During this short trip you will have the chance to explore the magnificent peninsula south of Athens, the Peloponnese, and visit two of the most important archeological sites in Greece, Olympia and Mycenae, as well as other interesting destinations like the Corinth Canal and the picturesque coastal town of Nafplio.
The archeological site of Mycenae was first identified in the 19th century by a series of excavations, most notably by Heinrich Schliemann. Since then it attracts vast numbers of visitors thanks to the great notoriety afforded by the timeless epic of the Trojan war, Homer’s ‘Iliad’.
The citadel is accessed through the ‘Lion Gate’, one of the most recognizable images from antiquity which has become the inspiration for the subsequent heraldic motifs and symbols of modern civilization. The awe-inspiring beehive tombs are another feature of the site; their ingenious construction method has provided these structures with the necessary stability to stand the test of time.
The other major destination of archeological interest is the sanctuary of Olympia, the place where the original Olympic Games were held from the 8th century B.C.E. up until the 4th century A.C.E. The site is a vast complex of structures comprising a stadium, lodgings for athletes and officials, auxiliary buildings, various ‘Treasuries’ (small temple-shaped buildings for keeping precious votive offerings), and numerous temples, of which the most important was that of Zeus, which housed his gigantic gold-and-ivory statue – one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Your itinerary also includes a stop at the famous Corinth Canal. Its construction was finalized in the very end of the 19th century, despite the fact that some of the most powerful men in world history had tried and failed to complete it.
Furthermore, there is the option to visit either another archeological site, the extensive ruins of Ancient Messini, or a traditional town, Nafplio which charms visitors with its cobbled streets and fortified harbor.