You will meet and greet with your specialized state-licensed "Insider" guide and embark on an historical journey, beginning with a leisurely stroll through the very center of the old city, before reaching the Acropolis.
From there your amazing experience will begin, dedicated to the exploration of Athens’ most impressive site. After ascending to the top of the sacred rock of the Acropolis you will be confronted by one of the most important structures in world history – the Parthenon. This magnificent monument, dedicated to goddess Athena (the patron goddess of the city), will reveal the magnitude of the rich heritage of Athens and the cultural achievements of the Greek civilization of the Golden Age. Enjoy the subtlety of its design and its glorious surrounding monuments before taking in the impressive panorama of the old metropolis and the Argo-Saronic gulf.
After you’ve ticked off the Parthenon from your must-see list, you will extend your perspective of ancient Athens by visiting the New Acropolis Museum, which has become a renowned attraction worldwide with every floor bursting with exquisite artifacts, sculptures and antiquities.
Return to your hotel OR continue your exploration of the city. Feel free to ask your guide for recommendations in order to perfect your day in Athens.
Acropolis is the world famous ancient site of Athens, symbolizing democracy and regarded as the most important representation of ancient Greek civilization. High on its rocky outcrop, as its name akro polis (highest point of city) designates, it stands guard over the city. The monument of the Parthenon, visible from almost everywhere, and the other main buildings were built in the 5th century BC by the order of the general and statesman Pericles to commemorate the cultural and political achievements of the city of Athens. The site includes the Propylae, the imposing entrance to the site, the Parthenon, the Erechthion and the Temple of Athena Nike.
One of the most well-known monuments in the world and symbol of ancient Greece, the Parthenon was built between 447-432 BC as a dedication to the Goddess Athina. The shrine inside once housed a 12 meter high wooden statue of the goddess, adorned with ivory and gold. Designed by the sculptor Phidias and constructed by the architects Iktinos and Kallicrates, the marble temple consists of 46 outer and 19 inner tapered Doric columns, and contains no straight lines or angles, a feat of Greek architecture. During its long and varied history, it was alternatively used as a temple, treasury, church, mosque and a gunpowder storage facility.
The Propylaea was the monumental entrance to Acropolis, built between 437-432 BC by the architect Mnesicles. A steep inclining ramp lead up to the Propylaea which was comprised of a central building and two lateral wings. The north wing had wall paintings and was referred to as the Pinakotheke, while the smaller south wing lay adjacent to the Temple of Athina Nike. There were actually 5 entrances, 4 for pedestrians and a larger central one for vehicles. The coffered roof interior had designs in gold stars on a blue background. Over the centuries, the building served as a Byzantine bishop’s palace, a Florentine palazzo and a Turkish governor’s residence.
The Temple of Nike Athen
To the right of the Propylaea lies the Temple of the Victory of Athena, built around 420 BC by Kallikrates to commemorate the Athenians’ victory over the Persians. There was a wooden cult statue of the goddess who held a helmet in one hand (war) and a pomegranate branch (peace) in the other. The smallest temple of the Acropolis, Nike Athena is of the Ionic order and has 4 monolithic columns at both the front and rear but not at the sides. As with the other buildings at the site, it was converted into a church in 5th century AD, only to be totally dismantled in the 17th century by the Ottomans to build a fortification. After Greek Independence, it was restored, dismantled and rebuilt again.
The temple was built between 421-406 BC by Mnesicles and Phidias, and was dedicated to the goddess Athena and the god Poseidon who both contested the city of Athens. It is the site of the ‘Sacred Tokens’ which were the marks made by Poseidon with his trident to bring up water and the olive tree of Athena, who finally won the coveted title. On the north side is the famous ‘Porch of the Maidens’ where the 6 figures of the Caryatides stood. The one was stolen by Lord Elgin and the other 5 have been replaced by replicas, with the originals moved to the Acropolis Museum. The Erechthion was also converted into a church, palace, harem and was bombed during the Greek War of Independence.
Notes & Clarifications
- Prices vary according to group size
- The tour is available on a private basis which allows further customization
- Since this is a walking tour you will need to be wearing comfortable shoes, a hat and sun-block
- Don’t forget to bring a water bottle and lots of energy!
What makes us different?
- We offer only private tours. No mixed groups
- We are absolutely flexible. Our tours can be customized to your wishes
- Special requests are always welcome. We love to tailor holidays
- All of our tours are designed and operated by our company
- Our state-licensed “Insider” guides are thoroughly selected and trained, each one of them expert in his field
- We always match the most suitable state-licensed “Insider” guide to fit your interests
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