Follow the diagonal route through the Peloponnese and get in touch with the most important archaeological sites of the world to finally reach the idyllic, the pastoral and utopian Arcadia, the beginning of the Greek civilization, the one described by Homer and Virgil, and later by Goethe and J. J. Rousseau, Schiller and Nitsche, the beloved rustic landscape by the representatives of the European arcadism, which the French painter Nicolas Poussin illustrated very well in his famous paintings the Shepherds of Arcadia (Et in Arcadia ego).
Why you’ll love this tour
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Raft down the river of Lousios, where Zeus used to bath.
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Visit Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games!
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Explore Mycenae, the legendary kingdom of the Atreides, surrounded by massive “cyclopean walls.
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Taste the exquisite Nemean wines in high quality boutique wineries.
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Visit Ancient Epidaurus, where tragedy and comedy flourished in a theatre of exemplary acoustics.
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Walk into the narrow streets of the romantic Nauplion, the first capital of Greece.
Departure from Athens for the Corinth Canal where we stop for half an hour for a coffee and taking pictures.
After ten minutes drive we get to Ancient Corinth at the foot of Acrokorinthos. We visit the Museum of Ancient Corinth and the Archaeological site.
We take the coastal road to Palaia Epidavros a magical village built between a lemon and orange tree grove. We swim in the lovely beaches of the Saronic gulf – Lunch.
Then we will visit the organized archaeological site of Asklepieion and the huge theatre of Epidavros, 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-Aug.). The first day will be completed with a delicious dinner at a historic tavern in Lygourio. Overnight at Epidavros or Nafplio or Tolo.
Today we find ourselves in a hired small cruise boat in Tolo. We are swimming, fishing and snorkeling in the small bays of the central Argolic gulf uninhabited small islands. Shortly afterwards we clean the caught fish and grill them in the desert island. We enjoy our meal and the local wine before we get back to Tolo.
Later we visit the archaeological site of Mycenae,.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, Lynceus, Evrystheus, Hercules, Amfiaraus, Agamemnon, Oreste, Diomedes, Aigisthos, Thyestes, 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 or Tolo.
Departure for the temple of Hercules in Kleones, the spring of Adrastos and Ancient Nemea where we will walk in the shadow of the Temple of Zeus, we will run at the Ancient Stadium and discover the secrets of the Archaeological Site. A city well known for its countless vineyards and the tasty local wine.
Then we will head up for the Arcadian plateau, we will cross some traditional villages through the Arcadian landscape. We stop for a delicious lunch in one of them in the shadow of the plantains.
After one hour drive we arrive at Ancient Olympia. We visit the Museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity, the Archaeological Museum (the statue of Hermes of Praxiteles) and the Archaeological site of Ancient Olympia. Here we will have the opportunity to see the Temple of Zeus (one of the seven miracles of the ancient world), the ancient stadium and the spot where the Olympic flame lights up before traveling to the place where the Summer and Winter Olympics take place.
For the beginning of the Olympic Games, there is a great deal of controversy between the ancient writers. Among the views, the founder of the Olympic Games was also Hercules. However, according to the prevailing view, the Olympics were organized by Iphitos in 776 BC, and since then the races were held uninterrupted until 393 AD when they were abolished by the Byzantine emperor Theodosius.
In the evening we ‘ll have a traditional dinner in a local tavern.
Overnight at Olympia.
Early departure for Ancient Messini. We cross the well preserved archaeological site in the western foothills of Mountain Ithomi. It lies over a large area being one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. The layout of Ancient Messini was made according to the so-called Hippodameian system, where all buildings have the same orientation and the space is divided into horizontal and vertical axes.
Ancient Messini remained the cultural center of Messinia until 395 BC, when the invasion of the Goths of Alarichos probably destroyed the city.
We return to Arcadia region and make the circle of Lycaion mountain (parrhasia land).
First we visit the archaeological site of Lycosoura. According to mythology, the founder of Arcadia was Lycaon, son of Pelasgos and the nymph Kyllini, who founded the first city that the sun “saw” on earth, Lykosoura, at the foot of Lykaion, the holy mountain of the Arcadians. This mountain, the Arcadians, faced with awe. They believed that in Lykaeon the matter was losing its shade by overthrowing every reasonable explanation of the natural phenomena. They also believed, along with many other Greeks, that Zeus was born on the mountain of light, Lykaeon, and that the nymphs Neda, Thiesoa and Agno, nursed him and washed him on the river Lousios.
After a while we get to Agia Theodora’s church a popular pilgrimage site for Greeks. It is about a small Byzantine church and has 17 holly and maple trees growing from its roof. Most of them are taller than 30 metres and it’s phenomenal as there is only one root about the thickness of an arm that is visible beside the entrance. Then you will have your food experience of local tastes at a nice tavern (by the river) in the midst of the mountains and in a relatively isolated iconic scenery.
We continue the Parrhasia circle visiting the columned temple of Apollo Epicurius which rises majestically within the sanctuary of Bassae in the mountains of Arcadia. It is one of the best-preserved monuments of classical antiquity and an evocative and poignant testament to classical Greek architecture. It is highly significant for its architectural features and influence.
We start getting down taking the road to Andritsaina an amazing traditional village on the northern slope of Lycaion mountain. It is time for a cool refreshment or a coffee here at the central square.
The day ends in Karytaina, an amphitheatrical citadel near the river Alpheios, with the proud castle hooked on the top of the mountain. We enjoy another special dinner here with a view to the sacred Lykaeon mountain.
Overnight at Karytaina.
Departure for Ancient Gortys. Today’s excursion will be done by rafting downhill starting from the Asticholos bridge on the river Lousios. Following the driver’s orders, we will roam in the clear crystal waters of the river in a tunnel of plants and trees. By the end of this lovely adventure we’ll stop for a light meal and then visit the archaeological site of the ancient Gortys.
To get to the Monastery of Prodromos, a special attraction of the area of Dimitsana we will follow a route from a slightly uphill, but relatively easy path through the incredibly beautiful gorge of Lousios.
Departure for Dimitsana, a historic amphitheatrical village whose setting dominates the unspoiled eternity of the stone. We visit the Water Power Museum, a thematic museum centred on the importance of hydraulic power in traditional societies.
Dinner at a local tavern. Overnight.
We leave for Tripoli via the stone villages of Stemnitsa, Elati, Vytina and Levidi between the thick pine forest next to the Mainalon trail. Here we stop for a drink at the central square with a marvelous view to a really authentic Arcadian landscape.
We are in the heart of Arcadia and we must see the remarkable caves of the area before going to a local winery to try the local varieties of Moschofilero and Agiorgitiko wines and enjoy local culinary delights.
Later in the afternoon we prepare for our return to Athens. Before our departure we will wander around the center of Tripoli, a significant historical town, the capital of the Peloponnese region.
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