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* Offer valid on new bookings only.September 9 & 10 — U.S., Athens, Greece
Depart the U.S. for Athens. Upon arrival in the capital city of Greece, check into the St. George Lycabettus, a charming boutique hotel. Meet for a reception and welcome dinner this evening in the hotel’s rooftop dining room overlooking the dramatically illuminated Acropolis. (R,D)September 11 — Athens
Begin your immersion into the treasures of Greece with a private tour of the superb collections of the Acropolis Museum. Following lunch at a bustling tavern near the Plaka, take in highlights of the ancient Agora on a walk with an archeologist. Then spend the afternoon on the Acropolis, where the goddess Athena was honored in the foremost site of Classical Greece, the Parthenon. Later, a specialist in Modern Greek history provides insights during an evening talk over coffee and pastry. (B,L)September 12 — Nauplion
Some of the most important collections relating to the Greek Empire are found in the National Archaeological Museum in Athens. A private tour this morning will illustrate the ancient history of Greece through its art before departing for the countryside. Then tour the Benaki Museum, with curator Alexander Delivorias, who will bring to life the character of the Greek world through the museum’s spectacular historical panorama. Depart Athens and cross the historic Corinth Canal to the charming seaside town of Nauplion, one of the most picturesque ports in Greece. Take a guided walk through the old city then have dinner at the Taverna Spilia, where Greek dancers will perform for our group. (B,L,D)September 13 — Mycenae, Epidaurus
The imposing fortress of Mycenae is considered the greatest of the Bronze Age citadels. Marvel at the walls made of stones so massive they were deemed too large for humans to lift. See the famous Lion Gate, Agamemnon’s Palace, the Cyclopean walls, and the Grave Circle A site. Continue to the beautifully preserved Greek theater of Epidaurus, renowned for its perfect acoustics and exquisite setting. Take a walking tour of the remains of the sanctuary of Asklepios. The vast site, with its temples and hospital buildings devoted to its healing gods, provides insight into the healing cults of Greek and Roman times. Return to Nauplion for the evening. (B,L)September 14 — Delphi
Visit ancient Corinth this morning to see the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Forum, and the excellent museum. Continue north to Delphi, driving on the scenic coastal road to the Rio-Antirio Bridge that connects the Peloponnese with the mainland. Nestled at the foot of rugged Mount Parnassus overlooking a vast grove of ancient olive trees that stretches to the sea, Delphi was the seat of the most celebrated oracle in antiquity. This afternoon visit the lower sanctuary of Athena Pronaia at Delphi, including the pink marble Tholos, a 4th-century B.C. rotunda. Dine at a family-run tavern and spend the night in the village of Arachova on the north slopes of Mount Parnassus. (B,L,D)September 15 – Delphi, Athens
Marvel at the rich collections of the Archeological Museum of Delphi, then explore the great Classical sites in the valley: the Upper Sanctuary, the Treasury of the Athenians, the magnificent bronze statute the Charioteer of Delphi, and the Temple of Apollo, where the Delphic oracle issued her prophecies. En route back to Athens, visit the Monastery of Hosios Loukas. Set on a picturesque slope in the western foothills of Mount Helikon, the monastery is one of the finest 11th- century Byzantine monuments in Greece. Return to Athens this evening. (B,L)September 16 — Island of Aegina
Board a high-speed ferry at the port of Piraeus for the island of Aegina, where the first government of Greece was seated. Visit the delightful 5th-century B.C. Temple of Aphaea, set in a beautifully forested area with views across the island to the sea. Then have lunch and a leisurely afternoon in the delightful country home of the Zachariou family, perched on a hillside surrounded by pistachio and olive groves. Return to Athens in the late afternoon and gather for a farewell celebration in a typical Greek tavern. (B,L,D)September 17 — Athens, Greece, U.S.
Depart Athens for the U.S. (B)