31Aug/17

Ancient Messene

This is one of the sites that the “Enjoy the Greece you know, discover the Greece you don’t ” fits in. Ancient Messene, a well hidden gem, is an impressive archaeological site, and must be included in evrybody’s itinerary. 

Messene, the 2nd largest state of Peloponessus, being the capital and cultural center of Messinia, was a very significant city-state in antiquity. The area is extremely fertile and lush, and many battles were fought for the control of the region.

A 9 km stone strong wall, with towers and battlements, was built in 370 BC around it, making it one of the most strongly fortified places in ancient Greece. The ruins of the archaeological site, are very impressive, spread out across a small peaceful valley of Messinia. With the Arcadian mountains on one side and the valleys down to the sea on the other, the beauty of the scenery is amazing and the view breathtaking. The site, one of the best preserved in Greece, includes a theatre – one of the biggest in antiquity- the Arsinoe fountain house, an agora surrounded by stoas, which covers an area of about 40 acres with temples of Zeus and Poseidon, the sanctuaries of Demeter and Dioskouroi, an Asclepieion, a beautiful stadium and a gymnasium, a funerary monument, public buildings, houses, the monumental fortifications of the city etc. and it includes an early Byzantine Basilika.

The real jewel is the archaeological site, not only for its undisputed historical value but also for its sheer size. It is a place where you can get a sense of what an ancient Greek-state looked like. Coming to the ancient site, you drive through the massive, well preserved gateway that enables you to form an impression of the fortified wall that surrounded the city. This Arcadian Gate is a marvel among defensive fortifications. A double set of gates separated by a circular courtyard. Huge blocks of stone! How did they transport them, how did they raise them and how did they position them with such accuracy? The answer: this was a culture with an advanced level of technology. They knew about hoisting machines, they knew how to multiply power by mechanical means, they knew how to cut the stone and its properties.

The main ancient source on Messene is the ancient writer Pausanias, who describes the city in details (155-160 AD). He writes that its walls were stronger than the famous walls of Byzantium and of Rhodes, he represents the Asklepieion as a museum of art works, and he mentions of theatres, temples, sanctuaries, statues, public buildings, springs, tombs, agora, gymnasium…

For a relatively quick visit, you will need at least two hours, since the ancient ruins are widely scattered and you will surely want some time for inner reflection in the theatre-like Ecclesiasterion and the sprawling stadium.

Extensive excavations have been carried out as well as some remarkable restoration work which allows visitors to form a vivid picture of the Asklepeion, the very well preserved Ecclesiasterion and the impressive stadium and gymnasium. Equally impressive are the techniques used for water management, including a stone aqueduct and irrigation system. In 2013, the theatre of ancient Messene, after 2 millennia of silence, opened its doors again to the public. Ancient Messene is included in the Greek list of monuments submitted to UNESCO and is expected to become part of the World Heritage Site Catalogue.

Peloponessus is full of important archaelogical sites. Mycenae, Epidaurus, Olympia, Nafplion, Mystras, Monemvasia. Combine the visit to ancient Messene in a 2 day tour with another of these amazing archaeological sites and “discover Peloponessus”, or, combine it with something quite different and visit the enchanting gorge of the lakes and waterfalls of polylimnio Messinias.

Discover the Greece you do not know

One day tour to Ancient Messene and Nafplion

Tours3 persons4 persons5 persons6 persons7 persons8 persons
1 day Tour907565605550
2 Days Tour1901501301109585
The above prices include transportation, road expenses, and taxes. Prices per person in Euro

Combine  ancient Messene with an o/night in Nafplio
The above prices include transportation, road expenses, and taxes.

 

15Aug/17

1 day guided tour to Argolis

1 day tour to Argolis

Visit Corinth canal-Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus

April – October, the tour is organized on Mondays-Tue-Wed-Thu & Saturdays
Nov-Mar, the tour is organized on Tue, Thu, Sat.
 Sites/museums close at 15:00

Argolis is one of the longest occupied regions in Greece, with evidence of Neolithic settlements. Attractions such as Agamemnon’s fortress at Mycenae, the amazing theatre of Epidaurus, and the elegant city of Nafplion, draw huge crowds of people.
Highlights: Corinth canal, the mythical fortified city of Mycenae with the Lions’ Gate, the palace of Agamemnon and the tomb of Atreus, Epidaurus, the sanctuary of Asclepius-the god of medicine, the famous for its amazing acoustics theatre of Epidaurus, and a short photo stop at the romantic and beautiful “Venetian” old city of Nafplion.

Legendary MYCENAE – founder of a civilization

Mycenae was the kingdom of mythic Agamemnon. Myths related to history have inspired poets and writers over the centuries from Homer and the Greek tragedies of the classical period. The site was uncovered in 1874 by Heinrich Schlieman, who also found and excavated the site of Troy. You enter the citadel through the famous Lions’ Gate.  

Beautiful NAFPLION – the “Venice of Greece”

Modern architecture hasn’t spoiled the old town of Nafplion, which is a feast for the eye. It was the capital of the Greek state in the early 1830s. Here, is the first residential place for the young Bavarian Prince, Otto, the first king of the new country after the revolution against the Turks. The old town is beautiful, with old mansions and paved roads. The town’s fortresses, the Palamidi and the Acronafplia, played a key role during the war of independence. The Venetian influence is everywhere justifying the town’s name as the “Greek Venice”.  

The Amazing open theatre of EPIDAURUS

The priests of the sanctuary of god Asclepius were excellent surgeons. The administration of the sanctuary decided to build a theatre on the ground of the sanctuary, to entertain the patients.

Today, next to the sanctuary of Asclepius, there is a small museum, displaying the instruments and tools used by the priests to perform brain operations. 

Itinerary of day tour to Argolis

Time Tour Plan Services
07:30 Start the pick up from the hotelsDeparture from the terminal at 08.30
10:00Arrival at Corinth canalShort photo stop
11:15Arrival in ancient MycenaeVisit ancient site & museum
13:00Lunch in a local restaurantLunch is optional. See the price paid.
14:15Drive on to "Venetian" NafplionShort photo stop at Nafplion
15:15Arrival at the site of EpidaurusVisit the museum & the theatre
18:30Arrival in the centre of Athens Drop off at your hotel by 19:30
1 day tour to Argolis. Corinth canal-Mycenae-Nafplion-Epidaurus

OUR DISCOUNTED OFFERS for the One day guided tour to Argolis, are:
1) per adult, for the tour without lunch = 59.00 € + applicable entrance fees
2) The Student Enabler price, (ISI card holders), without lunch and without entrance fees = 49.00 €.
ONLY holders of International Student Identity Cards are eligible to this price.

– Lunch is served in a restaurant in modern Mycenae village and costs 10.00 € extra for everybody.

ENTRANCE FEES:
JANUARY – DECEMBER, juniors under 19 and E.U. students, are allowed free of charge.
JANUARY – DECEMBER, students from other countries and E.U. seniors over 65, pay 12.00 €
NOVEMBER – MARCH, everybody else, pays 12.00 €, while, from
APRIL – OCTOBER everybody else pays 24.00 € extra.

The prices quoted are per person, and include:
– transportation on modern air-conditioned buses
– Pick up / drop off from your hotel or near your hotel (See the list of hotels at the footer of the website)
– Services of the professional tour guide.

This 1 day Tour can be done as a private tour daily (cost shared by the passengers):
The cost of transportation, 1-4 pax, is 260.00 euro, and for 5-8, it is 10.00 euro p.p. extra.
Entrance fees, lunch, and drinks are not included in the price and are paid locally.

Follow the steps that you see in the footer, on HOW TO MAKE a booking,and after you receive our confirmation, please, proceed to payment. When we receive the message that the money have been deposited in our bank account, we shall send you the voucher.
Last minute bookings (during last 48 hours), can be done only in our office, located on 48 Stadiou street. See our location.

Looking for a TRANSFER? | INSTANT confirmationSend us a message

12Aug/17

1 day cruise to Hydra, Poros & Aegina

2017 – We celebrated 91 years at your service. Our price and service, brings us at the top.

This is your opportunity to explore 3 beautiful islands – Hydra, Poros, Aegina. DO NOT miss it!!! Join us, and enjoy a popular cruise,
delicious food, live entertainment with Greek music, popular Greek songs, and Greek dancing in fully air-conditioned cruise ships.
The brochure price for the cruise & lunch is 99.00 euro. The transfer to/from the pier costs 10.00 euro extra. Let’s talk about it!!!

Pay the brochure price (min. 2 pax) and get a free airport transfer, or, (all clients) pay 142.00 euro and combine it with
a 1-day tour to Delphi (no lunch), or, pay 149.00 euro and combine it with a 1-day to Argolis (no lunch).

The boat sails from marina Falirou.

At 06.50am, the pick-up service starts from hotels in the centre of Athens.
At 07.45am the orchestra welcomes you on board, and the boat departs at 08.00am
After departure, the hostesses will familiarize you with the islands that you will visit. The order in which you will visit the islands may change but this does not affect the time of stay on the islands. Each of the picturesque islands has its own charming and distinct atmosphere. There will be plenty of time for exploration, at your own pace.
POROS Island

is the smallest of the three islands. A green island, with a plentiful supply of fresh water, sandy beaches, and a famous lemon forest. Your time on Poros, almost 50 minutes, is just enough for a short walk to the highest point for a nice view from the clock tower. Sailing to Hydra, you may relax in the lounge or enjoy the sun on the ship’s decks.
HYDRA Island

is your next stop in an hour and 20 minutes, later. It is the island favoured by artists worldwide, has narrow, whitewashed streets, and exquisite mansions. The architecture of the island is striking. The stone mansions have a long history, while the stone-paved streets are waiting to be explored on foot or on the saddled donkeys that are waiting to be hired. Hydra island is world famous.
You will have one hour and 45 min. to enjoy the charms of the island and upon your return on the boat the tables will be ready for your lunch. After your meal, the orchestra, the singers, and the dancers will invite you to join them and dance to well known Greek songs.
AEGINA Island

is the last, but largest of the 3 islands. Aegina is known for its neoclassical buildings, its busy harbour, and its pistachio nuts. The harbour with the old mansions invites you to explore the island further: An optional Tour is organized to visit the Aphaia Temple.
The well preserved temple in Greece is one of the 3 temples in the “Sacred Triangle” of the Greek antiquity. Your tour guide will tell you the story of the site and there after the tour proceeds to the Byzantine Church of St Nektarios. Tickets for the above recommended optional excursions can be purchased on board the ship.

An alternative choice is to stay by the port of Aegina and enjoy a walk or horse-carriage ride around the town or relax in one of the harbour’s coffee shops.

On board again, a “Traditional Greek Folk Show” with dancers in traditional Greek costumes will entertain you until the ship docks, at 19:45 and back at your hotel 20.45

Cruise itinerary

Get on board the ship at 07:50 and depart at 08:00. The order that you will visit the islands may change but the time of stay on the islands will be the same.

 

Time Tour Plan Services
8:00 The boat departs from the pier Hotel pick up starts from 06.50
10:10 Arrive in Poros Island 50 minutes, short stay
11:00 Depart for the island of Hydra Relax in the lounges or the sun decks
12:45 Arrival in Hydra Lunch, on board. 1st sitting
14:45 Departure from Hydra Lunch, on board. 2nd sitting
16:30 Arrival in Aegina Optional guided tour to Aphaea Temple
18:30 Return to the port and sail to Piraeus Live entertainment and floor show
19:45 Arrival at the pier Transfer to your hotel
 

 

The optional Aphaea tour is sold on board only, from the ship’s excursion desk.
Aphaea was worshiped at this sanctuary but the myth can be traced back to the 14th c. BC. and according to Greek mythology she was a beautiful young lady, another illegitimate child of Zeus. King Minos of Crete had fallen in love with her. Trying to escape from him she jumped into the sea but was caught in the net of fishermen. They took her on their boat. A fisherman, captivated by her beauty, fell in love and wanted to keep her for himself. Aphaea escaped, got out in Aegina, and asked for help from her half sister, goddess Artemis. She vanished in the woods of the island. When the fishermen arrived on the spot, they found only a statue. “Aphaea” in Greek means ‘invisible.’
The temple of Aphaea is in very good condition. The location together with the Acropolis of Athens and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion, form a “Sacred Triangle” between North, East, and South.

 

The cruise is organized daily, weather conditions permitting.
Bookings during the last 48 hours can ONLY be made in our premises.

Send us your booking request and we shall get back to you asap.

    • *      Without transfer for adults | children 4-12, are 99.00 / 55.00 euro

 

  • With transfer for adults | children 4-12, are 109.00 / 65.00 euro
  •         (If you book the cruise without transfer, be at Trokantero at 07.40am).
  • *      Infants up to 4 years old, travel free of charge.
  • *       Combine the cruise with a guided tour or airport transfer.

 

 

Included in the price:

    • *     The Cruise, the professional guides lectures while on board,

 

  • *     Transfer from the centre of Athens to / from the pier (see the price you select)
  • *      Lunch on board (buffet lunch & vegetarian plates available) & Local taxes
  • *      Drinks and the optional tours in Aegina are not included, and are paid on board.

 

 

Highlights: Islands of Hydra, Poros, Aegina, Temple of Aphaea and the St. Nektarios monastery, delicious food, live entertainment and Greek folk dancing show.

Departure daily from the marina of TROKANTERO at 08:00 am. Duration: 12 hours.
Return Time: 19.45,  and transfer to the pick-up point in the centre of Athens.

Please, do not neglect to read carefully the rules on HOW TO BOOK AND SECURE a booking.
Fill the data on the INSTANT confirmation form, make your booking and get your confirmation in a second.
After receiving our confirmation, and whenever you feel comfortable, please, proceed with the PAY ON LINE website
Right after receiving the message that the money have been deposited, we shall send you the voucher.
Please, follow the rules that we have adopted and have been doing our business for the last 43 years.
There is a cancellation deadline if the bookings are not settled on time. We cannot be held responsible for misunderstanding, misreading and not noticing such deadlines. Complaints in trip advisor do not justify you.

Press on the INSTANT confirmation link 48hrs before departure, make the booking and get the confirmation in a minute. For bookings made in the last 48 hours, you will have to visit our office

 

12Aug/17

Polylimnio Messinia

A narrow footpath with picturesque wooden bridges winds through lush green vegetation to a veritable paradise of waterfalls and small pools! Let the pictures below and the comments of people in trip advisor tell you the rest and persuade you to visit the area. All you need is a pair of good walking shoes, time, and a camera.

Comments in the trip advisor from people that have visited the area of polylimnio in the past:

Untouched natural beauty at its best! Rejuvenating cold water along with small wild life made this trip memorable! Worth visiting!
An amazing waterfall at the end of the lakes with blue waters to swim in !! dont loose it, its an experience of a life time!
Amazing and unique. Travelled the world, but this was an amazing part of Greece. We are a family of 5. Took a day tour with Astoria Travel from Athens to ancient Messene and Polylimnia. Even though it was a long day, it was worth it!
What a discovery. Pristine landscape, gorgeous blue-green colors this area has been perhaps the best kept secret of Messinia.
Heaven on earth! We took a 3 day tour with Astoria Travel visiting ancient Messene, the Polylimnio, ancient Olympia and Nafplio. A tour full of nice memories!