Day 1: Corinth Canal – Ancient Corinth – Nemea Wine Tasting – Chambers of Wonder Caves
The Corinth Canal connects the Gulf of Corinth with the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean Sea. It cuts through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth and separates the Peloponnese from the Greek mainland, arguably making the peninsula an island.
Ancient Corinth (Archaia Korinthos) was inhabited in the Neolithic period (6500-3250 BC) but the big prosperity begins in the 8th century BC. Corinth was a city-state on the Isthmus (canal) of Corinth, the narrow stretch of land that joins the Peloponnese to the mainland of Greece, roughly halfway between Athens and Sparta.
Wine tasting at one of the many wineries of the Nemea area in Corinth; the Greek Napa Valley!
Ancient Nemea. Authentic Greek lunch & drinks! An important part of all 4 days!
Kapsia Cave. Visit the amazing Chambers of Wonder of the Kapsia cave with its beautiful formations of stalagmites and stalactites. One of the 10 most impressive caves in Greece that ranks among the top 100 that have been deemed suitable for exploitation from a total of approximately 7,500 nationwide.
Day 2: Ancient Olympia & Museum
Archaeological Site of Olympia is one of the most influential ancient Greek sanctuaries, located in western Peloponnese, in Elis. It is positioned in a serene and rich valley at the confluence of the Alpheios and the Kladeos rivers. In antiquity, it was famous beyond the borders of mainland Greece for hosting the Olympic Games every four years, starting in 776 BCE.
Lagkadia village; the stone builders’ home. We access Olympia through the top of the Arcadia mountain range passing by the beautiful villages which are the home of the first stone builders in Greece.
Day 3: The Cooking Experience; maybe the highlight of the tour.
We do a short drive through the Arcadia mountains to meet your lady cook for today, enjoying Greek coffee or even Ouzo on the way. She will open her home for us to watch and taste her traditional cooking. And of course, we will know all about your likes & dislikes to make lunch a treat!
Lousios River. We explore the amazing Lousios gorge and the river while waiting to be treated to our lunch & drinks. Lunch and drinks the way even locals would love to do.
Day 4: The Arcadia cliff-hanging monasteries, Ancient Gortys & the Water Power Museum
Offshore Hydropower Museum. The open-air museum highlights the importance of water-power in traditional society. Focusing on the main pre-industrial techniques that take advantage of water to produce a variety of goods, it links them to the history and daily life of the local society over the ages.
Moni Agiou Ioanni Prodromou. The most amazing cliff-hanging monastery!
The Menalon Trail. It grows to a length of 75 km. It passes through the villages of Stemnitsa, Dimitsana, Zygovisti, Elati, Vytina, Nymfasia, Magouliana, Valtessiniko, Lagadia most of which we will see while exploring. We will walk and follow the trail signs to one of the monasteries.
Stemnitsa. The jewelers’ village! Beautiful, authentic, stone-built! Our lunch place before heading back to Athens via a different route through the forests and the mountains.
Ancient Gortys. It is among the most important Arcadian cities of the ancient world. Remnants that have come to light include fragments of the old fortification, ruins of houses and public buildings, a sanctuary of Asclepius and baths that were probably connected to this deity, with a curative purpose. The baths are among the most important ones to be discovered from the ancient world. They included a special heating system, which was considered by the researchers to be an Arcadian innovation.
In antiquity, it was one of the most important cities of Arcadia and, according to what little is known, one of the oldest.
The city is situated next to River Lousios, at an altitude of 350 meters in mountainous Arcadia. It was one of the stops on the route followed by Spartan athletes when traveling to compete in the Olympic Games, as the ancient road of Olympia – Megalopolis – Mycenae – Corinth Canal – Athens passed through here.
Day Χ-Option: Sparta, Mystras & Olive Oil Museum
This is an alternative for this tour. It includes a day visit to Ancient Sparta and more importantly the Byzantine Castle town of Mystras. This will allow you to substitute any of the other days aiming to adjust the tour to include what you enjoy most. So, for example, if culture, ruins, and history is your thing, you can skip the monasteries of Day4 and do both Olympia and Sparta/Mystras.
Mystras will also include a visit to the famous statue of King Leonidas of the 300 and the Olive Oil Museum in Sparta. Plus, this is the area to buy olive oil from and take home with you!
PS. Peloponnese is the BEST region in Greece and the options are limitless. So, there are even more options for this great tour but is beyond the scope of this description to drive you crazy with information :).