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Tours and Excursions around Athens to Discover History and Culture



The cultural heritage of Greece is a major attraction for visitors, bringing the ancient world closer to everyday experience. Tours and excursions around Athens vary in distance but are all interesting places to see and feel the atmosphere. Archeological sites are always in magnificent surroundings and many offer outstanding views. Whether you choose to go by bus on an organized tour of prefer the independence of private transport, the experience will definitely be memorable.  If you dont have much time, choose something closer to Athens, like the temple of Poseidon at Sounion, with its romantic sunset, the sanctuary of Nemesis at Rhamnous off the beaten path with its mysterious atmosphere and peaceful environment, Vravrona on the east coast of Attica, with the temple of Artemis amidst nature, or the port of Rafina with its famous fresh fish tavernas.  If you have more time try for Amphiareion, a magical sanctuary, close to Oropos,  which is believed to have healing power, Eleusis, birthplace of the great tragedian Aeschylus,  with the remains of  Demetras temple was the location of the secret initiation of the ancient world. Loutraki with spas and casino  is an enjoyable one day excursion. Definitely more time is needed to reach Delphi, but it is certainly worth it. The omphalos of the earth, Apollos oracle, the impressive scenery are one in a lifetime experiences. Ancient Nemea combines archeological interest with one of the best wines in Greece, Mycenae in the Peloponnese is a major archeological site definitely worth visiting.


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Rafina


Rafina is an important port, with ships departing and arriving for the islands of Andros, Tinos, Mykonos, Paros and other islands of the Aegean. The distance from Athens is 28 klm. and 10 klm. from the international airport. Sandy beaches, many excellent fish restaurants, hotels and an attractive atmosphere make Rafina a favorite place for holidays but also for living all year round. From Rafina you can also visit nearby Marathon and the beach of Schinias with the pine tree forest reaching the beach. The area was inhabited since the Bronze Age, as the archeological findings at Askitario show. Roman remains have also been excavated in the area.

Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: Take a boat to one of the closer islands from this port, or just enjoy the fresh fish

Nelly's expert tip: One of the best places to enjoy excellent fresh fish at the many tavernas on the port

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Mycenae, in the Peloponnese region, is one of the major archeological sites in Greece and visiting it is a unique experience. Famous from Homer's Iliad as the reign of king Agamemnon, Mycenae has a history which goes back to 3.000 B.C. and was an important cultural center in ancient Greece. The Palace, built on the highest point, the Lion Gate which leads to the Acropolis and the royal tombs, are the major points. The excavations by German archeologist Heinrich Schliemann in 1876, brought to light, amongst other objects of great value, a whole treasure of gold masks, ornamented swords, and elaborate jewelry.

Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: A major archeological site in the Peloponnese region, of great historical interest

Nelly's expert tip: One of the major archeological sites in Greece, with a long and interesting history

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Outside the City
Loutraki
Photo courtesy of Tilemahos Efthimiadis


Loutraki, at a distance of 84 klm. from Athens, is a seaside town, famous for the spas and casino, which attract many visitors. Luxury hotels, elegant restaurants and busy clubs and bars make this resort a favorite for one day excursions or a relaxing weekend. The Iraion sanctuary, built close to the lake Vouliagmeni, dedicated to the goddess Hera, is worth visiting, with magnificent scenery and special atmosphere. The remains include the foundation of the temple, loggias, and aqueducts from the Hellenistic period. The Alkyonides islands, just opposite Loutraki are ideal for swimming on quiet beaches, and can be reached by boat.

Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: An attractive seaside resort, famous for its spas, which attracts many visitors

Nelly's expert tip: Spas, casino and archeological sites coexist

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Ancient Nemea, in the Peloponnese, is a fascinating place to visit, with great archeological interest, famous also for the excellent wine produced from the local vineyards. According to the ancient myth, this is where Hercules slew the ferocious lion of Nemea who was the terror of the area. The Nemean Games, one of the most important festivals of the ancient world, were founded in honor of the tragic death of the young prince Opheltes, killed by a snake. Today the Nemean Games have been revived, attracting many visitors from many countries. The Sixth Nemead will take place on June 10-12 2016. Visit the Archeological Museum, the impressive Sanctuary of Zeus and the famous Stadium. A wine festival is held every year in September, with local produce.

Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: The revival of the Nemean Games attracts people from all over the world

Nelly's expert tip: Visit Ancient Nemea and discover the timeless charm of history

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Outside the City


Delphi is quite far from Athens, about 190 klm. but is an exceptional location, considered the omphalos of the earth and one of the main attractions of the country. Visitors can still feel the amazing energy of the place, which has inspired writers, poets and artists over the ages, with its mystical atmosphere and impressive scenery. The remains of the oracle and temple dedicated to the god Apollo are on a slope, surrounded by high rocky crags. Make time for the Archeological Museum where the most important findings are guarded in the twelve halls: bronze arms, pottery, sculptures, statues, inscriptions, dating back to prehistoric ages.

Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: Major sanctuary of Apollo and an important oracle in antiquity

Nelly's expert tip: Considered the omphalos of the earth the place has amazing energy

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Outside the City
Eleusis
Photo courtesy of Isawnyu


Eleusis, just 21 klm from Athens was an important town in ancient Greece, with the sanctuary of the goddess Demetra, where the Eleusinian mysteries were held. Little is known about this great initiation of the ancient world, which continues to remain secret. The modern town of Eleusis is mainly industrial, but is worth visiting to see the archeological site with the Sacred Court, temples and altars, dating back to the 5th century B.C. At the Archeological Museum visitors can admire the many findings from excavations in the area, which include pottery, statues and devotional objects. Eleusis is the birthplace of the great tragedian Aeschylus.

Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: Famous in ancient Greek history, Eleusis was dedicated to the Goddess Demetra

Nelly's expert tip: The Eleusinian mysteries are an intriguing subject of the ancient world

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Outside the City
Amphiareion
Photo courtesy of Nelly Paraskevopoulou


The sanctuary of Amphiareion is close to Oropos on the eastern part of Attica, hidden in a ravine, amongst pine trees and rhododendrons. The sanctuary dedicated to the hero Amphiaraos dates back to the 5th century B.C. and was visited by pilgrims who sought answers from the oracle and healing. At a distance of 37 klm. from Athens, the sanctuary is reached driving through small villages and peaceful countryside. The site includes a sacred spring, a temple, as well as a theater and loggia. Religious festivals were held in honor of the hero with athletic games. After visiting the site, drive down to Oropos or Agioi Apostoloi for a wonderful meal of fresh fish.

Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: Hidden in a ravine, this sanctuary has a unique atmosphere

Nelly's expert tip: The sanctuary has a unique energy, believed to be healing for the spirit

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Vravrona
Vravrona


Vravrona with the archeological site of the goddess Artemis is on the east coast of Attica, close to the beach resorts of Mati and Loutsa, 39 klm. from Athens. The temple of Artemis is amongst the most ancient in the region, and was renowned in the ancient world for the celebrations in honor of the deity which were held every four years. The most outstanding parts are the loggia with columns in Doric style, the temple of Artemis and the monument of Ifigeneia. In the Archeological Museum close by, visitors can see findings from the Mycenean cemetery, sculptures from the temple and pottery from the wider region, dating back to the Geometric Age.

Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: The temple of Goddess Artemis was renowned for the celebrations held in ancient years

Nelly's expert tip: One of the most ancient temples in the region

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Outside the City
Rhamnous
Photo courtesy of Nelly Paraskevopoulou


The archeological site of Rhamnous, about 40 klm. N.E. from Athens, is one of the most interesting in the area of Attica and definitely worth visiting. Better to plan this excursion during the week, as the site is closed on weekends. Arrange to be there quite early so as to have time to walk down to the coast after having visited the ancient monuments. Rhamnous was a fortified city, built in the 6th century B.C. and overlooks the Euboean strait. The sanctuary of Nemesis, the avenging goddess of ancient Greeks, is located here. Rhamnous is off the beaten path of archeological sites, so you will enjoy the peace and mystical atmosphere.

Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: An archeological site off the beaten path definitely worth visiting

Nelly's expert tip: Peaceful and mystical atmosphere

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Outside the City


Sounio with the temple of Poseidon, god of the sea, is on many tourist itineraries, as both the archeological site and the environment are of great beauty. Situated on the south coast of Attica at a distance of about 68 klm, the impressive temple with its outstanding view of the Aegean sea is built in Doric style and the place is ideal for watching the sunset. Further down on the slope is the temple of Athena, goddess of wisdom. In the same area is one of the most ancient and less known ancient theatres, Thoriko, dating back to the 6th century B.C, also worth visiting. Nearby Lavrio is an important port from where shops depart to the islands and the Technological and Cultural Park is an important landmark.

Recommended for Tours and Excursions because: A breathtaking view of the Aegean in this most romantic setting

Nelly's expert tip: Myth and history in the temple of Poseidon

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Meet Nelly Paraskevopoulou

Born and bred in Athens, Nelly went on the move after finishing high school and spending some years working in textiles.  For her, Italy was the next chapter. But, after 12 years, it was back...  More About Nelly

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