Category Archive : Private Tours

We start in the morning from your lodging in Athens, arrive after one hour at the mighty Corinth Canal and cross to the Peloponnesian Peninsula.
Arriving in the ancient city of Corinth, we explore an ancient city that several empires fought over throughout the centuries.
Continue to Mycenae, a mighty kingdom of ancient Greece, leader of the Greek city states during the Trojan war, according to Homer “a city of gold”. We shall see the  Lions’ Gate, the Cyclopean walls, the remains of Agamemnon’s Royal Palace, the Beehive Tombs, and the Treasury of Atreus.
Arriving in the romantic Venetian town of Nafplion, one of the most beautiful cities in Greece, we shall have lunch in a traditional taverna in the charming old town.
After lunch we proceed to Epidaurus to visit the ancient theatre and view the Sanctuary of Asclepius, the God of Medicine, whose snake-entwined staff (caduces) remains the symbol of medicine to this day.
Return to Athens at +/- 19:00

ELEFSIS was an ancient center of religious rites celebrating life, death, and rebirth.It resembles the year time cycle on earth. Here was the Sanctuary of Demeter, scene of the secret cult of the Elefsinian Mysteries of Demeter from 1500 BCE until 525 CE. There are extensive remains here from the Mycenaean era to the Roman, including the Anaktoron, the holiest part of the site, the Telesterion, a temple which held several thousand people during the rites, and the Plutonion, the cave of Hades, thru which Persephone returned to earth are the most important monuments.
The monastery at Daphni not far from Athens on the way to Elefsis has outstanding Byzantine mosaics.

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

Fighting for Athens: the Battle of Marathon

Fighting for Athens: the Battle of Marathon

A tour to the historical Marathon battle area

A visit to the archaeological site, the Tymvos burial mound in an olive grove with a plaque that commemorates the great victory and the Marathon Museum and if the weather permits it, a swim at the sandy beach of Shinias where the Persian fleet landed, is one of the things you must do when you visit Athens.

Marathon is still one of Attica’s loveliest and well known spots. Everyone has heard the story of the Persian army defeat at Marathon at the hands of the Athenians. Imagine marching several thousand miles only to be wiped out 27 miles from the city you came to conquer by an army a fraction of your size. There is not much to see of the battlefield really. Main source of information about the battle in Marathon is the historian Herodotus. According to him, the Persian fleet landed 100,000 troops on Shinias in the year 490 B.C. Against this huge army the Athenians brought 10,000 soldiers and with the help of 1,000 Plataian soldiers, thanks to an ingenious strategic plan of the Greek army commander, Miltiades, they were victorious. They formed the Greek letter (Pi) with weak centre and strong sides, and when the battle started, the central section retreated and the sides closed in and squeezed the panicked Persian soldiers. Thousands of Persians were killed or drowned in the swamp nearby, (where the rowing venue of the Athens 2004 Olympic Games is), while the Athenians had 192 soldiers dead, all burried in the tymvos area. It is E.N.Gardiners’ observation that, ” the victory of the Greeks over the Persians…was the victory of a handful of trained athletes over the hordes of flabby barbarians.”

Legend wants an Athenian soldier named, Philippides, to run from the battlefield all the way into Athens in order to bring the good news. He ran all the way from Marathon to the Athenian Agora. He collapsed and died immediately after he delivered his one word message; Nenikikamen (We have won). In memory of this great victory, the Marathon run was performed in the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and since then, it is the last event of the Olympic Games. Here is the starting point of the authentic distance. If you think that you are fit enough, you are free to try your physical condition on this classical Marathon run 42,195m.

Today’s amazing thing about Marathon is the marble dam, the only dam in the world made out of marble, that holds the water that supplies Athens.

 

HALF DAY TOUR TO MARATHON

Upon request, we organise half day tours (+/- 5 hrs) from Athens to Marathon driving along the Athenian North suburbs. At Marathon we visit the “tymvos” burial mound, the museum and end the tour at the sandy beach of Shinias for a swim.

 

Guided tour to Delphi

DELPHI – the centre of the universe

Operating days and prices


Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world and thousands of pilgrims, from kings and philosophers to common people, came to hear the prophesies of the Oracle and to watch or compete in the Pythian Games that were organized in Delphi. The archaeological site is one of the best in Greece with ancient temples and shrines, making Delphi one of the best places to visit all year round. It is a 2.30 hr drive from Athens.

April – October the One Day Guided Tour to Delphi is organized daily.
November – March the tour is organized 4 times per week; every Mon-Wed-Fri & Sun

We all sell the same tour at different prices. Our offer for the tour services for the day tour to Delphi, is:
1) The Adult price, Guided Tour, NO lunch and NO entrance fees = 59.00 €
2) The Student Enabler price, (ISI card holders), Guided Tour, NO lunch and NO entrance fees = 49.00 €.
ONLY holders of International Student Identity Cards are eligible to this price. CLICK here and see what we call “Students Enabler” price.

The entrance fees are not included and must be added to the prices above:
JANUARY – DECEMBER: Juniors <19 and E.U. students are free. Other students and E.U. seniors over 65 pay 6.00 €
NOVEMBER – MARCH, everybody else, pay also 6.00 €, while from
APRIL – OCTOBER everybody else pay 12.00 € extra.
The optional lunch at a restaurant outside of the modern Delphi village is 10.00 € extra for everybody.

The tour services include:
– transportation on modern air-conditioned buses
– Pick up/drop off from or near your hotel (See the list of hotels at the footer of the website), and
– the services of the professional tour guide.

– Lunch and entrance tickets are optional.

The ONE DAY DELPHI TOUR can also be organized as a private tour (cost shared between the passengers):
Transportation of 1-4 passengers = 260.00 €. 5-8 passengers the extra cost is 10.00 € per person.
In this private tour a) entrance fees, lunch, and drinks are not included in the price, plus
b) a local professional tour guide, can be arranged to meet you in Delphi at the extra cost.

Please, find in the footer and read the “4 steps 2 make a booking”.

The history of Delphi


If there is a site to visit in Greece then Delphi is this place. The sheer magnificence and grandeur of the location strikes you. God Apollo had chosen the best spot to build his temple. Below the site, a valley ringed by mountains, provides breathtaking views from any location within the site.

Delphi was considered to be one of the most important cities of ancient Greece. It was believed to be home to the goddess Gaia, or Earth, and later to Apollo after slaying Gaia’s son, the snake Python. The Pythian games—similar to the Olympic Games—were held here every four years to honour Apollo’s slaying of the Python dragon.

According to the myth, Zeus released two eagles. The one flew east and the other one flew west. They both 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 Temple of Apollo housed the great Oracle of Delphi, the world’s greatest source of income for a thousand years. The Oracle was the most eminent feature of Delphi, and some of the most important people from all over Greece—including demigods, according to Greek mythology—visited her to seek advice. The oracle of Apollo became a religious centre where common people and kings alike, came to consult “Pythia”, the priestess of the sanctuary. In a room, below the Pythia stood the priests, and interpreted her vague and wild cries, and put them into ordered language.

Above the entrance to the temple it reads ‘Know Thyself’ and ‘Nothing in Excess’. These sayings were read and pondered upon by all of the great kings, warriors and noblemen who came here for advice. The true wisdom of the Oracle lies not within the words of the Oracle’s priestess, but within the walls of the temple itself.

The site & the museum


Delphi was the most sacred place in the ancient world and thousands of pilgrims visited here, from kings and philosophers to common people to hear the prophesies of the Oracle and to watch and compete in the ancient games held here, the Pythian Games, similar to the Olympics.
The archaeological site is one of the best in Greece with ancient temples and shrines placed along the sacred way, making Delphi one of the best places to visit all year round. The site consists of the temple of Apollo, the treasury houses of the City States, the ancient theatre, the stadium at the top of the hill, the gymnasium, and hippodrome. The sanctuary was built in an imposing location, on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus. The Temple of Apollo, the treasury house of the Athenians, the Polygonal wall, the treasury houses of thedifferentcity States — where treasures from all over Greece were kept, and the Theatre are some of the most important building.

The remainind part of the ancient site, bellow the road, with the temple of Athena Pronaia, the Tholos (a circular structure with 3 of its original 20 doric columns restored), the gymnasium and the sports fascilities, used for training for the athletes that took part in the “Pythian or Delphian Games”, is not visited in the guided tours. Choose the tour without lunch and when the group is having lunch you can visit them on your own, without the tour guide.

Today, next to the archaeological site, there is an impressive museum, displaying findings from the local excavations, that started 1892, masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture. The highlights are offerings by the oracle visitors, such as the famous bronze statue of the Charioteer, the statue of Antinoos, the famous athlete Aghias, the two “kouros” statues, the Roman “omphalos”, being the sculptured stone that represented the navel of the world, and many others.

When you finish with the sightseeing, you proceed to a local restaurant for lunch (optional), and after lunch the driver stops for 40 minutes at the nearby traditional village of Arachova. The bus arrives in the centre of Athens at +/- 18.30.

Timeplan & map

Time Tour Plan Services
7:30 Start the pick up service Depart from the terminal at 08.30
11:30 Arrival in modern Delphi village On the way, 20 mins break near Levadia
11:45 Visit the museum & the ancient site Entrance fees – See the price you paid
14:30 Drive to a local restaurant for lunch Lunch, is optional – See the price you paid.
15:50 Take the return towards Athens Stop at the village of Arachova
18:30 Arrival in the centre of Athens Hotel drop off by 19.30


Ancient Messene, known also as Ithome, is an impressive archaeological site that must be included in your itinerary.

Ancient Messene


Messene, the 2nd largest state of Peloponessus, was the capital and cultural center of Messinia, a very significant city-state in antiquity. The area is extremely fertile and lush, and many battles were fought for the control of this region.

A 9km stone strong wall, with towers and battlements, built in 370BC around it, made it one of the most strongly fortified places in ancient Greece. The ruins of the archaeological site, are very impressive, spread out across the peaceful valley of Messinia. With the Arcadian mountains on one side and the valleys down to the sea on the other, the beauty of the scenery is amazing and the view breathtaking. The site, is one of the best preserved in Greece, includes a theatre – one of the biggest in antiquity- the Arsinoe fountain house, an agora surrounded by stoas, which covers an area of about 40 acres with temples of Zeus and Poseidon, the sanctuaries of Demeter and Dioskouroi, an Asclepieion, a beautiful stadium with the gymnasium, a funerary monument, public buildings, houses, the monumental fortifications of the city etc. It also includes an early Byzantine Basilika.

The real jewel is the archaeological site, not only for its undisputed historical value but also for its sheer size. It is a place where you can get a sense of what an ancient Greek-state looked like. Coming to the ancient site, you drive through the massive, well preserved gateway that enables you to form an impression of the fortified wall that surrounded the city. This Arcadian Gate is a marvel among defensive fortifications. A double set of gates separated by a circular courtyard. Huge blocks of stone! How did they transport them, how did they raise them and how did they position them with such accuracy? The answer: this was a culture with an advanced level of technology. They knew about hoisting machines, they knew how to multiply power by mechanical means, they knew how to cut the stone and of course they knew all about its properties.

The main ancient source on Messene is the ancient writer Pausanias, who describes the city in details (155-160 AD). He writes that its walls were stronger than the famous walls of Byzantium and of Rhodes, he represents the Asklepieion as a museum of art works, and he mentions of theatres, temples, sanctuaries, statues, public buildings, springs, tombs, agora, gymnasium…

For a relatively quick visit, you will need at least two hours, since the ancient ruins are widely scattered and you will surely want some time for inner reflection in the theatre-like Ecclesiasterion and the sprawling stadium.

Extensive excavations have been carried out as well as some remarkable restoration work which allows visitors to form a vivid picture of the Asklepeion, the very well preserved Ecclesiasterion and the impressive stadium and gymnasium. Equally impressive are the techniques used for water management, including a stone aqueduct and irrigation system. In 2013, the theatre of ancient Messene, after 2 millennia of silence, opened its doors again to the public. Ancient Messene is included in the Greek list of monuments submitted to UNESCO and is expected to become part of the World Heritage Site Catalogue.

Peloponessus is full of important archaelogical sites. Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, Nafplion, Mystras, Monemvasia. Combine the visit to ancient Messene in a 2 day tour with another of these amazing archaeological sites and “discover Peloponessus”, or, combine it with something quite different and visit the enchanting gorge of the lakes and waterfalls of polylimnio Messinias.

Location

Location :

Videos

Photo Gallery

 
Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus

See the Corinth canal(photo stop)-Mycenae-Nafplion(short stop)-Epidaurus
Argolis is one of the longest occupied regions in Greece, with evidence of Neolithic settlements. Attractions such as Agamemnon’s fortress at Mycenae, the amazing theatre of Epidaurus, and the elegant city of Nafplion, draw huge crowds of people.

April – October, the tour is organized on Mondays-Tue-Wed-Thu & Saturdays
Nov-Mar, the tour is organized on Tue, Thu, Sat. Sites/museums close at 15:00

Highlights: Corinth canal, the mythical fortified city of Mycenae with the Lions’ Gate, the palace of Agamemnon and the tomb of Atreus, Epidaurus, the sanctuary of Asclepius(the god of medicine), the famous for its amazing acoustics theatre of Epidaurus, and a short photo stop at the romantic and beautiful “Venetian” old town of Nafplion.

Discounted prices

We all sell the same tour at different prices. Our offer for the tour services for the day tour to Delphi, is:
1) The Adult price, Guided Tour, NO lunch and NO entrance fees = 59.00 €
2) The Student Enabler price, (ISI card holders), Guided Tour, NO lunch and NO entrance fees = 49.00 €.
ONLY holders of International Student Identity Cards are eligible to this price. CLICK here and see what we call “Students Enabler” price.

The entrance fees are not included in these prices and must be added to the prices above:
JANUARY – DECEMBER: Juniors <19 and E.U. students are free. Other students and E.U. seniors over 65 pay 12.00 €
NOVEMBER – MARCH, everybody else, pay also 12.00 €, while from
APRIL – OCTOBER everybody else pay 24.00 € extra.
The optional lunch at a restaurant in the modern Mycenae village is 10.00 € extra for everybody.

The tour services include:
– transportation on modern air-conditioned buses
– Pick up/drop off from or near your hotel (See the list of hotels at the footer of the website), and
– the services of the professional tour guide.

– Lunch and entrance tickets are optional.

The ONE DAY tour to ARGOLIS can also be organized as a private tour (cost shared between the passengers):
Transportation of 1-4 passengers = 260.00 €. 5-8 passengers the extra cost is 10.00 € per person.
In this private tour a) entrance fees, lunch, and drinks are not included in the price, plus
b) a local professional tour guide, can be arranged to meet you in Mycenae at the extra cost.

Please, find in the footer and read the “4 steps 2 make a booking”.

Highlights


Legendary MYCENAE – founder of a civilization
Mycenae was the kingdom of mythic Agamemnon. Myths related to history have inspired poets and writers over the centuries from Homer and the Greek tragedies of the classical period. The site was uncovered in 1874 by Heinrich Schlieman, who also found and excavated the site of Troy. You enter the citadel through the famous Lions’ Gate.

Beautiful NAFPLION – the “Venice of Greece”
Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. It was the capital of the Greek state in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential place 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 town’s fortresses, the Palamidi and the Acronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.

The Amazing open theatre of EPIDAURUS
The priests of the sanctuary of god Asclepius were excellent surgeons. The administration of the sanctuary decided to build a theatre on the ground of the sanctuary, to entertain the patients.

Today, next to the sanctuary of Asclepius, there is a small museum, displaying the instruments and tools used by the priests to perform brain operations.

Itinerary


1 day tour to Argolis Corinth canal-Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidavros

Time plan of the day tour to Argolis

TIME TOUR PLAN SERVICES
07:30 Start the pick up from the hotels Departure from the terminal at 08.30
10:00 Arrival at Corinth canal Short photo stop
11:15 Arrival in ancient Mycenae Visit ancient site & museum
13:00 Lunch in a local restaurant Lunch is optional. See the price paid.
14:15 Drive on to “Venetian” Nafplion Short photo stop at Nafplion
15:15 Arrival at the site of Epidaurus Visit the museum & the theatre
18:30 Arrival in the centre of Athens Drop off at your hotel by 19:30

Map


Map for one day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

One day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

One day tour to Argolis (Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus)

Video

Acropolis

Athens’ City guided tour, with a visit to the Acropolis & the New Acropolis museum.

Athens city fully guided sightseeing tour, visiting Acropolis and the New Acropolis museum. (entrance tickets are included).

 

Athens' City guided tour, with a visit to the Acropolis & the New Acropolis museum.

Athens’ City guided tour, with a visit to the Acropolis & the New Acropolis museum.

Acropolis

Acropolis

The tour :
Depart for PANATHINAIKO STADIUM, where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896 (short stop).
Pass by the Prime Minister’s residence and the Ex Royal Palace (guarded by colourful Evzones),
the Zappeion Conference and Exhibition Hall and the National Gardens,
The temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, St. Paul’s Church,
The Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown soldier,
Schlieman’s House (today Nomismatic Museum), the Catholic Cathedral,
The ACADEMY, the University and the National Library,
the Old Parliament, Constitution Square, the Russian Orthodox Church, proceed to the
ACROPOLIS (visit Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, PARTHENON and Erechtheion, and finish the tour at about 01.30pm, with a visit to the New Acropolis museum.