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DELPHI AND METEORA (TWO or THREE DAYS) Print E-mail

Having only one overnight stay in Kalambaka you can have the complete tour of Delphi as it is described in Delphi Full Day Tour and also visit the famous Byzantine Monasteries in Meteora, a world unique geological phenomenon.

Itinerary   
Day 1
We depart from Athens in the morning via the national highway and pass by the towns of Thebes, Levadia and Arachova.  Arriving in Delphi we’ll visit Castalia Spring, the main archaeological site (the Temple of Apollo, the Treasury of the Athenians, the Theatre, the Stadium,etc.) and the Museum with the famous statue of Antinoos and the unique bronze statue of the Charioteer dating back to 475 B.C.

ArachovaOracole of DelphiTemple of Apollo - Delphi

The stadium of DelphiTheatre of DelphiTholos Delphi

Our lunch in a traditional Greek restaurant in the picturesque town of Delphi, after our visit to the sites, will be the perfect way to recharge our batteries and enjoy the local cuisine.
After lunch, heading back towards the archaeological site, we’ll have a stop to see the ruins of the Temple of Athena Pronea and the Tholos.

Gymnasium DelphiThe Charioteer - DelphiTholos - Delphi

After the conclusion of our Delphi Tour we’ll depart for Meteora through the mountains of central Greece and passing from various towns and villages, (Lamia, Domokos, Trikala) we’ll arrive at Kalambaka (the town right below the rocks of Meteora) where we’ll have diner and can spend night.  We can also stay overnight in the nearby village of Kastraki.

MeteoraMeteoraMeteora

MeteoraMeteoraMeteora

Day 2
After breakfast we’ll start our tour to the Monasteries until lunch time in the afternoon.  After lunch we’ll start our return trip to Athens.  Almost half the distance to Athens we can stop at Thermopylae to see the statue of Leonidas, the King of the Spartans, who fell in the battle with all his 300 warriors fighting the Persians of Xerxes in 480 B.C.

Leonidas monumentThe Epitaph of SimonidesThermopylae hot springs

Optional  Day 3rd
We can spend one more night in Meteora in order to make the trip more relaxed and leisurely. You will be able to spend more time in each Monastery or visit some in the afternoon.

All our private tours are flexible.  It is always up to you to change the itinerary according to your wishes.

Admission fees, hotel and food are not included in the price of the trip

Delphi entrance ticket :  12€  Valid for Delphi and Delphi Museum
 
Free admission for: 
Children under 18
Students from E.U.

Reduced admission for:
Citizens of the E.U. aged over 65
Students from countries outside the E.U.

Entrance fee for each Monastery:   Approximately 2 Euros

About the Monasteries
Meteora” is the biggest and most important group of monasteries in Greece after those in Mount Athos.  We find the first traces of  Meteora in the 11th century when the first hermits settled there.  The rock  monasteries, a unique geological phenomenon, are in UNESCO’s List of National Heritages and are one of Greece’s cultural treasures.

 The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron 
It is the biggest of the Meteorite monasteries. The church 'Catholicon', dedicated to the “Transfiguration”, was erected in the middle of 14th century (1387-88) and was hagiographed in 1483 and 1552. The old monastery is used today as a museum.            
Open:  09:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 18:00
Closed:  Tuesdays and Wednesdays

The Holy Monastery of Varlaam
Is the second in size monastery after the Great Meteoro.  The church, dedicated to the three Bishops, is in the Athonite type (cross-in-square with dome and choirs), with spacious “esonarthex” (lite) surrounded by dome as well.  It was built in 1541-42 and hagiographed in 1548, while the “esonarthex” was hagiographed in 1566. The old refectory is used as a museum while North of the Church we can see the “parekklesion” of the Three (Bishops) built in 1627 and hagiographed in 1637.
Open:  09:00 to 13:00 and 15:30 to 18:00                                           
Closed: Fridays

The Holy Monastery of Rousanou
This monastery is dedicated to Saint Barbara.  The “Katholikon”, in the Athonite type, was founded in the middle of the 16th century and decorated in 1560. Both the “Katholikon” and the reception halls are in the ground floor while the “archontariki”, cells and subsidiary rooms are scattered in the basement and the first floor.
Open:  09:00 to 13:00 and 15:30 to 18:00                                      
Closed:  Wednesdays

The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas
Its the first to meet on our way from Kastraki to Meteora. The 'Katholikon' dedicated to St. Nicholas, is a single - nave church with small dome, built in the beginning of 16th c. It was decorated by the Cretan painter Theophanis Strelitzas or Bathas, in 1527.                                                           
Open:  09:00 to 18:00 every day

The Holy Monastery of St. Stephen
It is the one with the easiest access, as we don't have to climb numerous stairs to reach it.  The small single-nave church of St. Stephen was built in the middle of 16th century and hagiographed in circa 1545. The “Katholikon”, dedicated to St. Charalambos, was built in the Athonite type in 1798. Open:  09:00 to 13:00 and 15:00 to 17:00 every day


The Monastery of the  Holy Trinity
Extremely difficult to reach.  The visitor has to cross the valley and continue high up through the rock before he arrives at the entrance gate. The church is in the cross-in-square type with the dome based in two columns.  It was built in 1475-76 and hagiographed in 1741.  The spacious barrel - vaulted “esonarthex” was erected in 1689 and hagiographed in 1692.  A small “skeuophylakeion” (sacristy) was added next to the church in 1684.                                                                                  
Open: 09:00 to 13:00 every day

About Thermopylae
Thermopylae, literally "hot gates", is the battlefield of the famous battle between the Persians of Xerxes and the Spartans of Leonidas in 480 B.C.
It was a very narrow coastal passage between the steep slope of the mountain and the sea line as it existed in antiquity.  Thermopylae derives its name -"hot gates"- from the several natural hot water springs in the area.  Today the pass is not near the sea but is several miles inland because of sedimentation in the Gulf of Maliakos.  The old track appears at the foot of the hills around the plain flanked by a modern road.   Recent core samples indicate that the pass was only 100 meters wide and the waters came up to the gates!
The ancient poet Simonides composed a well-known epigram which was engraved as an epitaph in honor of Leonidas and his Spartans on a commemorative stone placed on top of the burial mound of the Spartans. The original stone has not been preserved. Instead the epitaph was engraved on a new stone erected in 1955.

Simonides epigram

The epigram, as quoted by Herodotus, reads:
ο ξειν', αγγέλλειν Λακεδαιμονίοις οτι τειδε
κείμεθα, τοις κείνων ρήμασι πειθόμενοι.

Ō ksein', angellein Lakedaimoniois hoti tēide
keimetha tois keinōn rhēmasi peithomenoi. 
Translation
Stranger, tell the Spartans that we behaved
as they would wish us to, and are buried here.

 
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