We will visit:
- The Corinth Canal
- Ruins of the Ancient Corinth city
- Theater of Epidaurus
- Ancient Olympia & Museum
- Delphi Oracle & Museum
- Battle of Thermopylae Ground & Museum
- Meteora Monasteries
Argolis, Olympia, Delfi and Meteora four days tour begins driving west along the National Highway, until we reach the Corinth Canal or else Isthmus completed in 1893 – 6 km length, 25m width, 8m depth- which connects the Aegean with the Ionian Sea. Our 15’ stop there gives us the opportunity to take some marvelous pictures and then continue our route until we reach the Ruins of the city of Ancient Corinth.You can see the long rocky wall of Acrocorinth leading to Lechaion (artificial harbor of the Corinthian Gulf) where the road leading to Ancient Agora starts. The Temple of Apollo (6th c. B.C.-restored 1st c. AD) is the only Greek monument standing, as all others are mainly Roman.
Another interesting spot to see is the museum of Acrocorinth which hosts many objects and findings like the head of Goddess Tyche (Luck), the Bema where Saint Paul preached, and the fountain of Glauke.
Continuing our tour we drive to reach Argolid Epidaurus, known for its sanctuary, as it was the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius the healer. The Asclepeion at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing center of the Classical world. The prosperity brought by the Asclepeion enabled Epidaurus to construct civic monuments, including the huge Ancient Theater of Epidaurus worldwide known for its perfect acoustics to all 15.000 spectators, its symmetry and beauty, which is used again today for dramatic performances. The advanced design of the rows of limestone seats filter out low-frequency sounds, such as the murmur of the crowd, and amplify high-frequency sounds from the stage.
Driving through the citrus fruit Argolis plain we reach Nafplion a seaport city expanding up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. Count Ioannis Kapodistrias, first head of state of newly liberated Greece, made it the official capital of the First Hellenic Republic in 1829 until 1834. We will have the opportunity to see Acronafplia the oldest part of the city. Until the thirteenth century, it was a town on its own. Other fortifications of the city to visit are the Palamidi Castle with 999 steps to climb and Bourtzi island, which is located in the middle of the harbor. There we take lunch at a sea view restaurant.
Leaving Nafplion we visit Mycenae ‘Rich in Gold’, the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon, and the most important and richest palatial centre of the Late Bronze Age in Greece. Its name was given to one of the greatest civilizations of Greek prehistory, the Mycenaean civilization. Great Cyclopean walls surround the almost triangular acropolis, accessed through the famous Lion Gate, symbol of the Mycenaean rulers’ power, like Pelops, father of Agamemnon and Menelaos. We can see Grave Circle A, whose six large shaft graves contained numerous gold objects and other works of art. Outside the fortification walls, west of the Lion Gate, is Grave Circle B, which encloses fourteen shaft-graves. The “Treasure of Atreus (Agamemnon)” the most impressive of the preserved Mycenaean tholos tombs, situated at Mycenae, on Panagitsa hill, was constructed in ca. 1250 B.C. and was in use for a long period.
Departing from Mycenae in the afternoon we follow the route through the mountains to reach Olympia where we have our overnight stay. After our breakfast we wonder at Ancient Olympia site, the place where the worldwide known Olympic Games took place in antiquity to honor Zeus. The Altis is the sacred enclosure of the main part of the sanctuary includes the sanctuary of Zeus, the Temple of Hera where the Olympic Flame lights up every 4 years and the many buildings erected around them used as athletic premises for the preparation, celebration, administration needs of the Olympic Games, as well as treasuries, baths, hostels and monuments for the crowds that over flew Olympia during the games. Such examples are: Bouleuterion or Council House, the Prytaneion, the stadium of Olympia, the Ancient Gymnasium, the Palaestra, the Hippodrome, the Workshop of Pheidias where the great sculptor crafted the gigantic chryselephantine statue of Zeus, listed as one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world, the Pedestal of the Nike of Paionios, the remarkable Classical statue e.t.c.
We continue our visit with the Archaeological Museum of Olympia reorganized in 2004, one of the most important museums in Greece, exhibits in its 12 exhibition rooms objects excavated in the Altis. Such findings are: the statue of Hermes of Praxiteles, the statue of Nike Paionios, figures of east and west Pediment and Metopes of Zeus Temple, the clay Complex of Zeus with Gnymedes and Miltiades’ Helmet.
Leaving Olympia we take a scenic coastal route of towns Pyrgos, Rio – Antirio Bridge connecting Peloponnese with central Greece-, Nafpaktos, Galaxidi, Itea to arrive to Delfi and stay for the night.
In the morning we visit the Pan-Hellenic Sanctuary of Delphi which was the most famous oracle of ancient Greece. Delphi was regarded as the centre- the navel of the world. According to mythology Zeus sent out two eagles from the ends of the universe to find the navel of the world and they were met at the point of the oracle. It was for many centuries the cultural and religious centre and symbol of unity for the Hellenic world. Following the Sacred Way, leads to the temple of Apollo with its famous Adyton, where Pythia delivered her oracles and priests of Apollo interpreted them. The archaeological site of Delphi includes- among other buildings- the Treasury of Athenians, and two sanctuaries, dedicated to Apollo and Athena. We first encounter the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia and within the walls we see the famous Tholos, the symbol of Delphi today. Going northwest we come across the Gymnasium the Palaestra, the Baths, the Castalian spring, the Theatre where the theatrical and musical contests of the Pythian Games took place every four years and finally, the Stadium where the athletic contests were held.
Moreover, the 2270m2 Archaeological Museum of Delphi, with 14 exhibition rooms, 558m2 of storerooms and conservation laboratories, of the most important in Greece, exhibiting by architectural sculpture, statues and minor objects the history of the Delphic sanctuary from its birth to its decline.
Afterwards we drive up near Distomo at Hosios Loukas Monastery, situated at a scenic site on the slopes of Mount Helicon. The beginning of the monastic activity in the region starts from the Hosios Lukas himself, living there the last years of his life, from 946 to 953 when he died at the age of 56. It is one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art, and has been listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites. It consists of a complex of two churches, the monastery of the Virgin Mary (10th c.) and the Catholic, (11th c.) to house the relics of Saint within an underground crypt. Hosios Loukas treated patients, advised people to different types of problem and was gifted with the ability to foresee the future.
Next we have lunch at a traditional Greek local restaurant before we drive to reach Kalambaka village to spend the night. In the morning we visit Meteora, the biggest and most important group of monasteries in Greece after those in Mount Athos. Huge, cut off rocks reaching 400 m. of height, covering an area of 30km are a unique geological phenomenon. The Rock Monasteries of Meteora listed on UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites as a unique phenomenon of cultural heritage as well as natural beauty. Six monasteries are in operation today: The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron, The Holy Monastery of Varlaam, The Holy Monastery of Rousanou, The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas, The Holy Monastery of St. Stephen, The Monastery of Holy Trinity. We visit 3 monasteries available depending on visitation day.
After having lunch, at a traditional restaurant we take our way back to Athens, making a stop to see the Battle Ground of Thermopylae (Hot Gates). The monument stands opposite the historical hill of Kolonos and represents Leonidas in full armor with the inscription Molon Lave (Come and Take). It was designed by B. Phalereus, and was erected in the 1950s at the expense of Greeks living in America. The monument was built to commemorate the battle at Thermopylae of Greeks (300 Spartans included) against Persians in 480 B.C. We also visit the Thermopylae Museum whose five rooms and a covered patio host findings from the Neolithic to the Late Roman period, tombs of the Middle Bronze Age (2000-1600 BC) and the so-called Tomb of Plataeans 5th century B.C.
In the end we continue our drive until we arrive back to Athens…
Argolis, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora Tour Details
Duration : 4 days
Ticket information and Opening Times
Full: €12, Reduced: €6
Valid for Museum & Archaeological Site
Tickets : Full: €12, Reduced: €6
Tickets : Full : 12€, Reduced : 6€
Valid for : Archaeological Museum of Olympia & Olympia
Tickets : Full : 3€
Tickets : Full : 12€, Reduced : 6€
Tickets : Full: 8€, Reduced: 4€
Palamidi is open every day
From November 1st to March 31st: 08:30-16:00
April to August: 08:00-20:00
September 1st to September 15th: 08:00-19:30
September 16th to September 30th: 08:00-19:00
October 1st -to October 5th: 08:00-18:30
October 16th to October 31st: 08:00-18:00
Good Friday: 12.00-17.00 Holy Saturday: 08.30-16.00
Request more information:
Your professional driver has limited knowledge of Greek history, mythology as well as contemporary life and traditions. He is not allowed by law to accompany you into the sites and museums; therefore he will be waiting for you at the agreed area.
Private Hellas Tours cooperates with professional, licensed private tour guides, that you can hire and will ride the same vehicle with you, accompany you to the sites and museums and give you detailed information on the history of the landmarks and historical sites.