Mainland Greece & the Peloponnese
Journey through the history of ancient empires as you explore the archaeological sites of Athens, the monasteries of Meteora—perched atop towering sandstone cliffs—and the sanctuary of Delphi. Soak up the sun in Nafplion on the Peloponnese coast, and enjoy swimming, hiking, and horseback riding on the island paradise of Hydra.
Best time to visit: April-June, September, October
Ideal for: Couples, Families
Day 1 – Arrive in Athens
Arriving in Athens in the morning, you will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel in the heart of this exhilarating city. Spend the rest of the day exploring ancient sites like the Roman Agora and Hadrian’s Library, or visiting the incredible collections of artifacts and art at the Acropolis Museum or National Archaeological Museum. Hike or take the cable car to the top of Mount Lycabettus to see the Acropolis glow as the sunsets, before heading to dinner.
Day 2 – Athens Walking Tour
After breakfast today, join your private guide for a half-day tour delving into Athens’ fascinating history. Starting at Syntagma Square, on the edge of the beautiful National Gardens, you will explore ruins from the 5th century BCE, the columns of the Temple of Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch, and wind your way through the streets of the Plaka neighborhood to the hilltop Acropolis. Crowned by the Parthenon, the Acropolis is a mesmerizing collection of historical sites. With so much to see, keep exploring on your own after your tour ends.
Day 3 – Thermopylae & Kalambaka
Today you drive north to Kalambaka, where the majestic monasteries of Meteora sit atop sandstone bluffs overlooking valleys carpeted with greenery. In a region with human history dating back tens of thousands of years, these Eastern Orthodox monasteries are the crowning jewels of a breathtaking landscape. This afternoon, visit the cave of Theopetra or rent a bicycle to explore the area. En route to Kalambaka stop in Thermopylae, the site of so many defining battles throughout history.
Day 4 – Monasteries of Meteora & Arachova
Start your day with a private, half-day tour of Meteora, visiting three of the monasteries, and exploring other archaeological sites in the area. Filled with historical religious artifacts and Byzantine artworks, these monasteries are architectural masterpieces dating back to the 14th century—there were once more than 20 monasteries, of which only 6 remain. In the afternoon, drive to the mountain town Arachova and the nearby archaeological site of Delphi.
Day 5 – Explore Delphi & Travel to Olympia
Being today with a private, half-day tour of the ruins of Delphi; a renowned religious sanctuary of the ancient Greeks and home of the legendary Oracle. Ensconced in beautiful forests on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, Delphi was the center of the world in Greek mythology. Your guide will lead you on a journey through legend and history in this incredible and extensive archaeological site and museum, which has pottery and artifacts dating back to the 8th century BCE. In the afternoon, drive to Olympia on the Peloponnese peninsula and settle in for the night.
Day 6 – Tour Olympia & Drive to Nafplion
Spend your first full day on the peninsula on a private, half-day tour of ancient Olympia, where the Olympic games began in 776 BCE. The site is home to the remains of temples dedicated to Zeus and Hera, a stadium, and an impressive array of other ruins. Visit the museum’s collection of exquisite sculptures and permanent exhibitions detailing prehistoric remains also found at the site. In the afternoon, drive 3 hours to the picturesque coastal town of Nafplion, stopping to visit Andritsaina and the Temple of Epicurean Apollo at Vasses along the way.
Day 7 – Archaeology of the Peloponnese
A mid-sized town perched on the rocky shores and calm waters of the Argolic Gulf, Nafplion was the first capital of modern Greece. Visit the imposing 18th-century Palamidi Fortress presiding over the bay—more than 1000 stone steps from town to the top—and nearby archaeological sites in Corinth, Epidaurus, and the sanctuary of Asclepius, with Nafplion as your base to explore the area.
Day 8 – Epidaurus & Palace of Mycenae
Meet your guide after breakfast and head to the ancient theater of Epidaurus as your first stop on your half-day private tour. Next you’ll drive to the ruins of the palace at Mycenae, center of the mighty Mycenaean Greek civilization from 1600 BCE to 1100 BCE. After touring these ancient sites, browse Naplfion’s shops, drink decadent freddo coffee, and go for a swim in crystal-clear waters right in town or at a nearby beach.
Day 9 – Ferry from Ermioni to Hydra
This morning you’ll drive about an hour and a half to catch the ferry from Ermioni to Hydra, an idyllic island in the Saronic Gulf that’s completely free of motorized vehicles. A true gem among all of Greece’s magnificent islands, with beautifully-preserved stone mansions and monasteries, cobbled streets, networks of walking trails, and deep, clear waters. Settle in to your hotel and soak up the sun—it’s time to kick back and relax in spectacular fashion.
Day 10 – Hydra Horseback Riding
Take a guided tour on horseback, riding from Hydra Harbor to the church of St Konstandinos, the patron saint of the island. Following a zig-zagging trail inland, you’ll pause to take in views over the port and sea before heading back into town. If you are up for a longer journey ranging from 2 to 6 hours, there are routes that will take you into the mountains and to quiet coves along rural trails and coastal roads.
Day 11 – Take to the Trails
Hydra is an ideal island for hiking and walking; take today to explore on your own. A network of trails into the hills and along the coast means that you can hike as long as you want—beautiful scenery and striking views all along the way. You can climb Mount Eros in about 4 hours; or for a more relaxed-pace adventure, pack a picnic and take a boat trip around the island, stopping to swim in secluded inlets.
Day 12 – Ferry to Athens
Enjoy your last morning on the island, and then catch the hour-long ferry back to Athens. You saw some of the city’s highlights at the beginning of you trip, but there are so many more sights to see. Climb the steps of the Panathenaic Stadium, made completely of white marble; visit the Museum of Ceramics housed in an Ottoman mosque; climb Philopappos Hill for views over the city; or shop your way through the Monastiraki market neighborhood.
Day 13 – Departure
It’s time to head home and show off all those pictures of your amazing adventure in Greece.
Remarkable Journeys has partnered with Lost World Adventures to create this journey. We partnered with Lost World due to their well-mannered relationships with tour guides, hotellers, airlines, and ground management services in the region. In our opinion, they offer the best value and experience in the region.
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