Highlights of a resoundingly successful tour: Mythical Peloponnese – Fortresses & Legendary Sanctuaries, May 2019
Greece has been a strategic crossroads since time immemorial and the legacy of its rich history is visible in the castles and archaeological sites which adorn every corner of this magnificent country.
Specialist tour operator Eternal Greece Ltd designed and successfully ran an inspiring and illuminating ten-day guided tour of the southern and eastern Peloponnese for 36 members of the UK-based Fortress Study Group (FSG) and Castle Studies Group (CSG). The participants were from the UK, the USA and Canada. The tour started on 18 May 2019 and looked mainly at Venetian fortifications but also included Byzantine, Ottoman and Frankish sites. The tour included a number of celebrated sites of Classical Hellenic antiquity, in the splendid Spring countryside of Greece.
The group was welcomed at an event hosted by the regional government of the Peloponnese and by the municipal authorities of Nafplio. During the same event, the FSG presented a plaque to the regional government honouring Palamidi fortress of Nafplio as the best-maintained and preserved fortification in the Peloponnese.
The sites visited during the tour comprised the castles/fortresses of Acrocorinth, Monemvassia, Mystras, Methoni, Koroni, Kyparissia, Androussa, Palamidi, Bourtzi (Nafplio) and Larissa of Argos, as well as the archaeological sites of Olympia, Mycenae, Tiryns, Messene, Nemea and the pyramid of Hellinikon. The overnight stays were at Marathopolis, Kalamata, Monemvassia and Nafplio.
As a result of its complete success the tour will be offered again, launching on 12 October and ending on 21 October 2019.
In addition, we are in the process of designing a new tour in Greece for Spring 2020. The programme will cover castles and fortresses of NW Peloponnese, Lepanto, the Ionian coast, Ioannina and Corfu. Again, some archaeological sites, such as Nikopolis, the Acheron Necromancy and Dodona, will be included.
Please contact us for more information.
‘Peloponnese Fortress Tour for the Fortress Study Group
A well-organised bespoke tour that went very smoothly. Our Tour Leader Eric was very professional in his approach to what was a demanding tour for both the organiser and the participants; due to the requirements of the FSG, with a significant number of hours spent in a coach (with an amazing driver Argyris). Eric had obviously spent considerable effort choosing hotels and restaurants; which was no mean feat given the size of the party and their various requirements. He coped admirably with an emergency when one of the members required hospital treatment in the small hours, transported her there and waited while she was treated. Very little sleep for Eric that night. In all, Eternal Greece did a professional and very competent job, assisted by his son Ken and including hiring a knowledgeable guide Romylos, who helped enhance our background knowledge of all we visited. We would have no hesitation recommending Eternal Greece to all.’
Eternal Greece organised a tour of the Peloponnese for the Fortress Study Group and a number of people with similar interests. We numbered 38 people and travelled around in an air-conditioned Pullman coach in some comfort. Our primary interests were the Venetian Fortresses of the Peloponnese, including Neo Navarino, Korone, Methone and of course the great fortifications of Nafplio.
En route we visited a number of classical sites, such as the ancient city of Messine, Olympia, Mistra, Monemvasia etc.
Eternal Greece had an exceptionally knowledgeable archaeologist providing some commentaries and guiding on some sites. Eric, the owner, provided more commentaries; even better, he provided some publicity and helped organise a Government / Local Government presentation when the group was in Nafplion.
It was, in more ways than one, a ‘tour de force’ and one which I hope will remain in the memories of the participants for years to come. I cannot praise Eternal Greece enough for their attention to detail, logistical preparations and the very great care exercised over all the participants.
I strongly recommend that anyone wanting to explore this part of the world should consider using the services of Eternal Greece.’
‘We found the tour to be first-class in every respect. Mainland Greece was new to us both and the landscape of the Peloponnese was a revelation.
The arrangements all worked smoothly from beginning to end. We liked the choice of hotels – including the extra nights in Athens – and the range of sites visited. All the better for taking us beyond our usual preoccupation with artillery forts and putting them in their overall historical context. It was also fun to ‘share’ sites with members of the Castle Study Group.
With every good wish for the future.’
Ken and Lee
‘It was a great trip and you were an excellent tour director.’
Richard and Mary Ann H.
‘Just a quick note to say a big Thank You to you all for your various parts in making the trip so good.’
‘Thank you for a splendid tour. It was more “archeological” than our usual tours, but the sites themselves and the mythology that went with them made for a great few days.
I hope that FSG and yourself can organize another tour of Greece in the near future. In fact I look forward to the possibility.’
‘Dear Eric, it was a pleasure meeting you and Ken and of course Romylos and Argyris. In the rather hurried disembarkation from the bus on Monday I did not have the opportunity to thank you properly for organising such an excellent tour. The sites were well chosen and I think we all understood that on some occasions long coach journeys were unavoidable but worth it. This was my first visit to Greece and I thoroughly enjoyed every bit of it.
I hope we have the opportunity to meet again.’
Hope I am not disturbing you from your well-deserved slumbers, but just to thank you so much for organising an excellent programme for the FSG and looking after everyone so well.
I hope our paths meet again some time.’
Thank you so much for all the work you put in to organise such a wonderful trip. The time has flown and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I hope to come across Eternal Greece again. ‘
We travelled through the Peloponnese with the Fortress Study Group on a 10 day tour organized by Eternal Greece Ltd. We visited a mix of sites from classical and pre-history, through Venetian and Ottoman times. This mix gave us a picture of the breadth of Greek history instead of just a single slice of time which we much appreciated. We had an excellent archaeologist guide and an excellent driver.
Eric Cauchi, the proprietor of Eternal Greece, travelled with us as the tour director and trouble-shooter in chief. His own passion for archaeology and for his country added to the trip experience. The hotels he booked for us were excellent, all very clean and comfortable, with friendly staff and most on the sea with beautiful views. The restaurants he selected for our meals served delicious traditional Greek food family style, far superior to what one might expect for a group meal.
Having never been to Greece before, we came into Athens 4 days early. We had many pre-trip questions which Eric always answered very promptly. He assisted us with several aspects of our planning before we set foot in Greece. He booked an Athens hotel in an excellent location for us and arranged airport transports which worked perfectly. When we decided to do a day-trip to Delphi and asked if he could recommend some companies for us to contact, he responded with the name and cost of a group tour company with pros/cons and the offer of arranging a private driver and guide for us with pros/cons. He also offered to, and subsequently did, email the rest of the group participants to see if anyone might be interested in sharing the private tour to bring down the costs. The driver and guide Eric arranged were very professional, tailored the day to our interests, and made the day a wonderful memory for us.
When, as part of our planning, we decided that we might like to use our free time on the last evening of the Peloponnese tour to see an additional site some distance away from our hotel on our own, we emailed Eric to enquire as to whether time-wise this might be feasible and if we would have trouble finding a taxi to take us and wait. Eric advised that renting a car would be better. We expressed concern about finding a car rental place that would be open till 9:00 p.m. on a Sunday evening. Eric responded within hours with contact information for a rental location around the corner from our hotel that would be open till 9 p.m.
Eric’s level of service was superb. We would travel again on a trip arranged by Eternal Greece and we definitely recommend Eternal Greece.