Day 01Wednesday, June 5, 2019
- Arrival Athens (D)
You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to the homestay.
In the afternoon, you will go for an initial exploration of this ancient city, strolling through the streets of its neighborhoods and getting a first understanding of the history that goes back 4000 years.
Dinner at a restaurant either in Monastiraki or Agia Eirini Square.
Day 02Thursday, June 6, 2019
- Exploring the ancient history of Athens (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you will start the day on the hills opposite Acropolis: the Filopappou Hill (or Hill of the Muses), Pnyka, and the Hill of the Nymphs. There, under the shade of the pine trees and, possibly, with the deafening accompaniment of the cicadas, you will hear the story of the city of Athens: the ups and downs, the golden eras and the dark ages, the differences with other well-known Greek cities, the importance of its famous monuments, and the impact of the town in Greece’s as well as Europe’s history.
From these hills, you will enjoy panoramic views of the Parthenon, you will stop briefly at the place where Democracy was implemented, and you will walk downhill passing in front of the Old Observatory on your way to a couple of other important neighborhoods: Thiseio and Monastiraki.
In Monastiraki, you will explore the flea market – which, of course, has its own story – and in Psirriyou may study some of the street art on the walls.
Lunch at a small tavern for a taste of the famous Greek souvlaki.
After lunch, you will head to the Acropolis Museum where, after visiting its halls, you can rest at the café having an excellent view on the Parthenon.
During this free time, some of you may wish to go up on the Acropolis Rock (tickets not included in the cost of the trip).
In the afternoon, you will explore Plaka, the old neighborhood of Athens that spreads at the foothill of the Acropolis Rock. You will ramble around the picturesque alleys, observing the kaleidoscopic co-existence of the Ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern Greek eras. It is an excellent opportunity to hone your photographic skills, experimenting with colors, angles, and meanings.
You will pass through the Anafiotika neighborhood – fondly referred to as “an island within a city” – and you will enjoy the sunset as well as a panoramic view of Athens from the Areopagus Rock. You will finish the day in the oldest Plaka tavern to dine on traditional local delicacies while singing and dancing – the Greek way!
Day 03Friday, June 7, 2019
- Athens - Vrachni village (B, L, D)
Today is a relaxing day. In the morning, after breakfast, you will head for a last stroll in Athens, to see the Change of the Guard in front of the Parliament and then the National Garden of Athens which, besides its botanical importance, hides several archaeological treasures.
You will have lunch in a grocery-restaurant nearby and then take the cars and head to Vrachni village, close to Kalavryta in Peloponnese. On the way, you will pass by the Isthmos canal and stop for a few photos.
Perched at 1100 m above sea level, Vrachni village, along with Souvardo, are the highest (in terms of altitude), inhabited villages in Kalavryta area. The first settlers in the region are thought to have arrived in the mid-8th century AD. The landscape is verdant green, with fir trees and running water. It is a village that is cared for by its residents with a lot of love and creative energy. You can even find a small theatre opposite the Church of the Saints Theodori.
After a three-hour drive, you will reach the village and the house that will be your base for the rest of the trip. Note that all of you (including the two trip leaders) will share the 4 available bedrooms and the 2 bathrooms, while, during the day, you can choose any of the various common areas (living rooms, yards, balconies, etc.) to settle either as a group or by yourselves, emerging in an authentic, home-stay experience.
After settling down, you will enjoy a home-made dinner at the nearby Souvardo village, under a huge plane tree.
Day 04Saturday, June 8, 2019
- Caving / Nature walking / Visit to the facilities of a honey producer (B, L, D)
The morning will start with a hearty breakfast on traditional local delicacies. You can leisurely enjoy it in the shade of the veranda, while some may wish to scout around the area to get acquainted with the surrounding landscape.
After breakfast, you will drive towards the Cave of Lakes which is an old subterranean river consisting of three levels. During the winter when the snow melts, it is transformed into a flowing stream with waterfalls. During the summer, it dries up, leaving behind 13 lakes.
After the cave, you will visit Planitero village with its amazing plane-trees forest. You will explore the ancient settlements of the area while walking in pristine forests of fir, cypresses, walnut, and chestnut trees, and, then, have lunch at the trout-growing farm of the village, at a traditional restaurant, enjoying home-cooked food and having access to crystal-clear waters full of minerals from the underwater sources of the mountains.
After lunch, you will visit the facilities of a well-known beekeeper, learn more about the honey collection process, and engage in some honey tasting.
In the afternoon, you will return home to relax, explore the small village and its history, or take a short hike along the nearby paths. Depending on the season, you may be lucky to encounter some of the local fauna, such as foxes, ferrets, or wild boars, besides the numerous kinds of birds that live in among the trees.
Dinner at home or at a local tavern and a relaxing evening at the veranda for star-gazing.
Day 05Sunday, June 9, 2019
- Trapeza- Swimming / Kalavryta Town (B, L, D)
After breakfast,you will set off for Trapeza, the most lucid and beautiful beach of the Corinthian Sea. You will spend a few hours swimming and snorkeling, basking under the sun, or chilling at the beach bar.
After lunch at a traditional fish tavern by the sea, you will return home to relax and shower, before visiting the picturesque Kalavryta town. You will pass by the memorial site which shares a message of peace, and you will stop at the delicatessen shop of Mr. Marossis who will take you on a journey through the tastes of the region by sharing information and stories regarding the cheeses, pasta, beans, mushrooms, or other produce of the area.
Dinner at a local tavern.
Day 06Monday, June 10, 2019
- Tsivlou lake /Cooking Class (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you will head towards Tsivlou lake, one of the most beautiful lakes of the Peloponnese. Located at 800 m of altitude, it is surrounded by a forest that slides down next to the water edge and offers a great opportunity for short hikes and relaxation. Some of you, on a dare, may be brave enough to swim in the cold waters of the turquoise lake.
In the afternoon, you will go to the restaurant of Giorgos Manikas to go through a cooking class session for three courses which you will later enjoy within the picturesque setting of his shop.
Day 07Tuesday, June 11, 2019
- Vouraikos gorge/ Athens Departure (B)
After breakfast, you pack your luggage and depart for Athens.
At Kalavryta, you will take the odontotos rack railway to Diakofto village, following the direction of the Vouraikos gorge, passing through several tunnels and a landscape of breathtaking beauty.
One hour later, in Diakofto, you will find the cars again and return to Athens and the airport.
Recommended departure time:after 4 pm