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Ancient Greece & Its Spellbinding Islands
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Ancient Greece & Its Spellbinding Islands

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Key Information:
Tour Duration: 12 day(s)
Group Size: 10 - 22 people
Destination(s): Greece  
Specialty Categories: Ancient Culture   Pilgrimage/Spirituality  
Season: June
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 2450 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 2920 Pound Sterling (GBP)

Greece is beauty and Greece in June is beautifully idyllic and idyllically beautiful! This idea would have appealed to the ancient Greeks whose whole society was based on the symmetry, beauty and harmony that they saw in the works of the Gods/Goddesses. They mirrored the heavens by building their temples according to sacred geometry and laying them out on the landscape to replicate the star constellations on Earth.

On the Greek mainland our journey starts in Athens with the Acropolis and the Agora and an introduction to the ancient Greek worldview. This will inform our experience when we visit Greece's most sacred site, the Oracle at Delphi where we can pose our deepest personal questions. On the hillside the Temples to Apollo & Athena are where powerful Earth energy currents converge. We move on to legendary Sparta and the Citadel of Mycenae, home of Homer. Then it’s onward for a healing experience at the Dream Temples of Epidaurus and to visit the oldest amphitheatre in the world. In Corinth we have a ceremony at the Temple of Aphrodite dedicated to the goddess of love and beauty.

No visit to Greece is complete without visiting one or two of the Greek Islands – we will visit three! The stunning blue sea perfectly complements the clusters of white painted houses on the shores of Mykonos, an idyllic base for three nights as we enjoy Greek hospitality and cuisine. From here we take a day trip by ferry boat to the island of Delos to celebrate the summer solstice at the Temple to Apollo, the second most sacred site in Greece after Delphi.

We move on to the volcanic island of Santorini, or Thera, for two nights for our final visits to sacred sites. We ascend the hill at Mesa Vouna to several temples including the Temple of Dionysos. At the beautiful coastal town of Oia we get panoramic views over the island and have time for reflection on our amazing journey together. We return to Athens for a final night and a celebration farewell dinner. We may well have a new and deep respect for the ancients whose society laid the foundations for our own and from whom we can still learn lessons to improve our world today.

Itinerary -

Day 1, Sat June 15
Arrive at the Athens airport where we will meet you and bring you to our hotel. You will have time to rest or explore on your own before our welcome and orientation meeting. Following our gathering we will have our welcome group dinner at an outdoor restaurant in the Plaka district. We will be suffused in the aura of Athens’ ancient civilization, while we dine on delicious Greek cuisine at the foot of the Acropolis.

Welcome dinner included (Overnight in Athens)

Day 2, Sun June 16
Today we will explore Athens myths, mysteries and ancient history. It is one of the oldest cities in the world going back almost 3,500 years, with many ancient sites still standing within the modern metropolis of present day Athens, brimming with energy and the hustle and bustle of a modern city.

Following in the footsteps of the procession of the Goddess, we will walk the Panathenaic Way to the Acropolis, dedicated to Athena, Goddess of wisdom, visit the remarkable ruins of the Parthenon and the world's oldest theatre, the Theatre of Dionysus, where Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides plays were performed, as well as the Temple of Zeus and the Erechtheion with its Porch of Maidens. After visiting these magnificent sites we will go to the Acropolis Museum, to learn about the Roman and early Byzantine history of Athens.

Following lunch we will go to Agora, the ancient market place where Greek Athenian philosophers, like Aristotle, Plato and Socrates would have gathered with the citizens of Athens. There we will also visit the Temple of Hephaestus, God of the Forge. The Temple is one of the best preserved ‘Doric temples’ in Greece, built in 449 BC by one of the architects of the Parthenon, Ictinus.

Free choice dinner not included(Overnight in Athens)

Day 3, Mon June 17
After breakfast at our hotel we will journey to Delphi, northwest of Athens. En route to Delphi we will stop for lunch and then visit the sacred Corycian Cave, hidden on the summit of Mount Parnassus, where pagan ritual would have occurred in this place where the Earth Mother speaks and the Gods dwelt.

Arriving in Delphi in the afternoon, we’ll check into our hotel and then have time to explore the town and its colorful shops before gathering for dinner as a group.

Dinner included (Overnight in Delphi)

Day 4, Tues June 18
After breakfast we’ll immerse ourselves in the mysteries of Delphi, the center of Ancient Greece, stopping at the Castalian Spring to clear ourselves before making pilgrimages to Athena’s Sanctuary and Apollo’s Temple where the Oracle of Delphi dwells. We will climb the hill above Delphi’s Theater for the panoramic view of these magnificent sacred sites, still alive today with the Apollo and Athena Earth energy currents that run through here on their way through Athens and Delos, on their way to Mount Carmel and Armageddon, circling the circumference of the Earth. On our pilgrimage we will follow in the footsteps of ancient pilgrims who came to Delphi for over 1200 years to consult the Oracle Sybil who was believed to obtain her wisdom directly from Gaia, being one of the original Greek goddesses. Here we will bring to the oracle our inner most important questions and quiet our minds to receive Gaia’s wisdom for us. We will then visit the museum to see the ancient statues and ruins, such as the Omphalos Stone, the Charioteer and the Winged Sphinx and learn of the legends associated with them.

After lunch we will travel on a beautiful and scenic route, stopping at Sparta, the home of Menelaos and Helen (who became Helen of Troy), hearing the stories of the Trojan War and discuss how the ancient Greeks were influenced by their Gods and Goddesses and the myths associated with them. How do the archetypes of the Greek Gods still play out in our lives today? We will then travel to the seaport town of Nafplion, once the capitol of Greece. It is a beautiful city with Venetian fortresses, narrow streets, and a lovely harbour with shops, seaside restaurants and cafes, an idyllic place for us to stay for two nights. Enjoy a free evening exploring and dining in this beautiful and charming town.

Free choice dinner not included (Overnight in Nafplion)

Day 5 Weds June 19
Today we will visit the ancient Citadel of Mycenae, the home of Homer with its cyclopean walls and history of Menelaus and Clytemnestra. Here, we will spend the morning exploring the ancient archaeological site. We then visit the nearby tholos or beehive huts. Surrounded by the glorious scenery, we will enjoy a picnic and discussion where we will examine the influence of Homer’s Illiad and Odyssey on our impression of Greek history. We then return to Nafplion for the evening. Tonight we will dine together in the cobbled town square and enjoy their lively culture.

Dinner included (Overnight in Nafplion)

Day 6 Thur June 20
Today we will journey to Epidaurus and Corinth en route back to Athens Airport, where we will then fly to Mykonos. In ancient Greek mythology, Epidaurus was the birthplace of Asclepius, the God of healing and the son of Apollo. In ancient times people flocked there to be healed and go to the Dream Temples of Epidaurus and the Amphitheater. We will visit these places and connect with the healing energies. The 2500 year old amphitheater is the best preserved theater in all of Greece. After visiting the Temples and Amphitheater we will go to the on-site museum, to learn more of the history and see the relics of this important place of healing.

After lunch we will stop in Corinth, the long stretch of land connecting the Peloponnesus, a large peninsula in the south of Greece, with the mainland. Archaeologists have dated Corinth back to 6500BC; it was an important place of trade and the home of King Sisyphus. According to Greek mythology Sisyphus upset Zeus so much that he was sentenced to pushing a heavy rock back up a hill without success for eternity. There we will visit the Temple of Aphrodite, the goddess of love and beauty and have a ceremony honoring the love and beauty within each of us.

Moving on to Athens airport we will take a short flight to magical Mykonos, one of the gorgeous Greek islands in the Mediterranean, staying there for three nights. Enjoy the short walk into town for dinner at one of the many atmospheric restaurants.

Free choice dinner not included (Overnight in Mykonos)

Day 7 Fri June 21
Today we will make a day trip to the island of Delos, the second most important spiritual site in Ancient Greece after Delphi. In Greek mythology, Artemis and Apollo, the twin sons of Zeus by Leto, were born there. The story goes that Hera, Zeus’s wife, was so enraged that Leto was pregnant she banished her from the earth and Poseidon in sympathy, placed her on Delos to give birth. Here we will walk the path of the Sacred Way and see the remains of the Agora of the Competialists and the Stoa of Philip. We will visit the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo, the most important part of Delos, which once contained three temples dedicated to Apollo; Great Temple of Apollo, Temple of the Athenians and the Porinos Naos. We will connect with the energies of the Apollo & Athena energy currents that run through Delos. We will also visit the Terrace of the Lions, reminiscent of the rows of guardian animals in Egypt. After our adventurous day we will ferry back to Mykonos.

Dinner included (Overnight on Mykonos)

Day 8 Sat June 22
Today is a free day to enjoy this dazzling island in all of its glory! Mykonos is known for its beautiful white buildings, picturesque windmills, glorious beaches, charming village shops and restaurants. It has 365 churches and chapels, one for each day of the year, the most famous of which is the Panagia Paraportiani (Our Lady of the Postern Gate). Whether you want a day of fun in the sun at one of the beaches or to shop and visit churches or a bit of both, the choice is yours!

Free choice dinner not included (Overnight on Mykanos)

Day 9 Sun June 23
Today we will transfer to Santorini. After checking into our hotel you’ll have time to rest and/or explore your surroundings and the beautiful views on this picturesque island before our group dinner and full moon celebration.

Dinner included (Overnight on Santorini)

Day 10 Mon June 24
Santorini is still known today by its ancient name of Thira (also spelled Thera). It was first occupied by the Dorians whose leader was Theras, in the 9th century BC.

On the southeast headland of Santorini, called the Mesa Vouna, we ascend the hill where we will walk between Two Agoras, which are the ruins of several Greek temples; including the Temple of Dionysos, the Sanctuary of Apollo Karneios. We’ll also see the Terrace of the Festivals and the Cemeteries of Ancient Thira.

Free choice dinner not included (Overnight on Santorini)

Day 11 Tues June 25
This morning we’ll visit Oia, a beautiful town on the north western part of the island, to have your final shopping experience, explore the town and/or relax in a cafe soaking in the vistas.

Travel back to Athens

Tonight we will have our farewell dinner in Athens (Overnight in Athens)

Day 12 Weds June 26
We will transport you to Athens International Airport for your flight home.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Includes -
Airport collection/return
All land and ferry transportation
Quality hotel accommodations
All breakfasts & six dinners
Tour guides
Admission fees
Taxes & Gratuities

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