The Forgotten Greece tour will last 9 days/8 nights. Here is a sample itinerary, subject to further “surprise” additions :

 

Friday 10th of May : After arriving to Athens, we will meet and greet at the hotel lobby at 1700 hrs, and set off for a spot of urban exploration : We will visit some of the notable modernist and brutalist architectural gems of the capital, and walk through its plucky urban neighbourhoods, tuning to the underdog rhythms of this great city. We will then sit for dinner in one of the many ethnic restaurants of Athens, sample awesome cuisine, and get a feel of the melting pot of cultures it has always been.

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Refugee Apartments of the 1920’s, Athens (© Dimorsitanos)

Saturday 11th of May : Quite an array of obscure locations ahead on our first morning. We will depart for gritty Eleusina, and visit its industrial zone and ship graveyard. We will then visit the Corinth Canal, explore a secret World War 2 bunker and discover some unusual and forgotten ancient ruins. Most of the locations we will visit on this day are hardly ever advertised, let alone formally open to the public. We will retire to a classy seaside location for a great buffet dinner and sunset chill.

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Rust with possibilities

Sunday 12th of May : This should be a long, and interesting day. There will be an early rise this morning, to make it to the first train of the day at Diakopto. We will ride on a historic 19th century mountain railway through a gorge of unparalleled beauty, and end up at Kalavryta, where we will visit the site and memorial of the most notorious crime against humanity performed performed in occupied Greece during World War 2. We will then double back for a memorable lunch in one of the minuscule villages inside the gorge, and recharge our batteries with a spot of trekking in the fresh mountain air. In the afternoon, we will arrive at the city of Patras, visit its imposing abandoned factories and swimming pool, and enjoy a great night out.

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The Kalavryta Massacre Memorial

Monday 13th of May : We will depart for Kyparissia in the morning, where we will visit an abandoned train station. In the afternoon, we will be acquainted with a number of local legends, and visit the strangely alluring Fairytale Castle and the region’s Little Paris. This will be a relaxing day, and we’ll sample some great cuisine – and enjoy what’s arguably one of the most beautiful sunsets on our planet.

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All aboard !

Tuesday 14th of May : We will depart early to explore rugged territory. We will visit lost and forgotten catacombs, encounter a strange pyramid, and enjoy a  staple lunch from a guerilla mountain lookout – just like the old times. The afternoon will be free, and in the evening, we will enjoy a traditional home cooked meal prepared exclusively for us with the finest local ingredients.

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The Pyramid at Maniaki

Wednesday 15th of May : Early on the road again this morning, and the first stop is the Well of Meligalas, site of an infamous, and still divisive, civil war atrocity. We will then approach old Spartan territory through the Arcadian Gate of Ancient Messene, and spend a few hours exploring this incredible ancient site, where we will become familiar with the dark culture of Sparta. We will set off for Sparta itself the same afternoon, and visit a wonderful modernist cemetery before we retire for the day.

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About that cemetery…

Thursday 16th of May : This day will be fully dedicated to abandoned sites. We will be the first persons into the amazing ruins of Mystras, the seat of the last emperor of Byzantium. It’s a UNESCO Heritage site – but one definitely worth seeing, and we will immerse in the ghostly abandonment of this majestic location for several hours. In the afternoon, we will depart for Gytheio, where we will explore a derelict resort, and swim in the crystal waters of its once private beach. We will then catch a nearby shipwreck at sundown, before we make our way to magical Monemvasia, a medieval island fortress where we will spend the night.

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Abandoned majesty at Mystras

Friday 17th of May : We will spend an easy morning in Monemvasia, the living medieval city, and be transported to another time through exploring its many nooks and crannies. In the afternoon, we will depart for Athens, with a couple of interesting stop overs along the way : The imposing, smoke-spewing lignite power stations at Megalopoli, and the weirdly eclectic church of Agia Fotini in Mantineia.  We will arrive in Athens in the evening, and engage in a “surprise” farewell activity before our delicious farewell dinner party.

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The dramatic scenery at Megalopoli (photo © Ulrich Tichy)

Saturday 18th of May :  Farewells and departures.