Classics School Trips to Athens, Greece
The capital and largest city in Greece, Athens is one of Europe’s oldest cities with a history spanning 3,400 years. Known as the cradle of civilization and the birthplace of democracy, Athens flourished as the world’s most powerful city in the 5th century BC. Today, heritage of the classical era is still evident, represented by ancient monuments and works of art and a trip here offers endless possibilities for students to enrich their knowledge and understanding of both ancient Athenian life and the modern European café culture. As you walk in the footsteps of celebrated Athenian philosopher Plato, you’ll discover a city packed with a multitude of awe-inspiring ruins fused with a cosmopolitan, vibrant modern-day atmosphere – a great experience for students of all ages!
Did you know?
While the first ever Olympic Games were held in Athens in 776 BC, the first Modern Olympic Games were held in Athens in 1896. Back in 776 BC the games were taken very seriously and any athlete who pulled out of the games were fined with cowardice!
Our quick, online quote form allows our specialists to provide you with a bespoke quotation for a trip tailor-made to your group’s individual requirements.
Athens Classics Recommended Visits
There are a number of visits in the city of Athens that many Classicists only dream of seeing. Here are just a few of our favourites.
This ancient citadel on the high rocky outcrop 150 metres above the city houses the remains of several ancient buildings of great architectural and historic importance that make up the Acropolis. Named the ‘Sacred Rock’, The Acropolis dominates the skyline and has been a symbol of the greatness of the ancient city since its construction in the 5th century BC. The site was built to house what have become four of the greatest masterpieces of classical Greek art; the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechthion and the Temple of Athena Nike. On a visit here your expert guide will pass on information about the daily lives of this early civilization.
National Archaeological Museum
A must-see for those visiting Athens, the National Archaeological Museum is the most important archaeological museum in Greece and one of the richest in the world concerning Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenean and Classical Greek Art. Its collections are representative of all the cultures that flourished in Greece. It contains collections of pre-historic items, sculpture, pottery, Minor Art, Bronzes and documents the development of Greek civilization from its beginning to late antiquity.
Delphi site and Museum
In Greek mythology, when Zeus released two eagles in opposite directions, Delphi was the place they met, indicating the centre of the earth and the centre of worship of the god Apollo. On arriving at the site, your first visit will be the Castalia Spring, whose marble lined basin was believed to hold water to cleanse the souls of worshippers to the Temple of Apollo. Continuing to the Temple, you’ll see its Doric remains and the famous oracle. Follow this with a visit to the Museum of Delphi to see its spectacular finds such as the bronze Charioteer, the Naxian Sphinx and the Statue of Antinoos.
Athens Sample Itineraries
Your bespoke itinerary will include the appropriate balance of educational visits and leisure excursions to fill your chosen duration and meet your aims and objectives. Your dedicated School Tour Coordinator will offer advice and recommendations with the sole aim of creating the perfect itinerary for your group, but just to get you inspired, we have outlined the itinerary created for one of our clients below.
A tour with the wow factor!
It goes without saying that many schools opt for a very similar itinerary, with only minor adjustments being made to meet the individual needs of their school. There are however, those schools who invest heavily in travel to complement their classroom learning. Here is just one of those tours with that extra “wow factor!”
- The school was looking for a cross European Trip that focused solely on the study of Classics.
- They were willing to invest and commit significantly both financially and in terms of their time away from school.
- They required the learning outcome for students to be an extremely significant one!
Dates: 22nd June – 3rd July
Passengers: 14 students and 2 adults
Accommodation: Athens – Hotel Doriann Inn, Rome – Hotel Portamaggiore, Sorrento – Hotel Klien Wien, Sicily – Hotel Tre Torri & Hotel Solemar Board Basis: Half Board
Board Basis: Half Board
Overview of visits: Tour of Athens, Acropolis Site, Acropolis Museum, Agora and Hephaistos Temple, Delphi, Ossios Loukas Monastery, Guided tour of the Cape Sounion, Colosseum, Forum, Palatine Hill, Herculaneum, Pompeii, Paestum Temples and Museum, Palermo City Tour, Segesta guided tour, Valley of the Temples, Piazza Armerina, Alcantara Gorge, Taormina, Taormina’s Greek Theatre, Siracusa guided tour, Ortigia
On arrival in Athens the group, a little tired but happy to have arrived safely, were met by a representative and transferred to the hotel in Athens. Upon arrival at the hotel, the group checked in and spent the remainder of the evening relaxing after their long flight before having their evening meal and retiring to bed for a much needed nights’ sleep.
The group awoke bright and breezy ready to start their adventure. After breakfast at the hotel, they met their guide and they excitedly set off for a panoramic tour of Athens. Their guide, who was with them all day, talked them through the history, culture and architecture as they hopped on and off the coach to see, feel and smell the sights that Athens had to offer. The first part of the day included a visit to the Acropolis site. The Rock of the Acropolis, The Acropolis hill and the so called “Sacred Rock” of Athens; the most important site of the city. The group got to see four of the greatest masterpieces of classical Greek art – the Parthenon, the Propylaea, the Erechthion and the Temple of Athena Nike. After a spot of lunch the group then made their way to the Acropolis Museum. A marvel of architecture with a full exhibition of the glory of Ancient Athens. Here the group saw various attractions such as votives, artefacts of everyday life, statues from the archaic period, Caryatids and of course the Parthenon hall with the metopes, the pediments and the frieze, along with objects that have been removed from the site since 1834. The group then met the coach and made their way back to the hotel where they relaxed, had their evening meal and spent the remainder of the evening discussing their first day’s adventure.
Today the group again met their guide at the hotel before leaving for a full day’s guided tour. The first port of call was Delphi for a guided tour that included the Archaeological site and Museum. Delphi was known in ancient times as the navel of the world. The group passed by Castalia Spring and visited the archaeological site the Temple of Apollo famous for its oracle and the Museum of Delphi, with its spectacular finds which include the bronze Charioteer, the Naxian Sphinx and the Statue of Antinoos. For lunch, the group had free time to relax and eat before they boarded the coach and departed for the Ossios Loukas Monastery. Essentially maintained as a museum, this 11th century AD Byzantine monastery dedicated to Saint Loukas Steiriotis is one of the great buildings of medieval Greece. The group saw the main structure which comprises of two domed churches, the larger katholikon and the adjacent chapel of the Theotokos. After a full day, the group then made their way back to the hotel for their evening meal.
Today was the groups’ final day in Athens. After breakfast the group checked out of the hotel and loaded their luggage onto the coach ready for their departure later in the day. The guide met them at the hotel and the group left for a guided tour of the Cape Sounion which included a visit to the Poseidon Temple. Cape Sounion is one of the most famous and picturesque places in the region. The cape is located 70km at the southernmost point of the Attica peninsula. The Temple of Poseidon, built on a site set back from the sheer cliffs, was built in the time of Pericles as part of a major sanctuary to the sea god. On finishing their tour the group took some time to relax in the Greek sunshine and have some lunch before making their way to the airport for their flight to Rome. Arriving in Rome that evening, the group were met a representative and transferred to their hotel, where they were greeted with a welcome evening meal and a good nights rest.
After breakfast, the group had free time to familiarise themselves with the new city and take in the Italian atmosphere, sample some of the cuisine and people watch at some of Rome’s most famous sights. Once the group came back together after lunch, they made their way on foot to their afternoon visit to the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill. Considered one of the greatest feats of Roman architecture and engineering, walking around the Colosseum the group got an understanding of its complex history. Once back at the hotel they freshened up, before they headed back out and had their evening meal in a local restaurant before getting dessert at a Gelateria.
The group checked out of the hotel after breakfast and departed by coach for the Bay of Naples and their only visit of the day, the residential town of Herculaneum. Covered by a pyroclastic flow, much of the timber has been preserved along with many pieces of furniture and wooden objects which allowed the group to gain a real insight into city life in Roman Italy as they wandered along the cobbled streets. The group then left for their new hotel where they checked in and had their evening meal before having the remainder of their evening at leisure.
The group started the day with an early breakfast before checking out and departing for their first visit of the day to Paestum. On arrival at Paestum the group took an unguided visit of the Temples and Museum. With three well preserved Doric Greek temples and ruins of ancient houses, the group got to see prime examples of Greek and Roman architecture and got to talk through the transition of dominance from Greek to Roman. After lunch, the group boarded the coach and departed for their next visit of the day, Pompeii. One of the world’s most important archaeological sites, the group got to see Roman urban and town planning in their religious, political, aesthetic, cultural and social context. The group wandered the cobbled streets observing the chariot ruts and original graffiti as well as the famous casts of the Pompeians who couldn’t escape the eruption. For their evening meal the group made their way to a local restaurant for traditional pizza before they embarked on their onward journey to Palermo, Sicily. The group boarded the overnight ferry in Naples and set sail at dusk with everyone on deck watching the sun go down and admiring Mount Vesuvius before retiring to their cabins for their overnight journey.
The group arrived early in Palermo, Sicily, where they said goodbye to the ferry and met their coach to commence their panoramic Palermo City Tour. The group started by having breakfast at Bar Bristol that set them up for the day before the coach started the tour via Notarbartolo, Libertà, The English Garden, Politeama,Teatro Massimo, the Courthouse, the Palatine Chapel and ending at the impressive Cathedral. The group then walked to the Quattro A Canti, Pretoria Square and Bellini Square, where they saw the churches S. Caterina, Martorana, S. Cataldo, before walking back to the Cathedral. They then boarded the coach to finish the tour by visiting the flea market, Porta Nuova, the Marina Square, Foro Italico and Cala. The afternoon started with their onward journey to Segesta. On arrival the group took some time to sit back and relax and eat some lunch before taking an unguided tour around the site where they saw the Segesta Temple and the Greek theatre. They then transferred to their hotel where they checked in and had the remainder of the evening to relax and explore their home after a jam-packed day.
Day nine started with a hearty breakfast before the group checked out of the hotel and left for their first visit of the day, the Valley of the Temples. This archaeological area is one of the most important sites in the world and a UNESCO world heritage site. On an unguided tour the group got to see the temples of ancient Akragas: the Temple of Hera (Juno) Lacinia, Concordia, Heracles (Hercules), Olympian Zeus (Jupiter), Castor and Pollux (Dioscuri) and Hephaistos (Vulcan). The group then made their way to Piazza Armerina. On arrival the group first took some time to have a spot of lunch before commencing with their unguided tour. Here the group got to see the Villa Romana del Casale which houses a large and complex collection of late Roman mosaics. Due to a flood that covered the Villa, these well preserved mosaics have now been uncovered and clearly demonstrate the wealth of their owners. The group then made their way to their next hotel for check in and evening meal.
Following breakfast, the group set off for a leisurely morning visit to the Alcantara Gorge. Here the group were able to see this geographical gem with its dark grey columnar basalt walls. After lunch the group then made their way to Taormina where there was time to take in the sights, do a spot of souvenir shopping and take in the Sicilian atmosphere. Some of the group opted for an unguided visit of Taormina’s Greek Theatre, one of Sicily’s most celebrated ruins due to its amazing preservation and spectacular location. After the group had returned to the hotel and had their evening meal, they took a stroll along the promenade to a local Geleteria.
The group had a slightly later start to the day before setting off for Siracusa for an unguided tour. Here the group got an amazing insight into both Greek and Roman ancient history and as they walked around the Neapolis Archaeological Area they entered into ‘the Ear of Dionysius’ where they got to hear its amazing acoustics! The coach then took them to the island of Ortigia for a spot of sightseeing, souvenir shopping and to sample some traditional Sicilian cuisine before they departed for the airport for their onward flight to Rome.
The final day of the tour was spent relaxing and exploring Rome. Many visited the major tourist attractions such as the Roman Forum, the Trevi Fountain and The Colosseum, while others chose to take advantage of the numerous gift shops and mouth-watering cafes. Early evening the group then all made their way back to the hotel where they boarded the coach for the start of their journey home.
Arrival in Athens
Full day guided tour of Athens including Panoramic Tour, Acropolis Site, Acroplois Museum, Agora and Hephaistos Temple
Guided tour of Delphi including Archaeological site and Museum, Ossios Loukas Monastery
Guided tour of the Cape Sounion and the Poseidon Temple, flight the Rome
Leisure time in Rome, unguided visit of the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill
Unguided visit to Herculaneum, travel to Sorrento
Unguided visit to Paestum and the Temples and Museum, Pompeii, overnight ferry to Palermo, Sicily
Arrival in Palermo, Panoramic Palermo City Tour, unguided tour of Segesta
Unguided visit to the Valley of the Temples, Piazza Armerina
Alcantara Gorge, Taormina
Unguided tour of Siracusa and Ortigia, transfer to Rome
Leisure time in Rome before flight home
Fly to Athens and spend the afternoon exploring the city at your leisure. Evening meal at your hotel.View the full day-by-day itinerary
After breakfast, you’ll meet with your guide for a 3 hour guided coach tour of Athens where you’ll see the Acropolis, Hadrian’s Arch and the Sanctuary of Zeus, among others. In the afternoon, there is the option to visit the National Archaeological Museum, with free time afterwards to explore Athens before heading back to the hotel for an evening meal and the evening at leisure.
After breakfast, you’ll depart for a full day guided coach tour to Delphi where you can walk the Sacred Way to reach the Temple of Apollo, site of the Oracle of Delphi. There is the option to stop-off en-route at the Ossios Loukas Monastery. Return to Athens for an evening meal and the evening at leisure.
Spend the morning at leisure exploring Athens with an optional guided visit to Agora and the Temple of Hephaistos before departing back to the UK.
There are many hotels in Athens but this is our preferred option.
The Marina Hotel is family owned and run and has recently been renovated in keeping with the traditional Greek style. The Hotel is ideally located in the centre of Athens within walking distance of the main tourist attractions. Each of its 81 rooms is equipped with air conditioning, telephone, TV and private bathroom facilities.
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