Greece

Peloponnese Adventure

Starting in Athens, this tour takes you to the heart of the Peloponnese, a land of myths and legends. It is from here that the Argonauts set sail in search of the Golden Fleece, and the landscape is littered with names that will ring bells from history lessons. This is an area of dramatic natural beauty, the interior given over to remote mountains and the crinkled coastline a treasure trove of idyllic coves and sandy beaches.

Highlights

  Step back in time at the Acropolis
  Food tour in Athens
  Sea-kayaking in Nafplio Bay
  Ancient ruins of Mycenae & Epidaurus
  Hiking in Central Peloponnese
  Pretty sea-front town of Kardamili
  Visit Vlychada Sea Cave

11 days from £1,250 pp

Plus international flights from £200

An 11-day holiday in Greece for a family of four usually costs from £5,000 plus flights, depending on type of accommodation.

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Peloponnese Adventure day-by-day itinerary

Day 1, Athens
Welcome to Greece! When you arrive at the airport in Athens you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel


Day 2, Athens
Today you will have a morning guided walking tour of Athens. You will start at the Acropolis, the most famous and impressive of Athens’ ruins. This dramatic citadel is perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city and contains a number of remarkably preserved ancient structures, including the Parthenon.

After time to explore, your guide will take you down off the hill into the maze of narrow streets that comprise Plaka village. This is the oldest part of Athens and a delightful place to wander with big bushes of pink bougainvillea spilling out over pavement cafes and souvenir shops. Continue on foot, weaving through the alleyways and taking in all of the most important Greek and Roman sites.

You can either have a free afternoon to further explore by yourselves or we can include a food tour. Greece’s cuisine is world-renowned and you will have the opportunity to sample some of the country’s most iconic dishes as well as less well-known delicacies. These may include little pastry parcels filled with feta, tasty skewers of marinated chicken doused in olive oil and gooey baklava, oozing sweetness.


Day 3, Athens – Nafplio
This morning you will leave Athens behind and head to Nafplio (around 2 hours). En route stop at the Corinth Canal, the narrow waterway the connects the Ionian and Aegean seas. Nafplio is one of the prettiest towns in Greece, perched in an enviable location right on the Aegean, with the imposing Palamidi Castle on a hilltop behind. At its heart, the medieval Old Town is a wonderfully picturesque maze of little squares, classical mansions and narrow streets.

You will have the afternoon to explore; perhaps climb the 999 steps up to the Palamidi to enjoy a panoramic view. This evening take a stroll along the waterfront promenade to enjoy the stunning outlook over the water to Bourtzi, a small Venetian fort situated on a tiny islet.


Day 4, Mycenae, Epidaurus and Sea Kayaking
Start your day with a visit to the ancient Greek ruins at Mycenae, a UNESCO World Heritage site in a strikingly beautiful hillside location. This was a city-state that came to prominence sometime around 1,600BC and the ruins are impressive, with walls made out of huge stones (so large that it was said Cyclops helped in their construction). Quite aside from the ruins, the setting is stunning, with far-reaching views over the mountains beyond.

You will also visit Epidaurus, home to an impressively preserved amphitheatre that is renowned for its acoustics. Here you can try out the ‘coin trick’, sending the kids up to the highest point in the theatre and then testing whether or not it is true that they can hear a coin dropped in the centre of the stage.

This afternoon, take a sea kayaking excursion off the coast near Nafplio. The route is beautiful, taking you first to Bourtzi fort and then under the canons of Old Nafplio. Once past the town, there are stunning views of the impressive sea-side cliffs, topped by Akronauplia fortress.


Day 5, Hiking Lousios Gorge

Drive deeper into the less-touristy but spectacular mountainous region of the central Peloponnese, renowned for its historic villages. Your destination is the Lousios Gorge, which cuts through the mountains. You will spend the day hiking through the gorge, criss-crossing the Lousios River and passing Byzantine monasteries that appear to hang from the side of the cliffs. Stop along the way for a picnic lunch and to swim in the refreshing waters of the river.

The hike ends at the small archaeological site of Ancient Gortys, which you can visit before continuing to your hotel in the pretty historic village of Stemnitsa.

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Day 6, White water rafting
Today you will return to Lousios River for an exciting white water rafting excursion. After getting suitably kitted out and a comprehensive safety briefing, you will set off down the river with your guide. The landscape is beautiful, but this is all about the excitement of the white water, as you whizz down the rapids. There are plenty of places along the way where you can stop to swim in the crystal-clear waters (where Zeus himself is said to have bathed).

You will enjoy a delicious home-cooked lunch and will be able to hike to the impressive Vrodos waterfall before returning to your hotel for a second night.

Note: Minimum age is 7 from June to October.


Day 7, Ancient Messene – Kardamili
This morning you will head to the Mani peninsula, stopping en route to visit the ruins of Ancient Messene. As these were only relatively recently excavated, the ruins here are much less well-known than many, but they are still hugely impressive and extensive. In fact, the lack of other visitors is a key part of the charm and the children will enjoy exploring at will, away from the crowds.

Continue on through a lovely landscape of olive groves and fruit orchards with far-reaching sea views, to the sea-front town of Kardamili. This is a sleepy little place that radiates out from the main square with its cafes, church and shade-giving trees. Wander down to the harbour or find a spot in a neighbourhood taverna for a plate of fresh seafood.


Day 8, Sea Kayaking – Limeni
A wonderful day today as you head out from the old harbour by sea kayak. The route can be tailored to your family, but the coast here is peppered with beautiful little coves, secluded beaches and dramatic rocky cliffs. You will stop along the way to swim, snorkel and enjoy a delicious picnic lunch of local delicacies.

Later, return to Kardamili and continue by car to Limeni, another pretty sea-front village. Ancient stone tower-houses stand overlooking the startlingly clear azure sea, with olive groves and hills covered in fragrant wild herbs behind.


Day 9, Vlychada Sea Cave – Cape Tenaro
First stop this morning are the incredible Vlychada sea caves, some of the most impressive in the world. This vast underground cavern is explored by small boat, and the kids will be entranced as you follow the cave deep into the cliffs, surrounded on all sides by huge stalactites and stalagmites.

After visiting the caves you continue onwards towards Cape Tenaro, the southernmost point of mainland Greece. On your way, you can stop to explore the partially restored tower village of Vathia in a commanding hilltop position. Once you arrive in the small village of Kokkinoghia, you will continue on foot past a church that was once a temple to the god Poseidon, and a 2,000-year-old Roman villa. Your route takes you along a wind-swept rocky promontory to a lighthouse, which marks the southern-most tip of the mainland.

You will be able to stop on the coast for a swim before returning to Limeni for a second night.


Day 10, Mystra – Athens
After a leisurely breakfast, make your way back towards Athens, stopping en route to visit Mystras. This is a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to breath-taking medieval ruins in a wonderfully remote and beautiful landscape. There are numerous old footpaths that criss-cross the hills, leading to tiny chapels, small settlements and peaceful hilltops with commanding views.

Pack a picnic and after visiting the churches and palaces of Mystras (or as many as the children will agree to!), take a gentle walk in the hills and find a good shady spot to enjoy lunch. After finishing your visit, head back to Athens for your final night.


Day 11, Athens
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

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Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

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