Athens is built around the Acropolis and the pinnacled crag of Mt. Lycabettus, which the goddess Athena was said to have dropped from the heavens as a bulwark to defend the city. (Athens currently has over four million inhabitants). The suburbs have covered the barren plain in all directions and the city is packed with lively taverns and bustling shops. Dominating the Athenian landscape, the Acropolis is unsurpassed in its beauty, architectural splendor and historic importance. The entrance to the Acropolis is the Propylea, which extends 150 feet adjoining the temple of Athena Nike or Wingless Victory. The Parthenon is on the highest part of the Acropolis and was built between 447 and 437 BC. It was here that modern democracy began its early foothold.
|TOUR ENDS||Noon check out on day 3|
Most sites in Greece involve extended walking and/or slippery surfaces.
Therefore we strongly suggest wearing comfortable sturdy 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.|
Athens is α vibrant city with a lot of archaeological sites, museums and beautiful landscapes.
If your time is limited in Athens – make the best out of it.
Come see the awesome Parthenon, a lasting memorial of the country’s glorious past adorning the Acropolis, the crowning glory of Athens and one of the countless ancient treasures and architectural wonders of the civilized world.
Upon arrival in Athens, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure.
Morning sightseeing tour of Athens, including a visit to the awesome Acropolis, Parthenon, Erechtheum, and Acropolis Museum Drive past the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Royal Palace, Panathenian Olympic Stadium, Temple of Zeus, and lots more. In the afternoon, you’ll drive down the coast to Cape Sounion dominated by the spectacular Temple of Poseidon. Return to Athens in the early evening.
Arrangements terminate with breakfast at the hotel. – Check out time by noon
The monuments of the Acropolis have withstood the ravages of past centuries, both of ancient times and those of the Middle Ages. Until the 17th century, foreign travelers visiting the monuments depicted the classical buildings as being intact. This remained the case until the middle of the same century, when the Propylaea was blown up while being used as a gunpowder store. Thirty years later, the Ottoman occupiers dismantled the neighboring Temple of Athena Nike to use its materials to strengthen the fortification of the Acropolis. The most fatal year, however, for the Acropolis, was 1687, when many of the building’s architectural members were blown into the air and fell in heaps around the Hill of the Acropolis, caused by a bomb from the Venetian forces. Foreign visitors to the Acropolis would search through the rubble and take fragments of the fallen sculptures as their souvenirs. It was in the 19th century that Lord Elgin removed intact architectural sculptures from the frieze, the metopes and the pediments of the building. In the year 2000, the Organization for the Construction of the New Acropolis Museum announced an invitation to a new tender, which was realized in accord with the Directives of the European Union. It is this Tender that has come to fruition with the awarding of the design tender to Bernard Tschumi with Michael Photiadis and their associates and the completion of construction in 2007. Today, the new Acropolis Museum has a total area of 25,000 square meters, with exhibition space of over 14,000 square meters, ten times more than that of the old museum on the Hill of the Acropolis. The new Museum offers all the amenities expected in an international museum of the 21st century
Temple of Poseidon Sounion
Construction on a grand Temple of Poseidon began around 500 BC but was never completed; the temple and all the votive offerings were destroyed by the Persians in 480 BC. The Temple of Poseidon that now stands at Sounion was built in 444 BC atop the older temple ruins. The Temple of Athena was also built at this time, atop her ancient sanctuary on the cape. The sanctuaries began to decline from the 1st century BC onwards. Pausanias, who sailed along the coast around 150 AD, wrongly believed the prominent temple on the hill was the Temple of Athena. Modern travelers visited Sounion long before excavations started on the site, including Lord Byron in 1810. Systematic excavations began on the site in 1897 and continue today.