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Here, 25 centuries ago, the celebrated oracle allowed mere mortals to converse with the gods. Today we'll cross over the Gulf of Corinth to the Peloponnese, where we'll temporarily leave our bus for a steep, scenic cog railway ride past the waterfalls and caves lining the narrow Vouraikos Gorge. We'll enjoy a Greek wine and ouzo tasting, and sleep in Nafplio (2 nights). We'll take a walking tour through the grand Lion Gate, along the "cyclopean" walls, and into a remarkably domed tomb. Once the most famous healing center in the Mediterranean, today's star attraction is its ancient theater, large enough to accommodate 14,000. You might swim at a nearby beach, hike across the island, or try to make friends with a donkey. This morning we'll take a ferry ride to Piraeus, where our bus will be waiting to take us back to our Athens hotel. You can easily catch a cab for the airport, or to nearby Piraeus where a fleet of ferries awaits to transport those with time to even more Greek destinations.This evening we'll have dinner together and sleep in the town of Delphi (1 night). At a riverside café in the mountain village of Planitero, we will enjoy a lunch of freshly caught trout and other Greek specialties before our bus takes us to our destination high up in the Menalon Mountains. Then we'll return to Nafplio for a free afternoon to explore the colorful alleyways of the Old Town, ride a boat to the little castle island in the harbor, or hike up to enjoy a Venetian fortress view. We'll learn about the roots of medicine and drama here, before hopping a boat to the idyllic traffic-free island of Hydra, where we'll sleep (2 nights). We will cap our island vacation with a relaxing sunset happy hour. Your afternoon is free to wander and shop through the Plaka, or explore other parts of this bustling city. Athens & the Heart of Greece in 14 Days Tour exceeded my expectations.The Rick Steves Athens & the Heart of Greece tour is an odyssey of time-travel thrills, from Athens' majestic Acropolis to the must-see ancient sites of Delphi, Olympia, Epidavros, and Mycenae. This morning we'll cross the causeway to tackle the massive rock that shoots straight up out of the blue-green Aegean Sea.With knowledge and a nudge from your Rick Steves guide, you'll walk among marble monuments where Plato pondered, splash in the turquoise Aegean where Odysseus sailed, gaze up at god-dwelling mountains, sample family-crafted olives and wines — and maybe learn to play backgammon at a whitewashed taverna on the island of Hydra. This morning we'll hike to the top of Athens' legendary Acropolis, where we'll take a walking tour of its 2,500-year-old Golden Age temples, dominated by the dramatic Parthenon. After an orientation walk around Monemvasia's cozy little Lower Town, the rest of the day is free.We'll regroup for dinner together this evening. Tonight we'll gaze at the floodlit Acropolis and enjoy a final dinner together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. This was our first Rick Steves tour which started in Athens and toured by bus in a counter clockwise direction across southern Greece visiting many historical sites, and beautiful mountain and seaside villages.Overall-we had good food, learned a few Greek words, learned about Greek history, and visited a beautiful country.However Colin held my attention and made the information relevant and interesting.Experiencing, in a group setting, what was close to non-tourists eat fair was really nice.

Parnassus we'll enjoy the fresh air and tour the mystical ruins of Delphi. This afternoon's drive will take us along sweeping views of the Ionian Sea to a relaxed seaside village on the Mani Peninsula, where we'll sleep (2 nights). You might hike along the ancient cobbled paths that wind their way through the nearby hills — or just relax on the beach — and end your day with a grilled seafood dinner and a view from the little taverna you've discovered. This afternoon we'll enjoy a cooking demonstration, followed by dinner together. After stopping in nearby Sparta for lunch, we'll continue north to our destination: the delightful, fortress-topped harbor town of Nafplio. After breakfast we'll take a short drive to mysterious Mycenae, the fortified city founded by Perseus a thousand years before the Parthenon was built. Your entire day is free to soak up the whitewashed architecture as you wander Hydra's narrow streets and harbor promenade. Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today.

The rest of us were up in the top tiers and could hear him perfectly. " This was our second Rick Steves tour, and I wondered if it could possibly be as good overall as our first (Basque). The itinerary, our guide Colin, our fellow travelers, the food, and Greece itself, all made for an incredible two weeks.

"The highlight of my Greek adventure was swimming in the Aegean Sea, in four different towns along the southern Peloponnese.

Visiting so many historical sites, many from 1500 years BC, with an excellent historical background provided by Colin was so educational with a wow factor.

Accommodation in small family run hotels was much preferable to large 'could be anywhere hotels'.

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