Category Archive : 7 day Grand tour

Prehistory, Classical Period, Roman Domination, Byzantine Empire, Crusades & Modern Times in 7 days.

Dates of operation: 18/04/19 – 09 & 23/05/19 – 06 & 20/06/19 – 18/07/19 – 08/08/19 – 12, 19 & 26/09/19

Description


Free pick up service starts at 07:30 am and is included in the price. (See the list of hotels in the footer).

Day 1: Depart from Athens on the coastal road to Corinth Canal (short stop). Visit Epidaurus and the famous for its acoustics Theatre. Short stop in Nafplio (photo stop). Proceed to Mycenae and visit the Tomb of Agamemnon and the Archaeological Site. Drive on to Olympia. Dinner & overnight.

Day 2: OLYMPIA. Visit the Archaeological Site with the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus. See the temple of Zeus, the temple of Hera, the spot where the torch of the modern Olympic Games is lit, the Stadium, and the Archaeological Museum.
Continue to Delphi crossing the Corinthian Bay, driving on the bridge that connects Rio and Antirion. Drive through the beautiful towns of Nafpaktos and Itea. Dinner and overnight in Delphi.

Day 3: Visit the famous oracle and see the Temple of Apollo, the Treasury of Athenians and the Museum with great sculptures such as the Sphinx, the athlete Aghias and the bronze Charioteer.
After lunch depart for Kalambaka the town at the foot of the gigantic rocks of Meteora.

Day 4: METEORA, meaning “suspended in the air”. You will visit 2 Monasteries and see unique specimens of Byzantine art.
Depart from Kalampaka to Thessaloniki, the second largest city of Greece (dinner & overnight).

Day 5: THESSALONIKI. In the morning explore the city that during the Byzantine Empire was the “co-reigning” city. Visit the Museum of Byzantine Culture and the most characteristic churches of the Christian world. The rest of the day you are free to see more of the city. Dinner & overnight.

Day 6: Departure for the historical Macedonia. Stop at Edessa, the city with the famous Waterfalls. Second stop at Naoussa where Aristoteles, the great philosopher taught the doctrines of morals and politics to Great Alexander.

Continue to Vergina (ancient Aigai). Visit the royal tombs of King Philip, Alexander’s father, and the unique museum.

Last stop is Veria (Biblical Berea) and the Bema of Saint Paul. Stroll through the old Jewish neighbourhood and the market area and return to Thessaloniki for dinner & overnight.

Day 7: Today you visit Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great. In the museum you see the exquisite floor mosaics of the 4th century villas.

Next stop is the Archaeological Park of Dion, the sacred city of Macedonians at the foot of Mt Olympus, the highest Mountain of Greece and residence of the 12 Gods of the Greek Mythology. Return to Athens arriving late in the afternoon.

Price & Highlights

All travel agents, in Greece and worldwide, offer the same tour at different prices. We are sure that our prices for this tour is not matched by any other company. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals in all aspects of travel. So, why pay more?
Our discounted price is: 890.00 € per adult, and 630.00 € per child

The price includes:

* 6 nights accommodation in 4 star hotels
* 6 Dinners & 6 breakfasts
* The services of the professional tour Guide
* Entrance Fees to the sites and the museums visited
* Pick-up service from or near your hotel (see the list of hotels in the footer)
* Transportation by modern air-conditioned coach
* All taxes except the hotel overnight tax

Discounts

Maps & routes

contact us

Astoria Travel,
48 Stadiou street, Athens 10564, Greece.
Tel. +302103250380, +306932888585.
Click here and send us a message

In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer sounds good send us the multi day booking form and start communication.

The ancient city of Aigai was the capital of the kingdom of Macedonia. The first settlement on the site dates back to the Early Bronze Age in 3000 BC and was densely populated during the Early Iron Age (11th-8th c. BC). In the following centuries, during the Archaic and Classical periods (7th – 5th c. BC), Aigai was developed to a prosperous city, and became the capital of the Macedonian kingdom until the end of the 5th c. BC, when the seat of the Macedonian kings was transferred to Pella. Aigai remains the historic centre of the kingdom, where the kings are buried in the royal necropolis, the traditional cult is practised in the sanctuaries and the official and ritual ceremonies take place.
The first excavations on the site were carried out in the mid-19th c. by the French archaeologist L. Heuzey, bringing to light the first Macedonian tomb. In 1976 Prof. Manolis Andronikos revealed the royal tombs of the Great Mound and one year later came to light the tomb of king Philip II (359-336 BC). The excavation of the palace and the theatre followed, while excavations during the last decade, were conducted by the University of Thessaloniki and has focused on the the civic quarters of the ancient city and its extensive cemeteries.

Among the most important monuments of the site are:

– The royal tombs of the Great Mound (Toumba). This group includes:
– The tomb of Philip II, a monumental Macedonian type tomb, with two chambers and a temple-like facade which combines elements of both the Doric and Ionic order. A typical feature of the Ionic frieze of the tomb, is a wall painting that depicts a scene of royal hunting, a rare example of the ancient Greek painting. Among the central figures is recognized that of Alexander the Great. As this grave remained intact from destructions and plundering, it yielded a wealth of artifacts, among them the two gold larnakes, which contained the bones of the king and its wife.
– The tomb of Persephone. This is one of the largest cist graves found so far in Greece. It dates to 350 BC and it probably belonged to Nikesipolis, king Philip’s wife and Thessaloniki’s mother. The tomb was conventionally named after the theme of its wall painting, which depicts the abduction of Persephone by Plouto. The murals of the tombs of Philip and of Persephone comprise the most important specimens of ancient Greek wall painting preserved today. Unfortunately the tomb was looted probably during the invasion of the Gauls, who plundered the royal necropolis of Aigai in the 3rd century BC.
– The “tomb of the Prince” (tomb of Alexander IV) was built near that of Philip, about 30 years later. It contained the bones of a young adolescent, maybe the son of Alexander the Great and Roxane, Alexander IV, both murdered by Kassandros, usurper of the throne after the death of Alexander the Great.
– The tomb of the free-standing columns is the third tomb of the Macedonian type in the Great Tumulus. It dates to the 3rd c. BC and probably belonged to Antigonos Gonatas. The monument was heavily damaged due to repeated plundering of its building material and deprived from its most wealthy artefacts. The monument had an impressive entrance with four Doric columns, which are partly preserved today.

– The cemetery of the tumuli.
This is the necropolis of the Iron Age (11th-8th c. BC), which includes more than 300 small earthen tumuli, constructed over clusters of burials which contained rich offerings.

– The Palace and the Theatre
These two important monuments consist part of a wider building complex of the ancient city that dates to the late 4th c. BC. Built on a higher location, the palace overhung the ancient city. The two-storeyed building comprised luxurius halls, clustered around a central peristyle courtyard and a shrine dedicated to Herakles Patroos. Indicative of the rich decoration is the fine mosaic floor which was preserved in one of the palace rooms. The palace of Aigai is the only example preserved today of an ancient Greek palace dated as early as in the Late Classical period, being a forerunner of its Hellenistic successors.
The theatre was constructed very close to the palace, on a downhill slope. A distinctive architectural feature is the very large orchestra with a diameter of 28 m, while the cavea exploited the natural inclination of the slope, having only one series of stone seats. It was in this theatre that king Philip II was assassinated in the summer of 336 BC and Alexander the Great was proclaimed king.

– The City and its sanctuaries
The ancient city was fortified with a massive wall, which formed a circular enclosure around the city. The architectural remains – public buildings, private houses, workshops – uncovered so far provide a rough picture of the urban planning and the development of the city, a picture that the ongoing excavations keep filling in.
The public nucleus of the city, the agora, was located at a lower level beneath the palace and the theatre. The most important feature for the identification of this part of the city with the agora, was the sanctuary of Efkleia, the deity of glory and good repute, whose sanctuaries were erected in the agora, being the heart of the ancient Greek cities. In the case of the sanctuary of Aigai, the excavation revealed the foundations of two temples, a peristyle building and a series of offerings, including two bases of votive statues dedicated by the queen Eurydice, grandmother of Alexander the Great. The majority of the architectural remains are dated to the period of Philip II (359-336 BC) and Alexander (336-323).
Of major importance is also the sanctuary of the Mother of the Gods (Metroon), the panhellenic deity Rhea, which already in the 6th c. BC was associated with the Asian goddess Cybele. The sanctuary of Aigai consists of a complex of cult and auxiliary structures, which were erected over the ruins of an earlier sanctuary and date to the beginning of the 3rd c. BC. The Hellenistic sanctuary was destroyed in 150 BC.
In 167 BC the Macedonian kingdom submitted to the Romans and, as it was the case with the rest of Greece, became a province of the Roman Empire. The Roman era for Aigai is a period of gradual decline and shrinkage until the mid-1st c. AD, when the city is finally abandoned by its inhabitants.

VERGINA is included in both the guided tours that visit Northern Greece:
1) The 5 days guided tour of Northern Greece, visiting Delphi, Thermopylae, Meteora, Thessaloniki, Edessa, Naousa, Vergina, Berea (St. Paul), Pella, and the Archaeological park of Dion (feet of Mt. Olympus), and
2) The 7 days guided Grand tour of Greece, visiting Epidaurus, Nafplion, Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi, Thermopylae, Meteora, Thessaloniki, Edessa, Naousa, Vergina, Berea (St. Paul), Pella, and the Archaeological park of Dion (feet of Mt. Olympus).

Archaeological Museum of Olympia – Overview

Olympia Archaeological Museum of Olympia


One of the top 3 museums in Greece. A collection of marble sculptures that are very well preserved. The highlight of the museum are the East and West pediments from The Temple of Zeus together with the beautiful “Hermes of Praxiteles” sculpture. A collection of ancient artifacts, tools, glass, armor, weapons and other items. Expect to spend at least an hour in the museum.

The three museums of Olympia, 1) the Archaeological Museum, 2) the Museum of the Ancient Olympic Games and 3) the Museum of the History of the Excavations at Olympia, are within minutes walk from the modern Olympia town and the archaeological site.

The Archaeological Museum was founded in the 19th c. to house the finds that the excavations brought to light. As a growing wealth of artifacts kept accumulating, even after a century-long archaeological research, it became apparent that the elegant 19th-century building would not suffice. A new museum was built 1966-1975 and underwent a reorganization in 2004, in view of the Athens 2204 Olympic Games.

The museum’s collections are exhibited in 12 halls and over 3,500 years of history, from the 3rd millennium BC when humans first settled at Olympia to the end of Zeus’ sanctuary in the 7th c. AD. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia ranks among the most important museums in Greece. renowned for its sculptures and collection of ancient Greek bronzes, which is the richest in the world.

The two pediments from the Temple of Zeus are among the most magnificent examples of ancient Greek sculpture, and indeed from the period of its zenith. The east pediment shows the preparation for the mythical chariot race between Pelops and King Oinomaos, while the west shows the beloved subject of the struggle between the Centaurs and Lapiths, with the superb figure of Apollo at the centre.

The metopes of the temple represent the Twelve Labours of Heracles, the offering of the Stymphalian birds to Athena, Atlas bearing the apples of the Hesperides to Heracles, and so on. Paionios’ statue of Nike descending from heaven, an ex-voto of the Messenians and Naupactians in 421 BC, is one of the most significant sculptures of Classical times.

Other outstanding exhibits in the Museum are the terracotta group of Zeus with Ganymede, the colossal head attributed to the cult statue of Hera and the “diamond of Olympia”, the famous statue of Hermes with the newborn Dionysus, an original work by Praxiteles, displayed in a hall to itself.

Among the dedications to Zeus by the city-states in gratitude for their victories are bronze tripod cauldrons, vessels, armors, helmets and shields.

Collections

The collection of bronzes

More than 14,000 bronze artifacts, the largest number ever found in a region of the ancient Greek world were buried in the soil of Olympia. Human and animal figurines constitute a popular category of those metal works, dating back as early as in the 9th century BC. They often depict warriors, charioteers and, of course, athletes such as the mid-6th century BC statuette of a discus thrower or the early-5th century statuette of a runner.
An impressive group of the museum exhibits comprise the large bronze cauldrons, often decorated with griffins or sirens, imaginary and daemonic beings inspired by the Orient. Those were luxury offerings to the sanctuary manifesting the prosperity and artistic level that Archaic Greece had reached by the 7th and 6th centuries BC.
Apart from pilgrims and Olympic winners, warriors returning victorious from battlefields expressed their gratitude to Zeus by donating their weapons. Thus, Olympia turned out to be a repository of ancient Greek weaponry with a long series of helmets, shields, cuirasses, spears and other parts of armour recovered from the site and now on display in the museum. Of immense historical siginificance is the helmet of the Athenian General Miltiades, the winner of the battle of Marathon against the Persians (490 BC). A unique example of ancient war instrument is a battering ram of the 5th century BC.

The collection of sculptures

The Museum of Olympia houses masterpieces of classical art such as the sculptures of Zeus’ temple and two celebrated works of Graeco-Roman antiquity, the statues of Nike by Paeonios and Hermes by Praxiteles.
The temple of Zeus dominated the sanctuary not only due to its size but also due to its magnificently decorated pediments and metopes. The centauromachy scene with the emblematic figure of Apollo and the Labours of Hercules are considered the finest sculptures of the so-called Austere Style of the 5th century BC.
No later than 420 BC, Paeonios created his winged goddess Nike, the statue that became synonymous with the iconographic allegory of Victory and has shaped its representations in western art ever since: the statue of Nike is the one featured on the Olympic medals from 1896 to date.

Around 330 BC, the great master Praxiteles sculpted Hermes carrying the infant god Dionysus. This is one of the few superb original statues of the 4th century that survived, as the most celebrated works of this period are known to us solely through their Roman copies.
The statue of Hermes is one of the most magnificent art pieces of the ancient world. It is a symbol of beauty and aesthetics. It is the work of sculptor Praxiteles and depicts the god Hermes holding the infant Dionysos in his left arm. It was discovered during the excavations in Olympia, in 1877 by German archaeologists. The statue is a product of the 4th century B.C. and reflects the features of that period. The image of the god exudes peace and relaxation and his body has athletic characteristics that reflect harmony and eurhythmy. The Hermes of Praxiteles is one of the exhibits of the modern Museum of Olympia with the highest visit rate and is considered as the quintessential model of male beauty.

Pheidias and his workshop

Pheidias and his workshop

When the priests of Olympia decided that the temple of Zeus needed a new cult statue, Pheidias was the very man to be sought for. The artist whose sculptures beautified Athens, came and settled in Olympia and by 430 BC he delivered the colossal gold-and-ivory statue of Zeus, which would be listed among the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Both the chryselephantine Zeus and its counterpart statue of Athena in the Parthenon vanished in the Middle Ages, however Pheidias’ workshop was discovered during the excavations at Olympia and its contents are on display in a special hall of the Archaeological Museum. Raw material residues, tools, jewels and casts offer a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the sanctum of a leading ancient Greek sculptor who took the trouble to sign his personal cup, inscribing upon the base “I belong to Pheidias”; another unique exhibit at the Museum of Olympia.

The Greek people are friendly and welcome you to Greece.

Greek people in majority are well manored, smiling, helpful, and optimistic personalities. English language is widely spoken.
Athens, is still one of the safest European capitals although there are areas that you do not need to walk through. Ask the hotel employees.
It’s very likely you’ll be as charmed by the Greek people as you will be, by Greece’s beautiful landscape.

If your time is limited, a guided tour is the best way to see places.


We offer the tours without the entrance fees, caring for clients that are allowed to enter to sites & museums f.o.c. or by paying discounted entrances.
Our final prices are not matched by any other company. After 60 years organizing tours throughout Greece we have secured the best deals.
CLICK on the links of every tour and see all the information. To help you choose what tour to take detailed information is included on each tour with descriptions, itineraries, prices and what is included, location details, operating days, admission rates, maps and facilities. We do hope that you find the time to explore the rich heritage of Greece and that your visit will be a rewarding and enjoyable one.

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* Morning city sightseeing tour including Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum, 38.00 €
* Afternoon sightseeing tour with a visit to the Acropolis, 35.00 €
* Morning walking tour of Athens historic centre, 35.00 €
* Afternoon tour to Sounion, the eastern cape with the temple of Poseidon, 33.00 €
* Full day tour of Athens. Morning city tour, lunch in Plaka, and afternoon tour to Sounion. April-October, 80.00 €
* Night Out in Athens with traditional Greek dinner and Greek dancing show, 58.00 €
* Morning half-day tour to Ancient Corinth. St Paul lived here for almost 18 months. April-October 51.00 €
* One day guided tour to Delphi. Visit the museum & the sanctuary of Apollo…Students 49.00 €, adults 59.00 €
* One day tour to Argolis. Mycenae, Nafplion & Epidaurus…Students 49.00 €, adults 59.00 €
* One day tour to Ancient Olympia Price shared by passengers
* One day tour to Meteora by train…from 69.00 €
* One day cruise to Hydra-Poros & Aegina. Price on request
* One day cruise and 1 day tour to Delphi 129.00 €
* One day cruise and 1 day tour to Argolis 129.00 €
* One day tour to Mycenae & the island of Poros 66.00 € without lunch, or 73.00 € with lunch
* Two day tour to Delphi at “slow pace”. April-October
* Two day tour to Nafplion at “slow pace”. April-October
* Two days to Delphi (site only) & Meteora. A popular tour from 120.00 € and arrival transfer offer for 4 star bookings.
* Two day “special” tour to Meteora by train…115.00 €
* 3 day tour, 1 night in Delphi & 1 in Kalampaka
* 3 days tour to Delphi with 2 nights in Kalampaka– Explore Meteora during your free day in Kalambaka… 148.00 €, April-October
* 3 days Classical tour – Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia & Delphi from 225.00 € and arrival transfer offer for 4 star bookings.
* 4 days Classical with Meteora monasteries tour from 320.00 € and arrival transfer offer for 4 star bookings.
* 4 days Monday’s special Classical tour. First night in Nafplio. April – October from 372.00 € and arrival transfer offer for 4 star bookings.
* 4 days Classical tour with Nafplio. April – October on Sun – Mon-Fri and selected Wed.
* 5 days Monday’s Classical & Meteora. First night in Nafplio. April – October from 422.00 € and arrival transfer offer.
* 5 days Classical tour with a day free in Kalambaka. April – October ….00 €
* 5 days tour of Northern Greece. April – October 660.00 €
* 7 days Grand tour of Greece. April – October 890.00 €

Independent trips by train:

* One day tour to Meteora by train & local taxi from 69.00 €
* Two days train & hotel trip to Kalampaka 73.00€
* 2 days “special” Meteora, with “morning” and “sunset” tours 115.00 €
* By train, Meteora and Delphi, 3 days/2 nights 138.00 €
* By train, Meteora and Thessaloniki, 5 days/4 nights. Price on r/q

Independent trips on Intercity buses:

* One day trip to Delphi on the intercity bus
* Two days to Olympia on the intercity bus

Private tours to:

* Half day tour to Marathon, Arch. museum, tomb and museum of Olympic Games.
* 1 day private tour to Olympia, museums & archaeological site.
* One day private tour to Delphi, monastery of Ossios Lucas and visit to the new museum of Thebes.
* One day private tour to ancient Corinth, Mycenae, lunch in Nafplion & Epidaurus.
* 2 day tour to Olympia, Ancient Messene & Nafplion(o/night).
* Two days tour to Delphi, Olympia(o/night) & ancient Messene.

Cruises to the Aegean islands

* One day cruise to Hydra, poros & Egina. Combine it with 1 day tours and pay a discounted price.
* 3 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi
* 4 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi
* 7 days cruise to Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Kusadasi

All options to visit

* Meteora from Athens
* Olympia from Athens
* Nafplion from Athens
* Delphi from Athens

DELPHI – Centre of the universe

– One day guided tour to Delphi – museum and the site
– Two days to Delphi – Guided tour in slow pace
– Two days guided tour, visiting Delphi & Meteora
– Three days, guided tour, 1 night Delphi & 1 Meteora
– Three days, visit Delphi with 2 nights in Kalampaka
– 3 days, independent visit to Kalampaka & Delphi
– Delphi and the monastery of Osios Loukas (private tour)
– Delphi with lunch at the port of Itea (private tour)

ALL OPTIONS TO VISIT METEORA

– 2 days guided tour to Delphi(site only) & Meteora
– Include the Delphi museum in the tour above
– 3 days tour. One night in Delphi and one in Kalampaka
– 3 days Delphi & Meteora with an extra day in Kalampaka
– Visit Meteora on your own by train – Independent trip
– One day trip to Meteora. Train and 3 hours round by taxi
– 2 days in Kalampaka and One in Delphi, independently
– 2 days Meteora “Special”, with “Sunset” & “Morning” tours


  • MYCENAE-NAFPLION-EPIDAURUS

    One day tour to Mycenae, Nafplion & Epidaurus
    – Two days guided tour of Argolis. Overnight in Nafplion
    – Morning tour to St. Paul’s Ancient Corinth (Apr-Oct)
    – Half day tour to Ancient Corinth and wine tasting (Apr-Oct)
    – Ancient Corinth, Nafplion, theatre of Epidaurus (private tour)
    – Tour to Ancient Corinth with lunch in Loutraki (private tour)

  • CLASSICAL TOURS OF GREECE

    – 3 days classical tour of Greece to historical sites
    – 4 days combining the classical tour with Meteora
    – Monday’s special. 4 days classical tour. Overnight in Nafplio
    – Monday’s special. Five days classical tour and Meteora
    – Two days, Olympia & Nafplion, Epidaurus (private tour)
    – Two days Delphi & Olympia (private tour)

  • TOURS TO OLYMPIA FROM ATHENS

    – 3 days – Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia & Delphi
    One day tour to Olympia (private tour)
    – 2 day to Olympia & Nafplion (private tour)
    – 2 day tour to Delphi & Olympia (private tour)
    – Visit Olympia on the intercity bus, 2 days/1 night


  • CRUISES TO THE GREEK ISLANDS

    – 1 Day Cruise – Hydra, Poros, Aegina, for 65.00 €
    – 3 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Kusadasi, Santorini
    – 4 days to Mykonos, Patmos, Kusadasi, Heraklion, Santorini
    – One day trip to Mykonos by ferry (July-Sept)

  • Choose your Hotel, but…

    let us do the reservation
    at a better rate than
    the rate that you have been quoted.

  • BOOK YOUR LOCAL TRANSFERS

    – On arrival, from the airport to the centre, 45.00 €
    – On departure, from your hotel to the airport, 35.00 €
    – From your hotel to the port of Pireaus, 20.00 €
    – From Piraeus to your hotel in Athens, 25.00 €
    – From your hotel to/from the port of Rafina, 40.00 €