Athens guided cultural tour. The capital of Greece

Ath 1 City breaksGuidedCulturalShort stayNew YearChristmas AthensSounioKesariani
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4 DAYS
LEVEL 1
The second half of the 5th century BC; the so called “Golden Age’’ is the high classical period of ancient Greek culture: After their victories in Marathon, Salamis and Plataea against the Persians, life went back to its usual: the Greeks kept participating at the Olympic Games and seeking for advises from Apollo’s Oracle in Delphi. At that same time in Athens; the intellectual and cultural center of Greece, democracy blooms. Pericles; the most prominent statesman of the city, orders the construction of the Parthenon and the other monuments of the Acropolis. Phidias adorns these temples with magnificent sculptures. The great tragedians of classical Greece take the old myths as an occasion to deal with existential questions, and their works are performed during the drama competitions in honor of Dionysus; the wine God. Hippocrates evolves the ancient healing practices into scientific medicine. The Sophists declare that “Of all things Man is the measure” and Socrates asks him to “Know Thyself”. In such an environment lives Plato in his youth. The foundations of Western civilization were laid!
Later Romans, Christians and Turks came. The glorious past was ousted and Athens sank into insignificance. When Modern Greece was established and the young prince Otto of Bavaria was appointed king, Athens was chosen as its capital. At the end of the same century, the first modern Olympic Games took place here. After a difficult 20th century (Balkan Wars, World War I, Asia Minor Catastrophe, World War II, Civil War, Dictatorship), Athens became a big modern city, with a new face and it has successfully organized the 28th Olympic Games in 2004. Despite recent economic crisis, the great city remains a must-do for every traveler interested in classical culture. It is really beautiful to walk along the cobblestone promenade beneath the Acropolis, then watch from the Philopappos’ Hill the Parthenon in the last daylight; or even go till the coast of the Saronic Gulf to enjoy sunset from the waterfront promenade.

ITINERARY

Day 1: Welcome

Arrival in Athens. Transfer to your hotel. 3 nights in Athens.

Day 2: Acropolis, Agora and Plaka. The Acropolis Museum

Athens, is a very busy town, with many important monuments and museums. You go through the bustling market hall and walk through a part of the old town. You visit the Acropolis where the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaea and the Temple of Athena Nike; excellent samples of the unique classical Greek architecture, stand proud witnesses of the “Pericles’ Golden Age”. Then you walk down to the Hill of Areopagus, where St. Paul spoke to the Athenians and eventually to the Ancient Agora, where during the late antiquity the last pagan philosophers and the early Christian church fathers studied side by side, in its schools of philosophy. You will visit the Agora Museum as well. In the afternoon you will visit the Acropolis Museum; a modern building of glass, concrete, steel and marble which provides a fabulous home for the masterpieces of the Acropolis. In the evening it will be time for a walk through Plaka (old town of Athens) and dinner in a traditional Greek tavern.

Day 3: The Archaeological Museum, Kaesariani and Sounion

Early in the morning you visit the National Archaeological Museum; housed in a beautiful neo-classical building. The sculpture collection gives an overview of the development of Greek glyptic during one millennium. Among others you will see the famous gold mask of Agamemnon and the two gold cups from Vaphio depicting bulls, the highly stylized Cycladic idols dating from the early Bronze Age that brings to mind modern art, the wall paintings from the Minoan excavation of Akrotiri at Santorini and of course the rich collection of pottery with beautiful examples of Black- and Red-figure attic vases. On the way you will see the historical neoclassical buildings of the University of Athens, the Parliament, Old Parliament, Kalimarmaron Stadium and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Then you will visit the monastery of Kaesariani, located in a green area on the slopes of Mt Hymettus; its church is decorated with post byzantine frescos. In its surroundings we have the opportunity for a short walk with panoramic views over the city. In the afternoon you go to Cape Sounion where you visit the Poseidon’s Sanctuary and enjoy the beautiful sunset and the view of the Aegean Sea. Farewell dinner in a traditional Greek tavern.

Day 4: Farewell!

Transfer to the airport. Or holiday extension. Farewell!

 

HIGHLIGHTS

- The Acropolis, its monuments and surroundings
- The Acropolis Museum
- The National Archaeological Museum
- The Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion
- The Monastery of Kaesariani on the slopes of Mt Hymettus

SERVICES INCLUDED

- Airport transfers
- Transfers and tours as described in private vehicle with driver
- Accommodation in 3 or 4 stars centrally located hotel
- Breakfast in the hotel
- Professional cultural guide for days 2 and 3
- All admissions to museums and excavations
- Professional liability insurance
- VAT 24% and all taxes except overnight city tax

OPTIONAL SERVICES

- Dinner on days 2 and 3
- Extra days
- Activities

NOT INCLUDED

- Flights to/from Greece
- Meals other than breakfast
- Drinks/beverages
- Travel insurance
- Overnight city tax (to be paid at the hotel reception)

RATES 

From 455 EUR (per person in double room)
Single room supplement: 105 EUR

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  • Athens
  • Sounio
  • Kesariani
 
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