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This tour offers you the opportunity to spend 4 days enjoying some of the most unique sites of Peloponnese encountering history, the unique blue of the Aegean Sea and the intense Greek element.
Athens – Ancient Corinth – Mystras – Sparta
The trip starts with a drive along the coast of the western suburbs of Athens along the coast, on the way you will view some Greek seaside villages and the island of Salamis (where the historical naval battle took place between the Athenians and the Persians). Our first stop the Corinth Canal. Opened in 1892 separating the Peloponnese peninsula from the rest of Greece and connecting the Saronic Gulf to the Corinthian Sea. You will have time to walk across on a pedestrian bridge to admire the canal closer, (if you’re game,) on some days bungee jumping is an option.
Moving on we will continue to Ancient Corinth. The city dominated by the hill of Acrocorinth and the old Castle, the oldest and largest castle in southern Greece. The site located at the foot of the hill includes the Roman Agora of Corinth, the Temple of God Apollo and a small museum. Apart from its archaeological and historical interest Ancient Corinth is also one of the most popular religious destinations in Greece as this was where the Apostle Paul preached Christianity, was judged by the tribunal in the Agora and established the best organized Christian church of that period.
As we will have visited Ancient Corinth we’ll continue our drive to Mystras moving to the southern Peloponnese peninsula through the mountainous landscape of the Greek countryside. Reaching Mystras you will automatically understand why this location stands so unique within the Greek sites. Known as the ghost city, fortified on a citadel, Mystras is one of the two locations in Greece that preserves not only medieval churches but also ordinary houses, mansions and palaces of the Byzantine Empire in combination with Frankish elements. Walking in the site on the higher point you will reach the citadel and enjoy a magnificent view of the surrounding areas while walking downhill you will meet the palaces and the Royal courtyards. Although known as the ghost city most of the monasteries are still in use and the monks will gladly show you around their small society. Before you exit you will come across the chapel of St. Demetrios, on its floor survives a plaque depicting a two head eagle (the symbol of Byzantium). It was on this very plaque that Konstantine Palaiologos kneeled before he was crowned the last emperor of the Byzantium.
Before visiting Sparta we will stop at a traditional Greek tavern at the small village of Mystras. Following that we will spend the rest of our time in Sparta known as the eternal rival city of the Athenian Democracy. Sparta revolved around a different Cosmo theory for the ancient Greek standards. Initially known as the birth place of Helen of Troy and the Kingdom of Menelaus (in the Mycenaean period), Sparta was organized as a purely military society in the ancient Greek period. It was the city of the two Kings were a few aristocrats ruled and of course the city where Leonidas and his 300 Spartans marched from to face the Persian army in Thermopylae in 480 BCE. The city whose one soldier counted as ten soldiers from any other Greek city. Reaching Sparta we will visit the ancient citadel of Sparta where you will have a view of the ancient theater being revealed gradually in front of your eyes. Continuing we will pass in front of the stadium where the statue of King Leonidas stands marking the ending point of Spartathlon race (Athens – Sparta 245,3 km). Then we will settle at our Hotel and rest.
Sparta – Monemvasia
After spending the night at Sparta we will drive to Monemvasia, a unique city of Greece’s medieval history unlike Mystras, Monemvasia is a living old city, developed on an island that is connected to the Greek mainland. A fortress and a prosperous city of the Byzantine empire Monemvasia (literally means one entrance) still survives, the narrow streets, the mansions, the small houses, the churches, the wall, the gate and the citadel, the city is still inhabited. Here history truly comes alive, we will spend the rest of the day at Monemvasia where you can have your lunch by the sea upon the old wall and walk in the city discovering points of interest.
Sparta – Mycenae – Nafplio
The next day we will depart for Mycenae following the highway opened between the mountains. Mycenae is a small village including a site that dates back to the 2nd millennium BCE representing the era of Achilles, Agamemnon, and Helen of Troy. In the site, you will see the renowned Lions Gate (the oldest architectural sculpture in Europe), the cyclopean walls, the burial circle A and the remains of Agamemnon’s Palace. Within the site, there is a modern museum exhibiting the findings of the “City of Gold” before leaving the site we will make a small stop at the treasury of Atreus, the best preserved Tholos tomb, one of the finest examples of the Mycenaean architecture. After that we will travel towards more recent history of Greece to the city of Nafplio, considered the most scenic city, it functioned as the capital of Greece until 1834 and offers you an outstanding combination of fortresses and castles (Palamidi), Bourtzi, a huge port opened to the Aegean Sea and the unique architecture of the old city of Nafplion revealing Venetian, neoclassical and oriental elements. After walking in the idyllic old city we will stop for lunch at a traditional tavern by the sea. The rest of the day will be yours to freely enjoy the city and we will spend the night there.
Nafplio – Epidaurus – Athens
On our last day, we will depart from Nafplio heading towards Epidaurus but before we leave we will drive up to the castle of Acronafplia taking in a unique view of the city and the gulf opened in front of it as your last memory of Nafplio for this trip. On our way back we will stop at 3 more sites, firstly at Tiryns a second Mycenaean fortress, not that well preserved, but preserving unique parts of the fortification like the tunnels created in the wall. According to Greek Mythology, Hercules visited Tiryns to be given his 12 labors by his cousin Eyrystheas, King of Tiryns.
The last stop will be the site of Epidaurus. After a short drive, you will be able to visit one of the most important ancient Greek sanctuaries dedicated to God Asclepius, the God of healing and medicine, located in a peaceful environment spread on a hilly area reaching its highest point which is the theater of Epidaurus. The best-preserved ancient Greek theater dated 4th century BCE, proof of what miracles the ancient Greek minds could create. You can test the acoustics great even today and climb up to the upper seats just to close your eyes and dream you attended an ancient Greek tragedy.
After the site, we will have a traditional Greek lunch with a sea view and will then make our way back to Athens.
Your driver shall hold Olive Sea signage at the pick up point.
Bring sunglasses, hat, sunscreen and comfortable clothes during summer months & warm clothes and waterproof jacket during winter months. Have your ticket (electronic or printed) with you & your ID/PASSPORT (or copy).
Admission Fees For Sites:
SUMMER PERIOD: 1 April – 31 October
WINTER PERIOD: 1 November – 31 March
Full: € 8,00 – Reduced: € 4,00
Winter: 08:00 – 15:00 (Tuesday Closed)
Summer: 08:00 – 20:00
Full : € 12,00 – Reduced: € 6,00
Winter : 08:30 – 16:00
Summer: 08:00 – 20:00
1-15 September: 08:00-19:30
16-30 September: 08:00-19:00
1-15 October: 08:00-18:30
16-31 October: 08:00-18:00
The Museum of the Olive and Greek Olive Oil:
Full : € 4,00 – Reduced: € 2,00
Full: € 12,00 – Reduced: € 6,00
Winter: 08:00 – 15:00
Summer: 08:00 – 20:00
Full: € 4,00 – Reduced: € 2,00
Winter / Summer: 08:00 – 15:00
Full: € 2,00 – Reduced: € 2,00
Winter: 08:30 – 15:30
Summer: April-August: 08:00-20:00
1st September-30th September : 08:00-19:00
1st October-31st October : 08:00-18:00
Full: € 12,00 – Reduced: € 6,00(Valid for the theater that is part of the archaeological site of the Sanctuary of Asklepios )
January-March: 08:00 – 17:00
April: 08:00 – 19:00
May – October 31st: 08:00 – 20:00
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