Classical Athens - 23rd to 27th October 2017

Zappeion

Some of the most important historical and architectural await the discerning traveller on a trip out to Athens, the Greek capital and city of contrasts. These include the Acropolis, Acropolis Museum and National Archaeological Museum, along with other unmissable attractions such as the Panathenaiac Stadium, Temple of Zeus, Arch of Hadrian, Syntagma Square, Ancient Agora, Monastirki and Plaka.

  • 5* hotel, one of the best in Athens
  • Accompanied by an official English-speaking, licensed guide for all visits
  • Visiting the most important historical sites in Athens
  • Days cruise to three Aegean islands, Poros, Hydra and Aegina
  • Sounio and Temple of Poseidon
  • Monastiraki and Plaka
  • Acropolis and Acropolis Museum
  • Panathenian Stadium
  • National Archeological Museum
  • Ancient Angora
  • Lycabettus Hill
  • Zappeion Gardens
  • Dinners in the local tavernas

Also included is a day’s cruise visiting three picturesque Aegean islands, alighting at the harbour to visit the islands villages, local shops and markets. Highlights include a visit to Cape Sounion, in time to catch the incredible Temple of Poseidon at sunset. We stay at one of the best hotels in Athens, the 5 –Star King George, a member of the worldwide consortium of exceptional hotels called The Luxury Collection.

The emphasis on this holiday is to enjoy the tranquillity and beauty of the islands, with a walking programme that is leisurely and non-challenging.

Athens

Athens is a portside city, the captial of Greece, surrounded by hills further out into the country. Often reffered to as 'the cradle of Western civilization', Athens' temples, art and architecture are testament to the integral role Greece played in the burgeoning western enlightenment. Athens is also a contemporary city which has become a luxury holiday destination as well as an ideal spot for the discerning traveller. Despite the economic crisis of the last decade, Athens shows all the signs of a city in rude health, with its high standard of bars and restuarant and a thriving cultural scene.

Panathenaic stadium ( Kallimarmaro)

MONDAY 23 OCTOBER (D) TRAVEL

Arrive at the airport under your own arrangements for the flight to Athens. Please check-in at least two hours before departure time, using your passport and boarding pass. Flights are with British Airways or easyJet. Times are the latest known and subject to confirmation by the airline.

Met on arrival at Athens Airport by our agents and transfer by private taxi to our hotel. Travelling time about 40 minutes.

Once you are settled in at the hotel there will be an introductory walk around the old city followed by a welcome reception and dinner in a local tavern in Plaka nearby. One of the most popular tourist attractions in Athens, Plaka was built around the northern slopes of the Acropolis. It is almost like an island within the city (especially the Anafiotica area looks like a Cycladic Inland), and it’s the perfect way to experience authentic Greek culture. The area is well-known for its charming streets, boutique shops and cafes.

Dinner in a local taverna.

Overnight at the 5-star King George Hotel.

 

TUESDAY 24 OCTOBER (BD) – HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS OF ATHENS INCLUDING ACROPOLIS

After breakfast in the hotel we meet up with our officially licensed guide and set off on foot to the Acropolis and New Acropolis Museum. After an optional lunch in the Plaka area we travel by tram to the Panathenaic Stadium followed by a walk through The Zappeion Gardens, before heading towards the Temple of Zeus and Arch of Hadrian. At this point we could take another tram for our visit to Syntagma, followed by a walk to the Ancient Agora and Monastiraki.

After a day jam-packed with sight-seeing activities you may find that you’re about ready to return to the hotel, however, there is the option to take a taxi ride to Lycabettus Hill for astonishing views over the city. Getting to the top is either on foot or by the funicular railway.

Please note that this is primarily a walking tour to some of the most famous monuments in Athens, but we can retain the flexibility of using the metro or tram in order to keep up with our programme if the weather is hot. That being said, at this time of year we should have perfect conditions for walking.

Dinner in a local taverna.

Overnight at the 5-star King George Hotel.

 

WEDNESDAY 25 OCTOBER (BLD) – CRUISE AND VISITING PICTURESQUE AEGEAN ISLANDS

After breakfast, and accompanied by our guide, we travel by coach to the coast. At Marina Falirou we board our cruise ship for a full day visiting the picturesque islands of Poros, Hydra and Aegina. At each of the islands, and accompanied by our guide, there will be a short walking tour around delightful harbours, areas of historical and cultural interest, local boutiques and shops. Lunch is served on board. Return to the hotel by coach.

Dinner in a local taverna.

Overnight at the 5-star King George Hotel.

 

THURSDAY 26 OCTOBER – ATHENS. SOUNIO AND TEMPLE OF POSEIDON (BD)

After breakfast, and accompanied by our guide we are heading for the National Archaeological Museum. After an optional lunch and free time to relax, we depart the hotel mid afternoon by private coach for a visit to Sounio and the Temple of Poseidon. This visit is timed so that we witness the sunset. Return to Athens by private coach. The journey time is around one hour each way.

Dinner in a local taverna.

Overnight at the 5-star King George Hotel.

 

FRIDAY 27 OCTOBER (B)        FREE TIME. RETURN TRAVEL

Breakfast in the hotel followed by free time in Athens for shopping and further visits.

Private taxi transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK.

 

Places We Visit

The Acropolis – An ancient citadel located on a high rocky outcrop above the city that contains the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural significance, the most famous being the Parthenon. Today, The Acropolis is the most important tourist attraction in Athens and there is evidence that the hill was occupied as far back as the fourth millennium BC.

This is the greatest and finest sanctuary of ancient Athens, dedicated primarily to its patron, the goddess Athena. The most celebrated myths of ancient Athens, its greatest religious festivals, earliest cults and several decisive events in the city's history are all connected to this sacred precinct.

 

The monuments of the Acropolis stand in harmony with their natural setting. These unique masterpieces of ancient architecture combine different orders and styles of Classical art in a most innovative manner and have influenced art and culture for many centuries. The Acropolis of the fifth century BC is the most accurate reflection of the splendor, power and wealth of Athens at its greatest peak, the golden age under Pericles.

 

Acropolis Museum – Built to house every artefact found on the rock and surrounding area from the Greek Bronze Age and Byzantine Greece. The first museum was on the Acropolis and completed in 1874, but successive excavations uncovered many new artifacts, leading to the construction of a new museum that opened to the public in 2009.

 

Today, the new Acropolis Museum has a total area of 25,000 square metres, with an exhibition space of over 14,000 square meters, ten times more than that of the old museum on the Hill of the Acropolis. The new Museum offers all the amenities expected in an international museum of the 21st century.

 

National Archaeological Museum – The largest in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek art. Founded at the end of the 19th century to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece, its abundant collections, with more than 20,000 exhibits, provide a panorama of Greek civilization from the beginnings of Prehistory to Late Antiquity.

 

Panathenaic Stadium – The stadium was built on the site of a simple racecourse by the Athenian statesman Lykourgos (Lycurgus) c. 330 BC, primarily for the Panathenaic Games. Constructed and rebuilt entirely of marble by Herodes Atticus, an Anthenian Roman senator, the stadium had a capacity of 50,000 seats. Largely abandoned in the 4th century the stadium was excavated in 1869 and hosted the Zappas Olympics in 1870 and 1875. After being refurbished, it hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896 and was once again used as an Olympic venue in 2004. It is also the last venue in Greece from where the Olympic Flame handover ceremony to the host nation takes place.

 

Temple of Zeus – A colossal temple dedicated to Zeus, king of the Olympian gods. Renovated during the Roman periods, it was renowned as the largest temple in Greece and housed one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world.

 

Arch of Hadrian – Commonly known as Hadrian’s Gate and a monumental gateway (similar to a Roman triumphal arch) that arched across an ancient road from the centre of Athens. The arch was built to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian.

 

Syntagma Square – Located in front of the 19th century Old Royal Palace and housing the Greek Parliament since 1934, this is the most important square in modern Athens, both from a historical and social point of view.

 

Ancient Agora – Famous in Ancient Greece as a gathering place and centre for athletic, artistic, spiritual and political life in the city.

 

Monastirki – Very popular tourist attraction, particularly the Flea Market, selling an eclectic mix of everything from bric-a-brac to antiques and curiosities.

 

Plaka – Old historical neighbourhood clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis. Defined by labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture and known as the “Neighbourhood of the Gods”.

 

Sounio and Temple of Poseidon – Located 43 miles southeast of Athens at the southernmost tip of the Attica Peninsula called Cape Sounon. Noted as the site of the ancient Greek Temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea in classical mythology. Experiencing the sunset over the Aegean Sea from the vantage point of the ruins should not be missed.

 

B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner

The King George Hotel

The King George 5*

We have selected one of the best hotels in Athens, the 5-star King George, a member of the worldwide consortium of exceptional hotels called The Luxury Collection. It is centrally located close to the old town of Plaka, the old historical neighbourhood of Athens near the Acropolis.

You can expect an exceptional level of service at this state-of-the-art hotel , the host of many renowned celebrities and recognised for the quality of its iconic rooms, which are spacious and comfortable with king-size beds, showers and/or bath with full amenities. Breakfast is served in the seventh floor Tudor Hall Restaurant which has a great panoramic view of the Acropolis.
The hotel is very close to Syntagma Square and Ermou Street, one of the most famous shopping roads in Athens.
The King George Hotel’s adjoining sister hotel, the Grande Bretagne, has an impressive spa which includes an indoor swimming pool, gymnasium, sauna and steam room along with six treatment rooms devoted to pampering and restoration. We have full use of these facilities. Spa treatments are at extra cost.
Dinners will be in local tavernas within easy walking distance of the hotel.

Price per person, sharing a Classic twin or double room, departing from Heathrow £1,250.00

Price per person excluding flights £995.00

Supplement per person departing from Manchester £25.00

Single person supplement, occupying a Classic twin or double room £300.00

What The Price Includes

  • Four nights hotel accommodation
  • Private taxi service from the airport. hotel and return
  • Welcome reception
  • Breakfast in the hotel
  • Dinners in local tavernas
  • Official English-speaking, licensed guide
  • Luxury coach from hotel to the marina for the cruise
  • Full day cruise to three Aegean islands
  • Private luxury coach to Sounio and Temple of Poseidon
  • Use of the leisure facilities and spa at the Grande Bretagne
  • Entrance fees to all historical and cultural visits
  • Accompanying tour leader

What Is Not Included

  • Drinks
  • Gratuities for guide, which are optional
  • Travel insurance
  • Any Government taxes that may be introduced after the publication of this web page

Please Note: For reasons of safety, weather conditions and unforeseen circumstances, it may be necessary to make changes to the programme without advance notice. Every effort will be made to avoid this if at all possible.

Arrival

 

Arrive at the airport under your own arrangements for the flight to Athens. Please check-in at least two hours before departure time, using your passport and boarding pass.

Flights are with British Airways or easyJet. Times are the latest known and subject to confirmation by the airline.

 

Manchester passengers:

 

British Airways

Depart Manchester (T3)            BA1389                       09:55               

Arrive Heathrow                                                            11:05 (T5)

Depart Heathrow    (T5)              BA0632                       13:15               

Arrive Athens                                                                18:55   

 

easyJet

Depart Manchester (T1)            EZY1941                      14:15

Arrive Athens                                                                20:10

 

London passengers:

 

British Airways

Depart Heathrow    (T5)             BA0632                        13:15               

Arrive Athens                                                                18:55

 

easyJet

Depart Gatwick (NT)                EZY8087                      14:40

Arrive Athens                                                                20:25   

 

Met on arrival at Athens Airport by our agents and transfer by private taxi to our hotel. Travelling time about 40 minutes.

 

Departure

 

Breakfast in the hotel followed by free time in Athens for shopping and further visits.

Private taxi transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK.

 

Manchester passengers:

 

British Airways

Depart Athens                           BA0639                        13:35               

Arrive Heathrow (T5)                                                     15:40   

 

easyJet

Depart Athens                           EZY1942                      21:50

Arrive Manchester (T1)                                                  23:55   

 

London passengers:

 

British Airways

Depart Athens                           BA0633                        20:00               

Arrive Heathrow (T5)                                                     21:50

             

easyJet

Depart Athens                           EZY8088                      21:05

Arrive Gatwick  (NT)                                                     22:55   

Map


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