We start our shore excursion to Corinth driving along the western highway. We see the historical battlefield of Salamis island to our left. We pass by rugged mountains with tunnels through them & scenic seaside villages.
We arrive to the awesome deep Canal of Corinth. Short stop. Man made shortly before the 1896 Olympics joins the Aegean with the Ionian Sea & saves 400 nautical miles of travel.
We continue to Ancient Corinth & see the 600 bc monolithic Temple of Apollo, Temple of Octavio the Royal & Hot Springs, the Bema Mount where Apostle Paul preached & visit the museum with many Roman artifacts. Near the site we visit the church of St.Paul with its unique mosaic wall! It is the place where Apostle Paul wrote "the letters to the Corinthians". If you like mountaintop fortresses the Acrocorinth one will impress you! Hundreds of years old has seen battles between Byzantines, Venetians & Ottomans. On the top there are ruins of the "sacred" sanctuary of Goddess Aphrodite.
We continue our tour past vineyards, orange & olive trees & arrive to the oldest citadel of mainland Greece. Mycenae.
Walk past the giant walls made by the Cyclops to protect this 16th cent BC thriving city for five hundred years till The Dorians took over. Walk through the Lions Gate, a steep path through ancient settlements, the Circular Graves & visit the ruins of the palace room of mythological King Agamemnon & the Secret Cistern cave.
Visit the Museum & see the golden "death mask of Agamemnon" and other exhibits made of gold & silver!
Leaving the Acropolis of Mycenae we make a short stop for visiting an impressive Cyclopean Beehive tomb the Treasury of Atreus also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon the legendary leader of The Greeks in The Trojan War.
Departing from Mycenae we pass by miles of orange & lemon tree fields & arrive to the first Capitol of Greece from 1829 to 1836. Nafplion.
Inhabited since the the Bronze Age one can see Mycenean, Byzantine, Ottoman & Venetian structures.
See the island fortress of Bourtzi built out in middle of the bay in the 14th century. Take a ten minute boat ride to this tiny island & walk by its catacombs & watchtowers
Drive to the top of the fortress Acronafplia passing next to hundred year old cactuses & huge Venetian watchtowers.
Nafplion is famous for its seafood taverns & traditional taverns in the narrow pedestrian streets.
We drive to the top of the hill of the awesome Castle of Palamidi & visit. Very well preserved it towers 1000 feet over the City.
Spent the night in a boutique hotel in the Old City.
Leaving Nafplion in the morning we continue our tour passing hundred year old cypress & olive trees. After half an hour we arrive to Ancient Epidauros. According to mythology it was the sanctuary of Aschlepios the God of medicine & son of Apollo.
Visit the Site & walk past ancient hospitals, a circular Temple of Aschlepios, the Sacred Spring & the Ancient Theatre world known for its unique acoustics. It is still used nowadays hosting the best performers of ancient dramas & comedies.
We continue our tour passing by high mountains, gorges & olive tree forests. We reach the western coast of the Peloponesse in an hour. Driving by scenic seaside villages & giant pine trees we arrive to the green valley picked by Hercules to house The Olympic Games in honor of Zeus.
Spend the night in a 4 star hotel with swimming pool over looking the valley.
You visit the Ancient Site where the first Olympics took place. It is a large site with the Stadium, the Workshop of Phidias the best sculptor of ancient Greece, the Circular Temple of the Macedonians, the Palaestra, the Temple of Zeus that housed the wonderful Statue of Zeus & the one of Hera where the Lighting of the flame takes place every 4 years.
The museum of Olympia houses masterpieces such as the statue of Hermes of Praxiteles, the statue of Nike Paionios, a statue of emperor Hadrian, the helmet of general Miltiades who defeated the Persians at the Marathon the year 490 BC, the Disk from the Temple of Hera & others.
We depart from Olympia & drive along the scenic seaside highway for an hour & pass by the town of Patra known for its carnival.
We cross over to the mainland driving over the largest bridge of Europe named Rio & Antirio. Or taking a ferry boat ride, next to Venetian fortresses that guarded the Corinthian gulf, across the Corinthian bay.
We stop at the the picturesque village of Nafpactos or Lepanto & walk around its seafront castles. Ideal place for a snack!
This is the battlefield of Lepanto where the Christian naval fleet defeated the Ottoman one. Miguel De Cervantes fought here with the Spanish ship.
Leaving Nafpactos we drive on one of Greece's most scenic coastal routes.
Many villages beaches & cliffs on the way to the harbor of Itea where we start our up hill drive to the village of Delphi located on a 1500 foot cliff.
We spend the night in a boutique guesthouse of Delphi.
We visit the site of the Oracle of Delphi starting from the Sacred Way that leads to the Temple of Apollo , the Theater & the Stadium used for the Pythian Games. The Museum of Delphi has a number of famous statues such as The Charioteer, The Naxian Sphinx, the "belly button", the statue of Antinoos among others.
We visit the unique round monument of Athena Pronoias made of marble & the Gymnasium next to the Arcade of Attalos. We drive by The Spring of Castalia still running after thousands of years & stop at the nearby village of Delphi overlooking the olive tree forest of Itea & taste a local traditional meal.
We depart from Delphi driving by the rugged slopes of Parnassos & Bralos mountains with their many deep gorges & refreshing springs.
We drive for a couple of hours on the largest valley of Greece. Thessaly. We arrive to the awesome Rocks of Meteora early in the afternoon & time permitting we visit the easy to walk to Monastery of St. Stephan.
We spend the night in a modern boutique hotel at the base of the Rocks.
We drive the winding road to the higher monastery & start our visit.
There are 6 active monasteries. The Great Meteoron, Varlaam, St. Barbara, St.Nicholas, Holy Trinity known for the James Bond movie "for your eyes only" & a rather difficult one with many steps St. Stephen & another one built in a cave.
After lunch in the afternoon we start our return to Athens.
On the way, we stop at the site of Thermopylae known for the heroic 300 Spartans & King Leonidas who defended this strategic passage to Athens the year 480 BC.
Our drive back to Athens takes us past coastal villages, tunnels, mountain lakes & the plains of Thebes.
You can adjust the pace, order & duration of the tour to fit your interests!
Argolis, Olympia, Delphi & Meteora Tour