Have you guys read about the Olympian Gods? I am well aware of the fact that absolutely all problems came from the fact that Zeus couldn’t keep his pants on…but that’s not why I started the article with that question. Reading about the Olympian Gods made me fall in love with Greece. And secretly wished I had some super powers from time to time.
Greece is one of those countries where you cannot shake a stick without finding so many things to do and places to visit that you don’t know how to actually add them all to a trip. Before you scratch your head and complain that if you book a tour you’d be stuck with the schedule – I completely agree and that’s why I avoid guided tours like plague – look up the option to rent a car . Because the circuit I’m going to talk about is long and amazing. And requires flexibility, thus a car.
Let us start in Athens, the capital of Greece, a city which has fascinated me even before my low cost flight landed on the airport. To visit the most important sights – The Acropolis, The Roman Agora and The Greek Agora – it’s enough to allow a day or two here. Yours truly has managed to spend 4 hours in the Acropolis and although I’ve stayed 5 days in Athens I haven’t been able to visit some of the sites.
Leave Athens and head for the Theatre of Epidaurus. It is located about two hours’ drive from the capital and it is one of the best preserved ancient theatres in Europe. The original amphitheater was constructed in the 4th century BC and later , the Romans, decided to add some rows to it. Nowadays, it is home to the Epidaurus Festival, taking place each year in late spring. Aside from visiting the archaeological site there’s also an interesting museum to check out.
On the same day, make your way to Mycenae, about an hour drive from Epidavros (the village where the theatre is located). Home to Agamemnon and Clytemnestra and once a powerful fortress, the site is best known for the mythology linked to it. The Iliad tells the story of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra and how their love started a war.
Prepare to spend some time here. The city is located on a hill and you can still visit the Acropolis and some remains of the ancient walls. The Lion Gate and the royal tombs are the highlights for the tourists.
Just like in Athens, you can spend quite a lot of time here, especially if you like to check out every corner and take a lot of photos. Just make sure to wear very comfortable shoes -a good advice for absolutely ANY city or historical site you visit in Greece.
You could look up accommodation in Corinth, and while you are here you can check out the ancient city and the remains of the temples.
The next day, start driving to Meteora. Expect to drive for at least 4 ½ hours but, by now you probably figured out that estimates aren’t exactly the most accurate when it comes to Greek traffic.
Kalampaka is the best place to get accommodation in. Meteora is just a stone’s throw away from here and you have a lot of choices when it comes to finding places to eat, as well.
The monasteries can easily be visited during a day. Not all of them are open all the time and some require a modest entry fee (1 or 2 euros). Pay attention to the dressing code! You should never enter an Orthodox monastery wearing a tank top or shorts.
On the way back to Athens, pay a visit to the Oracle of Delphi (about 3 ½ hours’ drive from Meteora). Once the “bellybutton” of the Ancient World, Delhi’s main attracting is the Sanctuary of Apollo. But the remains of the ancient city also comprise the theatre, the stadium, the gymnasium and the Stoa of the Athenians.
Getting back to the capital should take about two hours from here.
While the circuit can be easily done in three days, I strongly recommend to allow more time ,especially if you love ancient history and adore Greece. As a general rule, bring very good walking shoes, always carry a water bottle – and don’t forget to refill it – and try to avoid staying in the sun during those blazing summer days.