Athens & the Glories of Pericles
Pericles was Greece’s most prominent and influential Greek statesman and orator. Join us and explore Athens as he knew it - during the Golden Age. Athens is often referred to as the world’s ancient capital - iconic monuments lie moments away from fascinating museums and endless ancient landmarks. The centre of Athens is, in itself, an open-air museum...
Join us at the Acropolis and the agora - where merchants haggled and great philosophers came to debate; then journey, just as the ancients did, to the great oracle at Delphi, in the vertiginous green hills above the city. Lead by one of our most popular Guide Lecturers, this tour is the perfect follow-up to those who have travelled with Andante to Sicily, Pompeii or Crete.
- Explore the sites and monuments - the great and the little-known - that made Athens the centre of the Classical Greek world
- Beyond Athens we travel to beautiful Delphi, and the site of Eleusis, where the cult of the goddess Demeter existed for centuries
- Based in one very comfortable hotel in the centre of Athens, in easy walking distance of the Old Town
- Great Cities
- Ancient Greek
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
Upon arriving in Athens, enjoy a free afternoon to relax and get to know the city.
Our first full day will be dedicated to Athens and its rich history. We will spend all day here, visiting the splendid Acropolis Museum, to set the archaeological background for our tour.
This afternoon, we explore the key sites of the Acropolis, beginning with the immense Propylaea. This monumental gateway to the Acropolis was the culmination of the Sacred Way, which led from Eleusis to Athens. The gate has controlled access to the Acropolis since the days of Pericles himself. On passing through it, we are immediately confronted with the famous Caryatids on the porch of the neighbouring Erechtheion, a temple dedicated to Athena and Poseidon. Of course, the highlight of the Acropolis is the enormous Parthenon itself — the pinnacle of the Periclean building programme, it was famously dedicated to the city’s patron goddess Athena. The views from here are stunning — picture-perfect panoramas in every direction...
We enjoy a pleasant journey out to Delphi, located on the spur of Mount Parnassus. We view the extensive archaeological remains of the impressive classical site, most famous as the site of the Pythian oracle at the Sanctuary of Apollo. The extant temple ruins date to the 4th century BC. The Pythia uttered prophecies, which were believed to come direct from Apollo and the site’s importance was such that Pericles led Athens against Sparta in a brief war over who should hold soverign rights on the oracle.
We return to Athens, where we continue our exploration of the city’s ancient sites. We visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus, an enormous temple with unusually tall columns, many of which are still standing. We continue to the Roman Agora, where one of the most unique pieces is the Tower of the Winds, and Hadrian’s Library, which once housed thousands of scrolls and other documents. After lunch, we travel to Philopappos Hill. Home to the twelfth century Byzantine Church of St. Dimitrios Loumbardiaris with its fine frescoes, and the tomb of Philipappos, the ancient mausoleum of the prominent Roman consul and administrator.
We spend the morning at Eleusis, birthplace of the playwright Aeschylus and well-known as the location of the Eleusinian Mysteries.
The on-site museum contains superb examples of Greek statues and artefacts from the area.
We return to Athens this afternoon, and enjoy a special introduction to the fantastic Cycladic Art Museum. Its notable collection of artefacts, from the mainland and Greek islands, includes the marvellous figurines of the Cyclades and some cruciform figurines from Cyprus.
We return home today.
- Flights - Scheduled return flights from London to Athens
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included - dinners with wine
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Hotels - 5 nights spent in a modern city hotel conveniently located in central Athens. This hotel offers views of the Parthenon from the rooftop garden and is only a short walk from the Plaka, the old quarter of the city.
5 nights spent in a modern city hotel conveniently located in central Athens. This hotel offers views of the Parthenon from the rooftop garden and is only a short walk from the Plaka, the old quarter of the city.