Greece – Mountains & Myths

Holiday Highlights

  • Stunning mountain and coastal scenery
  • Traditional Greek mountain villages and fishing ports
  • Guest house accommodation, full of character yet with all necessary facilities
  • Meteora Monasteries, Delphi and Olympia
  • Free time in Athens
  • Pelion narrow gauge railway
  • Kalavrita rack railway
  • 13 days from £3,175pp
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Tour Dates:
Wednesday 3 May to Monday 15 May 2023

A comprehensive tour to the Greek mainland which, in true “Small and Traditional” style, includes rural village hospitality. In addition to visiting several of Greece’s famous historic sites we will, of course, enjoy some scenic rail travel.

ITINERARY

Day 1 – Flight to Thessaloniki

Flight from London to Thessaloniki, Greece’s major northern port. Overnight hotel stay.

Day 2 – Thessaloniki & Kalambaka

A short city tour using our private coach will include the ancient citadel on the hill overlooking the city and coastline. We then drive south to Kalambaka with a lunch stop en route.

Day 3 – Meteora Monasteries

Kalambaka sits at the feet of gigantic sandstone and conglomerate pillars, each over 1000ft high and on top of which are perched six monasteries. The whole area is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Amazingly there are access routes for coaches, and we visit two before continuing our journey to the coast at Volos and the small mountain village of Millies on the Pelion Peninsula for a 2-night stay.

Day 4 – Pelion Railway

Millies is served by a diesel-hauled narrow gauge railway which operates just once a day from Ano Lehonia on the coast. This morning we ride the train through some spectacular scenery arriving back into Millies in time for lunch at our guest house and with time to explore this delightful village before taking the return train to Ano Lehonia.

Day 5 – Ypati

Drive via Lamia into the mountains of Central Greece to the small village resort of Ypati, nestled at the foot of Mount Oita and gateway to the national park. Here we are made very welcome with an evening meal and entertainment provided by a local restaurant

Day 6 – Gorgopotamus Bridge

Before leaving the area, we learn about the Gorgopotamus Bridge, destroyed by the resistance on 25 November 1942 to thwart German occupiers’ attempts to supply Rommel’s North African army. The bridge was rebuilt after the war but the line is now only used for occasional excursion trains. Later we take the mountain road to Itea, a small resort on the Gulf of Corinth for a 2-night stay.

Day 7 – Delphi & Galaxidi

Morning visit to Delphi, the famous religious site dedicated to the Greek god, Apollo, in the 8th Century BC. In the afternoon, we return to the coast and the small fishing resort of Galaxidi. The town has a long seafaring tradition, being accessible only by boat until the 1960s. Nowadays the attractive seafront is home to numerous classy fish restaurants serving the daily local catch.

Day 8 – Nafpaktos & Patras

Drive along the north coast of the Gulf of Corinth to Nafpaktos, a small resort with an attractive harbour originally founded by the Venetians. A castle dominates the hill overlooking the port. We take the long bridge across the Gulf to the Peloponese and the bustling town of Patras before continuing west to Katakolo. Our hotel overlooks the small town and the Ionian Sea and dinner will be included here this evening.

Day 9 – Olympia

The birthplace of the Olympic Games in 776 BC lies just a few miles inland from Katakolo and we include a visit. It is also a place of worship to the Greek god, Zeus, to whom a temple was built. In the afternoon we continue our drive into the mountains of the Central Peloponese and discover the attractive village of Lagkadia which is ideal for our 2-night stay.

Day 10 – Mountain Villages

We can imagine that donkeys were once the only means of transport on these mountain roads but today we can reach the villages dotted around this remote area rather more easily.

Day 11 – Kalavrita Rack Railway

The mountain town of Kalavrita is linked to the Gulf of Corinth at Diakopto by a remarkable narrow gauge line which is part conventional adhesion worked and part rack assisted. For much of the one hour journey, it travels down a narrow valley dominated by high sandstone cliffs, unlike any of the scenery we have seen hitherto. Diakopto is now linked to Athens by a coastal standard gauge line which has replaced the old Peloponnese narrow gauge and we conclude our journey to the capital by this route, crossing the famous Corinth Canal as we do so. Our well appointed city centre hotel couldn’t be more different from the village guest houses we have previously used and there are excellent views of the city and Acropolis from the top floor restaurant and bar.

Day 12 – Free Day in Athens

Athens is a city to suit all tastes and we therefore leave you free to choose from visiting archaeological and cultural sites to riding the trams and metro system (for which a day ticket is available).

Day 13 – Return to London

Direct flight from Athens to London.

Due to the limited number of rooms in guest house accommodation, this tour will be limited to 15 persons.

Tour Route

Tour route map

Selected Hotels

Hotel Tobacco, Thessaloniki

Kaikis Hotel, Kalambaka

Dryalos Hotel, Millies

Hotel Alexakis, Ypati

Kalafati Hotel, Itea

Orizontes Hotel, Katakolo

Hotel Maniatis, Lagkadia

Hotel Titania, Athens

Please note - hotels can be subject to change

Price Includes

  • Flights in Economy Class by scheduled airline
  • Rail travel as specified
  • Other travel by private mini-coach
  • Hotel accommodation in Thessaloniki and Athens
  • Other accommodation in good quality private hotels or guest houses with “en-suite” facilities
  • All breakfasts and 8 other meals
  • Admissions to monasteries and archaeological sites
  • Airport and other transfers
  • Services of a tour leader from London and throughout the tour plus local professional Greek Guide

Price per person

Escorted holiday: £3,175
Single room supplement: £410
Deposit for this holiday: £200

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