Four Days Classical Tour With Meteora First & Tourist Class
- Price from:
- 361 EUR /person
- Payment Types:
- Credit Card
- Travellers cheque
- Wire Transfer
- Location Start:
- Your hotel or Terminal at Amalia Hotel
- Location Finish:
- Your hotel or Terminal at Amalia Hotel
- Start time:
- 08.30 am
- End time:
- 07.00 pm
- We Speak:
- English / French
Last updated: 01/14/2010
The most outstanding classical sites are visited on this tour, reminding the visitor of the glory that was Greece.Special winter offer till 29 March 2010 for first class tour from 381.00 Euros per person.
1st Day: Corinth Canal (short stop). Drive to Epidaurus (visit the archaeological site and the Theatre, famous for its remarkable acoustics) and then on to Nauplia (short stop). Drive to Mycenae where you visit the archaeological site, then depart. for OLYMPIA, through the central Peloponnese area passing the cities of Megalopolis and Tripolis, arrive in Olympia. Dinner & Overnight in Olympia (D.)
2nd Day: In the morning visit the archaeological site and the museum of Olympia. Drive via Patras to Rion, cross the channel to Antirion on the "state of the art" new suspended bridge considered to be the longest and most modern in Europe. Arrive in Nafpaktos, then continue to Delphi. Dinner & Overnight in Delphi. (B.D.)
3rd Day: In the morning visit the archaeological site and the museum of Delphi. Depart for Kalambaka. Drive through Amphissa, Lamia and Trikala. Arrive in Kalambaka, dinner and overnight (B.D.)
4th Day: In the morning, visit the breathtaking Meteora and in the early afternoon start the drive back to Athens passing via Thermopylae (visit) and Kammena Vourla (B.)
Winter period 3 Nov 2008 to 30 March 2009, operating every Monday.
From 4 April 2009 - 27 Oct 2009 Every Mon/Tue/Sat.
Thursdays only the following dates:09/04,23/04,07/05,21/05,28/05,04/06,18/06,25/06,09/07,23/07,06/08,20/08,03/09,17/09,24/09,01/10,15/10,22/10
- Inclusions -
- Pick up and drop off at your hotel,luxury coach,English speaking guide,entrance fees,breakfast and dinner
- Exclusions -
- Lunch & beverages
- Extras -
- Sanctuary of Asklepios at Ancient Epidaurus The Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus was the most celebrated healing centre of the ancient world. The cult is attested as early as the 6th century B.C. when the hill-top sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas was no longer spacious enough for the public worship of the Epidaurus city-state. The authority and radiance of Asklepios as the most important healer god of antiquity, brought to the sanctuary great financial prosperity, which in the 4th and 3rd centuries B.C. enabled the implementation of an ambitious building program for the construction of monumental buildings for the worship (the temple and the altar of Asklepios, the Tholos, the Abaton, etc.), and later, of buildings mainly secular in character (the Theatre, the Ceremonial Hestiatoreion, the Baths, the Palaestra, etc.). The Asklepieion survived until the end of antiquity, having experienced a second heyday in the 2nd century A.D. The French Scientific Mission to the Peloponnese was the first to conduct excavations on the site. However, all the monuments of the Asklepieion have been brought to light in systematic excavations carried out by the Greek Archaeological Society (1879-1926) under the direction of P. Kavvadias. Additional investigations were conducted in 1942-43 on the Abaton and building E, by E. Martin and H. Metzger. The excavations were resumed from 1948 to 1951, and have been continued since 1974, mainly in the sanctuary of Apollo Maleatas. Since 1985, complementary archaeological research has been undertaken by the Committee for the Preservation of the Epidaurus Monuments. The first restoration works at the Asklepieion started on the Theatre in 1907, and continued in 1954-1963. In 1984, the task of rescuing the sanctuary from decay as well as improving its presentation as a whole, while organizing an instructive and controlled route for the large number of visitors, was undertaken by the Committee for the Preservation of the Epidaurus Monuments. The restoration of the Abaton, the Tholos, the Propylon of the "Gymnasium", and the Gate of the West Parodos of the Theatre, with extensive conservation treatment of the authentic material, is in various stages of implementation. Also, for the direct rescue of the authentic material of other monuments, Greek and Roman, conservation is currently in progress. In 1988, the Asklepieion was included in the World Heritage List. Mycenae: Mycenae, the legendary home of the Atreides, is situated upon a small hill-top on the lower slopes of Euboea Mountain, between two of its peaks, on the road leading from the Argolic Gulf to the north (Corinth, Athens, etc.) The site was inhabited since Neolithic times (about 4000 BC) but reached its peak during the Late Bronze Age (1350-1200 BC), giving its name to a civilization which spread throughout the Greek world. During that period, the acropolis was surrounded by massive "cyclopean" walls which were built in three stages (ca.1350, 1250 and 1225 BC) except on its SE flank where a steep ravine provided natural defense. A palace was built on the summit of the hill while towards the Argolic plain lay the wall - painted "Cult Center", the main gate or "Lion Gate" and "Grave Circle A" which contained the treasures now displayed at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. On the NE side, a tunnel leading to a subterranean fountain was built in "cyclopean" masonry in around 1225 B.C. More tombs, "Grave Circle B", and large tholoi as well as houses were discovered outside the walls. Mycenae was occupied without interruption until 468 B.C. when it was conquered by the city of Argos and its population banished. It was reoccupied in the 3rd century B.C. for a relatively short period. It had been abandoned for some time when Pausanias visited the site during the 2nd century A.D. In 1841, K. Pittakis cleared the "Lion Gate" and in 1876, H. Schliemann started the excavations of the "Grave Circle A" which P. Stamatakis continued in 1877, bringing to light a sixth shaft grave. From 1864 to 1902, excavations at the palace, the subterranean fountain, and many chamber tombs were conducted by Ch. Tsountas while restricted excavations were also carried out by D. Evangelides in 1909, G. Rodenwaldt in 1911 and A. Keramopoulos in 1917. Further excavations were conducted by A.B. Wace during three campaigns, in 1920-1923 on the acropolis and the tombs, in 1939 and 1950-1957 on the houses and tombs at the Lower City. Simultaneously, from 1952 to 1955 the Greek Archaeological Society under the direction of G. Mylonas and J. Papadimitriou investigated more houses as well as "Grave Circle B", while G. Mylonas and N. Verdelis uncovered more houses. Finally, the "Cult Center" was revealed by the British School of Archaeology under the direction of Lord Taylour and was further investigated by G. Mylonas and Sp. Iakovides of the Greek Archaeological Society in 1959 and 1969-1974. In 1950, the Restoration Service undertook works on the tomb of Clytemnestra, under the direction of An. Orlandos and E. Stikas. In 1954, E. Stikas consolidated and restored the megaron, the area south of the "Lion Gate", and the "Grave Circle B" and in 1955, the walls north of the "Lion Gate" as well as the courtyard of the palace. One of the most important sanctuaries of antiquity, dedicated to the father of the gods Olympian Zeus. Olympia is the birth-place of the Olympic Games and also where they were held. The area, of great natural beauty, has been inhabited uninterruptedly since the 3rd millenium B.C. and in the late Mycenaean period it became a religious centre. The excavations at Olympia were begun in May 1829, two years after the battle of Navarino, by French archaeologists. The finds (metopes from the opisthodomus and parts of the metopes from the pronaos of the Temple of Zeus) were transferred to the Louvre where they are still being exhibited. When the Greek government was informed of the looting of artifacts, the excavation was stopped. Excavations started again 45 years later by German archaeologists. The research is being continued to this day by the German Institute of Archaeology in Athens, and the Ephorate of Antiquities in Olympia. The sanctuary of Olympia spreads around the green wooded feet of the Kronion hill, where the rivers Alpheios and Cladeos meet. The valley amongst the two rivers was in ancient times full of wild olive trees, poplars, oaks, pines and plane trees and it was these trees that gave the centre of the sanctuary the name Altis, meaning alsos (grove). The Altis is the name given to the area in Olympia that comprises the main religious buildings, temples and votive offerings of the sanctuary. Out of the enclosure were the auxiliary buildings, priests' houses, baths, the areas for the preparation of the athletes, guest houses along with other buildings. The beginning of worship, as well as the mythical confrontations that took place in Olympia, are lost in the depth of the centuries. At the end of the Mycenaean era there was already an installation in the area, and in the Geometric and early Archaic periods, the first simple buildings of the sanctuary were founded. The games began in 776 B.C. to honour Zeus. Pelops, the king of the Peloponnese was, according to mythology, their founder. The games, that, from beginning to end were dominated by religious character and austere ritual, were taking place in the area in front of the temples to start with, but later as the athletes taking part in the games, as well as the spectators increased, in well organised installations. At the same time the events were enriched in number and variety. The innumerable offerings of the 7th-6th centuries B.C. were placed outside on trees, altars or in alcoves of the sanctuary. The most important of the offerings were bronze tripods and cauldrons of excellent quality, war loot (hanging on poles) and other art objects and instruments for the games. In the passing of centuries the architectural plan of the sanctuary takes shape, until the end of the 4th century B.C. when it is finally completed. Olympia was always functioning as a place of political projection and the games often fell, especially during late antiquity, victim to political exploitation from important personalities like Philip II, Alexander the Great and his successors. Romans, proving their authentic Greek origin, also took part in the games, after the total submission of Greece to Rome, but by then the glamour and idealistic spirit of the games was considerably weakened. Directly depending on the the games and the sanctuary of Olympia was the town of Elis, whose sole interest was the preparation and performance of the games. Some of the most important monuments of the site are: The temple of Zeus: The Doric peripteral temple, the work of the Elean architect Libon is dated at 470-456 B.C. It was erected on the southern part of the Altis, on a free section of land. The dimensions of the Doric temple were imposing, thus giving it an impressive image. On the same level as the Heraion, the Temple of Zeus was dominating the sanctuary due to its size, the stone columns on its sides and the magnificent pediments with sculptured compositions in the severe style, featuring Zeus and Apollo as its central figures. The twelve metopes of the temple depicted the labours of Hercules. The visitor after crossing the pronaos entered into the three-aisled cella where stood the magnificent gold and ivory (chryselephantine) statue of Zeus, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The statue was 12m high and featured the ruler of the word Zeus, sitting on a throne, holding his sceptre in his left hand and a winged Nike in his right. Near the opisthodomus of the Temple of Zeus grew a wild olive tree, the "Callistephanos Elaia" whose branches were used to make the wreaths for the winners. The Temple of Hera (Heraion) A Doric temple dated to the end of the 7th century B.C. The Heraion is one of the oldest examples of monumental dimensioned temples in Greek architecture. Made of wood originally it was a richly ornamented large building with a three-aisled cella where the statues of Hera and Zeus stood. The Stadium: In its present day form it dates from the early 5th century B.C. The track has a length of 212.54m and a width of 28.50m. On the stadium's southern slope there was a stone platform which was for the Hellanodikes (the judges) and opposite was the altar to Demeter Chamyne. The stadium held 45,000 spectators. The Bouleuterion: Its is made up of two buildings which date from the mid 6th and the 5th centuries B.C. Between the two buildings stood the altar of Horkios Zeus, where the athletes were sworn in before the games. The Philippeion: A circular peripteral building, which was begun by Philip II after the battle of Chaeroneia (338 B.C.) and was completed by Alexander the Great. It was used for the heroworship of the Macedonian dynasty. The statues were the works of art of Leochares. The Leonidaion: This guest house was built in ca. 330 B.C. It was named after its donor and architect, Leonidas of Naxos. The building was where important foreign guest and officials stayed during their visits. The workshop of Pheidias: Built to house work carried out on the gold and ivory statue of Zeus. In and around the workshop, tools, terra-cotta moulds and other artefacts relating to the work of the artist have been found. The Palaestra: Erected during the 3rd century B.C. it was used for the practice of wrestling, boxing and jumping. The Gymnasium: Closed rectangular building with a large yard. Here the athletes practised events such as the javelin, the discus etc. Dated to the 2nd century B.C. The Prytaneion: Dating from the beginning of the 5th century B.C. it housed the Prytans (officials of the sanctuary). The sacred Hearth with the eternal flame was privately situated within. The Treasuries: Megaron shaped small temples, dedicated mainly by Greek cities and colonies. There are the remains of 12 small temples, but only 5 of these are identifiable to any degree of certainty; those built by the cities of Sicyon, Selinus, Metapontium, Megara and Gelas. Delphi. During the Mycenaean period, the female deity of Earth was worshipped in the small settlement of Delphi. The development of the sanctuary and oracle though, began in the 8th century B.C. with the establishment of the cult of Apollo. Under the protection and administration of the Amphictyony, the sanctuary continued to be autonomous after the First Sacred War and, as a result, increased its panhellenic religious and political influence. The Pythian Games were re-organized, the sanctuary was enlarged and it was enriched with nice buildings, statues, and other offerings. In the 3rd century B.C. it came under the domination of the Aetolians and later, in 191 B.C., was conquered by the Romans. During the Roman occupation the site was sometimes plundered but was also favoured by some of the emperors. With the spread of Christianity, the sanctuary lost its religious meaning and was permanently closed down with a decree of emperor Theodosius the Great. The ruins of Delphi were uncovered by the systematic excavations of the French Archaeological School, which began in 1893. The village of Kastri, which had occupied the area of the sanctuary since medieval times, was moved to its present position. After the removal of huge quantities of earth that had been accumulated with the landslides, the remains of two sanctuaries, dedicated to Apollo and Athena Pronaea, were finally uncovered. The excavations revealed more than five thousands inscriptions of all kinds, statues, several miniature objects, architectural decorative pieces, all exquisite works of art, representing the major cities of Greek antiquity. Outside the area of the Sanctuary, the Stadium, the Gymnasium, the settlement of Delphi and its cemeteries have also been excavated. The only monument that could be fully reconstructed from its own building material was the Treasury of the Athenians, which was restored in 1903-1906 by the French excavators, at the expense of the Municipality of Athens. In 1959, the restoration of the altar of the Chians was completed by the Greek Archaeological Service. The gradual reconstruction of parts of the Tholos and the Apollo Temple since 1938, has resulted in major changes in the overall appearance of the ancient remains; the Tholos has been rebuilt up to the marble sima at the base of the roof, while of the Temple have been restored the north crepis, the north wall, the columns on the east side, and the ramp of the entrance. The numerous finds from the sanctuary are housed in the Archaeological Museum of Delphi. Some of the most important monuments of the site are: The Temple of Apollo. The visible ruins belong to the last temple, dated to the 4th century B.C., which was peripteral, in Doric order. It was erected exactly on the remains of an earlier temple, dated to the 6th century B.C. Inside was the "adyton", the centre of the Delphic oracle and seat of Pythia. The monument was partly restored during 1938-1941. The Treasury of the Athenians. Small building in Doric order, with two columns in antis, and rich relief decoration. It was built by the Athenians at the end of the 6th century B.C. in order to house their offerings to Apollo. After its restoration, in 1903-1906, it is the best preserved building on the site. The Altar of the Chians. The large altar of the sanctuary, in front of the temple of Apollo, was paid for and erected by the people of Chios, in the 5th century B.C., according to an inscription cut on the cornice. The monument was made of black marble, except for the base and cornice which were of white marble, resulting in an impressive color contrast. The altar was restored in 1920. The Stoa of the Athenians. The stoa, built in the Ionic order, has seven fluted columns, each made from a single stone. According to an inscription cut on the stylobate, it was erected by the Athenians, after 478 B.C., to house the trophies taken in their naval victories over the Persians. The Theatre of the sanctuary. It was originally built in the 4th century B.C. but the ruins we see today date from the Roman Imperial period. The cavea had 35 rows of stone benches; the foundations of the skene are preserved on the paved orchestra. The theatre was used mostly for the theatrical performances during the great festivals of the sanctuary. The Stadium was constructed in the 5th century B.C. and was remodelled in the 2nd century A.D. at the expense of Herodes Atticus. Then were added the stone seats and the arched monumental entrance. It was in this Stadium that the panhellenic Pythian Games took place. The Castalia spring. The sacred spring of Delphi lies in the ravine of the Phaedriades. The preserved remains of two monumental fountains that received the water from the spring date to the Archaic period and the Roman era. The later one is cut in the rock and has niches cut high in the cliff, which probably held the offerings to the Nymph Castalia. The Tholos. Circular building in Doric order, built in ca. 380 B.C. Its function remains unknown but It must have been an important building, judging from the multi-coloured stone, the fine workmanship and the high-standard relief decoration. The monument was partly reconstructed in 1938. The Polygonal wall. Retaining wall, built after the destruction of the old temple of Apollo in 548 B.C., to support the terrace on which the new temple was to be erected. The masonry is polygonal and the curved joints of the stones fit perfectly in place. A large number of inscriptions, mostly manumissions, are carved on the stones of the wall. The Gymnasium was a complex of buildings used by the youths of Delphi for their education and practice. It was constructed in two levels: on the upper was a stoa and a free open space used for running practice, and on the lower was the palaestra, the pool and the baths (thermae). Meteora: Meteora is from the biggest and most important group of monasteries in Greece after those in Mount Athos. We can locate the first traces of their history from 11th c. when the first hermits settled there. The rock monasteries have been characterized by Unesco as a unique phenomenon of cultural heritage and they form one of the most important stations of cultural map of Greece. The most important monasteries of Meteora are: The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron. It is the biggest of the Meteorite monasteries. The church 'Katholikon', honoured to the 'Transfiguration' was erected in the middle of 14th c. and 1387/88 and decorated in 1483 and 1552. The old monastery is used as a museum, nowadays. The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second, after the Great Meteoro, big in size monastery. The church, honoured to the three Bishops, is in the Athonite type (cross-in-square with dome and choirs), with spacious esonarthex (lite) surrounted by dome as well. It was built in 1541/42 and decorated in 1548, while the esonarthex was decorated in 1566. The old refectory is used as a museum while North of the Church we can see the parekklesion of the Three (Bishops) built in 1627 and decorated in 1637. The Holy Monastery of Rousanou. It is dedicated to 'The Transfiguration' but honoured to Saint Barbara. The 'Katholikon', in the Athonite type, was founded in the middle of 16th c. and decorated in 1560. Both, the Katholikon and the reception halls are in the ground floor while the 'archontariki', cells and subsidiary rooms are scattered in the basement and the first floor. The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas. It is the first to meet on our way from Kastraki to Meteora. The 'Katholikon' dedicated to St. Nicholas, is a single - nave church with small dome, built in the beginning of 16th c. It was decorated by the Cretan painter Theophanis Strelitzas or Bathas, in 1527. The Holy Monastery of St. Stephen. It is one of the most attainable as we don't have to cope with innumerable stairs to reach it. The small single-nave church of St. Stephen was built in the middle of 16th and decorated in 1545 or a little later. The 'Katholikon', honoured to St. Charalambos, was built in the Athonite type, in 1798. The old refectory of the convent is used as a museum nowadays. The Monastery of Holy Trinity is very difficult to reach. The visitor has to cross the valley and continue high up through the rock before we arrive outside the entrance. The church is in the cross-in-square type with the dome based in two columns, built in 1475-76 and decorated in 1741. The spacious barrel - vaulted esonarthex was founded in 1689 and decorated in 1692. A small skeuophylakeion was added next to the church in 1684. A great part of the monasteries (Katholika, cells, other buildings) have been restored and the rest of them is being restored, while in plenty of them the conservation of the wall paintings has been fulfilled. Statue of Leonidas: The monument stands opposite the historical hill of Kolonos and represents Leonidas in full armour. It was designed by B. Phalereus, and was erected in the 1950s at the expense of Greeks living in America. The monument was built to commemorate the battle at Thermopylae, and is located at the centre of the pass, where the final phase of the battle took place, as is attested by the accumulation at the foot of the hill of iron and bronze spearheads dated to the 5th century B.C. Members of the Amphiktyony erected on the hill a stone statue of a lion in memory of the deceased warriors, with an epigram written by Simonides, but the monument is not preserved today. A restricted excavation on the hill of Kolonos, in 1939, revealed fortification works of several periods, Roman and Byzantine graves, and ruins of Byzantine buildings.
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