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ARGOLIS-BASSAE-OLYMPIA (Three Days Tour) Print E-mail

A classic and one of the most popular excursions!  Visit some of the most beautiful parts of Greece and the most important archaeological sites in Argolis, Bassae, and Olympia.

ITINERARY    
Day 1
Leaving Athens behind we drive on the coastal road towards the West. Our first stop (after approximately one hour) is the Corinth Canal. There we’ll make a short stop, enough to see the Canal, (approximately 6 km long connecting the Aegean with the Ionian Sea), take photos and visit the local cafeteria. Twenty minutes later we’ll arrive at the small town of Ancient Corinth where we’ll visit the archaeological site with the unique monolithic Temple of Apollo (one of the oldest in Greece, 585 B.C.), the Bema from where St. Paul preached and the museum.

Corinth CanalAgora (Ancient corinth)Temple of Apollo (Ancient Corinth)

Driving afterwards through the hills of Corinth, among thousands of olive trees and vineyards, we’ll arrive at the prefecture of Argolis where we’ll visit the archaeological site of Mycenae.

Mycenae, 'Rich in Gold', was the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon who dominated the Aegean Sea after the distraction of the Minoan Empire.   The city looks out across the plain of Argos to the sea.  Its elevated position and its huge Cyclopean Walls offered protection from surprise attacks by pirates and enemies.  At the peak of its power (1300 B.C.) the population resided around the fortress where the Royal Family had its Palace.  The Palace, symbol of power of the Mycenaean rulers, was reached by a large ramp beginning at the Lions Gate.
Outside the fortress lie the impressive beehive tombs including that ascribed to Agamemnon known also as the Treasury of Atreas.

Ancient Mycenaean bridgeLions-Gate MycenaeMycenae

After concluding our visit to Mycenae we’ll drive through the plain of Argos among endless farms of orange trees and forty minutes later we’ll arrive at the picturesque town of Nafplion (First capital of modern Greece from 1829 to 1834).

Nafplion is the most ancient city in Greece.  According to the myth it was founded by Theseas who first conceived the idea of organized cities where people could live together.  The city lies under the imposing rocks of Palamide the most formidable Venetian Castle in the Eastern Mediterranean.  The smaller Castle of Acronafplia (where the ancient city was founded) crowns Nafplion and at the entrance of the harbor, in the Argolic Gulf, there is yet another, third Castle Bourtzi, situated on a small islet.

Bourtzi  (Nafplio)NafplioPalamidi  (Nafplio)

Whether you decide to have lunch in the old medieval quarter, with the narrow, stoned paved streets, or by the port, with the view of Bourtzi, Nafplion is the best choice for lunch in this trip.

After lunch in Nafplion we can continue with the tour of Argolis, visiting Epidaurus. (extended Argolis tour). Epidaurus is famous for its ancient Theatre and the sanctuary of Asclepios.
The sanctuary of Asclepios was a healing centre as well as a cultural centre in ancient times.  Epidaurus was built around the 4th Century B.C. and has a multitude of buildings most famous of which is the ancient Theatre of Epidaurus.
The Theatre of Epidaurus has reached our days almost intact. The view, aesthetics and acoustics of the theatre are breathtaking.  It’s still in use today and hosts carefully selected theatrical plays, concerts, and festivals during the summer.  For an actor to perform in the Theatre of Epidaurus is considered the greatest honour and the ultimate acknowledgement of his or her talent, if he wins over the tough audience.

Theatre of EpidaurusTheatre of EpidaurusTheatre of Epidaurus

After concluding our visit to Epidaurus we’ll return to Nafplion  to stay overnight.  The afternoon will be free to explore the old medieval quarter with the traditional restaurants hidden in the narrow, stone paved streets and the port with all the modern cafeterias with view to the Bourtzi Castle.

Day 2
Next morning, after breakfast, we are going to visit Palamide fortress.  Here you will have a choice of either climbing the authentic stairway of 999 steps to the entrance of the castle or driving directly to the top!
After visiting Palamide we are going to drive over the mountains of Arcadia, to Bassae, so as to visit the Temple of Epikourios Apollo.  We can have lunch in any of the towns that we will drive through during our trip. (Megalopoli, Karytaina, Andritsena).

AndritsenaArcadiaKarytaina

The Temple of Epikourios Apollo, one of the most important and imposing ancient Temples, stands in the bare and rocky landscape of Bassae 1.100 m. above the sea level.  Attributed to Iktinos, one of  master architects of the Parthenon in Athens, the temple dates back to 420-400 BC.

Excavations have revealed that this surviving temple was the third to have been erected on the site.  The remains of the two previous temples date back 600 and 500 BC.  It is very interesting that some of the architectural element of these two previous temples can still be seen today.

Temple of Epikourios Apollo (Bassae)Temple of Epikourios Apollo (Bassae)Temple of Epikourios Apollo (Bassae)

After concluding our visit in Bassae we will continue to Olympia where we’ll have dinner and stay overnight.

Day 3
After breakfast we are going to visit the archaeological site with the Temple of Zeus where the gold and ivory statue of the god was situated.   One of the seven wonders of the ancient world the gold and ivory statue of Zeus was the work of the famous sculptor Fedias.  We will also see the Temple of Hera, where the lighting of the Olympic Flame takes place every four years, the original ancient Olympic Stadium and many more monuments.  After the archaeological site we will visit the Museum.

Entrance of the Olympic StadiumAncient Stadium (Olympia)Temple of Zeus (Olympia)

The Archaeological Museum of Olympia is one of the most important museums in Greece. The museum's permanent exhibition features finds from the sacred precinct of the Altis and the rest archaeological site dating from the prehistoric era.  Among the many precious exhibits you we will see the famous marble statues of Hermes of Praxiteles and the Nike (Victory) of Paionios.

Statues from the Temple of Zeus (Olympia)Nike of Paionios (Olympia)Helmet of Miltiades (Olympia)

After the conclusion of our tour in Olympia we can have lunch in the town and start our return trip back to Athens.

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

Admission Tickets
Ancient Corinth: 8 euros including the Museum
Mycenae:  12 euros including the Tomb of Agamemnon
Epidaurus:  12 euros including the Museum
Olympia:  12 Euros including the Museum
Bassae:   6 Euros

Summer                                                
From  April 1st to October 31st
08:00-19:30
 
Winter
From November 1st to March 31st 
08:30-15:00

 

Holidays

1 January:   closed

6 January:   08:30 - 15:00

Shrove Monday:  08:30 - 15:00

25 March:  closed

Greek Orhodox Good Friday:  12:00 - 15:00

Greek Orhodox Good Saturday:  08:30 - 15:00

Greek Orhodox Easter Sunday:  closed

Greek Orhodox Easter Monday:  08:30 - 15:00

May 1:  closed

Holy Spirit Day: 08:30 - 15:00

15 August:  08:30 - 15:00

28 October:   08:30 - 15:00

25 December:  closed

26 December:  closed

 
Free admission days
6 March  In memory of deceased Minister of Tourism & visionary Melina Mercouri
5 June   International Day for the Environment 
18 April   International Monuments Day 
18 May   International Museums Day 
27 September   International Tourism Day

*  The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
*  Sundays in the period between 1 November and 31 March
*  National Holidays
*  The first Sunday of every month, except for July, August and  
    September (when the first Sunday is a holiday then the second is the  
    free admission day).

 

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.

 
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