5. From Athens: Delphi and Meteora 2-Day Guided Tour
Embark on a 2-day tour that takes you to the ancient city of Delphi and across the scenic Plain of Thessaly to Kalambaka. Explore the picturesque small town located at the foot of Meteora, the site of one of the most important groups of Greek Orthodox monasteries, and minimize your environmental footprint with this gas emissions-neutral tour. Detailed Itinerary Day 1 Start the day with a relaxing drive through the beautiful Greek countryside, passing by the cities of Thebes, Levadia, and Arachova, before arriving in Delphi at around noon. At Delphi, you’ll have the opportunity to visit this important site that appears in Greek mythology. In ancient times, Delphi was considered to be the center of the universe and was guarded by a python dragon that was killed by Apollo. See the ruins of the Temple of Apollo, which was built in the 4th century B.C. and was destroyed by Emperor Theodosius I in 390 A.D. It was also here that the priestess Pythia would foretell the future from the famous Oracle of Delphi. Visit the theater that seated 5,000 spectators and hosted plays, poetry readings, and festivals. At the nearby stadium, the Pythian Games were held every 4 years. Athletes from all over the Greek world would come to compete, and these games would become the predecessor to the modern Olympics. At the end of the day, drive to Kalambaka, a lovely city with beautiful gardens and magnificent views of the Meteora rocks. Overnight in Kalambaka. Day 2 In the morning, head to Meteora for a tour of the fascinating cliff-top monasteries. Be amazed by the cliffs, which average a height of 1,000 feet, and were first inhabited in the 9th century by a group of hermit monks who lived on the rock towers Today 6 monasteries remain out of the original 20. Views of the entire valley from the magnificent rock towers, and the peace of the surroundings, make this a unique place to visit. On the way back to Athens you’ll make a short stop at the monument to Leonidas, the King of Sparta who died in 480 B.C. at the famous Battle of Thermopylae.