During this walking archeological tour we visit the main historical and cultural highlights of Southern Greece: Athens’ Old Town around the Acropolis, Apollo’s Oracle in Delfi, Zeus’s sanctuary and the stadium of ancient Olympic Games in Olympia, Mycenae and Epidaurus and also the monastery of Osios Loukas, whilst we go hiking through the beautiful landscapes of the Peloponnese and Central Greece, past rural areas and picturesque villages. Join us in this unforgettable walking & culture small group adventure to regions full of myths and legends…
Day 1: The byzantine monastery of Saint Lukas. The Corycian Cave
In the morning you meet your tour leader and leave Athens heading towards Delphi. On the way, you will visit the monastery of Saint Lukas (Hosios Loukas) in Boeotia, with its splendid mosaics. Walking along the slopes of Mount Parnassos, to the Corycian Cave; once dedicated to the cult of Pan and the Nymphs. Arrival in Delphi; a lovely provincial town, built on the slopes of Mount Parnassos with beautiful view on the Corinthian Gulf. 1 overnight in Delphi.
Walking: Forth-Back, 1h30min, 5km, + 200m / -200m, easy
Transfer: 230 km, 3h15 min
Day 2: Discovering Delphi. The “Navel of the World”
In the morning you visit Delphi; known for Apollo’s oracle and Pythia’s prophecies. Delphi was during Antiquity the “navel of the world”. The hike of the day is an archeological walk on the Sacred Way through the shrines of ancient gods towards the theater of Delphi and the stadium of the Pythic Games. You will visit the archeological museum with the famous bronze Charioteer, sculptures of Siphnos treasure, colossal statues of “kouros” from Argos and the remains of three gold and ivory statues. Lunch pause and departure to the Peloponnese. You travel on coastal road along the Corinthian Gulf, you cross the Rio-Antirrio straights and you arrive to Olympia. 1 overnight.
Transfer: 241 km, 3 h 15 min
Day 3: Olympia; cradle of the Olympic Games. Arcadia; Mount Aphrodision and Ladon River
In the morning you visit Ancient Olympia, where since 776 b. J.-C. and for over a millennium, the Olympic Games had been organized, every four years, until the day when the Byzantine Christian Emperors had decided to ban them because of their pagan character. It took 1500 years for the organization of the first modern Olympic Games; in 1896. You will visit Zeus’s sanctuary with its temples, its stadium and the palestra. In the museum you will discover the sculptures from Zeus’s temple, the victory (Nike) of Paionios and Hermes of Praxiteles. Departure for Arcadia. You take the mountain road through wild landscapes and abandoned villages. Circular hike from the picturesque village of Dimitra to the old arc Bridge of Ladon River. Diner and 2 overnights in Vitina.
Walking: 2h, 6km, + 300m / - 300m, easy
Transfer: 126 km, 2h45min
Day 4: The spectacular gorge of Lousios. The stone villages of Stemnitsa and Dimitsana
Today you go hiking through the gorge of Lousios River, from Stemnitsa to Dimitsana; the ‘’stone jewels’’ of Arcadia with their stone mansions and stone paved paths, in perfect harmony with the beautiful lush landscape; passing by the monastery of Prodromos and Philosopher’s (Philosophou); both ‘’hanging’’ on the rocky cliffs. Return to Vitina.
Walking: 5h, 12.5 km, +1240m /- 1330 m, moderate
Transfer: 60 km
Day 5: Mount Mainalon hike. Argolis; land of heroes and legends. Visiting Mycenae
Today you climb Mt. Mainalon; the mountainous heart of the Peloponnese, from the hut of the alpine club of Tripolis; at 1600m to the pick of Ostrakina; at 1981m (return on the same or via an alternative path). Departure to Argolis and legendary Mycenae; homeland of Agamemnon, the military chef of Greeks during the Trojan War. You will visit the acropolis with the famous Lion Gate, the Cyclopean Walls and the Domed Tombs. Overnight in Nafplion or Tolo; on the gulf of Argos.
Walking: 2h, + 400m / - 400m, moderate
Transfer: 110 km, 2h
Day 6: Ancient Epidaurus and Nafplio. Last walk. Farewell!
In the morning you visit the archeological site of Epidaurus: During the Antiquity, pilgrims were arriving to Epidaurus from the entire Greece, in order to find cure in the sanctuary of Asclepius; the healing god. The ancient theatre of Epidaurus; still operating today, is famous due to its acoustics. Nafplio; the first capital of the Modern Greek state, is a picturesque old city that preserves its Venetian and neoclassical character. You will walk around the Acronafplia and below Palamidi forteress towards the beach of Karathona forth and back. In the evening, this beautiful adventure ends. Return to Athens or prolong your stay in Nafplio or next experience.
Walking: 1h30 min, 5km, flat, easy
Transfer: 57 km, 1h15min