Future 2019/20 dates :

20 to 25 October 2019  – 16 to 21 February 2020 

The Forgotten Greece tour will last 6 days/5 nights. Here is a sample itinerary, subject to further “surprise” additions :

Sunday 12th 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)

Monday 13th 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 the city of Patra that evening, for a great dinner and sunset chill.

Elefsina
Rust with possibilities

Tuesday 14th 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 return to Patras and visit its imposing abandoned industrial area and derelict swimming pool. The evening will find us at Kyparissia, where we will check in at an alternative farmhouse.

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The Kalavryta Massacre Memorial

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 then push on towards Methoni, visiting its abandoned early Christian catacombs. Then back to Kyparissia for the afternoon, where we will be acquainted with a number of local legends, and visit the strangely alluring Fairytale Castle and the region’s Little Paris, as well as an abandoned train station.  For dinner, we will sample the region’s finest delicacy: gournopoula (whole roast suckling pig). 

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About that cemetery…

Thursday 16th of May : An early start in the morning, to be among 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. We will then visit an incredible modernist cemetery in the region. 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 : In the morning, 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 afternoon, and head straight to the airport for those catching a flight that evening. For those who are staying the night in Athens, we will engage in a “surprise” activity before our delicious farewell dinner party.

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The dramatic scenery at Megalopoli (photo © Ulrich Tichy)

 

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