POST - SACRED TREASURES OF GREECE
PLEASE NOTE: This is an extensive program that covers a lot of ground by luxury coach. Although there is a lot of driving, guests will be rewarded with the unique opportunity to visit some of Greece's most precious, sacred sites.
Immerse yourself in the glorious ancient history of Greece by browsing through archaeological museums, hallowed ruins and centuries-old monasteries perched high in the mountains.
Upon disembarkation from your cruise ship, board your coach for the scenic drive through central Greece to the evocative ruins at Delphi. The ancient Greeks considered Delphi to be the world's holiest site and personally blessed by Apollo. In fact, they believed Delphi was the physical and spiritual center of the earth, and they marked the site by the sacred Omphalos or "navel stone."
Among the ruins is Temple of Apollo, where the famed Oracle of Delphi prophesized as the possessed medium for Apollo. Questions were submitted to the Oracle on tablets, some which amazingly still survive. Unfortunately, not one of the tablets with the Oracle's answers has ever been found. You'll walk to the temple along the Sacred Way, the same path followed by ancient pilgrims seeking advice.
In time, you will visit the Delphi Archaeological Museum, which chronicles the history of Delphi from the 15th century B.C. to the 4th century A.D. Besides the bronze Charioteer, one of the most celebrated statues of antiquity, the museum contains votive offerings, sacred objects, gold headdresses, stone reliefs and a statue of the Naxian Sphinx that once stood atop a column near the Temple of Apollo.
Then, after a traditional country lunch in nearby Arachova, you will drive to the town of Kalambaka and check into your hotel. Following dinner at the hotel, the evening will be at your leisure.
After breakfast, you will board the coach for a tour of the Meteora Monasteries, which are spectacularly perched atop rocky pinnacles in Thessaly. Appropriately, "Meteora" is Greek for "suspended in the air," a phrase that certainly describes these six Greek Orthodox monasteries. Monks first inhabited these peaks as far back as the 11th century; the present monasteries weren't built until the 14th and 15th centuries.
After visiting the monasteries, you will drive to Athens, stopping for lunch along the way. Upon arriving in Athens, you will proceed directly to the hotel for check-in and a quick rest before visiting the Acropolis Museum.
Opened in 2009 at the foot of the Acropolis, the ultra-modern museum features a striking design that is open and full of light. Almost every object removed from the Acropolis since 1834 is on exhibit, including a collection of ancient statues that were used in religious ceremonies. You might also see the friezes in the Parthenon Room, Hellenistic offerings, and the ongoing excavation beneath the museum through the transparent sections of the floor.
Afterwards, you'll depart for a traditional Greek dinner in Athens' enchanting Plaka residential area, which is known as "The Neighborhood of the Gods" for its proximity to the Acropolis. Graced by neoclassical mansions, Byzantine churches and lovely winding streets, Plaka is a favorite neighborhood for strolling. Following dinner, you will return to your hotel.
You will be transferred from the hotel to the airport for your flight home.
Land Program Step by Step:
Please note: The order of sites visited may vary to avoid congestion. The indicated times are approximate and provided here only for general reference.
7.00am Vessel arrives in Piraeus port
7:30am to 8:00am Disembarkation at Piraeus port
8:00am to 11:00am Depart pier for Delphi
11:00am to 1:30pm Guided visit of Delphi and museum. Restrooms on site.
1:30pm to 1:45pm Depart for lunch in Arachova. Restrooms at the lunch venue.
1:45pm to 3:15pm Lunch
3:15pm to 7:15pm Depart for Kalambaka
Dinner and overnight
8:30am to 11:00am Depart hotel for Meteora. Visit the monasteries.
11:00am to 4:00pm Depart for Athens. Comfort stop and quick lunch included.
4:00pm to 5:30pm Check-in at the hotel and relax.
5:30pm to 8:30pm Depart for Acropolis Museum. Guided visit and dinner in Plaka.
8:30pm to 08:45pm Return to the hotel.
Official check-out time from the hotel is 12 noon. The hotel has luggage storage available for guests that wish to leave their luggage for a late transfer. Transfers to the Athens International airport will be arranged based on your flight time.
Important Note: The Acropolis Museum is closed on Mondays. Therefore, guests will visit the Acropolis instead.
The monasteries scheduled to visit are:
The Monastery of the Great Meteron "Megalo Meteoro" (closed on Tuesdays)
The Nunnery of St. Stefanos "Agiou Stefanou" (closed on Mondays)
If one of the above monasteries is closed, we will substitute the Moni Varlaam (closed on Thursdays).
Expected Weather: Sunny
What to Bring: Sunglasses, hat, comfortable walking shoes. Dress code is applicable at the Meteora monasteries (Knees and shoulders must be covered for the females. No shorts. Ladies are required to wear long skirts, some of which are available on site.)
Luggage: Guests can leave luggage in Athens, if they wish or take it on the coach.
Documents and Visa Requirements: Passport
Accommodations: Divani Caravel Hotel in Athens and Amalia Hotel in Kalambaka or similar. We will only substitute hotels in unforeseen situations. If similar hotels are substituted, they will be of equal ratings and standards.
Program Includes for guests:
Transfer from the hotel in Athens or v.v. to the airport.
Deluxe chartered coach
Professional and fully qualified English-speaking guide,
Accommodation in Athens at the Divani Caravel Hotel or similar (standard double room)
Accommodation in Kalambaka at the Amalia Hotel or similar (standard double room)
Lunch in Delphi and at Lamia
Entrance fees to all sites visited (Acropolis Museum, Archaeological Site and Museum of Delphi, Meteora Monasteries)
All applicable taxes
Program excludes for guests: Any meals not listed above, gratuities for the guide and the driver, hotel incidentals.
Please note: Land programs that encompass multiple days ashore customarily include extensive and prolonged activity, while those of shorter durations typically have more moderate activity levels. However, each program varies and participants should be prepared to negotiate a mixture of surfaces which may include: inclines, cobblestones, sand, and gravel or natural paths. There may also be a need to climb steps or stairs on occasion. Guests who utilize a wheelchair and those with mobility concerns are advised to check with the cruise line in advance to see if any portion of the tour program may not be considered suitable for their individual situation. Weather appropriate clothing; hats; sunglasses; and flat, comfortable walking shoes are generally recommended.