9 days highlights of greece
- Accommodation in selected 3* or 4* hotels on half board basis
- Bus service from/to the airport as well as permanent English-speaking guide for the whole trip
- City tax
included entrance fees
- Athens, Acropolis
- 1 Meteora Monastery
- Osios Loukas Monastery
- 30.03. – 07.04.2024
- 19.10. – 27.10.2024
- 27.04. – 05.05.2024
- 18.05. – 26.05.2024
- 08.06. – 16.06.2024
- 07.09. – 15.09.2024
- 28.09. – 06.10.2024
Day 1: Arrival Athens
Day 2: Athens - Piraeus - Kamena Vourla
Athens is considered the birthplace of occidental art and culture. The Parthenon, built as a symbol of the glorious ancient Athens, is still the city's landmark. Work on the temple began in 447 BC, and after nine years of construction, the gold and ivory statue of Athena was erected in the center of the sanctuary. Over the centuries, the Parthenon was used as a temple, church, mosque and arsenal and was severely damaged. Today, after extensive renovations, it shines in new splendor. We will visit the Acropolis and make a short detour to the port of Piraeus. In the late afternoon we drive north to the Gulf of Euboea. Two nights in the area of Kamena Vourla.
Day 3: Kamena Vourla - Meteora Monasteries - Thermopylae - Kamena Vourla
We will visit the spectacularly situated monasteries, which cling to the rocks like eagle's nests. The monasteries not only offered protection in troubled times, but also promised the monks special access to the heavenly through their "raptured" position. The natural sandstone towers of Meteora were used as a religious refuge as early as 1000 AD. In the 14th century, the first monastery was founded on one of the approximately 1,000 rocky spires, and 23 others followed. Because of their daring location, many monasteries were abandoned in the 18th century; today, monks and nuns still live in some monasteries. It is unknown how the first hermits reached the top of these rock faces, but presumably they hammered pegs into the narrow crevices in order to carry building materials to the top. On the way back to the hotel we stop at Thermopylae, where the brave Spartan king Leonidas with his 300 warriors withstood the numerically far superior Persians. In ancient times, the passage, which was on average 15 meters wide, measured only a few meters at the two narrowest points. As a result of silting up, it has expanded to several kilometers to this day.
Day 4: Kamena Vourla - Delphi - Osios Loukas Monastery - Gulf of Corinth
In ancient times Delphi was considered the navel of the world. People came from all over the then known world to consult the oracle and bring gifts for the gods. Then as now, visitors were captivated by the grandiose atmosphere of the sanctuary! We visit the temple of Apollo, the treasure houses and the theater. In the oracle could be questioned god Apollo, who spoke through the priestess Pythia. Questioners had to pay a fee and sacrifice an animal on the altar. A priest then passed the question on to Pythia. Put into a trance by vapors from a crevice in the earth above which she sat on a tripod, Pythia then gave the answer. Her incantations had to be interpreted by the priests and were often ambiguous. Late afternoon Next, we visit the monastery complex of Osios Loukas, one of the most important medieval buildings in Greece. The octagonal design of the main church became a typical feature of late Byzantine church building, and the mosaics inside took Byzantine art to its last great art-historical peak. Hotel on the Gulf of Corinth.
Day 5: Gulf of Corinth - Olympia - Lagadia
The highlight of the day is a visit to the extensive excavation site of Olympia, site of the Olympic Games. Olympia was a religious and sporting cult site for 1,000 years. Only fragments of the Temple of Zeus remain, yet its grandeur is evident from the number of these finds. Porous native shell limestone formed the building material of the sanctuary. Although all visible surfaces were covered with marble stucco, the stone carvings were executed with great precision. In the temple stood the 13m high cult image of Zeus, a work of the famous artist Phidias, which was considered a wonder of the world in ancient times. The workshop of Phidias is also still visible - the visible remains belong to the remains of a Byzantine church. In the museum we will fall in love with the famous Hermes of Praxiteles - a masterpiece of ancient sculpture. Overnight stay in the Lagadia area.
Day 6: Lagadia - Sparta - Mistras - Isthmia
We drive through the much praised landscape of Arcadia, pass the no less famous Sparta and finally reach the highly interesting ruined city of Mistras: it is situated on a promontory in the rugged Taygetos Mountains. Founded by the Franks in 1249, it soon fell to Byzantium and grew to 20,000 inhabitants. In the 15th century, the city attracted scholars and artists from all over the Byzantine world. We will take a detailed tour of the former center of Byzantine culture. The numerous churches, palaces and magnificent buildings deserve admiration. The decoration of the churches is worth seeing, their pastel-colored, detailed frescoes show the influence of the Italian Renaissance. 2 nights in the Isthmia area.
Day 7: Isthmia - Mycenae - Epidauros - Isthmia
Drive to Mycenae, the legendary castle of Agamemnon with the Lion's Gate and the domed tombs excavated by Schliemann. Mycenae is portrayed in the Homeric epics as a prehistoric world power. At the same time, dark tales of crime entwine around the Mycenaean dynasty of the Atrides. Heinrich Schliemann was convinced that there was a historical core in these sagas and was rewarded for his unflinching research: He did not discover the poetic "Mycenae" of his Homeric heroes, but a real Mycenae, and thus opened up a new archaeological-historical dimension. We end the day in Epidauros, whose almost perfect "classical" theater has unique acoustics. The visitor should not forget, however, that in ancient times Epidauros enjoyed world renown as a "religious healing practice" and the sanctuary of Asklepios was world famous. The theater is one of the most magnificent large buildings of classical antiquity still preserved. Everyone who takes a seat on the steps of the semi-circle will - apart from the phenomenal acoustics - remember the feeling of security and connection with the whole auditorium. Unfortunately, only a few remains of buildings from the ancient healing and cult center have been preserved. Apart from the main temple, a gymnasium and thermal baths, the most interesting part is the hall for the healing sleep of the sick. The sick cured their ailments here by sleeping a lot, the belief in the high medical authority of the sanctuary caused true miracles.
Day 8: Isthmia - Corinth - Athens
After breakfast we will visit the excavations of ancient Corinth: The strategically favorable location on the Gulf of Corinth made Corinth one of the most powerful city-states in Greece already in classical times. Corinthian money and Corinthian weight standards were widespread far beyond the city's domain. Corinthian pottery, weapons, as well as luxury items such as perfume were sold throughout the Mediterranean. In addition, Corinth was the city of culture and art, where not only excellent craftsmanship was promoted, but also innovative literature and music found their audience. What can be seen today on the ruined site dates essentially from the Roman Imperial period and Late Antiquity. Only the theater and fountain buildings, partially hewn out of the rock, date back to the Greek era of the city. We see, among other things, the Glauke spring, the remains of the monumental temple of Apollo, the agora and the oracle sanctuary. A great impression of the splendor of the imperial city is still given by the marble-paved street, flanked by porticoes, leading from the marketplace to the port of Lechaion. Here is also located the greatest sight of Old Corinth, the Peirene Fountain: The representative building complex financed by Herodes Atticus is an excellent example of Hadrianic architecture. The now visible walls of limestone ashlars were covered with colored marble slabs, the floors were decorated with mosaics.
Day 9: Departure
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