During the archaic and the historical period in the Peloponnese, tough city states were growing, such as Sparta, Argos, Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos, Corinth and other smaller ones. Although these cities were autonomous city-states with many conflicts with each other, they were fully aware of their common origin, which was confirmed by mythological elements, such as Pelops, the Peloponnesian ancestor. Then there was the Greek Twelve Gods, the Olympian Gods, the common religion, which was not always favorable to the Greeks, especially when they were unjust or insulting. This common corigin consciousness united them in the campaign against Troy, when Paris stole the beautiful Helen of Sparta, the wife of the king Menelaus, brother of Agamemnon king of Mycenae.
On this trip, after passing through Corinth and Argolida, we will head to the area of Laconia and Sparta.
So we will see the Corinth Canal, the Epidaurus Theater, Mycenae, Argos and Nafplio in Argolis, Kynouria, an Arcadian region today, but in ancient times it was claimed, often with bloody wars, by the Argives and the Spartans and, driving continuously south, we reach Ancient Zarax and the Medieval Monemvasia.
When we make this trip in the summer we will visit the beautiful island of Elafonisos with the amazing beach of Simos, the unique sunken archaic city Pavlopetri, and Neapolis, a beautiful town built on the site of the ancient Boeae.
Then we will proceed to Sparta and we will see the Statue of Leonidas, the Archaeological site, the Archaeological Museum and the Museum of Oil and Olive.
We are very close to Mystras, the city of the Byzantine castle with the arrogant castle hanging on the hill and we have to see it, starting from the top and walking down to the foot of the hill crossing the main downhill road of the city.
Then we will go to Gythio, a beautiful ancient coastal city, which was founded by Hercules according to mythology. We will admire the architecture and the color of the city, the port and the island of Kranai, where Paris and Eleni spent the first night together.
Leaving Gythio we will make a very interesting route through Eastern Mani, the so called Sunny Mani, to reach Cape Tainaro, the cave of Hades, the southernmost tip of mainland Greece and the second southernmost of Europe. We will pass Vathi, the coast of Agia Varvara, the village of Kotronas and other coastal maniot villages with big house towers, the necromancy of Tainaron, the lighthouse of Tainaron (Cavo matapan) and the beautiful bay of Porto Cayo.
Then we will visit the settlement of Vathia, the most photographed traditional settlement of the Peloponnese, and the beautiful settlement of Gerolimenas.
Throughout our journey we pass through cities that were part of the Koinon (Common) of free Laconians, most of which no longer exist. At this point (Kyparissos) there was the ancient Kainipolis, which was sunk by a deadly earthquake.
We are now in the heart of Mani, Mesa Mani (Inner Mani) and we are going up to Areopolis, whose central location in Mani makes it its capital.
We will have the opportunity to see this small town, the beautiful settlement of Limeni in the gulf of Itylos and to do a boat tour of the Caves of Diros.
Our journey will last six days and during this time we will have the opportunity to tell more about the mythology, the history and the social organization of the areas through the centuries.
Why you’ll love this tour
Swim every day in waters of 7 different shades of turquoise and blue around the Peloponnese
Raft down the river of Lousios, where Zeus used to bath.
Explore the entrance of the Underworld! Get on the boat and discover a cave of unique beauty, formed by stalactites and stalagmites.
Visit Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games!
Explore Mycenae, the legendary kingdom of the Atreides, surrounded by massive “cyclopean walls.
Taste the exquisite Nemean wines in high quality boutique wineries.
Visit Ancient Epidaurus, where tragedy and comedy flourished in a theatre of exemplary acoustics.
The Nemean lion, the Lernaean Hydra, the Stymphalean birds. Follow the steps of Hercules and see where seven out of his twelve labours took place.
Walk into the narrow streets of the romantic Nauplion, the first capital of Greece.
Swim in the natural swimming pools and under the waterfalls of Neda
Visit Delphi, the "navel" of the world!
Step down the narrow corridors and the narrow streets of the stunning Byzantine castle-city of Mystras
Accommodation 5 overnight stays in double / twin rooms
Meals • 5 breakfasts •3 lunches with a soft drink or beer or local wine (250 g) • 5 dinners in traditional taverns with a soft drink or beer or local wine (500 g)
Transportation •Car or Minivan
Entrance fees included •Tickets in caves
Activities Included • 30mins of undercave boat trip
Museum Tickets and Archaeological Sites
Transfer to and from the Airport
Drinks and soft drinks (except the above)
1st Day:Corinth Canal and Argolis
Departure from Athens for the Corinth Canal where we stop for half an hour for a coffee and taking pictures. We take the coastal road to Palaia Epidavros, a magical village built between a lemon and orange tree grove. Then we will visit the organized archaeological site of Asklepieion and the huge theatre of Epidavros (a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Monument), famous for its symmetry and beauty and admired for its exceptional acoustics, used again today for dramatic performances. During our visit we will be able to watch a performance in the evening (July-early Aug.). A delicious dinner at a historic tavern in Lygourio will follow. Later in the day we visit the archaeological site of Mycenae, another UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Monument, the famous center of the Mycenaean Civilization. The period of Greek history between 1600 BC until around 1100 BC. is called “Mycenaean”. Referring to Mycenae, Homer first reports the city, describing it as “golden”. We admire the Gate of the Lions, the Royal Palace, the treasure of Atreus and the tomb Klytemnestra. In Mycenae, Argos and Tiryns, all important establishments strategically located in the fertile Argolic plain, lived once and dominated the names of Inachus, Phoroneus, Argus, Akrisius, Perseus, Proetus, Sthenelus, Capaneus, Evrystheus, Hercules, Amfiaraus, Thyestes, Agamemnon, Diomedes, Oreste, Aigisthos, Tissamenus, Danae, Io, Andromeda, Klytemnestra, Pheidon, Telesilla and the famous horses of Pegasus and Arion. We make our way towards the picturesque town of Nafplio– Walk in the narrow streets of the town, the once capital of Greece-we step up the 999 steps of the Venetian castle of Palamidi. Dinner-clubbing Overnight at Nafplio. Distance 210 Km: about 3 hours by bus
Distance 210 Km: about 3 hours by bus
2nd Day: Eastern Peloponnese - Coastal Arcadia and Laconia
Departure for the coastal Arcadia, a peculiar and exciting area combining the wild beauty of the mountains with the tranquility of the crystal clear sea, the historic Kynouria. We will pass by magical bays with small pebbles and crystal clear waters like Astros and Tyros, then passing through Leonidio, the capital of Tsakonia, an old Greek Doric tribe with a special language idiom. We proceed to Fokianos bay, one of the most beautiful beaches of Greece, as it is hidden on the steep beaches of the eastern side of the Peloponnese and then, after twenty minutes drive, we reach … the edge of the world, the village Kyparissi A beautiful picturesque village hidden among the slopes of Parnonas mountain, famous for its unique tranquility and the preference of the tragic Princess Diana for visiting this isolated bay with her luxury boat . (Lunch). After lunch we leave for the picturesque port of Gerakas (the birthplace of Telly Savalas, once a television American actor), a small medieval village built on the side of the sea poured into the earth, giving the visitor rare images. Then, after a 30 minutes driving, we will get to the romantic Monemvasia where we will wander in this uniquely preserved medieval castle-city with its arched alleys, churches and mansions. Our day will end with great food and overnight stay at the castle city of Monemvasia.
Distance 210 Km: about 3 hours and 45 minutes by bus
3rd Day: The glorious Sparta and the Byzantine castle–city of Mistras
Departure for Sparta, the glorious ancient city of the south Peloponnese, the city of Tyndareus, his sons Castor and Pollux, known as the dioscuri, Menelaos and the beautiful Helen, the city of Leonidas, of Pausanias, the glorious leader of the battle of Plataea (479 BC), of Lycurgus, the ancestral lawmaker and the city of so many heroes . Unfortunately, today there is not much left of the famous city. Fanatic priests in the 18th Century destroyed what was left of the earthquakes and the wear of time. We visit the river Evrotas, the statue of Leonidas, the archaeological site, the archaeological Museum and the thematic Museum of the olive and olive oil. Then we head to the enchanting castle of Mystras site (a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Monument), where from the top of the hill we will descend the narrow corridors and the streets of the castle-city. We will visit the castle, the Byzantine churches, the monasteries and the palace of Palaiologoi, the last Byzantine emperors. We will try the local food in Mistras or Sparta. Later we drive south to the coastal city Gytheion which is the largest and one of the most beautiful cities of the area of Mani. There we will have a walk on the dock of the city and the isle of Kranai, where Paris and the beautiful Helen spent their first night, before sailing for Troy. We will enjoy a nice dinner by the sea. Overnight stay at Gytheio.
Distance 150 Km: about 3 hours s by bus
4th Day: An interesting day - The round of the Laconian Mani
Leaving Gytheio we will make a very interesting route through Eastern Mani, the so called Sunny Mani, to reach Cape Tainaro, located, in the middle leg of the Peloponnese peninsula, and the cave of Hades. We will pass by the village of Vathi, the coast of Agia Varvara, the village of Kotronas and other coastal maniot villages with big house towers to reach the temple of Poseidon, which also functioned as a necromancy in the antiquity. The cave inside the temple is said to link Down with the Upper World. Following a good path we will reach the lighthouse, built in 1882 and dominates the Cape Tainaron (Cavo matapan), which is said to be the 2ond southernmost tip of Continental Europe. Walking back we take our bus and drive to the beautiful bay Porto Kagio where we will have our lunch in a local fish tavern. Then we will visit the settlement of Vathia, the most photographed traditional settlement of the Peloponnese, and the beautiful settlement of Gerolimenas. Throughout our journey we pass through cities that were part of the Koinon (Common) of free Laconians, most of which no longer exist. At this point (village Kyparissos) there was the ancient Kainipolis, which was sunk by a deadly earthquake. We are now in the heart of Mani, Mesa Mani (Inner Mani) and we are going up to Areopolis, whose central location in Mani makes it its capital. We will have the opportunity to see this beautiful small town, the gorgeous coastal settlement of Limeni in the bay of Oitylon and also the magical coastal settlements of Neo Oitylo and Karavostasi. In the evening we will walk in the traditional part of Areopolis and admire the local architecture, the towers and the churches. A traditional dinner at a local tavern will follow.
Distance 100 Km: about 2 hours and 30minutes by bus
5th Day: A boat tour in the Caves of Diros
First we visit the stunning Diros (Dyros) with its extremely beautiful and exquisite caves. We get in the boats to do a boat tour of 5000 meters in the subterranean caves lasting 30 minutes and 10 minute walk. One of the most beautiful lake caves in the world. The crystal-studded stalactites and stalagmites are spectacular, in striking shades of rose, green, amber, black, blood red and purple. Free evening. Dinner in a local tavern. Overnight at Areopolis or Limeni.
Distance 20 Km: about 40 minutes by bus
6th Day: The Messinian Mani
Departure for the Messinian Mani and Kalamata, a really gorgeous city, in the south Peloponnese. We will make a stop at the village Thalamai first, then at Stoupa to take pictures of the famous sandy beach of Kalogria and of the fabulous bay of Foneas gorge. We are close to Kardamili, a beautiful seaside village of the Messinian Mani, famous for its rich traditional cuisine (Lunch). Then we will visit the beautiful city of Kalamata and some of its worth visiting sites: the castle, the Old Town, Ypapanti Square, the 23rd March Square, the huge beach and the port of Kalamata as well as the Railway Municipal Park. In the evening we will take our way back to Athens.
All our Epic Tours offered are accompanied by one of our local English speaker group guides. The aim of the group guide is to take the hassle out of your trip and to help you have the best experience possible. The guide has excellent knowledge of the places visited and will provide you information throughout the whole trip, including historical, cultural and social aspects. Your guide takes care of all the essential things of the tour, offers suggestions for things to do and see and introduces you to the local communities.
We use a minimum three-star rating,conveniently located hotels and apartments with all the essential modern conveniences. Lodges that practice good eco-tourism, use products and hire staff from the local villages, walk lightly on the surrounding environment and are true to the area they represent. Accommodation on all our trips is on a twin or double bed basis. Single upgrades are available upon request and depend on availability.
Concerning the transportation, our company cooperates with leading transfer companies which use vehicles of the latest technology with the most stringent standards. All minivans are equipped with comfortable seats, air condition and large windows. Our experienced drivers will do everything they can so that your transfer be safe and pleasant. In all our Epic tours offered, we have made an effort to include as many attractions as possible, therefore reducing our stay in the bus to the minimum, by making many stops.
When it comes to meals, Epos Travel & Tours strikes a perfect balance, since gastronomy is one of the main aspects of the total tour experience offered. We include most meals (at selected seaside or traditional taverns) to save you time and money, yet we also leave enough free time so you can sample Greece’s gastronomic delights on your own. Epos travel packages vary as to the number of meals included.All provided meals are clearly stated on the tours’s inclusions section. As most of our hotels offer anything from coffee to a full breakfast, you can start the day the way you like best with high quality local products. Lunch is your chance to make culinary discoveries of your own – Your tour guide can give you tips about recommended places if asked. When your itinerary includes a special experience, such as fishing on a hired boat,rafting or wine tasting, lunch will be included. Please note that if you have any special dietary requirements you should inform us prior to the trip. We can provide vegetarian and vegan meals. Please feel free to contact us, regarding any questions you may have about food, so we can provide you the best options possible.
Meeting and finishing point: Most of our tours -unless otherwise stated in the trip’s information section- start and end at Syntagma square in Athens. Tours commence at 08:00 on the starting date and finish between 21:00 and 22:00 on the finishing point. Please note: In case you leave Greece on the day the tour ends,it is advisable to book your return flight at least 3 hours after our scheduled return time. That will give you the tranquillity and ease of mind, avoiding any unfortunate events that could blemish you vacation.
When you book with us, please have in mind that our tours don’t include any accommodation before or after the tour. So we advise you to make any stay arrangements for the date the tour ends. In relation to your arrival date and your stay in a hotel in Athens or in another city for one or more days before or after the trips, please feel free to contact us and we shall arrange it at no cost.
With regard to your transfer to and from the airport, we are able to help, if you ask us about it. We can arrange a private transfer from the airport to your hotel in Athens and vice versa 24/7. Your private driver will be waiting for you at the exit of the airport, holding a placard with your name on it. Regarding the issue of your air ticket you know that the sooner you buy it the more cheap it comes. You are most likely to find lower prices in your home country. But it is worth trying together.
Please check if you belong in one of the Free or Reduced admission categories below.
Free admission for:
• Members of the Chamber of Fine Arts of Greece and equivalent Chambers of member-states of the EU, upon presentation of their membership card
• Members of the ICOM-ICOMOS, upon presentation of their membership card
• Students of University – Higher Education Institutes, Technological Educational Institutes, Military Schools or equivalent Schools of EU member states, as well as Schools of Guides, upon presentation of their student identity card
• Young people, up to the age of 18, upon presentation of their Identity Card or passport for age confirmation.
Reduced admission for:
• Greek citizens and citizens of other Member – States of the European Union who are over 65 years old, upon presentation of their ID card or passport for verification of their age and country of origin • Students of University – Higher Education Institutes, Technological Educational Institutes or equivalent Schools of countries from outside the European Union, upon presentation of their student ID cards