4. 3-Day Delphi & Meteora Tour from Athens
Located at the foot of Mt. Parnassos, the pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi was once regarded as the center of the world. Experience this mystical place, set between the twin rocks of the Phaedriades, on a 3-day excursion from Athens. Traveling by bus, you will drive into the mountains and learn the legend of the most famous oracle of Ancient Greece. Continue to Meteora to explore the large complex of monasteries, built on natural sandstone rock pillars, and seemingly suspended in air. Day 1: Athens - Delphi Depart Athens in the morning and drive through the historic towns of Livadeia and Arachova, the latter famous for its bright, multicolored carpets. Upon arrival in Delphi, on the southwestern spur of Mount Parnassos, explore one of the most famous archaeological sites in Greece. Sacred to Apollo in Greek mythology, Delphi was once considered the naval of the world. According to legend, it is where the two eagles sent by Zeus from the end of the universe met. Soak up the mysterious atmosphere of the sanctuary, set within a spectacular landscape. For centuries, Delphi was the cultural and religious center, and symbol of unity for the Hellenic world. It was also the site of the Pythian Games, the second most important games after the Olympics. Explore the ruins of the theater, set above the Temple of Apollo, and admire the reconstructed Treasury and Doric columns of the Tholos, constructed between 380 and 360 B.C. You'll spend the night in Delphi after a complimentary dinner. Day 2: Delphi - Kalambaka Enjoy the morning and lunch at leisure before heading north to Kalambaka, passing through olive forests and the towns of central Greece, including Amfissa, Lamia, and Trikala. This scenic drive to one of the most beautiful towns in Greece takes you over the plains of Thessalian, considered the granary of the country. You'll spend the night in Kalambaka after an inclusive dinner. Day 3: Meteora – Athens Today, you will explore one of the most amazing sites in Greece on a tour of Meteora. Meaning “suspended in air,” this rock community of 24 monasteries is the largest and most important group in Greece after Mt. Athos. When they were built, there were no steps leading to the buildings. The main access was by a net that was hitched over a hook, and then hoisted by rope and hand-cranked windlass connected to winch towers overhanging the chasm. Each community of hermits developed their own resources, and by the end of the 14th century the Grand Meteoron emerged as the dominant community. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the breathtaking complex has been a backdrop for James Bond films and other movies. Following your guided tour, drive back to Athens, pausing at the hot sulphur springs of Thermopylae and the spa resort of Kamena Vourla to take photos.