Day 01Friday, Dec 28
You will be picked up from the airport and transferred to the homestay. The house is located on the mountains, away from the urban center and there will be daily commutes towards Athens.
It is recommended that you arrive early as the days are short and from 5pm onwards it is already dark.
In the afternoon, we will take the metro towards Plaka, one of the oldest neighborhoods of Athens and ramble around the picturesque alleys, observing the kaleidoscopic co-existence of the Ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern Greek eras, represented in the ruins, the architecture, the houses, and the stories imprinted in each corner. It is an excellent opportunity to hone our photographic skills, experimenting with colors, angles, and meanings.
We will finish our day in the oldest Plaka tavern to dine on traditional local delicacies while singing and dancing – the Greek way.
Day 02Saturday, Dec 29
Today we will enjoy the modern part of Athens. We will pass by the central Syntagma Square, explore the famous Athenian Trilogy, walk around the neighborhoods that are legendary for their graffiti, and monitor the Athenians as they proceed with their last New-Year shopping. Prepare to go in and out cozy cafes decorated for the season, sit by steamy windows for people-watching, taste local delicacies, and be part of the festive ambience of the capital with all the unexpected surprises that the city will have for us.
We will also visit the “Leonardo Da Vinci – 500 years of genius” exhibition (an interactive exhibition that demonstrates the full scope of Da Vinci’s genius as artist, inventor, and painter) and have fun at the Museum of lllusions.
For each evening, we will try to go to a different performance, depending on the available options (all of which are still not announced) and the availability of tickets.
For this Saturday, we aim at attending the performance “The Jazz Express – Speakeasy Nights”: a tribute to two legendary figures of jazz, Louis Armstrong and Billie Holiday. The event takes place in the wagon of an old train (part of the Orient Express) and is suffused with the ambience of bygone times.
Day 03Sunday, Dec 30
After breakfast at home, we will start the day walking around the ancient Peripatos path which passes by ancient shrines and ends on the top of the Acropolis Rock and the Parthenon. We will share stories from the past, myths, and we will understand the significance behind such eternal symbols. Then, we will cross the pedestrian road to the Acropolis Museum – one of the best museums in the world – and have lunch facing the ancient ruins.
After lunch, we will explore the National Garden of Athens which is considered to be a 19th-century monument, famous not only for its design and botanical wealth but, mostly, for its historical importance and the antiquities hidden in its most secret corners.
In the afternoon, we will head towards the Niarchos Cultural Foundation where we will enjoy some of the festive activities and attend the performance of the musical “Once”.
Day 04Monday, Dec 31
We will wake up to the Greek custom of the New Year carols that are sung by youngsters in the streets, the houses, and the shops.
We will spend more time at home, learning how to make the traditional melomakarona and kourabiedes, and maybe assisting in the preparation of the evening meal.
For the rest of the day, we will go on a surprise short
excursion which will allow us to explore another hidden aspect of Athens. We will return at home by nightfall, to relax and prepare for the evening.
The night is expected to be long, since we all wait until midnight for the change of the year, and then engage in warm family gatherings, light dinners, the cutting of our traditional vasilopita (a cake where each one tries to find the lucky charm), singing, and playing of lucky games – all in the name of good luck for the new year to come.
Day 05Monday, Jan 1
This is a family day and we will enjoy it at home, assisting in the preparation of the first lunch of the year, playing team games and walking in the surrounding mountains.
In the evening, it is a family tradition that we attend a performance, so this year we will choose between an Opera at the Music Hall or the Christmas Theater that is setting up in Athens.
Day 06Tuesday, Jan 2
- Departure (B)
This is our last day in Athens, so after breakfast at home, we will head to the airport