11 days / 10 nights Fly & Drive tour in Athens , Peloponnese , Delphi and Meteora
Fly and Self Drive following an itinerary to Athens , Peloponnese , Delphi and Meteora
- Arrive in Athens, meet and greet by our English speaking driver and transfer to your hotel.
From the antiquity of the Parthenon, to the chic shopping of Kolonaki, Greece's capital is a treasure trove for tourists. Explore Athens and visit many of the its principal modern and classical sites. See the striking contrast of the modern city to the remains of the glorious past and discover the wonderful culture that made the city a center for the arts, learning and philosophy.
Depending on your arrival time, we can arrange a sightseeing tour with our driver on a panoramic ride ino rder to see the city's hghlights or visit the important sites in Athens on your own or we can we can arrange a professional English speaking guide to meet you at your hotel. Overnight in Athens.
Overnight in Athens.( 1st overnight ) Hotel Jason Inn
Day 2 :
- After your breakfast, the car will be delivered at your hotel to start your journey to Argolis. Drive to the newly constructed road of “Attiki Odos (Attica Road)” which leads you to the Corinth-canal, after just one hour drive. Make your first stop at the river bank – at Istmia – and study the old bridge, which sinks into the bottom of the canal, every time a ship is crossing…
The 6 km. long canal, which was consecrated in 1893, makes the journey between Patras and Athens 200 nautical miles shorter and the seafarers save a daytrip round Peloponnese, going through the canal. Continue through Argos, the most beautiful and fertile part of Peloponnese, through valleys full of fruit orchards and the known and acknowledged wine district Nemea. Last, but not least, some of the biggest cultural treasures are located in Argos: the Royal Tombs and the “Lions Gate” at Mycenae and the ancient theatre in Epidaurus with the cult of Asklepios with the holly snake, which symbolizes the art and practice of medicine.
It’s in the middle of this nature- and cultural richness that Nafplion is placed. The city was the former capital of Greece, and is one of the prettiest cities in Europe. Small, but with a tremendous charm, you find the old part of town leaning up against the Akronafplio-hill with the impressive Venetian castle Palamidi on the top.
Life here can be enjoyed in full. Either by walking in the small and narrow streets between the neo-classical houses with the finest architectonic details, or sitting at one of the many cafes or restaurants along the harbour, enjoying the sea and the landmark of the city: the Burtzi, the little island with the famous fortress. Right behind the city you can find a fine small beach. If you wish to visit a bigger beach area, you can find this in Tolo, just 12 km. from Nafplion.
Total Athens - Nafplion distance is 149,00 km
Overnight in Nafplion ( 2nd overnight )Hotel Victoria
Day 3 :
- After breakfast, depart for Sparta(Mystras). The journey continues south via Tripoli to the mountain village of Sparti. From here you can visit the unique Byzantine state of Mystras. Mystras occupies a steep foothill on the northern slopes of Mount Taygetos, 5 km. from Sparti. The castle on the top of the hill was founded in 1249 by the Frankish leader William II de Villeharduin. The whole area of Mystras is an open-air museum. A reminder of a glorious era of power and culture. Many of the small churches are still in function today.
Nafplion - Sparti distance is 125,00 km
Overnight in Sparti ( 3rd overnight ) Hotel Dioscouri
Day 4 :
- After breakfast depart for Kalamata . From Sparti you head to the beautiful fishing village of Gythion. We strongly recommend that you make a stop here and enjoy a plate of Kalamares in one of the countless “Ouzeri’es” along the harbour. The trip continues and after one hour via Areopolis, you reach the known ”Diros Caves”, which were discovered in 1895. Some people insist that they stretch all the way to Sparti. When you enter the caves you will walk down a stairway to an underground lake where there are boats waiting. You are given a life-vest and then each boat gets a guide who uses poles to journey through the caverns and tunnels, which are eerily lit and adorned with stalactites and stalagmites, many with interesting names.
After a visit here, you continue through the bare and rocky landscape of Mani. The population in this area has through the time been known for their desire of liberty. Until the War of Liberation was won, the Maniots were constantly in fights with one another, fighting for the limited, but fertile soil in this area. They were living in stone houses and the area has kept its original building tradition.
Along the way small picturesque villages shows up. In one of them, Thalernes, you can buy local products such as delicious marmalade, wine and olive oil.
Make a stop in Stoupa and Kardamili, two of the most charming villages, and enjoy life among the locals. You can find an excellent choice of fish-taverns and very nice beaches here.
Reaching Kalamata let’s not forget to mention the rich selection of handicraft and specialities, that one shouldn’t miss: the known Kalamata olives, wine, figs, ”pasteli” made of nuts and honey and raisins. Kalamata offers also a delicious sausage with orange, which is served and enjoyed with ouzo or raki… The area of Mani is a joy for the eye and the taste!
Sparti - Kalamata ( Via the coastal road ) 130,00 km
Overnight in Kalamata ( 4th overnight ) Hotel Rex
Day 5 :
- Continues to Methoni - Pylos – Olympia, Drive through Messinia and experience the time of the crusades by visiting the Venetian castles of Koroni and Methoni. Methoni is one of the riches areas of wine production in the southern part of Peloponnese. According to the Greek poet Homer, Methoni has been given its name from he donkeys that were - and still are - used at the wine harvest… From Methoni you drive north the theatrically build fishing village of Pylos. Make a stop at the small harbour and enjoy cool refreshments. Then continue a bit further north and you will reach Olympia. The place where the Olympic Games were born and the athletes meet for the first time in 776. You can Visit the museum and the ancient stadiumo n your own or we can arrange a professional English speaking guide to meet you at the entrance. The Olympic Flame is still lid there every fourth year and spread out to the world. This place has an aura, which you won’t find anywhere else.
Kalamata - Olympia : 110,00 km
Overnight in Olympia ( 5th overnight ) Hotel Europa
Day 6 :
- After the breakfast depart for Delphi. Drive via Patras to Rion, cross the channel to Antirion on the "state of the art" new suspended bridge considered to be the longest and most modern in Europe. Pass by the city of NAFPAKTOS and from there on, along the coastal road to Delphi, known in ancient times as the navel of the world located on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. In the afternoon visit the picturesque mountain village of Arachova then continue to Delphi.
On arrival in Delphi you can visit the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios with Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the Archaeological Museum containing such masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias, on your own or we can we can arrange a professional English speaking guide to meet you at the entrances.
Olympia - Delphi : 207,00km
Overnight in Delphi ( 6th overnight ) Hotel Olympic
Day 7 :
- After Breakfast you can start driving towards Meteora in order to visit and see the famous Monasteries . Overnight in Kalambaka
Meteora is the biggest and most important group of monasteries in Greece after those in Mount Athos. We can locate the first traces of their history from 11th c. when the first hermits settled there. The rock monasteries have been characterized by UNESCO as a unique phenomenon of cultural heritage and they form one of the most important stations of cultural map of Greece.
The most important monasteries of Meteora are:
- The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron. It is the biggest of the Meteorite monasteries. The church 'Katholikon', honoured to the 'Transfiguration' was erected in the middle of 14th c. and 1387/88 and decorated in 1483 and 1552. The old monastery is used as a museum, nowadays.
- The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second, after the Great Meteoro, big in size monastery. The church, honoured to the three Bishops, is in the Athonite type (cross-in-square with dome and choirs), with spacious esonarthex (lite) surrounted by dome as well. It was built in 1541/42 and decorated in 1548, while the esonarthex was decorated 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 decorated in 1637.
- The Holy Monastery of Rousanou. It is dedicated to 'The Transfiguration' but honoured to Saint Barbara. The 'Katholikon', in the Athonite type, was founded in the middle of 16th c. 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.
- The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas. It is 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.
- The Holy Monastery of St. Stephen. It is one of the most attainable as we don't have to cope with innumerable stairs to reach it. The small single-nave church of St. Stephen was built in the middle of 16th and decorated in 1545 or a little later. The 'Katholikon', honoured to St. Charalambos, was built in the Athonite type, in 1798. The old refectory of the convent is used as a museum nowadays.
- The Monastery of Holy Trinity is very difficult to reach. The visitor has to cross the valley and continue high up through the rock before we arrive outside the entrance. The church is in the cross-in-square type with the dome based in two columns, built in 1475-76 and decorated in 1741. The spacious barrel - vaulted esonarthex was founded in 1689 and decorated in 1692. A small skeuophylakeion was added next to the church in 1684.
Overnight in Kalambaka ( 7th overnight ) Hotel Famissi Eden
Delphi - Meteora : 228,00 km ( 3,5 hours drive )
Day 8 : Second overnight in Kalambaka area in order for you to have the opportunity to visit as much monasteries possible and enjoy the breathtaking scenery . Overnight in Kalambaka
Overnight in Kalambaka ( 8th overnight ) Hotel Famissi Eden
Day 9 :
- After Breakfast you can start driving south towards Athens in order to see the "Thermopylae Monument" in which the Leonidas King Of Sparta lies with his 300 brave warriors . Arriving in Athens after 4,5 hours journey depending on traffic , you will use the day relaxing gaining strength for the next morning .
Meteora - Athens : 353,00 km
Overnight in Athens.( 9th overnight ) Hotel Jason Inn
Day 10 :
- After Breakfast , you will have the opportunity to see and visit any other interesting sights you missed on your first overnight in the city , like the National Archaeological Museum ( other than the Acropolis Museum ) , the "Benaki" museum and others . Overnight in Athens
Overnight in Athens.( 10th overnight ) Hotel Jason Inn
Day 11 :
After Breakfast and depending on the time of your departure flight, enjoy your last minute shopping and start driving to Athens Airport ( 45 minutes driving ) in order to leave the car at airport parking and board your flight back home.