Bare Bones | Essential Athens
Athens - the cradle of western civilisation - where democracy, theatre, history and philsophy were born and spread around the world. Here is an essential introduction to Classical Athens, exploring monuments that shed light on this most seminal of cities. On this fascinating five-day encounter, we base ourselves in the heart of the action, easy walks away from sites such as the Parthenon, Pnyx Hill, and the Athenian Agora. Take time to absorb the city at your leisure, as well as making site visits with your expert guide, enjoying in-depth forays in the National Museum, and even an excursion to the mysterious spiritual centre of Eleusis. The ancient world has never felt more present and immediate.
- Explore both the Athenian Agora and the Roman Agora
- Wander the citadel of the Acropolis, offering stunning views over the city of Athens
- Tour mysterious Eleusis and view ancient artefacts at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens
- Great Cities
- Ancient Greek
- Just One Hotel
We arrive in Athens, settle in to our central hotel, and begin the discoveries with an afternoon orientation walk – an early chance to get to know the city and our group.
Our first full day in Athens begins with a walk to Pnyx Hill. From this rocky natural platform, famed orators such as Pericles held forth to the people under the silent gaze of the Acropolis. From here we continue to the Athenian Agora, and take in sights such as the Hephaesteum, a wonderfully well-preserved temple that was inaugurated almost 2,500 years ago. After a break for an independent lunch, we come back together for an afternoon visit to the Roman Agora, the construction of which was funded by Caesar and Augustus in the 1st Century BC. Discover the octagonal Tower of the Winds, the Palace of the Giants, and the columned Library of Hadrian.
We spend the morning in the thrall of the National Archaeological Museum. Engaged by the knowledge of our guide, we explore its unique collections, including the golden Mask of Agamemnon, an enigmatic funerary piece that has been described as “the Mona Lisa of prehistory.” Following this the rest of our day is free to wander and relax at our own pace.
We begin our fourth day on the Acropolis, where astounding city views combine with some of the world’s best known ancient Greek architecture. Together we explore these stunning remains, including the expansive theatres of Dionysius and Herodes Atticus, and, of course, the most iconic site of all Athens: the mighty Parthenon temple. A break for lunch is followed by an enlightening visit to the Acropolis Museum, where many an excavated treasure awaits.
This may be our final morning, but the explorations are not over yet. Following breakfast we take a short drive out to the great shrines of Eleusis, where the mystery rites of the cults of Demeter and Kore (Persephone) were so ardently protected that to reveal their secrets meant an early grave. From Eleusis we make our way to the airport (transfer included).
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - Breakfast only
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
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