Beyond Athens

The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora

A journey of discovery to Greece's most magnificent historical sites and a stunning natural treasure

Duration

5 days

When

Departures: 25 May, 8 June, 21 Sep, 5 Oct

Languages

english

Price

€2.050per person

Book now
This five-day exploration takes you across thousands of years to the most awe-inspiring destinations in Greece, combining the wonders of Classical Greece with the amazing achievements that followed, all set against the country's peerless natural beauty. This journey throughout the scope of Greek history includes beautiful Delphi, ancient Olympia, mythical Mycenae, knightly Nafplio and mystical Meteora.

Highlights

  • Visit Mycenae, the mythical citadel and UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Discover the charming coastal town of Nafplio, the first capital of independent modern Greece
  • Explore ancient Olympia, the original birthplace of the Olympic Games
  • Admire the grandeur of ancient Greece's most sacred site, the Oracle of Delphi
  • Stand atop incredible rock formations and admire the great Greek Orthodox monasteries of Meteora that perch there
  • Lose yourself in natural beauty of the Forest of the White River
  • Explore the flavors of northern Greece in a fun-filled food tour!
  • Get to know the real Greece, by immersing yourself in local Greek life, meeting people in their homes, on their farms, and at their workshops.
  • Get to know craftsmen (icon painters, tanners, bellmakers, loom weavers, potters, pasta makers) farmers (olive oil, honey & wine producers), and local residents

What you can expect

Day 1: Mycenae & Nafplio

The fabled Homeric city of Mycenaea 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 & Arachova

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 homodynamic 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 bravest of you, you’ll have the chance to swim there too!

After leaving the waterfalls, you’ll travel to one of the most picturesque mountain villages of Greece, Arachova, where you will spend the night.

Day 3: Delphi & Amfissa

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.

From Delphi, 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! 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 4: Meteora

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 5: Greek mountain scenery

he 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 greensjuicy 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

  • Visit the ancient site of Mycenae, seat of the Bronze Age Mycenaean civilization.
  • Tour the beautiful coastal town of Nafplio, see its sights and meet its craftspeople.
  • Enjoy lunch in Nafplio.
  • Stop at a rural bee farm for refreshments and a honey treat.
  • Dine and stay overnight at a traditional guesthouse/old watermill in an organic vineyard. A wine-tasting session here is optional.

Day 2

  • Visit Ancient Olympia and peruse the masterpieces in its museum.
  • Take part in an archaeological activity (a simulation of an excavation) OR visit a homeodynamic olive oil farm, accompanied by a local farmer.
  • Enjoy a short gorge trek and a swim at a waterfall.
  • Sample local cuisine at a picnic-style lunch by the river.
  • Stay overnight in the mountain village of Arachova.

Day 3

  • Visit the town of Amfissa, a place famed for its olives and its craftspeople.
  • Drop in on a bell-maker and a tanner’s workshop
  • Enjoy lunch under the trees in the village’s square
  • Take a guided tour of the magnificent archaeological site of Delphi and admire the treasures of the Delphi museum
  • Relax during the drive to Meteora.
  • Stop for dinner at a woodland taverna on the slopes of Mt Koziakas.
  • Stay overnight in the village of Kastraki in Meteora.

Day 4

  • Visit the stunning Meteora monasteries and their surroundings
  • Stop for lunch in the rural town of Kalambaka.
  • Drop by a local icon painter and watch as he customizes a Greek Orthodox icon
  • Tour the Book Museum and take a Greek writing lesson.
  • Enter the Forest of the White River, and enjoy dinner and an overnight stay at a mountain lodge.

Day 5

  • Take lessons in cooking and animal husbandry with a local shepherd.
  • Experience a refreshing dip in the White River.
  • Visit a beautiful small monastery off the beaten path.
  • Stop for coffee with a wonderful valley view and try some yoghurt and traditional sweets.
  • Enjoy a wine-tasting session in a local vineyard.
  • Take a break for lunch at a village taverna.
  • Return to Athens.

Practical info

Duration
5 days
Walking pace
Easy
Languages
english
When
Departures: 25 May, 8 June, 21 Sep, 5 Oct

Prices

Prices per Person:

  • Single room: 2.250 euros
  • Twin/double room: 2.050 euros
  • Triple room: 2.250 euros

 

 

What's included

  • Top rated licensed guide to escort you (5 full days)
  • Long distance transfers with driver, luxry vehicle, gas, tolls (5 full days)
  • Four accommodations at traditional guest houses on the 4* scale
  • Entry fees to archaelogical sites
  • Delphi & Delphi museum guided tour
  • Meteora monasteries guided visit & hike
  • Mycenae & Mycenae museum guided tour
  • Ancient Olympia site & museum guided tour
  • Guided tour of Naplio town
  • 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
  • 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
  • Four traditional Greek breakfasts
  • Tasting of olive oil & snack 
  • Food tour (Greek coffee, yogurt, traditional sweets, wine tasting, local cheeses & cold cuts) 
  • Five traditional meals (dinner in hotel in White River area, lunch in Kalambaka, lunch near Delphi, Picnic style lunch by the waterfalls near Olympia, lunch in Nafplio)
  • Escorting guide’s and escorting driver’s accommodations and expenses.
  • Vat, 24/7 on-the-ground support, all travel planning and revising. 

Not included

  • Any food or drinks not mentioned in the tour's inclusions
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 1
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 2
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 3
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 4
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 5
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 6
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 7
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 8
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 9
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 10
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 11
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 12
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 13
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 14
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 15
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 16
The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora gallery image 17

You'll love:

the tremendous sense of history and majesty that you'll take away from these unique places of culture

The Millennia Tour: Olympia, Nafplio, Mycenae, Delphi & Meteora
Book now

Awards & Accolades

Testimonials

"Wonderful day with top guide Vassia. Incredible lunch at a local restaurant. Mycenae was amazing too with great guide Jenny showing us around. Luxury air-con transport with the best driver. Worth every cent we paid"

Craig P., New Zealand

"It was fantastic. We had 2 guides, Andreas with a lot of love and dedication made the tour unforgettable. Penny (guide in Delphi site) was not only guiding us with interesting information, she also asked the big questions, so it felt like a philosophy-class. Thank you for that! Our We also went to a little village and met the tanners, an old profession that almost died out. Good work Alternative Athens!"

Astrid - TripAdvisor

"As an artist, Nikos was able to give us a lot of insight into both art we were looking at and the personalities behind the art. Along the way he provided much of the contemporary history that contextualized the life of Athenians the inspires the art that we saw. …Can't miss."

Eric K