It’s all Greek to Me:Ancient Athens and the Pearls of the Peloponnese

Athens is one of the longest continually inhabited city in the world and today it remains as vibrant as in its heyday. Streets crammed with cafes, bars and little shops, open up into agoras (market places) dating back thousands of years. The bluest of skies replicated in the bright colours dotted through the city in among the white marble of the streets.  It is here that you begin your Greek adventure before travelling to Greece’s former capital Nafplio, one of the jewels of the Peloponnese and then on into the Mani, an area full of typical Greek villages and small towns. Spectacular views greet every turn in the road, from the myriad olive trees around Kalamata, the soaring mountain peaks of Mount Taygetus or the vivid blue and green of the seawater, it is impossible not to fall in love with Greece. Add in some typical Greek experiences such as some Greek dancing, olive oil indulgence, sailing and cookery lesson and you have the recipe for the perfect holiday. Yiamas!

 

Day 1 Arrival Day

Upon arrival you will be whisked off to your hotel to settle in, relax and perhaps enjoy a wander of Athens’ beautiful little streets, enjoying your first Greek coffee, thereby doing as the locals do. Tonight enjoy a typical Greek supper. (D)

 

Day 2 Annals from Athens

Today enjoy the world famous sights of Athens: the Parthenon, the Temple of Zeus and the Acropolis Museum. Enjoy watching the Greek soldiers perform the guard change and along the way sample goods from Athens’ streets, such as the hounia. This afternoon is at your leisure before the evening meal at a traditional Greek taverna where it’s less a case of singing for your supper than dancing for it. Opa! (B, D).

 

Day 3 Nafplio

Greece’s first capital city, Nafplio’s is situated on the sea, crowned by a Venetian fortress.  Small, boutique-lined streets give way to lovely little piazzas crammed with cafes offering a coffee with a view.  It is to here that we travel today, stopping at the Corinth Canal where the Peloponnese is separated from mainland Greece.  This evening enjoy an evening drink watching the sunset before indulging in a typical Greek meal. (B, L, D)

 

Day 4 Nafplio, Mycenae and Epidauros

‘All the world’s a stage and all the men and women merely actors’. The day begins with a visit to the best preserved ancient Greek theatre, that of Epidaurus, where the acoustics mean you can hear a pin drop (not an easy feat in a country known more for plate smashing than monastic silence). After a stop for a coffee and pastry, it is then onto Mycenae to visit the tomb of  Agamemnon dating back to 1510 and 1220 BC. Having spent the morning whetting your brain’s appetite, you are now free to satiate your taste buds by tasting all the delights that Nafplio’s restaurants have to offer.  (B)

 

Day 5 Monemvasia: Fairytale Castles

Monemvasia is Europe’s only castle that has never ceased being inhabited. It is in a unique setting, cut off from the bottom of the Peloponnese East coast as a result of an earthquake in 375AD; it is the true sleeping beauty of the fairy-tale.  Today enjoy exploring it alongside tasting a few local delicacies before an afternoon at leisure. (B, L)

 

Day 5 Simos Beach, Elafonisi island

Today you will head to the blue waters and beautiful beaches of Elafonisi island to enjoy a day of rest and relaxation.  Return to Monemvasia in the early evening for aperitiviwhilst watching the sunset. (B, L).

 

Day 6 Kardamili: Sampling local produce

Today it is to an area of Greece synonymous with its most famous olive: Kalamata. However, it is not to the city that you will be headed, rather a bit deeper into the Mani, an area saturated in olive trees and picturesque villages set against beautiful mountain views and dropping down to the blue upon blue sea. Today enjoy an olive oil and wine tasting at a local producer, where you will learn more about the olive and grape harvesting. This evening is at your leisure to enjoy the village delights of Kardamili. (B, L)

 

Day 7 Kardamili: Cave exploration and a surprise!

Today it is to the enchanting caves of Diros to wonder at the stalagmites and stalactites. The visit of the 5000 metres of subterranean caves is via boat and a short walk out of the caves. The rest of the day remains a surprise! (B, L, D)

 

Day 8 Ancient Athens

Today you will make your way back to Athens to enjoy an afternoon at leisure before coming together for a final evening’s food with a view. (B, D).

 

Day 9 Departure

It’s time to bid farewell to Greece, but we hope this is just ‘until the next time’.  (B)

 

 

Included in this trip:

Accommodation & Services:

  • 3 nights in Athens, 2 nights in Nafplio, 2 nights in Monemvasia and 2 nights in Kardamili
  • Centrally located, upmarket hotel.
  • The services of an extremely highly qualified and experienced Tour Manager who will accompany you throughout your trip (dependent upon group size; please contact us for more information).
  • Transfers to and from the airport.
  • Private transport, unless otherwise stated.
  • All tips. For instance, tips to tour managers, local guides, restaurants and porterage (where available) are all included in the total price; one less thing to think about.
  • You will be visiting: Athens, Epidaurus, Nafplio, Mycenae, Monemvaisa, Simos Beach and the Mani peninsula

 

Food & Beverages: 

  • Breakfast and either lunch or dinner (unless otherwise stated).
  • When lunch and/or dinner are included, alcohol in the form of wine and/or beer is provided, unless otherwise stated.
  • Aperitivi, coffee and snacks where stated.

 

Entrances & Tickets: 

  • Acropolis Museum
  • Acropolis
  • Epidaurus
  • Mycenae
  • Palamidi Castle
  • Diros Cave

 

Guided Tours:

  • Athens
  • Mycenae
  • Monemvasia

 

Activities:

  • Greek dancing lesson/taverna evening
  • cookery lesson
  • beach visit
  • winery visit, tasting and lunch
  • olive estate visit
  • Diros Cave visit

 

Not included:

Travel insurance

Flights. I would suggest you book return flights to and from Athens.

 

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