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In a dramatic setting on the flanks of 8,000-foot Mt. There we'll take a vivid walking tour of Olympia's ancient athletic venues, temples, and museum, followed by lunch together. The Mani is an ideal place to enjoy a "vacation from your vacation." After some orientation by your guide, the day is all yours. We'll follow the coast to the isolated Mani Peninsula, home to generations-long clan wars, salt-of-the-earth villages, and unique — tower houses. You will be rewarded with sweeping Aegean views and a chance to explore the ruins of the Upper Town — a living museum of Byzantine, Ottoman, and Venetian history. After stopping in nearby Sparta for lunch, we'll continue north to our destination: the delightful, fortress-topped harbor town of Nafplio. After breakfast we'll take a short drive to mysterious Mycenae, the fortified city founded by Perseus a thousand years before the Parthenon was built. Your entire day is free to soak up the whitewashed architecture as you wander Hydra's narrow streets and harbor promenade. Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today.

Parnassus we'll enjoy the fresh air and tour the mystical ruins of Delphi. This afternoon's drive will take us along sweeping views of the Ionian Sea to a relaxed seaside village on the Mani Peninsula, where we'll sleep (2 nights). You might hike along the ancient cobbled paths that wind their way through the nearby hills — or just relax on the beach — and end your day with a grilled seafood dinner and a view from the little taverna you've discovered. We'll enjoy a Greek wine and ouzo tasting, and sleep in Nafplio (2 nights). We'll take a walking tour through the grand Lion Gate, along the "cyclopean" walls, and into a remarkably domed tomb. Once the most famous healing center in the Mediterranean, today's star attraction is its ancient theater, large enough to accommodate 14,000. You might swim at a nearby beach, hike across the island, or try to make friends with a donkey. This morning we'll take a ferry ride to Piraeus, where our bus will be waiting to take us back to our Athens hotel. You can easily catch a cab for the airport, or to nearby Piraeus where a fleet of ferries awaits to transport those with time to even more Greek destinations.

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I am not into history, I slept through my Western Civilization class many decades ago.

However Colin held my attention and made the information relevant and interesting.

I also really enjoyed the different areas that we toured in Greece.

Would love to see a tour that included some of northern Greece.

"I don't have a favorite wow moment but I loved Hydra and also Kardimyli (spelling?

)." Our Best of Greece was a compelling deep dive into overlapping waves of Greek history, archeology, mythology, architecture, customs, cuisine,and culture with numerous face to face interactions with local people.Experiencing, in a group setting, what was close to non-tourists eat fair was really nice.The choices of eating venue was interesting and quite an experience.The Rick Steves Athens & the Heart of Greece tour is an odyssey of time-travel thrills, from Athens' majestic Acropolis to the must-see ancient sites of Delphi, Olympia, Epidavros, and Mycenae. This morning we'll cross the causeway to tackle the massive rock that shoots straight up out of the blue-green Aegean Sea.With knowledge and a nudge from your Rick Steves guide, you'll walk among marble monuments where Plato pondered, splash in the turquoise Aegean where Odysseus sailed, gaze up at god-dwelling mountains, sample family-crafted olives and wines — and maybe learn to play backgammon at a whitewashed taverna on the island of Hydra. This morning we'll hike to the top of Athens' legendary Acropolis, where we'll take a walking tour of its 2,500-year-old Golden Age temples, dominated by the dramatic Parthenon. After an orientation walk around Monemvasia's cozy little Lower Town, the rest of the day is free.Learning about the rest of Greek history turned out to be very fascinating and also excellent. My favourite wow moment was in the museum learning that the helmet Miltiades actually wore at Marathon was right in front of me." maria was the greatest tour guide ever,she knew the history,myths,etc and shared them with us everyday.tour bus driver stefie was so good at driving it was awesome...greece is beautiful and i truly enjoyed the places we stayed in and the places we ate...gotta admit i got exhausted going to so many runions.it is history and i will always remember the 2 week Greece tour...great job!!! It was a good balance of time being with others and being taught/led by a guide and having time to explore on our own.

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