Athens / EmbarkEmbark at Marina Zea between 2-3 pm. Enjoy a welcome drink and meet your crew and fellow passengers. Sail for Palaia (old) Epidaurus. Evening arrival and dinner on board.
Palaia EpidaurusLeave your ship early in the morning to drive to Ancient Epidaurus. Epidaurus was known throughout the Greek world as a healing sanctuary. It was reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius and for its theater, which is once again in use today. The sanctuary was looted by the Roman general Sulla, by pirates, and later by Goths in 395 A.D. -very little remains of it today. The prosperity brought by the Asclepieion enabled the residents of Epidaurus to construct civic monuments, including a huge theater (approximately 300 B.C.) renowned for its symmetry and beauty. Lunch on ship and afternoon sailing to Nafplion. Overnight at port.
Nafplion - MycenaeAfter a short walking tour of Nafplion, drive through the colorful city and the beautiful countryside of Argolis towards Mycenae. The importance of the city, which Homer calls “rich in gold”, begins in 1650 B.C and ceases around 1100 B.C with the fall of the civilization to which it gives name. Visit the remains of the ancient glorious city including the Lion’s Gate, the Palace, the so-called Agamemnon Tomb, and the museum. Lunch on ship and afternoon sailing to Monemvassia. Overnight sailing to Gythion.
Early morning arrival at Gythion. Explore Mani Peninsula and Cape Tenaro plus the spectacular DirouCaves with their stalactites and stalagmites. Ancient Gythion was inhabited during prehistoric times and was used later by the Spartans as a port, since by enlarging the natural harbor they made Gythion their naval base.
Leaving Gythion cross the scenic Mani Peninsula to reach Diros and visit the spectacular caves, discovered around the 60's, which are perhaps among the most important natural sites of Greece. After visiting the cave drive to nearby Areopolis for a short stroll through the town. Mani is at the tip of the Peloponnese, a distinctive area unlike any other area in Greece - a desolate and beautiful region of underground lakes and rivers, windswept landscapes, and towers. Overnight at sea to Pylos.
Pylos is a picture-perfect seaside town on the southwest corner of the Peloponnese. In 1827 a fleet of Venetians and other city states defeated an Ottoman fleet in one of the most important naval battles in history. This defeat led to the independence of Greece, which occurred in 1829. After stopping to admire the scenery, continue up the road to Nestor’s Palace. The remains of the prehistoric Palace occupy a scenic hilltop setting north of Pylos. The palace at Pylos belonged to Nestor and was discovered in 1939 by the American archaeologist Carl Blegen.
Highlights include the well-preserved royal apartments and a bathtub that archaeologists have speculated belonged to the old king himself. The palace, with its central courtyard, was originally two stories high and richly decorated with frescoes. Following your visit to the remains of the palace, make the short trip to the town of Hora where a superb archaeological museum holds thousands of artifacts recovered from the site. Overnight sailing to Katakolon.
Katakolon - Olympia
Arrive in the early morning in Katakolon. Disembark the ship around 7:00 a.m. in the port town of Katakolo and travel by bus to Olympia, one of the most famous and important sites in the ancient world. Olympia is revered as the birthplace of the Olympic Games. In the ancient Greek world, it was also the greatest panhellenic sanctuary for the worship of Zeus. Olympia persisted well into Roman times until its demise in the 3rd century A.D. when fires, earthquakes and invading tribes from the north left the ancient site in ruins. From 1875 onward excavation work, spearheaded primarily by the German government, revealed the fantastic treasures from antiquity that sit today in the marvelous archaeological museum. The most thrilling site at Olympia is the stadium, which looks much like it did more than 2,000 years ago. Also explore the Temple of Hera and the magnificent Temple of Zeus the Philippeion - the lodging place for athletes who participated in the games.
Later visit the Olympia Museum, one of the most beautiful museums in the world. Following lunch in the town of Olympia, visit the museum of the History of the Olympic Games of Antiquity. Unlike the main archaeological museum, this building houses statuary and a host of artifacts specifically related to the ancient Olympic games. After having time at leisure, travel overland to Patras on the north coast of the peninsula, where you will re-board your ship and depart for Itea in the Gulf of Corinth. Overnight at Itea.
Itea - Delphi
Enjoy a morning excursion to Delphi, one of the most revered sites from the ancient world. Disembark the ship early this morning and proceed to the ruins complex. Unlike other archaeological sites in Greece, Delphi is built on the side of a mountain. First time visitors are awed as much for the stunning natural beauty that surround the ruins as for the ancient buildings themselves. In its prime, Delphi was revered for its wealth and reputation, attributes which grew from the site’s location as hosting the most important oracle in the classical world.
Indeed, because everything in Greece is connected to mythology, Delphi became the premier site for the worship of the god Apollo. The oracle had the ability to prophesy the future and give advice. Visitors from across the Greek world traveled here to consult with the oracle, and responded by offering thanks to Apollo in the form of treasure. A half day is alloted for walking around the ruins complex and visiting the adjoining museum. Return to the ship and cross the Corinth Canal. Later in the evening sail to Marina Zea. Overnight in Marina Zea (Athens).
Marina Zea / DisembarkDisembark after breakfast.