Greece – Mountains & Myths
- Stunning mountain and coastal scenery
- Tradtional 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 £3,365pp
Wednesday 8 May to Monday 20 May 2024
A comprehensive tour to the Greek mainland which, in true Small and Traditional style, includes rural village hospitality in addition to visits to several of Greece’s famous historic sites and, of course, some scenic rail travel.
Day 1 – Flight to Thessaloniki
Early flight from London Gatwick to Thessalonki, Greece’s major northern port. Short relaxing afternoon city tour with our private mini coach.
Day 2 – Thessaloniki & Kalambaka
We continue our city tour this morning with a visit to the ancient citadel on the hill, overlooking the city and coastline, before driving to Kalambaka for our next overnight stay – our journey includes a stop for lunch.
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 routes up for our coach 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 explore the village before lunch and ride the afternoon train through some spectacular scenery to Ano Lehonia.
Day 5 – Ypati
Drive into the mountains of Central Greece to the small village spa resort of Ypati, nestled at the foot of Mount Oita and gateway to the national park. Here we are made very welcome for evening meal at 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. Brief visit to the excellent audio visual display at the site of the famous battle of Thermopyle. 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.
Day 8 – Nafpaktos
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 visit the interpretation centre explaining how it was built before continuing west to Katakolo. Our hotel overlooks the small town and the Ionian Sea and dinner will be included 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. We include a visit to a very attractive open air industrial museum dedicated to the use of water power.
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. We conclude our journey to Athens along the coast, 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 Heathrow. (Please note that due to the British Airways schedule, we must fly out of Gatwick and into Heathrow on this tour).
Due to the limited number of rooms in guest house accommodation, this tour will be limited to 15 persons.
Hotel Tobacco, Thessaloniki
Kaikis Hotel, Kalambaka
Mirovoli Hotel, Millies
Hotel Alexakis, Ypati
Kalafati Hotel, Itea
Orizontes Hotel, Katakolo
Hotel Maniatis, Lagkadia
Brown Acropol Hotel, Athens
Please note - hotels can be subject to change
- 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
|Single room supplement:||£485|
|Deposit for this holiday:||£300|
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