Day 1 in Athens
Welcome to Athens! Upon arrival, you will go through customs and immigration. Should you opt to purchase a transfer to your hotel; a representative will be waiting for you as you exit immigration. Arrive at your hotel, check in and do not give in to jet lag! There is so much for you to see and do.
This afternoon, set off for a stroll through elegant Syntagma Square past the House of Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. You may even see the Changing of the Guard (Evzones) that happens every hour on the hour. While here, take a few minutes to explore Syntagma`s beautiful marble Metro station, with its display of artifacts from the on-site excavations. Then enjoy a bite to eat as you take in the city and your surroundings.
As evening approaches, head into the Plaka, the old neighborhood on the slopes of the Acropolis with its many restaurants, cafes and shops. As you continue up the slope you`ll find yourself in Anafiotika. Built in the 19th century by immigrants from the Cycladic island of Anafi, this district retains much of its old village charm and character. Remember to look up as you go for views of the Acropolis, floodlit at night.
Finish the night along the Archaeological Promenade, where Athenians go for their evening volta (stroll), stopping for dinner (if you didn`t already dine in the Plaka) or for a glass of wine at the Chocolat Café, before heading back to your hotel for a good night`s rest.
Day 2 in Athens
Wake up early this morning and head straight for Athens`s ancient Acropolis and its crown jewel, the Parthenon. While here, be sure to visit the New Acropolis Museum as well as the Temple of Nike and the Erechtheion and its famous `Porch of the Maidens`, which features six draped female figures (caryatids) as supporting columns. Following your morning tour of the Acropolis, descend through the Plaka for a relaxing lunch in one of its many tavernas, before continuing on to Hadrian`s Gate and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
If the afternoon is too warm, escape into the shade of the National Gardens and more formal Zappeion Gardens, an oasis of calm and cool in the heart of Athens. Here you can relax and linger by the Zappeion`s beautiful fountain before making a stop at the Greek Folk Art Museum.
Later, make your way to Kolonaki. Time permitting; you may want to visit the Benaki Museum, the Greek Ancient Art Museum or the Byzantine Museum before taking the funicular up to Mt. Lycabettus for sunset and panoramic views of the Acropolis at night. This evening, enjoy ouzo at Prasini Tenta on the slopes of Mt. Lycabettus or perhaps a show at Odeon of Herod Atticus.
Day 3 in Athens
Begin your day in Kerameikos, Athens`s ancient cemetery before heading to the Roman Forum to see the Tower of the Winds and Hadrian`s Library and the ancient Agora with its Temple of Hephaistos. Afterwards, you may want to climb Filopappoa Hill, location of Socrates prison and then break for souvlaki in Thissio.
Spend a couple of hours in the afternoon taking in the stunning collection of antiquities in the National Archaeological Museum before doing a little bargaining with the merchants in the old Turkish bazaar (flea market) around Monastiraki Square. While shopping along Ermou Street, be sure to visit the tiny Byzantine chapel of Kapnikarea, one of the oldest churches in Athens followed by a delicious seafood dinner and drinks in the trendy district of Psirri.
Additional Days in Athens
Should you be able to spend additional days in Athens, you may want to explore some areas outside the city. A great way to complement your Athens tour is by exploring historic monuments further afield with a day trip to Delphi. This World Heritage-listed archaeological site is where you`ll find the Temple of Apollo and the Delphi Archeological Museum. On your way back, you can explore the picturesque towns of Arachova and Levadia.
Another popular day trip is the Ancient Greek Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, one of the major monuments of the Golden Age of Athens. Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon is one of Athens` most famous monuments that dominates the southernmost tip of Attica. The Sounio can be reached by an easy, scenic drive south from Athens along the western coastal road, past the wonderful beaches of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni and Varkiza. Perched on the craggy rocks of Cape Sounio, the temple is enveloped in myth and historic facts dated from antiquity until the present times. Stop at the Corinth Canal, which connects the Aegean Sea with the Lonian Sea before driving on to the ancient town of Corinth where St. Paul lived and preached for two years.
Your Last Day in Athens
Depart your hotel for the airport for your return home. We recommend that you purchase a private transfer, if so a representative will meet you at the hotel, in time to take you to the airport for your flight out.