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adventure travel trip to Greece
Dates
  • Privately on Request
  • Duration 10 days
    Group Size 4-12
    Land Cost $4,355 Details
    Single Supplement $375
    Lodging 3 stars
    Grade I-II
    Best Time

    Herculean Adventure for Families

    Adventure and mythology in Athens, Nafplio, Mount Olympus, and more

    Day 1      Arrive in Athens

    Upon arrival in Athens, you will be met and transferred to your centrally-located hotel. After an opportunity to rest up from the flight, meet your guide for a short walk and dinner at a taverna in Plaka, the oldest neighborhood of Athens, and a perfect place to begin your exploration of ancient Greece.  Nestled under the floodlit Acropolis, Plaka's atmospheric streets are lined with outdoor cafes and restaurants and are great for wandering.

    Wander Athens' cafe-lined streets in the evening
    Meals: Dinner
    Lodging: Philippos Hotel or similar
    Day 2      Athens and the Ancient World

    Step back in time to the Golden Age of Greece and visit the ancient sites of Athens this morning. Stand in the Acropolis, one of the most important ancient cities in the Western world, and ponder life in the community and its market days from centuries ago. Visit the Parthenon, built by 447-438 BC by Pericles to house the great statue of Athena and serve as the treasury, and imagine it in the splendor of its day.

    OPTIONAL ACTIVITIES:
    If you are inspired by Greek pottery or are simply feeling creative, attend an afternoon pottery workshop where you can paint your own ceramic plate and get your artistic juices flowing.

    In the evening, join a Greek family for a memorable and delicious home-cooked dinner, insights into Greek cuisine and living in Greece, and forging new friendships.

    Visit the Acropolis and other ancient sites of Athens
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Philippos Hotel or similar
    Day 3      Athens to Nafplio

    After breakfast, drive to the resort town of Nafplio, one of Greece's prettiest and most atmospheric towns.  On the way, stop to admire the Corinth Canal and dare to bungee jump in this unique spot. Begun in 67 AD by the Emperor, Nero, the canal was completed only in the 19th century by a French engineering company.  At about 80 feet in width, about 300 feet at its deepest, and almost four miles long, the canal connects the Ionean and Aegean Seas, and is an impressive sight, particularly when ships are passing through.  The bungee jump is about 250 feet into the canal,  an exciting experience.

    Continue on to the resort town of Nafplio and settle in at the hotel.  Nafplio was the first capital of Greece and has been an active port since the Bronze Age. Its strategic position on the sea is the reason that it has three fortresses – Palamidi, the smaller Akronafpia, and the tiny Bourtzi on an islet west of the old town.  Climb the 999 steps to the towering Palamidi fortress to view the sea at sunset, then stroll the town's narrow streets in the evening, admiring the elegant Venetian mansions and their flower-bedecked balconies, then enjoy dinner in the atmospheric old town.

    Nafplio and its commanding position on the sea
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Agamemnon Hotel or similar
    Day 4      Epidavros / Mycenae / Dimitsana

    After breakfast, continue exploring the Peloponnese peninsula. Today, travel to Epidavros, a famous spa town in the third century, but today best known for its amazingly well-preserved theater, a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Climb around this 14,000-seat theater and check out its great acoustics.

    Continue on to the ancient city of Mycenae, once thought to exist only in ancient Greek legend and in the epic poetry of Homer. It wasn't until the 1870s that Heinrich Schliemann, an amateur archaeologist, discovered the remains of a once-thriving civilization using only landmarks from the text of Homer's Iliad. Visit the Citadel of Mycenae on foot, beginning at the dramatic Lion Gate, then, once inside, on to the shaft-style graves and and itholos, or beehive-shaped, tombs.  The path leads up to the Palace of Agamemnon, the Greek commander-in-chief during the Trojan War, and the onward to his immense beehive-shaped burial chamber.

    After touring Mycenae, drive to central Pelopponese to one of the most traditional and picturesque villages of the area, Dimitsana, a delightful medieval village built in the mountains of Arcadia prefecture.  Its cobbled streets and tottering houses are set between twin hillsides overlooking the Louisios River. The village offers half a dozen churches, the excellent Open-Air Water Power Museum (with working mills and a leather factory), and a nice array of traditional tavernas and local cafes. Dinner and overnight in Dimitsana, which will be home base for the next few days while exploring natural sights in the area.

    Visit Epidavros and its well-preserved theater
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Dimitsana Hotel or similar
    Day 5      Lousios Gorge Hiking

    Begin the day with a trek in the Lousios Gorge, which offers a beautiful combination of history and nature. Walk along trails in dense vegetation, progressing along and crisscrossing the Lousios River (where legend says Zeus used to bathe himself) along the way.  Visit monasteries that appear to be hanging from the cliffs, and end the trek at the archaeological site of Ancient Gortys, one of the most stirring of all Greek sites, sitting along the rushing river. Get a ride back to the starting point, then overnight in Dimitsana.

    One of Lousios Gorge's hanging monasteries
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Dimitsana Hotel or similar
    Day 6 - 7      Lousios River Rafting and River Trekking

    Return to the densely-vegetated Lousios River gorge, go rafting in the river’s crystal-clear waters, trek the Neda River bed, and enjoy the natural environments of these two lovely spots.

    On the first day, either spend half a day paddling down the Lousis River, where rapids are up to a class II level of difficulty (good for beginners, but also suitable for the experienced), to the Alfios River, ending at Koukos bridge, or, if the water level is high enough, get there by hydrofoil ... an exciting journey in either case.

    On the next day, spend half a day river trekking in the Neda Gorge (by the way, the only river in Greece with a female name).  River trekking is a combination of walking along river banks, walking and wading in the river, and, occasionally, swimming.  No special skills or equipment are needed, just good physicial condition, ability to swim, and a pair of water shoes or comfortable walking shoes that you can get wet.  The trek covers the most spectacular part of the gorge, passing by stone bridges, narrow cliffs, underwater caves, and impressive waterfalls.  The trek ends in a lovely spot with natural river pools and a nice waterfall, just the place to wade around and cool off on a warm afternoon.

    At the end of these two active days, return to the hotel base in Dimitsana.

    Go river trekking in the Neda River gorge
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Dimitsana Hotel or similar
    Day 8      Ancient Olympia

    Travel to the Elia region early in the day for an exploration of Ancient Olympia and to savor the quietness of the site before crowds arrive.  Olympia is dedicated to Zeus, father of the gods, and is the birthplace of the Olympic Games.  As you tour the site, enjoy the natural beauty as well as the ruins as you learn about Olympia's history, which dates back to the third millenium BC.

    Make like an Olympic athelete!
    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
    Lodging: Hotel Europa or similar
    Day 9      Return to Athens

    Today is free to enjoy a day at the sea to swim, enjoy the sun, and relax. In the evening, return to Athens and check in to your airport hotel.

    Enjoy some leisure time on the sea
    Meals: Breakfast
    Lodging: Philippos Hotel or similar
    Day 10      Athens Onward

    After an early breakfast, transfer to the airport for the  flight home or onward.

    Consider adding on a Cyclades island stopover before going home
    Meals: Breakfast



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