Cultural Day Trip to Nemea Peloponnese, including Lunch and Wine Tasting
Nemea, whose name stems from the Naiad Nymph of the springs of the town, daughter of the local river-god Asopos, is considered one of the most sacred places of the Greek land. Nemea has a long history, extending far back into the depths of the centuries. Discoveries that came into light prove that the area of Nemea has been inhabited since prehistoric times.
In Nemea the ancient Greeks were organizing games (the Nemean Games), as a part of the Panhellenic religious and athletic cycle of festivities held also in Delphi, Isthmia and Olympia (the world’s famous Olympic Games). During the period of the games, a sacred armistice was made to put an end to all wars and hostilities. All Greeks – Spartans and Athenians, Corinthians and Argians, Macedonians and Cretans – appreciating their common human nature, were gathered there. This impulse toward peace – albeit limited to a few days each year – was the first in the history of mankind on an organized, regular, and international scale. Thus, the festivals at Nemea, Olympia, Delphi, and Isthmia are the direct ancestors of today’s United Nations and Olympic movement.
Since ancient times the wider area of Nemea has been also known for its wine. Today Nemea is the biggest vineyard zone of Greece and the most important AOC region in southern Greece for the production of red wines. The new town of Nemea is located a few kilometres west of ancient Nemea, approximately 40 kilometres southwest from Corinth. In the olden days it was called ‘Agios Georgios’ (Saint George) and this is why the most famous red wine variety in Greece produced at Nemea is called ‘Agiorgitiko’ (St. Georges’).
At the archaeological site of Nemea you will learn all about the ancient settlement, but also about Stephen Miller, the emeritus professor of Classical Archaeology of the University of Berkeley, the legend who excavated, studied, published, accented, restored and utilized the archaeological site of Nemea. He was the man who gave to the people of Nemea the inspiration for the revival and the actualization of the New Nemean Games taking place every 4 years since 1996!
We will also watch a short media presentation of the Society for the Revival of the Nemean Games. The society was established in 1994 by 23 visionary inhabitants of the area and today it counts thousands of members from all around the world. Travel and Do itself is a proud member and supporter of this noble society. The last Nemead took place on June 2016. The next games will take place in 2020 and everyone is free to visit and enjoy watching or participate.
We will continue our tour with a visit to a winery in the area of Kutsi, Nemea, one of the most impressive wine-related developments in Greece, as far as its breadth, design and architecture is concerned. We will have a guided visit to the winery and we will taste different varieties of wine, having the opportunity to enjoy a special meal, carefully chosen to accompany the taste and the nose of the wines.
09:00 : Meet us at Syntagma square downtown central Athens for departure. Our Mini Bus will have a sign of “Travel and Do” on.
10:00 : Stop at the Corinth Canal: Long before the modern construction of this waterway, the ancient Greeks had applied advanced mechanics and wheels in their aim to pass the ships across the isthmus and save precious sailing time!
11:00 : Guided tour at the archaeological site of Nemea, Peloponnese
14:00 : Guided wine tour and wine tasting
14:30 : Lunch
18:00 : Arrival back in Athens
Euro 235,- per person, all taxes included.
Services included: Transportation (small group up to 7 persons), entrance fees, English speaking tour guides/facilitators, lunch.
Cultural Day Trip to Eleusis and Loutraki, including SPA and Seafront Lunch
This trip of Travel and Do is introducing three Greek Goddesses: Demeter, Artemis and Hera. Our guide will talk to us about what these Goddesses stood for in the ancient world and we will be reminded of their values and qualities.
Our guided tour will begin at the archaeological site of Elefsina (Eleusis). The sanctuary of Eleusis was one of the most important sanctuaries in the ancient world. From the Mycenaean period till the end of the 4th century AD the goddess Demeter was constantly worshiped here: the goddess of nature’s renewal and cereal-growing, the one who showed the people of Elefsina the cultivation of the earth and the sacred ceremonies, together with the most sacred mysteries connecting Earth to the Underworld, for which she claimed absolute secrecy: The Eleusinian Mysteries!
We will continue our route towards the spa town of Loutraki in the north cove of the Corinthian Gulf. Loutraki is the birthplace of the Greek thermalism and it’s characterized as the premier spa resort of Greece since 1855! In the ancient times the city was known and highly respected for its healing waters. It was called “Thermae”, meaning hot springs in Greek. The ancient city owned its name to goddess THERMIA ARTEMIDA, protector of the hot thermal springs. In Loutraki we will enjoy the SPA services of Loutraki Thermal Spa, operating in the same location since 1899!
Our next stop for a guided cultural tour will be the Heraion of Perachora, a sanctuary of the goddess Hera situated in a small cove of the Corinthian gulf at the end of the Perachora picturesque peninsula. In addition to a temple of Hera of unusual construction and antiquity, the remains of a number of other structures have also been found, including a L-shaped stoa, a large cistern, dining rooms, and a second potential temple.
In the same area, just a few meters away, there is the lighthouse of Melagavi, one of the most impressive lighthouses in Greece! The lighthouse, initially built in 1897, still operates today to safely lead the ships moving inside the Corinthian Gulf and heading to the world’s wonder Canal of Corinth.
08:45 – 09:00 : Meet us at Syntagma square downtown central Athens for departure. Our Mini Bus will have a sign of “Travel and Do” on.
10:00 – 12:30 : Guided tour at the archaeological site of Eleusis
13:45 – 14:45 : Pool Hydro massage and Sauna or Hammam at LOUTRAKI THERMAL SPA
15:00 – 16:30 : Lunch at a seafront tavern
17:00 – 18:15 : Guided tour to Heraion and Melagavi lighthouse
20:00 : Arrival back in Athens – Syntagma square
Euro 235,- per person, all taxes included
Services in price included: Small group transportation (up to 7 persons), English speaking tour guides to Eleusis and Heraion, lunch, SPA package, taxes
Cultural Boat Tour to the Silver State of Aegina Island, including Lunch
According to the Greek mythology, Zeus, fell in love with one of God Aesop’s daughters, who was very beautiful and her name was Aegina. He kidnapped her, took her to an island and renamed it after her. The different findings in the archaeological areas of Aigina show that the first inhabitants came from Peloponnese and settled on the island in the second half of the 4th millennium B.C. Around 500 B.C., Aegina flourished in the trade of the East Mediterranean Sea and reached its highest point in power and wealth. It had a military and a commercial port and its population consisted of 40.000 free citizens and 400.000 slaves.
When the crusaders took over Constantinople (Instabul) in 1204 A.D., Aegina was handed over to the Venetians. In 1537 A.D. the Turks declared war against Venice and the leader of the Turkish fleet literally destroyed and burned down Aegina. Only a few churches in Palaiochora managed to survive. The first Turkish domination lasted from 1540 to 1687 A.D. Later on, the Venetians took back Aegina, the trade was revived and the economy improved. From 1715 to 1821, there was a second Turkish domination till the Greek revolution in 1821, in which Aegina played a very supportive role.
In 1828 Aigina town became the first capital city of the new Hellenic state, but after only a year the capital city was transferred to Nafplion and Aegina came back to the peaceful life of a provincial city. This daily rhythm of life luckily still applies today, giving us the opportunity to enjoy our relaxing day trips.
We will start our day trip by paying a visit to the archaeological site of the island’s ancient city, where once beautiful houses, public buildings and churches were standing, all fortified inside strong walls that were protecting the city against the pirates. There, you will also be guided in a very interesting museum with unique findings.
Our trip continues in the main town of the island which is adorned with beautiful buildings and towers. But, if architecture and history are not exactly in your main interests, you may instead take a swim in the crystal clear waters of a nearby beach.
We will then gather to enjoy an unforgettable Greek-style seafood lunch inside the town’s market!
One of the highlights of our trip is the visit to this very picturesque pastry shop, selling traditional sweets and delicacies based on the local variety of pistachio cultivated all over the island. The Greek pistachio is smaller, but much tastier than any other variety in the world and is considered to be one of the most nutritious nuts! Our guide will tell you all about the Aiginian pistachio while you will taste some unique local products.
Finally the time has come to visit the famous ancient (500 B.C.) temple dedicated to the Greek Minoan Goddess Afaia, daughter of Zeus and Karmi. She was called Afaia (Afanes: hidden, not seen) because she had the ability to disappear. The worship of the Goddess was related to the phases of the moon and the art of magic. She loved wandering in the forests together with the Goddess Artemis that she adored. It is said that Afaia was the one who invented Artemis’ famous hunting net (”thichty”) and due to this she was called “Thicktynna”, The-hunting-net-holder. The temple is considered to be a sublime ancient architectural creation and the temple-prototype for the architects of The Parthenon of Athens, Iktinos and Kallicrates.
After the temple visit we will head back to the port for our departure to Piraeus.
09:00 Meet us at Syntagma square downtown central Athens for departure. Our Mini Bus will have a sign of “Travel and Do” on.
10:00 Departure from Piraeus port to Aigina island by ferry boat
11:30 Guided visit in the archaeological museum and the ruins of the Apollo temple
13:00 Guided tour around the highlights of the town (the Markello tower, the market, the old buildings) or free time to take a short sea swim at the beach in front of the archaeological museum
14:30 Seafood lunch inside the traditional market of the town
16:00 Local sweet and coffee in a traditional pastry shop
17:00 Guided visit to the famous Temple of Afaia
19:15 Departure for Athens by ferry boat
21:00 Arrival back at Syntagma square
Euro 235,- per person, all taxes included
Services in price included: Boat tickets, private transportation (group up to 18 persons) by mini bus, English speaking tour guides, lunch, coffee and/or sweet, taxes.