EXPLORE GREEK NATURE 9 DAYS
We will meet our representative at Athens airport and we will be transferred to our hotel. We will have free time at leisure. In the evening we will visit a Typical Greek Tavern where we will enjoy our dinner with Greek traditional food and live Greek music.
During our half day city tour we will pass by main attractions of the city such as the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, the Parliament and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library, the Constitution Square, the Acropolis, the Propylaea, the Erechtheion and finally the Parthenon up to Acropolis Hill. In the afternoon we may opt to shop in Plaka area, time permitted. Overnight in Athens.
Today, our journey starts through the amazing nature to visit first the Byzantine monastery of Hosios Lucas, a UNESCO World Heritage Monument, well known of its high architectural and the splendid mosaics. Continue to visit the Temple of Apollo and acquire the knowledge of god’s victory over the dragon that guarded the omphalos (the navel). We will see the Treasury of the Athenians, the ancient Theatre, the Tholos of Delphi, the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias of the 5th century BC. Next stop is at Galaxidi, the famous naval town and then Nafpaktos with the small Venetian port. Overnight around the area.
After breakfast, we will visit the Nekromanteion, oracle of the dead nearby the Acherousian Lake, which was believed to be the place where the souls of dead start their descent to Hades. Continue to Dodona and see the Temples of Zeus, Dioni, Themis, Venus, Hercules, the ancient Stadium, the ancient Theater and the Acropolis of Dodoni. At noon, we will reach the town of Ioannina where the coexistence of Christians, Muslims and Jews has established a multicultural background. There are four mosques in Ioannina and a Jewish Synagogue dating back to 1826. We can enjoy a walk or a bike ride by the lake, or taste one of the local delicacies, such as frog legs, eel and the local syrup pastries. Overnight in Ioannina.
In the morning we can stroll around the streets of Ioannina for shopping where the handmade items of silver is a long lasting tradition. Then we will drive to the remarkable village of Metsovo, a small traditional village with local grand mansions and stone-paved streets. In the central square we can find taverns with traditional cuisine, dairy products, like the famous smoked cheese “Metsovone”. We may visit the local winery and taste the local famous wines. Continue to Kalabaka, central Greece, for overnight.
After breakfast, we will visit Meteora, the hanging Christian monasteries on the top of unique formations. We can visit one or two of the six accessible monasteries located over the cliff and see the inside of those unique architecture buildings. Meteora is included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage. Later we will start driving north through the amazing nature to Thessaloniki, the second largest city in Greece. In the evening we can walk around the vivid city center and get to know its popular places.
Today we will meet the seaside city of Alexander the Great, Thessaloniki. We will see the Rotonda, the Arch of Galerius in addition to the White Tower, the trade mark of the city. Then we will visit the Byzantine churches of St. Demetrius and St. Sophia and the ancient Byzantine city walls, part of its protection during past years and walk by the central square of Aristotle in the middle of the town. In the afternoon we can walk around the center for shopping or tasting city gastronomy.
Today we will go for a unique approach to historical Macedonia. First stop at the picturesque town of Edessa, where we see the amazing Waterfalls, a natural geological phenomenon from the 14th century. Then we will proceed to the near town of Naousa, with its racing water and the deeply-shaded caves. We will see the ruins of Aristotle School, where the great philosopher taught ‘the doctrines of morals and politics’ to Alexander the Great and the Macedonian youth. Then drive to Vergina, the first capital of Macedonia and best known for the Royal tombs. We will visit the museum and see the tomb of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great as well as all the artifacts found at the site. Vergina is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Return to Thessaloniki for overnight.
Enjoy last hours in the city doing some last minute shopping. Gather as many pictures, flavors and aromas as you can before departing back home!