Highlights of Greece

Greece - Trip code GG Discovery
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Why book this trip?

Journey around the cradle of western civilization as we visit Delphi, Olympia, Mycenae and the delightful coastal town of Nafplion, all epicentres of the ancient Greece world. Spend time Athens exploring its famous Parthenon, spend the night in a mountain lodge and take a memorable train journey through tunnels, over heady ravines and past rushing waterfalls, to Kalavryta, a small village with a gigantic history.

  • Athens - Explore the history and culture of one of the world's oldest cities including the impressive Acropolis
  • Delphi - Perched on the rocky slopes of Mount Parnassos, take a guided tour of the Temple of Apollo
  • Olympia - Birthplace of the Olympic Games, discover the magnificent ancient ruins including the arena.
  • Included meals

    Breakfast: 7

    Lunch: 1

    Dinner: 1

  • Trip staff

    Explore Tour Leader


    Local Guide(s)

  • Transport



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    6 nights comfortable hotel

    1 nights premium hotel

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    Trip pace:

    Full on

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    Group Size:

    12 - 18


Day 1 - Join tour in Athens

Arrive in Athens. The city is a mix of ancient and modern, having been the capital of Greece for less than 200 years, but with a history dating back over 3,000 years. Surrounded by mountains to the north and west and beautiful coastline to the south and east, the city itself is built on a number of hills, with our centrally located hotel a perfect base to explore the city.

For those arriving on time our Leader plans to meet you in the hotel reception at 6.30pm and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out for dinner. Due to a number of flights arriving into Athens later in the evening, our welcome meeting will take place on the morning of day two. There are no other activities planned today, so you are free to arrive in Athens at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer today, you'll need to arrive into Athens International Airport (ATH), which is about one hours' drive, depending on traffic.

If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to visit one of the cafes in the colourful Psyrri district which offer traditional Greek cuisine of scrumptious aubergines, tomatoes and cheese washed down with ouzo or raki. There are traditional rustic tavernas in the well-known Plaka area at the foot of the Acropolis.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: None

Day 2 - Walking tour of Athens including the changing of the guard at the Greek parliament and the Acropolis

After our Leader does an initial welcome meeting, we'll take a short walk to Monastiraki metro station, disembarking at Syntagma, home of the Hellenic parliament where we watch the changing of the guard at the tomb of the unknown soldier.

From the crowds of Syntagma Square we'll head into the green oasis of the National Gardens for a stroll through the pristine park down to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, a former vast temple complex with well preserved columns offering great views of the Acropolis behind it.

Our next stop is the vibrant Plaka quarter, one of the oldest neighbourhoods of Athens and the markets around Monastirak. The streets are full of atmospheric tavernas with their tables spilling out onto the narrow cobbled streets and small traders selling all kind of specialties. Its a very picturesque area, an ideal spot to break for lunch with a wide choice of eating spots offering traditional Greek fare including Tiropita, Kolokithopita or Spanakopita a delicious spinach and feta filled snack.

In the afternoon we head for a guided tour of the Acropolis, deservedly one the wonders of the ancient world. Climbing up from Plaka to the Acropolis we pass through the Anafiotika district, where the architecture is more in keeping with Santorini than the Greek capital. We have a guided tour of the site including the Temple of Athena Nike, Pericles and the Parthenon tower and the monument most venerated by the ancient Athenians themselves - the Erechtheion.

Making our way back to our hotel late afternoon, the evening is free to further explore this great city, our tour leader can make recommendations for eating out tonight.

For those wishing to see more of Athens, it is well worth visiting the highly acclaimed Acropolis museum to see the layers of history painstakingly excavated right beneath your feet. It is now possible to see the ruins of the ancient Athenian neighbourhood that stood on this very site millennium ago, following a comprehensive refurbishment of the museum in 2019.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 3 - Scenic drive to Delphi, walk and picnic lunch offering wonderful mountain panoramic views. Overnight stay in a mountain resort

A scenic drive northwest out of Athens this morning takes us through the largest olive grove in Greece to reach Delphi. Perched on the rocky slopes of sacred Mount Parnassos, Delphi was the perfect setting for mystery and religious prophecy, and was known throughout the ancient Greek world as the sanctuary of Apollo.

We make a brief stop at Arachova to have a coffee break and pick up provisions for a picnic lunch. We'll drive to Mount Parnassos, the largest and most visited ski area in Greece and take a short hike in the mountains to Corycian Cave for wonderful panoramic views of the plains of Livadi.

We aim to have a picnic lunch here before descending, re-joining our coach and driving to our mountain retreat hotel in the picturesque historic village of Arachova. The views from our hotel are beautiful, with wide vistas of the surrounding mountains. Offering a large indoor pool as well as cosy open fire places to take the chill away from the higher altitude, its an ideal base for tonight's overnight stay.

Late afternoon we make the short fifteen minute drive into Delhi to visit its acclaimed museum accompanied with a archaeological guide. The museum contains the much admired 'charioteer' widely regarded as one of the finest examples of Bronze sculptures in the ancient world.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Lunch

Day 4 - Tour of Delphi including the Temple of Apollo. Journey through the Vouraikos Gorge to Kalavryta on the rack railway

Returning to Delphi, we visit the site's famous antiquities early to avoid the crowds. Highlights include the Temple of Apollo, the theatre, stadium and Marmaria Sanctuary. We are accompanied by a local guide who will bring the story of this ancient religious sanctuary, dedicated to the Greek god Apollo to life.

Continuing our journey we drive south crossing the impressive Rion - Antirion bridge that spans the gulf of Corinth into the Peloponnese peninsular and onto Diakofto, where we board the historic rack railway to Kalavryta.

Travelling through the dramatic Vouraikos Gorge through tunnels, over heady ravines and past rushing waterfalls, its an unforgettable train ride to remember. Our destination is Kalavryta, a small village with a gigantic history; it was here that the Greek revolution began in 1821. In more recent times, it was the setting of one of Greece's most tragic encounters in WWII. On December 13th, 1943, in retaliation against the Greek resistance guerrillas who had been fighting around the area, the German troops invaded Kalavryta. After looting and setting fire to much of the village, they rounded up the town's entire male population of 451 men and boys, and executed them. Only 13 survived, after hiding under the bodies of the dead.

This tragedy is still very much alive in Kalavryta's collective memory, and on our arrival we will take a walk to the poignant site of the town's WWII holocaust memorial.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 5 - Visit Olympia, birthplace of the ancient Olympics

Our destination today is the monuments of ancient Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic games and one of Greece's most renowned historical sites, for a guided tour.

The site lies in an enchanting valley setting close to the modern day town of Nea Olympia. The first monuments to be constructed were in the Altis, or sacred grove, and date back to the 10th - 9th century BC. Estimates indicate the games first began in 776 BC, after the worship of Zeus was established.

Initially all the principal Greek cities took part in the Olympiads, which were held every four years.

As well as wandering through the remains of the gymnasium, wrestling school, stadium and the Temple of Zeus, you could visit the excellent Archaeological Museum (optional) which has many remarkable exhibits on view.

Our hotel today is on the outskirts of Olympia, offering fine views of Alfeios River and Kiparissia Bay and featuring a large terrace and swimming pool. Dinner is included tonight, which can be taken on the terrace.


Grade: Premium Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast & Dinner

Day 6 - Coastal road to Nafplion with an orientation walk on arrival. Visit a ouzo distillery

Taking the scenic coastal road, we travel to Nafplion, the first capital of modern Greece and one of the most beautiful coastal towns in the Peloponnese. Guarded by two imposing Venetian castles, the old town of Nafplion is a jumble of red roofed houses overlooking its expansive bay.

After checking-in to our centrally located hotel, we head out for an orientation walking tour of this charming town including the first Greek parliament and fine examples of Byzantine and Venetian churches and buildings, with ample time for a leisurely lunch.

Later in the day, visit a family run ouzo distillery to learn about the liquor most closely associated with Greece. Now in their fourth generation, the Karonis family have proudly produced ouzo for 145 years with ingredients produced locally, they also produce a cherry liquor sourced from produce in the Arcadia region. After our distillery tour we have the opportunity for tastings.

Returning to town, our hotel in Nafplion is ideally located within close walking distance to the town waterfront promenade. Perhaps enjoy a late afternoon stroll and watch the sunset followed by dinner at one of the many harbourfront restaurants.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 7 - Visit Epidavros theatre, the mighty ruins of ancient Mycenae and Skouras winery. Overnight in Nafplion

Epidavros is home to one of the greatest and best preserved of all ancient Greek theatres. With its backdrop of rolling hills, this 14,000-seat arena merges perfectly into the landscape, so much so that it was rediscovered and unearthed only in the last century. The acoustics of the amphitheatre are so incredible, it's said that even those sat on the highest tier will hear a coin drop on stage!

Dedicated to Asclepius, the healing god and legendary son of Apollo, the sanctuary here was one of the most important of the ancient world, and it remained a site of pilgrimage from the sixth century BC to Roman times.

Our next stop is the mighty ruins of ancient Mycenae. Perched on a hilltop overlooking the valley of Argos, Mycenae is connected to the legend of King Agamemnon who commanded the 10-year long expedition against Troy.

The site was unearthed by the archaeologist Schliemann in the 1870's and is prized for its Lion Gate and Royal Tombs. Equally impressive are the 'beehive tombs' which include the Treasury of Atreus, the lintel over the monumental Atreus door weighs over 120 tons. Inside, the structure is impressive. The principal chamber dates from about 1350 BC and emulates the grandeur of the Egyptian pharaohs.

We round the day off with a visit to a Greek winery near Argos, set amongst rolling hills the Skouras winery boasts a cellar of over one thousand barrels. The tour starts by heading out into the vineyard to learn about the different types of vines used and the yearly rhythm of production, we then head back into the winery to see the grape pressing and bottling area, finishing the tour with a tasting session.

Head back to Nafplion to enjoy our last night on the Peloponnese peninsular.


Grade: Comfortable Hotel

Single room available

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Day 8 - Trip ends in Athens

After breakfast we drive back to the capital where our trip ends at Athens International Airport (ATH).

There are no activities planned today, so you are free to depart from Athens at any time after 2pm. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage storage facilities are available at the airport. Its a 40 minute journey to the city by metro (line 3), the metro ticket cost is €18 return to to Syntagma Square.

Why not extend your trip with a week in the beautiful Cycladic islands? All dates are designed to synchronise with our eight day Highlights of the Greek Islands tour.

Alternatively it is possible to extend your stay in Athens by booking additional nights accommodation.

Meals Provided: Breakfast

Trip information

Climate and country information



Greece has such a vast geographical difference between the mainland and the islands, and travel is possible at all times of year but the climate can vary depending on when you go. During late spring or early autumn, in the months of April-May or September-October, temperatures are warm and pleasant, usually hovering around 25 degrees. Rainfall is low, but can be erratic during these months. Cooler evenings take the heat off the day. If you have booked a walking holiday, wild flowers bloom during the spring, adding colour to the hiking trails. Summers are hot and dry, with plenty of sunshine and little rain. Temperatures can go north of 35 degrees in July and August. On the islands, restaurants and bars may be busy with cruise ship passengers. While this period definitely gives you a ‘summer holiday’ feeling, those wishing to explore Greece’s ancient sites may find the heat challenging. When travelling in winter, from late November to early March, the villages will be very quiet. Temperatures in Athens at this time are around 10-15 degrees, while the nights will be colder. Hotels in northern Greece in particular are well adapted to deal with cold winters, having proper heating and warm fires to retreat to after a day of exploring. This makes it a good destination for travel between November-March.

Time difference to GMT



2 Pin Round





Budgeting and packing

Optional activities

The following excursions and/or activities are usually available and may be arranged locally. Estimated costs are provided below for guidance only, are on a per person basis unless shown otherwise, and may depend on the number of participants. Prices quoted are correct as of the date these tour notes were originally issued but may change at any time due to currency fluctuations. Please note: These activities are booked and paid for direct with the supplier and do not form part of your Explore holiday contract.

A selection of optional activities are listed below to help you budget for your trip, please note that some of the walks and boat trips will be weather dependent, trips departing in the early season (in particular in April) are more likely to be effected.

On the afternoon of day two you may like to do the following:
Acropolis Museum entrance €10.00 per person
National Archaeological Museum entrance €10.00 per person
Olympic Stadium entrance €5.00 per person
Trams - 24 hour ticket costs €4.50 per operson

If you are a student or over 65, please carry ID for half price museum entrance fees.


July and August are the hottest months, but early and late in the season go prepared with clothing to suit drops in temperature and the odd shower. Women in trousershorts are not permitted to enter monasteries - please bring a skirt.


Comfortable, well broken-in walking boots or shoes with good heel support are necessary for participating in walks and visiting the sites. Trainers and sandals are also recommended for relaxing.



Luggage: On tour

One main piece of baggage and a daysac. Remember, porters are not available at all locations, so don't overload yourself. You'll also need to carry your luggage on/off buses.


Water bottle, sunhat and sun cream.


Explore leader
Tipping isn't compulsory, and we work hard to ensure that our leaders all receive a fair wage. You may however, want to recognise a leader that has done a great job or really added to your trip by giving them a tip. We're often asked about the recommended amount. It is a tricky one, and down to personal preference, but we would recommend £15 to £20 per person per week as a guideline.
Local crew
Although voluntary, tipping is a recognised part of life in this region of the world. Some local staff will look to members of the group for personal recognition of particular services provided. Accordingly, you should allow approximately £16 of local currency for tipping.

In order to make things easier for you, the Explore Leader may organise a group's tips kitty and if this is the case, they will account for it throughout the trip.


Food and drink

The costs for meals may vary depending upon location, type of restaurant and number of courses eaten and so the prices given are an average guide. Local restaurants located off the beaten track may be less expensive, whereas an upmarket restaurant located in the centre of a major city may charge more.

Dinner price
£12.00 - 16.00
Beer price
Water price
Foreign Exchange
Local currency
Recommended Currency For Exchange
GBP Sterling or US Dollars, cash.
Where To Exchange
We recommend that you change any currency into Euros prior to arrival. Bureau de Change are generally only found in major cities and large airports
ATM Availability
Cash can be drawn from ATMs from all types of cards in most areas in Greece, including the islands.
Credit Card Acceptance
In major restaurants.
Travellers Cheques
Banking hours may make exchanging Travellers Cheques more difficult.
Transport, Accommodation & Meals

Transport Information

Bus, Train

Accommodation notes

Our hotel in Athens has been chosen for its very close proximity to the city centre, with the Acropolis a short fifteen minute walk away and the delightful Plaka quarter with its excellent choice of bars and restaurants even closer. Tucked away from the bustling centre, the hotel has a 7th floor roof garden with views looking out directly to the Acropolis, an ideal spot to watch the sunset. The breakfast buffet includes products from the Mediterranean including seasonal fresh fruits, cereals, scrambled eggs, honey, cakes, bread rolls with olives, raisins or multi-grains, croissants and hot and cold beverages.

In Delphi we stay outside the main town in the mountainous village of Arachova, a ten minute drive from Delphi. A ski lodge in winter, our delightful hotel features large panoramic windows overlooking the mountains, a big indoor swimming pool and a cozy fire in the reception area to take the chill away from the higher altitude.

Moving onto Olympia, we use a resort style property with fine views of Alfeios River and Kiparissia Bay. Featuring a large terrace and swimming pool and surrounded by gardens its an ideal location, close to the Olympia site. Dinner is included tonight, which can be taken on the terrace.

Finally in Nafplion we use a town centre hotel, chosen for its proximity to the beach, jus five minutes walk away. All rooms have air conditioning and satellite TV.

All hotels offer free Wi Fi.

Essential Information

Government Travel Safety Advice

We strongly recommend that you check your government's travel advisory for up-to-date information and advice about your destination: safety and security, entry requirements, health, local laws and customs. For UK citizens, check the latest Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office advice.

Please refer to our COVID-19 entry requirements page for any country-specific conditions of entry. Whilst we strive to update this on a regular basis we recommend you also check the FCDO website for the latest advice on entry requirements in this fast-evolving situation. Information can change at any time.

Under 18 immigration guidance

Please note that some countries require proof of parental consent when travelling overseas with under 18s. Please check requirements with the relevant embassy or consular office well in advance of travel if this applies to your party.

Price Guarantee

Once your booking has been confirmed we guarantee the price will not increase, whatever the circumstances. Before booking please ensure you have read our important tour pricing information.Booking Conditions

Visa and Passport Information

Greece: Visas are not required by UK, Australian, New Zealand, US and Canadian citizens. Other nationalities should consult their local embassy or consular office.

From 1st July 2020, All visitors are required to provide a completed 'Passenger Locator Form (PLF)' which must be submitted at least 24 hours before departure at:

You will also receive a QR code (up to 24 hours before you travel, regardless of how early you fill in your form). When you receive your code, make sure you either print it, or can show it on your mobile phone as you will need to show this at check in and on arrival in Greece.

If you do require assistance in obtaining a visa then you may be able to apply through Explore's recommended visa service in the UK, Travcour. See to download the relevant visa application for your trip, if applicable (UK citizens only), along with details of how to apply for your visa through Travcour. The Team at Travcour will be happy to answer specific questions relating to visa applications, please call them directly on 0208 5431846.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you are in possession of a full passport, with the correct validity for your chosen destination.

Booking conditions

Before booking your Explore trip, please ensure that you read both our Essential Information and Booking Conditions.

Minimum age restrictions

For our group tours, the minimum age is 16. The minimum age on Family trips varies between 7 and 11 - please check the 'Family information' section of the trip page for more information. 


Find out more about Trip Transfer Terms and Conditions before you book.

Booking a land only package with Explore

Customers who have chosen to book on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements of our tour, please ensure that you have checked your tour specific ‘Joining Instructions’ prior to booking your own travel arrangements. Your joining instructions can be found below in the dates and prices information. 

You may also be eligible for the Free Explore Transfer.

Joining Tour Abroad

Customers booked on the ‘Land Only’ arrangements will receive a Free Transfer, provided you arrive and depart on the tour only itinerary start and end dates. The complimentary transfers will be arranged from the Explore designated airport or train station to your trips joining point, and then back from the ending point to the designated airport or train station. Generally the airport or station that Explore have selected will be the one that is closest to the town or city where the trip starts, or the one nearest to the joining point. It will be either an airport or train station but not both.

The exception to this rule is customers who are booked on a tour where the joining and ending point is at the designated airport or train station.  

Free transfers are not available for Self-Guided, Polar, Tailormade or Tours for Churches customers.

If you are not eligible for the Free Transfer then you will need to make your own way through to the joining and ending point. On a majority of our tours Explore will be able to provide a private transfer at an additional cost. Please ask for a quote at the time of booking.  

For more information regarding the Explore Free Transfer click here


It is a condition of booking with Explore that you have adequate valid travel insurance. It is your responsibility to arrange appropriate travel insurance and ensure you have read and understood the full terms and conditions of your travel insurance policy to ensure that you are covered for all activities you intend to undertake whilst on the tour, including all optional activities. Your Insurance Policy must fully cover you for medical expenses and emergency repatriation to your home country. Please ensure your policy includes medical emergency helicopter evacuation in the event of illness or injury and covers the entire duration of your holiday. If you are trekking at altitude please ensure that there is no upper altitude limit which may limit or exclude cover for your trip. The cost of many of our Polar Voyages will exceed the capped amount covered by standard insurance premiums and you will be required to pay an additional premium to cover the full value of your trip. Please ensure that you are covered for the full amount of your holiday cost, as insufficient cover could invalidate a claim under the policy. Medical and repatriation insurance cover is not mandatory for UK residents who are travelling on trips within the United Kingdom.
Read more information about what travel insurance is required.

Flight information

Explore offers a wide range of flexible flying options to make joining and leaving our trips easy. Read more about them here.

Flight Information

You are able to book this tour on a 'land only' basis or as a ‘flight inclusive’ package. Your flight inclusive package will be fully protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) ATOL protection scheme.


Booking a flight inclusive package with Explore

We have a good selection of flights not only from London but from many regional airports around the UK allowing us to compare fares between scheduled carriers as well as low cost and charter airlines. Our dedicated flights team will match the best flight options to your arrival and departure airport.

On our website we display a UK flight inclusive package guide price which is generally based on a London departure. To avoid paying supplements or to secure your preferred flight option, we recommend booking as early as possible, especially for peak travel dates.

Ability to swim




Nothing compulsory but we recommend protection against tetanus and polio. Please check the latest requirements with your travel clinic or doctor prior to departure. The above is not an exhaustive list. Further information regarding vaccinations and travel health advice can be found by following the NHS and NaTHNaC links at Explore Travel Health and from your local healthcare provider. Visa and vaccination requirements are subject to change and should be confirmed by you before travelling.

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Airport Transfers
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