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Shore Excursions

SHORE EXCURSIONS IN GREECE FOR CRUISE PASSENGERS

If you plan to visit Greece on board a cruise-ship, we recommend you to book one of our various archaeological, Biblical, educational or recreational private shore-excursions.

If you disembark in Athens, you can start a tour to Northern Greece and visit the cities of historical and archaeological importance such as Kalambaka (Meteora monasteries), Thessaloniki, Vergina, Berea, Pella, Kavala & Philippi. 

 

What are the advantages of booking private shore excursions?

 

You choose the starting time of the tour and you avoid the crowds.

You have a tailor made tour to suit your specific needs.   

You can book a private professional tour guide, who speaks your language and has the required knowledge to cover your special interests in archaeology, art, history, Bible history etc.         

You get competitive group tour rates.

You may choose a variety of Mediterranean dishes that are offered during the full day tours (exceeding 5 hours).

PORTS OF CALL IN GREECE TO START A PRIVATE SHORE EXCURSION

PIRAEUS (port of Athens)

HALF DAY ATHENS (4 hours)

Meet our representative at the port and start the city tour. Climb up to the marble-capped Acropolis and visit the famous Parthenon and the Erechtheion. Afterwards enjoy a panoramic bus tour viewing the highlights of modern Athens: pass by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,

Parliament House, Presidential Palace, Panathenian Stadium, Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Academy, the University and the National Library. Return to Piraeus port and embark on the cruise ship.

Note: For Christian travellers a visit to the nearby Mars' Hill (Areopagus) (Acts 17:22) where the Apostle Paul delivered his soul-stirring sermon to the giants of philosophy, logic and learning, can be included to the tour, without extra charge.

HALF DAY CORINTH  (5 hours)

Drive along the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf, where in 480 BC history’s root was changed! The small Grecian fleet managed to defeat the enormously powerful armada of the Persians.From here, via the historic Corinthian Canal, arrive at ancient Corinth (Acts 18:1-18).  It was to this megalopolis where the Apostle Paul came, worked and established a thriving church, subsequently sending two of his epistles, now part of the New Testament. Visit all the sites associated with his ministry: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Odeon, the Bema and Gallio’s Seat.
After the tour return to Piraeus port for embarkation to the cruise ship.

HALF DAY SOUNION  (4 hours)                              

Enjoy a different excursion out of Athens, to Cape Sounion. Driving along the picturesque coastal road and passing by the beautiful sandy beaches of Kalamaki, Glyfada, Voula, Vouliagmeni and Varkiza,  enjoy the view of countless coves and the clear-blue waters of the Saronic Gulf. A crowning feature of the tour is Cape Sounion, famous for its radiant sunsets, dominated by the Doric white marble Temple of Poseidon, that overlooks the blue Aegean Sea. Return to the port for embarkation to the cruise ship. 

ATHENS BY NIGHT TOUR (4 hours)

In the evening we will enjoy a traditional Greek dinner with folk dances, bouzouki music and songs in a typical tavern in the oldest and most picturesque district of Athens, Plaka. Return to the port of Piraeus.

ATHENS & CORINTH COMBINED (9 hours)

Starting from Piraeus port drive out of Athens along the coastal road of Saronic Gulf, where in 480 BC history’s root was changed The small Grecian fleet managed to defeat the enormously powerful armada of the Persians. From here, via the historic Corinthian Canal, continue on to ancient Corinth (Acts 18:1-18).

It was to this megalopolis where the apostle Paul came and worked, established a thriving church, subsequently sending two of his epistles now part of the New  Testament.  Visit all of the sites associated with his ministry: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Odeon, the Bema and Gallio’s Seat.  The small archaeological museum here is an absolute must!

After a short stop for lunch at local restaurant, drive back to Athens (Acts 17:15) for an afternoon sightseeing tour. Climb up to the marble-capped Acropolis and visit the famous Parthenon and the Erechtheion.  Then, visit to nearby Mars' Hill (or Areopagus) (Acts 17:22) where the Apostle Paul delivered his well-known sermon. Continue with a panoramic bus tour to the highlights of modern Athens: pass by the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House, Presidential Palace, Panathenian Stadium, Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Academy, the University and the National Library. Return to Piraeus port.

CORINTH & ACROCORINTH (9 hours)                                           

Starting from Piraeus port drive out of Athens along the coastal road of Saronic Gulf, where in 480 BC history’s root was changed The small Grecian fleet managed to defeat the enormously powerful armada of the Persians. From here, via the historic Corinthian Canal, continue on to ancient Corinth (Acts 18:1-18). It was to this megalopolis where the apostle Paul came and worked, established a thriving church, subsequently sending two of his epistles now part of the New  Testament.  Visit all of the sites associated with his ministry: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Odeon, the Bema and Gallio’s Seat.  The small archaeological museum here is an absolute must! After a short stop for lunch drive to Acrocorinth which is the acropolis (citadel) of Corinth. It is situated in the southwest of the ancient city and rises to an elevation of 1883 ft. (574 m.).  Today it is surrounded by walls that are about 1.85 mi. (3 km.) long. The foundations of the fortifications are ancient—going back to the Hellenistic Period. The current walls were built and rebuilt by the Byzantines, Franks, Venetians, and Ottoman Turks. The entrance to the Acrocorinth is from the west where the approach is most gentle. Writing of days prior to Paul, Strabo said that the Temple of Aphrodite owned one thousand temple–slaves and prostitutes! Thus the reputation of Corinth was well–known.

On the way back to Piraeus, see the ruins of early Christian 5th century basilica in Cenchreae.

ATHENS & SOUNION COMBINED (9 hours)                         

Meet our representative at the port and start  Athens city tour. Climb up to the marble-capped Acropolis and visit the famous Parthenon and the Erechtheion. Afterwards enjoy a panoramic bus tour viewing the highlights of modern Athens: pass by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House, Presidential Palace, Panathenian Stadium, Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Academy, the University and the National Library. After a short stop for lunch drive towards Cape Sounion. Driving along the picturesque coastal road and passing by the beautiful sandy beaches of Kalamaki, Glyfada, Voula, Vouliagmeni and Varkiza, enjoy the view of countless coves and the clear-blue waters of the Saronic Gulf. A crowning feature of the tour is Cape Sounion, famous for its radiant sunsets, dominated by the Doric white marble Temple of Poseidon, that overlooks the blue Aegean Sea. Return to the port for re-embarkation to the cruise ship.

FULL DAY DELPHI (9 hours)                                                                                                      

Early in the morning depart from Piraeus port and drive through the fertile plain of Boeotia, crossing the towns of Thebes connected with the tragedy of king Oedipus; Next are the towns of Livadia and Arachova, famous for their colourful woolen rugs and carpets. Arrive at Delphi, the center of the Ancient world, the "omphalos" (navel) of the earth - whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic world. On the slopes of Mt. Parnassos, in a landscape of unparalleled natural beauty and majesty, lies the archaeological site of Delphi. Visit the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Treasury of the Athenians and the Archaeological Museum containing such masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias.

Lunch in a nice local restaurant before returning to Piraeus.

FULL DAY MYCENAE-EPIDAURUS (11 hours)                                                                       

Early in the morning start the excursion to Argolis. Drive along the coastal road of Saronic Gulf and arrive to Corinthian Canal, a four miles narrow cut of land, connecting the waters of the Saronic with the Corinthian Gulfs. Short stop for photos. Then continue on to visit Epidaurus: the Sanctuary of Asclepeios, dedicated to the healer-god in ancient Greece, the best preserved ancient theatre in all of Greece, seating capacity 12.000, famous for the harmony of its design and the perfection of its remarkable acoustics.  After lunch in Nafplion, the first capital of modern Greece, drive through Argos to Mycenae. Visit the remains of the pre-historic citadel fortified with the Cyclopean Walls, the Lionesses' Gate, the remains of the Mycenaean Palace and the Tomb of King Agamemnon.

After the visit, return to Piraeus port.

VOLOS


FULL DAY TOUR TO METEORA (10 hours) 

Early in the morning meet our guide at Volos port and start a spectacular drive up to visit Meteora. Colossal symmetrical grey and reddish boulders, as though pushed upwards from the bowels of mother earth by an invisible hand, sustain breathtaking beautiful monasteries perched precariously high above the ground. They were first built in the 14th century by monks seeking isolation and salvation, accessible only by ropes thrown from above. Climb through steps built since. They are veritable Byzantine museums exhibiting superb icons, old manuscripts and unique mosaics and frescoes. After a short stop for lunch in Kalambaka, return to Volos.

KATAKOLON (port of Olympia)

 

ANCIENT OLYMPIA (5 hours)

After disembarkation at Katakolon proceed to bus and start driving towards Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games and the most important sanctuary of Zeus, father of all gods and goddesses. The starting line is still visible etched on the marble in the stadium there, inviting you to run and in your imagination compete with the ancient athletes. Enjoy the play of light on the soft greenery and dappled ancient columns in this wonderful and  peaceful setting. Visit the archaeological museum beside the ancient site. It contains most interesting exhibits such as the pediments and the metopes of the Temple of Zeus, the Statue of Nike and of Hermes.  After the tour, return to the port Katakolon for embarkation to the cruise ship.

 

RHODES ISLAND

RHODES  & LINDOS COMBINED (4,5 hours)

Drive along the picturesque south-eastern coastline, dotted with white-washed villages, to Lindos, one of the most important of the three great cities of ancient times.  See how this entire city is guarded by medieval walls which were constructed by the knights of St. John in the 13th century. Within them stands the ancient Acropolis of Lindos, on the brink of a precipice 400 feet above the sea. From the Acropolis, marvel at the breathtaking views covering the great expanse of the Aegean Sea and St. Paul’s bay, where the apostle cast anchor during his historic voyage to Ephesus. Proceed on foot uphill, to the great  leading from the Hellenistic Portico to the Acropolis and

Temple of Athena. Should you wish to make your way up by mule, a fee must be paid to the local muleteer. After the guided tour of the Acropolis return to Rhodes.

Enjoy a panoramic drive through the new part of the city before continuing to Mount Smith to see the ruins of ancient Rhodes, the Temple of Apollo and Diagoras Stadium.  Afterwards your motor coach will drop you off at Gate d’ Amboise, the starting point of  the walking tour, through the medieval city of Rhodes. Follow your guide through the northern part where once the knights and their attendants lived. View the Palace of the Knights and continue walking down the Streets of the Knights to meet up with your motor coach and return back to the ship.

 

OLD CITY OF RHODES & PHILERIMOS (4 hours)

Drive along the medieval walls to the summit of Mount Smith, the Acropolis of ancient Rhodes. From the tumbled massive pillars of the Temple of Athena, the view encompasses the nearby Temple of Apollo, the stadium of Diagoras and the port, once protected by the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.  The drive continues across the island to Philerimos.  The summit of Philerimos was the site of Ialysos, one of the three ancient cities of Rhodes.  Later sites include the restored Byzantine church of our Lady of Philerimos, a chapel with 15th century frescoes, and the ruined Castle of the Knights. After the visit return to Rhodes and begin a guided walk of the old walled city to the Gate D`Amboise.  It is a pleasure to stroll the street of the Knights with its medieval buildings, winding alleys, towers, turrets and emblazoned facades. You will then visit the impressive Grand Master’s Palace and have the chance to see  the superb mosaics

 

PATMOS ISLAND

MONASTERY OF JOHN THE EVANGELIST & THE CAVE OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION (2 hours)

Depart from the port of Skala and enjoy a short drive to the village of Chora, where the Monastery of St. John, the Evangelist is built within the walls of a strong fortification. Walking uphill towards the entrance of the monastery, enjoy this magnificent structure, which was built 900 years ago . View the courtyard, the monk’s dining room and the old bakery before visiting the main church noted for  its outstanding frescoes and interior decoration. Then, visit the small museum where priceless ecclesiastical treasures, books,  manuscripts,  mosaics, Icons, splendid medieval textiles, vestments and jewelry are housed. Return to motor -coach and continue to the nearby Grotto of the Apocalypse  and the Monastery of the Apocalypse above it. Walk down the steps to the Grotto of the Apocalypse. See the niches in the wall that mark the pillow and ledge used as a desk by the author of the Book of the Revelation and the crack in the rock made by the voice of God honoring the Holy Trinity. After the visit drive back to the port of Skala for embarkation.

 

SANTORINI

 

FIRA TOWN & OIA VILLAGE (3 hours)

Disembark at Athinios port. Driving along the road you’ll have the unique opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the Aegean sea and the neighbouring islands. A unique sight is the various layers of lava that can be seen on the face of the rock, each layer being another phase of the activity of the volcano. Built on the Caldera rim, Oia Village is an excellent example of Cycladic architecture. Accompanied by your guide, explore the village walking along the cobble-stone streets and the white washed houses with blue shutters where one gets the impression that they are  a beautiful travel poster. 

The tour will then proceed to the town of Thira, an attractive town perched on the Caldera rim. Here, you will have time to stroll along the lanes of the little town or relax over a coffee as you gaze down upon Kamenes, the two black volcanic islets in the Caldera bay. A short cable car ride will take you down to the pier to rejoin the ship.

 

HERAKLION (Crete)

 

KNOSSOS PALACE & HERAKLION ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM (4 hours)

Crete is the largest and the most rugged of the Greek islands. It is also the home of the great Minoan Civilization and the mythological home of Zeus. After a short drive through the town of Heraklion, arrive at Knossos excavations. Here, Sir Arthur Evan’s archaeological discoveries revealed a civilization dating back to 4000 BC, when a great empire flourished on the island of Crete. Based on the wealth of artifacts that were found, Evans theorized that this was the site of the ancient Minoan Kingdom.

These findings will be viewed in detail, as our guide will lead you on a journey of discovery to learn of the sophisticated culture that flourished thousands of years ago on this island. Then visit the archaeological museum of Heraklion which houses the treasures from the findings of Knossos, Phaestos, Zakros and others less known cities.

Return to the ship for embarkation.

Important notes:

Some times the cruise ships will give priority to those passengers who have pre-paid their shore excursions on board of the ship and won’t let other passengers onto tenders until all the “tour group” people are off. This may cause changes on private independent shore trips. With the assistance of a tour leader try to get off the ship before the tour groups disembark.     

Aristotle Travel representative will meet you at the port holding a sign with your name on it.

Expect mostly warm weather in Greece during the day and cooler at night. For  shore trips, comfortable walking shoes, sun glasses, hat and loose fitted clothing are strongly  recommended. In some religious sites, shorts and bare shoulders are not permitted.