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Mt. Olympus, Meteora Cloisters, Peloponnesos, Athens, and the Island of Thasos

When we combine the vast cultural heritage of Greece and its unbelievable scenic attractions, we end up with a vacation that leaves nothing to be desired.

Itinerary: Trip by bus from Berlin or Hamburg via Nuremberg, West Germany - Munich - Austria - Bari, Italy - Patras, Greece - Epidavros, Athens, Thessaloniki, Greece to Katerini, Litokhoron near Mt. Olympus. Cross-Country: Katerini, Litokhoron, excursion to Mt. Olympus for hike in the mountains; from Litokhoron to Prioni by bus, hike to the mountain cottage A, mountain climbing to Skala and Mytikas; cloisters of Meteora - Delphi - Epidavros, excursions to: 1. Nafplion - Mycenae - Argos - Corinth - Isthmus; 2. Aliki to beach and amphitheater; 3. mountain village Theologos. By ferry from Thasos to Kavalla; by bus from Kavalla back via Thessaloniki - Athens - Patras - Italy - Munich - Nuremberg to Hamburg or Berlin.

Accommodations: Depending on where you join the tour one night on bus in reclining seats or futon-type sleeping area; one night on the ferry boat from Bari / Italy to Patras / Greece in Pullman Seats; in Litokhoron one night at camping site with swimming pool; at Mt. Olympus one night at mountain cottage A in multiple-bed rooms; in Litokhoron one night at camping site; in Meteora one night at camping site with swimming pool; in Epidavros 4 nights at camping site under lemon trees; from Athens to Thasos one night on bus with reclining seats; in Thasos five nights at camping site at the beach; one night on the ferry boat from Patras / Greece to Bari / Italy in Pullman Seats; one night on bus in reclining seats or futon-type sleeping area.

Meals: For your meals you should expect to spend approx. $12 per day.

At Your Disposal: Camping equipment of foldaway tables and benches, double-burner gas stoves including bottled gas, a few large cooking pots.

Tour Escort: Tour coordinator

Extra: Entrance fees, food, drinks, additional excursions by boats, motor bikes, bicycles, etc.

Climate: Day 90 degrees, night 76 degrees, water 74 degrees Fahrenheit.

Currency: US $1 = 152.30 Greek Drachma

Visa: A tourist visa is not required for US-citizens.

Tour-Guide: More and actual information by Hellas On Line.

To the tour dates

Following in the Footsteps of Plato and Aristotle

Greece is impressive not only for its stunning landscape and beaches but also for its timeless art, literature, and schools of thought. The philosophers Plato, Aristotle, and Socrates are inseparably linked to the origins of intellectual development in the Western Hemisphere. When we combine the vast cultural heritage of Greece and its unbelievable scenic attractions, we end up with a vacation that leaves nothing to be desired. After several years of experience in Greece, we believe that we have developed the best, that is, the most varied, of all possible vacations.

After traveling through Austria and Yugoslavia, we reach the Greek border just in time to enjoy our first Greek breakfast. From this point, it's only a few hours to Litokhoron just at the foot of the 9,550 foot-high Mt. Olympus. During the afternoon at our campsite, Olympus Beach Plaka, we'll take our first dip into the Mediterranean Sea, or simply relish the unparalleled view from the terrace of the restaurant. We'll spend the next day relaxing and enjoying the beautiful scenery of this region, with its stunning blue ocean and sun-filled mountains.

The following afternoon, after everyone is well rested, we'll take on the great Mt. Olympus. The bus will take us on a thoroughly exciting route to Prioni, over 3,400 feet above sea level. We'll leave the bus here, and continue the rest of the way by foot. With a knowledgeable mountain guide, we'll trek through breathtaking natural surroundings for three straight hours, until we reach the inn, Cabin A, in the evening. The first leg of our journey is certainly not a stroll in the park, but it can be done without any hiking experience and just a little endurance. At this point, we'll find ourselves at 6,300 feet. Here at the inn, we'll be served an excellent Greek dinner and have comfortable accommodations waiting for us. In addition to that, our trusty innkeeper will be able to answer any and all questions you might have about the region.

Early the next day, we'll start towards the Skala (6,115 ft.) and Mytikas (6,976 ft.). With the help of the Greek gods up above, we'll have plenty of sunshine to accompany us! Around noon, we'll reach the Skala. We'll have an absolutely breathtaking view of Mt. Olympus. Meanwhile; the more experienced climbers will ascend to the highest peak (7,214 ft.), and, just like an expedition of professional climbers, leave behind a flag on the Mytikas. Thereafter, everyone will go back to the cabin together. Needless to say, if anyone feels that the hike will be too tiresome, they can stay by the cabin and enjoy the mountainous scenery while waiting for the return of our daring climbers. At about five o' clock, the bus will be waiting to take the exhausted, but triumphant group back to the camp site by the ocean.

The next day, we'll bid farewell to Mt. Olympus, throne of the gods. We'll turn our sights towards our next attraction, the Meteora Cloisters near Kalampaka. We should arrive here at approximately noon. The campsite there will be equipped with a swimming pool, which lays directly at the foot of massive boulders. After a nice rest, we'll be off to tour the cloisters. Even those who are not crazy about sight-seeing should make a point of viewing the huge rocks on which the cloisters are built. From the plains of Kalampaka, over 1,000 rock formations project 1,800 feet into the sky! The peaks of these boulders are crowned by cloisters, named Meteora (Greek for "suspended between heaven and earth").

The following day, our bus will head south toward the island of Peloponnesos. Along they way, we can also make a very charming detour through the mountains, and get a fabulous view of Greece's most famous oracle site, Delphi. The philosophy majors among us will certainly recognize this as the place where Socrates was "crowned" as the preeminent philosopher If we, in fact, go on this excursion, we should arrive a little bit later at our final destination for the day, Palea Epidavros. Here we'll pitch our tents and stay for three or four days in a lemon orchard. The camping area stretches across a small bay surrounded by a rocky shore, perfect for snorkeling or diving. It even has its own intimate beach! In Epidavros, we'll be able to combine all the pleasures of Greek beach life with the cultural riches that this city has to offer. The old section of Epidavros boasts not only the excavations of the Asklepius shrine, but also the largest preserved amphitheater of Greece. We really shouldn't miss the ancient classic dramas which are performed here annually in the late summer.

Our bus will always be at the ready to take us on any daytime excursions. The cities of Argos, Nauplia and Mycenae can all be reached easily from here. It's difficult to comprehend the history which has taken place at these cities some of which date back over 4,000 years. Here, you can step across the threshold of the famous lions' gate in the castle of Mycenae and imagine Agamemnon returning from the Trojan War, only to be stabbed by his wife, Clytemnestra.

We're not only here for the cultural highlights. Our newest discovery is the full-day boat trip through the bay of Epidavros. These little bays are only accessible to boats and ships, and offer great opportunities for swimming and snorkeling. The boat crew always think of everything.. our galley will be filled with feta cheese, grapes and retsina wine in case we get hungry or thirsty.

After a few eventful days on the Peloponnesos island, we'll spend an afternoon and evening in Athens, the capital of Greece. Here, we'll visit the Acropolis and stroll through the Plaka. Then, we'll begin our return leg of the journey via Thessaloniki to Kavalla, passing by the Olympus on our left. The next morning, we'll have a delightful breakfast in the harbor before sailing on to our last destination, the tranquil island of Thasos.

This small island has luckily been spared from tourism. Gold, silver, gems and wine helped Thasos become extremely affluent in 6 B.C., and thankfully, countless remnants were preserved. Especially impressive are the ruins of old Thasos, complete with Dionysus' temple and amphitheater. Our campsite, near Panagia, lays directly on the bay with crystal clear water and fine white sand. It is the perfect location for more relaxing and sunbathing. Of course, the bus is at your disposal for any small side trips that we want to make. Perhaps we'd like to visit the quaint mountain village of Theologos, or simply drive along the island's picturesque curved coastline. We'll also have a chance to discover the beautiful beaches on the peninsula of Aliki. Aliki is strewn with marble quarries, ancient ruins and a picturesque lagoon.

Finally, after three days on Thasos, we'll begin our journey home. We'll share a final parting dinner in Salzburg, Austria before completing our trip back to Germany.

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