Piraeus (Athens), Greece
Information Not Currently Available
Approximately 7½ Hours
Board a motorcoach for a 30- to 40-minute scenic ride into the heart of Athens. Along the way, your narrated drive will pass a host of significant sites, including Hadrian's Arch, the statue of Lord Byron, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Constitution Square, the former Royal Palace, the National Gardens, the Academy, and the University Library.
Ahead, the mighty Acropolis dominates the landscape. Your guided walking tour begins as you climb the 80 steep steps through the Propylaea, the monumental gateway to the Acropolis, which extends 150 feet across its western side. From here, the views of the city of Athens below are incredible. Beyond the Propylaea on the highest point of the Acropolis stands the Parthenon, one of the greatest monuments of ancient civilization. Dedicated to the virgin goddess Athena, the white Pentelic marble temple was built 446 - 437 BC. The Erectheum is situated on the most sacred site of the Acropolis, where Athena and Poseidon are said to have held a contest to decide who would be Patron of the city. Here you will find the graceful Porch of the Caryatids, which features replica columns of marble maidens supporting the temple's roof. The originals can be seen at the Acropolis Museum.
Your next stop offers a wonderful yevma -- lunch! Sample regional delicacies and taste flavorful local wines.
Refreshed, you'll visit the ancient Agora -- once a thriving marketplace and public forum. Browse in the small Stoa of Attalus Museum, which houses many artifacts from the area, including a collection of vases, coins and statues. View the Doric-style Thission Temple (the Temple of Hephaestus), built in 449 BC and perched above the once-thriving Agora. It is still in excellent condition.
A brief shopping excursion in the Agora area allows you time to purchase souvenirs and mementos from local venues and refreshments if you wish (at your own expense).
Reboard your motorcoach for a panoramic drive through Athens. A photo stop at the Old Olympic Stadium is an opportunity to see firsthand this marble structure, built to host the first modern Olympic Games in 1896.
Then, continue to the Temple of Olympian Zeus -- the largest temple in antiquity, 700 years in the making. Located just behind Hadrian's Arch, the temple pays homage to Zeus, ruler of the Olympian gods.
Your return ride to the port is a scenic and relaxing end to your unforgettable day.
Wear comfortable walking shoes. Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience. The Temple of Olympian Zeus is undergoing restoration and is currently scaffolded; even so, it is possible to gain an impression of its might.