Beyond Athens

The Classical Greece Grand Tour: Delphi, Nafplio & Ancient Olympia

The greatest landmarks of ancient Greece in search of history, culture and the roots of Western civilization

Duration

3 days

When

All year round, upon request

Languages

english, french

From the breathtaking site of Delphi, navel of the ancient World, to the mythical Homeric citadel of Mycenae, and Ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, this 3-day tour brings together all the major sites of Classical Greece with an authentic discovery of local life in the beautiful and scenic regions of Peloponnese and Central Greece.

This is a Private Tour

Our private tours can be booked as featured or be customized especially for you.

Highlights

  • Visit Mycenae, the mythical citadel and UNESCO World Heritage Site linked to the Homer’s epics the Iliad and the Odyssey, which dates back to as many as 4,000 years ago.
  • Discover the charming coastal town of Nafplio, the old capital of independent modern Greece, and enter the workshops of its artisans.
  • Explore Ancient Olympia, one of the most prominent places of worship in the ancient world and birthplace of the Olympic Games, which it hosted for 1,200 years.
  • Admire the grandeur and harmony with nature of ancient Greece's most sacred site, the Oracle of Delphi, on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus.
  • Get to know the real Greece, by immersing in local Greek life, far from the hustle and bustle of Athens, meeting people in their homes, their farms, and their workshops: from craftsmen (tanners, bellmakers, loom weavers, potters, pasta makers) to farmers (olive oil, honey & wine producers), and local women and their families.

What you can expect

Day 1: Mycenae & Nafplio

The fabled Homeric city of Mycenae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and capital of one of the oldest civilizations in the world, is where you’ll start your adventure into antiquity, by walking under the famed Lion Gate into ruins that are part history, part myth. While you’ll be literally walking in the steps of King Agamemnon, your expert guide will reveal every story, myth and legend that hide behind the imposing ruins of the citadel.

You'll then head towards the historic seaside city of Nafplio, where a scrumptious lunch awaits you in one of the best tavernas in town only locals know of. This romantic, picturesque town, the old capital of modern Greece, is crowned by Venetian fortifications and embraced by a beautiful seafront.

You'll visit local craftspeople, including a potter and a weaver at work in their workshops, to discover how they carry the traditions of the past into the present. You’ll also see a number of other local crafts and goods; a hand-made pasta shop and a confectionery where the traditional almond pastries are still made the way they were generations ago.

From Nafplio, your trip will take you through the beautiful Peloponnesian countryside towards Ancient Olympia; along the way, you’ll stop at a beautiful honey farm, where you'll learn the secrets of the world-renowned Greek honey firsthand from a working beekeeper. You’ll also see her mother making “diples”, a traditional dessert drizzled with honey, cooked just for you in an outdoor kitchen under the trees!

With the day drawing to a close, you'll stop at one of the first organic Greek wineries for a wine-tasting session (optional) and a walk through their vineyards, all followed by a delicious homemade dinner. You'll spend the night among the vineyards, in their traditional guesthouse, a former watermill.

Day 2: Ancient Olympia

The next morning belongs to Ancient Olympia, the most important athletic, religious and political center of the ancient Greek world. Here your top-rated guide will let you into the secrets of the temples, the training area and the original stadium where the ancient Olympic Games were born, and held for centuries. The on-site Archaeological Museum holds world-class masterpieces and treasures like the breathtaking statue of Hermes and the infant Dionysus, sculpted by Praxiteles.

If there are children on the tour, you'll stay on here for some hands-on practice at archaeology, by taking part in an excavation simulation! Alternatively, you'll visit a trend-setting olive farmer to discover revolutionary new techniques in homeodynamic olive oil production and to sample some incredibly tasting and top-quality olive oil.

Then it’s time for an unusual off-road adventure and an exciting lunch break: after an easy guided walk through a stunning gorge, you'll discover two impressive waterfalls where your lunch will be served, right by the river picnic-style, with home-made local specialties, cooked by local women. For the most brave of you, you’ll have the chance to swim there too!

After leaving the waterfalls, you’ll travel to one of the most picturesque seaside villages of Greece, Galaxidi, where you ll spend the night in a charmingly restored 19th century ‘arhontiko’ mansion with an enchanting courtyard.

Day 3: Delphi

We'll start the day by exploring Galaxidi, once a thriving port and home to some of the most powerful families of seafaring merchants in the Mediterranean Sea. Then we'll head to the regional capital of Amfissa, where Greece's last hand-made bell-maker will show you how livestock bells have been forged by hand in his family for generations; then you'll stroll through the cobbled streets of the old leather-tanning district. Here, in one of the last remaining tanning workshops in Europe, you’ll see what a tanner’s working life was, almost unchanged from a century ago up to today, and listen to the tanners’ stories – father and son – to understand what life is like today in this part of Greece.

You’ll then enjoy your lunch under the shade of the large plane tree in the town square, where you will taste local delicacies prepared for you by women of the village.

After lunch, it’s off to Delphi, sacred oracle of the ancient Gods. There you’ll marvel at the ruins of the Temple of Apollo and the Athenian Treasury. You’ll have plenty of time to soak in the magical scenery, after which it’ll be time to visit the Delphi museum, where some of the finest examples of ancient Greek art are on display – including the world-famous bronze statue of the Charioteer of Delphi.

The drive back to Athens concludes your Grand Tour of ancient Greece’s most prominent landmarks, places of beauty and power, whose cultural influences are still felt today.

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Visit of the ancient site of Mycenae, seat of the Bronze Age Mycenaean civilization
  • Visit of the beautiful coastal town of Nafplio, its sights and its craftspeople
  • Lunch in Nafplio
  • Countryside bee farm for refreshments and a honey treat
  • Overnight at a traditional guesthouse/old watermill in an organic vineyard. Wine-tasting (optional)
  • Dinner at the vineyard & overnight near Olympia

Day 2

  • Visit of Ancient Olympia and the masterpieces of its museum
  • Archaeological activity (simulation of excavation) OR visit an homeodynamic olive oil farm with a local farmer
  • A short gorge trek and a waterfall swim
  • Local cuisine lunch, picnic-style by the river
  • Overnight in Galaxidi

Day 3

  • Guided tour of the port of Galaxidi
  • Visit to Amfissa, a town of olives and craftspeople
  • Visit of bellmaker and tanner workshops
  • Lunch in an old district of Amfissa
  • Guided tour of the archaeological site of Delphi and the treasures of the Delphi museum
  • Return to Athens

Practical info

Duration
3 days
Languages
english, french
When
All year round, upon request

Prices

  • Prices vary depending on group size
  • For a party of four people the price is 955 euros per person. Please contact us for a quote depending on your group size.

What's included

  • Top rated licensed guide to escort you (3 full days)
  • Long distance transfers with driver, luxry vehicle, gas, tolls (3 full days)
  • Two accommodations at traditional guest houses on the 4* scale
  • Delphi & Delphi museum guided tour
  • Mycenae & Mycenae museum guided tour
  • Ancient Olympia site & museum guided tour
  • Guided tour of Naplio town
  • Guided tour of Galaxidi town
  • Visit to an old traditional village in Amfissa
  • Tannery visit & presentation
  • Bell maker visit & gift
  • Visit to local craftspeople (potter, weaver, hand-made pasta shop, confectionary)
  • Countryside bee farm visit & presentation, refreshments and a honey treat
  • Visit of olive oil farm with local farmer OR excavation simulation (for families with children)
  • Guided gorge & waterfall walk with professional outdoor guide
  • Two traditional Greek breakfasts
  • Two meals (Picnic style lunch by the waterfalls near Olympia & lunch near Delphi)
  • Tasting of olive oil & snack 
  • Escorting guide’s and escorting driver’s accommodations and expenses.
  • Hotel pick up & drop off
  • Vat, 24/7 on-the-ground support, all travel planning and revising. 

Not included

  • Entry fees to archaelogical sites
  • Wine tasting at winery (optional)
  • Any food or drinks not mentioned in the tour's inclusions

Notes

Please note that the itinerary and the activities may change during the winter season, depending on weather conditions.

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You'll love:

The awe-inspiring landmarks of ancient Greece and the memorable characters of the people that still inhabit them.

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Testimonials

"Traveling to Delphi was wonderful. But what made the experience the best part of traveling to Athens were the guides and staff of Alternative Athens-Elisavet and Tania were so great!! . Yes, it's more expensive than maybe some other touring companies, but it's entirely worth it. I hope to travel back to Greece soon and I will certainly be reaching out to Alternative Athens for another tour."

Sarah Y

"Alternative Athens does it right! There is no better way to get a feel and taste of authentic Athens than accompanying Zoe on a delightful tour of off-the-beaten path food delights. We discovered amazing side streets while learning about the history, fine art and traditions of wonderful treats. This was an amazing way to begin our Athens adventure. Zoe brought the heart and soul of Athens to a never to be forgotten culinary stroll."

Cathi A - USA, TripAdvisor

"This tour is an excellent opportunity to see and learn about a different Greece than the one in most tourist books. Highly recommend."

Vincenzp