Athens is a metropolis of the old world and new, an ancient city that has offered lasting world knowledge and architecture to civilization. This already marks it as a sought-after destination, but the crisp flavors of fresh olive oil and the white coasts of nearby Cyclades Islands mark it as a top-tier destination. History is evident all around this ancient land full of nature, beaches, and cultural landmarks to visit.
Above the rush of the modern city are twelve hills, upon each is built columned temples and stone squares. But only one hill is considered the core birthplace of western civilization, the Acropolis. This hilltop area rises up 490 ft to a flat area containing over twenty sites like the grand Parthenon temple and an open-air, tiered theater. And this doesn’t even cover the other eleven hills and museums the traveler can explore. There is so much history here, the traveler will have more options than a typical getaway has days.
Athens at present is a dynamic city with a population of 3.5 million people. There is no shortage of restaurants to enjoy the subtle and the bold of Greek cuisine, a style influenced by multiple cultures including Middle Eastern and Italian. Hotels range from basic to luxury, a spectrum for any style of traveler.
West of Athens, across a land bridge, is Peloponnese. This region has many archaeological sites from ancient Greece. Olympia is a fine example of this, as it was the 776 BC birthplace of the now worldwide Olympics. Mystras is another example, an abandoned settlement built in the 13th century to explore.
On the southern tip of the Peloponnese are the Caves of Diros. There are three caves in this system Vlychada, Alepotrypa, and Kataphygi. The largest is the Vlychada, with 136,700 square feet of area and about 2,800 water passages explored. Tours to these caves are mostly by small boat, taking the traveler to ancient caves of stalagmites and stalactites. The Alepotrypa cave has a main chamber large enough to fit a lake, at 328 ft wide. Perfect for getting out of the sun for a while and enjoying mysterious caverns.
Once heralded by the ancient Greeks as sacred, Delphi is an archaeological site northwest of Athens. This ancient site was the seat of an oracle that would consult on important decisions throughout the whole world, as the Greeks knew it. This well-preserved site sits between mountains and looks over a valley below. Intact and broken columns stand as monuments to time passed, with the centerpiece being a circular raised platform where the oracle themselves would sit.
Next to this magical site is the modern town of Delphi, a small town built on a hill overlooking valleys. This town makes a great stop when visiting the nearby archaeological site and also close to the Mt. Parnassus ski center in the winter—but still beautiful in the summer with the surrounding nature and beaches.
Considered a top destination of the islands around Greece, Naxos is a great choice for those looking to experience beautiful scenery, sea adventures, and plenty of beaches. Reached by ferry from Athens, it is a short distance from other famous islands in the Cyclades (Mykonos and Santorini, to name a few). The capital and largest city is Chora (Naxos City) on the west coast of the island. The landscape of the inner island is rolling hills with smaller towns outside of Chora.
As far as beaches, Naxos is surrounded on almost all sides by sand and surf. Yet, the west of the island is perfect for traveling from Chora to these amazing beaches. These beaches include Plaka, Agios Prokopios, Aliko, Mikri Vigla, and many more.
Once the budding center of the western world, Athens and the surrounding area have been building a culture for thousands of years. For the traveler, a journey into this rich past is multiplied by the sites of ancient elegance and some of the best beaches in the world. That’s why Blue-Roads Touring is offering up their Greece: Legends and Landscapes tour for 11 nights and 12 days through all of the sights and experiences in this article, and much more like cooking classes and a fresh olive oil experience.
Wed. Jan. 25th, 2023
2:00 PM – 3:00 PM EST
With small group sizes of no more than 18 people, you can expect a more personalised touring experience – and with like-minded travellers at your side, you’ll find that a journey shared is a journey best enjoyed. Immerse yourself in nature on uplifting journeys through evocative landscapes. From rolling hills and swathes of forest to shimmering coasts, islands and canals, breathtaking views lie around every corner when you take the scenic route.
Insightful, attentive and passionate, our Tour Leaders will unlock the experiences that make your Blue-Roads tour truly special – from adding personal touches to your itinerary to bringing destinations to life with their local knowledge. There’s no better way to understand the essence of a destination than by meeting the people that call it home. Learn traditional crafts, stories and recipes as you venture off the tourist trail and behind the scenes with exclusive local experiences. Slow the pace and take it all in; there’s plenty of time to enjoy each step of the journey. Whether you’re touring a historic home, enjoying a meal or indulging in a wine tasting session, you can do so safe in the knowledge that you won’t be rushed.
Stories waiting to be unravelled. Secrets waiting to be revealed. Fascinating cultures, delicious flavours and unexplored terrain. Feed your curiosity and embark on a voyage of discovery with Blue-Roads – and let the new and exciting take centre stage.
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