Private Tour of Greece
Greece : Archaeology Tour
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Dubbed ‘The Switzerland of Greece’, the small city of Tripoli is blessed with an exquisite natural backdrop of mountain scenery adorned with charming little hillside villages. Built on the site of a significant ancient crossroads, the city’s central and accessible location make it an excellent base for hiking trips and excursions into the natural surrounds. The city itself boasts several natural and historical treasures, including well-preserved neoclassic buildings, traditional houses, and wonderful natural springs. Make sure to see the Areos central square with the Judicial Mansion and a statue of Theodoros Kolokotronis; and the Panagia tis Epano Chrepas monastery, complete with incredible libraries and beautiful hagiographies. Those seeking a lively night out on the town can head to Ethiki Antistasi Street and the charming cobbled Deligianni Street to explore their vibrant bars, quaint coffee houses and fine local restaurants.
Set on the southeastern side of the Peloponnese Peninsula, the Greek town of Sparta (Sparti) is a small city with a big cultural heritage. The site of Ancient Sparta is located close to the modern city centre, which was designed in 1834 to be a paragon for all Greek towns. The city’s wide boulevards brim with lovely trees, stately squares and gorgeous neoclassical buildings set before a backdrop of picturesque, verdant hills. Pack your itinerary with trips to the Archaeological Museum, the impressive ‘Koumantarios’ Art Gallery; and some charming nearby villages clinging to the slopes of Mount Taygetos. Sparta is frequently overlooked by tourists as it’s a bit out of the way, but those who make the effort are richly rewarded with all the fascinating historical interest of Greece without the hordes of tourists.
Located in the breathtaking landscapes of the Peloponnese in Laconia, the castle town of Mystras or Mistras is a rich haven of fascinating heritage, astounding views, and mesmerising hiking trails. This former Byzantine capital is filled with astonishing medieval ruins and boasts an exceptional hilltop palace ‘of the Despots’, beautiful Byzantine churches with intricate frescoes, and plenty of fascinating historic buildings. This town holds real historic importance as the place where the last Byzantine emperor was crowned, and, along with the sites, the Archaeological Museum provides exciting information about what happened here. The terrain, decorated with fertile orange trees and olive groves, is crisscrossed with a diversity of hiking routes, often leading to charming old chapels or other interesting sites.
The small, charming port town of Nafplio is situated on the Argolic Gulf in the northeast of the Peloponnese Peninsula, just one and a half hours by car from Greece’s capital, Athens. The town is known for its remarkably scenic location, overlooking a picturesque harbour and presided over by two medieval castles, including the spectacular Palamidi fortress. At the centre of Nafplio’s historical Old Town lies the large, marble-paved Syntagma Square, lined with quaint cafes and featuring the Arsenal, a stately building occupied by a fascinating museum. At the other end of the square, a historic mosque now occasionally functions as a cinema. Nafplio serves as a popular weekend getaway for Athenians eager to escape the big tourist crowds of the city and enjoy Nafplio’s excellent restaurants, boutique shops, impressive architecture, quayside cafes, fine beaches and old-world atmosphere.
One of the most significant archaeological and tourist destinations in Greece, Olympia is best known as the birthplace of the most important sporting event of all time: the Olympic Games. Set on the breathtaking Peloponnese Peninsula, with the same name as its ancient site, this sacred area, known as the ‘Valley of the Gods’ contained many treasures of Greek art, such as temples, monuments, altars, theatres and statues - much of which is still evident today in the famous well-preserved ruins. The ancient site sits alongside a charming little traditional Greek village, which provides all the tourist facilities visitors might desire. The site was originally not actually a town but a sanctuary, with buildings associated with the annual games and the worship of the gods. Make sure to visit the impressive museums, too.
Resting on the west side of the gorgeous Crisean Gulf, the charming little Greek seaside town of Galaxidi boasts a rich heritage that dates back thousands of years. While the town originally served as a significant naval base, today it acts as a thriving and idyllic coastal resort. Narrow cobbled streets are lined with a variety of historical buildings complete with colourful facades, marble arches, and ornately-decorated stone balconies. Heritage attractions include the tomb of King Locros; the remnants of the walls of ancient Oianthi; the town’s five traditional squares; and the church of Agios Nikolaos (which featuring two bell towers, an impressive dome and spectacular views of the town below). With its lovely waterfront restaurants providing superb traditional cuisine and its laid-back charm, Galaxidi makes an ideal tourist destination, particularly for those looking for a stopover point between Patras and Delphi.
Dominating the Attica region of Greece, the country’s capital, Athens, is one of the oldest cities in the world. For over two and a half centuries, the astonishing Greek temples and monuments of Athens have continued to intrigue and amaze visitors from around the world. This icon of western civilization seamlessly combines ancient history with modern architecture and a surprisingly lively atmosphere. This is particularly apparent in areas at the foot of the Acropolis, Anafiotika, Plaka, Monastiraki and Thissio where visitors will find numerous extraordinary Neoclassical buildings, trendy and traditional cafes and shops, and narrow winding streets with historical treasures at every turn. Once you have had a culture fix, try some mouth-watering Greek cuisine at one of the city’s fine local restaurants before indulging in the insatiable nightlife at the chic cocktail bars and waterfront dance clubs.
Characterised by bright green hills, dramatic gorges and breathtaking mountains, the Greek region of Arcadia, in the east-central part of the Peloponnese, is a beautifully photogenic one. Nature lovers can explore a world of trails and skiing routes, climb down the pulse-quickening Lousios Gorge, or explore Mount Mainalo. A world of history is also on offer, with sites like the Mantineia and Orchomenus ancient cities and an abundance of traditional villages - some dating back to medieval times - scattered throughout the area. Soak in the wonder of the sacred sites of monasteries and hermitages dug into the rock sides at Lousios. Sunbathe at the gorgeous beaches at Leonidion, and picnic and shop at Tripoli. Gourmands with a taste for meat dishes should definitely visit some of the restaurants in Kosmas.
As the southern peninsula of Greece's mainland, Peloponnese is a popular summer destination boasting beautiful mountains, and beautiful sandy beaches in the west and rocky ones in the east. However, there is also an abundance of cultural heritage to discover here. As the scene of many famous moments in Greek Mythology, the area draws many history enthusiasts to its shores. It was here that Hercules fought the Nemean lion and gods walked the earth, and that Paris of Troy eloped with Helen. Visitors can explore Olympia, where Olympic games were played, and the Mistra, a medieval Byzantine fortress town and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Don’t miss the opportunity to try out one of the many adventure sports on offer, or taste the delicious locally produced olives and sweet juicy oranges, among a variety of other delicacies.