Cradles of Civilizations

Itinerary:

Day 1   Arrival in Athens & City Tour 

Upon arrival at Athens International Airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” meet with your guide and enjoy a sightseeing tour, including a visit to the Acropolis, as well as a panoramic tour of the highlights of the city. Check-in at the hotel. Welcome dinner at thehotel & overnight. 


Day 2   Ancients Corinth – Mycenae – Epidaurus – Nafplion

CorinthBreakfast at hotel. In the morning, we depart Athens and drive to the Peloponnese. First stop will be at the Corinth Canal before reaching the ancient city of Corinth where the Apostle Paul lived and preached. On to Mycenae where you can see remains of the prehistoric citadel fortified with Cyclopean walls, the Lionesses’ Gate, the Mycenaean Palace and the tomb of King Agamemnon. Continue to Epidaurus with its famous well-preserved theater and drive to the beautiful seaport town of Nafplion for dinner & overnight.


Day 3   Nafplion – Olympia

GR-OlympiaBreakfast at hotel. Check-out. Drive through central Peloponnese to ancient Olympia which holds the stadium where the first Olympic Games took place in 776 BC. Thereafter they were held every 4 years. We visit the archaeological site and museum. Dinner & overnight at the hotel.


Day 4   Olympia – Delphi

delphiBreakfast at hotel. Check-out. We start our drive via Patras to Rion, driving through Nafpaktos in central Greece. Continue to Delphi, the center of the Ancient world, the “omphalos” (navel) of the earth – whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic world. We visit the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Treasury of the Athenians and the archaeological museum containing such masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias. Dinner & overnight at hotel in Delphi.


Day 5   Delphi – Athens – National Archaeological Museum

Breakfast at hotel. Check-out. In the morning, we start the drive back to Athens where we will visit the National Archaeological Museum, which contains an outstanding collection of masterpieces from excavations throughout Greece. Check-in at hotel. Dinner & overnight in Athens.


Day 6   Acropolis Museum – Farewell Dinner in Plaka

Acropol

After breakfast at hotel, in the morning we visit the Acropolis Museum to admire all the original sculptures and artefacts excavated on the Acropolis Hill. Free time for shopping in Plaka. In the evening we will enjoy our farewell dinner at a traditional restaurant with folk dances. Overnight at hotel.


 Day 7  Athens – Sofia

Breakfast at hotel. Check-out. Escorted group transfer to Athens International Airport for your departure flight to Sofia. Arrival at Sofia airport. Transfer to the hotel.

Bulgaria is one of the oldest high developed civilization in the world dating back 6 – 5 millenium BC. Crossroad of many civilizations, 6 000 years of Thracian, Hellenic and Roman History and with more than 40 000 historical and cultural monuments, Bulgaria ranks third after Greece and Italy for the number of its archaeological monuments.

Alexander_NevskiTour of  Sofia  will follow during which you will visit Sofia’s main landmarks including the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Holy Sophia Church, The Russian Church, St. George’s Rotunda, the Ivan Vazov National Theatre, the National Palace of Culture, Parliament Square.

Dinner in a typical Bulgarian restaurant with a folklore program. Overnight stay in Sofia.


Day 8 Sofia – Veliko Tarnovo

Breakfast. Departure for Veliko Tarnovo.

tsarevets-veliko-tarnovoThe medieval capital of Bulgaria, Veliko Tarnovo, and the fortress of Tsarevets, is symbolic of the reign of the Second Bulgarian Empire (1185 – 1393). The town is steeped in regality as the former home of several Bulgarian Emperors with its palaces, marketplace and patriarchal cathedral among the points of interest.

Upon arrival we will visit the most significant monument of culture in Veliko Tarnovo is the medieval fortress Tsarevets, situated on the homonymous peak, surrounded on three sides by the river Yantra. As well as The Holy Forty Martyr’s church was built and decorated with murals by the will of the Bulgarian tzar Ivan Asen II, to commemorate his victory over the king of the Epirus kingdom Theodor Comnenus in 1230.

Overnight stay in Veliko Tarnovo.


Day 9 Veliko Tarnovo – Plovdiv

Plovdiv_etnographic_museum_BulgariaBreakfast. Departure for Plovdiv – one of Europe’s most ancient cities. Sightseeing tour of Plovdiv – a tour of the old town which consists of one of the most spectacular ensembles of town houses from the period of the Bulgarian National Revival. Visit of the Saints Constantine and Helena Church, Roman Theatre, Regional Ethnographic Museum.

In the afternoon Visit of Bachkovo Monastery situated at the foot of the Rhodope Mountains. It is the second largest Bulgarian Monastery, founded in the 11th century, keeping frescoes from 17th, 18th and 19th centuries, as well as the legendary wonder-working icon of  Virgin Mary Eleusa from 1310.

Overnight stay in Plovdiv.


Day 10 Plovdiv – Sofia / Rila Monastery

Rila_MonasteryBreakfast. Departure for the Rila Monastery. The Rila Monastery is the biggest monastery in Bulgaria, founded in the 10th century by the monk and hermit St. John of Rila, patron and protector of Bulgaria. The monastery served as the center for cultural and spiritual life of the Bulgarian people, during the centuries of foreign enslavement. The tour includes a visit to the monastery, the main church and the monastery museum. Return to Sofia.  Overnight stay in Sofia.


Day 11 Sofia – Athens Departure

Breakfast. Transfer to Sofia airport. Departure to Athens.

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