Private Shorex Athens & the Acropolis
Milton wrote of Athens as ‘the eye of Greece, mother of arts and eloquence’.
Your visit today will begin with the most famous temple of the Ancient City — the Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, the patron goddess of Athens. Walking up a winding path towards the Acropolis, you will pass through the Propylaea, and see the Erechtheum temple and the Porch of the Caryatids in the distance.
On a panoramic drive through Athens, some of the highlights you will see include Constitution Square, the Royal Palace where the Evzones keep watch in their traditional costumes, the Temple of Zeus and the Olympic Stadium.
Combine the sights of modern Athens with sites of historical importance with an expert guide on hand to explain all the top Athens Attractions.
|DEPARTURE TIME||UPON REQUEST|
|RETURN TIME||APPROX. 5 HOURS AFTER DEPARTURE|
This tour involves a considerable amount of walking with an uphill climb to the Parthenon.
Therefore we strongly suggest wearing comfortable, rubber-soled shoes.
Sunscreen, hat and water are also good “travel companions”.
|DIFFICULTY||Due to extend walking and slippery surfaces please inform us if you have walking disabilities or using a wheelchair before booking this tour.|
5-hour sightseeing tour of Athens, combining modern Athens with the city’s ancient sites
See top Athens attractions like the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Constitution Square and the Panathenian Stadium (sight of the first modern Olympic Games)
Drive to the Roman Temple of Olympian Zeus and learn about ancient Athens
Explore the Acropolis of Athens and see the world-famous Parthenon temple
The Acropolis of Athens was inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Its monuments are universal symbols of the classical spirit and civilization and form the greatest architectural and artistic complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity to the world. Athenian statesman Pericles, guided by Pheidias, transformed the rocky hill with monuments including the Parthenon, Erechtheon, Propylaea, Acropolis and the temple Athena Nike. Milton elegantly introduced Athens as ‘the eye of Greece, mother of arts and eloquence’ — immortal words for a seemingly immortal city.
The striking contrast between breathtaking monuments of a glorious past and modern elegant structures is what you will enjoy during your tour of Athens.
The Parthenon (Ancient Greek: Παρθενών) is a temple in the Athenian Acropolis, Greece, dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena, whom the people of Athens considered their protector. Its construction began in 447 BC and was completed in 438 BC, although decorations of the Parthenon continued until 432 BC. The Parthenon itself replaced an older temple of Athena, which historians call the Pre-Parthenon or Older Parthenon, which was destroyed in the Persian invasion of 480 BC. Like most Greek temples, the Parthenon was used as a treasury. For a time, it served as the treasury of the Delian League, which later became the Athenian Empire. In the 5th century AD, the Parthenon was converted into a Christian church dedicated to the Virgin Mary. After the Ottoman Turk conquest, it was turned into a mosque in the early 1460s, and it had a minaret built in it. On 26 September 1687, an Ottoman Turk ammunition dump inside the building was ignited by Venetian bombardment. The resulting explosion severely damaged the Parthenon and its sculptures. In 1806, Thomas Bruce, 7th Earl of Elgin removed some of the surviving sculptures, with the Ottoman Turks’ permission. These sculptures, now known as the Elgin Marbles or the Parthenon Marbles, were sold in 1816 to the British Museum in London, where they are now displayed. The Greek government is committed to the return of the sculptures to Greece, so far with no success.
In ancient times, it was used to host the athletic portion of the Panathenaic Games, in honor of the Goddess Athena. During classical times, the stadium had wooden seating. It was remade in marble, by the archon Lycurgus, in 329 BC and was enlarged and renovated by Herodes Atticus, in 140 AD, to a seated capacity of 50,000.
Olympic Zeus Temple
The archaeological site of the Olympeion comprises the temple of Olympian Zeus, Roman baths, Classical residences, a basilica of the fifth century AD, and part of the city’s fortification wall. Hadrian’s Arch is located just outside the site’s fence.
Buildings along the street include the Bank of Greece, Athens Eye Clinic, the University of Athens, the Academy of Athens, the National Library, the Numismatic Museum, Titania Hotel, Attica Department Store, as well as a part of the Grande Bretagne Hotel and the Catholic Cathedral of Athens. Many buildings as high as ten to fifteen stories line this street. Old neoclassical buildings of no higher than two to three stories used to exist until the 1950s, when a construction spree, which lasted several decades, demolished all but a few of them.