Beyond Athens

Legendary Mycenae and Nafplio time-old crafts

This corner of Greece is alive in legend, myth, traditional crafts and history!

Duration

full day (11 hours)

When

Mon-Sun, upon request

Languages

english, french

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The haunting landscape of ancient Mycenae isn’t far from Nafplio, the castle-crowned harbour town that served as Greece’s first capital, so we’ll take you to both. After soaking up Mycenae’s ancient dark and tragic atmosphere, you’ll see a different side of Nafplio when you visit a range of active craftspeople, whose art dates back hundreds of years.

This is a Private Tour

Our private tours can be booked as featured here, or be customised especially for you.

Highlights

  • Walking through history and legend in the ancient city of Mycenae, with its legendary Lion Gate and the Tomb of Agamemnon, a beehive structure from 1500BC
  • Visiting the charming seaside port of Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece, with its soaring castle walls and its beautiful waterfront
  • Watching modern artisans, including potters and weavers, work their crafts in the traditional fashion, explaining as they create
  • Eating local specialties for lunch at one of Nafplio’s trendiest tavernas

What you can expect

In a remarkably dramatic landscape in the northeast of the Peloponnese, the fabled Homeric city of Mycenae, A UNESCO World Heritage Site and the capital of one of the oldest civilizations in the world, stands covered in the dust of millennia. Here, you’ll walk under the famed Lion Gate to enter ruins that are part history, part myth. Mycenae was home to the cursed House of Atreus, its members sentenced by the gods to suffer. And suffer they did. It was here (spoiler alert!) that King Agamemnon, hero of the Trojan War, was killed by his wife Clytemnestra. The Tomb of Agamemnon, an amazing structure more than three thousand years old, is where famed archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann uncovered the magnificent Mask of Agamemnon, a funeral mask made entirely of gold. There’s a museum here, too, with artifacts recovered from the immediate area. The whole site is moving, mysterious and incredibly old, even by Greek standards, and you’ll see it all and hear every story from your guide.

From Mycenae, you’ll head to Nafplio, with its towering fortifications. This low-key harbor town was in fact the first capital of the country. Its rich past and a great position on a wide bay has made it an important port for much of its history. You can see this in the medieval walls high on Palamidi Hill above the town and in the amazing fort that sits right in the middle of the harbour, but you can also see it in the 19th-century buildings scattered around the town.

In Nafplio, you’ll explore the town’s defenses and visit a variety of craftspeople, including a potter, a sandal-maker and a weaver, getting the chance to watch them at work and see what their crafts still have in common with the products of those ancient artisans whose work you will have seen earlier in the museum at Mycenae. As in the visit to that ancient site, this part of the tour involves a kind of time-travel because in many ways, the production methods you’ll be seeing in these studio spaces are closer to those practiced in the time of Agamemnon than to those in contemporary automated manufacturing plants. You’ll see a number of other commercial ventures; a local distillery, a shop where pasta is made is made by hand the old-fashioned way, and a sweet-shop where the traditional almond sweets are still made the way they were generations ago.

Your visit to this historic town will also include a scrumptious lunch at one of Nafplio's trendiest hidden taverns, serving probably the best food in town. 

In the end of this tour we hope you will have a better understanding of the links that unite the ancient past with life and people in the South of Greece today.

Itinerary

  • Transfer by private a/c vehicle from Athens to Mycenae 
  • Guided walk to the site and museum of ancient Mycenae
  • Guided walk in the old city of Nafplio
  • Visits to potter, weaver, sandal maker & pasta shop 
  • Visit and tastings of traditional drinks at local distillery
  • Transfer by private a/c vehicle from Nafplio to Athens

Practical info

Duration
full day (11 hours)
Languages
english, french
When
Mon-Sun, upon request

What's included

  • Professional English or French speaking tour leader
  • Licensed English or French speaking Guide (Mycenae)
  • Private transfer by a/c vehicle
  • Visits to craftsmen
  • Snack
  • Hotel pick up & drop off
  • Petrol, tolls and taxes

Not included

  • Food or drinks
  • Entry fees
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You'll love:

The majesty of Mycenae and the amazing artisans of Nafplio

Legendary Mycenae and Nafplio time-old crafts
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"Our guide Nadia was amazing. Her narrative was engaging, and she made sure everything we saw came alive. Going through these sites without her storytelling would not have been even 5% as much fun."

NirajRanjanRout

"Your food tour was one of the best we have been on and we have been on at least a dozen in Europe and the States. We will talk fondly about this tour in the future and it will be the standard of excellence that we will compare other food tours to."

Janholis – Italy

"Our guide made the night a special one. He took us to places that would be impossible to find yourself and covered everything from a trendy rooftop bar with views of the Acropolis to an out of the way non touristy Greek taverna with dancing and excellent food. If you want to check out authentic Athenian nightlife, do this trip!’’"

Amanda C