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Athens is ideally situated in the centre of Greece with easy access to some of the most important archaeological sites of the country. This is why many visitors choose to easily and comfortably go on an Athens day trip to discover these treasures in the Greek mainland. Such an Athens day trip is most frequently accompanied by professional guides so that you get the most of these tours.
Athens Day Trip to Delphi
An day trip to Delphi is among the most popular tours in Greece. Situated on the slopes of Mount Parnassus in central Greece, Ancient Delphi is a very important archaeological site in Greece. Visitors get to see the Temple of Apollo, where the famous oracle of Delphi was based, various remains from treasuries, sanctuaries and other buildings, and certainly the Ancient Theatre with the amazing mountain views. The highest point of Ancient Delphi is where the Ancient Stadium was found, while the Temple of Athena Pronea (also known as Tholos) is found at the lowest point.
The guide shows visitors around the site and the Delphi Archaeological Museum, where famous exhibits are hosted, such as the Bronze Charioteer, the Sphinx of Naxos and the Statue of Antinous. Upon return, a brief stop at the picturesque town of Arachova allows visitors to get acquainted with local architecture and try traditional dishes at the many restaurants. This Athens day trip to Delphi frequently includes pick up and drop off from central hotels.
Mycenae and Epidaurus
The day trip to Mycenae and Epidaurus, two of the most important ancient sites of Peloponnese, offers a wonderful insight to the Greek history. On the way to Mycenae, most buses make a stop at the famous Corinth Canal, where the Aegean and the Ionian Sea meet.
Mycenae was the legendary town of king Agamemnon, the leader of the Greeks during the Trojan War. The story of Agamemnon and his family is actually connected with many ancient myths and constitutes the basis of many Greek tragedies. Your Athens day trip to Mycenae gives visitors the chance to pass through the Lion Gate, see the gigantic Cyclopean Walls, visit the Archaeological Museum with the magnificent treasuries and explore the Treasury of Atreus, the vaulted tomb which was believed to be the tomb of Agamemnon.
After a lunch stop in the beautiful, seaside town of Nafplion, buses continue to Epidaurus. The Ancient Site of Epidaurus was actually a healing center dedicated to god Asclepius, who was born in the region, according to the myth. People from all over the Mediterranean would come to this healing centre (called Asklepieion) to ask for treatment. In order to honor god Asclepius for his healing powers, athletic competitions were organized every 4 years at the ancient stadium and religious ceremonies would take place at the theatre.
In fact, the Ancient Theatre of Epidaurus exists until today and it is mostly renowned for its exceptional design and acoustics. In summer, the theatre hosts theatrical performances that are part of the Greek Festival. The return trip to Athens starts early in the evening. This Athens day trip takes place daily in summer and 3-4 times in winter.
A less-known Athens day trip is the tour to Ancient Corinth, a fantastic ancient site that is relatively unknown in Greece. Driving westwards from Athens, the tour makes a brief stop at the Corinth Canal, the beautiful canal which separates Peloponnese from the rest of the Greek mainland. In Ancient Corinth, visitors can take a walk at the Ancient Agora and visit the 6th century Temple of Apollo. The town has a very beautiful landscape, with an abrupt mountain on one side and fantastic view to the sea and the modern town of Corinth.
Ancient Corinth is actually the place where Saint Paul lived for 2 years. This is why this site is frequently included in the trips for the Routes of Saint Paul. In the Greek mythology, this was also the town where Jason and Medea lived and where she killed her children, when Jason married the daughter of the local king. On the return trip, buses make a short stop at the Ancient Port of Cehries, where Saint Paul disembarked. Tour buses usually have schedules twice a week and the trip lasts for half day, so that visitors can get back to Athens in time for lunch.
Are you looking for more day trips from Athens? Check our suggestions.