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Trip List by seolram

14 Days in Athens Attika, culture, archaeology

26 Sep 2011  Vacation for 2 archaeologists
5.0 of 5 stars based on 4 votes

Lots of archaeology but also great food

  • Explore locations featured in this Trip List: Athens, Piraeus, Attica, Delphi, Mycenae, Nafplio, Corinth, Aegina, Sounio
  • Category: Recent trip
  • Traveler type: Culture, Sightseeing, Active/Outdoors, Never been before, Repeat visitors
  • Appeals to: Couples/romantics, Singles, Students, Budget travellers , Active/adventure, Tourists
  • Seasons: Spring, Summer
  • 1. Athens
    Athens, Attica

    Day 1 Take the bus from the airport to city centre. The bus has a ticket counter between exit 4 and 5. (you can also take the subway and end up at Omoniasquare)

  • 2. Omonia Square
    Omonia Square, Athens, Attica

    From here you'll have to find your way to the hotel, but don't hesitate to take in the real Athenian life you will witness at this square

  • 3. Hotel Aristoteles
    Hotel Aristoteles, Athens, Attica
    CHECK RATES!
    Avg price: $42

    Really simple hotel, but all you need and nice receptionist! Check in (try greeting the receptionist in Greek, that will win him over for you! A few words in this language will get you far anyway!)

    When you are settled in, go for a walk and try your first greek meal. Don't hesitate to try the simpel farmer salad and giros pita at a nearby snackbar: it usually is inexpensive and fresh

  • 4. Acropolis (Akropolis)
    Acropolis (Akropolis), Athens, Attica

    Day 2 get up early: 07:30 after breakfast (08:30)get some picnic stuff and than start your walk up the Akropolis. The highest point is 156 meters.

    First temples were built here in the Mycenean era.
    Walk up to the Propylaeum. In front of this entrance- building is the small temple of Athena Nike.

  • 5. Information on combinationticket attractions Athens
    http://www.athensinfoguide.com/open.htm

    Openinghours, prices, discounts etc.
    You can get a combo ticket at nearly every attraction in Athens, so why not buy it right here?!

  • 6. Temple of Athena Nike
    Temple of Athena Nike, Athens, Attica

    The Nike statue that once stood in this temple is now on display at the Akropolis museum. Normally a Nike has wings, but this statue is without wings, because the athenians wanted to prevent the godess to fly away and leave the city.

    Walk around the statue of Athena Promachos to the left. There used to be a lot more statues.

    So we arrive at the Erechteion: the most holy place on the Akropolis. This is supposed to be the place where Poeidon threw his triton in the ground after Athena created the olive tree. The name of the building is derived from king Erechtheios who once was identified as Poseidon. People used to say the tomb of Kekrops the mythical first king of Athens was located here.
    The temple is famous for the Kariatide-pillars in the form of female figures (often reproduced in buildings of the 19th century).

  • 7. Parthenon (Parthenonas)
    Parthenon (Parthenonas), Athens, Attica

    We turn a bit towards the most famous and biggest building of the akropolis. This would be the summum of Doric temple buildings. Still: the fries is Ionic and so are the pillars of the cella.
    The temple is 12m. high and has a frieze of 1 m. high and 160m. long!
    In the cella it is said there was a big statue of Athena made out of gold and Ivory. (has never been found). You can spend hours looking at the magnificent metopes.

  • 8. Acropolis Museum
    The Acropolis Museum, Athens, Attica

    Do not miss the statuette of the 'calf-bearer' (570 BC), The Peplos Kore, a pediment of the Gigantomachy, relief of the mourning Athena (460 BC), a section of the Parthenonfrieze

  • 9. Roman Agora (Forum)
    Roman Agora (Forum), Athens, Attica

    11:30 we go down, back to the city, towards the Roman Agora. We first pass the Tower of the winds, east of the forum. It's almost 9m. high, octagonal, each side is 3,25m wide. There's an inscription with the names of the depicted gods.

    The Forum: Of course you have to take a look at the public latrine (toilets) with 68 seats (1st century AD)
    12:30 We walk via Hadrian's Library, once a very luxurious public building(2nd century AD)

  • 10. National Archaeological Museum (Ethniko Archaiologiko Museo)
    National Archaeological Museum (Ethniko Archaiologiko Museo), Athens, Attica

    13:00 you can have a picnic just outside the museum and then it's 'back to work', lots to see:

    (you can go to this museum twice, so you don't get overwhelmed)

    At the Bronze age section, you ofcourse can't miss the bonze masks.
    After that in the statue-section you'll get to see the first cycladic statuettes of this trip... many more to follow! Don't miss the Poseidon of Artemision.

    Take a look at the Kouros of Sounion (about 600 BC). One of the oldest finds of Delos is the winged Nike (excavations of 1877).

    The frescoes of Thera (Santorini) are magnificent.

    When the museum closes you have plenty of time to freshen up, get a drink and maybe walk back towards the Akropolis where you will find many restaurants with a terrace and magnificent view on the nicely illuminated hill.

  • 11. Agora
    Agora, Athens, Attica

    Day3 Get up early, have breakfast and get some food at the supermarket, then on to the Agora, once the liveliest part of Ancient Athens.

    08:30 Comboticket is valid here
    The Agora was the ancient marketplace, the commercial and administrative heart of the city.
    At the west side of the Agora you will find the 'bouleuterion' , the place where 500 citizens of Athens would congregate on daily basis.
    Also on the west side you'll see the Royal Stoa and South Stoa I. These places were also part of daily decission- making. The Metroon was the place for the central archives. (originally the temple for the mother-godess)
    Between 415-406 BC a new bouleuterion was bult, just beside the old one, but that building wasn't broken down.

    Courts were held in the Northeastern and Southwestern corners of the square. Also in the Southwestcorner was the Tholos, a smaller round building where 50 people of the boule held governance of the city (1/3 of this group also had to spend the night here in case of emergencies)

    Stoa's were there to protect the visitors from wind and rain. These were the places to discuss filosophy, politics but also trade.

    The temple on the hill on the westside of the Agora(kolonos agorais) is called the Hephaisteion, a temple for the god Hephaistos, god of metallurgy. Remains show that craftsmen had there workingspaces right here in the 5th century BC. The temple is very well kept, the stories told on the fries and metopes are well preserved. From the 7th century AD-1834 this old temple was a church!

    There were also lots of small temples on the Agora, for small gods and heroes (most of the time more popular than the big temple areas.

    The Agora was also an important place for performances, religious processions, sporting contests and demonstrations.

    Before the Agora was situated here, Mycenean chamber tombes were located here (bronze age, wealthy ).

    In 1934 remains were discoverd of the so-called altar of the 12 gods.

    Between 430-420 BC two new stoas were built: next to the Royal Stoa the Stoa of Zeus was placed. The function of this building isn't clear, but Plato mentions that Socrates used to meet his friends here...
    The function of the Stoa on the Southside of the Agora is more clear: lots of coins were found here, so a lot of trading was going on here.
    A minting building was eventually built in the Southeast corner of the Agora.
    Also in the Southeast corner, next to the Pan-Athenian road, a small temple was made for Theseus.

    In the 6th century the open space of the Agora was used for theatre performances. Lateron the Odeion of Agrippa was built (an auditorium).

    The Stoa Poikile (the polychrome stoa, 475-450 BC) was built at a prestigious place and was decorated with painted wooden panels (no panel is left nowadays, but Pausanias described them in the 2nd century AD). This stoa had several functions: artgallery, museum for war trophies, hall for gatherings, sometimes it was a court room.

  • 12. Stoa of Attalos
    Stoa of Attalos, Athens, Attica

    At the East side of the Agora this Stoa was built (159-138 BC), it was a gift of Attalos, the king of Pergamon and his wife. It was a big building, 2 floors, 115x 20m. and it was meant to be a shopping area. Now the Agora museum is situated in this building.
    In the museum you will see geometric vases from a tomb of the 9th century BC., childrens toys etc.

    12:30 eat the food you brought at a nice part of the Agora (make sure you don't sit on ancient remains!)

  • 13. Pnyx, Arios Pagos and Philopappou Hills
    Pnyx, Arios Pagos and Philopappou Hills, Athens, Attica

    13:00 time for a nice walk again! Walk around the Agora, towards Atsos Thisiou, Pl Thisiou, over Pnykos towards the Pnyx.

    This was the place where the Athenian gathering of citizens took place. There's a square for the audience and a rostrum for the orators. The Ekklesia was the meeting of all adult, male Athenian citizens. Just after 400 BC the ekklesiastikon was introduced: a sum of money people received to attend this meeting. Now the poorest citizens could also attend the meeting without missing the wages of that day.

    In the 5th century 10-11 meetings were held each year. In the 4th century it was up to 30 and later even 40 meetings per year. The pnyx had room for about 6000 people.

    14:30 we walk to the Southside of the Pnyx, go down to the busy road, cross it (watch out!) go up the steep way through the woods up to the top of the Philopappou hill.

    14:50 Here we get to see the Phillopappou monument. This hill is also cold the hill of the Muses and is 147m. high. The monument was a gift from a Syrian prince who was a benefactor in Athens. He became the first Athenian consul in Rome in 109 AD.

  • 14. Odeum of Herodes Atticus (Odeion / Irodion)
    Odeum of Herodes Atticus (Odeion / Irodion), Athens, Attica

    15:15 we follow the paths down through the woods, back to the Irodion. This is a Roman theater from 161 AD and very well preserved.

    The 32 steps of the rostrum are renovated and can seat 5000 people. Nowadays theatre perfomances are held here.

    Herodes Atticus was an orator and writer and lived from 101-177 AD. He made the Odeion in honour of his wife, who died.
    We go to our right, east of the Odeion

  • 15. Theater of Dionysos (Theatro Dionyssou)
    Theater of Dionysos (Theatro Dionyssou), Athens, Attica

    15:45 this archaeological site is accessable with the comboticket.

    Since the 6th century BC the Greeks worshipped their god Dionysos with performances of Dance and Music. Around 490 BC the first wooden benches were placed here for the public. This was for the celebration of the Dionysia, which lasted 7 days.
    In 330 BC the wooden benches were replaced by benches of stone. The first row was made of marble, for officials. The marble chair in the middle was for the priest of Dionysos.
    When emperor Nero was in charge, the podium was changed, so there could be gladiatorcompetitions and performances with water. The reliefs with pictures of mythology were also made in that period of time.

    16:30 Asklepieion
    Asklepios was the God of medicine/ healing. His worship became popular in the 5th century and was imported in Athens from the Peloponessos.

    The god revealed himself to the patient in a dream. The 'object' of the god was a snake. The sanctuaries of Asklepios were medical centres. We know what procedure was followed in these sanctuaries from the inscriptions and gifts that were found here.

    After this visit we can go for a nice drink near the Plaka.

  • 16. Archeon Gefsis
    Archeon Gefsis, Athens, Attica

    19:00 near subwaystation Metaxourgio
    Great ambiance, the ancient Greeks re-live!
    The food is great as well

  • 17. Piraeus
    Piraeus, Piraeus Region

    Day 4 Get up at 07:30, breakfast, supermarket for some lunch-items

    08:50 take the subway from Omonia square to Pireaus, it takes about 20 minutes.

    09:15 Walk via the harbour towards the archaeological museum

  • 18. Archaeological Museum of Piraeus
    Archaeological Museum of Piraeus, Piraeus, Piraeus Region

    09:30 Very famous is the bronze Athena of Pireaus (350-340 BC), discovered in 1959 together with 3 other bronze statues.

    11:30 visit the Hellenic Nautical Museum to discover the marine history of Athens and it's harbourtown up tot the 20th century.

    12:30 take a walk up to the ancient gate to the harbour and after that have a nice drink with view of the ocean.

  • 19. Temple of Olympian Zeus (Stiles Olymbiou Dios / Olymbion)
    Temple of Olympian Zeus, Athens, Attica

    13:30 take the subway back to Syntagmatos or Akropoli and walk to our next destination.
    14:00 entrance with comboticket 15 still standing corinthian pillars with a hight of almost 17m. One is lying down. Once a double row of 104 (!) pillars, a temple of 110mx 43m., gigantic! Building started in 2nd century BC, was stopped, but then finished by Hadrian in 7 years time.

  • 20. Hadrian's Arch (Pili tou Adrianou)
    Hadrian's Arch (Pili tou Adrianou), Athens, Attica

    15:00 we walk a bit down the road, where we find this gate.
    18m. high, Pentilic marble, built in 125 AD by the citizens of Athens in honour of Hadrian. The arch was built because Hadrian built a new part of town between 124 and 129 AD.At the border of the old town and the new part this arch was placed. The inscription on the old town side it says: "This is the city of Theseus" and the inscription on the other side means " This is the city of Hadrian, not of Theseus".

  • 21. Plaka
    Plaka, Athens, Attica

    15:30 souvenirtime! Walk over to the plaka and feast your eyes. Have a nice drink, buy luffas, nice pendants etc.

  • 22. Scholarchio Yerani
    Scholarchio Yerani, Athens, Attica

    19:00 fantastic place to have mezzedes, try to get a seat at one of the two small balconies, the view is great, feeling of private dining, choose from the big tray of mezze (the sausages with ouzo are divine!)

  • 23. Attica
    Attica, Greece

    Day 5 first part of our journey will be through the landscape of Attica, of which we will see lots more in upcoming days, enjoy the scenery, it's marvellous!

    06:30 early day this morning, get up, breakfast and take the subway to Vas. Georgiou st. Here you will find a lot of car rentals (make reservations affront, it will save money!) By the way, when getting out of the subwaystation, pay attention to the archaeological finds on display, a lot of digging was going on with the construction of the metro and part of it is made visible in showcases at the the stations.

  • 24. Delphi
    Delphi, Phocis Region

    08:00 pick up the car (look at a map before you start driving, lots is one-way-traffic, so you have to figure out which way you want to leave the city)
    Just outside the city centre you will find big supermarkets where you can by lunch items.

    11:15 arriving in Delphi, parking the car and we start at the Tholos.
    This is a circular building from about 380 BC. It's function remains unknown, most have been important (fine workmanshift, expensive materials), lots of scholars have made suggestions though... Partly reconstructed in 1938

  • 25. Delphi Ruins
    Delphi Ruins, Delphi, Phocis Region

    12:00 start the climb up. You'll pass the treasuryrooms of all the cities that came to worship in Delphi.
    The area was continously inhabited from the late bronze age.

    Ancient sources tell us that the first 'chaple' was erected in honour of the primitive godess of the earth Gaia. During the Mycenean period there was a small sanctuary
    and a village. During the Geometric period the cult of Apollo was established.

    One of the most important treasuries was the Athenian, erected in 490 BC. Heroics of Theseus and Heracles are depicted on the small building.

    Remains of 23 treasuries are found in Delphi. There's a lot to see so take your time! The area is superb for drawing/ painting so don't forget your sketchbook

  • 26. Temple of Apollo
    Temple of Apollo, Delphi, Phocis Region

    All citystates added to the building of this temple. Legend says that the first temple was build by Apollo himself with only laurelbranches. His disciples would have build the second temple with beeswax and feathers. In Archaic times there was a big Doric temple
    Mythology tells us that Zeus released two eagles on each side of the world and the eagles met again in Delphi. Exactly at the place where they met, a gap in the earth appeared.

    The place where you could consult the oracle, the Pythia, was called the Adyton.

    Delphi was also called ' the navel of the world' or Omphalos.

    Somewhere halfway this climb find a nice place for a picnic.

    We also find the theatre and the stadion where the Pythian games were held, you can see the startline for the runners. The ganes were the most prestigious games after the Olympic games. The games were held for the first time in 582 BC and also held every four years. There were also games in singing and music. In the Athenian trasury musical notation for a hymn for Apollo was discoverd.

    Delphi was raided by the Thraciens in 91 BC and again by Sulla in 86, August helped the city from 31- 14 AD and by the time that Claudius came to reign (51 AD) the place was impoverished.

  • 27. Delphi Museum
    Delphi Museum, Delphi, Phocis Region

    Delphi has a museum since 1902. Here you can see
    - the omphalos and
    - the Thyiades,
    - metopes of the treasury of Sicyon (depiction of gogantomachy) and
    - Athens (depiction of amazonomachy),
    - the head of Dionysos and
    - the famous bronze carriage driver (dedicated to Apollo by Plyzalos, tyrant of Gela, when he won the chariot games in 478 BC)
    - Archaic statues of Cleobis and Biton, two brothers from Argos (610-580 BC)
    - Two life size head of ivory and gold...

  • 28. Kafenio
    Kafeneio, Athens, Attica

    19:30 after a really great and full day, bring the car back (or park it in a good spot) and return to the plaka, a place just across the street from the taverna from yesterday. Sit inside and almost experience the country-side feeling. Fantastic fish- pikilia!

  • 29. Syntagma Square
    Constitution Square (Syntagma), Athens, Attica

    Day 6 (try to make this a Sunday)

    10:00 after a relaxing breakfast, find your way to the square where you will see the monument of the unknown soldier, parliament and presidential palace

    11:00 changing of the guards at Syntagma

  • 30. Numismatic Museum
    Numismatic Museum, Athens, Attica

    11:45 the old house of Schlieman, the archaeologist, with exposition on his life and a big coin collection

  • 31. Monastiraki
    Monastiraki, Athens, Attica

    13:15 go for a nice long lunchbreak, have a fresh glass of retsina, after that go shopping at the flea market of Monastiraki

  • 32. Psiri
    Psiri, Athens, Attica

    18:00 Once a dangerous area, now a great area with lots of taverns, also with live music!
    Wander around just seeing if there's anything you like going on this evening

  • 33. Taverna Tou Psiri
    Taverna Tou Psirri, Athens, Attica

    19:00 if you find this taverna you are in luck: fantastic mezzedes, but don't hesitate to wander into the kitchen to see what else is cooking!

  • 34. The Goulandris Museum of Natural History
    The Goulandris Museum of Natural History, Athens, Attica

    Day 7 08:15 get up, breakfast
    09:15 get lunch items, take subway to Evangelismos

    09:30 we finally visit the beatiful cycladic art museum.

    The museum opened it's doors in 1986, has moren than 1000 objects dating from 3000 BC 'till 400 AD.

    What we mainly get to see are 'idols', small statuettes devided into two categories: schematic statuettes, also called 'violin-shaped idols', almost all about 10 cm high and the naturalistic statuettes, 10 cm-1,5m high. Dr. Renfrew has made a typology and chronology for both types (for literature).
    Interpretations about these idols are controversial. Information of the early cycladic period is incomplete and unilateral.

    almost all statuettes are female and were once painted. There is a small group of male figurines

  • 35. The Kerameikos
    The Kerameikos, Athens, Attica

    12:00 find your way to the Kerameikos, North of the Athenian Agora.

    First visit the archaeological museum of the Kerameikos.
    Here we will see a lot of (proto) geometric earthware. We will see a lot of name-giving works of the Dipylon-potter. He made a lot of new forms of earthware.

    13:15 after that find a nice spot for a picnic and then go for a walk over the premisses.

    From about 600 BC this was the most important cemetary of Athens.
    In those days it was common to bury the dead outside the city, the cemetary of Athens bordered the pottery area.
    Since 1913 German archaeologists have excavations going on in this part of town.

    From 478 BC the two most important citygates were established here: The sacred gate and the Dipylon gate.
    The sacred gate leads to Eleusis and from the Dipylongate the Panathenaic procession via Agora to Akropolis started (every 4 years)

    The gravestelae you will see are almost all replica's (originals are on display in the national museum)

  • 36. Bakaliarakia o Damigos
    Bakaliarakia o Damigos, Athens, Attica

    17:30 after a full day in the dust it's time to freshen up at the hotel and than go to this brilliant basement tavern where cod is the item to eat!

  • 37. Mycenae
    Mycenae, Argolis Region

    Day 8 06:30 get up early, have breakfast, get the car
    08:30 get picnic items at one of the grand supermarkets near the ways out of town.
    09:45 we first of course visit the Corinth Canal
    Dug out by Jewish slaves in 67 AD
    You can enjoy the view (if you're not afraid of hights) or even go for a bungee jump!

    we first visit the Dome tombs of Mycenae

  • 38. Citadel and Treasury of Atreus
    Citadel and Treasury of Atreus, Mycenae, Argolis Region

    On another hill (Panagtsta hill) we find the tholos tombs, a.o. The Tomb of Agamemnon, built around 1250 BC (Bronze Age), is a semi- subterranean room, circular, reached by a dromos of 36m. Height of the room is 13,5m., diameter is 14,4m.

    Other tombs are to be visited as well: the oldest is the tomb of Aigisthos (1500 BC)

    the tomb of Clytemnestra (about 1220 BC). When this tholos was discovered in 1809, part of it was destryed and the content was robbed.

  • 39. Lion Gate
    Lion Gate, Mycenae, Argolis Region

    The lintel weighs over 20 ton, above it there's an area for a triangle. The burden of the triangle is lighter in that way, the weight of the stone is better distributed over the sideways of the gate.

    The heads of the lions have disappeared. The relief was probably covered with precious metals.

    Going through the gate you reach the interior of the acropolis of Mycenae

  • 40. Ancient Mycenae
    Ancient Mycenae, Mycenae, Argolis Region

    11:00 Perseus is said to have founded this city

    Mycenae was discovered by Schliemann in 1876.

    After going in to the citadel, you will see the first tomb within the citadel: this tomb was discovered by accident when repairs were made to the tomb of Clytemenestra. 24 tombs were discovered here with lots of important finds, a lot of which we have seen in the National museum in Athens.

    Take a flashlight with you when you go down to the cistern

  • 41. Tiryns
    Tiryns, Nafplio, Argolis Region

    13:30 If you still have some time left, the trip to Tiryns is very much worth it! Again a Mycenean archaeological site, a hill fort, occupation from the 7th millenium BC! Excavated (or plundered?) by Schliemann. The cyclopic walls are impressive and if you pay attention you can see which part was build earlier and which parts later on.

  • 42. Ancient Corinth (Archaia Korinthos)
    Ancient Corinth (Archaia Korinthos), Corinth, Corinthia Region

    15:30 park the car near the excavations.
    This old city-state was founded in the 10th century BC, richest port of ancient Greece. (some finds are from the 5th millenium BC though)
    Excavations are going on by the American School of Classical Studies since 1896. Objects found at these excavations show that the site was occupied since as early as the fifth millenium BC.
    The Romans destroyed Corinth after a siege in 146 BC. Julius Caesar refounded the city in 44 BC

  • 43. Temple of Apollo
    Temple of Apollo, Corinth, Corinthia Region

    Roman colonists restired the building for their own use. The original temple of Apollo was built in the 6th century BC (about 540 BC) and at that same spot an even earlier temple was situated.
    7 columns are still standing, originally there were 38 doric pillars (6x15).

    The temple is situated on higher ground, a so-called temple-hill. Sources tell us that in the 6th century BC a prominent cult of Apollo pythius was going on in Corinth. He would have been a protectorgod of the hill and the buildings situated on it.

    another inportant temple was the temple of Aphrodite, we learn from ancient sources, but excavations have only revealed a small temple.

  • 44. Archaeological Museum of Corinth
    Archaeological Museum of Corinth, Corinth, Corinthia Region

    Not a modern building like the museum in Delphi, but the objects aren't less important...
    Check out the 'nilotic' fresco (Egypt and the Nile interpreted by Greek/Roman artist If you want more information on that subject: send me a PM)

  • 45. Acrocorinth
    Acrocorinth, Corinth, Corinthia Region

    17:00 At the end of the day, just before returning to Athens, we have a little time left to visit Acrocorint, the acropolis of Ancient Corinth on a big monolithic rock.
    Most impressive are the fortifactions put there during the occupation by the Franks, Venetians and Ottomans.
    A lot of the climbing of the rock you can do by car, but you still have to climb up a bit yourself ansd it is steep, so wear sensible shoes!
    after returning to Athens you might not be in the mood for a large dinner, so go to a snackbar, always healthy and good salads available and giros pita are great and cheap!

  • 46. Aegina
    Aegina, Saronic Gulf Islands

    Day 9
    06:45 get up early, get picnic items
    08:15 get subway at Omonia square to Pireaus
    08:45 walk to the harbour
    09:00 buy boat ticket
    09:45 take ferry to Aigina, Agh. Marina
    11:00 arrive at the small island after a really beautiful boatride

    Aegina is a vulcanic island in the Saronic gulf, between Attica and Peloponessos and that's why the island was always important for trade. It's believed that the island once was called Oenone and in the 13th century Myrmidonia. If you see a coin with a turtle on it in one iof the museums, chances are it's from this island. Bronze was a wellknown export product.

    Take the bus up the mountains (you can also rent scooters, it's about a 9 mile ride), to the Afea or Aphaea/Aphaia temple. You can still see parts of an older temple (570 BC, destroyed in a fire 510 BC) overwhich another temple was built in 500 BC. There even might have been a smaller temple in the 7th century BC.
    The archaeological projects that were conducted here are fascinating since the different phases of the sanctuary tend to overlap. (the bronze age phase was one of an open air sanctuary, most difficult to trace). Excavators thought they were investigating an Athena temple, but in 1901 a German scientist found an inscription with the name of the godess.

    There's also a small museum near the entrance of the site.

    Try to figure out when the bus goes back to town, this might be a problem on festive days (but eventually a bus will come...)
    after that visist the temple of
    the island is known for the good pistachio nuts, so be sure to buy some while you're here!

  • 47. Kolona
    Kolona, Aegina, Saronic Gulf Islands

    15:00 When you get back from the temple of Aphaea, you have to visit the archaeological site of Kolona, it's simply one of those places where you can imagine how it must have been in those days...
    On this archaeological site you will find the temple of apollo. During excavations many tombs were found near the temple, filled with a lot of gold jewellery, which you can now admire in the British museum.
    The temple was built in the 6th century BC and there is only one pillar standing, the site is named after this pillar or column: kolona.

    There's also a museum located at the site.

    Before you get back on the boat to go back to the mainland, you might want to consider eating a nice fish meal at the quay, fresh!

  • 48. Ariston
    Ariston, Athens, Attica

    Since you probably had a big meal in Aegina, you might want to try these pies for dinner, it's cheap and lovely, a feast for your tastebuds, creative pies with artichokes, zukini, mushrooms, chicken.... oh my!

  • 49. Central Market
    Central Market, Athens, Attica

    Day 10 An easy day, a bit of sleeping in, get up at 9am.
    Go to the central market, typical gmediterranean atmosphere, the meatmarket seems a bit macabre, but the fruit/ vegetable department and the fresh fish are amazing, get the 'local' feeling

  • 50. Kanellopoulos Museum
    Museum of Pavlos and Alexandra Kanellopoulos, Athens, Attica

    11:30 ok, don't be too alarmed if this museum is closed for no apparent reason ( that goes for almost every museum, always have a plan B at hand!), since it's a private collection which was donated to the state in the late 70's.

    It's a small museum, still around 6000 objects and greek art is represented from prehistoric to modern times. It's a trip trough time and lets you get a glance of development of art in this area.

  • 51. To Ouzadiko
    Ouzadiko, Athens, Attica

    (not open on sundays) after a nice day of shopping a good glass of ouzo will be very welcome. Here you have a lot of choice.

    Also a great hang out after a day of shopping is Glikis at Odos Aristophanous 7, get the pikilia and a nice glass of ouzo with a bucket of ice.
    Next door you will find taverna Xino, so if you're still hungry, go for the grilled meat here.

  • 52. Eleusis
    Eleusis, Athens, Attica

    Day 11 08:00 am Pick up the car again. We will drive kind of in a circle today, we first go northwest and than all the way south east.

    09:00 we've come to the place where the Eleusinian Mysteries were celebrated: every yeat the initiation rites for the cult of Demeter and Kore/ Persephone were held in this place. The cult goes back to the Mycenean culture and is agrarian of nature.

    A procession was held which started at the Kerameikos in Athens and went all the way up to Eleusis.

    The mysteries were conducted in the Telesterion, which is located inside the walls of Eleusis. The first Telesterion was built in the geometric period, around 750 BC. A larger one was built around 600 BC. The telesterion was destroyed in the Persion war and reconstructed around 470 BC (not completed though) Second half of the 4th century BC the sanctuary was increased in size.

  • 53. Brauron
    http://www.stoa.org/athens/sites/brauron.html

    archaeological site situated on a small bay to the east of athens.

    From Neolithic age- Late Bronze age

    From late 8th century BC one of the most important Artemis temples was situated here. The cult of Artemis Brauronia was for women only. At her anual feast young girls between 5-10 years old, known as arktoi (bears) woul perform in a beardance.

    Excavations are going in since the 1960's. Almost all the recovered buildings date from the most important period: 2nd half of 5th and from the 4th century BC.
    Here clothes of women were offered: When a woman died during child delivery her peplos was given to Iphegeneia, when she had a good delivery her chiton was given to Artemis.

    The construction of the temple is similar to the sanctuary in Olympia.

    The anual festival started with a procession from the Brauronion at th Acropolis in Athens. A bull was sacrificed at the altar.

    Excavators have found inventorylists of Artemis Brauronia.

  • 54. Thorikos
    http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper/artifact?name=Thorikos&object=Site

    14:00h. We drive a bit further to the next Archaeological site. Lead and silver were mined here.
    There are 4 parts in the excavations: Acropolis, Necropolis, theatre and the industrial area.
    In the industrial area they found temples, houses, silverwash area, towers. The houses are irregularly shaped, but all have protection of the northern winds, using the natural slope of the hill.
    In the 6th and 5th century BC a lot of houses were build and rebuild.

    There's an old theatre (525-480 BC), it's a small theater but also the only theatre in the south of Attica.Probably also a religious and social central point in the area

  • 55. Laurion
    http://whc.unesco.org/en/tentativelists/1789/

    15:30 Archaeological site, also mining of silver, probably doone by slaves. The mines were exploited by the state and the fleat of Salamis was payed for with silver from these mines.
    Lots of inscriptions from the 4th century BC are discoverd: poletai lists. In these lists sells and rents are brought together anually. Thats why the scientists know a bit about the administration and organization of the mines, like names of renters, prices, borders, names of owners, names of registrators and kind of mines exploited.

  • 56. Taverna Platanos
    Taverna Platanos, Athens, Attica

    19:30 after returning the car go this great place, sit outside under the sycamore trees and enjoy a lovely meal, loved the lamb and ochra dish!

  • 57. Temple of Poseidon Sounion
    Temple of Poseidon Sounion, Sounio, East Attica Region

    Day 12 Take the bus from Platia Egyptou to Sounion where we get to see the Poseidon Temple.
    My absolute favorite place in the world, so beautiful (especially at sundown), it is so beautiful here!

    The temple is at Cape Sounion, the most southern point of Attica, 60m. above sealevel.

    The temple was built around 445 BC. There already was an altar dedicated to Poseidon in the 7th century BC. On either side stood a kouros (male statue) from the 6th century BC. The kouroi are now on display in the National Archeological museum in Athens.

    Excavators also found a wall, barracks for soldiers and a small harbour.Scientist thought at first that the temple was for Athena, but during excavations in 1900 evidence was found for dedication to Poseidon. More recent excavations and research seems to point in the direction of double-dedication, to Poseidon AND Athena.

    Underneath the rock you can see a natural harbour, once you could find a ramp here
    Make sure you get a timetable for the bus, so you won't get stuck here!

  • 58. Psaras
    Psaras, Athens, Attica

    19:30 dinnertime! One of the oldest taverns at the Plaka, in a street leasing up to the Akropolis. Not the cheapest, but they have good fish and the location is great!

  • 59. Mt. Lycabettus (Likavitos)
    Mt. Lycabettus (Likavitos), Athens, Attica

    Day 13
    278m. high You can of course hike tio the top (where once a temple for Zeus stood), or you can take a cable way, which has it's starting point between Odos aristippou and odos Ploutarchou.
    Once you're up there you have a terrific view

  • 60. National Archaeological Museum (Ethniko Archaiologiko Museo)
    National Archaeological Museum (Ethniko Archaiologiko Museo), Athens, Attica

    13:30 after all we have seen in Attika, you can put all archaeological finds in perspective, so time for another visit to the archaeological museum

    Now look for the original gravestones of Kerameikos, the kouroi of Sounion, take another look at the mask of Agamemnon, now that you have seen where it came from, the frescoes of Tyrins

    After a day well spend, go for Ouzo and Pikilia at O Glikis, on the corner of Odos Geronda and odos Eperidou

  • 61. Little Mitropolis Church (Panayia Gorgoepikoos and Agios Eleftherios)
    Little Mitropolis Church (Panayia Gorgoepikoos and Agios Eleftherios), Athens, Attica

    Day 14 after checking out, maybe having breakfast somewhere else for a change, it's time for a last walk around town, visit the churches you may not have seen yet.

    The Little Mitropolis church is not to be missed: it has a fries a roman from the 4th century, which was re-used when this byzantine church was built.

  • 62. Great Mitropolis (Athens Cathedral)
    Great Mitropolis (Athens Cathedral), Athens, Attica

    Of course we have to see the cathedral, and maybe pay a visit to the small church Kapnikarea (Odos Ermou)

    After this last visit have a noce last drink at a terrace and then head back to the airport.
    Hope you've enjoyed your stay!