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North Greece Glories and ancient mysteries

11 Days
Day One
Arrive in Athens and drive to hotel. Over night.

Day Two
Spend a day on foot in the city, including a climb to the Acropolis in the morning, to see not only the monuments on the hill but the whole layout of the city. Visit the excellent, new Acropolis Museum.  Return to  the  hotel  for over  night.

Day Three
After breakfast  drive out of the city to Delphi. The Panhellenic Sanctuary of Apollo and the site museum at Delphi. The oracle was given by a priestess called the Pythia who sat on a tripod over a chasm in the inner sanctum of the temple and, inhaling the vapours which issued from it, uttered prophecies in a trance. Return  back  to Athens  for  over  night.

Day Four
Transfer  to  Athens airport  and  domestic  flight to  Ioannina.Upon  arrival  we  will  visit The Castle of Ioannina, charmingly situated on Lake Pambotis. This houses the fine newlydisplayed Archaeological Museum and Museum of Byzantine Epirus. Transfer to  our  hotel  for over  night.

Day Five
The mysterious Nekromanteion (Oracle of the Dead) on the Acheron, ¡River of Hades¢. This has been identified as the spot where Odysseus consulted the spirits of the underworld, as chronicled by Homer. Certainly the finds show that at a later date sacrifices were made here, and possibly hallucinatory comestibles were used. We also visit the lovely ancient town of Kassope, laid out in the 4th century BC on a grid, and depopulated when the inhabitants were forced to move after the foundation of Nikopolis. From here there is a view towards Nikopolis (¡Victory City¢), founded by Augustus after the Battle of Actium. Retunrn  to our  hotel in Ioannina  for over  night.

Day Six
The sanctuary of Zeus at Dodona, mentioned by Homer as being the oldest in Greece. The original focus of worship was a holy oak tree, where the god delivered oracles through the rustling of leaves. It was later enhanced with stone monuments such as a theatre, temples and a stoa. We also visit the ancient city of Orraon, strategically situated at the southern end of an important pass connecting the Plain of Iannina with the Ambracian Gulf. Over  night   in Ioannina.

Day Seven
After  breakfst  spectacular drive through the Pindos mountains to the Meteora monasteries. The earliest evidence for this particular community dates to the 14th century, but there may have been earlier inhabitants who left no trace. Over night  in  Kalambaka.

Day Eight
Drive via Larissa and the Vale of Tempe to the ancient town of Dion, the Macedonians¢ sacred city, under Mt Olympos. The site museum houses finds from sanctuaries to Zeus, Hera, Isis and Demeter, and from the city.  We will  continue  to  Thessaloniki . Arrival  and  over  night.

Day Nine
After  breakfast we will  visit  teh Capital of the Macedonian kingdom before its move to Pella in the 4th century BC, Verghina (ancient Aigai). We see the remarkable painted tombs, displayed in the excellent site museum under the recreated mound which originally covered the burials (entrance pictured below left). Continue towards Pella, second Macedonian capital which was only discovered in the 1950s (we view it from a distance). Birthplace of both Philip II and Alexander the Great, it is renowed for its exceptional mosaics made from carefully-selected natural pebbles. Some of finest examples are on display in the new museum. In  the  way back to  Thessaloniki  we will visit  the attractive but little-known castle of Rendina occupies a hill in a thickly-wooded defile. Return to Thessaloniki  for  over  night.

Day Ten
Today  we  will  visit Thessaloniki, the capital of northern Greece - the rotunda of St George with fabulous mosaics, the Roman arch and palace of Galerius and the striking Byzantine museum, Aghios Dimitrios and Aghia Sofia - two of the major churches - and then the Roman forum. We  will see the impressive fortifications and a fine vew from the upper town over the city to the sea.

Day Eleven
Transfer to Thessalonki airport  for flight to home  (directly  or  via Athens)

Acropolis Athens
Acropolis Athens
Museum of Acropolis, Athens
Museum of Acropolis, Athens
Acropols Museum
Acropols Museum
Castle of Ioannina
Castle of Ioannina
Ioannina's castle
Ioannina's castle
Ancient Dion Museum
Ancient Dion Museum
Ancient Dion Museum
Ancient Dion Museum
Dodona theatre
Dodona theatre
Dodona
Dodona
Dodona theatre
Dodona theatre
Verghina  (ancient Aigai)
Verghina (ancient Aigai)
Vergina
Vergina
Vergina ancient walls
Vergina ancient walls
Kassope
Kassope
Necromanteion
Necromanteion
Necromanteion
Necromanteion
Meteora
Meteora
Meteora
Meteora
Meteora
Meteora
Verghina
Boutros Tours
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9 Anthimou Gazi Str.
Syntagma 10561 Athens - Greece
T: +30 210 3248171 - 210 3249113 - 210 3248177
T: +30 210 3248609 - 210 235689
F: +30 210 3248184
Email: greece@boutrostours.com
MHTE : 02 06 Ε 60 00 02 28 30 0
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