Signature Land Expeditions

Greece: Wonders of an Ancient Empire

  • Duration 11 Days | Round-trip Athens
  • Group Size Max 25
  • From $9,916 AUD
Call 1800 954 479

Trip Overview

 

Trace 5,000 years of Greek history while exploring the country's incomparable archaeological treasures. From the legendary Acropolis in Athens to the cliff-top monasteries of Meteora and the Mycenaean treasures of the Peloponnese, delve into the mythology and masterpieces of ancient Greece with local scholars and archaeologists.

 

Trip Highlights

  • This expedition was inspired by the National Geographic television series The Greeks, the July 2016 National Geographic magazine photo-essay, and the 2016 National Geographic Museum exhibition The Greeks: From Agamemnon to Alexander the Great.
  • In Athens, meet a classics professor for a tour of the ancient Agora, and then step behind the scenes of a nearby archaeology lab and restoration workshop.
  • Enjoy lunch at a family home on Aegina Island, and learn about olive oil production at a working olive oil press.
  • Explore the Temple of Apollo with an archaeologist who works at this active excavation site.

Itinerary - 11 Days

Day 1 Athens, Greece

Arrive in Athens and transfer to our hotel near the charming Plaka neighborhood. Gather for a welcome reception and dinner on the hotel's rooftop, which offers breathtaking views of the Acropolis.
Herodion Hotel (D)

Day 2 Athens

Begin the day at the New Acropolis Museum, examining panels of the famous Parthenon frieze, along with many other ancient works. Visit the hilltop complex of the Acropolis, crowned by the magnificent Parthenon. Venture back into the Plaka neighborhood for a delicious lunch. At the ancient Agora, once frequented by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, explore the origins of democracy with a professor of classical archaeology.
Herodion Hotel (B,L)

Day 3 Athens/Náfplio

Visit the National Archaeological Museum, home to countless treasures including Mycenean gold masks, Greek vases, and evocative marble sculptures. Travel south over the Isthmus of Corinth to see the Temple of Apollo and the Forum with an American archaeologist who excavates the site. This evening, take a stroll along the waterfront in the charming town of Náfplio, then gather for a festive dinner at a local taverna.
Amalia Hotel Nauplia (B,L,D)

Day 4 Náfplio/Mycenae/Epidaurus

Explore the fortified city of Mycenae, the center of the powerful Mycenaean civilization that flourished in the second millennium B.C. Enter the citadel through the Lion Gate, discovering an ancient grave circle, the royal palace, and the Tomb of Agamemnon—the largest of the tholos (beehive) tombs found here. Journey into the renowned wine region of Nemea for lunch. Visit an olive oil press in the village of Lygourio and learn about the process for harvesting and pressing olives, then enjoy an olive oil tasting. Later, visit the theater of Epidaurus, renowned for its exceptional acoustics. Return to Náfplio for dinner.
Amalia Hotel Nauplia (B,L,D)

Day 5 Olympia

Discover the picturesque mountain villages of Arcadia on our way to Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Have lunch together while admiring a performance of traditional Greek dancing. After lunch, explore this evocative collection of ancient temples, altars, and a stadium. Visit the archaeological museum to learn about Olympia's origins as a sanctuary honoring Zeus. Enjoy a wine tasting and dinner this evening at our hotel.
Olympion Asty Hotel (B,L,D)

Days 6 & 7 Delphi

Depart the Peloponnese for mainland Greece. Arrive at the sanctuary of Delphi, considered by ancient Greeks to be the center of the world. Walk the sacred way to the Temple of Apollo and explore Delphi's awe-inspiring ruins of the theatre, a stadium, treasuries, and altars. Enjoy a weaving demonstration in the hilltop village of Aráhova. Stop in at the 11th-century monastery of Hosios Loukas, a masterpiece of Byzantine architecture.
Amalia Hotel Delphi (B,L,D; B,L)

Days 8 & 9 Kalambáka/Meteora/Athens

Journey to Kalambáka, our base for exploring the extraordinary monasteries of Meteora. Built atop sandstone megaliths that rise some 1,200 feet from the valley floor, these monasteries offered refuge from hostile attacks during the waning days of the Byzantine Empire. Venture into chapels and courtyards adorned with beautiful frescoes. Take in panoramic views of the surrounding countryside, when on a clear day, you can see as far as Mt. Olympus. Travel to the mountain pass of Thermopylae, where Persian and Greek armies clashed in 480 B.C. Upon return to Athens, meet with a local expert to discuss the political and economic landscape of contemporary Greece.
Grand Meteora Hotel; St. George Lycabettus Hotel (B,L,D; B,L)

Days 10 & 11 Athens/Aegina

Travel to the port city of Piraeus, stopping to view a striking mural by the Greek visual artist iNO, whose artistic process was captured in the National Geographic television series The Greeks. Board a ferry to the island of Aegina, once an important maritime power. Explore the fifth-century B.C. Temple of Aphaia and have lunch at a family home, dining among pistachio and olive trees. Return by ferry to Athens and depart for the airport the next day.
St. George Lycabettus Hotel (B,L,D; B)

Optional Extension

Related Trips

See Optional Extensions

Greece: Wonders of an Ancient Empire

From AUD$9,916 Call 1800 954 479

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