Aristotle

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ITINERARY
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Day 1: : Athens arrival & walking tour
Upon arrival at Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos”, meet our local escort and transfer to the hotel for check-in. We enjoy an orientation walking tour of downtown Athens familiarizing ourselves with the area and restaurants close to the hotel. We continue to Monastiraki and Psiri viewing some of the famous graffiti of Athens. Due to the economic crisis, a new burst of creative energy has turned Athens into what the New York Times calls "a contemporary mecca for street art in Europe". Athens is counting 2,000 or so graffiti and street artists painting around the city. You will obtain a better understanding of what is happening at its heart with the amazing graffiti. Welcome dinner and overnight in Athens.

Day 2: Acropolis museum, Acropolis & Plaka – theatrical performance & ancient Greek mask workshop
Our day begins with guided visit to the Acropolis Museum; a walk through its galleries is a walk through history-between the masterpieces of the Archaic and Classical periods and in the ancient neighbourhoods of Athens as well as finds from the Acropolis itself. We then continue to climb up to the marble-capped Acropolis, the sacred rock of Athens, the citadel and the sanctuary of the city in antiquity. We visit the famous Parthenon and the Erechtheion. We now have become time travelers!
Then, we go to nearby Areopagus, or Mars’Hill, the 'Rock of Ares', to the north-west of the Acropolis, which in classical times functioned as the high court of appeal for criminal and civil cases in Athens, which offers an amazing view of the ancient Agora below.
After a break for lunch on your own, we explore the old historical neighborhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, and incorporating labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture.
In the afternoon, we enjoy our private performance in English “Ruins of Passion” at the Topos Allou Theater, followed by the ancient Greek mask workshop. Return to the hotel. Dinner on your own. Overnight at the hotel in Athens.

Day 3: National Archaeological museum, ancient agora & Sounion
Our day begins with a guided visit to the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. Its original purpose was to house the findings from the 19th century excavations in and around Athens. However gradually it became the central National Archaeological Museum. It has been enriched with findings from all over Greece. Its abundant collections, with more than 11,000 exhibits provide a panorama of Greek civilization from Neolithic times to the last years of the Roman Empire.
We continue with our guide to the Ancient Agora, formerly the commercial hub of ancient Athens and birthplace of politics and philosophy. We see the very well preserved Doric Temple of Hephaestus (or Thesseion) and the Stoa of Attalos, an arcade built by Attalos II, king of Pergamum, used as a retail market. Today it is used as museum, displaying statues, pottery and especially coins.
After a break for lunch (on your own), we will view from our motor-coach the highlights of modern Athens: Syntagma Square, the Parliament House with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and famous evzones guards, the Academy, the University of Athens, the National Library, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, and Hadrian’s triumphal Arch.
We then enjoy a drive along the coastal road passing many of the beaches and coves ending at Cape Sounion. Here will visit the white marble 5th century Doric Temple of Poseidon and enjoy the fantastic sunset. Return to Athens for dinner on our own and overnight.

Day 4:Epidaurus - Mycenae & Pottery Workshop
Today we will enjoy a full day trip out of Athens. First we will visit Epidaurus, the Sanctuary of Asclepius, dedicated to the healer-god in ancient Greece. We see the best-preserved ancient theater in all of Greece with a seating capacity of 12,000, famous for the harmony of its design and the perfection of its remarkable acoustics.
We then continue to Mycenae. After a break for lunch (on your own), we enjoy a visit to see the remains of the pre-historic citadel fortified with the Cyclopean Walls, the Lionesses' Gate, the remains of the Mycenaean Palace and the Tomb of King Agamemnon, which we will enter.
Our tour ends with a visit to a pottery workshop where we will actually enjoy making pottery, which we will take home with us. Return to Athens.

Day 5: One-day cruise to Hydra, Poros & Aegina
Today we enjoy a one-day to cruise to the Greek Saronic Gulf islands of Hydra, Poros, and Aegina, including buffet lunch served on board and round-trip transfers by bus. We sail at 8:00 a.m. from the port of Piraeus. Our first stop is Hydra, a fashionable artists' colony, a retreat of intellectuals and a favorite film location. An amphitheatrical town rings the colorful harbor with well-preserved sea-merchant traditional stone family mansions, narrow cobblestoned streets, secluded squares and above all no cars and the use of around 500 donkeys as means of public transportation explain the reason why Hydra preserved its distinctive atmosphere through the passage of time.
Our voyage continues to Poros where the first naval arsenal of independent Greece was established. Poros provides delightful scenery marked by the low pine-wooded hills, crystal clear beaches, a lively waterfront adorned with shops, cozy cafes and restaurants, a picturesque capital (it has been declared protected settlement) with grand traditional mansions and picturesque cobbled streets, as well as a wide selection of entertainment venues are the ingredients of this quiet, yet cosmopolitan, destination.
Our last port of call is Aegina, an attractive and tranquil resort place that boasts a great number of sights and natural beauties, highlight of which is the famous Aphaia Temple. Which forms in fact an equilateral triangle with the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, the so-called triangle of antiquity. Here enjoy a leisurely walk around the harbor area with ample free time for picture taking or sketching and don’t forget to try the locally grown pistachios. Return to the port in the early evening around 7:00 p.m. and transfer to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel in Athens.

Day 6: Delphi & cooking class or Greek dance class or drawing/painting class
Today we will depart from Athens and drive through the fertile plain of Boeotia, crossing the towns of Thebes connected with the tragedy of king Oedipus; next are the towns of Livadia and Arachova, famous for their colorful woolen rugs and carpets. We arrive at Delphi, the center of the Ancient world, the "omphalos" (navel) of the earth - whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic world. On the slopes of Mt. Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled natural beauty and majesty, lies the archaeological site of Delphi. We visit the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Treasury of the Athenians and the Archaeological Museum containing such masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias.
We enjoy lunch at a local restaurant as well as one activity (cooking class or Greek dance lesson or drawing/painting class). We then return to the hotel in Athens for dinner and overnight.

Day 7: Athens departure
Escorted group transfer to Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” for the departure flight home.
Request a quote for this tour: info@aristotletravel.com