ANCIENT WONDERS
APOLLO EPICURIUS - OLYMPIA

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Trip Highlights
Tour details
Itinerary
What's included
Itinerary Changes
Terrain
Condition Grading
Starting point and getting there
Food, Weather
Gear checklist
Currency & Banking
Passports, Visas

Ignore the islands, turn left in Athens and head towards the Peloponnese, Europe’s deep south. You will find staggering landscapes, soaring mountains and the mythical heart of Greece. Moreover, you will fill your lungs with the scent of olives, oranges, cypresses and history. We start in Athens and we head towards the village of Elliniko and the ruins of Ancient Gortys where our hike starts. We will walk on a historic trail along the scenic Lousios Gorge, which crosses ancient stone bridges, passes by old monasteries hanging off the cliffs and takes us to Dimitsana, one of the most fascinating mountain villages in Greece. Next morning, we first drive towards the temple of Apollo Epicurius, an exceptionally large, well-preserved and mysterious Classical temple, located on a remote mountainside. It is unique in many ways, not least in its daring combination of Doric, Ionic and Corinthian elements. After visiting the site, we will drive to our next destination Olympia, where like the racers starting at the first Olympic Games in 776BC and every fifth year thereafter, you can still put your toe on the starting stone.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

  • Be amazed by the Unesco World Heritage listed site of Apollo Epicurius, one of the best preserved ancient monuments at an elevation of 1,131m
  • Hike on cobblestone paths connecting the centuries old monasteries of the Lousios gorge
  • Discover the delights of charming mountain-top villages in the Arcadia region
  • Marvel at the sanctuary of Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games

TOUR DETAILS

  • Dates: From May to October
  • Days/Nights: 2 days / 1 night
  • Condition grading: Easy active

ITINERARY

DAY 1

Drive to Arcadia region and hike Lousios Gorge

The area west of Tripoli is a tangle of medieval villages, remote monasteries, precipitous ravines and narrow roads that wind their way through the valleys of the Menalon Mountains. It is the heart of the Arkadia prefecture, and you’ll find it’s an area with some of the most breathtaking scenery in the Peloponnese. Today we will drive from Athens to Ancient Gortys which was among the most important Arcadian cities of the ancient world, known for its Temple of Asclepius. From there we will follow the path which unfolds in parallel with Lousios, a river with crystal clear waters that runs through an incredibly steep gorge towering up above us. On our way to Dimitsana, first we will meet the isolated monastery of Prodromos, which is built into the side of a rock and looks absolutely stunning. Then we will ascend to the Old Philosophou Monastery dating to 963 and then to the New Philosophou Monastery who was founded in a less restricting place in 1691. The path is finishing at Dimitsana, and just before entering the village we will do a stop to visit the Open-Air Water Power Museum, a thematic museum which highlights the importance of water-power in traditional society. Focusing on the main pre-industrial techniques that take advantage of water to produce a variety of goods, it links them to the history and daily life of the local society over the ages.

Overnight in Dimitsana in an boutique hotel
Lunch and dinner included
Hiking distance: 10 km / Hiking Duration: 4 hr
Driving distance:
Athens to Elliniko 211 km / 2 hr 30 min

DAY 2

Visit the temple of Apollo Epicurius and the Archaeological site of Olympia

The road to Ancient Olympia cuts through some of the most beautiful mountain scenery in Arcadia, passing traditional villages that are among the region’s loveliest. First stop will be the magnificent temple of Apollo Epicurius, one of the best-preserved examples of classical architecture thanks, primarily, to its isolation. From there we will continue onwards Ancient Olympia, where alongside with your guide, you will walk through the impressive ruins where Olympic Games were held every four years beginning in 776BC. The Olympia museum is also a must visit, as it including some of the most important works of Classical art such as the sculpted decoration of the temple of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, and the famous Hermes of Praxiteles. After lunch in a nearby village it’s time to return to Athens. In case you wish further exploration, you can use the option of extending your trip by one more day, and visit the archeological site of Delphi, nestled in a broad cleft on the southern slopes of Mount Parnassos.

Breakfast and lunch included
Driving distance:
Dimitsana to Apollo Epicurius 55 km / 1 hr 15 min
Apollo Epicurius to Olympia 51 km / 1 hr 10 min
Olympia to Athens 291 km / 3 hr

WHATS INCLUDED

Price includes:
All accommodation based on double occupancy
Hotel taxes and service charges
All transportation during the trip
All activities mentioned in the program
Entrance fees to the Open-Air Water Power Museum, to the Apollo Epicurius archaeological site and Olympia archaeological site and museum
Tourist guide for the archaeological site of Olympia
Services of a guide throughout the tour
Transport and handling of one reasonably sized suitcase and one carry-on per person

Included meals:
Breakfast, lunches and dinners as indicated in the itinerary

Not Included:
Domestic and/or international air fare
Medical expenses
Travel or emergency evacuation insurance
Gratuities for leader/guide or driver
Alcoholic beverages and meals other than outlined in itinerary
Visas if needed
Transfer to and from the airport/port
Other items of a personal nature
Anything not mentioned in above program

ITINERARY CHANGES

We are constantly updating our unique itineraries based on new information and experiences available. The walks, accommodations, and visits listed may be adjusted. The itineraries presented are subject to modification and change by Tripin Adventures. We reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in our judgment, conditions warrant, or if we deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of participants, anything not mentioned in above program.

TERRAIN

This trip level is Easy Active and is suitable for most people that are in fairly good physical condition. The itinerary includes walking tours in villages, the archaeological sites of Olympia and Apollo Epicurius, and a hike of about two hours.

CONDITION GRADING

Easy active
Easy active Trips designated "Easy Active" are perfect for first-timers, or travelers looking for a mild physical challenge. A typical day will consist of 1-3 hours of activity.

STARTING POINT AND GETTING THERE

Starting point is: Athens.

Getting There & Away: Athens airport Eleftherios Venizelos, is about 27km east of Athens. Athens is connected with direct flights with various cities in Europe, North America and Asia.

Getting around: We can arrange for a transfer from the airport to your hotel. If you want to come by yourself, the metro and the suburban rail provide quick connections to central Athens (1 hour / 10 euros ticket). The bus option is cheaper though it takes longer (1h 30 min / 5 euros ticket). You can also take a taxi (1 hour / 35-50 euros).

FOOD

Simple, nutritious and flavorsome, the food is one of the pleasures of travel through Greece. Rustic Greek Cuisine reflects the history and bounty of its diverse regions and relies in the fresh, seasonal home-grown produce and generally simple, unfussy cooking that brings out the rich flavors of the Mediterranean.
Greece's relaxed and hospitable dinning culture makes it easy to get into the local spirit. Greeks love to eat out and share impossibly big meals family style. Given the long summers and mild winters, alfresco dining is central to the dining experience. Service could be slow by Western standards, but why being in rush either way.
As a rule our groups tend to eat together to enable you to taste a larger variety of dishes and enjoy each other's company. There's no obligation to do this though. Wherever possible we will cater for dietary needs for any included meals, but there may be times when those with special requirements may need to provide their own. Note that alcohol and soda are not included.

WEATHER

Spring, summer and fall in Greece are sunny and warm. The daytime temperatures average 25-30 C though temperatures in the 35s are possible in the summer months. Nighttime temperatures cool off slightly to 20 C. Rain showers are rare in the islands, but it's often breezy and rainy on the coast.

GEAR CHECKLIST

Greece has a temperate climate. Base your clothing on the "layering system", if it is hot you can "peel off" layers quickly, if it is cooler and windy you can quickly "dress up". The lighter you travel, the easier you travel. Use your best judgement and pack as lightly as possible. You will appreciate light luggage towards the end of your trip.
Please consider taking along the following items on your trip.

OFFICIAL PAPERS

  • Valid passport
  • Airline tickets

LUGGAGE

  • Duffel bag or rolling luggage
  • Daypack to carry camera, water bottle and snacks etc.
  • Luggage locks and tags

OUTERWEAR

  • Midweight polar fleece sweater
  • Rain jacket and rain pants, or poncho

CLOTHING

  • Hiking shorts
  • Casual clothing made of light-weight fabrics
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Hiking pants, loose and easy to move in
  • Underwear
  • Swimsuit

CLOTHING ACCESSORIES

  • Sun hat or baseball cap

FOOTWEAR

  • Lightweight and supportive hiking boots, broken-in with good ankle support
  • Beach sandals
  • Casual, comfortable shoes for evening

ACCESSORIES

  • Sunscreen and lip protection
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Beach towel

OPTIONAL ACCESSORIES

  • Security pouch or money belt
  • Trekking poles or walking staff
  • Camera, memory and batteries
  • Reading and writing materials
  • Watch with alarm or travel alarm
  • Travel pillow
  • Motion sickness remedies
  • Personal first-aid kit
  • Insect repellent (lowrisk)
  • Electric adapter plug/converter

This is not a fixed list, but more of a guideline, so feel free to add and remove items as you see fit.

CURRENCY & BANKING

Greece has adopted the Euro as its currency. The easiest way to obtain local cash is from an ATM. Greek ATMs accept cards bearing the Cirrus, EC, Euro card, Visa and Plus symbols. If you take cash, US or Canadian Dollars can be easily exchanged at banks. Most major credit cards, Visa, MasterCard and American Express are accepted. It is advisable to have some Euros with you upon arrival to be used for a taxi if necessary. You may want to check the website www.xe.com for current exchange rates.

PASSPORTS

You must have a passport valid for at least 6 months beyond the conclusion of your trip. Please make sure that you have blank pages in your passport for your visa (if required), entry and exit stamps (one for each). Please make a copy to take with you in the event yours is lost or stolen and keep it separate from your actual passport.

VISAS

Currently a Greek Tourist Visa is not required for citizens of Canada, United States, Britain and Australia. If you hold another passport, please check online http://visacentral.com/visas.php

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