There are few visitors to the Acropolis who have not paused to ponder how the large masses used for the monuments were originally hauled up the sacred rock…
…attention should be paid not only to the purely immaterial and intellectual part of the achievement, but also to the manual…
…certain stages of the work such as quarrying and transport were much more demanding than that of raising the marbles into position
Manolis Korres, Architect in charge of the restoration of Parthenon – Acropolis
If you belong to the people who are not satisfied in the learning process until they gain insight behind the scenes, here is great news: We have created a prototype tour that suits you! Leave the center of Athens and get up to Mt. Penteli where by visiting the most important ancient marble quarry, you will learn in detail all aspects behind the building of the Parthenon. In addition, partly hiking, partly by car explore both sides of the mountain, learn about the ancient way of marble transportation, and finish at the Dionysus open air marble museum. The highlight of the tour is awaiting you on the top of Mt. Penteli where you will obtain a unique insight to the strategies of the Athenian and Persian armies, dictated by the morphology of the landscape of Attica during the Persian wars. Particularly the battle of Marathon considered one of the most significant battles for the western world, unfolded just under your feet. The Athenian victory secured the establishment of democracy and led to the building of the Parthenon.
Hike on the paths of Mt. Penteli and see the city of Athens and the whole Attika basin from eagle's eye perspective
Visit Spelia quarry, and witness the evidence of the ancient extraction of the marble used for the building of Parthenon and other monuments on the Acropolis
Stand on the top of Mt. Penteli, gaze at the the battlefield of Marathon and learn about the myths and truths about the great Athenian victory
Enjoy a picnic in the marvelous scenery of the Dionysus Open air marble museum
Dates: All year round
Days/Nights: Day tour
Condition grading: Easy active
We pick you up from your location in the center of Athens or elsewhere. A short drive on a modern highway will bring you to the Vrilisia outskirts at the foot of the Southern slopes of Mount Penteli. Leave the populated area, and ascending the curving asphalt road, soon you'll reach the location of the ancient Spelia Quarry. After a short hike on a dirt road, the scenery of the quarry opens up in front of you. Wandering around the remains of once bustling activity, you will learn all the details about the process of extraction, smoothing and transportation of the huge marble pieces to the building site of Acropolis distanced 17 km away. One must not to forget that this was happening in the golden age of antiquity 2,5 thousand years ago. Return to the car and drive to the top of Mt. Penteli 1100m. Besides the feeling of liberation and joy of breathing fresh air on a mountain top with Athens at your feet, you can also read up on the timeline of the birth and defense of the western culture in its natural cradle. From the summit descend to the north side of the mountain and reach the Dionysus Open air marble museum. In this magnificent location designed and shaped by some enthusiastic architects and traditional marble craftsmen you will enjoy a refreshing picnic while adding some more information about the wonderful world of marble.
HIKING DISTANCE: 4,2 KM / HIKING DURATION: 2 HR
ELEVATION GAIN: 380 M
ATHENS CENTER TO SPELIA QUARRY 25 KM / 45 MIN
SPELIA QUARRY TO THE START OF THE HIKE 13 KM / 20 MIN
END OF THE HIKE TO ATHENS CENTER 45 KM / 1 HR
Price includes: All transportation during the trip
Services of a guide throughout the tour
Included meals: Snacks during activities Picnic lunch
Gratuities for leader/guide or driver
Other items of a personal nature
Anything not mentioned in above program
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.
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).
Athens has a Mediterranean climate with dry hot summers and mild winters. Over the course of a year, the temperature typically varies from 4 C to 32 C and is rarely below 0 C or above 35 C. Especially for hiking the only obstacles may be some snowy days in winter or some extremely hot days in summer.
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.
Daypack to carry camera, water bottle and snacks etc.
Casual clothing made of light-weight fabrics
Sun hat or baseball cap
Casual, comfortable shoes for evening
Sunscreen and lipprotection
Sunglasses and retainerstrap
Camera, memory and batteries
This is not a fixed list, but more of a guideline, so feel free to add and remove items as you see fit.