11 Day program "Greek Tastes and Traditions" Athens, Ancient Olympia, Ioanina, Zagorochoria, Metsovo, Meteora, Vergina, Veroia, Naousa, Thessaloniki
Day 1 – Arrival in ATHENS
Αrrive Athens and start your journey for a life-changing experience. Meet and assist at the airport and transfer to the centre of the city. On route to the hotel you will have a first glance of the ancient treasures and Christian history in a condensed city tour with the bus where our guide will point out the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and Presidential Palace and the Panathenaic Stadium, also known as the Kallimarmaro (the "beautifully marbled"), an athletic stadium in the centre of Athens that hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. Afternoon free in Athens to relax and enjoy the flavour of the city.
Day 2 – ATHENS - Acropolis – Old city
Following breakfast today we will visit Athens the foundation of democracy. Early morning visit the Acropolis, the Parthenon, and Erectheum before viewing Athens atop Mars Hill where Paul stood and preached the truth to the Gentile nation. Additional sites include the Agora (ancient market place and centre of Athenian public life) and the fabulous New Acropolis Museum. A short walk through the narrow streets of the Old city, the famous Plaka with a multitude of shops and cafes. You cannot miss the little church of "Panagia Kapnikarea” one of the most important Byzantine monuments in Athens in the middle of Ermou Street that dates back to 1050 and the Annunciation Cathedral, the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens, popularly known as the "Mētrópolis" on Mitropoleos street. Evening free.
Day 3 – Akrata watermill – Achaia Claous winery - Ancient Olympia
After breakfast, departure for the Peloponnese peninsula with first stop will be the village of Akrata and a visit to the old traditional ‘watermill'. Next stop, only a few minutes drive on the outskirts of Patras, will be a visit to a local world wide known winery of Achaia Clauss where we will have a guided tour around the premises and the wine-yards at the end we can have the experience of wine-tasting. Late in the afternoon arrival in Ancient Olympia for overnight.
Day 4 - Ancient Olympia – Rio/Antirio – Ioaninna
After breakfast there will be a guided sightseeing tour in the ancient stadium of Olympia, the original home of the Olympic Games and the temples of Zeus and his wife Hera. After visiting the museum of Ancient Olympia as well, departure for Rio crossing by ferry to Antirio and continuing the journey to the north, late in the afternoon arrival to Ioannina the biggest city of Epirus and capital of the region, built alongside the beautiful Lake Pamvotis. Overnight.
Day 5 – Ioaninna – Zagorochoria
After breakfast departure for the Zagorian villages, a picturesque delight enhanced by their unique architecture. Will visit the Vikos Gorge, Europe's largest ravine and enjoy the most complete view from spectacular viewpoints. The tastes of Zagorochoria with a variety of pies and other local delicacies will add to this magnificent and unique experience. Late afternoon return to Ioannina, time to explore this vibrant city so full with legends and traditions from other times. Overnight.
Day 6 – Ioannina – Metsovo – Meteora - Kalampaka
After breakfast, departure for Metsovo one of the most beautiful and traditional towns of Epirus, famous for it's cheeses, strong red wine and other traditional artefacts. You will have the chance to visit the local cheese factory and have a taste of the original ‘smoked Metsovone' cheese. Next stop will be the small town of Kalambaka built at the foot of the majestic grey rocks of Meteora and a visit to the Monasteries, which crown the summits of these formidable pinnacles. The most important of all the Greek Meteoron, Varlaam, Agios Stefanos will be visited in succession on a single trip from Kalambaka and back. Overnight.
Day 7 – Kalampaka – Vergina – Naoussa
After breakfast, departure for the archaeological site of Vergina , ancient city of Aeges once the capital of Macedonia where the royal necropolis was also located. The royal tombs of Philippos and their unique archaeological finds, are without doubt monuments of worldwide radianYou will then continue to the foothill of eastern Mount Vermio where is the city of Naoussa in the most famous wine-producing region of Macedonia, surrounded by protected vineyards. There you will experience the famous Naoussa wine, complex in aroma and flavour a perfect companion to the traditional tastes of pies, meatballs and cheeses. Overnight.
Day 8 – Naoussa – Thessaloniki
After breakfast there will be a guided tour to one well known winery and vineyards where you will have the opportunity to experience the special delights of the local wine. Continuing the journey to the north after a short stop at the city of Edessa, overwelmed by natural beauty and waterfalls. Llate afternoon you will reach Thessaloniki the second largest city in Greece and capital city of the North. Overnight.
Day 9 – Thessaloniki
After breakfast there will be a guided sightseeing city tour with special highlights the Triumphal Arch of Galerius and the Rotonda, the Cathedral of St.Demetrius, the Byzantine museum and numerous other monuments of particular interest. Large sections of the city-walls are also standing, together with one of their main bastions, the well-known symbol of Thessaloniki the White Tower. Afternoon time free to explore this thriving city of the north. Overnight.
Day 10 – Thessaloniki – Athens
After breakfast depart from Thessaloniki returning to Athens with a few stops along the way, the Tempi Valey and the historical village of Ampelakia. Late afternoon arrival in Athens and to your Hotel. Overnight.
Day 11 Return
Transfer from your Hotel to the Airport for your return flight home.