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Taking a tour in Athens is the most popular way to discover the city and see the fantastic historical monuments. Although most sightseeing is concentrated in the city center, in the walking triangle between Syntagma-Plaka-Thissio, many visitors actually go on guided tours to see everything in one day and have an expert guide explain them the historical background of the monuments.
Most popular Athens tours are sightseeing bus tours in the city center. However, many visitors also take day tours to the major archaeological sites in the mainland, such as Ancient Delphi, Epidaurus, Mycenae, and Olympia. Here are some interesting Athens tours that we suggest to take during your visit to the capital, before you head to the fantastic Greek islands.
#Athens sightseeing bus tour
The Athens sightseeing bus tour is surely the most classical of all Athens tours. A bus tour in Athens city center covers the Acropolis Hill, the Panathenaic Stadium (Kallimarmaro), the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Hellenic Parliament, the Neoclassical Trilogy (National Academy, Library and University) on Panepistimiou Ave, and many other sights on the way. It is completed with a guided tour in the New Acropolis Museum, a fantastic three-floor museum with findings from excavations on the Acropolis and other ancient sites in Attica. This Athens sightseeing bus tour takes place all year round.
#Full day bus tour with Cape Sounion
This Day tour with Cape Sounion includes the schedule of Athens sightseeing bus tour plus an afternoon visit to the southernmost point of the Attica peninsula. Cape Sounion is famous for the wonderful Temple of Poseidon that was constructed there in the 6th century BC and for the breathtaking view to the Aegean Sea. This Athens tour usually takes place only in tourist season, from April to October.
#Day trip to Ancient Delphi
Among the most impressive Athens tours is the day tour to Ancient Delphi, departing early in the morning from Athens and returning in the evening. This tour to Delphi allows a visit to one of the most important Greek archaeological sites. At a distance of 3 hours drive from Athens, Ancient Delphi has been constructed amphitheatrically on the slopes of a hill, with excellent view to the surrounding mountains.
In ancient times, Delphi was the most famous oracle of god Apollo and pilgrims from all over the Mediterranean basin would come to ask for prophecy, bringing many presents and offerings. Every four years, the Pythian Games were organized to honor the god, with athletic competitions and religious events.
Top sights to see in Ancient Delphi are the Temple of Apollo, few of which survive today, the Treasury of Athenians, the Ancient Theatre, the Stadium on top of the hill, and the Temple of Athena Pronea (Tholos). The very interesting Archaeological Museum of Delphi hosts wonderful marble statues, jewelry, ceramic vases and other findings from excavations on the site.
#Day tour to Epidaurus and Mycenae
Two other important archaeological sites in Greece are Ancient Epidaurus and Mycenae, both located on the eastern side of Peloponnese, Greek mainland. Many Athens tours depart all year round to visit Epidaurus, Mycenae and also include Nafplion in the schedule. Nafplion is a romantic seaside place with an old Medieval Town and a Venetian Castle on top of the hill above the town. Epidaurus is famous for the Ancient Theatre with the marvelous acoustics, while Mycenae is the legendary kingdom of king Agamemnon, the leader of the Greeks in the Trojan War.