Journey through Ancient Greece

Southern Greece


Day 1

Fly to Athens on Aegean Airways at 1210 from Terminal 2, Heathrow. Coach to Hotel Cypria, just off Platia Syntagma and a few minutes walk from the Akropolis (about one hour from the airport).

Overnight Athens


The Parthenon marbles displayed in the new
Akropolis Museum;


Day 2

We will spend the day in  Athens. In the morning we will walk through the Ancient Agora to see the Hephaiston, the most complete temple on the Greek mainland and then make our way up to the Akropolis where the famous buildings, including the Parthenon and the Erechthion, never fail to thrill. After a break for lunch we will visit the new Akropolis Museum; it is truly superb. The sculptures from the Parthenon, those which escaped the attention of Elgin and others, are most imaginatively displayed, in the relative positions in which they were placed on the Parthenon, with natural light from a huge glazed wall which looks out onto the Akropolis and the Parthenon. It is worth coming to Greece for this museum alone!

If you have been to Athens before you may prefer to visit the Kerameikon, the Benaki Museum, go to the flea market, shopping, or linger over lunch in the Plaka, (all within walking distance of our hotel).                             Overnight Athens











Temple to Hephaistos in the Ancient Agora


Day 3 will be spent in the region of Attika. We will visit the charming Sanctuary to Artemis at Vrauron (Vavrona), the ancient silver mines and theatre at Thorikos, the silver washeries at Agrilesa and end our day at Cape Sounion where we will have supper in a taverna on the beach (and a swim) before visiting the Temple to Poseidon for sunset, a truly magical experience.                                                                                                                                Overnight Athens    



On Day 4 we will visit the magnificent National Archaeological Museum which contains treasures from all over the Greek world, including a fabulous collection of vases, sculpture and the frescoes from Thira (Santorini).  We can also go to the Kerameikos, the ancient cemetery, before leaving Athens in the afternoon for Delphi, in the most dramatic setting beneath Mount Parnassos, where we stay the night at the Akropole Hotel,                                                                                                                                                                              Overnight Delphi                                                                                        


Theatre and Washery at Thorikos



On Day 5 we visit the site of the ancient oracle and sanctuary of Apollo, a short walk from our hotel. With mountains towering above the sanctuary (sometimes with eagles soaring above) this is a truly dramatic place.  The 4th century BC sanctuary was the most famous of the cult sites in Greece. Among the many treasures in the museum are the fabulous bronze charioteer & some stunning gold & ivory items and beautiful archaic sculptures.  The site which is within walking distance of our hotel, opens at 0800. 

Leave Delphi 1400. From here we have a beautiful drive along the Gulf of Corinth, cross the Gulf on the new suspension bridge and travel to Olympia where we stay the night where we stay the night at the Olympic Village Hotel, .  There is an outdoor swimming pool here. The hotel is within walking distance of the site.                                                                                                                                                               Overnight Olympia















The tholos at the Marmaria or 'lower site'

On Day 6 we visit the wonderful & atmospheric site of Olympia, the 5th century BC Sanctuary of Zeus, the stadium where the first Olympic games were held in 776 BC, and the museum where you will see some of the superb sculptures from the temple of Zeus and the famous statue of Hermes by Praxitiles. The site is within walking distance of the hotel so you can go as early as you like! 

From Olympia we go to the Temple of Apollo Epkiourios at Vassae, set in the mountains, before driving to Nauplion, in the Argolid, where we will stay 3 nights in the Victoria hotel, in the old town. Nauplion is a lovely elegant Venetian port with no fewer than 3 castles, excellent museums, plenty of good restaurants, many churches, tempting shops & two beaches. It is an excellent base for visiting the many nearby archaeological sites. Overnight Nauplion at the Hotel Victoria in the old town:,













Temple to Apollo at Vassae


On Day 7 we will visit Mycenae, Homer's 'city of gold' built c.1500 BC, from where Agamemnon set off for Troy & where he was murdered by Klytemnestra; there is a fine museum here now with gold replicas of the treasures unearthed by Schliemann. Next we will go to nearby Ancient Nemea (where Herakles carried out his first labour of killing the lion) to visit the Sanctuary of Zeus, bath house, stadium (complete with tunnel) and superb museum. We can picnic on marble benches under the pine and olive trees here.                                                                           Overnight Nauplion


Temple to Zeus at Nemea


Day 8 After a morning in Nauplion we will go to nearby 'wall girt Tyrins' and the magnificent theatre & Asklepion (healing sanctuary) at Epidavros.                                                                                                                         Overnight Nauplion


Day 9 We will leave Nauplion for the airport and the early afternoon flight back to Heathrow.


A view of the old town of Nauplion



Please note: We will give you a time to be back on the coach at each site. Feel free to join in a group or to wander at your own pace; you will have detailed information on each site. There is no pressure to do anything.

 Also although 'guiding' is forbidden Jane is always happy to answer questions at the sites.

Mary will help you with queries on hotels and 'domestic matters'.

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The Philipeion at Olympia