In just five days, you can see a lot of Greek antiquity — especially if you have a good map and the keys to a rental car! On this fascinating five-day tour, you'll drive around Athens, Olympia, Mycenae, Nafplio, Delphi, and the Meteora, stopping along the journey to tour ancient ruins, visit key museums, and walk around the original site of the Olympic Games. It's not all history on this colorful road trip, though: you'll also have the chance to hunt for truffles in the woods, dine in traditional Greek taverns, and hike through quiet forests before looping back to Athens, where the trip comes to a close.

Highlights

  • Road-trip through the Greek countryside, stopping at ancient landmarks
  • Walk around Mycenae, once the capital of one of the world's oldest civilizations
  • Tour Olympia, the site that first hosted the Olympic Games
  • Dine on traditional Greek food in local restaurants and bars
  • Marvel at the enormous sandstone columns of the Meteora
  • See the famous Temple of Apollo at Delphi

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens & Drive to Mycenae & Nafplio Olympia
Day 2 Explore the Site of the First Olympic Games Galaxidi
Day 3 Learn About Ancient Traditions in Delphi & Amfissa Meteora
Day 4 See the Monasteries of the Meteora  Meteora
Day 5 Depart Greece - End of Trip  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Athens & Drive to Mycenae & Nafplio

The Parthenon at the Athenian Acropolis
Welcome to Greece! Arrive in Athens and pick up your rental car. After a quick stop at the Acropolis, continue driving to the fabled Homeric city of Mycenae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site — and once the capital of one of the oldest civilizations in the world. Start your adventure into antiquity by walking under the famed Lion Gate into ruins that are part history, part myth. Follow in the steps of King Agamemnon as your guide explains the stories behind the imposing ruins of the citadel.
 
You'll then drive towards the historic seaside city of Nafplio, where a delicious meal awaits you in one of the best restaurants in town. This romantic town, the old capital of modern Greece, is characterized by Venetian fortifications and a beautiful waterfront. From Nafplio, the trip will take you through the beautiful Peloponnesian countryside towards ancient Olympia. Spend the night in Olympia before heading out to tour the city on day two. 

Day 2: Explore the Site of the First Olympic Games

The Grand Self-Drive Tour of Classical Greece Day 2
Sightseeing in Olympia
This morning is devoted to ancient Olympia, the most important athletic, religious, and political center of the ancient Greek world. Here your guide will let you into the secrets of the temples, the training area, and the original stadium where the ancient Olympic Games were held for centuries. The Archaeological Museum onsite displays world-class masterpieces and treasures, like a breathtaking statue of Hermes and the infant Dionysus sculpted by Praxiteles. After lunch, drive over the Rio-Antirio Bridge, the longest fully suspended bridge in the world, and stop for coffee at a medieval harbor. Then you'll travel to one of the most picturesque seaside villages of Greece, Galaxidi, where you will spend the night.

Day 3: Learn About Ancient Traditions in Delphi & Amfissa

The Grand Self-Drive Tour of Classical Greece Day 3
Ancient ruins in Delphi
The highlight of today's itinerary is a visit to the ancient site and the museum of Delphi, where you’ll marvel at the ruins of the Temple of Apollo and the Athenian Treasury. You’ll have plenty of time to soak up the magical scenery before visiting the Delphi Museum, home to some fine examples of ancient Greek art, including the world-famous bronze statue of the Charioteer of Delphi. Afterward, you'll enjoy a traditional Greek lunch before continuing the road trip through the mountains and valleys of central Greece. Finish the day with an evening walk, dinner, and a hotel stay in Meteora.

Day 4: See the Monasteries of the Meteora 

The Grand Self-Drive Tour of Classical Greece Day 4
The dramatic scenery of the Meteora
Today you will visit the Meteora, a stunning natural phenomenon featuring enormous sandstone columns formed millions of years ago. These remote rock skyscrapers became dwellings for Christian Orthodox monks; by the 14th century, large monastic communities were flourishing on the summits of many of these rocks. Today, six monasteries are still functioning, and you will visit two.
 
After lunch, you have several options for activities. Visit a local icon painter, check out the small but original Book Museum, where you'll get to try your hand in Greek penmanship, or explore the town of Kalambaka. Depending on the season, you could even go for a truffle hunt in the nearby forest with local expert guides and their trained dogs! Have a relaxing dinner in Meteora on the last night of the trip.

Day 5: Depart Greece - End of Trip

Sunrise over Athens
Today the trip comes to an end. But the adventure isn't over just yet. Road-trip back to Athens through the most scenic mountain range of central Greece, taking some time to explore the Forest of the White River, with small mountain villages hidden in the depths of a massive forest. There will be time for a short hike or even a swim before you head back to Athens. Go to the airport to return your rental car and catch a flight out. Safe travels!

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