June 26, 2004
Excursion: Best Of Athens
|Make the most of your time with a comprehensive full-day tour that takes in
the city's major sights, from the Parthenon to the Plaka.
WHAT YOU VISIT
Acropolis - The Acropolis dominates the Athenian landscape. Your guided
walking tour begins with a walk up steep steps through the Propylea, which
extends 150-feet across the western face of the Acropolis. Adjacent to the
entrance stands the Temple of Athena Nike (or Wingless Victory). Beyond the
Propylea, on the highest point of the Acropolis, stands the Parthenon.
Dedicated to the Virgin Athena, the white pentelic marble temple was built
447-437 BC. Beyond the Parthenon lies the Erectheion, a temple honoring
Athena and the sea god Poseidon. The graceful Porch of the Caryatids
features columns of marble maidens supporting the roof of the temple.
Agora - Once the sprawling market and public meeting center of Athens, the
Agora is situated at the base of the Acropolis. As your guide takes you on a
walking tour of the vast ancient ruins you can almost picture Socrates and
Plato teaching, Pericles and the rest of the Politicians debating amongst
the merchants and bustling crowds. Remains of temples, statues, columns and
friezes surround you as you learn of the social patterns of ancient Athens.
Thisson Temple - Perched high on a hill the temple creates an impressive
scene as it overlooks the once thriving Agora below. The virtually perfectly
preserved Doric Temple was dedicated to the Gods Hephaetus and Athena and
was later converted to a Christian Chapel and remained so until only 150
Stoa of Attalos Museum - This small museum houses many of the artifacts from
the Agora such as vases, coins, sculptures and statues. Interestingly the
Stoa began as a marble colonnaded arcade built by Attalos II King of
Pergamon and was reconstructed by the American Archaeological Society in the
Olympic Stadium - The marble stadium was built to host the first modern
Olympic Games in 1896.
Plaka - Enjoy approximately an hour of free time in Athens' famous shopping
district. The cobbled pedestrian lanes are lined with shops, boutiques,
souvenir stands, jewelry stores and flea market stalls offering a wide
variety of items.
Enjoy a delicious lunch with wine during your excursion.
WHAT YOU SEE ALONG THE WAY
Board your motorcoach for the approximately 30 to 40-minute drive to the
heart of Athens. Your narrated drive passes a host of major sites, including
Hadrian's Arch, the statue of Lord Byron, the Temple of Olympian Zeus,
Constitution Square, the former Royal Palace, the National Gardens, the
Academy and the University Library.