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7 Days Athens-1Day Cruise-Nafplion-Olympia-Gytheio - argotravel.com

http://www.argotravel.com/en/7-Days-Athens-1Day-Cruise-Nafplion-Olympia-Gytheio-334.htm - Jun 27, 2017
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    7 Days Athens-1Day Cruise-Nafplion-Olympia-Gytheio

7 Days Athens-1Day Cruise-Nafplion-Olympia-Gytheio


1st DAY ARRIVAL / ATHENS SIGHTSEEING  

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Upon your arrival you will be met by your English Speaking Assistant (ESA) who will welcome you and help you with your luggage. You will be directly transferred to Athens centre where you will start your 5hrs Half Day Athens City Tour. The tour will start with your English Speaking Guide (ESG) with the visit of the Acropolis site visiting Propylae, Temple of Athena Nike, Parthenon, Erechtheion with its Porch of Maidens. After Acropolis site pass by the Roman Temple of Olympian Zeus (short stop). Then visit Panathinaiko Stadium, the cradle of the first modern Olympic Games that took place in 1896 (short stop).
The tour continues passing by the National Garden, Hadrian's Arc, St. Paul's Church, Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Schliemann's House (Numismatic Museum), Catholic Cathedral, Academy, University, National Library, Old Parliament, Constitution Square and Russian Orthodox Church. Your dinner will be at Chinese restaurant. Finish athotel in the evening. Overnight.  

 


 

2nd DAY: 1 DAY CRUISE (THREE SARONIC ISLANDS)  

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After breakfast, depart with your assistant (ESA) to Piraeus port to join the Three islands Cruise. At 08:00 a.m. the ship sails from the Port of Piraeus for the three beautiful islands of the Saronic Gulf. Poros – Hydra – Aegina or Aegina – Poros – Hydra. (Order may change depending on which day you travel) The guests will join the cruise without any Assistant or Guide. Shortly after departure, the multi-lingual guides and hostesses invite the passengers to assemble in one of the Lounges, in order to give them all the necessary information concerning the ship, the cruise program as well as the islands.
Within 2 hours, you will arrive on the island of Poros, the smallest of the three islands, separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow strait and offering a most enchanting view of Poros Town. The time at leisure in Poros to stroll around the small picturesque streets of the island town, is about 50 minutes. Immediately upon the ships departure from Poros, lunch will be served for passengers who have the first sitting. As sailing towards Hydra the remaining guests relax in the Ship's Lounge in happy hour or enjoy the sun and beautiful panoramic view from one of the spacious decks.
An hour and 15 minutes later, the ship enters the port of Hydra, whose amphitheater shape once served as a safe shelter for Saronic Pirates. From the decks, the passengers are able to admire the very special architecture and dramatic landscapes of this island, whose old traditional stone houses and mansions silently stand witness to a long and turbulent history. 1 hour and 30 minutes is enough to enjoy the unique charms of Hydra and return back on board to receive a homecoming welcome. The tables will be set for the second sitting giving an opportunity to taste the gastronomic creations of the Chef. After the meal there is time to relax with the orchestra and singer, and to have a good laugh with the entertainer. After two hours the ship will arrive in Aegina, the largest of the three islands. The passengers can enjoy a walk or horse-carriage ride around the town or relax in one of the harbor's charming waterfront coffee shops. There is one Optional Tour by a guided bus, starting with a visit to the Temple of Afea which is the best preserved temple in Greece and one of the 3 temples forming the famous "Sacred Triangle" of Greek antiquity. After Aegina, the ship will start sailing back to Piraeus port and arrival at 19:30. After disembarkation transfer to Chinese restaurant for dinner. Then back to hotel. Overnight.

 


 

3rd DAY ARGOLIS-OLYMPIA-GYTHEIO (1st DAY)

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After breakfast, departure with your guide (ESG) the four days tour, via  the  coastal  national  highway  for  the  Corinth  Canal  (short  stop for  15’).  Transfer  to  Epidaurus  and  visit the  ancient theatre  with your  local  guide. 

The  Unesco’s  world heritage  listed monument  is reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo's son Asklepios, the healer and was  the  most  celebrated healing  center  of  the  classical  world. Epidaurus  is  probably  most  famous  for  its  theatre,  one  of  the  best preserved classical  Greek  buildings  and still  used today  due  to  its amazing acoustics.

Lunch at traditional Greek tavern in a traditional village nearby Epidaurus.

Departure to Nauplion, the first capital of modern Greece with its Venetian fortress of Palamidi and the fortified islet of Bourtzi. Free time in Nauplion sea-port town which has expanded up the hillsides near the north end of the Argolic Gulf. Departure to Tolo area. The bay of Tolon was first written about by Homer, as was Asini in the Iliad,  named  as one  of  the  cities  whose  fleet took part in  the  Trojan War. In the centuries to come the bay of Tolon gave refuge to battle ships at various  times  and then  during  the  Byzantine  period was revived as an auxiliary port to Nafplio and became the place to come for a summer stroll. Check in. Free time at Tolo, an old fishing village, which  is  spread out along  a  lovely  beach  and  its  inhabitants  are renowned for their hospitality. In its sparking sea you will be able to enjoy  swimming,  fishing  and every  kind of  water  sport.  Dinner  at hotel. Overnight in Tolo. 

 


  

4th DAY ARGOLIS-OLYMPIA-GYTHEIO (2nd DAY)

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After breakfast, visit Papamidi, the fortress of Naflpion nestled on the crest of a 216-metre high hill and built  by  the  Venetians  during  their  second occupation of  the area. The fortress commands  an impressive view  over the Argolic Gulf,  the  city  of  Nαfplio  and the  surrounding  country.  There  are 857 steps  in the  winding  stair  from the  town to  the  fortress. However,  to  reach the  top  of  the  fortress  there  are  over  one thousand.  Locals  in the  town of  Nafplion will  say  there  are  999 steps to the top of the castle, and specials can be found on menus that incorporate this number to catch a tourist's eye.

Then departure to Mycenae where you will meet your local guide and visit the archaeological site, home to the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon. Visit the archaeological site, home to the kingdom of  mythical  Agamemnon,  the  Palace, the  Lionesses  Gate  and the tomb of Agamemnon.  The  first  excavations  at  Mycenae  were  carried out  by  the  Greek archaeologist Kyriakos Pittakis in 1841. He found and restored the Lion Gate.  In 1874  Heinrich Schliemann arrived at  the  site  and undertook  a  complete  excavation.  Schliemann believed in the historical  truth of  the  Homeric  stories  and interpreted the  site accordingly.  He  found the  ancient  shaft  graves  with their  royal skeletons and spectacular grave goods. Upon discovering a human skull beneath a gold death mask in one of the tombs, he declared: "I have gazed upon the face of Agamemnon".

Lunch at a traditional Greek tavern. 

Departure  to     Olympia,  the  birth  place  of  Olympic  Games through  the  cities  of  Tripolis  and Megalopolis,  the  sanctuary  of ancient Greece in Elis, which is known for having been the site of the  Olympic  Games  in classical  times,  comparable  in importance to the Pythian Games held in Delphi. Both games were held every Olympiad (i.e. every four years), the Olympic Games dating back possibly  further  than 776 BC.  In  394 AD,  (after  exactly  1170 years) emperor Theodosius I abolished them as they were then considered reminiscent of paganism. The first Olympic Games were in Olympia in honor of Zeus.

Check in and dinner at hotel. Overnight in Olympia. 

 


 

5th DAY ARGOLIS-OLYMPIA-GYTHEIO (3rd DAY)

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 After  breakfast visit  the  archaeological  site  of  Olympia  with  the Temple  of  Zeus,  the  Temple  of  Hera,  the  altar  of  the  Olympic flame and the Stadium. The Temple of Zeus dedicated to the chief of the gods, Zeus. It was the very model of the fully-developed classical Greek temple of the Doric order. The temple, built between 472 and 456 BCE, stood in the  most  famous  sanctuary  of  Greece,  which had  been dedicated to  local  and Pan-Hellenic  deities  and had  probably  been established towards  the  end of  the  Mycenaean period.  The  Altis, the  enclosure  with its  sacred grove,  open-air  altars  and the  tumulus  of  Pelops,  was  first  formed during the tenth and ninth centuries BCE Greece's "Dark Age", when the cult of Zeus was joined to the already establish cult here of Hera.

The Temple of Hera (see right photo) was destroyed by an earthquake in the  early  4th century  AD,  and never rebuilt.  In  modern times,  the temple  is  the  location where  the  torch of  the  Olympic  flame  is  lit,  by focusing the rays of the sun. The  temple  was  dedicated to  Hera,  the  wife  of  Zeus  and one  of  the most important female deities in Greek religion. 

Visit the  archaeological  museum  of Olympia,  built  opposite  the  excavation site  in a valley  northwest  of the  Kronion hill.  Designed by  Patroklos  Karantinos,  it  was  officially opened in 1982.  One  of  the  best  known exhibits  is  the  Nike  of Paeonius, which is featured on the medals awarded during the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens.

Lunch at a local restaurant.

Free time in Olympia. Departure to Gytheio, a town and a former municipality in Laconia.  Since the 2011 local government reform it is part of the municipality East Mani, of which it is a municipal unit. It was the seaport of Sparta, some 40 km north. Gytheio used to be an important port  until  it  was  destroyed in 4th century  AD,  possibly  by  an earthquake. Today it is the largest and most important town in Mani. It is also the seat of the  municipality  of  East  Mani.  Most  of  the  ruins  of  ancient  Gythium are  now submerged in the  Laconian Gulf.  Some  walls'  remains  can be  seen today  on the sandy beach of Valtaki and in the shallow waters, where the well known Dimitrios  shipwreck  lies  stranded.  It  is  also  the  capital  of  the  municipality  of Gytheio.

Transfer  the  largest and most famous  beach  of  Gytheio,  Mavrovouni,  which  is  also  one  of  the favorite  places  for  the  "caretta-caretta" sea  turtles  to  lay  their  eggs  in  the  sand.  The  nests  are surveyed and protected of  the  Sea  Turtle  Protection  Society  of  Greece  called ARCHELON. Mavrovouni is a place ideal for swimming and known for its size, which is approximately 4 km in length.

Dinner at hotel. Overnight in Gytheio. 

 


 

6th DAY ARGOLIS-OLYMPIA-GYTHEIO-DIROS CAVES (4th DAY)

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After  breakfast,  enjoy  a  wonderful  morning  Gytheio  and then  transfer  to  the  caves  at Pyrgos Dirou,  just south  of  Areopolis,  have  been  the  main  destination  for  day-trippers  for  many  years now. In the summer, numerous coaches can be seen in the car park, although their passengers are  not visible  as  they  make  their  way  through  the  labyrinth  of  caves  in  a  small  punt.  Their popularity must lie in the fact that a visit offers ‘something for all the family’. Regardless of age, the  experience  of  being  punted around a  dramatically  lit series  of  caves,  each  dripping  with stalactites leaves an impression on all who visit. The museum is now fully operational, adding an educational dimension with exhibits dating from the Neolithic age.  

Visit the very famous Diros Caves joining a magical journey through the bowels of the earth.  In Diros  Caves  you  will  see  an  underground river  splits  up  into labyrinthine  watery  passageways  running  more  or  less  side  by side among the stalactites and stalagmites created over the aeons by  drop after  drop of  water  containing  calcium  carbonate.  The multi-coloured crystalline  caverns  of  exceptional  beauty  in  this 33,400-square-metre  cave  are  reflected in  the  still  water  of  the river,  creating  an  underground paradise  and  offering  you  a magical journey through the bowels of the earth. The Crossroads of  Nymphs  with  the  little  white  bear,  the  Lake  of  Exotic  Ocean Creatures with the stone forest and incredible little haystack, the Sea  of  Shipwrecks complete  with  a  sunken  wreck,  the  Golden Rain, the passage through the church with chandelier and pulpit, the Suspended Fairy Beds, the Diros  Chamber  where  there  are  ancient Greek mantles,  the  Pink Chamber  and the  White Chamber where there is a harp and a Royal Balcony, and the lovely Red Chamber are just some of the unparalleled wonders that nature took thousands of years to create so that we could marvel at her majesty and our own insignificance. Lunch at local restaurant in the area of Areopolis.

Return back to Athens through the cities of Sparti and Tripolis (stop). 

Your dinner will be at Chinese restaurant. Finish at hotel in Athens. Overnight. 

 


 

7th DAY DEPARTURE AFTERNOON                                                                                

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After breakfast, transfer with your Assistant (ESA) to  Plaka area, shopping, etc. In the afternoon lunch at Chinese restaurant.

Then transfer to Athens Airport for departure.

 

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