Athens Sightseeing (also can be done from Piraeus port for cruise passengers)
High above pulsating modern Athens, the serene Acropolis reigns as it has for 25 centuries. Gaze on the timeless majesty of the marble-columned Parthenon. Down in the city, snap a photo of the colorfully-costumed Evzone guards at Constitution Square; go shopping for souvenirs, silver jewelry and bright flotaki rugs.
Athens and Acropolis approx 3.5-4hrs
No one introduced Athens to the world as elegantly as Milton did--"Athens, the eye of Greece, mother of arts and eloquence." Your visit today will begin with the most famous temple of the Ancient City--the Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, the patron goddess of Athens. Walking up a winding path towards the Acropolis, you will pass through the Propylaea, and see the Erechtheum temple and the Porch of the Caryatids in the distance. Reinforced by the hand of man, the natural fortress of the Acropolis stands 230 feet above the city. You cannot help but be in awe of the view below. Time allowing, a short stop may take place at one of the shops in the Acropolis area, where you can purchase souvenirs, jewelry or folk art. On a drive through the city, some of the highlights include Constitution Square, the Royal Palace where the Evzones keep watch in their traditional costumes, the Temple of Zeus and the Olympic Stadium.
This tour involves a considerable amount of walking with an uphill climb to the Parthenon. The marble steps are slippery, especially when it rains. Comfortable, rubber-soled shoes are highly recommended. Sunscreen and a hat are also recommended, as shade is limited. Expect dense crowding at this site.
Ancient Corinth and Canal approx 5 hours
Visit the famous Corinth Canal which is four miles long, 70 feet wide and has sloping sides 170 feet in height. It connects the Ionian and Aegean seas to provide a shortcut. Your next stop will be Ancient Corinth. The ruins that lie in this area are a surprising mix of an ancient 6th-century BC Greek city and a 44 BC Roman city--the latter was built after Julius Caesar placed a colony on the desolate site. See the ruins and excavations of both, including a Christian Basilica, the starting lines of a Greek racetrack, a sacred spring with its bronze lion's-head spouts and the elaborate Roman fountain of Peirene.
Athens the Acropolis and Cape Sounion approx 8 hours
Begin your tour with a drive past marinas and resort towns to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, built in the 5th century BC. The temple's location, 180 feet above the sea, affords a magnificent view of the blue Aegean and distant islands. Many cruise ships passing Sounion today still pay their respects to Poseidon by lowering the ensign, blasting the ship's whistle, and pouring a libation over the side of the ship. On your way to Athens, you will stop at a leading hotel for lunch, then continue to the natural fortress of the Acropolis which rises from the city. Its symbolic ruins have survived for 25 centuries and have remained a part of the Greek culture for the entire world to appreciate. Pass Hadrian's Arch, indicating the border between the Greek and the Roman cities in Ancient times. You will pass the Temple of Olympian Zeus, which took 700 years to complete, Constitution Square, the Presidential Palace and the all-marble Olympic stadium built in 1896.
This tour involves a considerable amount of walking. Expect crowding and congestion at the Acropolis.
Available with lunch