So Athens will be a packed day. We are there for eleven hours and our tour will take about 8 hours.
Map from AthensHotels.it
Our tour can be completely customized based on the suggestions of the group, but here is the suggested itinerary that we will probably stick to:
"We start the tour by visiting the so called “sacred rock”, the Acropolis. Here you will see the Parthenon that was dedicated to goddess Athena (Parthenos), Propylea, the monumental entrance to the sacred area, the temple of Athena Nike which was dedicated to Athena-Nike (Victory), the Erechtheion with its famous female figures-statues, the Caryatides or Maidens dedicated to both goddess Athena and god Poseidon. The Odeum of Herodus Atticus and the ruins of the first theatre in the whole world the Theatre of Dionysus and finally the Areopagus (Mars Hill).
"We will proceed to the Temple of Olympian Zeus (visit) and then to Panathenaic or Kallimarmaro Stadium which hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 (short visit). We will drive by the Prime Minister’s Residence (Maximos Mansion), the former Royal Palace, today the Presidential Mansion and the House of Parliament with the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (short stop so as to watch the changing of the guards).
"We continue our tour by driving up to the highest point of Athens, the Lycabettus Hill (the best 360 degree panoramic view of Athens). From Lycabettus Hill we’ll proceed to the oldest and most picturesque neighbourhood of Athens, Plaka (stone-paved narrow streets, traditional Greek tavernas -best gyros- antique and souvenir stores) and the Tower of the Winds.
"After lunch in Plaka we’ll drive through the city centre to the area of the Flea Market (street bazaar, antique stores) where we’ll visit the Ancient Agora (the political, financial and commercial centre of ancient Athens). There we’ll see the temple of Hephaistos, known also as Theseum (best preserved ancient temple in Greece) and the Stoa of Attalos (an ancient shopping centre) which was restored in the fifties by the American Archaeological School. It is a peaceful and inspiring site and especially in Spring when everything is in full bloom one’s spirit lifts!
"Our tour will be completed with our visit to the National Archaeological Museum, the biggest museum in Greece with one of the most extensive and important archaeological collections in the world. It houses, among other important exhibits, the frescoes of the island of Santorini and the prehistoric golden collection of Mycenae with the famous mask of Agamemnon. OR with a visit to the New Acropolis Museum, "Home" of the Parthenon Marbles and important and impressive archaeological findings from the sacred rock of the Acropolis. (Mondays closed)"
I think there was some talk in our group of skipping of the museums and maybe going shopping instead.
I'm a huge geography nerd and have always been a little fascinated by Greek mythology, so I'm super excited about this port and this tour.
Have you been to Athens? Even though we're on a tour, what should I try to see? Any restaurant or cafe recommendations? How is the wine in Greece? Let me know in the comments!