Day 1: Poros.
Cycle to the Temple of Poseidon on the island of Poros, a one time sanctuary for anyone on the lam - including the great orator Demosthenes when chased by King Philip of Macedonia circa 322 BC. We stay in a hotel on the sea with water sports galore.
Day 2: Epidavros.
The best part of today's cycling route is a stretch of road that looks down on the sea with tremendous vistas and next to zero traffic. The waters of Epidavros town are pure and clean and inviting for swimming. In the evening a half hour walk along the bay takes us to the town where everyone eats along the sea front.
Day 3: Nafplio.
A one hour gradual climb brings us to Ancient Epidavros, the 3rd century BC outdoor theatre seating 12,000 spectators with impeccable acoustics. Epidvaros was more famous in ancient times as the largest Asclepion healing center in Greece. Mind, body and spirit were combined approaches to curing the ill, including dream therapy.
Day 4: Nafplio.
Elegant Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece, will bowl you over with its neoclassical mansions and charm. We climb the 999 steps to the 17th century Venetian fortress, Palamidi, which was prison, and take a short boat ride to Bourtzi island where the executioners lived.
Day 5: Nemea.
A casual, primarily flat bike ride through orange groves leads us to Ancient Mycenae, home of King Agamemnon, the ruler who launched the Trojan War, He is buried in a beehive tomb whose architecture never fails to startle visitors with its geometric precision. The bike ride continues northward, past Ancient Nemea, where we overnight in a winery that is a B&B.
Day 6: Loutraki.
In the morning we tour Ancient Nemea, an incredible site that includes a stadium because the Nemea Games were held here every four years, just like the ancient Olympic Games. Primary excavations are done in Nemea by UC-Berkeley archaeologists. We also tour Ancient Corinth where St. Paul lived and the Akrokorinthos Fortress with its spectacular 360 degree views of two gulfs.
Day 7: Athens Airport Sofitel or central Athens.
We cycle to the Temple to Hera whose ruins are right on the sea, making swimming very tempting. Lunch at a lake that is really sea water. More cycling to ancient Isthmia, one of the four great Panhellenic sanctuaries, and currently under excavation by Ohio State University. After evening dinner at a seaside taverna you are transferred to either the Athens Airport Sofitel hotel for early morning flights the next day, or central Athens if you opt for the 3 Day Athens add-on.
Day 8: Departures.
Optional extension: Three Day Athens Add-On.
Day 8: Athens.
A three hour walking tour starting with the changing of the guard at Parliament and culminating in the incomparable Parthenon at the Acropolis. A professional archaeology guide injects the walk with lively and fascinating insights. (Actual walking is 45 minutes). In the evening you will experience a cultural presentation of traditional Greek music and dance.
Day 9: Athens.
In the afternoon we take you on a two hour walking tour of central Athens on a route that no other tour operator offers. The itinerary includes noteworthy houses and architecture in the Plaka, Socrates Cave, the Pynx where democracy was born, Thissio cafes, the unique water clock and lots of interesting facts and anecdotes (actual walking for 2 hours).
Day 10: Athens.
An excursion to the magnificent Temple of Poseidon in Sounion at the southern tip of Attika Peninsula. Lord Byron carved his name in the marble but the graffiti cannot mar the temple's geometric precision nor its stupendous views. Bring your swimsuit for a dip in the sea before returning to the city.
Day 11: Departure.
Private transfer from your hotel to Athens Airport.
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