutes’ drive
Day 7 – Cog Railway and Vouraikos Gorge
Our Ancient Greek Discovery tour continues as we pass Foloi forest, the traditional village of Divri (Lampeia), the water springs of Aroanios river and finally to Kalavryta. This is a small town suffered a massacre (known as the holocaust of Kalavryta) in December 1943 by Nazi troops with the near extermination of the male population and the total destruction of the town. In the winter the town is very popular with people visiting the nearby ski centre at Mount Chelmos. Yes, you read that correctly! Skiing in Greece. For skiing and snowboarding, there are 12.2 km of slopes available in Chelmos.
After walking down the main road of the town we will visit the Monastery of Mega Spileon and the village of Zachlorou from where we will take the Cog railway to Diakofton. Enjoy the natural beauty of Vouraikos gorge as you travel on the cog railway. Continuing our trip, we will reach the Rio – Antirio bridge, one of the world’s longest multi-span cable-stayed bridges. The 2,380-metre-long bridge crosses the Gulf of Corinth near Patras, linking the town of Rio (on the Peloponnese peninsula) to the town of Antirio on mainland Greece. We will arrive in Delphi, where we will spend the night.
Dinner and overnight at Delphi or Arachova.
Driving distance today is 280 Km: about 4 hours’ drive
Day 8 - Dephi
We visit the popular archaeological site of Delphi, also known as “the navel of the world”. It constitutes the point where the most important religious centre of antiquity was founded and flourished. This archaeological site was declared a UNESCO Cultural Heritage Site in 1987. We will spend about three hours exploring the archaeological site of Delphi, the Kastalia Fountain, the Temple of Athena Pronaia, the Temple of Apollo, the Sacred Way, the Ancient Stadium of Delphi and the Ancient Theatre, as well as the Archaeological Museum of Delphi. At noon we visit the village of Arachova and take a walk to explore this mountainous village before we leave for Meteora.
Overnight stay at Meteora.
Driving distance today is 316 Km: about 3 hours’ drive
Day 9 - Meteora
Today we will see the world-famous Byzantine monasteries at Meteora, built on the tops of the imposing rocks. Their history goes back to the 14th century when the monks sought refuge in the caves of the rocks. We visit the monasteries of Grand Meteoron, Holy Trinity, Varlaam & Roussanou (guided by a local guide). Our lunch will be at a good tavern in Kastraki.
In the afternoon we leave for the city of Veria, a rural city that produces and exports peaches and had the honour to host Apostle Paul, who, after he had left the city, wrote a letter to the first Christian community of Veria. Take a walk in the town and we will see the spot from where the Apostle Paul spoke to the locals.
Overnight stay at Veria
Driving distance today is 160 Km: about 2 hours’ drive
Day 10 – Return to Athens
After breakfast we leave for Vergina to visit the Archaeological site of Aigai, the first capital of Macedonia. This has been awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as “an exceptional testimony to a significant development in European civilization, at the transition from classical city-state to the imperial structure of the Hellenistic and Roman periods”. In 336 BC Philip II was assassinated in Aigai’s theatre and his son, Alexander the Great, was proclaimed king.
We will see and admire the burial sites of several kings of Macedonia, including the tomb of Philip II which had not been disturbed or looted, unlike so many of the other tombs there. Then we drive south (45 min.) to the archaeological site of Dion, located at the foot of Mount Olympus and best known for its great ancient Macedonian sanctuary of Zeus. Philip II and Alexander the Great celebrated victories here, and Alexander assembled his armies and performed sacrifices on the eve of his campaign to Asia in 334 BC. After our lunch in a local tavern we depart for Athens through the historical battlefield of Thermopylae, where 300 Spartans stood against the huge Persian army. We will have a coffee near the beautiful beach of Kamena Vourla before we arrive in Athens in the evening.
Driving distance today is 450 Km: about 4 hours’ drive
Get in touch with Our Local Tour to book the Ancient Greek Discovery Tour
Every Friday from Athens between March and October.
Price - £2695 per person (based on two people sharing)
Single Supplement - £550
Tours commence at 08:00 on the starting date and finish between 21:00 and 22:00 on the finishing point.
Contact us for pre and post tour hotels in Athens and airport transfers if required.
Included in the Ancient Greek Discovery Tour
Not Included in the Ancient Greek Discovery Tour
Government Travel Safety Advice
We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice. Please refer to the COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry.
Visa and Passport Information
If you are planning to travel to an EU country (except Ireland), or Switzerland, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Andorra, Monaco, San Marino or Vatican City, you must follow the Schengen area passport requirements.
Your passport must be:
issued less than 10 years before the date you enter the country (check the ‘date of issue’)
valid for at least 3 months after the day you plan to leave (check the ‘expiry date’)
You must check your passport meets these requirements before you travel. If your passport was issued before 1 October 2018, extra months may have been added to its expiry date.
Contact the embassy of the country you are visiting if you think that your passport does not meet both these requirements. Renew your passport if you need to.
You can travel to countries in the Schengen area for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if you travel as a tourist, to visit family or friends, to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events, or for short-term studies or training. If you are travelling to Greece and other Schengen countries without a visa, make sure your whole visit is within the 90-day limit. Visits to Schengen countries within the previous 180 days before you travel count towards your 90 days.
To stay longer, to work or study, for business or for other reasons, you will need to meet the Greek government’s entry requirements. Check with the Greek Embassy what type of visa and/or work permit, if any, you may need. If you are travelling to Greece for work, read the guidance on visas and permits. If you stay in Greece with a residence permit or long-stay visa, this does not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.
Check your passport is stamped if you enter or exit the Schengen area through Greece as a visitor. Border guards will use passport stamps to check you’re complying with the 90-day visa-free limit for short stays in the Schengen area. If relevant entry or exit stamps are not in your passport, border guards will presume that you have overstayed your visa-free limit.
You can show evidence of when and where you entered or exited the Schengen area, and ask the border guards to add this date and location in your passport. Examples of acceptable evidence include boarding passes and tickets.
You may also need to:
show a return or onward ticket
show you have enough money for your stay
Travelling with medication
According to Greek law, a visitor can bring up to 5 different prescribed medicines for personal use, with a maximum of 2 boxes of each medicine. Some prescribed and over-the-counter medicines available in the UK, including medication containing codeine, are considered controlled substances in Greece. A doctor’s prescription is required in all cases, which should mention your details, the types of medicine and the condition treated. On arrival, Greek Customs may in some cases require you to obtain permission from the Greek National Organisation of Medicines - if you need to carry more than the permitted number of boxes, for example. The National Organisation of Medicines examines these requests on a case by case basis.
For more information on controlled medicines, contact the Greek National Organisation of Medicines (telephone: 0030 213 2040 285 / 307 / 225, open Monday to Friday, 12pm to 3pm Greece time.
What to bring on your escorted tour of Ancient Greece
Lightweight clothing which can be layered is adviseable and a warmer jumper for cooler evenings. A light rain coat is suggested. There is a laundry available in most hotels.
Lightweight comfortable shoes/trainers and sandals. Waterproof footware is recommended.
Luggage while on your tour
Please allow yourself one main piece of luggage and a day-sack. Remember, you are expected to carry your own baggage, so don't overload yourself, a soft wheely bag may be easier to manage than a suit case.
We recommend a sunhat, sunscreen, a torch, insect repellent and a waterbottle. A solar charger for your phone and other electronics is a good idea.
Greece is a Member-State of the European Union and uses its uniform currency – the Euro. Greece, as is the case with the other Member-States of the E.U. uses eight coins as follows: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cents or lepta in Greek and 1 and 2 Euros. The banknotes are issued in the following denominations: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200 and 500 Euros.
Currency exchange rates are clearly displayed in every bank that accepts currency exchange, while credit card holders may acquire money from the ATMs of the collaborating banks. Greek banks are open for the public from 8:00 to 14:30 Mondays to Thursdays and from 8:00 to 13:30 on Fridays. They are closed on Public Holidays. Euros can also be exchanged for notes of other foreign currencies at exchange offices that are situated at the airport and certain main ports, in the larger cities, as well as at many tourist destinations. A passport is required when exchanging currencies.
Use of electronic devices
Electric power voltage in Greece is 230 V / 50 Hz and the plugs are F type. To avoid the danger of short circuit, make sure to have in your suitcase the necessary transformers / adaptors for your electronic devices or make sure that this will be provided by the relevant socket.
During your stay in Greece, as a consumer you are protected throughout your transactions by the Greek legislation. In case of omission or infringement of the above, you can call to Tourist Police in 1571 (24/7 in operation). In the event you need to file a complaint, you may contact with the Hellenic Ministry of Tourism.
Weather in Greece
Greece's climate is Mediterranean with long sunshine, mild temperatures and limited rainfalls. It is characterised by great variation, due to the country's geographic location, the intense relief and the distribution between the mainland and the sea. In the summer, dry hot days are often cooled by seasonal winds that are called "etesian winds" while mountainous areas are more cool.
Winters are mild in the plains with little ice and snow, but the mountains are usually covered with snow. In addition, it is a common phenomenon to combine different climate conditions in the same season (for instance mild heat near the sea and cool in the mountainous areas).
Eastern European Time (EET), UTC +2
Eastern European Summer Time (EEST), UTC +3) starts March 28, 2021
Access is unrestricted and is widely available in business centres, hotels and in internet cafés. A one month prepaid unlimited internet access card for laptops, iPhones and smartphones is available from Maroc Telecom (who also have the best national coverage).