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Day 1: Arrival / Athens
Arrival at the Athens airport, welcome assistance and transfer to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Athens.
Day 2: City tour / Athens
The day is dedicated to exploring the city of Athens. We begin with a panoramic tour to the most important monuments and landmarks of the city including the Panathinaikon stadium, the Zappeion, the temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian's Arch, Syntagma square, the Parliament, the tomb of the unknown soldier, Schliemann's house, the Academy, the University, the National Library, and the old Parliament. Next we head for our guided visit to the Acropolis, including the Propylae, the temple of Athena Nike, the Parthenon, the Erechtheion. Later, we continue with a guided visit to the Acropolis museum voted one of the best museums in the world. Afternoon at leisure to explore Plaka, the picturesque old part of the city, and why not, some shopping at Ermou street.
Day 3: Corinth canal, Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae / Oly
After our breakfast we depart towards the Peloponnese. First stop will be at the impressive Corinth canal and we continue to Epidaurus with its theater, famous for its acoustics. Our day continues as we will be arriving in Nafplion for a short stop. Our next visit will be to Mycenae «rich in gold» as Homer mentions, with the Cyclopean walls, and the tomb of Agamemnon with the famous Lion's Gate. In the afternoon, we will be crossing the mountains of the Peloponnese to arrive in Olympia for dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Olympia / Delphi
Built on the banks of the River Alfios, Olympia is beautiful, green, and placid. We will enjoy a tour through the remains of the Ancient Olympia Complex (home of the original Olympic Games), including the Temple of Zeus, the Palaestra, and Phidias's Workshop. We continue to the local museum, one of the richest in Greece, with the impressive statue of Hermes of Praxitelis. In the afternoon, we will start heading north, driving around Patras, over the impressive Rio-Antirio bridge, through Nafpaktos and Itea, to Delphi for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Delphi / Kalambaka
Delphi used to be the most sacred spot in the world and a pilgrimage center for many centuries in the antiquity. You will admire the Sanctuary of Apollo, walk the Sacred way, and visit the temple of Apollo, home of Pythia (the oracle). We continue to the local museum with the famous bronze statue of the Charioteer. In the afternoon we will be crossing the mountains of central Greece to arrive in Kalambaka for dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Meteora / Thessaloniki
This morning we will be visiting Meteora. Amazing rock formations, like towers of sandstone, stand ageless, and have provided sacred retreat for monks over the centuries. A number of monasteries are hidden on top of Meteora. The view over the plain is breathtaking. Meteora is considered among the most beautiful areas of mainland Greece and belongs to Unesco's list of world heritage monuments. We continue our day as we drive north, through the striking plain of Thessaly and the Valley of Tempi. The way leads under the impressive Mount Olympos, home of the 12 Gods in Greek Mythology, to Thessaloniki, capital of northern Greece for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: Thessaloniki / Thessaloniki
The morning is dedicated to exploring the city of Thessaloniki. We will visit the most important landmarks and monuments of the city, and embrace its glorious Byzantine past, with visits to its characteristic churches and the museum of Byzantine culture. The afternoon will be at leisure to explore more of the city on your own.
Day 8: Edessa, Aristotle's school, Vergina, Veria / Thess
Today we will be exploring the historical places of Macedonia. First stop will be the town of Edessa with its beautiful waterfalls. Our next visit will be to Aristotle's school where the great philosopher taught the « the doctrines of morals and politics» to Alexander the Great. We continue to Vergina with the Royal tombs of Macedonia, including this of King Phillip II, father of Alexander the Great. Our last stop for today will be to Veria with the Bema of St. Paul, the colorful market and the Jewish neighborhood. Return drive to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
Day 9: Pella, Dion / Athens
Our exploration of the history of Macedonian history continues today on our way back to Athens. Our first stop will be to Pella, ancient capital of Macedonia and birthplace of Alexander the Great. We will visit the site with the excuisite floor mosaics and the new local museum. We continue our drive to the archaeological park of Dion, the sacred place of ancient Macedonia at the foot of mount Olympos. After our visits we continue our drive, with a photostop at Thermopylae and the statue of Leonidas, to arrive in Athens in the evening.
Day 10: Departure
Breakfast and at the appropriate time, transfer to the airport for your departure flight.
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