Explore Athens, the ancient capital of Greece and visit many of its principal modern and classical sites. See the striking contrast between the modern city and the remains of the glorious past and discover the wonderful culture that made it a center for arts, learning and philosophy. Trust us for a few hours in a tour of Athens. Archaeological sites, museums, shops at the historic center, hills with churches and wonderful views, taverns with traditional food, cafeterias next to the beach and many more that you will never forget!
OUTSIDE OF ATHENS
Our destinations are Greek cities, traditional villages and undoubtedly the picturesque, unique and beautiful islands which reveal their history through walks in their narrow white paved alleys.
A visit to these wonderful sites will enchant you and take you back in time.
Some of our most popular destinations outside of Athens are:
Mount Athos is the easternmost of the three peninsulas of Halkidiki. It is about 60 km and covers an area of approximately 360 sq.m. Today at Mount Athos there are twenty monasteries in total. These monasteries are well organized into communes led by the Abbot. At Mount Athos the entrance to women is forbidden.
Aegina and Agios Nektarios
Aegina is a small island in the Saronic Gulf only 1 ½ hours away from Athens. Its capital city is also called Aegina and it is built amphitheatrically around the sea. Aegina is a traditional fishing island famous for a nut named pistachio. The beautiful classic houses, the small hidden churches and the ancient monuments make your holidays on Aegina worthwhile. The island is protected by the miraculous Saint Nectarios whose huge church attracts not only Greek visitors.
Arachova, Korikion Andron, Parnassos ski resort
Arachova is a historic mountain village situated at the foot of Parnassos mountain at an altitude of 950m. in Viotia which is about 160 km. from Athens. Arachova is full of beautiful old houses built of stone and wood. Discover the traditional character of the village by taking leisurely walks through narrow cobblestone streets, springs and forests. Get involved in outdoor activities such as hiking or ski down the slopes of mountain Parnassos at the biggest and most well-built downhill ski resort in Greece (Kelaria Gerontovrachos, Fterolaka) which attracts thousands of visitors every year. Between Arachova and the ski resorts there is a magical green plateau. It is called Livadi and consists of many wooden houses (chalet) with green roofs which built according to the typical characteristic of Finnish style construction. A few meters above, we meet Korikion Andron which is a very unique cave and one of great beauty. It is considered to be a mythical place where preparations for Pythia’s prophesies were carried out!
The ancient city of Argos is located near the city of Mycenae. It was founded by Foroneas who gave the name of his son to the city. Argos is the second oldest city of Greece. In ancient times, the city had such great importance and therefore Homer called the Peloponnesians and the other Greeks, Argives. During the 7th century BC, Argos reached its highest power. Argives were capable warriors and simultaneously cultivated the arts and many masterpieces. Their art reached its peak during the reign of Cow and Polykleitos.
The sacred site of Ancient Olympia was at the valley of the river Alpheus, in the Peloponnese. Olympia was a sacred place such as Delphi. Every four years one nationwide truce was announced and people from all over Greece were coming to Olympia in order to attend and watch the Olympics. The prize was the “olive branch”, a wreath of wild olive which was considered a great honor. In this unifying event, only free Greeks and only men were allowed to take part. It is not a coincidence that Greece for the first time in history organized races. This was a unique event, a sign of the great civilization. In this way, the ancient Greeks worshiped their gods and expressed their gratitude.
Vergina is a small town in northern Greece, in the region of Imathia. In 1977, when the tomb of Philip II (the father of Alexander the Great) was discovered, Vergina became famous worldwide. Vergina is located at the foothills of Pieria Mountain just a few kilometers from Thessaloniki.
Delphi “the center of the world”
The Temple of Apollo at Delphi is located at the sacred mountain of Parnassos, surrounded by fir trees. For many centuries the temple of Delphi was considered the most important sanctuary for all Greek people of the ancient world. People were visited the Temple of Apollo to get answers and guidance for their future and destiny. The oracles were never disputed by anyone and everyone followed the words of Pythia. The Oracle of Delphi which is a religious and cultural center, imposed international law for the first time in human history thus prohibiting the execution of war prisoners. Because of the importance of the sanctuary there were thousands of offers and works of art dedicated to the Oracle thus indicating its huge impact to the ancient world.
Ancient and New Epidaurus
Epidaurus is a historic city in Argolida on its east side. It is believed that Asclepius was born at the foot of the surrounding mountains. Because of this factor and its strategic position, Epidaurus entered a period of prosperity and development. The most important sight in Epidaurus is the Ancient Theatre. Apart from the symmetry of this structure, the theater is unique because of its excellent state of conservation, which allows it to be still in working order. Adjacent to the Theatre is the magical port of New Epidaurus overlooking the deep blue sea.
Thessaloniki is the second largest city of Greece, which is located in the region of Macedonia in northern Greece and runs along the Thermaikos Gulf. Thessaloniki is the second industrial, cultural and commercial center of the country and a major transportation hub whereas its port creates a crossroads between Greece and the rest of southeastern Europe. Its great cultural and historical significance is apparent to the visitor from the very first moment he will visit it. Thessaloniki retains several Ottoman and Jewish buildings and a large number of Byzantine monuments because of its great history and its great cultural contribution over the years.
Thiva, Ancient Thespies and Livadia
Thiva was the birthplace of the legendary hero Hercules and as evidenced by many legends of the city, played a significant role in the history of Greece. Although Thiva was never considered to be a powerful city, took for a short time the hegemony of Greece with the help of Epaminondas and well-trained army. As a result Thiva won the undefeated Sparta. Among other major achievements was the creation of an alliance under its hegemony which united almost all the cities of Boeotia. Next to Thiva there is an ancient city called Ancient Thespies. In the battle of Thermopylae 700 Thespians fought next to the 300 Spartans of Leonidas against a million of Persians under Xerxis. Just 5 minutes from Thespies is the city of Livadia. There were many taverns with very fresh and tasty grilled meat.
Ioannina, Lake Pamvotis, Vrellis Museum
Ioannina is a city built on the edge of Lake Pamvotis and is the capital of the prefecture of Epirus located in Northern Greece. Ioannina is a picturesque town that combines history, tradition and culture. It became known by the tragic story of Ali Pasha and his wife Frosini. Ioannina attracts visitors from all over the world and designated as the “City of the arts and sciences.” In its beautiful lake called Pamvotis there is a small island where many people live and work today (rare phenomenon). There is also the home of Ali Pasha which is now a museum. The city is surrounded by a beautiful forest and this spectacle offers an exquisite beauty which is worth seeing. At the outskirts of city we see the impressive and unique Museum of Greek History and Wax Effigies which was set up by the sculptor Pavlos Vrellis.
Karpenisi and traditional villages
Karpenisi is the capital of Evritania and lies on the mountain Velouchi surrounding by fir forests. It is considered one of the most beautiful resorts in Greece. There exist pristine forests, beautiful rivers and lakes. Guests have a great opportunity to explore the traditional villages, wonderful forests and enjoy the natural beauty.
Corfu is considered by most archaeologists the mythical island of Phaeacians. Located in the Ionian Sea is one of the largest and most developed tourist islands of Greece. Corfu has a long history which starts from the ancient years and includes battles, conquests and wars. Visitors can see these aspects by the innumerable monuments, castles and statues. Corfu is a very lively island with many things to see and do. Its crystal clear waters, sandy beaches and the beautiful sea make Corfu one of the most cosmopolitan Mediterranean destinations weaving a powerful spell on its visitors.
Corinth, Ancient Corinth
Corinth is located in the south eastern tip of the Peloponnese. The famous Isthmus of Corinth is the narrow land bridge which connects the Peloponnese peninsula with the rest of the mainland of Greece. It is one of the oldest Greek cities and one of the most important ones. Due to its strategic position Corinthians were controlling the communication between Peloponnese and the rest of Greece. Corinth was one of the richest commercial cities of ancient Greece. The Corinthians were inventors of merchant and naval vessels, and thus acquired great power and created many colonies. Among those colonies were Syracuse and Sicily.
What can one say about this island? Crete is the largest island of Greece and one of the largest ones in the Mediterranean. Crete is an island with a great history starting from ancient times. Known for its two palaces of Knossos and Phaistos, Crete attracts thousands of people every year because has a lot to offer and can satisfy the taste of all visitors. The good climate and beaches of exquisite beauty make Crete one of top destinations in the world.
Monastery of St Irene Chrysovalantou-Lycovrisi, Attika
The monastery of St Irene Chryvalantou which located at Lykovrysi in Attica is one of the most famous and largest Orthodox shrines in Greece. Innumerable Christians are resorting in Saint Irene’s monastery for supplication and hope, taking a piece of her blessed apple and waiting for the God’s miracle. Particularly, childless couples are going there and their prayers are frequently listened to. This is evident from the fact that many children are baptized at the monastery receiving the name of the Saint.
Meteora, Kalambaka and Trikala
Meteora is a complex of huge dark rocks with rise outside of Kalambaka, near to the first mountain ranges of Pindos and Chasia. In an area full of towering cliffs with steep peaks, monks have been settled on these ‘columns of the sky’ since 11th century and onwards. What makes Meteora so unique is the fact that the monasteries literally hang on the edge of the rocks. The monasteries, the peaks of rocks available for climbing and the numerous trails are among the spectacles that attract many tourists every year. At short distance from Meteora, we meet the famous city Trikala which is crossed by the Litheos River.
Monemvasia or Malvasia (a name given by Franks) is a town and a municipality in Laconia, Greece. It is a historical town located on a small peninsula off the east coast of the Peloponnese in the prefecture of Laconia. Monemvasia is a beautiful seaside village. The name Monemvasia derives from two Greek words, mone and emvasia, meaning “single entrance” and refers to its breathtaking medieval tower. Built on a huge rock it keeps its traditional and romantic character. Known from the ancient years, Monemvasia experienced wars and conquests as well as great wealth and fame.
Mycenae was an ancient city of Argolida holds near to Tritos Mountain and opposite to Argolic Gulf. The ancient city of Mycenae “abundant in gold” as it was called was founded by the hero Perseus. Became the favorite residence of Pelops and his descendants in the years of Agamemnon reign and was considered the most significant city of Greece. The inhabitants of Mycenae possessed the art of ship construction, and therefore developed the trade across the Mediterranean. In 1375 BC, they invaded to Crete and conquered the Minoans, who had a strong influence on them since the 16th century BC. The inhabitants of Mycenae built the cyclopean walls while simultaneously creating many of the best works of art.
Mystras was a Byzantine city of Peloponnese close to Sparta. The story begins in the 13th century when Mistras was occupied by the Franks. Mystras considered an affluent town with considerable force. Nowadays, there are no residents in Mistras. It is an abandoned city. The visitor has the opportunity to live the magic of the old city and to grab the aura of an old era by walking among the ruined houses and alleys.
Nafplio (or Nafplion) is a town in the Peloponnese peninsula, capital of Argolida prefecture and the main port of the eastern Peloponnese. Nafplion, the first capital of Greece is known and combined with the struggles of the Greeks for freedom against the Turkish occupation. The Palamidi Castle, which proudly stands above the sea is carved into the rock and complements the beauty and history of the city with its stone streets and houses. The Venetian small fortress standing on the islet of Agioi Theodoroi definitely makes Nafplio a popular destination.
Nea Makri – Attica, Monastery of Saint Ephraim
The monastery of St. Ephraim in Nea Makri is a place of pilgrimage of a saint who became known for his miracles and nowadays attracts thousands of believers every year. St. Ephraim of Nea Makri or St. Ephraim of Mount Amomon believed to have lived from 1384 to 1426. He is venerated as a martyr and miracle-working saint by many Greek Orthodox Christians in Greece. His status as a saint is controversial, as there are no sources testifying to his existence as an historical person. Believers regard him as a “newly revealed” saint, whose existence is a matter of divine revelation rather than historical proof.
Rhodes is the largest island of the Dodecanese and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Greece. Rhodes still has its Frankish castle and within its walls the aura of medieval times is still remained. The well-preserved castle of Rhodes creates magic scenery that attracts visitors throughout the year. Sandy beaches, vibrant forests, ancient monuments, breathtaking landscapes make Rhodes the perfect holiday destination.
Santorini or Thira
Santorini is one of the most beautiful islands in the southernmost of the Cyclades. Its sunset has been voted the best in the whole world. The magic scenery that has been created by the volcano composes a unique setting which enchants the visitor. Its small white houses hanging on the cliffs of Santorini form an inexplicable beauty that is not often found. The famous beaches (black pebbles, red beach, etc.) that have been created by the volcano eruption offer a very rewarding experience.
Sounion and the ancient temple
Cape Sounion is located at the southernmost tip of Attica. Your will see places with magnificent view and visit wonderful taverns and cafes. The coastline is rocky and steep. It rises almost vertically from the sea to a great height forming at the foot of this westward small cove with isthmus that separates it from the other eastern cove. Sounion is known for its geographic location and the ruins of the ancient Temple of Poseidon. In later years, the surrounding area was declared a national park because of its environmental value.
Sparta and Mani
Sparta is a city located in south-eastern Peloponnese and is also the birthplace of King Leonidas. In ancient times, Sparta was considered the greatest military power of Greece and played a major role in history evolution. Sparta was known neither for the arts nor for philosophy. However, its citizens were admired by the rest of the world for their bravery, their fighting skills and the fact that they kept the Greek spirit alive.