8 days touring and hiking near the southernmost limits of mainland Greece. To the ruined byzantine town of Mystras with its painted churches. Along the slopes of Mount Taygetos, highest mountain in Peloponnese. Through the rugged landscape of Mani Peninsula with its abandoned villages and their tower houses. Visit of Nafplio, first capital of Modern Greece.
Day 1: Welcome in GreeceArrival in Athens. Transfer to the Hotel. City walk (depending on the arrival time). Overnight in Athens.
Day 2: Sparta and MystrasEarly departure from Athens and transfer to Sparta and Mystras (approx. 218km, 2h 35'). Short stop at the canal of Corinth. Visit to the ruins of the Byzantine town of Mystras; its old churches are decorated with some of the finest examples of Byzantine frescoes. Climb to the medieval castle on the top of the hill (200m ↑, 300m ↓). In the afternoon, we can walk to the ruins of the roman theater of Ancient Sparta at the foot of the acropolis hill. Overnight in Mystras.
Day 3: Hiking along the slopes of Mt TaygetosFrom Mystras, at 320 m, to the mountain village of Taygeti, at 700m and over the pass of Sela, at 1.120m, to the shepherd settlement of Perganteika, at 840m; then we arrive at 885m high and descent towards the Monastery of Faneromeni, at 780m and we finally join Anavriti, at 790m (4h, 855m. ↑, 385m ↓). [Possibility of alternative hikes easier or shorter]. Transfer to the hotel. Overnight in Mystras
Day 4: Mani Peninsula; hike to Cape Tainaron, the southernmost point of mainland GreeceDrive to Gythion on the Laconian Gulf. Short stop in this small beautiful harbor town with its neoclassical buildings. We continue to the peninsula of Mani with its rugged, rocky landscape and tower-like stone buildings. We drive clockwise around the peninsula through traditional villages and tiny olive groves to Kokkinogia in the south. Here, there is an entrance to Hades, an old Christian chapel built on the ruins of an older temple and few ruins of an ancient town. Hike to the light tower on Cape Taenaron, the southernmost point of Greek mainland (1h 30’ back and forth). Vathia, with its tower houses built on the top of a hill above the coast, is perhaps the most impressive of the traditional villages of Mani. Areopoli, a beautiful small town with many characteristic old stone buildings, is the capital of the southwestern part of the Peninsula, the Mesa Mani. (Mystras –Kotronas – Kokkinogia – Areopoli: 146km, 3h). Overnight in Areopoli.
Day 5: Mani Peninsula; scenic hike to Mt SaggiasTransfer to Pyrrichos village. Steep climb towards the pic of Mt Saggias with panoramic views over the whole Mani peninsula, the Messenian Gulf to the W and the Laconian Gulf to the E. Walk down over an alternative path to the settlement of Kalos near the village of Pyrgos Dirou (4h 30', 600m ↑, 800m ↓). [Possibility of alternative hikes easier or shorter]. In the afternoon opportunity to explore the area around Areopoli. Overnight in Areopoli.
Day 6: Mani Peninsula; abandoned mountain villages, lonely byzantine chapels and a medieval fortress on rocky coastDrive to Kita, a typical Maniot village with several tower houses. Continue to Ano Boularii and Diporo; near the village, the byzantine chapel of Ai Stratigos is one of the most beautiful small churches in the Mani Peninsula. Hike on old stone-paved paths to the abandoned villages of Pepos, Leontakis and Mountanistika; enjoy the panoramic view to the southwestern part of Mani till Cape Taenaron and over the Messenian Gulf. Return back to Diporo, partially on alternative trails (2h 30', 300m ↑↓). Drive to Stavri village and continue to the chapel of Agia Kyriaki. Hike to the ruins of the Great Maina Fortress in the Tigani Peninsula of Mani's southern west coast; explore the ruins of an early Christian church and enjoy the view over the deep blue sea (1h 30', 150m ↑↓). Return to Agia Kyriaki and drive back to Areopoli. Overnight in Areopoli
Day 7: Nafplio, the first capital of Modern GreeceDrive to Nafplio on the Gulf of Argos. Nafplio was the first capital of modern Greece; the old picturesque city preserves a Venetian and neoclassical character. City walk and opportunity for an easy hike around the Acronauplia Fortress and along the foot of the Palamidi Fortress to Karathona Beach (approx. 1h 15'). Drive to Athens (Areopoli – Nafplio – Athens: 318km, 4h 15'). Overnight in Athens.
Day 8: GoodbyeTransfer to the airport
RATESFrom 988€ / person in double room
Single room supplement: 150€
SERVICES- Transportation according the program with a good minibus
- A driver/guide
- Overnights in good middle and upper class Hotels
- Visits and excursions
- Full board (light meal or pick nick around noon time, dinner in a tavern or in the Hotel)
- Civil & professional liability insurance
- VAT 24% & all applicable taxes
NOT INCLUDED- Flights to/from Greece
- Entry fees
- Travel insurance
- Tips, Other extras
- Cape Taenaro