Citadels,Temples and Castles Escorted Tour

8 nights starting from
£1695

  • The setting for this two-centre tour is the southern Peloponnese, a region filled with nature’s grandeur.

  • The location of our hotels ensure our visits comprise a mixture of some of the lesser known but equally impressive historic sites as well as some of the iconic Peloponnese sites.

  • Sites visited include Messene, Pylos, the mysterious Temple at Bassae, Nemea and Argos and Nafplio, an historic and very beautiful seaside town

A tour of the idyllic, scenic and soothing landscape of the Peloponnese with an emphasis on the little explored wild rugged countryside of the southern Peloponnese. Some sites are overgrown and dramatic and some towns have the atmosphere of great days long past. The Southern Peloponnese is a vast, mountainous piece of land, wild and windswept. Its inhabitants, known for their toughness, started the war of independence against the Turks in the 19th century and fought interminable blood feuds. The vast emptiness of the landscape in the south contrasts to the soft gentler countryside around Nafplion, which for a brief spell was independent Greece’s first capital and where we will spend the second part of our tour.

Your Lecturer - Dr Rita Roussos Phd
Rita studied ancient Greek and Latin at the University of Califonia, Berkeley, and completed her Phd in History of Art at the Courtauld Institude of Art, University of London.  She has excavated in Greece and taught at the American University of Athens.

Available Departures

From

25 - April - 2020 £ 1695.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Gatwick

Departing: 25th April 2020 at 05:40

Returning: 03rd May 2020 at 12:00

ITINERARY

Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Kalamata. On arrival transfer to the four-star Filoxenia Hotel, situated next to the beach just outside Kalamata, for a four-night stay.

Day 2: Mani Peninsula and Areopoli.
As the tour arrives at the same time as the celebrations of Greek Easter, we start our tour with a scenic day devoted to exploring the legendary Mani Peninsula, the wild and rugged southern tip of mainland Greece, with its atmospheric villages and hidden-away medieval churches. We visit Areopoli, a picturesque village of stone-built tower houses built to defend the famously independent spirited inhabitants of Mani, and see some of the Byzantine riches of the area before returning to our hotel.

Day 3: Full day visit to Messene.
Todays visit is ancient Messene, the stunning Methoni capital built for the Messenians in the 4th century BC, after centuries of submission to Sparta. Ongoing excavations are revealing the unusually well-preserved remains of the city, set on a plateau overlooking the sea far below, and surrounded by an astonishing system of walls, towers and gates, and containing a theatre, agora, public fountains, sanctuaries, and one of the finest ancient stadiums in Greece.

Day 4: Chora, Methoni and Pylos.
Today we travel to western Messenia, the homeland of Homer’s King Nestor, stretching alongside the Ionian Sea. Here, we visit the important Mycenaean collection from the “Palace of Nestor” at Chora and the enormous and well-preserved Venetian castle of Methoni, built on the tip of a peninsula. We also stop at Pylos to take in the charming town and its grand views over the Bay of Navarino, where a Turkish fleet was destroyed by the Greek’s allies in 1827, a pivotal event in the Greek War of Independence; and the island of Sphakteria, where Sparta suffered its first major defeat to Athens during the Peloponnesian War in 425 BC in Kalamata. Visits today also include the site of Pylos and its small museum.

Day 5: Kalamata to Nafplion via Bassae.
We begin our journey towards Nafplion, taking in the wild and mountainous beauty of Arcadia, famed since antiquity for its 'out of this world' remoteness. On our journey we visit the mysterious and lonely Sanctuary of Apollo at Bassae, one of the best preserved classical temples in Greece, before continuing to our hotel in Nafplion. Check-in to the Amalia Hotel, Nafplion for a four-night stay.

Day 6: Free in Nafplion.
Today we enjoy a relaxed day with the opportunity to discover the historic and lovely town of Nafplion. There will be a short  guided walk through the town, discovering some of its historic highlights, then the rest of the day will be free to enjoy the town at leisure.

Day 7: Full day Nemea.
Today we visit ancient Nemea, a famed sanctuary of Zeus that was a bone of contention between Corinth and the Argolid. Its interesting museum, impressive temple and splendid stadium, entered by a long-vaulted tunnel full of graffiti left by ancient athletes, are set in the fertile hills of Greece’s best-known wine regions. Time permitting, we will visit a winery in the region and sample the region’s famed wine, before returning to our hotel.

Day 8: Asine and Argos.
Our final day takes us to two nearby sites. First, we visit Asine, an ancient Greek city of Argolis that was mentioned by Homer as part of the kingdom of Diomedes, King of Argos. It has a wonderful position on a headland overlooking the pretty bay of Tolo. We then visit Argos, one of the oldest and continuously inhabited cities in the world. Visits will include its ancient theatre, the Agora, and the Heraion of Argos.

Day 9: Transfer to Athens for the return flight to London Heathrow.

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion 

The maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.

INCLUDED 

  • Return flights from London Gatwick to Kalamata, returning from Athens to London Heathrow
  • Four nights’ half-board at the Filoxenia Hotel (2019) or four nights’ bed and breakfast at the four-star Garden City Resort Kalamata (2020), based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Four nights’ bed and breakfast at the four-star Amalia Hotel, Nafplion, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room
  • Four lectures at the hotel
  • Transfers, tours and entrance fees
  • Dr Rita Roussos PhD, local guide and tour manager throughout


NOT INCLUDED

  • Single room supplement
  • Holiday insurance
  • Meals other than those stated
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls
  • Porterage and gratuities

HOTELS

Excellent quality hotels are used throughout this tour, all offering a high standard of service, facilities and comfort in ideal locations to explore the sites visited.

Filoxenia Hotel, Kalamata (2019)
Overlooking the magnificent Messinian Bay and nestling at the foot of the Taygetos Mountains on the outskirts of Kalamata, the four-star Filoxenia Hotel, surrounded by a spacious green landscape, provides comfortable and tasteful accommodation in a pleasant setting right next to the sea. The light and spacious rooms, located on all floors of the main building surrounded by multi-coloured exotic gardens with palm trees, are beautifully designed in an elegant modern style with bamboo furniture and textiles in muted earth tones. Facilities at the hotel include a private pool, indoor and outdoor pool, spa, restaurant, lounge and pool bar.

Filoxenia Hotel Website

Garden City Resort, Kalamata (2020)

Well situated just a short walk from Kalamata’s attractive seafront, this 25-room boutique style hotel has been well-thought out with attention to both comfort and detail. High ceilings, large windows, a rich colour theme and comfort dominate each room. A tranquil inner garden-courtyard, with a pleasant open-air lounge area, gives access to the hotel’s popular Saffron restaurant, which we are sure will be enjoyed during a stay here.  The hotel also boasts a spa, modern fitness area and an attractive outdoor pool.

http://gardencity-resort.com/


Amalia Hotel, Nafplion
The four-star Amalia Nafplion is designed in a neoclassical style surrounded by pretty gardens, whilst public areas are elegantly and comfortably furnished. Hotel facilities include a restaurant, café lounge bar, pool (seasonal opening) and gardens. The very comfortable rooms are tastefully furnished and include a bathroom with bath and over bath shower, tv, mini-bar and balcony.

Amalia Hotel Website

Administation
Brochure Description
Flight/Train/Ferry
Accommodation
Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

Both Angela Fenwick, tour manager, and Dr Rita Roussos, archaeology lecturer, were excellent and very pleasant company. The group was also lovely but I realise you can't control this! It was a very special holiday.

Review by Veazey who travelled 27-April-2019


Administation
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Flight/Train/Ferry
Accommodation
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Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

Excellent tour full of variety and interest. The only downside is the very early flight.

Review by EHSANULLAH who travelled 27-April-2019


Administation
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Flight/Train/Ferry
Accommodation
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Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

This tour was outstanding due to the following - group size of 15 allowed a great spirit and friendships to develop - our top notch manager Angela and guide/lecturer Rita

Review by Redfern who travelled 27-April-2019


Administation
Brochure Description
Flight/Train/Ferry
Accommodation
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Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

Very well organised, good accommodation, especially in Naplio. Excellent expert guide, with so much to see. Greece away from tourist resorts is still relatively empty and undeveloped, probably a good thing!

Review by Schachter who travelled 27-April-2019


Administation
Brochure Description
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Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

I enjoyed the trip. The tour manager, guides, and driver were first class. The group was pleasant; there were a couple of moaners; but there always are! I think it is debatable whether the lengthy trip to Bassae is worthwhile given that the temple is enshrouded in a tent and is in one hell of a mess due to works under way, and probably under way for the next ten plus years.

Review by Ridd who travelled 22-September-2018


Administation
Brochure Description
Flight/Train/Ferry
Accommodation
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Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

We really enjoyed this very rewarding tour. Rita Roussos is a first class guide knowledgeable, well organised, good communicator in talks and one-to-one and friendly. Could not be better. Our local guide, Eleni, was also very good - friendly, knowledgeable and engaging. The tour ran very smoothly thanks to Angela Fenwick. The choice of sites to visit was a very interesting balance including some lesser accessible places and its was great to spend time in the Mani . The hotels were very comfortable Our only grumble was the very early EasyJet flight from Gatwick which rather spoilt the first day. We would rather pay more and travel at a civilised time and not have to pay for a hotel for half a nights sleep. A list of names of the other travellers would also help us. Otherwise one of our best tours in 30 years. We hope to travel with you again and will recommend to friends

Review by Hogarth who travelled 22-September-2018


Administation
Brochure Description
Flight/Train/Ferry
Accommodation
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Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

Elite Hotel good for B&B very poor bar and restaurant service Breakfast good but Dinner poor. Boutique Hotel excellent. Amalia excellent (food, Bar service) but too far out of town. Rita and Eleni both excellent. The driver was not local so frequently got lost, one trip took 5hours instead of two and a half.

Review by Fisher who travelled 22-September-2018


Administation
Brochure Description
Flight/Train/Ferry
Accommodation
Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

Angela Fenwick meticulously organised and resourceful tour manager. Dr Rita Roussos gave very detailed and informative lectures. Local guide Eleni appeared to to be improvising her talks and quite inaccurate with her timing of the events of the day.

Review by Barratt who travelled 22-September-2018


Administation
Brochure Description
Flight/Train/Ferry
Accommodation
Tour Manager
Sightseeing Tours
Overall Impression

Review by who travelled 22-September-2018


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