Day 1: Your private driver/guide will be at the agreed location for your 8:00 a.m. departure. On a short trip of no more than 2 1/2 hours, you arrive at the center of Peloponnese for this “real Greece” experience. Corinth canal is the first stop and then on to Epidaurus, home to an ancient, beautifully preserved theater. Wander around the site & museum before hopping back in the vehicle and exploring the “old town” of Nafplio, and the famous Venetian fortress of Palamidi with its 999 steps. Then head to MYCENAE, home to some of Greece’s most famous ancient ruins. We leave Mycenae to drive and arrive at Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Dinner & Overnight in the Olympia area.
Day 2: We start from your hotel at 9.00 a.m. to visit the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia, the “Valley of Gods”. This is the birthplace of the most important athletic event of all time, the Olympic Games. You will have a chance to run down the original Olympic track and visit the museum.
You can walk through the impressive ruins of the area where athletes trained and ran in the ancient stadium; just as the ancient Olympians did after their victory 3000 years ago. In front of the Temple of Hera burns the Olympic Flame during the modern-day Olympic Games. You can also visit the world-famous museum and get the chance to see some unbelievable sculptures such as the sculpted decoration of the marble temple of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and the famous Hermes carved by the ancient Greek sculptor Praxiteles.
Tour the monuments of the archaeological site, including the former gymnasium and Palaestra (where athletes practiced before competing), stadium, hotel & crypt. Let your imagination run to the times that Greece’s finest athletes strove to honor the gods through the Olympic ideal.
After exploring the Olympia site & museum, we will head to Kyllini Port to take the ferry for an hour’s ride, and approach the port of Zakynthos Town in the afternoon. After check-in at your hotel, you have the rest of the day at your leisure. You can explore the center of Zakynthos and have dinner at a traditional tavern.
Overnight in Zakynthos island.
Day 3: Your tour leader will take you to Zakynthos port to join the local boat cruise as is one of the best ways to explore the island. The boat tour takes about 8 hours returning at about 17:00. You will visit the Blue Caves and the Shipwreck (Navagio) where you can enjoy your swim. Several locations can be explored and photographed like Porto Vromi, Agalas Caves, the Keri Caves, and Turtle Island. The gulf of Laganas and Kalamaki are full of turtles swimming in the seawater. Another major swim stop is in the area of St Nicholas. After the boat tour, you will be dropped off back at your hotel.
You also have the option of exploring the island from the coast with our vehicle and the guidance of your tour leader/driver!
Overnight in Zakynthos island.Day 4: After breakfast, we will take the ferry from Zakynthos port around 8:00 am to get back to the Peloponnese mainland (Kyllini port) and continue towards Delphi crossing over the amazing bridge of Rion – Antirion, one of the biggest in Europe. At Nafpaktos, a beautiful seaside small town, we will make a short coffee stop next to the water and the Venetian Castle/Port.
On the way to Delphi, we will be next to the coastline at all times also passing next to the beautiful Galaxidi seaside town!
The Archaeological Site & Museum of DELPHI, one of the most important in Greece, exhibits the history of the Delphic sanctuary with the most famous ancient Greek oracle. Its rich collections are comprised primarily of architectural sculpture, statues, and minor objects donated to the sanctuary. These reflect its religious, political, and artistic activities from its early years, in the eighth century BC to its decline in Late Antiquity. Again, great lunch on the way to METEORA. If there are no unexpected delays, and although not part of the normal itinerary, we shall make the first visit to the amazing monasteries’ area to get a feeling of the amazing landscape with the sun setting down. Time permitting it may be possible to even visit one of the monasteries. Totally different lighting than the morning visit to follow the next day! Overnight next to Meteora.
Day 5: METEORA (“suspended in the air”) was the hiding spot for the monks from the Romans. We explore two (or three) amazing monasteries depending on your fitness and timing. We drive around the Meteora maze finding different spots to take photos and enjoy the amazing views. On the way back to Athens we stop for a great lunch & drinks always under the guidance of your tour leader. No fixed menu! Authentic Greek food, location, and people; away from the tourist traps. We also stop to stretch at the battlefield of THERMOPYLAE and the famous 300 of King Leonidas of Sparta. Expect a return to Athens around 17:00 but flexible depending on your plans to follow.
Expect a very flexible and personalized tour from us, with lots of authentic experiences, and great food.