6 h. tour (Private tour)
(Transportation + guidance all the way + Guided city bus tour of Athens + Guided tour of the new Acropolis Museum + Guided tour of the Acropolis and the Parthenon + Free time in Plaka and Monastiraki)
This tour includes most highlights of Athens, one can see in a day. Athens is a city with a lot of history, great architecture, old districts, some of the best museums in the world and a lot of great restaurants where someone can taste famous Greek cuisine recipes. Since you will be on a cruise and you have limited time available, we have designed for you a tour that can help you experience Athens the best way and make the most of your visit there.
The tour with the licensed tour guide and the private vehicle will start from the port of Piraeus. Officially Piraeus is considered to be a different city, but you can say it is one of the suburbs of Athens. Along the way you will keep seeing and hearing explanations about the different parts of Piraeus and Athens, such as the Kastela and Mikrolimano ports. Since Athens hosted the Olympic Games in 2004 and most of the Olympic settlements were located on the southern suburbs of it, you will cross an Olympic Venue and you will follow an open free way that will bring you right at the center of Athens. While being amazed by the first views of the Acropolis and its Parthenon that you will be having from inside your private vehicle, you will also be impressed by the view of the massive remaining marble Corinthian columns of the temple of Zeus which still stand in the triangle between the Acropolis, the Panathenaic stadium and the Zappion Mansion which once used to be an Olympic Committee building. If you would like to stop and get off for a closer visit of either the temple of Olympic Zeus or the Zappion Mansion, you could ask your guide to do so. Next comes the Panathenaic marble stadium of the 1896 Olympics where you can stop for photos or even for an inside visit. The sightseeing will proceed passing the Parliament house, the Sydagma square, the Athenian Trilogy consisted by the Academy, the Library and the University buildings, the semi-byzantine building of the first eye clinic building in Europe and the church of St. Dionysios which is the Metropolis of the Catholic church in Athens. The drive will proceed through the Stadiou Avenue and the other side of Sydagma square, the Arch of Hadrian and will either end by the statue of Melina Merkouri and the pedestrians street between Plaka and the Acropolis or closer to either the Acropolis or the museum, depending from where your walking private guided tour will start from.
At the New Acropolis Museum, characterized as one of the best museums in the world, is where you will spend approximately 1 and a half hour, seeing parts of the excavations of the ancient city through its glass floor, an amazing exhibition of "Kores" and "Kouroi" statues, the Karyatides e.t.c. As you will be ascending the different levels of the museum, you will reach the top floor, all glass, where admiring the remaining pediments and frieze of the Parthenon you will also have an excellent view of the Parthenon itself. This is the next best view of the Parthenon, if any of you for any reason would prefer to not climb up the Acropolis hill.
It is 156 meters(about 600 feet) up to the top of the Acropolis and most of the ancient marble paths are still there, for you to walk on and to "travel" with your imagination, back in the glorious "Golden Age of Pericles", when most of the Classical period monuments you will admire were built. Climbing up you will see and hear explanations about the Filopappos hill, the Herodium Odeon, the Dionysius theatre, the Pnyx hill - birthplace of Democracy and the Areopagus hill.
Stopping before the Propylaea, you will have an excellent view of the temple of Wingless Nike and the Ancient Agora, where Socrates, Plato and Aristotle introduced great philosophical schools. Walking through the Propylaea you will reach the top and you will see the breathtaking Parthenon and the Erechtheion temple opposite it, where the Karyatides stood instead of columns to support the roof.
At the end of the private guided tour, you can either enjoy some free time to explore on your own and take pictures of the roof tiles of the buildings in the Anafiotika and Plaka districts below, the Lycabettus hill e.t.c. or you can descend with your tour guide and enter for a walk the Plaka area. Alternatively you can walk down passing parallel to the Ancient Agora of Athens and end up at the Monastiraki (Flea market) area for some free time to shop, dine or stroll around. Plaka is one of the most famous districts of central Athens and one of the few parts of the city which remain untouched, full of neoclassical buildings where people still reside, as well as several gardens, terraces and squares where small traditional restaurants are serving their specialties. Monastiraki (Flea Market) is a very interesting walk through small shops one next to each other that practically sell everything from Antique items and Art to used clothing and gramophone records. If you are interested, among the many shops that sell leather ancient Greek style sandals, you can also visit one of the most famous, the Melisinos Sandals Workshop, which is located very close to the Monastiraki square. In Monastiraki you will also be able to taste pita gyros, since some of the most famous restaurants of this kind are located next to the square.
At the end of the tour your tour guide will escort you back to Piraeus. On the way you will be able to discuss your experience in Athens and ask questions you may have.
The order of the visits on this tour might change, according to your guide's judgment, depending on the weather, traffic or other reasons that might affect the timings and your enjoyment, which is our main goal.
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