Beyond Athens

Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece

Stunning landmark sites and local life in the villages & monasteries of the mainland

Duration

3 days

When

Year round, upon request

Languages

english, french

Unlike most of Europe, Greece’s traditional and rural culture is still very much alive, particularly in its mountain villages. This is even more true in the awe-inspiring sites of Delphi and Meteora, where the most spectacular combination of nature, history and culture that Greece has to offer can be experienced.

Highlights

  • You'll visit Delphi, ancient Greece's most sacred site on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus.
  • You'll reach the top of incredible rock formations to admire the great orthodox monasteries of Meteora, perched on soaring rocky promontories.
  • You'll live unforgettable encounters with locals that open their homes and workshops for you, and experience how vanishing crafts still survive in Greece: icon painters, tanners, bellmakers, and more
  • You'll lose yourself in the Forest of the White River, a wonderful mountain wilderness area full of natural beauty.
  • You’ll explore the flavors of Northern Greece in a fun food tour!

What you can expect

Embark on a journey of discovery through mainland Greece that will take you to the famed site of Meteora and Delphi, but also to roads less traveled, like the Koziakas mountain range and the forest of the White River. Although Greece is inextricably tied to the sea, few people know that it is the mountains that dominate its landscape. With the help of a fun and knowledgeable private guide, you will discover an unknown side of Greece and learn how these mountains shaped the local folks’ life, culture and traditions.

Day 1

After a morning departure from Athens, the ancient past meets the present in this spectacular exploration of the breathtaking site of Delphi, navel of the world and oracle of the ancient Gods. Here, 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.

Then you’ ll head to Amfissa, 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.

From Amfissa, you’ll then head north across the mainland towards Meteora. A few miles before reaching your destination, you will have dinner in a traditional family-run taverna in the foothills of Mt Koziakas. The food there is superb, sourced from local farms and gardens, and the tavern itself looks like a setting from a Middle Earth fantasy, featuring a giant tree right in the middle of it! You will spend the night in a charming family-run guest house in the pretty village of Kastraki, right under the towering rocks of Meteora.

Day 2

Meteora is a stunning natural phenomenon, featuring enormous sandstone columns, formed millions of years ago, all pointing heavenward. These remote rock skyscrapers became dwelling-places for Christian Orthodox monks and, by the 14th century, large monastic communities were flourishing on the summits of many of these rocks. Today, six monasteries are still functioning, of which you will visit two. You’ll also walk around and drive among the rocks, to make sure you soak in the sights and the awe-inspiring landscape before enjoying lunch in a nearby Kalambaka.

After lunch, you'll visit a local icon painter from a family of artists linked for generations to the monasteries here. In his tiny workshop you’ll have a chance to learn about his art and try out your skills in customizing an orthodox icon to take back home with you!

Then it's a stop at the small but original Book Museum, where you'll get to try your skills in Greek handwriting and find out about Greek classrooms of the past. The owner is a fascinating personality, a collector of rare books that decided to turn his passion into a private museum!

You’ll then leave the Meteora towards the south, to the little-known Forest of the White River, a group of small mountain villages hidden in the depths of a massive forest. Here, at a mountain lodge in perfect harmony with its surroundings, you’ll dine and spend the night under the warm hospitality of Mrs Eleni, the owner who fell in love with the region some 40 years ago.

Day 3

The next morning, you’ll embark on a food tour to discover the local specialties and flavors of Northern Greece! First, you'll join a local shepherd and help him milk his sheep and goats before hitting a local kitchen for a quick cooking lesson: Pie making is on the menu today!

After work comes play; a swim at a beautiful river spot known only to locals. Close by is a fascinating small monastery rarely visited by tourists, which you will also visit.

Afternoon Greek coffee will be at a charming rustic outpost with far-reaching valley views. Here you will also taste Greek yoghurt and traditional ‘spoon sweets’ that Mrs Soula, the owner’s mother, makes year-round.

Then it's off to a nearby winery to taste the area’s best wines, cheeses and cold cuts, before lunch at a local tavern. Here, you'll eat like locals, savoring wild mountain greens, juicy lamb ribs and other local specialties. With this wonderful meal in a village that isn’t featured in any tourist map or guide, you'll finish our mountain odyssey, satisfied in body and soul and ready for the ride back to Athens.

Itinerary

DAY 1

  • Departure from Athens
  • Guided visit of the archaeological site of Delphi and the treasures of the Delphi museum
  • Visit to Amfissa, a town of olives and craftspeople
  • Visit of bellmaker and tanner workshops
  • Lunch in an old district of Amfissa
  • Dinner at a woodland taverna below Mt Koziakas
  • Overnight in the village of Kastraki in Meteora

DAY 2

  • Guided visit of the Meteora monasteries and their surroundings
  • Lunch in the rural town of Kalambaka
  • Visit to a local icon painter and customization of a Greek orthodox icon
  • Visit to the Book Museum and Greek writing lesson
  • Forest of the White River; dinner and overnight at mountain lodge

DAY 3

  • Flavors of the North Food Tour in the White River and Meteora region
  • Cooking lesson and animal husbandry with a local shepherd
  • A dip in White River
  • Visit to a beautiful small monastery off the beaten path
  • Coffee with a wonderful valley view and, yoghurt and traditional sweets tasting
  • Wine tasting in a local vineyard
  • Lunch at a village taverna
  • Return to Athens

Practical info

Duration
3 days
Languages
english, french
When
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
  • Meteora monasteries guided visit & hike
  • Holy Trinity Guided tour 
  • Visit to an old traditional village in Amfissa
  • Tannery visit & presentation
  • Bell maker visit & gift
  • Pie cooking class & treat / snack
  • Painter visit & byzantine painting activity
  • Greek language mini-course, memorabilia & exhibition visit
  • Food tour (Greek coffee, yogurt, traditional sweets, wine tasting, local cheeses & cold cuts) 
  • Three traditional meals (dinner in hotel in White River area, lunch in Meteora, lunch near Delphi)
  • Three traditional Greek breakfasts
  • 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
  • Dinner at Mt Koziakas (day 1) & lunch in Kalambaka (day 2)
  • 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.

Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 1
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 2
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 3
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 4
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 5
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 6
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 7
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 8
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 9
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 10
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 11
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 12
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 13
Delphi & Meteora Discovery Tour: Wonders of Mainland Greece gallery image 14

You'll love:

Two unmissable, world-famous landmarks and the opportunity to understand how this spectacular landscape has shaped local life and traditions over the centuries.

"Overall, the tour is a MUST if you enjoy seeing a city at night. The way the locals spend the nights in a city tells you a lot about the city's soul...and seeing it with Antonis is the best way to do it.’’"

Sush106 – Texas

"The street art was impressive and varied. There was so much to discover and see. I highly recommend this tour if you want to get out of the touristy areas and see amazing artwork."

travelchyc – San Jose

"Tania showed us to a variety of local gems around the city that we would have never found otherwise. It's a great way not only to learn about the local cuisine, but to get to know the different districts and discover where the locals hang out."

Helen A