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Greece Metora

Cultural trip Greece

Itinerary

  • Itinerary:
    Athens - Delphi - Meteora - Thessaloniki
  • Duration:
    10 days / 9 nights (flexible)
  • Price:
    from £ 770.- per person (excluding flights)
A journey packed with culture. From the Acropolis in Athens, through the Oracle of Delphi, to the famous monastery cliffs of Meteora. Thessaloniki is the trendy dessert of the trip. You travel by public transportation; sit back on the train or bus, enjoy the scenery, and let yourself be transported. Sustainable & enjoyable!
Woman with rolling pin Delphi Greece
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Day 1 – Your trip to Athens

Today you will fly to Athens, a flight of about 3.5 hours. If you sit by the window, you will see white Athens beneath you. Once outside, our driver will be waiting for you; he will take you to your hotel in the city center of Athens. If you arrive early in the city, go explore immediately. Take a walk to the trendy neighborhood of Spiri and admire street art or enjoy a (late) lunch at one of the many restaurants with a courtyard or rooftop terrace. Then head to the famous Plaka district and wander through the narrow streets with white worn cobblestones. Small shops full of souvenirs and local products, a terrace in the shade, and live music are the ingredients. In the app of our local partner, you will find good dining tips; we enjoyed Greek food in a local tavern.

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Day 2 – Explore Athens with a local

Your breakfast is delicious: fresh Greek products, such as the famous yogurt, figs and dates, sweet cakes, Spanakopita (feta and spinach in puff pastry), and fresh juice. Enjoy! Then you go out with a local. Literally, because you walk with your guide along the highlights of Athens. And along hidden gems. That’s the fun part when you go out with a local; your guide can tell you everything about ‘his’ city and knows the best addresses, the most special temples, and the nicest terraces. How about the small district of Anafiotika, at the foot of the Acropolis? Here you feel like you’re on a Greek island with the small white houses and narrow streets. Everything is built in the style of the Cyclades. Of course, breaks are scheduled to enjoy a real Greek coffee with a local delicacy. The walk takes about three hours; by early afternoon you’ll be ‘back to square one’.

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Exploring Athens

When you think of Athens, you think of the Acropolis. Buy your entrance tickets online in advance (you might want to pay a little extra for skip-the-line) so you can walk straight through. It’s a decent climb uphill, but definitely worth it. What we call the Acropolis is actually the Parthenon, the famous temple built for the goddess Athena. The Parthenon, along with other temples and an ancient theater, sits atop the Acropolis, which means ‘the highest point of the city’. This also means that no building in Athens can be higher than the Acropolis. In the museum, about 4,000 objects found in the area are on display, including statues and parts of the architecture. For the best view, head to the top floor.

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Cooking workshop in Athens – optional to book

Do you enjoy cooking or want to learn the secrets of Greek cuisine? Then let’s cook! After today, you’ll know the Greek cuisine inside out; you’ll learn to make Greek (vegan) dishes yourself. Of course, you’ll first get acquainted with each other and the chef, after which you’ll get started. From a traditional tzatziki and a real moussaka to the (famous) Spanakopita (feta and spinach in puff pastry) and dolmas (stuffed grape leaves). And then? Enjoy your meal! If you want to get to know Greek cuisine but don’t necessarily want to cook yourself, we’ll plan our bike & bite bike tour for you. You’ll cycle in a small group with a guide through Athens. Along the way, the guide will tell you about the history of Athens and take you to his favorite local restaurants. From delicious starters to flavorful main courses and a sweet dessert. With a local drink, of course. Let us know which excursion (or both?) appeals to you the most, and we’ll plan it for you.

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Day 3 – Using public transportation to Delphi

You will travel independently to the bus station in Athens, where you will board the bus to Delphi. The bus is comfortable, with good spacious seats. And in about three hours, you’ll be in the middle of the small center of Delphi. Your hotel is located on the outskirts of the city; you overlook the green valleys, and in the distance, the blue sea sparkles (far in the distance). Delphi is touristy; there are plenty of taverns and restaurants to eat lunch and dinner. While you’re actually here for one thing: the archaeological site. Since you’re staying in Delphi for two nights, you’ll have all day tomorrow to explore it.

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Day 4 – Delphi

You walk about ten minutes to the archaeological site of Delphi, at the end of the village. Delphi was once the largest religious center of ancient Greece. According to tradition, it was also literally the ‘center’. The god Zeus had sent two eagles from the farthest corners of the universe to determine the center of the world. Based on this myth, the Greeks believed that the navel stone of Delphi was the geographical center of the earth. Official delegations from all over the world came to Delphi for the wise predictions of the priestess of the god Apollo. However, during the rise of Christianity, the sanctuary fell into decline. Nevertheless, there is still much to see: the Temple of Apollo, the theater, and the Old Stadium, where every four years the ‘Pythia’ took place: a competition in honor of Apollo. The ruins are built against a mountain, so expect some climbing. Therefore, make sure to bring enough water, especially in the summer. Then visit the museum; there is air conditioning, so you can cool down while admiring excavations and restored artworks.

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Day 5 – To Meteora

Early start today; the bus ride to Meteora takes about six hours. You board the bus again at the bus station in Delphi and leisurely travel through the Greek landscape towards Kalambaka. From Kalambaka, you continue on your own to Kastraki, at the foot of the rocks. This can be done by public transport; you can also easily arrange a taxi for these last few kilometers. Just before Kastraki, you’ll already see the first monasteries, high on the rocks. You are literally at the foot of this wonder of the world. Some monasteries reach a height of four hundred meters and seem to float in the air. Meteora means ‘suspended in the air’ in Greek. You’ll stay nearby in a characteristic hotel with wooden balconies. In the garden, you can fully enjoy the beautiful surroundings.

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Day 6 – Monastery visit at sunset

The plain of Meteora was once an inland sea. Through centuries of wind and water erosion, this impressive natural landscape was formed. In its heyday, communities of monks often formed in monasteries that were completely isolated. Some of these monasteries are still inhabited today. Visitors from all over the world gather to pray and meditate. Today, you will have a close-up look at the monasteries. But not during the day, rather at the end of the day when most (day) tourists have already left. This way, you escape the crowds and discover the hidden gems of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You will travel in a small group with a guide. The guide knows the history of the monasteries and the legends of the area, and will take you along winding narrow roads through the area. Of course, you will visit an ‘active’ monastery, but you will also explore unknown caves and see the six most famous (and remaining) monasteries. The moment when the sun sets is breathtaking.

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Day 7 – To Thessaloniki

You’ll travel by bus for about four hours from Kalambaka to Thessaloniki. The bus runs several times a day (from late morning onwards). Thessaloniki is located in northern Greece and is hip and trendy. It might even be the hippest city in Greece. Authentic buildings and monuments, lively squares, cultural museums, trendy shops, and by the sea… what more could you want? Admire Ottoman monuments, dine at a local tavern, or have a cocktail by the water. You’ll stay in the city center; where we collaborate with several hotels. All of them are located in prime locations and are small-scale. So, it’s a great choice to explore Thessaloniki to the fullest.

 

If you would prefer to travel by train, we can arrange this for you. Although the cost is slightly higher, the journey time can be reduced which might be of interest to those who want to spend more time exploring Thessaloniki!

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Day 8 – The highlights of Thessaloniki, by bike

Today, you’ll explore Thessaloniki by bike. The city boasts a fascinating history, beautiful squares, boulevards, authentic markets, and delicious food. Cycling allows you to discover the gems of Greece’s second-largest city. In about three hours, you’ll ride through places that tourists don’t typically visit. You’ll cycle from Valaoritou and Kamara to Ladadika (neighborhoods in Thessaloniki). From there, you’ll pass by the White Tower and the statue of Alexander the Great, then head to local small markets around Aristotle Square.

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Day 9 – Thessaloniki

Take today to explore the city on your own. Ano Poli (the old town of Thessaloniki) is particularly suitable for exploring on foot. Ano Poli is built on the slope of the Chortiatis mountain; take a taxi to the top and then walk down through charming streets. Local Greeks also call Ano Poli “the balcony of Thessaloniki” because the view is phenomenal. Alternatively, visit one of the many authentic markets, such as Kapani or Modiano. Wander among the stalls, smell delightful aromas, taste spices, and buy some fresh fruit. Make a stop at the Paradosiako tavern and be surprised by the owners, buy your Turkish/Greek fruit at Karpos, and get your spices at Balsamo. For the best olives and olive oil, head to Manoli’s olive stand.

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Day 10 – Return Flight Home

Your last day of this tour through Greece has arrived. You travel back to the airport on your own and catch the flight back home. If you have a return flight from Athens, you can easily travel back using public transportation. If it’s necessary to stay an extra night there, we’ll be happy to arrange that for you.

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Bus or Train?

For now, we’re planning to arrange bus transportation for you during this cultural trip. Due to the autumn storm Daniel, a part of the railway in Eastern Greece has been washed away. You can still travel by train, but halfway through the journey, you’ll need to transfer to a bus, which may involve some waiting time. That’s why we’re opting for the bus at the moment. Wherever possible, we’ll arrange train travel for you; our local partner in Greece has the most knowledge in this regard and will advise us accordingly.

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Cultural trip Greece

Accommodation

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