Treasures of Ancient Greece

This was the tour which we took in 2001.

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Day one - Monday. We flew from UK to Thessaloniki. Transferred from the airport to the Hotel Astoria in the Thessaloniki area. Early arrivals will got a chance to look at the city. (We didn't because we landed at 4am!)

Thessaloniki is the largest city in northern Greece. The airport is modern but small enough to make transfers easy. You won't get lost here!

Day two - Tuesday. Pella - Vergina - Kalambaka. The tour began with morning drive to ancient city of Pella (birthplace of Prince Philip and Alexander the Great) to see the Hellenistic houses with their famous mosaic floors - not shown in this photo. You have to GO there and see for yourself!

Continued on to Vergina to visit the Royal Macedonian tombs of King Philip 11 of Greece, housing the fascinating golden treasures recently excavated at Vergina in a modern museum.

Continued south with spectacular views of Mount Olympus to Thessaly and on to Kalambaka for overnight stop.

Day three - Wednesday. Meteora - Athens. Visited the awe-inspiring Metora rocks - an unusual geological phenomenon of high rocks with tranquil monasteries topping them. When visiting the monasteries of Meteora, ladies are required to wear skirts and cover arms and gentlemen must wear long trousers. On to Athens via the Pass of Thermopyle where the ancient King of Sporta Leonidas fought his heroic battle against the Persians in 480BC, and saw the bronze statue of Leonidas. Arrived in Athens for two nights at the very grand Hotel Titania.

Day four - Thursday. Athens. We chose to take the optional day tour to visit the Acropolis and Parthenon and the Olympic stadium, followed by a short drive to Cape Sounion to see the classical temple of Poseidon. In the afternoon visited the National Archaeological Museum. Alternatively, we could have spent a leisurely day exploring the beautiful city of Athens at our own pace. Once you have seen the main sights you should browse around Plaka, the old quarters of Athens, or pay a visit to the rooftop bar of the Hotel Titania from which there is a spectacular view of the Acropolis.

Day five - Friday. Athens - Olympia Depart for the Pelopennese stopping at the Corinth Canal ...

... then on to the site of the ancient Greek- Roman city of Corinth. Saw the temple of Apollo and the Bema of Saint Paul.

Continued to Mycanae to see the Lion Gate, the Royal Grave circle, the ruins of the Palace of Agamemnon and the beehive treasury of Atreus. Drove through the mountains of Arcadia to Olympia. Overnight stop in Olympia at the Hotel Antonis.

Day six - Saturday. Olympia - Itea (port of Delphi) Spent the morning looking at the peaceful site where the Olympic Games originated in 776BC followed by a visit to the fine museum housing the famous statue of Hermes of Praxteles. Travelled north and across the Gulf of Corinth by ferry from Rio to Antirio, along the beautiful scenery of the Corinthiakos Gulf coastline, to the small port of Itea. Overnight stop at Hotel Nafsika in Itea.

Day seven - Sunday. Delphi - Thessaloniki. Morning visit to the Delphi Oracle to see the temple of Apollo, the stadium and the museum with the famous statue of the Charioteer. Continued north, along the foothills of Mount Parnassos and the Brallos mountain range, through the valley of Tempi on return to Thessoloniki. Overnight stop in Thessaloniki - Hotel Astoria. Day eight - Monday. Thessaloniki. Morning - had time for a stroll along the waterfront to see the white tower and the bronze statue of Alexander the Great, with a fine view of the modern town. Visited the byzantine churches and the fascinating covered old market. Joined the coach to our selected accommodation for a further week (Ouranoupolis in Halkidiki province).

Get more details on the Greek Tours web site.

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