From Antiquity to Byzantium - Summer – Road.Travel

From Antiquity to Byzantium - Summer

Road Trip Route. All the main attractions of Greece in just one week, Ancient and Byzantine monuments, The opportunity to swim in the sea throughout the route.

This route offers accommodation in hotels in cities and towns. For those who travel from April to October and would like to stay in hotels by the sea, I suggest to see the route [From Antiquity to Byzantium](https://europe.road.travel/trip/from-antiquity-to-byzantium/5f099b32e694aa119f20df5a/overview). It is also possible to adjust the routes according to your wishes.

Relaxing Leisure, History and Culture. From: Athens

Svetlana Kozlova. Travel Expert.

Travel Itinerary and Road Trip Route

Day 1: Athens Airport - Cape Sounion - Athens

Rent a car at the airport and go on your journey. Start with a tour of the Poseidon Temple at Cape Sounion and the Athens Riviera. Overnight in Athens.

Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH) (Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Αθηνών Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος)

Arrival in Athens. Welcome to Greece! We take the car booked in advance at the airport and set off on our way.

Poseidon's Temple (Ναός Ποσειδώνα)

In an hour we will be at the southernmost point of Attica, and the transparent columns of the majestic Temple of Poseidon on the rocky ledges of Cape Sounion will remind us of Lord Byron, who loved to watch the sunsets here.

Akrogiali (Ακρογιάλι)

You can finally dive into the long-awaited turquoise sea on a nearby beach and settle in a tavern by the water itself to regain the memory of the taste of cool homemade wine, which is used to drink fried squid, grilled octopuses and rustic Greek salad with feta.

Vouliagmeni Lake (Λίμνη Βουλιαγμένης)

Short photo stop by the thermal radon lake. You can also swim in the lake (entrance fee 15 euro). Water temperature in the lake throughout the year is kept at around 20-22 degrees.

Day 2: Athens - Corinth Canal - Epidaurus - Tolo

Today you will see the ancient Acropolis and walk through the historic center of Athens. Then drive to the Peloponnese, stop at the Corinth Canal and visit the Ancient Epidaurus. Overnight stay in Tolo.

Parthenon (Παρθενώνας)

Start your day by visiting the pearl of Greece, the ancient Acropolis. The Acropolis opens at 8 am. It is advisable to be here no later than 9 a.m., especially in summertime, so that it is not so hot. It is better to buy entrance tickets in advance, online, so that you do not have to stand in line. You can park your car at the hotel for now, and you can reach the Acropolis by metro (Acropolis station).

Areios Pagos (Άρειος Πάγος)

Be sure to climb the Areopagus Hill, from where you can take great pictures of the Acropolis, Likavittos Hill, the ancient Agora and panorama of all Athens.

Πλατεία Αέρηδων

Through Plaka, the ancient district of Athens at the foot of the Acropolis, go down to Ermu Street.

Kapnikareas Square (Πλατεία Καπνικαρέας)

The most famous street in the capital is Ermu pedestrian street. It is named after the god of trade Hermes and, as it should be expected, along it there are a lot of big and small shops and cafes.

Syntagma Square (Πλατεία Συντάγματος)

Every hour on Syntagma Square, in front of Parliament, there is a change of guard of the Presidential Guard, consisting of colorful beauties - euzons. And on Sundays from 10.45 to 11.15 there is an honorary shift, with a march, an orchestra and the full guard. I advise you to come in advance to take a better place.

Isthmus of Corinth (Ισθμός Κορίνθου)

Stop for pictures at the impressive Corinthian Canal connecting the Aegean and Ionian Seas. The length of the canal is 6 km and the walls are almost 80 meters high. Extreme lovers can even jump off one of the bridges, there is bungee jumping (must be ordered in advance).

Κάβος

Lunch in a tavern on the seashore.

Epidaurus Ancient Theatre (Αρχαίο Θέατρο Επιδαύρου)

The cult of god-healer Asklepius was formed here in VI-V century B.C. and Epidaurus became a pilgrimage place for many suffering from healing. Here have appeared remarkable structures - the Temple of Artemis, the Temple of Asclepius, swimming pools with thermal waters, stadium. A theatre was also built here, where performances also helped with healing. The theatre is famous for its unique acoustics and theatrical performances and concerts are still held here.

Day 3: Tolo - Nafplion - Mycenae - Kalamata

Continue our journey through the Peloponnese. Explore Nafplion and climb up to Palamidi Fortress, which offers a magnificent view of the city and its surroundings. Visit the Golden Mycenae, the kingdom of Agamemnon. Spend the night in Kalamata.

Palamidi Fortress (Παλαμήδι)

Swim in the morning in the azure sea, rent the keys to your room and go on. Drive to the charming town of Nafplion, the first capital of independent Greece, reminiscent of the elegance of Italian cities. Start at Palamidi Fortress, which towers above the city and offers a breathtaking view.

Parking Λιμανιού Ναυπλίου

Nafplion town is pedestrian, so leave the car in a large parking lot near the port and go for a walk.

Syntagma Square (Πλατεία Συντάγματος)

Take a walk around the city and feel its special atmosphere. History lovers can visit the city's Archaeological Museum, where findings from the entire Argolida region (Mycenae, Epidaurus, Lerne) are collected. And those who want to get acquainted with the traditional Greek drink ouzo can visit [Karonis Wine Shop](http://www.karoniswineshop.gr/about_en.html), one of the oldest producers of ouzo and other drinks in Greece. Don't forget to try the local ice cream, which is still made here using ancient Italian recipes.

Archaeological Site of Mycenae (Αρχαιολογικός Χώρος Μυκηνών)

Ancient Mycenae, where the Mycenae civilization arose. From here, from a palace of tsar Agamemnon the army in the Trojan campaign went, and the ancient myths which have appeared a reality, have led on these hills at the end of XIX century Henry Schliman who has found here gold of Mycenae. Before climbing through the Lion's Gate to the ruins of the palace, take a look at the local archaeological museum.

Treasury of Atreus (Θησαυρός Ατρέως)

Be sure to stop at the impressive domed tomb, the so-called Treasury of Atrey (admission ticket to these 2 places is common).

Day 4: Calamata - Messina - Pilos - Voidokilla - Catacolo.

Today the southwestern part of the Peloponnese awaits us. The main attraction of the day is Ancient Messini. Navarino Bay, Neokastro Fortress in Pylos. Swimming in the Voidokilia Bay. Overnight in Katakolo.

Ancient Messene (Αρχαία Μεσσήνη)

In the morning visit a magnificent archaeological complex, undeservedly unknown to the general public. Maybe because the excavations here started relatively recently, about 40 years ago and, by the way, are still ongoing. The city of mystery, which flourished during the Hellenistic and Roman periods, was superior in the area even to Athens. Numerous public buildings - temples, theaters, stadium, gymnasiums, Asclepios - amaze with their preservation and size. In my opinion, it is fresher and more interesting than even Olympia. It is possible to order a local Russian-speaking guide in advance.

Αρκαδική Πύλη

Be sure to stop at the Arcadian Gate, which consists of outer and inner walls and is built of stone blocks. On the cobbled ancient road inside the gate you can still see the tracks carved by countless chariots over many centuries.

Κάστρο Πύλου - Νιόκαστρο (Castle of Pylos)

A short stop in the picturesque seaside Pilos, where there is its own citadel - the Ottoman fortress Neocastro, founded in the XVI century (closed on Tuesdays). From above you can clearly see Navarino Bay, where in 1827 there was a sea battle between the fleet of allies (Russia, England, and France) and the Turkish-Egyptian fleet. Have a snack in the city or stock up on water and sandwiches, because next you will find an exotic paradise beach, where you can forget for a long time, swimming and sunbathing.

Voidokoilia Beach (Παραλία Βοϊδοκοιλιά)

It seems that nature has surpassed its perfection on this picturesque horseshoe beach. Its golden sand and the spills of the azure blue sea do not coincide with the high ranking of Instagram photos. You will not see all the beauty of the scenery while on the beach itself. You can walk along the path between the sand dunes and the cave of Nestor at the end. According to myths, in this cave little Hermes hid the cows stolen from his brother Apollo. Then the trail rises higher, which gives the opportunity to take impressive photographs.

Day 5: Katakolo - Olympia - Patras - Nafpaktos - Itea.

Visit to Olympia, home of the Olympic Games. Then stop in the city of Patras, the temple of St. Andrew. Transfer over the bridge between Rio and Antirio in central Greece. Picturesque Venetian fortress Nafpaktosa. Overnight in the seaside town of Itea.

Ancient Olympia (Ολυμπία)

In the shadow of the Sacred Grove, in slender rows of moss-covered marble columns, time has stopped. The first sports competitions were held here almost 3 thousand years ago, in 776 BC, and were held every four years for a thousand years. To this day, the start and finish lines for the single stage (192.27 m) competitions have been preserved in the ancient stadium. The sanctuary of Zeus, decorated in the V century BC with a grandiose statue of gold and ivory, became one of the seven wonders of the world. Today, you will see the impressive ruins of a Doric temple and the workshop of the sculptor Thidius, who made himself famous for centuries. The history of the Olympic Games will be told not only by the stadium and Palestra, the treasury and the altar where the Olympic flame is lit to this day. The Archaeological Museum of Olympia, where ceramics, sculptures, armors, jewelry from the archaic to the Roman period are collected, has one of the richest collections in Greece.

Άγιος Ανδρέας

Patras is the capital of the Peloponnese and an important seaport from which ships leave for Bari and Ancona. The Church of St. Andrew - the largest Orthodox church in the Balkans, where the relics of the saint and part of the cross on which he was crucified are located.

Rio-Antirrio Βridge "Charilaos Trikoupis" (Γέφυρα Ρίου-Αντιρρίου «Χαρίλαος Τρικούπης»)

It is the longest bridge in Europe that connected central Greece with the Peloponnese in 2004. Unique technologies were applied in its construction. Fare is toll. Those who want to take pictures of the bridge from the side can cross the Corinthian Gulf by ferry with a car.

Nafpaktos Castle (Κάστρο Ναυπάκτου)

Picturesque town of Nafpaktos with a Venetian fortress. Here, in 1571, the famous Battle of Lepanto, in which Miguel de Cervantes participated and was wounded.

Day 6: Itea - Delphi - St. Luka's Monastery - Kamena Vourla

Today we visit the Archaeological Reserve and Museum in Delphi, St. Luka's Monastery with unique frescoes. Overnight stay in Kamena Vourla.

Archaeological Site of Delphi (Αρχαιολογικός Χώρος Δελφών)

Between the mighty rocks of Fedriad the ancient Greeks marked the center of the world, the "navel of the earth". And for us it is mountain landscapes, the Pythian Games, the famous Oracle and the ruins of the ancient Delphi, which date back to the Mycenaean period. The theatre and stadium, the Temple of Apollo, the Stoia, the altar of black marble, the treasury with the reliefs of the feats of Heracles and Theseus, the tolos-rotunda of Athena Pronoia are examples of the greatest art of the archaic era. And don't forget to wash yourself with the water of the Castal Spring of Eternal Youth (located to the right of the entrance to the arecheological zone, if you stand facing it).

Delphi Archaeological Museum (Αρχαιολογικό Μουσείο Δελφών)

In the Archaeological Museum, admire the ancient statues, including the unique Bronze Age of V century BC.

Vakchos (Βάκχος)

Dine at the local tavern, enjoying yet another breathtaking view of the Delphic Valley and Corinthian Gulf, and head to St. Luke's Monastery.

Osios Loukas (Όσιος Λουκάς)

St. Luke's Monastery is famous for its XI century mosaics and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Founded by a hermit, built and decorated by Constantinople masters and local monks, it was repeatedly looted by the Templar Crusaders, Venetians, Franks, Turks and Albanians, but remains one of the most beautiful monasteries in Greece.

Day 7: Kamena Vourla - Meteora Monasteries - Thermopylae - Kamena Vourla.

You'll have to get up early today to get up to see more of the monasteries of Meteora. A cosmic blend of nature and architecture infusion, unity, and mutual aspiration upwards. There's a stop at Thermopylae on the way. Overnight stay at Kamena Vourla.

Monastery of the Great Meteoron (Μονή Μεγάλου Μετεώρου)

Difficult access to natural fortifications attracted Christian hermits, whose settlements were later formed into monasteries. Treasures - icons, ancient manuscripts and books, relics of saints - are kept under the domes of six active monasteries. I suggest visiting the two most famous monasteries - the Great Meteors and St. Varlaam. The most important thing to keep in mind is that each monastery has a different timetable. Now the schedule is really as follows. Great Meteoron Monastery is open from 09:00 to 15:00, closed on Tuesdays. Monastery of St. Varlaam is open from 09:00 to 16:00, closed on Fridays. But you should check the information before the trip at [site](https://www.visitmeteora.travel/monasteries-visiting-hours-and-days/#:~:text=Visiting%20Hours%3A%2009%3A00%20to%2016%3A00%2C%20Sundays,monastery%20is%20open%20every%20day) or ask me.

Ιερά Μονή Βαρλαάμ

The Monastery of Barlaam with frescoes of Ephraim of Syria in the Basilica of All Saints and the Museum of Ancient Manuscripts and Carved Crosses. If you want to visit the three monasteries, I also advise the convent of St. Stephen, the most accessible, the passage on the bridge, it is open from 09:00 to 13:30, closed on Mondays.

Sunset Rock

Stop for pictures on the observation deck with panoramic views of all Meteors and Kalambaka and Kastraki villages at the foot of the rocks. Have a snack in Kalambaka and head back.

Spartan Leonidas Monument and Battlefield of Thermopylae (Μνημείο Λεωνιδα Σπαρτιατη και πεδίο μάχης των θερμοπυλων)

Stop in the famous Thermopylae (entrance from the old national road). The name translates from Greek as "hot gate". Here, in the place of battle of the Spartans with the Persian army, hot healing springs are beaten from the rock. The water temperature all year round is about 40 degrees Celsius. Swimming is free, but the place is not equipped. So be careful, the rocks are slippery. Nearby is the monument to Leonidas and 300 Spartans.

Day 8: Kamena Vourla - Athens Airport

Depending on the departure time, you can still relax and swim or go straight to the airport. You can pick up the car at the airport and take off for your home country.

Athens International Airport Eleftherios Venizelos (ATH) (Διεθνής Αερολιμένας Αθηνών Ελευθέριος Βενιζέλος)