Eternal Greece Ltd

The Treasures of the Argolid

A well-researched and rewarding programme to the magical land of the Argolid; for avid admirers and discerning connoisseurs of Classical Greek archaeology and history and also of natural...

Introduction

We specialise and excel in creating new tours which reveal new horizons, take you to less-known yet fabulous places, add fresh activities – and all this being presented with the communicative and vibrant approach that only people impassioned with what they are doing can deliver. Our well-researched, perfectly-delivered and inspiring programmes offer fresh perspectives of the wonder that is Greece, are conducted round-the-year and are all supported and escorted by our hand-picked specialist, licensed guides.

Greece has been a strategic crossroads since time immemorial and the legacy of its rich history is visible in the castles and archaeological sites with which adorn every corner of this magnificent country. This well-researched and rewarding programme provides a deeply informative and expert introduction to the magical land of the Argolid, home to such legendary cities and pinnacles of human creation as Mycenae and Epidaurus, as well to lesser-known but impressive sites such as the Pyramid of Ellinikon and the Argive Heraion.

The target audience of this programme would typically include avid admirers and discerning connoisseurs of Classical Greek archaeology and history and also of natural beauty, of which the Argolid abounds, and who would relish the experience of seeing the most evocative sites and monuments at first hand.

Accommodation is at a comfortable four-star hotel (or higher), teeming with character. Transportation is by modern, air-conditioned minibus or coach, whilst the venues of lunch and dinner have been carefully chosen, not least with the hungry explorer in mind – but also to respect and reflect the ancient Greek tradition where eating is central to social interaction and happy bonding.

Are you more independent-minded?
This programme is also available in a self-drive version!
Find out more on Self-Drive Tours

Points of Interest

Itinerary

We will leave your central Athens hotel or our meeting point in the morning for our base in Nauplio, travelling across the Corinth Canal, that magnificent feat of 19th-century engineering which transformed the Peloponnese from a peninsula to an island, where we have a short pit stop for photos. Just a short distance after the bridge, we visit the extensive archaeological site of Ancient Corinth, noted for its archaic Temple of Apollo and an impressive collection of ruins of public buildings.

We will then continue for the charming seaside base-town of Nauplio, our base for this tour, via a lunch stop at Nemea (of Hercules Nemean Lion fame) where we will sample the celebrated deep ruby-red local red wine.

After settling in at our at leisure at our Nauplio hotel and following an evening stroll in this very attractive town, we will have dinner at a typical Greek taverna.

Day’s approximate driving distance and time : 170 km (106 mi), 2 hrs and 38 mins. These values are indicative only and can change without notice.

We start the day with a visit to the impressive Archaeological Museum of Nauplio, a historic building itself, which houses illustrious finds from all over the Argolid from Paleolithic (as old as it gets!) times on. legendary Bronze Age site of Mycenae.

We then set off for the nearby Neolithic and Mycenaean citadel of Tiryns (the birthplace of the legendary demigod and hero Heracles), followed by the important archaeological site of Argive Heraion, which affords a splendid view of the Argive Plain, and then on to the Mycenae, the renowned city of King Agamemnon, with its Cyclopean walls, the Lion Gate and spectacular archaeological findings. These imposing ruins are of the greatest city of the Mycenaean civilisation, which dominated the eastern Mediterranean world from the 15th to the 12th century BC and played a vital role in the development of classical Greek culture. Both Tiryns and Mycenae are UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

We then drive south through the Argive Plain to the little-known Pyramid of Hellinikon, a mysterious structure of uncertain use dated to the 3rd millennium BC. Lunch at the lovely little nearby village of Kefalari, where the waters welling from the spring central to the village have been attributed by ancient geographer Strabo to be an outflow of Lake Stymphalia, a fair distance away in the mountains of Corinthia, northern Peloponnese.

Back to Nauplio, either to chill and send your free time as you like or to explore the Venetian Fortress of Palamidi above the town, noting the option of either using our coach for the short drive to the top of the hill or climbing the 861 steps!
Dinner at taverna.

Day’s approximate driving distance and time : 71 km (44 mi), 1 hour and 27 mins

On our way to Ancient Epidaurus, we stop at the fascinating museum of Natural History at Lygourio, with its rich collection of local and regional fossils and its diverse and informative exhibits. That’s a brief but unique insight into Mediterranean and local geology, including the Epidaurean ammonites that lived 235 million years ago in the ocean of what is now the Argolid. 

We will then visit the nearby ruins of the Pyramid of Lygourio and the very interesting Chapel of Aghia Marina (18th century) which incorporates building blocks of the Pyramid.

After a short drive we will reach Ancient Epidaurus, renowned for its magnificent theatre and its Sanctuary of Asklepios, the God of Healing. The site, set in a peaceful yet powerful scenery that might be a main constituent of its legendary therapeutic qualities, features the best-preserved ancient theatre in Greece, acclaimed for its superb acoustics and its perfect proportions, the latter related also to the mathematical ratio of the Golden Mean.

We then proceed to the lovely seaside town of Palaia Epidavros and its ancient yet recently-discovered, charming little theatre. Lunch and return to Athens.

Day’s approximate driving distance and time : 173 km (108 mi), 2 hours and 46 mins

Included

  • Accommodation at specially-selected, European standard high-class city and country hotels, basis bed and breakfast and double sharing. Single occupancy subject to supplement.
  • Expert, licensed Archeologist-Guide accompanying the group throughout the duration of the tour
  • All tour legs by air-conditioned minibus or coach
  • Archaeological site and museum tickets
  • Bottled mineral water daily during the tours
  • Free use of power packs for recharging mobile phone and portable devices on the move
  • Hotel porter and restaurant gratuities

Not Included

  • Personal travel insurance
  • Beverages
  • Coach driver and guide gratuities
  • Anything not explicitly mentioned under the Included section

Points to note

The tour is accompanied by an expert, licensed guide who is fluent in English, other languages upon request. Transport is by air-conditioned coach, accommodation is at a European standard three-star-plus or four-star hotel with character, basis bed and breakfast whilst the price also includes lunch and dinner, bottled mineral water daily, museum and archaeological site entrance fees and hotel porter and restaurant gratuities. The price is basis double-room sharing.

The final applicable price will depend on the number of participants of the tour.

The programme does not include flights to and from Greece and personal travel insurance. An example of how to obtain travel insurance can be found here. For the full list of what is and what is not included in the price, please see below.

Good and comfortable walking gear is a must. As the tours take place nearly all the year, waterproofs in non-summer months are recommended, even though they may well prove unnecessary. As the safety and comfort of all our travellers are of paramount importance to us, we might need to adjust at our sole responsible discretion the routeing and/or the activities should weather or other conditions so dictate.

Testimonials

  • In addition to the museum and ancient site we felt privileged to be part of a small group gaining an insight into its history from the man who has been so instrumental in bringing it back to life. Yet again, we were struck by the friendliness and thoughtfulness of the people we met. Small acts of helpfulness and kindness stay with us for a long time, making them some of the best memories. For instance, the taverna owner near Nemea, going out of his way to help us and the taxi driver taking us back to the airport is a great advert for your country.

    Iain Gordon

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