Best of Athens (Guided in Japanese)
Points of Interest
- Temple of Olympian Zeus
- Old Olympic Stadium
- The Plaka
Be sure to read the Special Notes further down this page for important requirements and restriction.
Board your motorcoach for a 30 to 40-minute scenic drive into the heart of Athens. Along the way, your narrated drive will pass a host of major sites, including Hadrian's Arch, the statue of Lord Byron, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Constitution Square, the former Royal Palace, the National Gardens, the Academy, and the University Library.
Ahead, the mighty Acropolis dominates the landscape. Your guided walking tour begins as you climb the 80 steep steps through the Propylaea, the monumental gateway to the Acropolis, which extends 150 feet across the western side. The views of the city of Athens below are incredible.
Beyond the Propylaea, on the highest point of the Acropolis, stands the Parthenon, one of the greatest monuments of ancient civilization. Dedicated to the virgin goddess Athena, the white Pentelic marble temple was built 446 - 437 B.C. The architectural sophistication of its creation has captivated visitors for centuries.
Beyond the Parthenon lies the Erectheum, situated on the most sacred site of the Acropolis, where Athena and Poseidon are said to have held a contest to decide who would be Patron of the city. When Poseidon thrust his trident into the ground, water burst forth, but when Athena touched the ground with her spear, an olive tree grew and she was named goddess of the city. The building itself contains the graceful Porch of the Caryatids, which features replica columns of marble maidens supporting the roof of the temple.
Your Athens tour continues as you drive through the city en route to the National Archaeological Museum. Along the way you will pass the Old Olympic Stadium where a brief photo stop is offered (traffic permitting). Re-built to host the first, modern Olympic Games in 1896, this marble stadium stands on the site of the original stadium of Ancient Athens, dating from the 4th century B.C., and was used in the 2004 Olympics for the finish of the marathon and the archery competition.
The neo-classically-designed National Archaeological Museum is considered one of the great museums of the world, containing the richest collection of Greek antiquities in the world. Marvel at the power of the bronze statue of Poseidon along with a plethora of gold items such as the Mask of Agamemnon. Recent expansions include exhibits dedicated to Minoan Frescos and Egyptian antiquities.
Lunch is a welcome respite in your busy day, and a delicious hot and cold buffet is complimented by a glass of wine and traditional Greek pastries. Refreshed, you'll travel by motorcoach to The Plaka area for a ten-minute scenic walk into Athens's famous shopping district.
The Plaka, located in one of the oldest areas of Athens, is home to lively markets, cobblestone lanes, and shops filled with antiques, jewelry and handicrafts. Many streets have been closed to automobile traffic, so browsing the area is a delight. A stop in one of the local cafes and tavernas is an opportunity to experience traditional culinary delights. An hour of free time is provided to explore this area on your own before returning to the motorcoach for transportation back to port.
Special Notes:This tour is not available to passengers beginning or ending their voyage in Piraeus (Athens).
Please be aware ongoing restoration work is often carried out at the Acropolis.
The tour involves climbing approximately 80 steep steps at the Acropolis, as well as walking over some uneven and slippery paths. There will be a 10-minute walk from the motorcoach drop-off point to the Plaka area. Wear comfortable walking shoes. Passengers with limited mobility should take this into consideration before taking this tour.
Security restrictions at the Acropolis and Archaeological Museum prohibit entrance with large bags and backpacks. Passengers should expect lines and crowds at the Acropolis.
Flash photography is not permitted in the National Archeological Museum.
Use of an audio headset (included) will enhance your tour experience.
Tour timeline may vary to avoid overcrowding, etc.