In the southeastern Peloponnese Peninsula is found the Argo Saronic region where everything encourages you to pedal at a gradual pace, or siga-siga (slow, slow) as the Greeks say. We bicycle, swim, smell the lemons, shop for quality souvenirs and take enlightening archaeology tours of legendary antiquities.
The tour introduces you to three islands, two World Heritage Sites, the incredibly lovely city of Nafplio which you will rate your favorite. The region is known for its Nemean wines where wine-making from ancient days continues to inspire and delight visitors.
During the tour you will also get in the kitchen to learn how to make a traditional Greek meal, and then you will get to eat it. There will also be a Greek spirits night of liqueur flavors you’ve probably never tried before and whose tastes are unique to Greece. Learn a few handy phrases during a one hour Greek language lesson, and then you can greet the locals.
Start/End Points: On the morning of Day 1 you take a high speed boat to Hydra island where you rendezvous with those who are doing the pre-tour Athens Add-on. Tour ends either at the Athens Airport Sofitel hotel if you have an early flight the next day from Athens Airport or in central Athens if you are staying in Athens after the tour ends.
Day to Day Itinerary:
4 Night Pre-Tour Athens Add-On: Optional Pre-Tour Athens Add-on lasts 4 nights. On the fifth day the Saronic Jewels tour starts. We can accommodate your schedule if you are not able to participate in all four nights of the Athens Pre-Tour. Costs and Inclusions.
Pre Tour Day 1: Athens. Welcome to Athens, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. In the afternoon you will visit the incomparable Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum with a private professional guide.
Pre Tour Day 2: Athens. In the morning we show you a broad swath of old Athens on the three hour guided Athens Bike Ride. You visit sites that foreigners often overlook like the Pynx where democracy was born and Socrates Prison.
Pre Tour Day 3: Athens. We cycle along the Attiki coastline to Sounio where the magnificent Temple of Poseidon sits on a promontory overlooking the Aegean Sea. Try to find Lord Byron's graffiti carved in a marble column. We'll have lunch along the sea. Vehicle transfer back to the hotel.
Pre Tour Day 4: Hydra. Get ready for a traditional Greek cooking class on Aegina island and eat the fruits of your labor. After lunch we take a boat to elegant, car-free Hydra island.
Saronic Jewels Tour Begins:
Day 1: Spetses. Those arriving to begin the Saronic Jewels tour take a morning high speed boat to Hydra island where they will join the rest of the group who took the pre-tour Athens Add-on. We will hike up to Profit Ilias Monastery. Afternoon we take a high speed boat to lovely Spetses. Children ride bicycles and honeymooners take horse drawn carriages in this romantic harbor town. Our welcome dinner is along the sea front.
Day 2: Spetses. Spetses is so small that we can circumnavigate it by bike in a couple of hours. At a half-way point we stop to swim at an appealing beach which has the added attraction of an underwater sea cave easily accessible from the water or by steps into an opening on land. If figs are in season, it is a divine pleasure to eat them right off the trees.
Day 3: Poros. A water taxi takes us back to the Peloponnese mainland where we cycle along the pleasantly flat coastline stopping for a cappuccino at Ermioni. A ten minute ferry ride puts us back on another island, Poros, whose harbor town is surrounded by olive trees, lemon trees and pine trees. The highest point on Poros (for ambitious bikers) is up to the Temple of Poseidon.
Day 4: Epidavaros. 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 we eat at a taverna known for its traditional and organic food.
Day 5: 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. Elegant Nafplio, the first capital of Greece, will bowl you over with its mansions and charm.
Day 6: Nafplio. We cycle amongst serene orange groves we reach Ancient Mycenae, home of the ruler who launched the Trojan War, King Agamemnon. He is buried in a beehive tomb that never fails to startle visitors with its architecture of geometric precision. We return early enough to explore Nafplio -- shop in local stores selling handmade jewelry, worry beads and arts, climb the 999 steps to the Venetian fortress Palamidi, take a quick boat to Bourtzi island or stroll the length of the harbor.
Day 7: Athens Airport Sofitel or central Athens. We cycle in the Corinth area where you find Ancient Corinth, the Corinth Canal and Akrokorinthos. After a late afternoon dinner at a seaside taverna you are transferred to Athens Airport Sofitel hotel for early morning flights the next day. For those staying after the tour, there's a transfer to central Athens.
Day 8: Departures.
Airfare is not included in the tour price.
Single supplement 350 euros for Saronic Jewels Tour + 200 euros for Athens Add-On.
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