From Aristotle to Mount Athos - 7 Days

7 days / 6 nights

Day 1

Arrival at SKG Thessaloniki’s airport and depart for Olympiada at Mount Athos Area, a journey of aprox. 1 hour. Hotel check-in and welcome dinner inspired by the ancient Greek cuisine.

Day 2

After breakfast we will visit the ancient town of Stagira, where Aristotle - the great philosopher and teacher of Alexander the Great – was born in 384BC. Here, we will walk around the archaeological findings and then follow in his footsteps, along a magnificent mountain trail that rises up from the ruins of this ancient place. The Aristotelian Mountain, is protected by the “European Convention Natura 2000”, and here one can see the very same plants and herbs that Aristotle prescribed to Alexander the Great as ancient cures. Right afterwards we will visit the famous Olympiada mussels farms to watch how the renowned “Olympiada mussels” are collected. Later on, you will enjoy a mouth-watering lunch based on mussels recipes, maybe the most delicious ones that you have ever tasted. Rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 3

Right after breakfast, you find yourself heading to one of the most scenic and tranquil places in Halkidiki. In the middle of a verdant forest of beeches, oaks and wild hazels is situated the picturesque “Varvara” village. It has been inhabited at least since the 14th century and you will love its traditional and unspoiled architecture with cobbled alleys and old churches. From this beautiful village, we start our easy walk (3 km) in the Aristotelian mountain, that ends at two waterfalls. This is an easy route, part of the famous Aristotle Trail and solitude-seekers will delight in mountain’s tranquility.Deeply touched by the landscape we continue to the area of Varvara to join the local housewives who will show us how to make “trachana” – a kind of Greek wheat pasta. We will have lunch in a famous traditional restaurant on the top of the verdant hill! Later, we will visit the Aristotle’s Park, a unique interactive instruments park , where you will operate the devices, mentioned in the great philosopher’s ancient documents “Physics”. The park is surrounded by a beautiful natural landscape and it has a spectacular panoramic view to the Gulf of Ierissos and Mount Athos. Early in the evening we will head to our hotel in the traditional town of Arnea for dinner and overnight.

Day 4

This will be a day full of unique experiences. Right after breakfast, we will take a tour of Arnea, Halkidiki’s most traditional town. Arnea’s houses date from the mid 19th century and are famous for their Macedonian architecture with porches, wooden and stone walls, facades painted indigo blue, purple, cobalt blue, wooden frames with deep brown color. So we will begin our tour strolling the old cobblestone streets and alleys through the traditional quarters. The Metropolitan Church of St. Stephen, the only religious monument in Greece where the faithful can attend services while admiring the archaeological remains just below their feet, as a glass floor separates the church from the archaeological site. The Folklore Museum and the Weaving Museum where the art, tradition and lifestyle of former generations will “parade” in front of your eyes! You will also savour rare varieties of organic honey. Immediately afterwards, we will depart for the slopes of Mount Cholomontas to see the beekeepers at work, learn how the famous Cholomontas mushrooms are collected and dried and visit the fir and Christmas tree plantations. We will follow paths on the top of Cholomontas Mountain and in the afternoon, enjoy a delicious lunch at a traditional restaurant in the Grove of Agia Paraskevi. After lunch we visit a winery that produces organic wines and a cheese factory.
Return to the hotel late in the afternoon, full of unforgettable memories!

Day 5

After breakfast we drive to Ouranoupolis area. Hotel check-in and then we take a walk across the Athonite gulf. From the Byzantine Tower of Prosforios in Ouranoupoli, the village’s trademark built in 1344, and operating as a museum today-, you will follow the route to the borders of the monastic state, across the coastal road and you will reach the Zygos Monastery, a unique monument, demonstrating to all visitors - men and women alike - exactly how an Athonite Monastery functions. En route you will admire the olive groves and vineyards, while the closer you get to the borders of Mount Athos, the more you feel the change of the scenery, the vegetation overgrowth, the intensity of smells and the Athonite blessing overwhelming your senses! At noon we will have lunch at a restaurant offering some of the best local dishes and magical sea views! Afterwards, we visit Ouranoupoli town. We walk around the Prosforiou Tower, visit the shops in the village where one can buy authentic products of Athos, taste Athonite wines and olive oil, and see how the monks of Mount Athos create Byzantine icons.
Late in the afternoon, return to the hotel and rest of the day is free for you to enjoy.

Day 6

Today we will embark one of the Athos area sea cruises vessels and sail along the coast of Mount Athos. We will see all the monasteries of the west bank, visit their relics and admire monastic architecture. Enjoy lunch at a wonderful fish restaurant on miniature Ammouliani Island, a stone’s throw away from Ouranoupoli and known for its idyllic combination of fine golden sand beaches and aquamarine waters. Right afterwards, we will walk across “the Xerxes Route”. This is the navigable Canal built in the 5th century BCE by King Xerxes I of Persia, in order to lead his fleet against ancient Greece and one of the few monuments left by the Persian Empire in Europe.
Late in the afternoon we will return to the hotel. Rest of the day at leisure.

Day 7

Breakfast and departure for Thessaloniki airport. As your flight ascends over the city you will never leave behind the colorful world of Halkidiki; you will carry it with you beyond the return journey and forever more. The green of the Aristotle Trails, the blue of the Aegean Sea, within the stunning land of Halkidiki its vibrant life has offered itself to be seen, explored, and enjoyed giving you colorful memories that will never fade.

End of program

Inclusions
6 overnights as mentioned below:
2 at 3* Hotel in Olympiada
2 at Traditional House in Arnaia
2 at 3* Hotel in Ouranoupoli
6 Breakfasts
1 lunch on Day 2
2 dinners on 1st and 2nd Day
Boat cruise around Mt. Athos
Private transfer from / to airport on arrival and departure days
All tours and transfers mentioned on program.
Entrance fees to museums and archaeological site, as mentioned
Professional driver
All above mentioned rates include local taxes and VAT

Exlusions
Drinks
Personal expences
Gratuities
Travel insurance
Anything not mentioned in the inclusions

Have to know
Program is available from May to October
Minimum participation: 2 persons, Maximum 12 persons. For larger groups please contact
According to Greek Naval Law, all Cruise Boats are not allowed to approach closer than 500 meters from the Monastery coast of Mount Athos.

 

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