Peloponnese & Delphi 5 days
Athens – Corinth Canal – Ancient Corinth – Epidaurus – Mycenae – Nafplion – Monemvasia – Ancient Messene – Olympia – Nafpaktos – Delphi – Arachova – Osios Loukas – Athens
Day 1: Your 5 day tour will start with the drive through the National Highway to Peloponnese. A stop by the famous Corinthian Canal or else Isthmus that unites the Ionian Aegean Sea will be made, for pictures and coffee. We will then proceed, with the short drive, to ancient Corinth and its beautiful museum. Among other things you will see the temple of Apollo, the ancient agora and the bema (step) from where St Paul speaks to the Corinthians in 52 AD. Your journey will continue with a 40 min. scenic drive along the coast of the Saronic Gulf. Reaching Epidaurus we will visit the spiritual sanctuary of Asclepius and the theatre with the most famous acoustic in the world. Leaving ancient Epidaurus we will continue with the drive to Nafplion, a picturesque sea port town on the Argolic Gulf. This was the first capital of modern Greece; it’s a city with beautiful monuments and neoclassical buildings as well as two famous forts Palamidi and Bourtzi which seats in an island opposite the port. We will be able to stroll around, take pictures and have coffee by the seaside or lunch in the "shade" of the tall neoclassical buildings next to Sydagma square. This is also the city we will spend the night. In the afternoon we will also drive and visit Mycenae, the centre of power in the late Bronze Age till 11th century BC. There lies the famous Lions Gate and the Acropolis where Agamemnon was murdered by his wife Clytemnestra and that is where will be able to explore all of its pathways. Leaving the Acropolis we will also make a short stop by the treasury of Atreus also known as a tomb of Agamemnon. Return to Nafplion for overnight stay at a traditional 18th century neoclassical settlement inside the old city.
Day 2: Drive from Nafplion to Monemvasia, a traditional medieval town inside a Venetian castle. Castles, walls, old mansions, narrow cobbled lanes, churches, low arches and vaults, coats of arms, imperial marble thrones, Byzantine icons all give the impression of a town untouched by time. Visit the castle and the surrounding area. Overnight at a restored medieval settlement with the comforts of a four star hotel, inside the castle.
Day 3: We will start our day with the approximately 4 hour to the other side of the Peloponnese where Olympia is located. On the way we will very windy roads and many picturesque villages that still remain out of the beaten track like Stoupa and Kardamyli. There you will have a stop for lunch before you reach Olympia. On the way if you are interested you can stop and visit ancient Messene. Then continue your drive to Olympia. Overnight stay in one of the small family owned hotels of either the town of Olympia or the hill next to it that overviews the valley of Elis.
Day 4: After having breakfast, you will enjoy a 2.5 hour private tour through the site-birthplace of the Olympic Games, where still lie the ancient gymnasium, the temple of Zeus and Hera and the Olympic Games stadium. A few meters away from the site is where we will visit one of the most impressive museum in the world, since it houses the originals pediments of the temple of Zeus and Hermes by Praxiteles. Then we will start driving through the large and lush valley of Elis and about 1.5 hour later we will pass the city of Patras and we will then cross one of the largest suspension bridges in the world, which connects the mainland to the Peloponnese. We can then have a short coffee stop in the historical city by the sea called Nafpaktos in the waters of which the famous sea battle of Lepando was fought. The rest of our drive after this will be absolutely impressive since we will be taking the coastal road having the sea on one side and the mountains of the Greek mainland on the other. Continuing our drive along the Corinthian gulf coastline we will pass some of the most beautiful fishing villages. We will spend the night in the picturesque village of Galaxidi at a renovated neoclassical mansion, currently operating as a family hotel.
Day 5: In the morning you will enjoy the homemade breakfast of the family in the courtyard of the mansion. Then we will continue our journey towards Delphi across the largest olive grow in Greece next to the city of Itea, before we start our windy drive, up to mount Parnassus. In the elevation of 600 meters (1800 feet) are built both the ancient century and the modern town of Delphi. There you will enjoy a private guided tour through the museum where the famous bronze charioteer is kept, as well as the site, where the ancient treasury houses, the temple of Apollo, oracle, the theatre and the stadium still remain. On the way down you will also have time by the Castalia spring, the gymnasiums and the temple of Athina Pronaia. On the way back to Athens you will drive through the traditional village of Arachova where you will have lunch. Driving down to Athens, if time permits, you will stop at the monastery of Osios Loukas, a UNESCO monument dating back to the 10th century. Arrive in Athens late in the afternoon.
Transportation by a luxury type private car or mini van driven by professional, English speaking, non-smoking driver.
Local guided tours by an officially licensed English speaking tour guide.
Accommodation in traditional settlements-historic buildings and 3 or 4 star selected hotels.