The real Greece through the eyes of a local. Explore Greece and visit places only a local and expert can show you!!
Athens – Levadia – Delphi – Arachova – Kalambaka – Amphisa – Lamia – Trikala – Meteora – byzantine monasteries of Meteora – Vergina –Dion – Katerini – Thessaloniki – Kavala – Thasos – Xanthi – Alexandroupolis – Samothrace – Orestiada – Turkey
Highlights of the 11-day amazing north Greece private tour Samothrace & Turkey
- The most important monuments of Greece
- Enjoy the modern life of Greece
- Taste authentic Greek dishes
- Admire the picturesque landscape of the country
Description of the 11 days north Greece private tour from Delphi to Samothrace and Turkey
Day 1: Athens – Levadia – Arachova – Delphi – Amphissa – Lamia – Trikala – Kalambaka – Meteora
Athens Taxi Tours will collect you from your cruise ship or your hotel, and we will start our private tour through the verdant plain of Viotia, through Thebes, the domain of the mythological King Oedipus, LEVADIA and ARACHOVA (famous for its bright multicolored hand-made carpets). Arrive in DELPHI, the ancient sanctuary of Apollo. Our private tour includes visits, the Oracle, “the navel of Earth”, visit the Temple of Apollo, the Delphi Museum where one can see among other archaeological treasures, the unique Bronze Charioteer, then proceed through the sacred way to the Athenian Treasure House. Lunch in Delphi or Arachova a picturesque mountain village, the meeting place of the Greek jet set in winter, built on the southern slopes of Mt. Parnassus.
In the afternoon we continue this private tour departing with Athens Taxi for KALAMBAKA. Drive through the towns of Central Greece (AMPHISSA, LAMIA, and TRIKALA) crossing the Thessalian plain, the granary of GREECE, to reach KALAMBAKA late in the afternoon. We will overnight by the foot of the breathtaking Meteora.
Day 2: Meteora – Tempi valley – Katerini – Thessaloniki
After having breakfast in the hotel, Athens Taxi will drive you to the breathtaking METEORA and its monasteries built on the top of high rocks standing between earth wind, and sky.
Meteora is one of the biggest and most important groups of monasteries in Greece second only to those in Mount Athos. The rock monasteries have been characterized by Unesco as a unique phenomenon of cultural heritage and they form one of the most important stations of the cultural map of Greece. They belong to a region of almost inaccessible sandstone peaks. On these ‘columns of the sky’ monks have settled from the 11th century onwards where twenty-four of these monasteries were built, despite incredible difficulties, at the time of the great revival of the eremetic ideal in the 15th century. Their 16th-century frescoes mark a key stage in the development of post-Byzantine painting.
The most important monasteries of Meteora are:
- The Holy Monastery of Great Meteoron. It is the biggest of the Meteorite monasteries.
- The Holy Monastery of Varlaam is the second largest monastery after the Great Meteoro.
- The Holy Monastery of Rousanou. It is dedicated to ‘The Transfiguration’ but consecrated to Saint Barbara.
- The Holy Monastery of St. Nicholas Anapausas. It is the first we will come across on our way from Kastraki to Meteora.
- The Holy Monastery of St. Stephen. It is one of the most easily accessible as one does not have to climb innumerable steps to reach it.
- The Monastery of Holy Trinity is very difficult to reach. The visitor has to cross the valley and continue high up through the rock before we arrive outside the entrance.
After lunch, Athens Taxi Tours will start the drive to Thessaloniki through the towns of Tempi Mountains and Katerini to reach Thessaloniki, the capital of north Greece late in the afternoon. Transfer to your hotel on arrival. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Thessaloniki – Pella – Vergina – Veria – Kavala
Our private tour will continue in the morning when we will drive to visit PELLA, Alexander the Great’s capital. Continue our private sightseeing to VERGINA to visit the tomb of the KING PHILLIP and the famous ‘’VERGINA TREASURES’’. We’ll take now the way to Kavala passing through THESSALONIKI via VERIA. In the afternoon arrive in Kavala. Dinner and overnight.
Day 4: Kavala, the small Monte Carlo.
Today Athens Taxi will take us to KAVALA. A POLE OF ATTRACTION!!! Writers & travelers have given to KAVALAthe characterization of «the small Monte Carlο. » And they weren’t wrong. Owing to the amphitheatrically of the city, the harmonious coexistence of modern with the old, the combination of the mountain with the sea, the varied cultural events, which are held in modern and ancient theatres and the chances for several excursions to such places as in the nearby bright green island of Thassos and the archaeological area of Philippi, the region of Kavala has been a pole of attraction for tourists in its 2,500 years of
history. It has always been at the crossroads of culture and a stop for great travelers and army leaders, from Philip II, Alexander the Great, and Mark Antony to Apostle Paul come to Neapolis to preach the Christian faith in Europe. Additionally, we can visit the castles & the museums (Archaeological Museum, Municipal Museum, the castle of Kavala, the citadel at Philippi, the castle at Palaiochori, Anaktoroupoli at Nea Peramos, the tower at Apollonia, the castle at Orfani). Overnight in Kavala.
Day 5: Kavala – Thasos
A beautiful morning and a beautiful day are waiting for us. Today we will visit the wonderful island of Thassos the second northwest island in Greece with its picturesque landscape, unique beaches, and unforgettable ancient and modern history. We return to Kavala with Athens Taxi finishing our amazing private tour late in the afternoon. Overnight in Kavala.
Day 6: Kavala – Xanthi – Alexandroupolis
After breakfast with the Athens taxi tour driver, we will enter Thrace the birthplace of a man who inspired men, people, nations, and countries to fight for their freedom, SPARTACUS. The birthplace of DEMOCRITUS 460 – 370 BC (Avdira, Municipality, Xanthi) the originator of the ancient atomic theory. We
will drive to Xanthi, founded in 879 BC as Xanthia. In the beginning, it was a small village and it experienced all the tumultuous eras of Thracian history. Experience the orthodox & Muslim populations living harmoniously side by side in the city. The Polytechnic School of the Democritus University of Thrace is based in Xanthi. The city also features a vast array of restaurants, taverns, and ouzeri, that serve local delicacies. Special mention must be made to the seafood taverns, both in the city and those scattered around the town’s outskirts, near the sea. Xanthi is famous for its deserts and dried nuts. Plenty of cariokes, Sutzuk loukoumia, pastelia, siropiasta, hazelnuts, almonds, etc., can be found in both the stores of the Old town and the bazaar that is held every Saturday. Furthermore, Xanthi is famous throughout Greece for its carnival. Every year, and for fifteen consecutive days during the period of Mardi Gras, a grand carnival is organized with references to both local customs and traditions and modern-day life. Overnight in Alexandroupolis.
Day 7: Alexandroupolis – Evros Delta
In the morning together with Athens taxi tours, we’ll visit the city of Alexandroupolis and the Evros Delta. Alexandroupolis, the capital of Evros, occupies a leading position in the geographical area of E. Macedonia and Thrace, as it stands at the crossroads between the countries of the European
Community, the Mediterranean, Asia, and the Black Sea’s zone. It is notable as the major internal border node of the European Community. Alexandroupolis is built by the sea and has a coastline of 35km length. One of the most outstanding features of its landscape is the wetlands formed by the big rivers Evros and the Nestos that cut through it. Its antiquities date from the Paleolithic era with the appearance of the first Thracian tribes to the period of Roman domination (2nd and 3rd century B.C.), when its civilization reached its peak. The lakes and wetlands of Thrace are among the most important in Europe with perhaps more than three hundred protected species of birds. More than 200,000 wild water-birds spend their winter here. The flora has drawn the attention of ecologists.
Evros Delta constitutes one of the most important wetlands, not only in Greece but also in Europe. A surface area of 9.500 ha (8.000 ha of land and 1.500 ha of water) has been included in the list of protected wetlands of the International Ramsar Convention (1971), because it hosts important bird species. Furthermore, the Evros Delta is characterized as a Special Protection Area (SPA) and is proposed as a Site of Community Importance (pSCI) in the Natura 2000 network (according to Directives 79/409/EEC and 92/43/EEC, respectively).
A second option can be visiting Dadia forest:
The center is 50 km north of Alexandroupolis, in Evros prefecture of northern Greece. Explore the famed forest reserve of Dadia, one of the last refuges for predatory birds in Europe. It is home to 36 out of 38 of Europe‘s predatory bird species! Here are numerous ecotour options in the vicinity of Dadia.
Hiking: A number of forest paths start right next to the Center, leading to the observatory, and to the Gibrena peak (620 m.) which affords a panoramic view of the park. The park covers an area of 350,000 hectares with two ‘absolute protection’ core areas of 7,250 ha. The forest’s pines, oak, and beech trees give shelter to over 200 bird species, 40 reptile and amphibian species, small and larger mammals. Rare birds include the black vulture and the sea eagle. Surrounding the forest, a varied landscape including small rivers, valleys, and prairies delights visitors. Swim in the afternoon. Overnight in Alexandroupolis
Day 8: Alexandroupolis – Samothrace
Today Athens Taxi Tours will guide us in the island of Samothrace. In the North Aegean, lies some 34 km. southwest of the Thracian city of Alexandroupolis. It is the second-highest island in the Aegean; Mount Fengari rises to 1611m. Access to the island is by boat only. The island is small, some 176 square km., but it contains one of the ancient world’s great mystery sites, the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, including the Great Mother of Axeiros and the
Cabeiroi. Samothrace is not on the main tourist route, but the natural beauty of the island, rivers, forests, and mountains, astounds those who come here. Samothrace is rich in flora and fauna and ideal for nature lovers. We will visit some of the unique picturesque areas of the island like the circular waterfalls and have free time for swimming. Sanctuary of the Great Gods: this spacious location is situated between the mountains and the sea, is one of the most fascinating in the whole of Greece. The Great Gods predate the Gods of Olympus. The most important find from the sanctuary is the famous Winged Victory of Samothrace, now in the Louvre museum in Paris. The sanctuary has many ruins from its heyday. There is a museum on the site, which displays artifacts from the site. In the afternoon we will take the ferry back to Alexandroupolis and we will end our Athens taxi in Orestiada. Overnight in Orestiada.
Day 9: Orestiada – Didimotichon –Turkey Adrianoupoli
After breakfast, we will visit with Athens taxi tours New Orestiada, the most recently founded and northernmost town in Greece. Orestiada’s numbers just 74 years of existence, as it was built in 1923 by Greek refugees who left Andrianoupolis and Karagats after the Greek – Turkish Treaty of Lausanne. The town is in north Trace, in the Evros Prefecture, and is situated in the middle of a fertile rural area with 1.000.000 arable acres and abundant water from the rivers of Evros, Ardas, and Erithropotamos. We will visit the bridge of the Ardas river and the International youth festival’s area which takes place there every July or August.
Turkey – Edirne (Andrianoupolis),
Our Greece private taxi tour will continue to Adrianoupolis in Turkey which according to legend was build by Orestes, the son of Agamemnon (King of Mycenae) and later on was named after the Roman emperor Hadrian. During the period of the Byzantine & Ottoman Empire, it was the most important urban center of western Thrace. The city reached its zenith in the period of 1550-1920. In 1821 the inhabitants participated in the Greek revolution and experienced the brutal reaction of the Ottoman state (massacres, looting of houses and shops, burning of churches, etc.) At the end of the 19th century, the city of Adrianoupolis and the surrounding area still had 143 Greek schools. Adrianoupolis was captured on 15 July 1920 by the Greek army. The Greek presence did not last long. With the armistice of Mudanya on (29 September 1922), the Greek army was forced to leave western Thrace. The Greeks of western Thrace left their ancestral homes and followed the Greek army. Today Adrianoupolis is part of Turkey and it is famous in the area for its open market and offers good opportunities for buying goods (like leather) at attractive prices. In the afternoon Athens taxi tours will drive us back to Greece in Orestiada.
Day 10: Orestiada – Dimotica – Xanthi – Kavala – Thessaloniki – Katerini
After breakfast, our Athens taxi tours driver will drive us to the fortress-town of Demotika which played an important part in Byzantine history. In 1189 during the Third Crusade, Frederick Barbarossa held the town hostage while negotiating with Emperor Isaac II Angelos. The wounded Michael IX fled here after his defeat by the Catalan Grand Company at Aprus (1305), and here in 1341 John VI Cantacuzene had himself proclaimed emperor. The town fell to the Turks in 1361 and Murad I made it his capital for four years before transferring to Adrianopole; his son Bayezid was born here. Charles XII of Sweden stayed at Demotika in 1713-14, a virtual prisoner of Ahmed III, to whose dominions he had fled after the Battle of Poltava. Continuing our Greece private tour we will drive through the town of Evros prefecture and eastern Macedonia and arrive at Katerini through Thessaloniki and visit the famous sacred Macedonian town of DION. You will have free time for swimming in the afternoon.
Day 11: Katerini – Tempi valley – Larissa – Lamia – Thermopylae – Athens
After breakfast Athens Taxi will drive us back to Athens through the Tempi mountains, the towns of Central Greece crossing the Thessalian plain, the granary of GREECE, Larisa, and take us to visit Thermopylae, where Leonidas and the 300 Spartans fell fighting the Persian invasion force.