Nine to Ten days tour
Corinth, Mycenae, Epidavros, Nafplion, Sparta, Monemvasia, Mani, Cape Tenaron, Kalamata, Pylos, Ancient Ithomi, Olympia
1st day: Starting from Athens we drive westwards along the scenic coast of the Saronic Gulf, until we reach the Corinth canal with its breathtaking views (short stop). Shortly after we reach the Ancient town of Corinth (visit) where St. Paul lived and preached for two years. Back in ancient times Corinth was 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. B.C.)
Then drive on to Mycenae, the Homeric city of the Atreides - the city "rich in gold" of the ancient poets. (Visit the Lions Gate, the Cyclopean Walls, the Royal Tombs e.t.c.) Continue for Nafplion through the fertile plain of Argolis and ancient Tiryns, (Set on a bluff in the centre of a plain, the fortress of Tiryns is a Cyclopean structure dating from the 13c BC, a well preserved masterpiece of ancient military architecture.) Overnight in Nafplion, in a traditional hotel, located on the top of the old city, just under the castle.
You can view our portfolio of photos at http://www.panoramio.com/user/45649/tags/Nafplion
2nd day: Nafplion (first capital city of Greece in modern time) the picturesque town nestling at the foot of a cliff crowned by the mighty ramparts of the Palamidi Fortress.
After a breakfast taken on the beautiful veranda with the best view over the city, visit the castle of Palamidi. Time for shopping in Nafplion, where you will find many traditional shops and boutiques or enjoy a swim in the crystal waters under the castle. Later in the afternoon we drive to Epidavros to visit the Ancient theatre (4th century B.C.) famous for its acoustics. (On summer weekends ancient plays take place) Return to Nafplion (overnight).
You can view our portfolio of photos at http://www.panoramio.com/user/45649/tags/Epidavros
3rd day: Leave Nafplion in the morning, through Central Peloponnese. We'll drive south by the scenic coast of the Argolis Gulf, from the town of Astros we will turn to Central Peloponnese, (Arcadia), through the village of Agios Petros, (3000 ft. high -short stop -the village became capital city of Greece for 24 hours, short stop) and Karies on the slopes of the mount. Parnon.
Shortly we will arrive in Sparta, the modern town was developed in the reign of King Otto after 1834. Visit the archaeological site, the Acropolis and the theatre of Ancient Sparta and then on to visit the Medieval state of Mystras.
You can view our portfolio of photos at http://www.panoramio.com/user/45649/tags/Sparta
4th day: Leave Sparti for Monemvasia built on an island rock attached by a causeway to the mainland. On the way visit Githeo, a seaside town the port of ancient Sparta. Drive on to Areopolis a large village (with taverns) in the typical Maniot style, tower houses and churches. Visit Vathia forsaken by almost all its inhabitants, Vathia and Kita are the most impressive of the tower communities which are characteristic of the Mani. Time for swimming in the most southern part of mainland Greece (also of Europe) Cape Tenaron. Overnight in Areopolis in a traditional 17th c. mansion.
You can view our portfolio of photos at http://www.panoramio.com/user/45649/tags/Mani
5th day: Part way down the west coast of Mani, opening into Diros Bay are two caves which were explored after the Second World War. The largest, Glifada, is one of the most spectacular natural sights in Greece. We'll visit the Caves and Museum of Diros tel. (0733) 52.22. The cave is well organized for visitors with floating lights and colored light projectors. The guided tour consists of a boat trip (about 2km/1.25mi) along both arms of the river which splits in two in the cave. Daily 8a.m to 5p.m (2.30p.m winter).
6th day: Depart for Kalamata, (visit the city -shopping...) and next for Pylos, better known as Navarino (Battle of Navarino: "an untoward event", this was how the Duke of Wellington described the naval engagement which took place on 20th October 1827 between the allied fleet, made up of English, French and Russians and the Turkish fleet which was at anchor in the bay). The focal point of Pylos near the port is Three Admirals Square which is shaded by trees and bordered by arcades (small archaeological museum, cafes, taverns), later in the afternoon we'll visit Methoni, the watchtower of the eastern Mediterranean. Overnight in Kalamata
7th day: Leave for Olympia driving along the coast of the Ionic sea. On the way we will visit the ancient Messinia/Ithome, one of the nicest and biggest archaeological sites in Greece. Arrive late afternoon in Olympia.
You can view our portfolio of photos at
8th day: Visit the ruins of Olympia the Sanctuary of the Olympian Zeus and the Museum. This is the largest archeological site of Greece situated in the idyllic Alfios Valley, see for yourself the grandeur of the ancient sanctuary which through the Olympic Games was a symbol of Greek unity - the cradle of the Olympic Games. Later in the afternoon enjoy a swim in the hotel pool. Overnight in Olympia.
9th day: Departure in the morning either to return to Athens or continue on for: the plains of Elias and Arcadia, and take the small country road through the mountains for Kalavryta, a pleasant summer or winter resort (there is a ski center) at 750m/2461ft above sea level ringed by mountain peaks with a spectacular panoramic road and a famous narrow - gauge rack railway. Overnight in a traditional hotel.
10th day: Take the Rack railway from Kalavryta to Diakofto. The narrow gauge Duncanville railway, which was built late in the last century between Diakofto on the coast and Kalavryta, is a particularly bold feat of engineering. It runs for 22km/nearly 14 miles along a vertiginous route - through tunnels, along overhangs, across bridges and viaducts and on a rack in certain sections where the incline is steeper than 7%. I will wait for you in Diakofto to return in Athens.
Comment: See the main cultural archaeological, historical and religious highlights of Greece. Time is allowed for gentle walks, swimming and coastal relaxation. Most of the driving is on mountain and coastal roads.
Olympia site: 8a.m to 7.30p.m (winter to 3p.m). Fee 9 euro
Corinth Canal - Ancient Corinth - Nemea -Mycenae - Nafplion - Epidavrus Theatre - Sparta - Monemvasia - Mani - Pylos - Kalamata - Olympia
Closed on Holidays: January 1st., March 25th, May 1st, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and Boxing Day. On Good Friday, the sites are open 12.00 - 17.00.