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Cast your mind back over millennia, your footprints following those of Alexander the Great, Aristotle and Plato. Explore the mighty kingdom of Ancient Greece, from the Temples of Zeus and Hera, the Parthenon and Delphi on the slopes of Mount Parnassos. Walk the Sacred Way to the 4th century Temple of Apollo and greet the gods and goddesses of Olympia.
Welcome to Athens. You are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Relax or spend time exploring the wonders of this ancient city. In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Reception, including a light meal and welcome drink with your travelling companions and your Travel Director. (WR)
Classical Athens was a centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, and is widely seen as the cradle of Western Civilisation and the birthplace of democracy. One of the world’s oldest cities, discover the rich heritage of Athens during your morning sightseeing tour with your Local Specialist. Explore the Acropolis and view the Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena and one of the world’s greatest cultural monuments. Marvel at the Agora, the Royal Palace and the Temple of Zeus. Enjoy an included visit to the Acropolis Museum containing remarkable antiquities. See Hadrian’s Arch, built to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, and the stadium where the first modern Olympics took place in 1896. Spend the rest of the day as you wish. In the evening perhaps choose to dine in a lively area of the city. (BB)
Cross the mighty Corinth Canal to the Peloponnesian Peninsula and visit the ancient city of Corinth with your Local Specialist. In Mycenae − a mighty kingdom of ancient Greece and a military stronghold − see the Beehive Tombs, the Treasury of Atreus, the Lion Gate and the remains of Agamemnon’s Royal Palace with your Local Specialist. Later visit the ancient theatre and view the Sanctuary of Asclepius, the God of Medicine in Epidaurus with your Local Specialist. The rod of Asclepius, a snake-entwined staff, remains the symbol of medicine to this day. Arrive later in Nafplion where you will dine tonight at your hotel. (BB, D)
Enjoy a spectacular drive east across the Mountains of Arcadia to ancient Olympia. Connected to many gods and myths, Olympia is also the site of the first Olympic Games held in 776 BC. This evening enjoy a Be My Guest dinner of authentic local cuisine on an olive farm. (BB, BG)
Meet your Local Specialist and spend the morning visiting the ancient Olympic site and museum and the Temples of Zeus and Hera − the wife of Zeus and one of the most important deities in Greek mythology. Driving north to Patras, you cross the Gulf of Corinth to mainland Greece before continuing to Delphi. (BB)
Tour Delphi on the slopes of Mount Parnassos with your Local Specialist and see the site of the most important oracle in the classical world. Walk the Sacred Way to the Temple of
Apollo dating from the 4th century. It was here that every four years athletes competed in the Pythian Games, dedicated to Apollo and the arts. A picturesque early afternoon drive brings you to Thermopylae, famous for the heroic defence by Leonidas and his brave Spartans against the invading Persians. After seeing the memorial, cross the fertile Thessaly region, the ‘bread basket of Greece’ and travel over the Pourmaraki Pass towards Kalambaka. (BB, D)
Drive to Meteora, one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece. Visit two of the six monasteries built on sandstone rocks above the town with your Local Specialist. A scenic drive brings you back to Athens, where later you will enjoy a Farewell Dinner with your travelling companions. (BB, FD)
Say goodbye to your fellow travellers and Travel Director after an unforgettable journey or join one of the 3-, 4- or 7-day Aegean Cruises on pages 196-199. Airport transfers are available, conditions apply. (BB)
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