7-Nights Classical Greece: Athens, Nafplion, Olympia, and Delphi
7 nights from $1129 per person
Supplier: Avanti Destinations
A former capital of Greece and a popular port on the eastern Peloponnese coast, Nafplion impresses visitors with grand, medieval architecture erected by Venetians during the 15th century. The most dominant structure is Palamidi Fortress towering high above town. The port is a lively town with a scenic harbor, a picturesque center to explore on foot and pebble beaches. Several monuments remain from its Turkish past, including mosques and parliament building. Handicrafts and local costumes are on display at the Folk Art Museum. Palamidi Castle has an incomparable view from the fortress’ lofty position. Spend time strolling along the waterfront, exploring around main square and narrow streets of Old Town. Platia Sintagmator, the city’s main square, is fronted by a former mosque, now the meeting place of Greek Parliament. Here is also the Archaeological Museum, which features an outstanding collection of Mycenaean finds. The entrance to Akronafplia Citadel has a gate built of Roman bricks, a Byzantine gatehouse with frescoes dating from 1291, and Venetian bastions.
From the port, don't pass up a tour to Mycenae. There is evidence that the site has been inhabited since 4000 BC, but reached its peak of civilization during 1500 - 1000 BC. It was here that the mighty Agamemnon ruled and the site still contains massive structures which give visitors a glimpse of what this magnificent city once was.
Itea is the port for Delphi, one of the ancient wonders of classical Greece. A short drive there reveals the Sacred Way and the famed Shrine of Delphi, where the mythological Oracle was said to foretell the future. An amazing bronze charioteer is among the many treasures in the Delphi Museum.
Even though you've probably come here to see the "glory that was Greece," perhaps best symbolized by the Parthenon and the superb statues and vases in the National Archaeological Museum, allow some time to make haste slowly in Athens. Your best moments may come sitting at a small cafe, sipping a tiny cup of the sweet sludge that the Greeks call coffee, or getting hopelessly lost in the Plaka -- only to find yourself in the shady courtyard of an old church, or suddenly face to face with an ancient monument you never knew existed. With only a little advance planning, you can find a good hotel here, eat well in convivial restaurants, enjoy local customs such as the refreshing afternoon siesta and the leisurely evening volta (promenade or stroll) -- and leave Athens planning to return, as the Greeks say, tou chronou (next year).
Olympia , Greece
Olympia is the great Panhellenic sanctuary. The site of ancient Olympia is situated at the foot of wooded Mount Kronos in an area of gentle hills; excavations began in 1875 and are considered one of archaeology’s great achievements. A direct consequence was the revival of Olympic Games by Baron Pierre de Coubertin; the first modern games were held in Athens in 1896. Today, visitors to Olympia are overwhelmed by the impact of ancient remains and their significance. The site’s most important excavations include numerous monuments, such as Temple of Zeus in the Sacred Precinct, Treasuries, and Stadium. There is an excellent Archaeological Museum with a large collection of bronzes, pottery and sculptures unearthed during the excavations.
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