Ancient Greece: A Circumnavigation of the Peloponnese

Detailed Itinerary


Monday & Tuesday, May 12–13, 2014 - Home | Athens, Greece
Depart the U.S. on an overnight flight to Athens, arriving Tuesday. Visit Mars Hill on the north side of the Acropolis for a lovely panoramic view of the city, then stroll the streets of the colorful Plaka, the oldest neighborhood in the city. Join fellow travelers for a welcome reception and dinner this evening. Hotel Electra Palace -Athens (R,D)
 
Wednesday, May 14 - Athens
This morning explore the ancient Acropolis, including the Parthenon and the new Acropolis Museum housing treasures excavated at the site. While evidence of an original settlement on the northern slopes of the Acropolis dates to 3000 BC, the remaining structures date to the 5th century BC, when ancient Athens reached its pinnacle during the Golden Age of Pericles. Continue to the Agora, the center of political and public life in ancient Athens, for a visit. After lunch visit the renowned National Archaeological Museum, where you can see the 3,600-year-old gold “Mask of Agamemnon” among the museum’s treasures. Hotel Electra Palace -Athens (B,L)
 
Thursday, May 15 - Athens (Brauron & Sounion)
This morning travel to Brauron for a visit to the mysterious Sanctuary of Artemis and Ifigeneia, where most of the buildings date from the 5th century BC. Continue to Sounion and the magnificent Temple of Poseidon, built of gray marble in 444 BC and perfectly located—on the cape overlooking the Aegean Sea— to honor the god of the sea. In the late afternoon visit the Benaki Museum, whose collections span Greek prehistory to modern times. Hotel Electra Palace -Athens (B,D)
 
Friday, May 16 - Athens (Corinth, Nemea & Epidaurus) | Nafplion
History comes to life in ancient Corinth, left intact by the Romans when they redeveloped the city (once home to 100,000 citizens and 460,000 slaves) as their provincial capital in 44 BC. Among Corinth’s treasures is the well-preserved Temple of Apollo, with its massive Doric columns. Continue to Nemea, site of the Sanctuary of Zeus, which was developed in the 6th century BC with the establishment of the Panhellenic Nemean Games. Also visit the World Heritage site of Epidaurus, known for its sanctuary honoring Asclepius, the god of medicine, and its 15,000-seat theater, an acoustic marvel built in the 4th century BC. This afternoon, board the exclusively chartered Harmony V in Nafplion. Harmony V (B,L,D)
 
Saturday, May 17 - Nafplion | Mycenae
From the picturesque port of Nafplion, travel to the hilltop site of ancient Mycenae, regarded as merely legend until its ruins were discovered in the 1870s. Immortalized as “rich in gold” in Homer’s epic poems, the Iliad and the Odyssey, Mycenae was a major center of Bronze Age civilization known for its imposing structures and gold treasures. This afternoon visit the site of ancient Tegea, with its impressive 4thcentury BC Temple of Athena Alea, and explore Nafplion’s Archaeological Museum before returning to the ship. Harmony V (B,L,D)
 
Sunday, May 18 - Monemvasia
The medieval fortress of Monemvasia—the “Gibraltar of Greece”— is a massive rock rising dramatically from the sea and connected to the mainland by a causeway. The only entrance to Monemvasia is through a fortified gate; hence, its name, which comes from moni, meaning “single,” and emvasia, meaning “entry.” Explore the narrow, cobbled streets of this charming town, which in the 13th century was the commercial center of Byzantine Morea. This afternoon, cruise to Gythion and enjoy an onboard lecture. Harmony V (B,L,D)
 
Monday, May 19 - Gythion (Mystras & Areopolis)
Drive from Gythion to the ruins of the medieval town of Mystras, a World Heritage site sitting high atop Mt. Taygetos. A school of philosophy attracted intellectuals from throughout the Byzantine Empire, and the breadth of creativity in art and architecture is evident throughout the town. Starting at the Kastro, the walled section, observe the elaborate frescoes and decorative facades as you descend the hill. Later, travel through the Mani region, whose inhabitants have for centuries remained fiercely independent, and to Areopolis for a walking tour of this historic town. Harmony V (B,L,D)
 
Tuesday, May 20 - Kyparissia (Mt. Lykaion & Bassae)
Today visit the sacred and mysterious Sanctuary of Zeus atop the southern peak of Mt. Lykaion. This virtually unexplored Panhellenic site, known as the birthplace of Zeus, remains an important part of the mythology of ancient Greece. Dr. Romano and Dr. Voyatzis lead a team of archaeologists and experts in a scientific excavation of this site. En route to rejoin the Harmony V in Kyparissia, visit Bassae and its Temple of Apollo Epicurius, which has the oldest Corinthian capital ever found. Harmony V (B,L,D)
 
Wednesday, May 21 - Katakolon (Olympia)
Depart this morning for Olympia, site of the ancient Olympic Games and a vast complex that once included temples, baths, and athletic venues. During the Games, held every four years, the Greek city-states were bound by a truce that forbade hostilities and focused attention on athletic competition. Harmony V (B,L,D)
 
Thursday, May 22 Itea (Delphi) | Corinth Canal
Disembark at Itea for an excursion to the spectacular ruins of Delphi. Located on the slopes of Mt. Parnassos, Delphi was the sanctuary of the influential Delphic oracle and was considered to be the center of the world by the ancient Greeks. Its stunning setting and awe-inspiring architecture evoke the same reverence today as they did thousands of years ago. Cruise through the dramatic Corinth Canal, whose steep limestone walls soar nearly 300 feet overhead, and enjoy a farewell reception and dinner on board. Harmony V (B,L,R,D)
 
Friday, May 23 - Athens | Home
This morning, transfer to the airport for flights home. (B)
 

If you have any additional questions, please email us at aia@studytours.org (and include your full name) or call us toll-free at (800) 748-6262 (toll: 603-756-2884).

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September 3, 2014 - September 15, 2014
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