Excursions

AV Tavel & Tours welcomes you to Greece and wish you a very long and pleasant stay.

-- The  Art  of  Touring  in Style --

Live  a unique  experience  in the  heart  of  Athens.
History unfolds with every step in Athens, from the Parthenon at the top of Acropolis, to the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion on the tip of Attica peninsula. The establishment of Athens as a city, dates back to mythological times. The modern capital encompasses ancient and medieval history interpreting it into contemporary era.



Half-Day Tour in Athens
Duration is about 4-5 hours of sightseeing, to some of the most important monuments, the cradle of world's civilization, round the city center of Athens and includes:

--Acropolis
--Herod Atticus Odeon
--Theater of Dionysos
--Temple of Zeus
--Hadrian's Gate
--Marble Stadium (Kallimarmaro)
--Greek Parliament ( and Tomb of Uknown Soldier)
--Presidential and Prime Minister's Residence (The Old Palace)
--Monastiraki
--Ancient Greek and Roman Agora
--Tower of Winds
--Thiseion
--Academy of Athens
--Plaka
--Lycabettus Hill (Balcony)


We start by going back to history...3500 years ago, to the most historical place on earth, the cradle of civilization, Acropolis.
Next stop is Hadrian's Gate and the Temple of "God of Gods", the Temple of Zeus.
Close to the Temple of Zeus, but few centuries...later, is Panathinaikon Marble Stadium, all constructed with pure white marble, from mountain Penteli, one of the three mountains surrounding County of Attica, hence it's name Kallimarmaro (in greek Kalli=very nice and marmaro=marble), very well marbled, where first modern Olympic games took place in 1896, revived by Pierre de Coubertin.
Driving futher up a few minutes away, is the Greek Parliament and the Tomb of Unknown Soldier, where is worth seeing the synchronization of changing between the guards, every hour.
Leaving the Parliament, our next stop will be in the National Gardens, side by side to the Old Palace buildings, the Presidential and Prime Minister's House as they are used today.
Down to the narrow streets of monastiraki, we come to the Greek and Roman Agora, a guthering open "place of assemply"at that times to hear the spokeman or exchange opinions.
A market place, also (in greek Agora=market, buying), of buying and selling goods.
In Roman times was also used as Residence.
Leaving behind the center of the city, we are going...high!!!
Going up to Lycabettus hill, to see what we've seen so far, from the top of the hill, from the "balcony", also overlooking Aegina island, the main port of Piraeus and some of south suburbs of Athens.
Having experienced the Half-day tour in Athens, we will do our best to make sure you will enjoy just as much, any tour or excursion, you may decide to do with us.
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Athens
Acropolis - Herod Atticus Odeon
Theater of Dionysus - Zeus Temple
Hadrian's Gate - Marble Stadium
Hellenic Parliament - Monastiraki
Roman & Greek Agora - Tower of Winds


Full-Day Tour in Athens including Sounion
Duration is about 7-8 hours.
Having done the Half-day tour in Athens, we are heading for a breathtaking seaside drive that get us to this remarkable site of Sounion (Cape Sounion), which is located south of Athens at a distance of 70Km (43miles) and nearly an hour's drive away, along the west coastline of Attica, the Attica Riviera.
Once at Sounion you will have the chance to see the Temple of Poseidon, the God of the sea in Greek classical mythology and a peaceful scenery of Aegean's blue waters, and the great sunset.
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Sounion Temple of Poseidon

 

 


Marathon

Marathon took its name from the herb, fennel. Is very well known from the battle that took place there in September 490 BC, in the Greco-Persian Wars, decisive battle fought on the Marathon plain of northeastern Attica in which the Athenians, in a single afternoon, repulsed the first Persian invasion of Greece. Command of the hastily assembled Athenian army was vested in 10 generals, each of whom was to hold operational command for one day. The generals were evenly divided on whether to await the Persians or to attack them, and the tie was broken by a civil official, Callimachus, who decided in favour of an attack. Four of the generals then ceded their commands to the Athenian general Miltiades, thus effectively making him commander in chief.
The Greeks could not hope to face the Persians? cavalry contingent on the open plain, but before dawn one day the Greeks learned that the cavalry was temporarily absent from the Persian camp, whereupon Miltiades ordered a general attack upon ...
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Marathon Marathon

 


Thermopylae

Thermopylae is a mountain pass near the sea in northern Greece which was the site of several battles in antiquity, the most famous being that between Persians and Greeks in August 480 BCE. Despite being greatly inferior in numbers, the Greeks held the narrow pass for three days with Spartan King Leonidas fighting a last-ditch defence with a small force of Spartans and other Greek hoplites. Ultimately the Persians took control of the pass, but the heroic defeat of Leonidas would assume legendary proportions for later generations of Greeks, and within a year the Persian invasion would be repulsed at the battles of Salamis and Plataea.
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Thermopylae Thermopylae




--"Explore the vibrant  culture and colors of Greece"--


Excursions may be for 1,2,3,4 days or more, and you can change the scheduled program upon request, to meet your needs.
You will have the chance to admire together with historical or archeological places away from Athens, the country side as well.
So just sit back, relax and enjoy your trip.


Ancient Corinth & Canal-Mycenae-Epidaurus-Nafplion
A round tour of nearly 260km (162miles) in north-east Peloponnese peninsula, will occupy your day for about 10 hours.
First stop is at the Corinth Canal, which "separates" main land from Peloponnese peninsula and "connects", Aegean Sea with Ionian Sea waters, with our next visit to the grandiose ancient ruins, dating back to the Roman period, such as the imposing ruins of the Archaic Temple of Apollo, in Ancient Corinth.
Next visit is Mycenae and Tiryns, where its civilisation can go back as the 5th millenium B.C, the sites with the remains of two of the most ancient citadels in the world. In Mycenae you can admire the remains of the Palace of the mythical King Agamemnon, the leader of the Greeks in the expedition against Troy and the Lionesses Gate. Tiryns was a fortress which started to exist the same date with Mycenae. However, there are findings which confirm a Neolithic settlement. Enough evidence survived from the settlement of the Early Bronze Age (2500-2000 B.C) to prove the existence of a series of apsidal houses arranged round a very huge circular building on the summit of the hill.
Further down we come to the open-circular theater of Epidavros, to witness first hand the achievements of Ancient Greeks as far as the theatre construction is concerned, as well as for it's unique acoustics, since 4th century BC.
Next is the beautiful city of Nafplion, the first capital of modern Greece from 1821 through to 1834, has one of the nicest ports and marble-paved esplanades in Greece. It is a picturesque town lying at the foot of a cliff crowned by the Venetian fortess of Palamidi. There is also the small Bourtzi Fortress on the tiny island across the harbour.
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Corinth Canal Corinth Canal

Ancient Corinth Ancient Corinth
Mycenae Mycenae
Epidavros Epidaurus
Nafplion Nafplion



Sparta - Mystras
Sparta was unique in ancient Greece for its social system and constitution, which completely focused on military training and excellence. Its inhabitants were classified as Spartiates (Spartan citizens, who enjoyed full rights), Mothakes (non-Spartan free men raised as Spartans), Perioikoi (freedmen), and Helots (state-owned serfs, enslaved non-Spartan local population). Spartiates underwent the rigorous agoge training and education regimen, and Spartan phalanxes were widely considered to be among the best in battle. Spartan women enjoyed considerably more rights and equality to men than elsewhere in the classical world.
Sparta was the subject of fascination in its own day, as well as in the West following the revival of classical learning. Sparta continues to fascinate Western Culture; an admiration of Sparta is called laconophilia.

In 1249, Mystras became the seat of the Latin Principality of Achaea, established in 1205 after the conquest of Constantinople during the Fourth Crusade, and Prince William II Villehardouin, a grand-nephew of the Fourth Crusade historian Geoffrey of Villehardouin, built a palace there.
The last Byzantine emperor, Constantine XI Palaiologos, was despot at Mystras before he came to the throne. Demetrius Palaeologus the last despot of Morea, surrendered the city to the Ottoman emperor Mehmed II in 1460. As Mezistre, it was the seat of a Turkish sanjak. The Venetians occupied it from 1687 to 1715, but otherwise the Ottomans held it until 1821 and the beginning of the Greek War of Independence. It was abandoned by King Otto for the newly rebuilt Sparti.
In 1989 the ruins, including the fortress, palace, churches, and monasteries, were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

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Sparta - Mystras


Bassae

Bassae or Vasses, meaning "little vale in the rocks", is an archaeological site in the northeastern part of Messenia, Greece. In classical antiquity, it was part of Arcadia. Bassae lies near the village of Skliros, northeast of Figaleia, south of Andritsaina and west of Megalopolis. It is famous for the well-preserved mid- to late-5th century B.C, Temple of Apollo Epicurius.
Although this temple is geographically remote from major polities of ancient Greece, it is one of the most studied ancient Greek temples because of its multitude of unusual features. Bassae was the first Greek site to be inscribed on the World Heritage List (1986). Its construction is placed between 450 - 400 B.C.
The temple was dedicated to Apollo Epikourios ("Apollo the helper"). It was designed by Iktinos, architect at Athens of the Temple of Hephaestus and the Parthenon. The ancient writer Pausanias praises the temple as eclipsing all others but the temple of Athena at Tegea by the beauty of its stone and the harmony of its construction. It sits at an elevation of 1,130 metres above sea level on the slopes of Kotilion Mountain.
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Bassae Bassae



Ancient Olympia

One of the most sacred ancient centers for religious worship, build in honour of Zeus, Olympia was chosen to be the birth site of the Olympic Games.
It is a tradition as old as history. Athletes from distant lands gather to test their mettle before throngs of cheering fans. Indeed, the inaugural Olympic games—held in the summer of 776 B.C at the sanctuary of Zeus in Olympia, which is considered to be the one of the finest and oldest examples of Doric archtecture—are widely believed to be the first precisely dated events in the annals of ancient Greece.
An archeological site, in Peloponnese peninsula, south-west of Attica, where Olympic games and not only , took place in classical times , is about 335km (208miles) away from Athens, duration is round to 11 hours.
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Ancient Olympia Ancient Olympia



Delphi

Is like all the Greek ancient monumets, UNESCO's World Heritage site.
With evocative ruins surrounded by breathtaking mountain scenery Parnassos, which according to the Greek Mythology, was the favorite hangout place of Apollo and Dionysus. Delphi is surely the most beautiful ancient site in Greece, because of its Oracle and the Temple of Apollo, where the leaders of the ancient world sought spiritual guidance. For the ancient Greeks, Delphi was quite literally the center of the world. Zeus released two eagles from opposite ends of the earth and they met in the sky above Delphi. Impaling one another with their beaks, they fell to the ground on the very center of the world. The site was marked by the sacred Omphalos, or "navel stone."
There is also the museum you can visit.
Is approximately 185km (115miles) north of Athens and the tour will last 8-9 hours.
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Delphi Delphi



Meteora

A complex of Greek Orthodox monasteries "suspended in the air", is situated 380km (236miles) north of Athens.
In the geographical region of Thessaly in the old days, there was a vast lake. According to tradition, a great earthquake split mountains in two and between Olympus and Kissavos formed a pass, Tempi. The water spilled into the sea and Thessaly became a plain.
According to the theory of the German geologist Al. Philipson, the rocks of Meteora created by a large mass of river stones, sand and mud that came together to form a single cone.
When later, the waters of the Thessalian lake poured in the Aegean, this single volume split due to corrosive action of the water, strong winds, the heavy rain and earthquakes, forming hills and rocks in various shapes and sizes.
The solidification of river-stone and sand to solid rock, was the result of dissolution of limestone, and the pressure for many thousands of years brought fossils from the lowest to the highest.
The view of Philipson considered complete because it explains the mosaic character of the rocks and hills and because the explanation is not inconsistent with the tradition that refers to the Sea of ??Thessaly.
In the prefecture of Trikala, located 20 km from Trikala over Kalambaka, rising proud and imposing the stone of the Holy Meteora rocks, full of fossilized shells, revealing a unique geological phenomenon. In Meteorites landscape height of the rocks reaches 400 meters. Is the most important after Mount Athos, a monastic complex in Greece
In these trackless peaks, around 1100 AD., Arrived in Meteora the first hermits.
Climbed and nesting like birds through the caves and hollows of the rocks isolated seeking there with prayers and fasts mental fullness and redemption.
The rocks are between earth and sky. Those who had the patience to count found that more than a thousand.
In the 14th century, Saint Athanasios Meteorites, constituting the first organized monastic community with regulations and organized according to typical organized monasteries of Mount Athos.
Meteora was named by St. Athanasius of Meteora Monastery of the Great Meteoro. Since then, over the Acropolis came and settled Monks and Nuns, who toil day and night work, fasting, vigil, not only for their own salvation but for the salvation of all people with long prayers and supplications.
The six visited monasteries of Meteora, are now restored and preserved for the most part in the mural decoration. In 1989, Unesco inscribed Meteora in the list of World Heritage Monuments, as a particularly important cultural and natural property.
Impressive is the rock that lies across the Abbey Great Meteoro. In this towering rock stone forest is the Monastery of Barlaam with a height of 373 m.
These monasteries were inaccessible enough that only the most dedicated followers tried to reach them, while they also made the monks feel like they were closer to God in a place of peace and solitude.
Duration of the trip is about 11-12 hours.
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Meteora Meteora

 


Vergina
The archaeological Site of Aigai (modern name Vergina), the ancient first capital of the Kingdom of Macedonia, was discovered in the 19th century near Vergina, in northern Greece. The most important remains are the monumental palace, lavishly decorated with mosaics and painted stuccoes, and the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli, some of which date from the 11th century B.C. One of the royal tombs in the Great Tumulus is identified as that of Philip II, who conquered all the Greek cities, paving the way for his son Alexander and the expansion of the Hellenistic world.

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Vergina Vergina



Dodoni
In a picturesque valley in Epirus, at the foot of Mount Tomaros, lies the oracle of Zeus Dodonaios, which was according to ancient tradition, the oldest in Greece.
During prehistoric times the Great Goddess, a fertility deity who later came to be known by the name Dione and formed a divine couple with Zeus, was worshipped here.
The most impressive monument at Dodone is without doubt the excellent theater, with a capacity of about 17,000 spectators.
Its retaining wall is reinforced by towers built in the isodomic system. It was constructed in the early third century B.C, during the reign of King Pyrros.
Destroyd by the Aetolians, it was rebuilt by Philip V of Macedonia in the late third century B.C. In its final phase, in the reign of Emperor Augustus, it was converted into an arena.
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Dodoni Dodoni


See more about..."Greece at a Glance"



The above mensioned places , are just a few we propose to visit , once you're in Greece.
We will be glad to indicate us, any other places you would prefer to visit.



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