Maria is an Athens enthusiast. She cherishes the city’s history and cultural vibes, and loves to take her guests along a thorough walking journey that covers almost all the “must-see” ancient monuments, as well as offering a unique feeling of the vibrant city's atmosphere and cuisine. This is a blend of history and local colour, that one can only appreciate on foot.
WHAT you will LEARN:
Ancient Greek History and culture, as it unfolds along a comprehensive tour covering 16 major ancient landmarks
The city’s contemporary and vibrant atmosphere and cuisine
Athens uncovered – the definitive Athens “sights & atmosphere” walkabout, that you have to take at least once in your lifetime
Itinerary: how we'll spend the day and what we'll do together
1. OlympieionThe Olympieion includes the sanctuary (temple) of Olympian Zeus, Roman baths, classical houses as well as a section of the ancient city’s fortification wall. According to the geographer Pausanias, the temple of Olympian Zeus was founded by Deukalionas, a mythical ancestor of the Greeks.
2. Hadrian’s GateFollowing the construction of the temple of Zeus, the Athenians, in 131 AD, in honour of Emperor Hadrian, built an arch on the northwestern perimeter of the temple. The monument is 18m tall and 13m wide while the arch is built of Pentelic marble.
3. Dionysiou AreopagitouDionyssiou Aeropagitou Str is one of the most impressive streets of Athens, offering an extraordinary view of the southern slope of the Acropolis, where some of the city’s most significant monuments stand. Most of the buildings on one side of the road facing south were constructed in the late 19th century and the early 20th century in the neoclassical or modernist style.
4. Theatre of DionysosThis is the most ancient theatre of the world, the Theatre of Dionysos. In this theatre, the most famous ancient Greek poets, Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Euripides, and Sophocles saw premiere performances of their plays in the 5th century BC.
5. Stoa of EumenesAbove the theatre is the Stoa of Eumenes, which was built by the King of Pergamum, Eumenes II in the 2nd century BC. The arch provided shelter to theatregoers in case of bad weather or shade from the sun.
6. Odeion of Herodes AtticusThe Odeion of Herodes Atticus was built in 161 AD by the wealthy Herodes Tiberius Claudius Atticus, a teacher and philosopher, who inherited a fortune from his father. Ancient Greeks organised events in the Odeion.
7. AcropolisThe Acropolis is the symbol of Athens, the sacred rock, linking the fabulous ancient civilization with the modern city. The monuments on the Sacred Rock date back to the prehistoric era and antiquity. The grandeur and beauty of the Sacred Rock attract Greek and foreign visitors.
8. New Acropolis MuseumIt houses priceless finds from the Acropolis monuments that represent its history and function as the most important religious center of ancient Athens.
9. Plaka, AnafiotikaSample an exquisite preset plate of greek food and delis at a traditional tavern either in Anafiotika or in Plaka. Plaka is the oldest neighbourhood of Athens. Walking on its paved narrow streets you get the feeling that you are travelling back in time. Anafiotika, built in the mid 19th century on the foothills of the Acropolis, has the charm of a beautiful island village.
10. Roman AgoraThe Roman Agora (in the Plaka area) was an architectural complex, built between 19 and 11 B.C., consisting of a large rectangular court surrounded by colonnades (stoas). Behind the stoas were various shops.
11. Hadrian’s LibraryIt is situated north of the Roman Agora (the entrance is on 3 Areos Str). It is a rectangular building measuring 122mx82m with a Corinthian propylon on the west side. It was built by Roman emperor Hadrian in 132 A.D.
12. Ancient AgoraThe archaeological area of the ancient Agora is located on the foothills of the Acropolis, near Thission Metro Station. In antiquity, the Agora was not solely a commercial centre. It was also an important political, cultural and religious center.
13. Stoa of AttalusThe Stoa of Attalus, a twofloor building, was donated by the King of Pergamum Attalus II (159-138 BC) to the city of Athens. It is thought to have been a kind of ancient commercial center with 21 shops on each floor.
14. Temple of HephaistosIt is the best-preserved temple of antiquity. It was built in 460-415 BC. In the temple stood the statues of Hephaistos and Athena, thought to have been sculpted by Alkamenes.
15. KerameikosThe ancient Kerameikos was located in the northwestern outskirts of Athens. It was partly enclosed by, and partly beyond, the walls that divide the area of the excavation. In the center of the archaeological site are the two best known arches of ancient Athens.
16. GaziThe former Gas works is at the center of the neighbourhood. It has to a large extent maintained the colour of a historic Athens neighbourhood. You will find cafes, bars and luxury restaurants, popular among Athenians, in a multitude of old, picturesque buildings.
Place: Athens, historic center
Meeting Point: Acropolis metro station, ticket office
Duration: 6 hours
Availability: 25 July - 20 September
Group size: 6 persons max
Price: 69 euros per person. Included: food and delis at the local tavern AND a complimentary "gift-basket" with a selection of traditional greek delis. Not included: transportation costs, entry tickets to museums and sights
What’s SPECIAL about this experience: this is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to visit almost all the “must-see” ancient monuments, as well as acquire a unique experience of the vibrant city atmosphere and cuisine. NOTE: Itinerary is flexible. Options that may be added during the course of the walkabout (depending on time availability, and group preferences on the day) include visits to: Areios Pagos (the most ancient law court of the world), Socrates’ jail, Pnyka (the location of the assembly of the people of ancient Athens from 6th century BC), and the National Archaeological Museum.
Place of ORIGIN: Patras
LIVES in: Athens
LOVES: travelling, nature, reading literature, cooking, writting, teaching
Has TRAVELLED to: all over Greece, England, France, Spain, Germany, Italy
Personal TRAITS: very pleasant and sociable, great communicator, has the ability to make others feel at home, patient, outgoing
Maria holds a first degree in English and Greek Language and Literature, as well as an M.A. and a Ph.D in English Literature. She is a qualified teacher of both English and Greek, with more that 25 years of teaching experience, and has worked with people from diverse backgrounds. She pays great attention to detail, is an excellent teacher and loves to convey her enthusiasm and knowledge to her guests and students. She is also an arts connoisseur, having organised a Greek arts festival and other cultural activities in London.
Maria Thanassa is your Hostess
Athens, historic center - Where the Experience will take place
Athens - Where the Experience will take place
What Wikipedia says
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece. Athens dominates the Attica region and is one of the world's oldest cities, with its recorded history spanning around 3,400 years, and the earliest human presence around the 11th–7th centuries BC. Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus. A centre for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato's Academy and Aristotle's Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent and in particular the Romans. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political and cultural life in Greece. In 2015, Athens was ranked the world's 29th richest city by purchasing power and the 67th most expensive in a UBS study.
Athens is recognised as a global city because of its geo-strategic location and its importance in shipping, finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, culture, education and tourism. It is one of the biggest economic centres in southeastern Europe, with a large financial sector, and its port Piraeus is the largest passenger port in Europe, and the second largest in the world. The municipality (City) of Athens had a population of 664,046 (in 2011, 796,442 in 2004) within its administrative limits, and a land area of 39 km2 (15 sq mi). The urban area of Athens (Greater Athens and Greater Piraeus) extends beyond its administrative municipal city limits, with a population of 3,090,508 (in 2011) over an area of 412 km2 (159 sq mi). According to Eurostat in 2004, the Athens Larger Urban Zone (LUZ) was the 7th most populous LUZ in the European Union (the 5th most populous capital city of the EU), with a population of 4,013,368. Athens is also the southernmost capital on the European mainland.
The heritage of the classical era is still evident in the city, represented by ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous of all being the Parthenon, considered a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also retains Roman and Byzantine monuments, as well as a smaller number of Ottoman monuments.
Athens is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Acropolis of Athens and the medieval Daphni Monastery. Landmarks of the modern era, dating back to the establishment of Athens as the capital of the independent Greek state in 1834, include the Hellenic Parliament (19th century) and the Athens Trilogy, consisting of the National Library of Greece, the Athens University and the Academy of Athens. Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it welcomed home the 2004 Summer Olympics. Athens is home to the National Archeological Museum, featuring the world's largest collection of ancient Greek antiquities, as well as the new Acropolis Museum.