Students and accompanying Professor visited sights of great interest following the itinerary below.
DAY 1 Athens
Fly to Athens. Catch the overnight ferry from Piraeus to Heraklion ( Crete Island).
DAY 2 Crete
Morning visit to Knossos and the Museum to study the Minoan civilization. Lunch by the Aegean Sea. Dinner at the hotel.
DAY 3 From Crete to Santorini
Catch the morning ‘flying cat’ from Heraklion to Santorini Island. Santorini has stunning panoramic views of the volcanic caldera. Bed and breakfast in Firà.
DAY 4 Santorini to Mykonos
Morning visit to the fascinating Thera Museum to study the earliest flourishing of Aegean culture, then visit Acrotiri, before transferring by ‘flying cat’ to the vibrant island of Mykonos.
DAY 5 Delos
Cross by local boat to the nearby island of Delos. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was, in myth, the birthplace of Apollo, and has excellent remains of Hellenistic Greek housing, along with many high quality mosaics. Return to Mykonos.
DAY 6 Mykonos to Athens
Morning at leisure. Afternoon ferry from Mykonos to Athens. Transfer to the hotel in Athens.
DAY 7 Athens: the Acropolis
Morning free. Whole afternoon devoted first to the Pnyx Hill, seat of Ancient Athens’ democratic assembly, and then the sites of the Acropolis. The Propylaia, the Erectheion, the Parthenon, and, finally, the spectacular brand new Acropolis Museum. Dinner in the Plaka area.
DAY 8 Athens: the Agora and the National Archaeological Museum
Morning study of the Athenian Agora and its fascinating Museum. Late afternoon study at the National Museum of Archaeology with its unparalleled collection of Greek antiquities.
DAY 9 Aegina
Move down to Piraeus, the port of Athens. Travel by ‘Flying Dolphin’ to the nearby island of Aegina to visit the hill-top Temple of Aphaia. Lunch in Egina, then late afternoon return to Piraeus by ferry. Continue by private coach to the Korinth Canal, and on into the Peloponnese. Arrive in Nafplion.
DAY 10 Tiryns and Mycenae
Afternoon studying the architecture and culture of Bronze Age Greece at the crucial sites of Tiryns and of Mycenae. Dinner in a country taverna nearby. Return to Nafplion.
DAY 11 Epidauros and Perachora
After viewing the wonderful Dendra Panoply at the Nafplion Museum, morning visit to the sanctuary of Epidauros. Return to Nafplion.
DAY 12 Nafplion to Mystra and Sparta
Depart Nafplion for Sparta, stopping to visit the fortified Byzantine town of Mystras, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Mystras was the capital of the Byzantine Despotate of the Morea in the 14th and 15th centuries. Continue on to view the remains of classical Sparta. Overnight modern Sparta.
DAY 13 Sparta to Pylos
Depart Sparta for Pylos, visiting the Palace of Nestor at Pylos, considered the best preserved Mycenaean Greek palace yet discovered. Overnight in Pylos.
DAY 14 Pylos to Olympia
Leave Pylos and drive into the mountains of Arcadia to explore the Temple of Apollo Epikourios at Bassai. Continue across the Peloponnese for dinner, bed and breakfast in the Hotel in Olympia.
DAY 15 Olympia
Visit the site of Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games and location of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Move on to the Archaeological Museum to view the stunning collection of sculpture excavated from the area. Overnight in Olympia.
DAY 16 Olympia to Delphi
Travel north to Delphi via the magnificent new bridge over the Gulf of Korinth. In the afternoon we will explore the stunningly located archaeological site of Delphi, ‘Navel of the World’, and site of Apollo’s oracle and follow this up with a visit to the Delphi Museum with its fascinating collection of Greek sculpture. Dinner, bed and breakfast in the Hotel in Delphi.
DAY 17 Delphi to Thessaloniki
Drive north to Thessaloniki the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire. Stop en route to view the battlefield of Thermopylai, where Leonidas’ 300 Spartans made their famous stand against the Persians. Overnight in Thessaloniki.
DAY 18 Thessaloniki to Vergina to Igoumenitsa
Visit the important late-Roman sites of Thessaloniki, before driving to the stunning Vergina Tombs Museum with the opulent treasures found with them.
Drive to Igoumenitsa.