Meet the Greeks
The ‘Greatest Hits’ of the Greek world: gods, heroes, monsters and kings. The stories and legends, customs and politics of the Greek world continue to echo through the ages. From Achilles’ heel to Herculean struggles, election voting to frequenting the theatre. How did a rowdy group of rival kingdoms dominate the ancient Aegean for so many centuries?
Our journey begins in the Peloponnesian hills, dramatic landscapes where myth and legend endured for millennia: where the hero Hercules began his twelve tasks, and King Agamemnon set out to rescue Helen and capture Troy. Continue to Classical Athens, a city whose Golden Age led to astonishing advances in art, philosophy, science and politics.
- From the heroic exploits of Hercules, to the Trojan Wars, to the Golden age of Classical Athens
- The perfect introduction of 2000 years of Western Civilisation
- Receive a special talk at Eleusis with the site director
- Historic Churches
- Great Cities
- Ancient Greek
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We arrive in Athens.
We journey to the site of Mycenae and tread the path up to the Lion Gate of the legendary King Agamemnon’s imposing citadel, before visiting the enormous tomb better known as the vast treasury of his father, Atreus. We visit the ancient hillfort of Tiryns, where the hero Hercules is said to have been born. Both these fascinating sites have truly ancient origins, inhabited at least as far back as the Bronze Age, the supposed time of the Trojan War.
We visit the magnificent theatre at Epidaurus. This huge space has pitch-perfect acoustics, a testament to the engineering skills of its original builders. You can hear a person on stage perfectly, even from the cheap seats at the back!
We continue to the ruins of ancient Corinth, where we receive a special talk from the retired site director. The city was occupied from as early as 6500 BC and grew to become one of the largest cities in Classical Greece.
We spend a day in Classical Athens, ascending the Acropolis to visit the glorious Parthenon and viewing artefacts at the Acropolis Museum. Enjoy some free time in the afternoon to explore Athens. You could walk up Philopappos Hill to see the Roman monument, or go along the lines of the Long Walls for views of the Acropolis.
We travel to Marathon to see where the invading Persian army of Darius I was defeated by the Athenian army. We continue to Palaio Faliro, to view the reconstructed trireme Olympias.
Leaving the city behind today, we make a pilgrimage to the great sanctuary of Delphi, where female followers of the god Apollo formed a cult of divination. Inhaling natural vapours issuing from the rocks, the Pythia, head priestess, was said to speak with the voice of Apollo and see into the future. From the outcome of wars to more mundane crises and love affairs, this far-seeing oracle would also answer those brave enough to seek knowledge of their fates. We end the day at the church of Hosios Loukas, a much later place of pilgrimage founded in the 10th century.
Starting our day at Eleusis, we enjoy exclusive access to the archaeological site and museum with the site director. Later, we explore the birthplace of democracy at the Agora, scene of turbulent debate and philosophical discourse. We also visit the National Museum which holds finds from all over Greece.
Time for further exploring of Athens before we return home.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
- 2 nights in a well situated hotel, just off the main square and close to museums in the beautiful town of Nafplion;
- 5 nights in a modern city hotel with rooftop garden views of the Parthenon, close to the Acropolis in Athens
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