Travel To Greece

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Athens, Mainland Greece and Crete

> DAY 1: Athens

Arrival in Greece, the land of the mythical Gods and ancient civilization. At Athens International Airport you will be welcomed by your private driver and taken to your five-star hotel. Enjoy your afternoon and evening exploring the vibrant culture and nightlife of Modern Athens. Ask your Leisure Travel Consultant for their favorite Athens restaurants, cafes and entertainment.

> DAY 2: Athens - Half Day Athens Walking Tour

After breakfast, your licensed English speaking guide will meet you at your hotel lobby. Begin your tour at the new Acropolis Museum and then visit the Acropolis itself and its timeless temples of Parthenon, Erectheion and Athena Nike. A short climb up to the Hill of Philopappus brings you to the imposing Roman period funeral monument and extensive views of Athens and Piraeus. You then descend to the hill of the Pnyx, the area used in Classical Athens as the meeting place for the democratic assembly. You enter the historical Plaka area close to the Thiseion temple, dating back to the 5th century BC, meandering past the ancient Agora with the impressively restored Stoa of Attalus, Hadrian’s Library, and the picturesque Tower of the Winds. The route back leads up over the Areopagus, or Hill of Mars, directly below the Acropolis. Here, in 54 AD, Saint Paul preached his Sermon on an unknown God, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. Finally, you pass the Roman period Odeion of Herodes Atticus, which is still used as a summer venue for open-air concerts and theatrical performances.  Your tour will end at Syntagma Square where you can enjoy the changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. 

> DAY 3:  Athens

Enjoy your day at leisure exploring Modern Athens. Ask your Leisure Travel Consultant for their personal tips on favorite day trips, excursions and activities in Athens.

> DAY 4:  Athens, Olympia

After breakfast, meet your private driver to begin your 4-day tour of Mainland Greece. The tour begins by travelling along the Saronic Gulf’s coastal road to the Corinth Canal. The Canal is a structure of great importance, as before it was built, ships sailing between the Aegean and Adriatic Seas had to circumnavigate the Peloponnese, adding about 185 nautical miles to their journey.  Visit Ancient Corinth where St. Paul spoke to the Corinthians. Continue driving across the Peloponnese until you reach Sparta.  Here you will see the huge statue of Leonidas, in his hometown, made popular by the movie "300".  Also see the remains of the palace and the theatre there.  After visiting Sparta, continue to Mistras, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, with its churches and monasteries.  Finally, begin the drive towards Olympia where you will spend the evening.

> DAY 5: Olympia, Arahova

After breakfast, the second day begins with Ancient Olympia, which gained its fame as a sanctuary of Zeus and Hera. The site also contains a wealth of other small shrines, gymnasiums and sculptors' workshops. According to tradition, here is where the Olympic games were founded in 776 B.C.  It is from here that the Olympic torch is still lit and carried to whatever corner of the world the modern Olympiads are held in.  In the museum see exhibits of unique sculptural masterpieces, such as Praxiteles' Hermes, Paeoneus' Victory, Apollo and many other art treasures.  After visiting Olympia, the journey continues by crossing over the newly built bridge near Patra and leaving the Peloponnese and travelling towards the quaint village of Arachova.  Enjoy dinner and wandering through the streets of Arahova.

> DAY 6: Delphi, Kalambaka

After breakfast, spend the morning exploring Delphi which was once considered to be the center of the universe.  Delphi is probably best-known for the oracle at the sanctuary that became dedicated to Apollo during the classical period.  Visit the archaeological site dedicated to the god Apollo and also see the impressive museum there.  After visiting Delphi, continue towards Kalambaka with a stop at Gravia.  This is where Odysseus Androutsos, with about 100 men, stopped 8 thousand Turks.  Over 400 of the Turks died, while Androutsos lost only 2 of his men.  Continue towards Kalambaka, driving through Lamia and making a stop in Domokos for coffee before ending the day at the hotel in Kalambaka.

> DAY 7: Meteora, Athens 

After breakfast, begin the day by visiting Meteora; a unique and impressive place with ageless monasteries that are perched on top of huge, monolithic granite rocks. Visit 3 of the monasteries that seem to be suspended between earth and sky containing priceless historical and religious treasures. Many pieces of Byzantine art are also found here.  The view from the monasteries is something that you will never forget.  Making our way back to Athens, we will stop again in Domokos for coffee or lunch.  Stop in Thermopiles to see the giant statue of Leonidas, made popular recently with the movie “300”.  This is where the Persians battled against the vastly outnumbered Greeks for 3 days.  Although it was clear that the Persians were going to win, Leonidas stayed and fought the final battle with only 300 men from Sparta.  The last stop is in Arkista, on the water, for a little rest before reaching Athens. 

Once you arrive in Athens, continue towards Athens International Airport to meet your flight to Crete.  Upon arrival in Crete, you will be greeted at the airport by your private driver and taken to your five-star hotel. 

> DAY 8: Crete

Enjoy the day at your leisure or experience an optional Private Half Day Knossos Tour.  After breakfast, meet your private driver. Your tour begins on the road to Knossos Palace to explore one of the main centers of the Minoan Civilization.  Next you will visit the Archeological Museum of Heraklion, and you will continue to see the city of Heraklion making stops at the Old Port, the Venetian Walls, the Municipal Market, the Castle or Koules, and museums, churches, fountains or shops of your preference.

> DAY 9 and 10: Crete

Enjoy the day at your leisure exploring the natural wonders, local culture and history of Crete.  Ask your Leisure Travel Consultant for their favorite activities in Crete.

> DAY 11: Departure

After breakfast meet your private driver in the hotel lobby for the drive to Heraklion airport where you will board your flight to Athens International Airport. Flights will be scheduled to meet your flight home

Happy Travels! travelive™

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