Eternal Greece Ltd

Archaeological Treasures of Athens, Argolid and Corinthia

  • Aghia Marina chapel, Lygourio Eternal Greece Ltd

This well-researched and rewarding programme provides a deeply informative introduction to the archaeological wonders of legendary regions instrumental to the civilisation of Ancient Greece...

Introduction

Our tours are conducted round the year and are all supported and escorted by our hand-picked specialist, licensed guides.

We are passionate believers in the miracle that is Greece and are equally passionate in the design and delivery of our programmes, all of which offer perspectives which resonate with the Εssence of Greece and which can foment thought, arouse the imagination and inspire interesting discussions during and after our tours.

This well-researched and rewarding programme provides a deeply informative and expert introduction to the archaeological wonders of legendary regions instrumental to the civilisation of Ancient Greece: the Argolid, Corinthia, and Athens.

The target audience of this programme will typically include avid admirers and discerning connoisseurs of classical Greek archaeology, ancient history and natural beauty who would relish the experience of seeing the most evocative sites and monuments at first hand.

Accommodation is at specially-selected, European standard high-class city and country hotels, all of which abound with character. Transportation is by modern, air-conditioned coach whilst the venues of lunch and dinner have been carefully chosen, not least with the hungry explorer in mind – but also to respect and reflect the ancient Greek tradition where eating is central to social interaction and happy bonding.

Are you more independent-minded?
This programme is also available in a self-drive version!
Find out more on Self-Drive Tours

Points of Interest

Some of the points of interest include the following. Clicking on an underlined name will open a new tab rich in information on the respective point of interest.

Aghia Marina Chapel  |  Athens Acropolis |  Athens Museum of Cycladic Art  |  Ancient Corinth  |  Ancient Epidaurus  |  Ancient Mycenae  |  Ancient Nemea  |  Ancient Tiryns  | Archaeological Museum of Nauplion  |  Argive Heraion  |  Cape Sounion  |  Corinth Canal  |  Kefalari  | Museum of Natural History of Lygourio  |  Nauplion  |  National Archaeological Museum of Athens |  New Acropolis Museum  |  Palaia Epidavros  |  Pyramid of Hellinikon  |  Pyramid of Lygourio

Itinerary

We will be waiting to meet you at Athens International airport for transfer to your hotel, where the welcome dinner awaits. Overnight stay.

We will leave the hotel in the morning for Nauplio, travelling across the Corinth Canal, that magnificent feat of 19th-century engineering which transformed the Peloponnese from a peninsula to an island, where we have a short pit stop for photos. Just a short distance after the bridge, we visit the extensive archaeological site of Ancient Corinth, noted for its archaic Temple of Apollo and an impressive collection of ruins of public buildings. After visiting the site’s museum, we ascend the mighty castle on the craggy and foreboding hill of the Acrocorinth, which guarded the access to the Peloponnese for centuries.

Onwards to Ancient Nemea, the place where legendary hero and demigod Heracles (Hercules) made short work of the Nemean Lion with his bare hands, this being the first of his Twelve Labours. Nemea has always been famous for its superb, signature red wine (Heracles was evidently aware of that!) and we will sample this venerated vintage over lunch before proceeding to the upbeat coastal town of Nauplio. Free afternoon to explore this colourful town with its seafront promenade and vibrant shopping area in its quirky narrow streets and squares. We meet up later for dinner at a traditional local taverna.

Day’s approximate driving distance and time : 156 km / 2h 21 min

We start the day early with a visit to the impressive Archaeological Museum of Nauplio, a historic building itself, which houses illustrious finds from all over the Argolid from Paleolithic (as old as it gets!) times on. We then set off for the legendary ancient sites of the Argive Plain. The archaeological sites of Tiryns and Mycenae are the imposing ruins of the two greatest cities of the Mycenaean civilisation, which dominated the eastern Mediterranean world from the 15th to the 12th century BC and played a vital role in the development of classical Greek culture. Both Tiryns and Mycenae are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Our next stop is the Neolithic and Mycenaean citadel of Tiryns (the birthplace of mythical hero Heracles), followed by the important archaeological site of Argive Heraion, which affords a splendid view of the Argive Plain and then on to the renowned Bronze Age city of Mycenae. Mycenae was the city of King Agamemnon, with its Cyclopean walls, the Lion Gate and spectacular archaeological finds.

Then off we go south through the Argolid to the little-known Pyramid of Hellinikon, a mysterious structure of uncertain use dated to the 3rd millennium BC. Be ready for a hearty lunch nearby at the rustic little village of Kefalari. This is where ancient geographer Strabo reckoned that the waters welling from the spring in the centre of the village were an outflow of Lake Stymphalia, a fair distance away, high in the karstic mountains of Corinthia, northern Peloponnese. A far-fetched tale perhaps, but who knows?

Back to Nauplio, and free time to spend as you like. For the energetic, there’s always the option of climbing the 861 steps to the Venetian Fortress of Palamidi above the town!

Day’s approximate driving distance and time : 70 km / 1 hr 22 min

On our way to Ancient Epidaurus, we stop at the fascinating museum of Natural History at Lygourio, with its rich collection of local and regional fossils and its diverse and informative exhibits. That’s a brief but unique insight into Mediterranean and local geology, including the Epidaurean ammonites that lived 235 million years ago in the ocean of what is now the Argolid. We will then visit the nearby ruins of the Pyramid of Lygourio and the very interesting Chapel of Aghia Marina (18th century) which incorporates building blocks of the Pyramid.

We soon reach the Sanctuary of Asklepios, the God of Healing, at Ancient Epidaurus. The site, set in a peaceful, yet powerful landscape that might be a main constituent of its legendary therapeutic qualities, features the best-preserved ancient theatre in Greece, acclaimed for its precise acoustics that everyone is welcome to test out, and its perfect proportions – the latter related also to the mathematical ratio of the Golden Mean.

We then move on down to the laid-back seaside town of Palaia Epidaurus with its own ancient, yet recently-discovered, contrastingly compact and charming little theatre.

Lunch at a seaside taverna and return to Athens.

Day’s approximate driving distance and time : 170 km / 2h 16 min

We spend today exploring the iconic and unparalleled Acropolis of Athens – the site of that great temple, the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, and the Theatres of Dionyssos and Herodion on its slopes – along with the Kerameikos area and the New Acropolis Museum. Ranked as within the top-three archaeological museums in the world, the museum’s very foundations are glass-topped to reveal the city’s ancient architecture below. Apart from the plethora of antiquities within its walls, much of the museum exterior is also made of glass, which allows for stunning views of the Acropolis and surrounding area, plus some spectacular reflections when viewed from the streets outside. Free evening to experience the city as you choose.

This day is devoted to two of the most interesting archaeological and thematic museums of Athens: the massive National Archaeological Museum, whose exhibits include the treasures of the Mycenae, such as the controversial gold Mask of Agamemnon (or his father, Atreus); and the Museum of Cycladic Art. This interesting and rewarding day culminates in a relaxing afternoon trip alongside the Athenian Riviera to the south-easternmost tip of mainland Greece, Cape Sounion, with its magnificent Temple of Poseidon (Neptune) perched on the top of the final promontory jutting into the timeless Aegean Sea and also overlooking the Saronic and Euboean gulfs.

Farewell dinner.

Included

  • Accommodation at specially-selected, European standard high-class city and country hotels, basis bed and breakfast and double sharing. Single occupancy subject to supplement.
  • Five lunches and four dinners, including the Welcome Dinner on the first day and the Farewell Dinner on the last one
  • Greek airport transfers on the first and the last day of the tour
  • Expert, licensed Archeologist-Guide accompanying the group throughout the duration of the tour
  • All tour legs by air-conditioned coach
  • Archaeological site and museum tickets
  • Bottled mineral water daily during the tours
  • Free use of power packs for recharging mobile phone and portable devices on the move
  • Hotel porter and restaurant gratuities

Not Included

  • Air travel to and from Greece
  • Personal travel insurance
  • Beverages
  • Coach driver and guide gratuities
  • Visas and travel document and formality costs, if and where applicable

Points to note

The tour is accompanied by an expert, licensed guide who is fluent in English. Transport is by air-conditioned coach, accommodation is at European standard four-star / five-star / high-class country hotels basis whilst the price also includes daily breakfast, lunch and dinner, Greek airport transfers, bottled mineral water daily, museum and archaeological site entrance fees and hotel porter and restaurant gratuities. The price is basis double-room sharing.

The programme does not include flights to and from Greece and personal travel insurance. An example of how to obtain travel insurance can be found here.

The final applicable price will depend on the number of participants of the tour.

Testimonials

  • 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.

    Summerclouds053117
  • Dear Eric,

    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.

    Pamela M.
  • Dear Eric,

    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.

    Richard A.
  • 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.

    Bill C.
  • Thank you for a splendid tour. It was more “archaeological” 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.

    Martyn G.