History Tour, City Center, Athens (Self Guided)

Athens is one of the oldest and culturally richest cities in the world, the city's ancient streets and buildings are steeped in history and legend. We invite you to take a stroll through the city center and its ancient streets and see history come alive. This walking tour includes such important historic monuments as the Tower of the Winds, Stoa of Attalos, Temple of Hephaestus, and many other sights.
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History Tour, City Center Map

Guide Name: History Tour, City Center
Guide Location: Greece » Athens (See other walking tours in Athens)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 14
Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 km
Author: emily
National Historical Museum

1) National Historical Museum

The National Historical Museum is a repository and research center showcasing the modern history of Greece. It is housed in the building that was once the Greek parliament.

The National Historical Museum has exhibits from the 15th to the 20th centuries. The building was once the house of prominent Greek merchant, A.I. Kontostavlos. In 1837, it became the residence of king Otto of Greece. After King Otto was forced to grant a constitution to the people of Greece, it was converted into a parliament house where both the parliament and senate met in 1844. A fire destroyed the original parliament building and a new neoclassical style structure with two amphitheaters one for meetings of the parliament and the other for the senate was designed by architect, Francois Boulanger. Construction began in 1858 and was completed in 1875. From 1875 to 1935, it remained the official parliament house of Greece.

The Historical and Ethnological Society of Greece took over the building in 1962 and converted it into a museum dedicated to Modern Greek history. Exhibits showcase the Frankish rule, the Ottoman era and the independence movements. There are also objects that relate to Modern Greek scholars and clergymen and the international Philhellenes, a group of thinkers including the English poet, Lord Byron who fought to deliver Greece from Turkish rule.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea

2) Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea

The Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea is a nice little church and one of the oldest in the city of Athens. The church is located in the center of the modern city of Athens, right in the middle of the high-traffic shopping area of Ermou street, at the edge of the Plaka district. It is estimated that the church was built some time in the 11th century, perhaps around 1050. As it was common with the early Christian churches, this was built over an ancient Greek pagan temple dedicated to the worship of a goddess, possibly Athena or Demeter. It appears that the Kapnikarea church may have originally been the katholikon of a monastery. Presently, the building is formed by a complex of three different units attached together; these units were built in succession: the largest south church dedicated to the Presentation of Mary to the Temple, the chapel of St Barbara on the northern side and the exonarthex with the propylon, which are today on the western end.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Metropolitan Cathedral

3) Metropolitan Cathedral

This cathedral church, more popularly known as the "Metropolis", has recently been cleaned, restored and reopened to visitors. The interior decoration, with elaborate icons, decorations, and detailed murals, is beautiful and a great example of Greek Orthodox faith.

Construction of the church began on Christmas Day, 1842, with the laying of the cornerstone by King Otto and Queen Amalia of Greece. Workers used marble from 72 demolished churches to build the structure's immense walls. Three architects and 20 years later, it was complete.

Inside are the tombs of two saints killed by the Ottoman Turks during the Ottoman period: Saint Philothei and Patriarch Gregory V. In the Square in front of the Cathedral stand two statues of the last Byzantine Emperor, killed defending Constantinople against the Turks, as well as of the World War II Archbishop who worked to save Athens' Jews from the Nazi persecution. The square itself is much quieter than Syntagma Square and is a great spot to escape the bustle while having a drink in one of the cafes.

Opening Hours:
Daily 6:30am-7pm
Tsisdarakis Mosque

4) Tsisdarakis Mosque

The Tsisdarakis Mosque is an Ottoman Mosque built when the Turks ruled Greece. After the defeat of the Turks, the building has been put to many varied uses. Today, it houses a small museum.

The Tsisdarakis Mosque was built by the Ottoman governor of Athens, Mustafa Aga Tsisdarakis in 1759. An inscription within the mosque gives a history of the construction of the building. The limestone used to build the structure was taken from the columns of the temple of the Olympian Zeus. The minaret of the mosque was destroyed during the Greek revolution in 1821.

After Turkish rule came to an end in Athens, the army took over the building. It was used at first as a guardhouse in 1847. Later the army used it as a prison, a barrack and a warehouse. In 1915, the structure was restored by Anastassios Orlandos to house the Greek Museum of handicrafts. In 1923 the name was changed to the Greek museum of decorative arts and in 1959 became the Greek museum of folk art.

Today the Tsisdarakis Mosque building houses a collection of ceramics and pottery. In addition to antique objects, exhibits displayed include works by artists from the Center for the study of Traditional Pottery.
Hadrian's Library

5) Hadrian's Library

This ruined building is a colonnaded structure on the Acropolis built in 132 AD by the Roman Emperor, Hadrian. His rule was a time of peace, prosperity and when arts and culture flourished. The library is an example of the cultural institutions established during his reign.

The ruin of the building that once was Hadrian’s library has the structure of a Roman forum. It had a single entrance through a Propylon or gateway with Corinthian columns. It had a high wall surrounding the entire exterior with protruding semicircular recesses. The central courtyard had an oblong pool. The courtyard was surrounded by over a hundred columns.

The library was on the eastern part of the structure. During Hadrian’s reign, it was a storehouse of valuable rolls of papyrus and other artwork. The building had many chambers used as reading rooms and some were lecture halls. The library was damaged during the invasion of Herules and was restored again by the Roman leader of Athens, Herculius. Later, three Byzantine churches were built within the ruins of the library. A Byzantine 5th century church, a 7th century church and a 12th century cathedral form part of the ruins within Hadrian’s Library today. The Hadrian’s Library is a unique example of Roman architecture in Athens.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Mosque of Mehmet the Conqueror

6) Mosque of Mehmet the Conqueror

The Mosque of Mehmet the Conqueror is located inside the Roman Agora site. It dates from around 1458. This mosque commemorates the Fall of Constantinople. Nowadays it serves as a storage of archaeological materials.
Museum of Popular Music Instruments

7) Museum of Popular Music Instruments

This small museum has a wide range of traditional Greek musical instruments arranged in three halls on three floors. It is housed in the Lassanis Mansion, belonging to a wealthy Athenian family, built in 1842.

Eminent Greek musicologist, Fivos Anoyanakis, researched traditional folk instruments for 50 years. The museum now houses exhibits gathered by him from different parts of the country, featuring musical instruments used by Greek performers from 1750 onwards.

The displayed instruments are grouped by the material responsible for their sound. They are divided into four sections, such as drums, wind instruments, string instruments and bells. Only half of the instruments available in the collection are on display at a given time. Others are used by researchers or form part of traveling exhibitions organized by the museum and held in schools all over the country. Each exhibit has a detailed description and visitors can listen to the recorded sound that the instrument makes.

The museum has a research center, warehouse, archives and a shop in the building that was once the stables of the Lassanis Mansion. The shop stocks CDs and cassettes of Greek folk music. Concerts are organized in the courtyard during summer.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Tower of the Winds

8) Tower of the Winds

One of the earliest examples of a clock tower, the Tower of the Winds is located in the Roman Agora in Athens. The design has inspired observatories around Europe and the U.K.

The Tower of the Winds was designed in 50 BC by the astronomer, Andronicus of Cyrrhus. The octagonal structure is 12 meters tall and has a diameter of 8 meters. It once had a bronze weather vane on top with a sculpture of the sea God, Triton. The points of the octagon have friezes depicting the eight wind Gods who control the wind at each compass point. The tower also had sundials and a complicated water clock called the Clepsydra.

After the Roman era, the tower served many purposes. During Christian times, it served as a bell tower for a church. When the Ottoman Turks ruled Greece, it became a meeting place for whirling dervishes who used the structure to perform their meditative dance. Turkish inscriptions on the walls show that the tower had sunk to half its height during Ottoman rule. The Archeological Society of Athens excavated the structure and restored it to its original height in the 19th century. The Tower of the Winds, designed to calculate time, is a well preserved structure that has survived the ravages of time.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Athens University Museum

9) Athens University Museum

Housed in one of the few surviving Ottoman buildings in the city, the Athens University Museum is dedicated to the display of scholarly exhibits. It also hosts international and national scientific meetings and seminars organized by the University of Athens.

In 1831, the architect, Stamatios Klanthis, bought and developed the old Ottoman building along with his friend and partner, Eduard Schaubert. The two architects later designed the modern city of Athens. When they were in residence, it was the venue for informal meetings of intellectuals and artists. It was taken over by the Greek government in 1835 and served different purposes over the years. It first housed a secondary school, but later became the newly established Greek University. The Greek ministry of education had its offices in the building and then it was used by the army until 1861.

In 1963, the House of Kleanthis was declared a listed building by the Greek Archaeological Service and donated it to the University of Athens in 1967. The building was restored and converted into a museum. Exhibits displayed here include rare editions of books and scientific abstracts, early editions of newspapers and magazines, letters of significance, portraits by 19th century Greek painters and banners, flags and medals that relate to the University of Athens. There is also an impressive collection of scientific instruments used in physics, chemistry and pharmacology laboratories.
Church of the Holy Apostles

10) Church of the Holy Apostles

The church of the Holy Apostles Solaki is located within the ancient Agora in Athens. It is one of the few Byzantine churches that remains intact from the 10th century.

The church of the Holy Apostles was built over a 2nd century Nymphaeum or monument dedicated to nymphs in classical Greece. The name Solaki may be from the family who sponsored one of its many renovations. The church is one of the finest surviving examples of Byzantine architecture. The design has a central pier with cross in square forms that is descriptive of the Athenian type of Byzantine architecture. The floor plan is in the form of a cross. There are apses on four sides and the entrance of the church is from the east. Four pillars support the dome. Originally, the church had a marble floor and altar.

Through the ages extensions and ornamentations were added to the church. The interiors of the building have impressive frescoes that were probably painted during the 17th century. Though the church was one of the oldest surviving structures of the Byzantine era, additions and extensions had altered its original appearance. Between 1954 and 1956, the American Archeological School in the Agora carried out extensive restorations and the building today, is almost identical to the structure that housed the church in the 10th century.
Sight description based on wikipedia
Ancient Agora Museum / Stoa of Attalos

11) Ancient Agora Museum / Stoa of Attalos (must see)

The Ancient Agora Museum is housed in the reconstructed Stoa of Attalos, a most impressive stoa originally built during the 2nd century BC. A stoa is a covered walkway that's commonly built for public use. This stoa was built by and named after King Attalos II of Pergamon who made it a gift to Athens during his rule. The stoa was more elaborate and larger than earlier buildings in ancient Athens. Its dimensions are 115 meters long by 20 meters wide and it is made of Pentelic marble and limestone. The building skillfully makes use of different architectural orders. The Doric order was used for the exterior colonnade on the ground floor with Ionic for the interior colonnade. It is rather like a modern shopping mall but much more beautiful.

The exhibition in the Museum gallery holds archaeological finds from systematic excavations in the area. The exhibits are dated from the Neolithic to the Post-byzantine and Ottoman periods. And to no one's surprise, most are connected with Athenian democracy. The museum's collection includes clay, bronze and glass objects, sculptures, coins and inscriptions from the 7th to the 5th century BC. Notable also is the pottery of the Byzantine period and the Turkish occupation. The museum has no separate fee as entry is always included in the Agora ticket.

Why You Should Visit:
Gives you a real sense of the size and grandeur of ancient public buildings; it is rather like a modern shopping mall but much more beautiful.

The price of entry is included in the Agora ticket. Upper level has a sweeping view of the grounds!

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-8pm (Apr 13-Oct 31)
On Tuesdays, the museum opens at 10am
Temple of Hephaestus

12) Temple of Hephaestus (must see)

The temple dedicated to Hephaestus is the best preserved ancient Greek temple, partly because it was transformed into a Greek Orthodox church from the 7th until the 19th centuries. It is located at the north-west side of the Agora, on top of a hill, and really gives a feel of the true scale of an actual Greek temple, due to the structure being basically intact.

In Greek mythology, Hephaestus was the god of fire and metalwork, so he is also described as the god of blacksmiths and artisans. No one but him was able to build the beautiful, indestructible bronze mansions where all the other Olympians lived.

The temple's construction started in 449 BC, and some scholars believe the building has not been completed for some three decades, as funds and workers were redirected towards the Parthenon. According to the “Description of Greece” written by the great Greek traveler Pausanias in the 2nd century AD, the temple housed the bronze statues of Athena and Hephaestos. Trees and shrubs were planted around the temple, creating a small garden. So if you visit, you will have some shady spots as well as great views of other sites from the temple. It is really advisable to get an audio guide as soon as you arrive, as it provides a much better story to the experience.

Why You Should Visit:
Not as enormous as the remains of the Parthenon or the few ruins of the gigantic temple of the Olympian Zeus but it gives a feel of the true scale of these amazing structures, as the structure is basically intact.

You can visit this site as part of the Acropolis multi-site ticket, which is highly recommended.
It is really advisable to get an audio guide, as this provides a much better story to the experience.
While you cannot walk inside the structure, you can walk around it to see the decorative frizes that surround it.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8:30am-6pm (Winter); 8am-8pm (Summer)
Kerameikos Cemetery

13) Kerameikos Cemetery (must see)

The Kerameikos is an ancient cemetery where many wealthy Athenians were buried in classical times. It is also the site where two important procession roads, the Panathenaic Way that led to the Acropolis and the Sacred Way that led to Eleusis from Athens, met.

The Keramiekos gets its name from the potter community in Athens. In classical times it may have been the potter’s quarter of the city. It had two gateways, one called the Dipylon that stood on the road that led to the Acropolis and the Sacred Gate that stood on the road that led to Eleusis. A ruined building with a courtyard called the Pompeion where costumes and other objects required for religious processions were stored is also located at the site. The cemetery lies along the sides of the gateways. It was used for the burial of the dead, from the 9th century BC until the end of the Roman reign. The Street of Tombs within the Kerameikos is flanked by tombstones on the graves of wealthy Athenians.

The Kerameikos has a small museum displaying sculpture, pottery, and tombstones discovered during excavations at the site. These include a beautiful marble bull that was found over the grave of Dionysus of Kolitos.

Why You Should Visit:
The combination of archaeology and classical sculpture makes this one of the more interesting ancient sites in Athens.
Many people don't know about this place so it doesn't get crowded very easily, and you can visit any time of the day as there is plenty of shade if needed.

There is a hill near the entrance where you can see the whole cemetery and also a small church.
Walk to the site from Monastiraki and you'll find lots of interesting places on the way, too!

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8:30am-3pm (Winter); 8am-7:30pm (Summer)
Sight description based on wikipedia
Kerameikos Archaeological Museum

14) Kerameikos Archaeological Museum (must see)

The Kerameikos Museum forms part of the Kerameikos archeological site. The Kerameikos is an ancient cemetery near the Roman Agora in Athens and the exhibits are artifacts and pottery from the tombs.

The Kerameikos Museum was built in 1937. The design of the museum was by architect, H. Johannes. The funds for the museum came from a trust established by American philanthropist, Gustav Oberlaender. As archeological excavations unearthed an increasing number of objects in the cemetery, it became necessary to expand the existing museum. In the 1960s, the structure was enlarged with the help of a generous donation by the Boehringer Brothers.

Objects at the museum relate to the customs followed by Athenians during funerals. There are urns, items offered at the grave, stone engravings, tombstones, and funeral sculpture. There are Loutrophoroi pots with a long neck usually kept in the graves of unmarried women. Tombstone sculptures include sculptures of sphinxes, a relief stele of Euphoros from the grave of a young man with its colors intact and the monument of Dexileos. The monument consists of a relief of a young man astride a horse depicting Dexileos who died at the age of 20 fighting the Corinthians. One of the treasures is a marble bull found on the grave of Dionysus of Kolitos.

The tombstones in the cemetery today, are replicas. The original tombstones excavated at the site are displayed at the Kerameikos Museum.

Why You Should Visit:
Unlike the Acropolis Museum, you're allowed to take pictures as long as you don't use a flash. While it may be smaller, many exhibits here are in better condition than those in the Acropolis Museum.
Overall, this is a good place to see part of the city walls which were built in 478 BC. Plus, it's outside, so you can see the leftovers of the architectures while enjoying the sun.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 8am-8pm
Sight description based on wikipedia

Walking Tours in Athens, Greece

Create Your Own Walk in Athens

Create Your Own Walk in Athens

Creating your own self-guided walk in Athens is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Athenian Museums Tour

Athenian Museums Tour

Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world, steeped in history and culture, this is a fact know to everyone. As such, the city is literally packed with museums, museums which house an inestimable treasure of the Greek civilization. The tour below will guide you through some of the most significant museums in Athens.

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.2 km
Walking Tour Around Athenian Exarcheia

Walking Tour Around Athenian Exarcheia

Exarcheia is a district of Athens, it is next to Kolonaki and shares in the abundance of historic buildings and landmarks. The district is home to the Academy of Athens, the National Archaeological Museum, Cultural Centre of Athens, and many others. Exarcheia is also a famed shopping destination, being originally named after a merchant who opened a large general store here more than a hundred...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.6 km
City Center Nightlife

City Center Nightlife

Athens is one of the hottest nightlife destinations in southern Europe. If you want to have an unforgettable night out, this walking tour is definitely what you need! We offer you a walk around the heart of the Greek capital, with stops at some of the most popular clubs and bars in this fascinating city.

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.2 km
Walking Tour Around the Peaceful National Garden

Walking Tour Around the Peaceful National Garden

The National Garden is an impressive, historic park in the center of Athens. Formerly known as the Royal Garden, it was commissioned by Queen Amalia in 1838, reason why it is located right behind the Old Palace (currently the Greek Parliament). Many major tourist attractions are situated in and around this peaceful site. The following tour will guide you through this Garden and the amazing...  view more

Tour Duration: 2 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.3 km
Walking Tour Around the Legendary Acropolis

Walking Tour Around the Legendary Acropolis

The Acropolis of Athens is famous all over the world, it is the symbol of the city of Athens. The first habitation remaining on this site dates back to the Neolithic period. The Acropolis hill is also called the "Sacred rock" of Athens, as it was home to temples and churches throughout recorded history. It is the one historic site you cannot miss!

Tour Duration: 1 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.0 km
City Orientation Walk

City Orientation Walk

Athens is one of the oldest European cities, widely regarded as the birthplace of Western Civilization. Its history begins in the Neolithic period between 4th and 3rd millennium BC. The first settlement on the site of Athens was situated on the rock of Acropolis which means “high city” in Greek.

According to the Greek mythology, the name “Athens” emerged from a competition between the...  view more

Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 5.6 km

Useful Travel Guides for Planning Your Trip

Souvenirs Shopping: 19 Uniquely Greek Products to Bring from Athens

Souvenirs Shopping: 19 Uniquely Greek Products to Bring from Athens

A cradle of European civilization, Greece, in general, and Athens, in particular, have long been - from the days of the Roman Empire up until present - the lure for travelers and history buffs seeking to find and bring home something memorable. Today's Athens (much as its ancient self) offers a...
15 Best Cafes in Athens

15 Best Cafes in Athens

While in Athens it is immediately noticeable that the local cafe culture thriving. Through this directory you will get a chance to visit very different establishments, ranging from "kafenia", to hip, modern coffee shops and get first hand experience of the diversity of contemporary Greek...
A Self-Guided Food Walk in Athens

A Self-Guided Food Walk in Athens

Just as many things in Greece, dining in Athens is very much laid-back with the majority of local eateries seeing patrons begin to congregate for dinner only after 8 pm. Eating-wise, the Athenians favor simplicity, leaning to the more casual and not so pricey tavernas where food is plentiful. To...

Tips for Exploring City on Foot at Your Own Pace

Whether you are in Athens for a quick stopover or have a few days to see the city in more detail, exploring it on foot, at your own pace, is definitely the way to go. Here are some tips for you to save money, see the best Athens has to offer, take good care of your feet while walking, and keep your mobile device – your ultimate "work horse" on this trip - well fed and safe.

Saving Money with City Passes

To save yourself time and money visiting Athens's multiple sights, you may want to resort to the so-called city passes, such as the Athens Tourist Card, Athens City Pass, or Athens Museum Pass.

A city pass combines all or multiple Athens's top highlights, tours and experiences in one prepaid attractions pass, using which you can save incredible amounts on general admission fees as compared to purchasing tickets separately. Often, a city pass also allows you to skip the lines at major attractions, thus saving you precious time.

Staying at Walk-Friendly Hotels

Since you're keen on exploring cities on foot (we assume that you are, and this is why you're here), it is important that you stay at a hotel close to the city's major attractions. It saves you time and energy. Here are a few of Athens hotels that are conveniently located, but at the same time, also not so ridiculously expensive: Electra Hotel Athens, Hotel Grande Bretagne, King George.

Taking Care of Your Feet

To ensure ultimate satisfaction from a day of walking around the city as big as Athens, it is imperative to take good care of your feet so as to avoid unpleasant things like blisters, cold or overheated soles, itchy, irritated or otherwise damaged (cracked) skin, etc. Luckily, these days there is no shortage of remedies to address (and, ideally, to prevent) these and other potential problems with feet. Among them: Compression Socks, Rechargeable Battery-Powered Thermo Socks for Cold Weather, Foot Repair Cream, Deodorant Powder, Shoes UV Sterilizer, and many more that you may wish to find a place in your travel kit for.

Travel Gadgets for Your Mobile Device

Your mobile phone or tablet will be your work horse on a self-guided walk. They offer tour map, guide you from one attraction to another, and provide informative background for the sights you wish to visit. Therefore it is absolutely essential to plan against unexpected power outages in the wrong place at the wrong time, much as to ensure the safety of your device.

For these and other contingencies, here's the list of useful appliances: Portable Charger/External Battery Pack, Worldwide Travel Charger Adapter, Power Converter for International Travel Adapter, and Mobile Device Leash.

Exploring City on Guided Tours

We have a strong bias towards exploring a city on foot, at your own pace, because this is how you get to see things up close with a maximum freedom. You decide how much time you wish to spend at each attraction and don't have to worry about following a crowd. That said, however, we also understand that some of you may want to go with a guided tour. If that is your case, here are some guided tours to consider. Be ready to fork out a bit of money, though, as a guided tour of Athens typically costs somewhere between US$15 and US$100 or more per person:

- Board a hop-on hop-off double-decker to enjoy sightseeing of Athens from the open top of the bus, listening in the headsets to the commentary provided in a variety of languages, and be able get on and off at any of the stops along the three interconnecting routes (your ticket is valid for all three).

- Explore Athens in its entirety, from the beautiful beaches to historic treasures, on a similar hop-on hop-off double-decker sightseeing tour running straight from the sea shore all year round! Ideal for those arriving on cruise ships!

- Embark on a self-balancing Segway tour of night Athens – this usually lasts about 3 hours and allows visitors to get a real sense of the Greek capital in its nighttime ambiance. Most people (even those aged 70+) find it quite fun and convenient, enabling to cover much more ground than you otherwise would have by walking.

- Pedal your way around Athens on a 3.5-hour bike tour visiting the city's most spectacular sights, stopping at each of them for a bit of rest, watching the surroundings, and learning much about the city from an informative group leader.

- Acquaint yourself up-close with the wonders of Ancient Greece on a 3-hour walking tour of UNESCO-listed Acropolis and other fascinating sights within its walls, plus many more historic and otherwise notable attractions in Athens.

- Awaken your taste buds to an array of authentic Greek delicacies on a 4-hour guided gourmet food walk in Athens during which you will sample some of the finest street food in the city. Apart from feasting on the local specialties, with each bite you will also learn about the culinary history of Athens.

Day Trips

If you have a full or half day to spare whilst in Athens, why not use it to explore some of the out-of-town destinations like Delphi, Meteora, Mycenae and Epidaurus, Corinth, or Cape Sounion and Temple of Poseidon. For as little as circa US$50 to US$120 per person you will get a chance to discover the highlights of the UNESCO World Heritage sites including fascinating monuments of Greek mythology and history, immerse in Greece’s spectacular scenery, admire the beauty of the local countryside replete with breathtaking views, scenic monasteries and villages existent for centuries, explore ancient ruins, and more. For any of these tours you will be picked up either straight from your hotel or a designated place in Athens, and transported by a comfortable air-conditioned coach, minibus, train or private vehicle (whichever is applicable) to the destination of your choice and back again.