Category Archive : 2 Days Tours

Meteora - St Stephan nunnery

SEE ALL THE TOURS that visit Meteora in guided tours or train trips.

Departures & prices


The Delphi and Meteora tour operates April – October: Mon, Wed, Thu & selected Saturdays. CLICK and see the dates.
From November – March this tour operates ONLY on Wednesdays.

However, we believe that one day in Kalampaka is not enough. Allow an extra day in your tour – it will not be wasted and you will not regret it. April – October depart on Wednesday and return on Friday. You follow the guided groups on Wednesday and Friday, and on Thursday you explore Meteora on your own, otherwise, CLICK HERE and see our 3day/ 2nights tour by train, spending 1 night in Kalambaka and 1 in Delphi.

PRICES:

HOTEL
DOUBLE ROOM per person
SINGLE ROOM
3* Kosta FAMISSI – with breakfast
120.00 + 12.00 entrance fees = 132.00 €
137.00 + 12.00 entrance fees = 149.00 €
3* ORFEAS – half board
135.00 + 12.00 entrance fees = 147.00 €
165.00 + 12.00 entrance fees = 177.00 €
4* AMALIA or GRAND METEORA – half board
170.00 + 12.00 entrance fees = 182.00 €
includes complimentary arrival transfer
215.00 + 12.00 entrance fees = 227.00 €
includes complimentary arrival transfer

APPLICABLE ENTRANCE FEES: NOVEMBER – MARCH the entrance fees drop to 6.00 € instead of 12.00

* The hotels we use are: 3* Hotel KOSTA FAMISI or 3* Hotel ORFEAS and 4* hotel AMALIA(Thu & Sat) or Hotel GRAND METEORA(Mon & Wed)
* If our offers sound interesting read the “4 steps to book” in the footer and start communication.

THE ABOVE PRICES INCLUDE:
– transportation in modern, air conditioned buses
– Pick up / drop off from your hotel or near it (See the list of hotels in the footer of this website).
(This service is from hotels in central Athens. The airport and the Port of Piraeus are not in Athens).
– Entrance fees to Delphi site and the 2 monasteries that are open on the day that you visit Meteora.
– Services of the professional tour guide all along the tour.
– 1 night hotel accommodation in the hotel of your choice.
– All taxes except the hotel night tax of 1.50 €(in 3* hotel) – 3.00 € per room, per night(in 4*star hotel)
– No hidden costs or surcharges. We offer the best price and we assure you that you ‘ll have a great tour.

NB:Lunches on both days are not included. The bus stops at local restaurants, but the lunches are extra.

MORE OFFERS and DISCOUNTS (only one discount allowed – the highest one):
a) Share a triple room with a friend and save 5% on the double room rate.
b) 5% GROUP DISCOUNT: Make a team of 5 or more passengers and gain 5%, or
c) 5% ADVANCE BOOKING and payment discount. Follow the following 3 steps and save.
# SUBMIT your booking request form 4 months before the tour departure.
# WITHIN ONE WEEK following our confirmation, pay a non refundable deposit of 50.00 €, p.p.
# TWO MONTHS before the departure of the tour, settle the balance in full.

Trip advisor review us WRITE A REVIEW ON OUR SERVICES. Your feedback helps us offer a better service.

Copied from a client’s blog:
The tour which I joined was organized by G.O.TOURS. However I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL
After browsing through the web, I found that ASTORIA TRAVEL offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price compared to the other travel companies. Is this a scam? Well, it was not a scam and the complimentary arrival transfer was true. I even booked my first two nights in Athens at Hotel Arethusa in Syntagma at a very cheap price through ASTORIA TRAVEL. Read more in the testimonials section…

 

POPULAR TOURS: 1 day Delphi | 1 day Argolis | 3 day explore Meteora | 4 day classical & Meteora | 5 day explore Meteora | 1 day cruise

 

HOW TO BOOK A TOUR | BOOKING FORM | PAY ONLINE | CONTACT US

 

Places visited

This tour includes two of the most important sites, on mainland Greece. It presents a picture of ancient Greek civilisation beginning with the Mycenaeans, the Greek Bronze Age, and continuing through Archaic, Classical and, to a lesser extent, Hellenistic and Roman Greece. It provides a glimpse of the spiritual splendour of Byzantine art and architecture.
It is a full itinerary, but the pace is manageable. Plenty of time is available on the sites, allowing time for adequate exposition by the tour guide and time for further exploration on your own.

* The traditional village of Arachova.
* The modern Village of Delphi.
* The sanctuary with the temple of Apollo and the Oracle of Delphi.
* The monument of Leonidas, the Spartan King, in Thermopylae.
* 2 monasteries are visited. One of them is the nunnery of St. Stephen.

* NB.The archaeological museum in Delphi is not visited in this tour. The museum is included in the 3 days Delphi – Meteora tour.

ORACLE OF APOLLO in DELPHI-the centre of the universe

According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. One flew east and the other one west. They met over Delphi, determining that the centre of the world was there. A temple dedicated to god Apollo was built there in the 7th c BC. The oracle of Apollo became a religious centre where common people and kings alike, came to consult the priestess of the sanctuary.
The ARCHAEOLOGICAL SITE consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses, the theatre, and the stadium.

METEORA-THE ART OF NATURE

Beautiful rocks from another world embrace Kalambaka. The monuments are under the protection of UNESCO and are recorded as the second largest Monastic community after the Holy Mountain.
It’s a region of inaccessible sandstone peaks where the monks found protection and settled on these “columns of the sky” from the 10th c. onwards. 24 monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties at the time of the great revival of the monastic ideal in the 15th c. Their 16th c. frescoes mark a key stage in the development of the post-Byzantine painting.
The monasteries at Meteora grew out of the need to avoid Turkish persecution during the occupation in the 14th c. Monks lived in caves in the rocks of Meteora since the 11th c. but the inaccessible peaks provided safety for Greek Orthodox monks. Over time a large number of hermitages and monasteries were built on these rocks, making Meteora the second largest monastic complex in Greece after Mount Athos.
Seeing the beautiful stone structure, surrounded by mist, is enough to make you understand why the monks and nuns selected this area for unceasing prayer. Today, from the many monasteries that existed, only six are open to the public: The monasteries of St. Nicholas Anapafsas, Grand Meteoron, Varlaam, Roussanou, Holy Trinity and St. Stephan. It is worth noting that the religious monuments mostly visitored in Greece are the Holy Meteora.

“Here at these barren rocks thousands of orthodox monks learned wisdom, humility and morals“

Over a million people visit the area of Meteora every year and admire this “unique” natural phenomenon.

Itinerary

DAY 1: The bus starts the pick up at 07.30am and, traffic allowing, it departs from the terminal in the centre of Athens at 08.30am.
Passing by THEBES (the town of mythical Oedipus), LEVADIA (short rest room stop) and the traditional village of ARACHOVA, you arrive in DELPHI, the famous “Temple-Bank”, at +/- 11.30am.
Delphi was considered by the ancient Greeks to be “the centre of the universe”. With the professional tour guide you will explore the legendary site of the Oracle.

13.30 The group proceeds for lunch, and at +/- 14.45 departs via AMPHISSA, LAMIA and TRIKALA for Kalampaka with a short photo stop at THERMOPYLAE, the site of the famous battle between the Spartan King Leonidas and his 300 Spartan soldiers against the huge Persian army of Xerxes 480 B.C. took place. Arrival at your hotel in Kalampaka at +/- 19:00. Overnight in Kalambaka.(Dinner is optional).

DAY 2: 08.15 After breakfast on the way o METEORA, you pass by a local art studio where you learn about the technique of painting of the icons and what an icon means for a Greek Orthodox Christian.
You then drive up to the rocks and visit two of the monasteries that are open on that day.
12:30 Return to Kalambaka for lunch and at +/- 14:00 you start the return to Athens and arive in Athens between 19.30 – 20.00.

Time Tour Plan & Services
8:30 Hotel pick up startsat 07.30am and depart from the terminal at +/- 08:30
11:30 After a short break outside Levadia you arrive in modern Delphi village
11:45 Follow the professional tour guide, and visit the ancient sanctuary site
13:45 Proceed for lunch at a local restaurant (optional).
15:00 Continue to Kalanbaka via Thermopylae(photo stop), Lamia, Karditsa & Trikala.
19:15 Arrival in Kalambaka. Check-in the hotel and (optional) dinner at 19.30
08:15 Depart from the parking of Hotel ORFEAS, and visit the icon exhibition
09:00 Drive to Meteora and visit 2 monasteries (entrance fees included).
12:00 Have lunch at a local restaurant. (not included in price)
14:00 Start the return and arrive in Athens at +/- 19:30. Hotel drop off by 20:00

4 STEPS TO BOOK a tour | INSTANT confirmation | PAY ONLINE

Tour options

Meteora is one of the most beautiful areas of mainland Greece and the monasteries are one of the country’s most unique attractions. Join one of the following tours and visit Meteora.

CLICK HERE and find all the different options (guided tours and independent tours by train) and visit Meteora.

FAQs

QUESTION: How many hours do we stay at the ancient site in Delphi. ANSWER: You spend 1.30 hour in the ancient site of Delphi.
QUESTION: Is there any free time, or is it all guided? ANSWER: There is free time but I suggest you break from the group as early as possible. The tour doesn’t go to the top of the mountain to see the Delphi stadium.
AT METEORA: You spend about 1 hour in each monastery but there is no need to break early.
Appropriate clothing is required to visit the Monasteries and nunneries. Skirts below the knees for ladies and long trousers for gentlemen.
The monasteries/nunneries provide wrappings that the visitors can wear them over their clothing before entering.
FREE TIME: After the guide takes you around, you have enough time to see whatever is left to see.
AT DELPHI, the 2 day tour to Meteora meets the 3 day classical tour, and the tour company usually moves guests travelling to Meteora onto another bus and they proceed to Kalambaka and visit Meteora together.
For the 2 day tour to Delphi and Meteora clients: The restaurant in Delphi is 3 km after the modern Delphi village. If you decide to take the tour without lunch, you can ask the tour leader to drop you at the entrance of modern Delphi, and +/- 1 hour later to pick you up from the same point for the return to Athens.

CANCELATIONS If you cancel 7 days before the departure, there is no cancellation penalties.
If you cancel between 3 and 6 days before the departure, there is a 50 % cancellation penalty.
If you cancel within 2 days of the departure, there is a 100 % cancellation penalty.

Read more about Athens to Delphi and Meteora 2-Day Trip 2019 – https://www.viator.com/tours/Athens/2-Day-Trip-to-Delphi-and-Meteora-from-Athens/d496-31408A?mcid=56757

Testimonials

littlebluekingfisher, Bangalore, Re: Astoria Travel, Jan 14
My family and I are just back from a wonderful trip to Greece. I’d done some research and bookings before I ran into a brick wall trying to book train tickets to Meteora. Searching around I found a note by another traveller on Tripadvisor, who’d had exactly the same problem and stumbled on Astoria Travel. He’d had a great experience with them and recommended them highly. So I contacted Kosta at Astoria, and am blessing my stars that I did so!
If we had a good, sensibly planned trip in which we saw as much as we could without being run ragged, it was thanks to Kosta. Over the course of several emails he helped refine my plans; even to the extent of arranging to hire a taxi from Delphi to Levadia railway station to catch the train from there to Kalampaka and not lose a day.
He also arranged our train and ferry tickets (to Santorini) — getting the latter at a cheaper rate than that quoted on the web! I wish we’d done our hotel bookings through him too, as according to people that we met in Greece, he got them good rooms at the hotel that we all stayed at lower than the rates that we were found through www.booking.com

I visited them at their office in Athens. It was impressive to see that Astoria Travel has been in business since 1958, and through experience have been able to attune their services and offerings to a very wide range of traveller indeed. Their list of contacts is vast, which worked helpfully in our favour: Kosta just picked up the phone and got a taxi to pick us up at Kalampaka station (paying no more than the normal rates, despite being booked ahead).
Moreover, they are a family-run concern, so their levels of friendliness, personalisation of services and traveller support is several notches higher than what a more impersonal agency could provide.
I would highly recommend Astoria Travel not just for booking tickets, tours and hotels, but for help and advice in planning your holiday as well. He graduated from a University in South Africa, his English is excellent and he is highly knowledgeable and courteous.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________

From: https://travelbunny8.blogspot.com/2016/07/greece-4-days-classical-greece-tour.html
(Visit the excellent blog site, read the description and comments)

If you wish to see the major sights of mainland Ancient Greece including UNESCO listed ancient site of Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, Delphi and Meteora monasteries, then I recommend you to join a 4 Day Classical Greece Tour.
The tour departs from Athens and returns to Athens.

5 UNESCO World Heritage Site in 4 days. I have to warn you that 4 out of the 5 World Heritage Site are in ruins. The tour which I joined was organized by G.O.TOURS. Information about the tour can be found at their website at http://www.gotours.com.gr/en/

However I did not book through their website. I booked it through ASTORIA TRAVEL http://www.astoria.gr/price-tours-classical-4day.html that can be contacted at athens@astoriatravel.gr. I e-mailed Mr. Kosta and since I booked the tour through him in 4 star hotels, I got a free arrival transfer offer to my hotel. Actually, Kosta himself, came to the airport and took us to the hotel.

After browsing through the web, I found that Astoria Travel offers the cheapest tour packages in Athens. Initially I was quite skeptical. How can this tour agent offer such a low price (20% cheaper) compared to the travel company’s price? Is this a scam? Well, believe it! I even book my first two night in Athens at Hotel Arethusa (very near Syntagma Square) at a very cheap price through Astoria Travel.

I took the First Class package as the price difference was not much compared to the Tourist Class package and the complimentary airport transfer sounded attractive. During the tour, some of my fellow travelers took the Tourist Class package. Frankly, I don’t think there was much of a difference compared to the First Class hotels. In fact, the Tourist Class hotels were located nearer to the town centre while the First Class hotels were located at quieter locations outside the towns providing small luxuries (swimming pools, good dinners and breakfasts, etc.)

After checking in the hotel, you can actually explore the town of Kalampaka and don’t miss the 9th century church at Kalampaka. The church is about 15 minutes walk from the hotel.

The tour includes visits to two of the six monasteries of Meteora.

As the tour group was small, we got to know each other pretty quickly.
__________________________________________________________________________________________________________
tinghq, melbourne, posts 60, reviews 8. Re: Astoria Travel

Just came back from 2 days Delphi and Meteora tour arranged by Kosta. He gives such good service with fast replies and issuing of vouchers. Kosta gives excellent value for money. He is highly knowledgeable, caring and courteous.ery trust worthy. There were 6 of us going on the tour and on the morning of the tour, he personally came by and make sure we got on the tour! Great discount for the tour and we did save €’s by booking with him rather than direct with tour company or Viator. On the bus we met and became good friends with a couple that bought their tour from Viator and we could compare prices and services for the same tour in the same hotel. Kosta gives excellent value for money. He is highly knowledgeable, caring and courteous. His English is excellent, he is very experienced, extremely helpful and proud of Greek history and Greek culture.

contact us


Astoria Travel (est. 1958)
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 sound interesting, please send us the booking form.

CLICK here and see ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information on each tour is included.

 

CLICK AND SEE ALL THE TOURS AND OPTIONS to visit Meteora by shared bus guided tours or independent trips by train.

Take the train from LARISA Train Station in Athens at 07:20 and travel to Kalambaka through beautiful Greek landscapes. Arrive in Kalambaka at 11:30, meet our driver outside the local train Station and be transferred to your hotel to check in and get ready for the Sunset Meteora Tour. The driver will be looking for you at +/- 16:00 to take you for the tour. After your tour, we will drop you off again at your hotel or in Kalambaka for a short walk.
Next morning at 09:00 join a comprehensive Panoramic Morning Meteora Tour or an Authentic Hiking Meteora Tour (your choice). For 4 hours you will have the chance to experience all the beauty of the unique phenomenon of Meteora and the Holy monasteries on top of the rock giants. After your morning Meteora activity we will transfer you back to your hotel to have lunch and prepare for your departure back to Athens. The train departs at 17:15 from Kalambaka and you will be in Athens at 21:30.

*IMPORTANT NOTICE* : During the Winter Season (Nov 1st – March 28th) the Sunset Meteora Tour starts upon train arrival

INCLUDED

Roundtrip B class Train tickets
One night 3* hotel accommodation with breakfast
Pickup & Transfer from Kalambaka Train Station to your hotel.
Sunset Meteora Tour – ( 1st day )
Morning OR Hiking Meteora Tour – ( 2nd day )
English speaking, Tour Guide
Hotel Pickup / Drop off (for the tours)

EXCLUDED

Entrance fees of Monasteries (3 euro each)
Hotel tax paid personally in reception (1.5€/room 3* hotel)
Meals and soft drinks

USEFUL INFO

Departure place: Athens Train Station (Larissis Station)
Meeting point: Kalabaka Train Station
Train tickets will be sent to your email 3 days before your trip or immediately if it is a last minute reservation
It is not necessary to print the train tickets you can just have it on your phone

* Child price applies to children aged between 4 – 12 years old

According to mythology, the town was founded by Nafplios, the son of Poseidon and Anymone. The town’s history traces back to the prehistoric era when soldiers from Nafplion participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War. The town declined during the Roman times and flourished again during the Byzantine times. Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors left their sigfmature in the town and strongly influenced its culture, architecture and traditions during the centuries. Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and Venetian or neoclassical buildings mesmerize the visitor with their unique architecture and beauty.

Spend an afternoon and a morning in Nafplion town. Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. Nafplion was the capital of the liberated Greek state, after the island of Aegina but before Athens, in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential palace for the young Bavarian Prince, Otto, the first king of the new country after the revolution against the Turks. The old town is beautiful, with old mansions and paved roads. The two fortresses, the Palamidi and the Akronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. Many restaurants, traditional Greek tavernas, cafeterias, souvenir and other fashion shops make your stay an enjoyable one.

1st day: Corinth Canal – Mycenae (visit) – lunch – Nafplion, afternoon free to explore the oldtown. Overnight.

2nd day: Nafplion – Epidaurus (visit) – return to Athens.

PRICES: 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, per adult, for this tour is:

Half board 4* hotel 178,00 € per person | Single supplement 4* hotel 36,00 €
Half board 3* hotel 153,00 € per person | Single supplement 3* hotel 29,00 €

The above rates do not include the “City TAX” for hotels that is paid by the guests upon check-out: 4* hotel: 3,00 € and 3* hotel: 1,50 € per night, per room.

In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer sounds interesting, send us the booking form.

CLICK here and see ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information on each tour is included.

 

Daily from April till October – Departs 08.30 & Returns +/- 18.30

1st day: Drive through the the plain of Beotia, crossing the towns of Thebes, Levadia and Arachova to arrive in Delphi, the center of the Ancient World. On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of great beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. Visit the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the Museum containing such masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer. Afternoon free. Dinner. Overnight.

2nd day: Morning free for you to enjoy the ragged grandeur of Delphi and take photographs to remind you of its beauty. Return to Athens at +/- 18:30.

Price:
Half board 4* hotel 170,00 € per person | Single Supplement in 4* hotel 36,00 €
Half board 3* hotel 146,00 € per person | Single Supplement in 3* hotel 29,00 €

The tour includes:
– 1 night in Delphi & 1 in Kalambaka in double room.
– 2 breakfasts & 2 dinners
– The services of the professional Guide
– The entrance fees to Delphi site and the archaelogical museum are not included.
– Pick-up service from your hotel (see the list of hotels in the footer)
– Transportation with modern air-conditioned coach
– Taxes, except the hotel overnight tax.

NOT INCLUDED: The “CITY TAX” for hotel overnights. The Tax is payable by the clients before check-out: 4* hotel: 3,00 € | 3* hotel: 1,50 € per night, per room.

In the footer of this website you find the “4 steps to make a booking”. If our offer looks interesting, please send us the booking form.

CLICK here and see ALL THE GUIDED TOURS that start from Athens. Detailed information on each tour is included.

 

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

The rock of Monemvasia or Gibraltar of Greece

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

The island of Monemvasia, known as the “Gibraltar of Greece,” is a massive rock rising from the sea and connected to the mainland by a causeway. The medieval town of Monemvasia dominated by a protective fortress can be reached only through a tunnel; Its name, comes from the words moni, meaning “single,” and emvasi, meaning “entry.” It is truly an amazing sight.

As you approach from over the hills you are hit with the image of an enormous rock in the sea, connected to the land by a narrow bridge. From the land it looks like just a mountain and if you look more closely you may see a tiny church perched on the top.

However if you cross the bridge and walk around the side of the mountain you will suddenly come to a wall stretching from the sea to the mountain.

Behind the wall is an ancient town protected from all sides by sea, wall and mountain. Explore the narrow, cobbled streets of this charming town, which was the commercial center of Byzantine Morea in the 13th century.

History

2000 years ago people built up a town at the top of a 300 meter rock to be protected from the barbarians.

The Rock was separated from the mainland by an earthquake in 337 AD and today the Monemvasia rock with its castle is actually an island accessible only through an entrance which many years ago used to be a portable, wooden bridge. This causeway links Peloponessus with the Rock of Monemvasia.

The settlement on the rock is divided into two sections, built at different levels, each with a separate fortification. The neighborhood on top of the cliff (300m) was named upper town, while the neighborhood close to the sea also protected from walls, was named lower town.

The castle fall to the Franks in 1249 after 3 years of surrounding but they gave it back to the Byzantines in 1262 after the battle in Pelagonia. The Byzantines kept it until 1460. Those two centuries where the golden ages for Monemvasia. The people of Monemvasia where very wealthy at that time due to the extensive trading, the privileges they had from the emperors of Costantinople (Istanbul), and due to the fleet they owned. The Monemvasians were trading a sweet red whine called Malvasia, produced from the surrounding area.

When Greece was occupied from the Ottomans (Turks) the Monemvasians preferred to pass their town to the Venetians and that was the first occupation by the Venetians, 1464-1550. During that period the Venetians transplanted the wine Malvasia in Crete, Italy and Malta where you may find this kind of wine with small variations.

Later, the castle passed to the hands of the Turks. A small period of Venetian occupation followed again 1690-1715 and finally Monemvasia was liberated in 1823 during the Greek revolution.

Remains of Byzantine and post-Byzantine buildings are preserved in the area of the Upper Town, not inhabited today.
The first building as you enter Lower Monemvasia is the house of Greek poet and writer Yannis Ritsos (1909 – 1990). He was born in Monemvasia in a family of landowners. His grave is not far from this house.

More info about Ritsos: http://www.mikis-theodorakis.net/ritsos_e.html

What to see and do

What to see and do

After breakfast, walk up to the church on the edge of the cliff atop Monemvasia castle and try your hand at throwing a small iron or steel metal object to the sea (it will be drawn in towards the side of the hill, never reaching the sea, due to a magnetic field emanating from the rocks below).

Beaches: To the north and south of Monemvasia there are beaches 2-3 km from the causeway at Gefyra. Some well liked beaches slightly further away are at Plytra (20 km) and the stretch from Viglafia to Neapoli (35 km) both of which on the west side of the peninsula, across from Monemvasia. The island of Elafonisi has some of the more scenic beaches.

Archaeology: The Richia Museum of Folklore: Richia, about 25 km from Monemvasia in a building of 1875, which was the first school in the village. With farm tools, spinning wheels, clothing and woven items.

Monastery of the Annunciation of the Virgin and Agios Georgios of Gerakas near Gerakas village, founded in 19th century.

There are many caves within easy reach:  Kastania – at Kastania Voion (south of Monemvasia near Neapolis).

Vri Cave is north of Monemvasia with a precipice which you can climb down. You can find the entrance on the south west side and there is a lake below with crystal clear water.

21 km farther a very neat place to visit is Porto Geraka, a small village which landscape reminds small Fiord of the south.

Where to eat & drink – Monemvasia

If want to stay close, choose one of the four tavernas in Monemvasia. Inside the castle there is the Cafe Angelo which is at night a bar and in the morning breakfast is served, with the sound of classic music and a wonderful view. There are also two cafes to enjoy your coffee.

The tavernas on the seafront, over the causeway, at Gefyra, offer good food at good prices. A little further in the new town of Monemvasia you must taste the octopus fried with Ouzo. As there is just one “main” street – only about 200 metres long – you will find the shops, cafes and restaurants in one stroll through the castle.

Video


See the video on Monemvasia

Map


Most of Monemvasia’s residents today live by the port (Gefyra), which is a modern town with supermarkets, travel agency, bus connections and other services. The Rock is about 2 km from the modern port of Monemvasia, about a 20-minute walk or a few minutes by car. Cars aren’t allowed inside the walls of the old town and the parking is outside of the fortifications.

Most of the old town’s buildings are made from stone, and many have been renovated as summer homes for Greeks and foreigners. It’s a sunny town of tiled-roof houses, attractive shops and cafes, pleasant squares, and churches.

 

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

The castle or the rock of Monemvasia

Sparti: One of the two most powerful city-states in Classical Greece, Sparta is located in the Evrotas river valley, almost completely surrounded by mountain ranges. Unlike most of the other Greek city-states, Sparta was not a fortified city-state center with huge religious and civic buildings, but it was a loose collection of smaller villages spaced over a large rural area. Traditionally, Sparta’s founding is given at the middle of the 10th century B.C. by the Dorian Greeks. By the 7th century the warlike Spartans had conquered all of the surrounding Laconia and Messenia, and by the next century much of the remaining Peloponnese was under Spartan control. In the 5th century Sparta allied herself with Athens and other city-states in order to repulse the Persian aggressor, but soon after this the two city-states fell out, embarking on a century-long struggle for supremacy in the Peloponessian War, which ended with Spartan victory in 405 B.C. By the 4th century, however, Spartan power declined with its defeat by Thebes in 371 B.C., and, by 193 B.C., she had entirely lost her territorial possessions. Sparta thrived briefly under Roman Imperial rule, but was sacked by the Goths in 395 A.D and completely abandoned.
We will visit the archeaological remains of ancient Sparta, including the 2nd century BC theatre, the sites most discernible ruin (virtually nothing remains of the ancient city). The monuments on the site have not been restored yet but there are plans in the works for this under the auspices of the European Union. Important monuments of the site include the temple of Athena Chalkoikos on the top of the acropolis ; the ancient theatre, dating from the early Imperial period, the orchestra and walls of which still stand; a circular building of unknown use, which some scholars think was some kind of assembly; remains of shops, constructed in the Roman Imperial period, which served visitors to the theater; and finally, the remains of a Basilica of the Middle Byzantine period, dated to the 10th century A.D.
Mystras: Mystra enjoys one of the most beautiful situations in Greece, lying along a steep slope of Mt. Taygetos. At the top is the Kastro (fortified citadel), and on successive levels below are several Byzantine churches (most notably the Pantanassa), the Palace of the Despots, and everywhere spectacular views.
Few kilometers west to the Byzantine town Mystra on the slopes of Mt. Taygetos, an impregnable fortress, built by Guillame de Villehardouin in 1249. When the Byzantines won back the Morea from the Franks, Emperor Michael VIII Palaeologus made Mystra its capital and seat of government and Mystras became the leading city of the Peloponnese. It was governed by a Byzantine Despot, usually either a son or a brother of the Emperor in Constantinople.It soon became populated by people from the surrounding plains seeking refuge from invading Slavs. From this time, until the last despot, Demetrios, surrendered it to the Turks in 1460, a despot of Morea (usually a son or brother of the ruling Byzantine emperor) lived and reigned at Mystra. Mystra declined under Turkish rule. It was captured by the Venetians in 1687 and it thrived once again with a flourishing silk industry and a population of 40,000. It was recaptured by the Turks in 1715, and from then on it was downhill all the way. It was burned by the Russians in 1770, the Albanians in 1780 and Ibrahim Pasha in 1825. Not surprisingly, at the time of Independence it was in a very sorry state, virtually abandoned and in ruins. Since the 1950s much restoration work has taken place. Once inside Nafplion Gate, the tour will see the main sites of this ancient city such as the Palace of the Despots.

Kyparisia: about 40 miles southeast from Mystras, through some of the most striking and at times hair-raising scenery in Greece, to Kalamata, and from Kalamata it’s another 32 miles to Kyparissia. Kyparisia: In his “description of Greece” Pausanias describes Kyparissia in these words: “having come to Cyparissiae we see a spring below the city near the sea. They say that Dionysus made the water flow by smiting the earth with his wand; hence they name it the spring of Dionysus. There is also a sanctuary of Apollo at Kyparissae, and another of Athena surnamed Kyparissian…there is a temple of Aulonian Aesculapius and an image of him” (4.36) Today, the Spring of Dionysus can still be seen on the beach of Ai Lagoudia in Kyparissia, a town on the south-western Peloponnese, but of the temples little remains. In Byzantine times Kyparissia was called Arkadia because of the Arkadian people who came to live there. The Arkadians built a massive castle on the site of the old acropolis, which was later rebuilt by the Franks. The castle and the ancient harbor are the main monuments on Kyparissia today. However, the town is a popular summer getaway because of its attractive beaches and summer festivities.

Pylos: The home of Nestor, the “elder statesman” of the Greek warriors at Troy, Pylos is located on the hill of Epano Englianos, near Navarino Bay, the southwest coast of the Peloponneseus. Occupied as early as the Middle Bronze Age, the site is dominated by a monumental structure, known as Nestor’s palace, which is the best preserved of the existing Mycenean palaces. Built in the Late Bronze Age (ca.1300 B.C.), the palace consists of 105 ground floor apartments. The most important compartments of the palace are the the big “throne room”, with its circular heath, a room with a clay bath tube, and stores with numerous storage jars. The walls of the palace were decorated with beautiful frescos. Thousands of clay tablets in Linear B script were found in the palace. (The Linear B script has been found to be based on the Greek language and was deciphered by a British archaeologist, Michael Ventris, in the 1950s).The palace was destroyed by fire in the 12th century B.C., and by a happy accident of chance, the linear B tablets were preserved by baking in the fire.
Spending the day in and around Pylos, visiting the Venetian castle at Methoni, the Mycenean palace at Pylos (called the Palace of Nestor, the garrulous old advisor in the Iliad), and the Pylos Museum. The Palace of Nestor was first excavated by Carl Blegen of Cincinnati in 1952 and was destroyed by fire at the end of the Mycenean period (around 1200 BC). It is quite a bit smaller than Mycenae, and it is here that the first Linear B tablets found on the Greek mainland were discovered in 1939.

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 €



The Grand Meteoro monastery. The highest and biggest of the six monasteries open to the public.

CLICK AND SEE ALL THE TOURS AND OPTIONS to visit Meteora by shared bus guided tours or independent trips by train.

The Grand Meteoro monastery. The highest and biggest of the six monasteries open to the public.

The Grand Meteoro monastery. The highest and biggest of the six monasteries open to the public.

If you have two days to spare this is one of the most impressive places you will ever visit. Meteora is a flat plain where God in his great wisdom placed these giant rocks where monks could climb to the top to escape the world. These monks built impressive monasteries, some which could only be reached by ropes and pulleys, built and supplied by hauling material up in baskets. Today, Meteora, is one of the top tourist destinations in Greece. Doing a Delphi-Meteora trip is one of the most popular journeys.

Spectacularly perched atop rocky pinnacles in Thessaly, the Meteora monasteries are among the most striking sights in Greece. The name Meteora (Μετεωρα) is Greek for “suspended in the air,” which perfectly describes these six remarkable Greek Orthodox monasteries. The sandstone peaks were first inhabited by Byzantine hermits in the 11th century, who clambered up the rocks to be alone with God. The present monasteries were built in the 14th and 15th centuries during a time of instability and revival of the hermit ideal; the first was Great Meteoron (c.1340) and there were 24 monasteries by 1500. They flourished until the 17th century but only six survive today; four of these still host monastic communities.

The nearest major town is Kalambaka (from the Turkish word for “pinnacle”), at the base of the Meteora, which has accommodation for overnight visitors as well as some medieval churches. Neighboring Kastraki has some accommodation as well. Alternatively, a guided day tour from Athens is a popular and easy way to visit. To visit all six in one day without joining a tour, begin with Ayiou Nikolaou Anapavsa, Varlaam and Great Meteoron before 1pm, break for lunch while the monasteries are closed, then see Roussanou, Ayias Triadhos and Ayiou Stefanou in the afternoon. A strict dress code is enforced: all shoulders must be covered, men must wear long trousers and women must wear long skirts.

The Meteora are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. Six monasteries, open to the public today, built on natural sandstone rocks, over the town of Kalambaka. The 64 gigantic rocks, made of conglomerate, create a spectacle, unique worldwide.

There are several theories regarding the creation of these rocks. The prevailing theory is that one of the German geologist Philipson. According to Philipson, million of years ago the area was a huge lake and 3 rivers had their estuaries in this area. The rivers brought, stones and material, from central Europe. From the accumulation of these materials deltaic cones were formed.

About 30 million years ago, after geological changes that took place, the central part of today’s Europe was lifted the Alpes and the valley of Tempi were formed and an outlet for these waters to the Aegean Sea was created. During the time of the alpine mountain orogenesie, solid volumes of “rocks” were cut off from the mountain chain of Pindus and as the centuries went by, the plain of the river of Pinios was formed between them. Orogenesis refers to severe structural deformation of the Earth’s crust due to the engagement of tectonic plates. The word “orogenesis” comes from the Greek (oros that means “mountain” and genesis for “creation” or “origin”). It is the mechanism by which mountains are built on continents. Orogenie develops while a continental plate is crumpled and thickened to form mountain ranges, and involve a great range of geological processes collectively called orogenesis.

Following the continuous corrosion by the wind, rain and other geological changes these rocks took their present form. A spectacle “unique” worldwide. At the cavities, fissures and peaks of these rock towers people found protection from enemies that invaded from time to time the area.

Some of these rocks reach 1800 ft or 550m above the plain. This great height, combined with the sheerness of the cliff walls, kept away all but the most determined visitors.

Hermits and anchorites found shelter on these rocks, seeking mental calmness and tranquillity, while praying and seeking for Christian perfection. According to the existing scripts monk hood is present from the 1st millennium. Initially the hermits were isolated, meeting on Sundays and special days to worship and pray not only for their salvation but also for the salvation of all people, in a small chapel that was built at the foot of a rock known as Doupiani. Their life was simple and the work hard.

According to scripts, Barnabas, the monk who established the cloister of the Holy Ghost is mentioned as the first hermit at 950-970 AD, followed by the monk Andronikos from Crete, who established the cloister of the Transfiguration of Jesus in the early 1000 AD. Later and around 1150-1160 AD the Cloister of Doupiani was established. Except the aforementioned cloisters others also existed in several cavities around the rock of Doupiani.

At the beginning of the 12th c. in the area of the Meteora a small ascetic state was formed, having as centre of worship the church of Mother of God extant until today at the north part of the rock of Doupiani. The hermits were flowing to this small church from their hermitages in order to perform their common worship, to discuss the several problems that concerned them and to ask for the help from other hermits in order to carry out the hard work. The leading man of the cloister of Doupiani had the title of the “first”.

Almost 200 years later, in the middle of the 14th c. the Monastery of the Transfiguration of Jesus on the mount was established by Holy Athanassios, who gave the big rock the name Meteoro. Since then all the rocks have this name.

During the 14th and 15th c. a time of great prosperity for the monk hood in the Meteora we have the creation of many more Monasteries and their number reaches 24. In the middle of the 14th c. monk Neilos, founded the Holy Monastery of Ascension (the Holy Monastery of Ypapanti-Candle Mass, today), and in 1517, Nectarios and Theophanes built the monastery of Varlaam, which was reputed to house the finger of St John and the shoulder blade of St Andrew.
Access to the monasteries was deliberately difficult.

The first hermits climbed up the rocks using scaffolds wedged in holes of the rocks. They felt safe from political upheaval and had complete control of the entry to the monastery. Later on, the only means of reaching the monasteries was by climbing ropes, windlass and long ladders, which were drawn up whenever the monks felt threatened.

The monastery of Varlaam has an extensive net and pulley system, from which rope nets are let down several hundred feet by a windlass, today used for lifting up provisions.

The ropes were replaced, as the monks say, only “when the Lord let them break”. In the 1920s the first steps were carved in the rocks. There is a common belief that St. Athanasius (founder of the first monastery) did not scale the rock, but was carried there by an eagle.

As years went by, under several difficulties, conquerors of the area, thieves’ raids and other factors, many of the flourishing Monasteries were abandoned (period of decline after the 17th c) and during World War II the site was bombed and many art treasures were stolen by the Germans.

Today, the tradition continues for over 600 years, uninterrupted in 6 monasteries, 4 inhabited by monks and 2 by nuns. According to popularity they are: the Monastery of the Great Meteoro, the Varlaam Monastery, the St Stephen Monastery, the Holy Trinity Monastery, the St Nicolas Anapafsas Monastery and the Roussanou Monastery. Each of them has fewer than 10 inhabitants.

Furthermore, with the generous efforts of the monks, the local Bishop Serafim and the contribution of the state, the E.U. and several citizens, more monasteries have been restored and maintained, such as:
1) The monastery of St Nicolas Badovas (dependent on the Holy Trinity monastery), and
2) Of Ypapanti-Candle Mass (dependent on the monastery of the Transfiguration or Great Meteoro).

We feel that the Meteora belong to everybody. This is your chance to see the “unique” spectacle and visit the monasteries.