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Classical 9 Day Greece Tour
TOURCODE: GC2
Duration: 9 Days Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 1 Tour Style: Cultural
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Classical 9 Day Greece Tour

With the Monasteries of Meteora
9 Days
TOURCODE: GC2

Argolis tour -- Corinth, Epidaurus, Mycenae; Olympia site and Museum; Byzantine treasures of Mystra; Spectacular Delphi and Museum tour; Hanging Monasteries of Meteora; Guided Athens city tour

Tour Overview
Tour Overview
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Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 1 Tour Style: Cultural

As the birthplace of western democracy, there is something strangely familiar to those who partake on our Greece guided tours. Perhaps it is the folklore, the monuments, or the legends that we have heard of over time that allows the traveller to feel both in awe yet at home while exploring this ancient land. Or perhaps it is that Greek hospitality and lust for life that oozes into every aspect of our Greece guided tours that leaves visitors filled with wonder. Whatever the case, guided tours of Greece have the right recipe for a classic journey full of history, arts, scenic landscapes, and memorable people.

Although Greece does not occupy an overly large landmass, the vastness and richness of its history is overwhelmingly apparent. From the first sighting of the Acropolis in Athens, with buildings that date back to the 5th century BC, memories from the time of antiquity are readily available and easily accessed. Learning from historians with a deep knowledge of archeology and philosophy, our Greece guided tours offer a small group experience with experts who engage our travellers with a fun yet informative approach to learning the vast saga of Greece.

By exploring the remains of some of Greece's most rewarding sites such as the Temple of Apollo in Corinth, the Temple of Zeus in Olympia, or the sanctuary at Delphi, it is not hard to imagine the extensive power and prestige that Greece once held. Clues to their strength is also apparent with visits to Sparta, where the most formidable army in Greece once lived, or at the fortresses of Mystra which became a sanctuary of refugees who flourished within the impregnable walls during the middle ages as war and invasions surrounded this city.

It was during the turmoil of the middle ages that Greece had a resurgence of culture, with the creation of churches of Meteora. Built on sandstone pillars of rock, these complexes which were built in the 11th century contain some of Greece's most important Eastern Orthodox monasteries.

As with any Adventures Abroad small group tour, our Greece guided tours try to highlight the character of the country with trips to local restaurants at mealtimes and venture to places not usually found on the beaten path. Get your fill of delicious Greek food, such as moussaka, dolmas, and souvlaki while dining in locally owned tavernas, hosted and frequented by kind people keen to discuss their country in an informal manner over dinner. Cheers your neighbour with a warm opa to celebrate a journey with a newfound group of friends who are lifelong learners and equally as keen to explore the world as you are.

Enjoy a relaxed pace that allows ample time of exploration with a balance of downtime to reflect on a magnificent days journey. Classical Greece guided tours are dedicated to showing the historical side and soul of Greece, with a focus on having fun in this ancient land. Take in a comprehensive look at the mainland of Greece with a fascinating and in depth tour off all the legends, folklore, and monuments that have made this country famous for several millennia.

 


 

Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices

 

 

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table.

Select the Number of Travellers:   -   1   +

 

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Optional Single Supplement: $460 USD (number of singles limited).



$500 USD DEPOSIT REQUIRED per person
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Full Itinerary
Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrival in Athens
Today we arrive in Athens, the capital of Greece and the historical capital of Europe. The city has a long history dating from the first settlement in the Neolithic age; in the 5th Century BC, the city’s values and civilization acquired a universal significance. In 1834, it became the capital of the modern Greek state and an attractive modern metropolis with unrivalled charm.

Overnight in Athens.

Included Meal(s): Dinner



Day 2 Athens - Mycenae & Epidaurus - Nafplio (Nauplia)
We board our coach to drive to ancient Corinth for a brief visit. Back in ancient times Corinth was one of the three major powers in Greece, and took part in all the battles against the Persians. It was from one of the richest cities and this is quite evident by its remains, including the huge Agora (market place) and Apollo's Temple (6th c BC).

We continue to Mycenae. The citadel occupies the triangular summit of a low hill between two gorges. The Mycenaeans excelled in this style of building using large, unworked stones. These massive fortifications were begun in the 14th century, followed by Tiryns and Dendra, Argos and Athens, as well as a host of subsidiary forts and eventually, a huge wall across the Corinthian isthmus. The famous Lion Gate, and similar constructions at Gla and Tiryns, were built in the 13th century BC.

Here we will see vestiges of a kingdom that, for 400 years (1600-1200 BC), was the most powerful in Greece. We enter through the Lion Gate and see the Great Court where Agamemnon is believed to have been murdered in one of the chambers.

Later we travel to Epidaurus, a sanctuary of Asklepios, the God of Medicine. The sanctuaries of Asklepios, the healer god, were as much sanatoria, health farms or spas, as places of worship. This was the most prestigious centre of the cult in the Classical period and received a galaxy of splendid buildings spanning the whole of the 4th century BC.

Epidauros came into prominence only in the later 5th century, when the cult was received at Athens in 420 BC and the tragedian Sophocles became its priest. There was a revival at the sanctuary in the 2nd century AD, and worship on the site continued in the form of a Christian basilica.

We continue toward Nafplio.

Overnight near Nafplio.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 3 Naflplio - Mystra - Sparta
This morning we spend a bit of time exploring the charming seaside town of Nafplio before joining we a dramatic winding mountain drive toward Sparta, arriving mid-morning.

We visit the Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil in Sparta, which aims to highlight the culture and technology of the olive and olive production, which is inextricably linked with the Greek and Mediterranean identity. Unique in Greece, the museum is located in the heart of Laconia, one of the main olive producing locations in Greece.

We continue to our tour of Mystra, an impregnable fortress built by Guillame de Villehardouin in 1249. When the Byzantines won back the Morea from the Franks, Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus made Mystra its capital and seat of government. It soon became populated by people from the surrounding plains seeking refuge from invading Slavs.

During the rule of the despots, while the empire plummeted into decline elsewhere, Mystra experienced a renaissance, but then declined under Turkish rule. It was captured by the Venetians in 1687 and it thrived once again with a flourishing silk industry and a population of 40,000. It was recaptured by the Turks in 1715, and from then on it was downhill all the way. It was burned by the Russians in 1770, the Albanians in 1780 and Ibrahim Pasha in 1825. Not surprisingly, at the time of Independence it was in a very sorry state, virtually abandoned and in ruins, though since the 1950s much restoration work has taken place.

Back in Sparta, you may choose to visit the archaeological remains of ancient Sparta (optional), including the 2nd century BC theatre, the site's most discernible ruin. There is not much remaining of this once mighty civilization, but those interested in Spartan history may find the visit rewarding.

Overnight in Sparta.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 4 Sparta - Olympia
Driving from Sparta to Olympia, we arrive in the early afternoon. After lunch we will have a tour of the site of ancient Olympia and the excellent on-site museum. This was a place in ancient Greece where rival states shed their protective armour and congregated in peace to enjoy the ancient games and make offerings to the Gods. The temple of Zeus once dominated the entire complex and housed the 13 m (43 foot) statue of Zeus, considered by the Greeks to be one of the original Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

We will also see the Stadium as well as the Temple of Hera, which is the site's most intact structure. This is the oldest structure in the precinct, originally dedicated to Zeus as well as Hera, and gradually rebuilt from wood into stone. The walls were of mud-brick with a tiled roof.

The games, which were the most prestigious athletic event in Greece, were held in conjunction with a festival to Olympian Zeus. Three heralds were sent to all the Greek states to announce their date and declare the universal truce, under which all hostilities were suspended for one week. The games were brought to an end in AD 393, under an edict of the Emperor Theodosius that banned all pagan festivals. The temples were destroyed in AD 426.

Overnight in Olympia.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 5 Olympia - Delphi
We drive across the Rio-Antirrio Bridge en route to Delphi, arriving in the early afternoon. On arrival we will have a guided tour of this spectacular site and its excellent museum.

According to mythology, Zeus released two eagles at opposite ends of the world and they came to rest at Delphi, the 'navel of the world.' Delphi is known as the center of worship for the God Apollo, son of Zeus who embodied moral discipline and spiritual clarity. But even before the area was associated with Apollo there were other deities worshipped here including the earth goddess Gea, Themis, Demeter and Poseidon, the well known god of the sea. By the end of the Mycenaean period Apollo had displaced these other deities and became the guardian of the oracle.

Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and it was a major site for the worship of the god Apollo. His sacred precinct in Delphi was a Pan-Hellenic sanctuary, where every four years athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, the precursor to the Olympic Games.

Overnight in Delphi.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 6 Delphi - Kalambaka - Monasteries of Meteora
Today we drive from Delphi to Kalambaka. Our route takes us through the central plains, a rich agricultural land often referred to as the "bread basket" of Greece.

Later this afternoon we have a panoramic drive around the Monasteries of Meteora, built upon rocks that rise vertically from the plains below. These "Rocks of the Air" are visible for miles around and are crowned with old monasteries that cling to their summits. The afternoon light provides ideal conditions for photography; making our roadside photo stops today allow us to spend more time on the sites tomorrow when we visit the monasteries.

Overnight in Kalambaka.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 7 The Monasteries of Meteora - Athens
The Meteora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries and is second only to Mount Athos. The monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly. This morning we visit several monasteries* (usually 3 in total; periodic closures determine which ones we visit).

Later today we return by road to Athens, visiting Thermopylae, where the great historical battle between the Spartan King Leonidas, the ultimate soldier-king, and the huge army of Persians took place.

* Men must wear long trousers for today's monastery visits, and women must wear a long wrap/skirt, which you can either bring from home or purchase at the site for just a few Euros.

Overnight in Athens.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 8 Athens: City Tour
Today we enjoy a guided tour of Athens, the heart and soul of Greece.* A large part of the town's historic centre has been converted into a 3-kilometre pedestrian zone (the largest in Europe), leading to the major archaeological sites, reconstructing -- to a large degree -- the ancient landscape, thus allowing us to avoid the city's horrendous traffic.

We start at the Acropolis (with hopes to beat the heat/crowds), near the site of the Dionysos Theatre. Constructed in the 6th century BC, it is one of the world's oldest theatres and the place where the great works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes were first performed. We will also see a more recent theatre, the Odeon of Herod Atticus from the second century AD, which is still used for concerts and performances.

Ascending to the top of the Acropolis, we will see magnificent buildings dating from the 5th century BC, the Golden Age of Athens. On the highest point on the Acropolis is the Parthenon, often considered the finest monument to Greek civilization. The temple was dedicated to Athena "Parthenos," the virgin and patron goddess of the city.

After our Acropolis tour, we'll descend and enter the Ancient Agora located adjacent to the Plaka, the old town of Athens. Among the numerous sights in this archaeological park are the well-preserved Temple of Hephaistos and the landmark Roman era Tower of the Winds.

Our guided tour ends at the Acropolis Museum, located at the foot of the Acropolis. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece; nearly 4,000 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square metres. From here you are free to wander and explore on your own or make your way back to the hotel with your Tour Leader's assistance.

* The exact order of our sightseeing in Athens may be altered by your Tour Leader depending on several variables and their judgement on how best to run today's tour.

Overnight in Athens.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 9 Departure from Athens
Departure from Athens.

KALO TAXIDI!!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

 


 

Trip Info
Trip Info

 

Inclusions
Breakfast and dinner (mostly local restaurants) daily. All transport, accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.


Exclusions
International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) air taxes, and excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs and shopping.


Seasonality and Weather
This tour is offered in spring, summer, and fall, the most popular being spring and fall when temperatures are milder, crowds thinner, and airfares lower. Spring is popular for green landscapes and wildflowers. The region has a Mediterranean climate with early springs, long hot and dry summers, and autumns that are bright and warm into mid-October. Showers are possible in spring, rare in summer, and possible in late fall.


Transport and Travel Conditions
Road transport throughout by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on ultimate group size (see 'group size'). Greek roads are very good and distances are not great, though we do have some full, though scenic, travelling days.

This trip is typical of most of our European tours, which are ambitious and involve full days of travel and sightseeing. While we don't have any actual strenuous activity (ie hiking) built into the program, you will do a lot of walking on this trip. These walks will mostly be in the form of walking tours of towns and cities and short walks to dinner. Being Europe, and a hilly/mountainous area, cobbles, uneven surfaces, and slopes/stairs are common. If you are accustomed to typical "bus tours," which rely heavily on vehicular transport for all sightseeing activities, you should be aware that this tour is considerably more active.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.


Accommodation
Well-located, air-conditioned, mid-range hotels (3-star) throughout. All hotels have en suite bath, though most have shower only. Porter service is usually available on the mainland (see 'Inclusions'). Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.


Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, driver (s), local step-on local guides in various locales.


Group Size
10-18 (plus Tour Leader)

 


 

Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

Regions visited: Western Europe
Countries visited: Greece


*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Hotel Divani Palace Acropolis
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Athens
Country: Greece
Divani Palace Acropolis enjoys a priceless location right by the world-famous Acropolis, the perfect place to savour Athens fascinating history. Our beautiful hotel offers elegant rooms and suites, an outdoor ... with bar, and delicious dining including our summer Roof Garden restaurant with enchanting views of the ancient heritage. Top-notch meeting rooms and romantic banquet rooms make our hotel ideal for business meetings or a truly memorable event.
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Hotel Parnassos
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Delphi
Country: Greece
Centrally located right in the heart of Delphi, the Hotel Parnassos is conveniently situated for visiting the famous archaeological site and museum (300 meters away). All rooms feature air-conditioning, central ... private bathroom, TV, hairdryer, telephone.

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Doupiani House
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Kalambaka
Country: Greece
Set on the outskirts of town, this refined hotel is 1 km from the Meteora. Traditional rooms with antique wood furnishings feature satellite TV, minifridges, free Wi-Fi, and balconies offering ... and Meteora views.
Read More

 


 

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Frequently Asked Questions
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FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
01. What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?
Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 60-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.
02. Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?
Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.
03. How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?
The easiest way to make a reservation is to contact us by telephone. You can also book online through our website. A non-refundable deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 60 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s). Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time. Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
04. What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?
Should you need to cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing, by letter, e-mail, or by fax immediately. Deposits are non-refundable, though if you cancel more than 90 days prior to tour departure date, the deposit is transferable to any other tour taken within 12 months of the original tour start date, minus a per person transfer fee (some tours have a 100% nonrefundable/ nontransferable deposit; you will be informed of this at the time of booking). Less than 90 days prior to departure, all monies paid are 100% non-refundable, nontransferable. Name changes are not permitted. Insurable risks may be covered under trip cancellation insurance policies, if purchased. We will not grant partial refunds for any unused trip arrangements—voluntarily missed meals, sightseeing, transport, etc—after the trip has commenced, or any refunds to trip members who do not complete any portion of the itinerary for whatever reason. All air tickets are non-refundable and valid only for the flight(s) indicated. We may cancel departures if forced to do so by circumstances such as war, civil or political unrest or what is commonly referred to as force majeure. In these instances we will refund all passengers in full if cancellation takes place more than 60 days prior to tour start date. If cancellation occurs within the 60 day period, we will offer to postpone your trip to another departure of the same tour code within 12 months of the original tour start date; or, if circumstances do not permit, an alternative will be offered at that time. We will not be responsible for costs associated with re-issuance or extension of visas, airline change fees, or for any compensation. We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase trip cancellation insurance, either through Adventures Abroad or elsewhere, as this may provide coverage under such circumstances. If we cancel your tour due to insufficient enrolment, we will endeavour to find an alternative tour for you. If this is not acceptable, all monies paid will be refunded in full and will constitute full settlement. We will not be responsible for any expenses incurred, such as visas, vaccinations, independently purchase airfare, or any compensation. Notice of cancellation due to insufficient enrolment in any program will be given approximately 60 days prior to departure.
05. I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?
All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location. This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement. The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible. On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available. Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.
06. Do you have a shared accommodation program?
Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").

 

What People are Saying
Mary Ellen L.
Ruskin, FL - US
This was a very positive experience! I learned so much about a country I knew very little about, while having the scheduling of hotels, meals, transportation, and guides taken care of by very competent people! It was professionally done, but with a friendliness I appreciated, I think our tour leader set the tone by her friendliness and positive attitude! Every sightseeing experience was so informative; it is hard to focus on just one most enjoyed; personally I loved Corinth. I liked the monastery visits, too. We were very fortunate as we arrived, for the most part, at sites before the crowds gathered. The local guides were terrific: personable, friendly, informative! Their English was impeccable, too! They were also enthusiastic, and one falls in love with sights presented by such positive guides!
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