Arrival to Athens airport. Transfer by bus westwards along the scenic coast to the amazing Corinth Canal, approximately 6 km long, connecting the Aegean with the Ionian Sea. Admire the artificial canal and then continue to the Ancient Corinth where St. Paul lived and preached. Ancient Corinth was one of the most important cities of ancient Greece. You will visit the Agora and one of the most outstanding monuments of pre –Roman period, the temple of Apollo. Check-in and overnight in Loutraki.
Breakfast at the hotel. You will be comfortably picked-up at……… am and our tour leader will briefly explain the day’s program and provide you with some practical info. You will head west and, driving along a scenic mountain road in the Peloponnese region. First stop will be the mythological lake of Stymfalia (at some 600m above sea level).
The lake is an incredibly tranquil place teeming with historic events. It is associated with many stories about the semi-god Hercules, it was here that the Stymphalian birds(man-eating birds with beaks of bronze) were defeated by the hero in his Sixth Labor for Eurystheus. You will hear a lot about that, and walk the area in search of the ancient Stymfalia town. Also, spot the many different bird species nesting in the lake (birdwatching) and visit the awesome Environment Museum, which showcases the coexistence of Man and Nature in inspiring ways.
Then, we continue to Ancient Nemea, in Greece’s most famous wine region. Again, many mythological connections and once more, stories about our hero, Hercules, and how he tamed the fierce lion of Nemea the first of Heracles’ twelve labors. There you will also have the chance to visit the archaeological site, which features an imposing temple of Zeus, the ancient stadium and the wonderful annexed museum.
After that, we will go visit …………….. winery, one of the biggest in the area. There, overlooking the Nemea plain you will get to sample wines made from different local grape varieties, including of course Agiorgitiko, one of Greece’s dominant wine grape varieties. Along with the wines you will be treated delicious homemade local food and learn about the region’s gastronomy. Later in the afternoon we will return to your hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel. Drive along the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf to MYCENAE, visit the remains of the ancient city, including the lionesses gate, the tomb of Agamemnon and the Palace. Our second stop will be at the lake of Lerna near the city of Argos where the second labor of Hercules took place. Eurystheus orders Heracles to go kill the Hydra, a huge venomous snake with a hundred heads. To defeat the Hydra, Hercules called on his friend Iolaus for help. As soon as Hercules cut off one head, Iolaus would seal the wound with a hot iron or a torch so that nothing could grow to replace it. After that, we will visit the beautiful Nafplion. With it’s marble pavements, towering castles, its medieval quarter and lots of historical monuments, Nafplion is not a town to be missed on your visit to Greece. After lunch at a local restaurant, visit EPIDAURUS and its theatre, famous for its remarkable acoustics. Return to the hotel in Loutraki via the Epidaurus/Corinth road.
Depart from Loutraki to southern Peloponnese. Our destination is the famous city of Sparta. one of the most powerful city-states in Ancient Greece. It is famous for its great army as well as its battles with the city-state of Athens during the Peloponnesian War.
In our fascinating day we will first visit the Museum of Olive Oil of Sparta, a great Museum showing the unique history of olive production in Greece. After that, we visit the Acropolis of Sparta, the Archaeological Museum and the ruins of the glorious past of Sparta. We continue to the nearby famous Byzantine town of Mystras where we will be captivated by this destination’s medieval splendor. Lunch at a traditional tavern. Check in at the hotel in Sparta. Overnight
Breakfast and check out. We will pass from Taygetus mountain to visit the “Valley of Keada”, famous from mythology period. The ancient Spartans threw off the cliff their disabled children. But there is also another myth saying that the ancient Spartans threw off the cliff people condemned to death, the perjurers, traitors, criminals and prisoners of war. Then, we continue to Ancient Olympia the birthplace of the Olympic Games…
Our first stop, the ancient city of Elis, where the fifth labor of Hercules took place. He was ordered to clean up the stables of Augean, king of the area. Augeas had a prodigious number of oxen and goats, and the stable in which they were all kept had never been cleaned. The result was a mountain of filth and litter, which not even Hercules could clear away in a lifetime. However, he used his brain and dug a channel from near the source of the river Alpheus to one of the entrances of the stable. When all was ready, he opened the sluice at one entrance of the stable, so that the water poured in a flood through the whole building, and out at a gate on the other side. And it had all been so managed that when the river had poured through, and was shut off again, all the filth and litter had been carried away by the Alpheus underground, and the stable had been washed clean. Lunch and relax at the village of ancient Olympia. Check in and overnight
Breakfast at the hotel and we will visit the archaeological site of ancient Olympia, one of the most important of Greece. Here we’ll admire the Temple of Zeus which in antiquity was housing one of the 7 wonders of the Ancient world, the gold and ivory statue of Zeus, which Phedias had created, the Treasury houses, the Gymnasium and the Palaestra where athletes used to exercise .Finally come to the stadium, where the marble starting blocks are still in position.We will also visit the Archeological Museum , only a short walk from the Olympia site itself.. There you will find a wonderful collection of Greek sculpture, as well as treasures that have been unearthed over a century of excavations.
On the way back to Loutraki, we will pass through the Erymanthos mountain where Hercules was ordered to capture alive a fearsome animal ‘’the Mythical Erymanthian Boar’’, as his fourth labor. We learn how he managed to fulfill his mission in a beautiful natural environment. Stop for lunch and in the afternoon we will be back in Loutraki. Overnight.
This full day trip, starting from our hotel, offers you a guided tour of capital of Greece, Athens, while you are seated in a luxury air-conditioned bus. Your professional guide will narrate for you a Athens history while you see all the major sites, giving you a complete picture of the city before you proceed to the Acropolis.
You will admire the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896, the Greek Parliament, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier and so more.
On the Acropolis hill visit the Architectural Masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally “the harmony between material and spirit”, the monument that “puts order in the mind”, the Parthenon.
Our tour will continue with a walk to the new museum. The new Acropolis museum opened in 2004 is one of the newest and one of the most impressive in Europe. Architecturally it is exquisite and the exhibits are laid out in such a way that allow the visitor to understand and appreciate the true beauty of the ancient Greek sculptures.
Lunch and free time at ’’Plaka’’, one of the most attractive districts of Athens. In the afternoon back to your hotel.
Heraion Tours Travel Agency