7 Days Athens-1Day Cruise-Nafplion-Olympia-Gytheio
7 Days Athens-1Day Cruise-Nafplion-Olympia-Gytheio
1st DAY ARRIVAL / ATHENS SIGHTSEEING
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)
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)
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)
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)
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)
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
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.
END OF SERVICES