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Here, 25 centuries ago, the celebrated oracle allowed mere mortals to converse with the gods. Today we'll cross over the Gulf of Corinth to the Peloponnese Peninsula, where we'll temporarily leave our bus for a steep, scenic cog railway ride past the waterfalls and caves lining the narrow Vouraikos Gorge. Then we'll return to Nafplio for a free afternoon to explore the colorful alleyways of the Old Town, ride a boat to the little castle island in the harbor, or hike up to enjoy a Venetian fortress view. We'll learn about the roots of drama here, before hopping a boat to the idyllic traffic-free island of Hydra, where we'll sleep (2 nights). We will cap our island vacation with a relaxing sunset happy hour. Your afternoon is free to wander and shop through the Plaka, or explore other parts of this bustling city. This was our second Rick Steves tour, and I wondered if it could possibly be as good overall as our first (Basque). The itinerary, our guide Colin, our fellow travelers, the food, and Greece itself, all made for an incredible two weeks.This evening we'll have dinner together and sleep in the town of Delphi (1 night). At a riverside café in the mountain village of Planitero, we will enjoy a lunch of freshly caught trout and other Greek specialties before our bus takes us to our destination high up in the Menalon Mountains. We'll regroup for dinner together this evening. Tonight we'll gaze at the floodlit Acropolis and enjoy a final dinner together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. "The highlight of my Greek adventure was swimming in the Aegean Sea, in four different towns along the southern Peloponnese.Also I loved swimming in the Aegean." An extremely congenial group made the tour most enjoyable.
"I don't have a favorite wow moment but I loved Hydra and also Kardimyli (spelling?
)." Our Best of Greece was a compelling deep dive into overlapping waves of Greek history, archeology, mythology, architecture, customs, cuisine,and culture with numerous face to face interactions with local people.
In a dramatic setting on the flanks of 8,000-foot Mt. There we'll take a vivid walking tour of Olympia's ancient athletic venues, temples, and museum, followed by lunch together. The Mani is an ideal place to enjoy a "vacation from your vacation." After some orientation by your guide, the day is all yours. We'll follow the coast to the isolated Mani Peninsula, home to generations-long clan wars, salt-of-the-earth villages, and unique — tower houses. You will be rewarded with sweeping Aegean views and a chance to explore the ruins of the Upper Town — a living museum of Byzantine, Ottoman, and Venetian history. After stopping in nearby Sparta for lunch, we'll continue north to our destination: the delightful, fortress-topped harbor town of Nafplio. After breakfast we'll take a short drive to mysterious Mycenae, the fortified city founded by Perseus a thousand years before the Parthenon was built. Your entire day is free to soak up the whitewashed architecture as you wander Hydra's narrow streets and harbor promenade. Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today.
Parnassus we'll enjoy the fresh air and tour the mystical ruins of Delphi. This afternoon's drive will take us along sweeping views of the Ionian Sea to a relaxed seaside village on the Mani Peninsula, where we'll sleep (2 nights). You might hike along the ancient cobbled paths that wind their way through the nearby hills — or just relax on the beach — and end your day with a grilled seafood dinner and a view from the little taverna you've discovered. We'll enjoy a Greek wine and ouzo tasting, and sleep in Nafplio (2 nights). We'll take a walking tour through the grand Lion Gate, along the "cyclopean" walls, and into a remarkably domed tomb. Once the most famous healing center in the Mediterranean, today's star attraction is its ancient theater, large enough to accommodate 14,000. You might swim at a nearby beach, hike across the island, or try to make friends with a donkey. This morning we'll take a ferry ride to Piraeus, where our bus will be waiting to take us back to our Athens hotel. You can easily catch a cab for the airport, or to nearby Piraeus where a fleet of ferries awaits to transport those with time to even more Greek destinations.
I am not into history, I slept through my Western Civilization class many decades ago.
However Colin held my attention and made the information relevant and interesting.I also really enjoyed the different areas that we toured in Greece.Would love to see a tour that included some of northern Greece.The food was excellent, particularly at the lunches and dinners arranged by Colin."Being able to walk through and experience sites which were centuries old and standing next to the spot where the Olympic Flame was just lit to begin its journey." Colin is very knowledgeable and gave us some incite into the culture and economy of Greece.I have never seen water as clear, and combined with a perfect temperature, and a saltiness that gave amazing buoyancy, it was an unforgettable experience.