Classical culture meets modern metropolis in this exploration of mainland Greece, where ancient cliff-top monasteries and Spartan history mingle with the temples of Olympic gods. It's Insider moments like… the aniseed bite of a welcome ouzo shot, warming a trail to your stomach, at the olive groves and vineyard of the Karambelas family in Olympia. Touring the grounds, you see traditional olive harvesting techniques – and, during dinner, you discover the vibrant rich tastes that make these methods worthwhile, as their tangy oil and ripe olives complement other fresh local produce. Accompanied by wines selected straight from the barrel, you finish in classical Greek style with music and dancing.
2017-11-25
2017-12-02
$1725 $1725

Best of Greece

Land Only Group Tour

Duration : 8 DAYSPrice : FROM $1725Country : GREECE
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Acropolis, Athens © Greece Tourism
Hermes, Olympia © Greece TourismMeteora © Greece TourismNafplio © Dimitris KarkanisGastronomy Greece © Breathtaking AthensCorinth Canal © Thomas MulchiDelphi © Raymond L. Yacht

Classical culture meets modern metropolis in this exploration of mainland Greece, where ancient cliff-top monasteries and Spartan history mingle with the temples of Olympic gods. It's Insider moments like… the aniseed bite of a welcome ouzo shot, warming a trail to your stomach, at the olive groves and vineyard of the Karambelas family in Olympia. Touring the grounds, you see traditional olive harvesting techniques – and, during dinner, you discover the vibrant rich tastes that make these methods worthwhile, as their tangy oil and ripe olives complement other fresh local produce. Accompanied by wines selected straight from the barrel, you finish in classical Greek style with music and dancing.

Included in the price

  • 7 nights' accommodation (6 hotels)
  • 7 buffet breakfasts
  • 5 dinners (including Welcome Reception, Be my guest and 3 three course dinners)
  • All transport shown
  • All transfers shown
  • All activities / sightseeing as mentionned 

Day 1: Athens

Welcome to Athens! You are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Relax or spend time exploring the wonders of this ancient city. In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Reception, including a light meal and welcome drink, with your travelling companions and your Travel Director. Meal: Welcome Reception. Accommodation: Divani Palace Acropolis/Metropolitan

Day 2: Athens

Classical Athens was a centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, and is widely seen as the cradle of Western Civilisation and the birthplace of democracy. One of the world's oldest cities, discover the rich heritage of Athens during your morning sightseeing tour with your Local Expert. Explore the Acropolis and view the Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena and one of the world's greatest cultural monuments. Marvel at the Agora, the Royal Palace and the Temple of Zeus. Enjoy an included visit to the spectacular Acropolis Museum containing remarkable antiquities. See Hadrian's Arch, built to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian, and the stadium where the first modern Olympics took place in 1896. Spend the rest of the day as you wish. In the evening, perhaps choose to dine in the lively Plaka area of the city. Meal: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Divani Palace Acropolis/Metropolitan

Day 3: Athens - Corinth - Mycenae - Epidarus - Nafplion

Cross the mighty Corinth Canal to the Peloponnesian Peninsula and visit the ancient city of Corinth with your Local Expert. In Mycenae − a mighty kingdom of ancient Greece and a military stronghold − see the Beehive Tombs, the Treasury of Atreus, the Lion Gate and the remains of Agamemnon's Royal Palace with your Local Expert. Later visit the amphitheatre and view the Sanctuary of Aesculapius, the God of Medicine in Epidaurus with your Local Expert. The rod of Aesculapius, a snake-entwined staff, remains the symbol of medicine to this day. Arrive later in Nafplion where you will dine tonight at your hotel. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner. Accommodation: Amalia/Agamemmon/Ippoliti Help

Day 4: Nafplion - Olympia

Enjoy a spectacular drive east across the Mountains of Arcadia to ancient Olympia. Connected to many gods and myths, Olympia is also the site of the first Olympic Games held in 776 BC. This evening enjoy a Be My Guest dinner of authentic local cuisine on an olive farm. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Be My Guest Dining. Accommodation: Amalia/Europa/Olympia Palace Help

Day 5: Olympa - Patras - Delphi

Meet your Local Expert and spend the morning visiting the ancient Olympic stadium and the Temples of Zeus and Hera − the wife of Zeus and one of the most important deities in Greek mythology. Driving north to Patras, you cross the Gulf of Corinth to mainland Greece before continuing to Delphi. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner. Accommodation: Delphi Palace/Nafsika Palace/Amalia

Day 6: Delphi - Thermopylae - Kalambaka

Tour Delphi on the slopes of Mount Parnassos with your Local Expert and see the site of the most important oracle in the classical world. Walk the Sacred Way to the Temple of Apollo dating from the 4th century. It was here that every four years athletes competed in the Pythian Games, a precursor of the modern Olympics. A picturesque early afternoon drive brings you to Thermopylae, famous for the heroic defense by Leonidas and his brave Spartans against the invading Persians. After seeing the memorial, cross the fertile Thessaly region, the 'bread basket of ancient Greece' and travel over the Pourmaraki Pass towards Kalambaka. Meals: Buffet Breakfast / Dinner. Accommodation: Amalia/Dellas Boutiqu

Day 7: Kalambaka - Meteora - Athens

Drive to Meteora, one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece. Visit two of the six monasteries built on sandstone rocks above the town with your Local Expert. A scenic drive brings you back to Athens. Why not consider joining your travelling companions for a celebration dinner on your final night? Meals: Buffet Breakfast. Accommodation: Divani Palace Acropolis/Metropolitan

Day 8: Athens

Say goodbye to your fellow travellers and Travel Director after an unforgettable journey or join one of the 3, 4 or 7 day Aegean Cruises. Airport transfers are available, conditions apply. Meal: Buffet Breakfast

Olympia

Olympia

If there is one destination that epitomises the spirit of ancient Greece, Olympia is it. From the first Olympic Games in antiquity to Roman and Byzantine occupations, the ruins of ancient Olympia represent every era of Greek civilisation making it a unique and fascinating stop on your Greek tour.
Archaeological site of Delphi

Archaeological site of Delphi

At the foot of Mount Parnassos, within the angle formed by the twin rocks of the Phaedriades, lies the Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, which had the most famous oracle of ancient Greece. Delphi was regarded as the centre of the world.According to mythology, it is here that the two eagles sent out by Zeus from the ends of the universe to find the navel of the world met. The sanctuary of Delphi, set within a most spectacular landscape, was for many centuries the cultural and religious centre and symbol of unity for the Hellenic world.
Athens

Athens

Take a trip back to the beginnings of western civilisation and democracy with a visit to Athens, capital of Greece. From the stunning monuments of antiquity to first-class restaurants and shopping, Athens is a dream Greek holiday destination.
Acropolis archaeological site, Athens

Acropolis archaeological site, Athens

The greatest and finest sanctuary of ancient Athens, dedicated primarily to its patron, the goddess Athena, dominates the centre of the modern city from the rocky crag known as the Acropolis. The most celebrated myths of ancient Athens, its greatest religious festivals, earliest cults and several decisive events in the city's history are all connected to this sacred precinct. The monuments of the Acropolis stand in harmony with their natural setting. These unique masterpieces of ancient architecture combine different orders and styles of Classical art in a most innovative manner and have influenced art and culture for many centuries. The Acropolis of the fifth century BC is the most accurate reflection of the splendour, power and wealth of Athens at its greatest peak, the golden age of Perikles.
The incredible monasteries of Meteora

The incredible monasteries of Meteora

Above the town of Kalambáka, on the north-western edge of the Plain of Thessaly, the visitor encounters a breathtaking site of impressive monasteries “balanced” on massive detached stone pinnacles, 400 metres above the ground. Metéora is one of Christianity’s holiest places as well as a landscape of outstanding natural beauty. Thousands of visitors flock to this place every year, attracted by the daunting size of the rock formations where timelessness and beauty prevail, while they seek spiritual enlightenment far away from the earthly bustle.
Mycenae

Mycenae

Homer and other writers of ancient Greek tragedy committed their names to memories which have passed into the collective unconscious of humanity. Agamemnon and Menelaus, Danaë and Perseus, Pelops and Atreus are the apparent forefathers of all of Europe, and the birthplace of all of these historical figures, is golden Mycenae. The earliest archaeological fragments indicate that the site of Mycenae was inhabited since the 7th millennium BC, from prehistoric times. In a dominant, naturally fortified position between the tranquil sloping hills of Profitis Ilias, and Sara, with a plentiful water supply, it was an ideal place for man to settle and live a protected life.
Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus

Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus

In the peaceful hinterland of Epidaurus, with its mild climate and abundant mineral springs, is the sanctuary of the god-physician Asklepios, the most famous healing centre of the Greek and Roman world. The sanctuary belonged to the small coastal town of Epidaurus, but its fame and recognition quickly spread beyond the limits of the Argolid. It is considered the birthplace of medicine and is thought to have had more than two hundred dependent spas in the eastern Mediterranean. Its monuments, true masterpieces of ancient Greek art, are a precious testimony to the practice of medicine in antiquity. Indeed they illustrate the development of medicine from the time when healing depended solely on the god until systematic description of cases and the gradual accumulation of knowledge and experience turned it into a science.
Nafplio

Nafplio

One of the most beautiful towns in the area of Argolis as well as one of the most romantic cities all over Greece, Nafplio was the first capital of the newly born Greek state between 1823 and 1834. According to mythology, the town was founded by Náfplios, the son of god Poseidon and the daughter of Danaus Anymone. The town’s history traces back to the prehistoric era when soldiers from here participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War alike. The town declined during the Roman times and flourished again during the Byzantine times. Frankish, Venetian and Turkish conquerors left their mark 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.
LaCity Travel - Traveller Tips for Greece    

VISAS: Greece, as a member of the Schengen States, does not require Australians citizens travelling to Spain as tourists to obtain a visa prior to arrival. On arrival from a non-Schengen state Australian citizens will be issued with a short period visa, or the common ‘Schengen Visa’, which permits a maximum stay of 90 days over a six month period within the Schengen State area (that is, 90 days over six months in the entire Schengen State area, and not in each individual Schengen state).   

MONEY: 1 AUD = 0.65 € (20/02/2014). Payment using recognised international credit cards is also commonly available in Spanish shops. They usually have signs indicating this option at the entrance to the establishment. When you make a payment you should show your passport or ID card. Traveller's cheques, accompanied by a passport, are also accepted in many hotels, restaurants and shops.   

ELECTRICITY: The electric current used in Greece is 220 volts AC, alternating at 50 cycles. (Some larger hotels have 110-volt low-wattage outlets for electric shavers, but they aren't good for hair dryers and most other appliances.) Electrical outlets require Continental-type plugs with two round prongs.   

CLIMATE / WEATHER: Greece has a Mediterranean climate with plenty of sunshine, mild temperatures and a limited amount of rainfall. Due to the country's geographical position, its rugged relief and its distribution between the mainland and the sea, there is great variation in Greece's climate. In summer, the dry hot days are cooled by seasonal winds called the meltemi, while mountainous regions have generally lower temperatures. The winters are mild in lowland areas, with a minimum amount of snow and ice, yet, mountains are usually snow-covered. Moreover, a common phenomenon is the occurrence of different climactic conditions during the same season (for instance, mild heat in coastal areas and cool temperatures in mountainous regions).   

TIME DIFFERENCE: (GMT+02:00) Athens, Bucharest, Istanbul   

BEST TIME TO VISIT GREECE: Greece generally has a mild, Mediterranean climate, with July and August being the busiest months for tourism. With warm weather and plentiful sunshine, this is a great time for visiting the islands, swimming in the sea and lazing on the beach. Summers are generally hot and dry, with daytime temperatures rising to 30°-38°C (85°-100°F). Days are usually cooled by prevailing north winds, especially on the islands. By mid-September, temperatures begin to fall and crowds thin, but it can still be hot. The weather remains generally calm and balmy well into October. If you can't get to Greece in the spring, and beaches are not your primary goal, this is a fine time to visit. By late October, ferry service and flights are cutting back and most facilities on the islands begin to close for the winter. But the cooler atmosphere makes Athens and the mainland all the more pleasant.   

LANGUAGE: Greek is the national language, but English is widely spoken.   

FOOD / DRINK: LaCity Travel believes that one of the best ways to experience a country is by eating! Whether you're sampling street food, savouring a cheap eat or indulging in a banquet, there are endless options to choose from wherever you are in the world. Visitors to Greece will be spoilt with the very best of fresh produce and ancient cooking traditions.   

HISTORY: The early history of Greece is among the world’s most fascinating, and like the other ancient civilisations of Egypt and Rome, Greece has many monuments still standing after centuries. The Greeks have been both the conquerors and the conquered, withstood the Plague and other natural disasters, and birthed some of the greatest literature, scientific developments, mathematical formulas and thought movements. In 1821, the Greeks fought against Ottoman rule during the Greek War of Independence, which resulted in Greece being recognised as an autonomous region in 1828. This was a time of great upheaval for the Greek people, with political assassinations, battles and plundering. After autonomy was granted, many years of change followed, with continued war and confrontation alongside intermittent periods of relative peace. The two World Wars had a profound effect on Greece, with many battles fought in Greece during the early 1940s (during the Axis occupation). Athens was liberated from this occupation in 1944 and the Greek government was restored. Greece joined the United Nations (as a founding member) in 1945 and NATO in 1952. During this time, many Greeks started moving to other parts of the world in a mass wave of widespread migration. The USA, Australia and Europe were popular destinations in this move, which saw hundreds of thousands of Greeks immigrate to other lands. In 2004, Athens successfully hosted the Summer Olympics once again. Yet more recently, Greece has come under the shadow of the European debt crisis which has crippled the economy. Despite this, the spirit of the Greek people endures as it has for eons.   

SHOPPING: From public markets and designer boutiques to European chain stores, Greece has every aspect of retail cornered. In Greece, shop for pottery, lace, rugs, wines, embroidery, gold jewelry with Greek designs, and silver jewelry with precious stones. In Crete, look for handbags and harps. In Rhodes, ceramic tiles.   

PUBLIC HOLIDAYS:  
New Years Day: 1st of January 
Epiphany: 6th of January. Sea water is consecrated in the area of Piraeus. The priests throw the Cross into the sea and young men dive to catch it. 
Ash Monday: 41 days before Easter. It is the day people begin the Lent. On Ash Monday Greeks fly kites, eat meatless food and celebrate Koulouma. Athenians gather on Philopappou Hill. 
Independence Day & Celebration of Evaggelismos: 25th of March. Military parade. 
Easter: From Holy Friday until Easter Monday. 
Epitaph (Bier of Christ): During the procession of the Epitaph the streets of every city or village in the country are full of people. It is a religious procession where everybody holds lit candles in their hands and sings hymns.
 
Night of the Resurrection: It is celebrated in midnight before Easter Sunday with fireworks and candles. 
Easter Sunday: On Easter Sunday Greeks eat barbecue lamb. The celebrations include singing and dancing all day long. 
Labor Day: 1st of May. Flower feasts all around Athens. 
Pentecost: It is celebrated 50 days after Easter. 
Assumption of the Virgin Mary: 15th of August. 
28th of October: National Celebration. Military parade. 
Christmas: 25th-26th of December.   

HEALTH: There are no specific health risks associated with Greece, but visitors who plan to walk through forested areas are advised to consider vaccination against tick-borne encephalitis. Travellers to Central Macedonia in the summer months should bring mosquito repellent to prevent exposure to West Nile Virus, as there was an outbreak in August of 2010. Medical facilities in Greece vary: those in major cities are excellent but many of the islands are some distance from a decent hospital. For this reason, it is best to take along any prescription medication you may require. Food and water are safe, but those visiting for short periods should consider sticking to bottled water.   

SAFETY / SECURITY: There is a safety risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks and visitors are urged to be vigilant in public places, including tourist sites. Recent austerity strikes have been widespread and can bring the country to a halt - transport networks particularly suffer during strikes. Thus far, strikes in Greece have inconvenienced travellers without turning violent; however, tourists are advised to stay away from political gatherings as there have been clashes between police and protesters. Greece is otherwise considered a safe destination, but the height of the tourist season does usually see an increase in petty theft cases, particularly in crowded areas. Visitors are advised not to carry valuables on them and to make use of hotel safes for valuables. Do not display conspicuous wealth and make sure your valuable possessions are not easily accessible to pick-pockets. Violent crime is infrequent, but there have been incidents on some Greek islands and lone visitors are advised not to accept lifts from strangers.   

EMERGENCY 
In case of emergency call:
 
Ambulance Service: 166 
SOS Doctors : 1016 
Duty Hospitals and Clinics: 1434 
Pharmacies: 1434 
Open Line for alcohol drug Addiction: 210 3617089 
Poisoning First Aid: 210 7793777 
Police: 100   

TIPPING: Restaurants include a 15% service charge, and additional tipping is always welcome, but not required.   

TRAVEL INSURANCE: All passengers must have comprehensive travel insurance. You can complete this with LaCity Travel if you wish. Check your Travel Insurance Policy for an Emergency number and details of services to be provided, Carry these details with you.   

Australian Embassy in Greece 
Level 6, Thon Building, 
Cnr Kifisias & Alexandras Ave, 
Ambelokipi, Athens 
Telephone: 210 870 4000 
Fax: 210 870 4111
BEST OF GREECE + GREEK ISLAND HOPPER

14 DAYS FROM $3999PP

Why not extend your holiday by joining the Greek Island Hopper and relaxing on the Greek Islands? On the final travel day of the AGBOA you will arrive at Athens port to continue your voyage and follow the Greek Island Hopper trip from Day 1. 

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Departure : 2017-11-25

Arrival : 2017-12-02

$1725

Book now

Optional
Single room supplement from $680

Terms and Conditions
1. Price are in AUD, subject to the availabilities and per person twin-share price.
2. Valid for sale & departure until 27 March 2017
3. LaCity Travel reserves the right to adjust the itinerary as it sees fi­t to ensure the smooth running of the tour and to substitute hotels of a similar standard if the hotels listed in our brochure are not available.