Days 1 & 2 – Arrival
Depart US, arrive Athens, Nafplio
After arriving in Athens, we drive to the picturesque town of Nafplio. Built by the Venetians, this charming town is one of the most beautiful in all of Greece and the perfect setting in which to become acquainted with this storied land. Depending on the arrival time of the flight into Athens, the afternoon allows time for a swim in the Aegean or to stroll the quaint streets. In the evening we will have our orientation meeting where we will map out our journey, learn a few Greek words, and give a cultural orientation. We then stroll to a local taverna to enjoy dinner street-side before grabbing a gelato and walking along the picturesque harbor. Overnight Nafplio.
Day 4 – Corinth, Acrocorinth
Today we tour the important Roman colony of Corinth with its monolithic Temple of Apollo and impressive Roman artifacts. Here we discuss the importance of the Roman Empire and get a feel for a traditional Roman colony. Departing the site, we hike the abandoned ruins of a haunting Venetian fortification on the Acrocorinth. We then head to Olympia where we check into our hotel and enjoy dinner. Overnight Olympia.
Day 6 – Delphi
It is easy to see why the ancient Greeks considered Delphi their most sacred site. Perched on the side of Mt. Parnassus with a beautiful olive tree lined valley below, Delphi was considered the center of the universe and was the home to the Oracle of Apollo. After touring the museum with finds spanning over a thousand years, we hike up the sacred way and learn about how the ancient Greeks viewed the spiritual world. We make our way to the famous Oracle of Apollo and hear its most well-known pronouncements. After touring the site we eat lunch in the village with spectacular views of the valley before having free time to stroll the streets of modern Delphi and shop for local fares. We then head to the Monastery of Osiou Loukas, a 1,000 year old functioning Greek Orthodox monastery where we experience this ancient religion first hand. When then head to Athens where we check into our hotel just two blocks from the world famous Acropolis. Dinner is out at a local taverna. Overnight Athens.
Days 8 – One Day Cruise
Hydra, Poros, Aegina
Today we enjoy the quintessential Greek experience: sailing the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea. Departing from Piraeus, the port of Athens, students can enjoy the beautiful scenery from lounge chairs on the top deck or learn for to do traditional Greek dancing. The first island is Hydra, a quaint island that eschews all motored transportation, relying instead solely on donkeys. Students can go for a swim in the deep blue water of the Aegean, while adventurous students can jump in from a high cliff. The next island is Poros, known for its picturesque harbor and winding, whitewashed alleyways. The final island is Aegina, where students can visit a Greek temple, peruse the local fish market, or enjoy their famous pistachios and pistachio gelato. We return to Athens for dinner and overnight.)
Days 10 – Return Home
Head to the Athens airport and return home to the states.
Day 3 – Palamidi Fortress, Epidavros, Mycenae
The day begins as we explore the remains of the dramatic Palamidi Fortress perched high above Nafplio with stunning views. After learning about the 3,000 year history of the Greek people, we head to Mycenae, home to King Agamemnon of the Trojan War. Here we view the great golden remains of this once powerful civilization, hike the ancient citadel, descend into an ancient cistern, and explore the massive beehive tomb of Queen Clytemnestra. We then continue to the ancient healing center of Epidavros, known for its magnificent theater, a UNESCO world heritage site. We explore the archaeological site and learn about the origins of modern medicine. We then return to Nafplio for dinner out on the town. Overnight Nafplio.
Day 5 – Olympia
This unforgettable day begins in the amazing museum of Olympia, which contains some of the best Greek sculpture still preserved in the world. We then head to the archaeological site where the students will have the opportunity to wrestle in the gymnasion and race in the ancient stadium. We then learn about the ancient Olympics and visit the Museum of the Olympic Games. Departing Olympia, we drive to the mountain village of modern Delphi for dinner in this charming setting. Overnight Delphi.
Day 7 – Athens
As the birthplace of democracy, drama, and philosophy, there is no other city in the Western tradition quite as important as Athens. The day begins as we tour the Acropolis Museum, home to the famous Parthenon marbles that have inspired artists for centuries. We then make our way to the Theater of Dionysus, the birthplace of drama and comedy where Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides, and Aristophanes first premiered their famous plays that are still read and preformed to this day. Just as the ancient Athenians would have done, we hike up the Acropolis and through the Propylea to stand at the foot of the Parthenon, the greatest of ancient Greek temples. We then head to the Areopagus and the ancient Athenian Agora where we discuss the works of Plato in the very place where he taught over 2,000 years ago. We then allow time for shopping in the bustling Plaka marketplace district of Athens. Dinner and overnight Athens.
Days 9 – Athens
The day begins at the Temple of Zeus, the grandest of ancient temples before visiting the elaborate Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. After free time to stroll the modern marketplace district of Athens, the Plaka, we head to the National Archaeological Museum, home to the greatest of Greek treasures. We then conclude our touring with the stunning views from Mount Lykavittos, the highest point in Athens. In the evening, we have our closing meeting and enjoy a final celebratory dinner out in the Plaka. Overnight Athens.