Greece in the spring is at its best. The Oldie’s editor, Harry Mount, author of Odyssey: Ancient Greece in the Footsteps of Odysseus, has devised his dream tour of the Peloponnese. For the first four nights, we will be staying in Nafplio, at the Amymone Guesthouse (www.amymone.gr). From here, we will strike out to Agamemnon’s hilltop kingdom of Mycenae. Then to Epidaurus, home to the greatest theatre in ancient Greece. We will then swing down to Monemvasia, the beautiful Byzantine town set on a rock. We will then use the Mystras Grand Palace (www.mystraspalace.com) as our base to explore both deserted Mystra and Sparta, seat of Menelaus. And for our finale, en route to Kalamata airport, we will stop for lunch in Kardamyli, home to Patrick Leigh Fermor. For lunch and dinner we will be exploring hand-picked tavernae. In depth.
Friday 17th May – Nafplion
Depart Heathrow at 1215 with Aegean Airlines, landing in Athens at 5.50pm. Transfer to Nafplio.
Saturday 18th May – Corinth
A tour of the ancient site where Bellerophon captured Pegasus. Lunch followed by a tour of the canal, which was opened in 1893.
Sunday 19th May – Epidaurus and Mycenae
After a tour of Archaia Epidaurus with its fabulous temple, we will go to the beachside Athina Tavern for lunch. From there we can swim to the sunken parts of the ancient city, which lies 20 feet from the shoreline. Then on to the citadel of Agamemnon, with its white marble temples and theatres. Homer called it ‘rich in gold’, as Schliemann discovered when he found the famous gold face mask in 1876.
Monday 20th May – Monemvasia
Museums in Greece are closed on Mondays. So this is an excellent opportunity to visit this beautiful town on a rock, accessible only by a causeway. Lunch at Matoula, which has stunning views.
Tuesday 21st May – Tiryns and Argos
Morning tour of nearby Tiryns, which dates from the 13th or 14th century BC. Homer noted its amazing walls which we can walk around as we visit the fortified Mycenaean palace. After lunch at Aigli, in Argos, Sparta’s great rival, we will visit the ruins and Larissa Castle. Transfer to the Mystras Grand Palace, near Mystra.
Wednesday 22nd May – Sparta and Mystra
Morning tour of Menelaus’s city and its acropolis; lunch followed by an afternoon tour of the old city of Mystra, largely deserted, renowned for its extraordinary Byzantine churches and views of the plain. Early supper at Chromata.
Thursday 23rd May – Kardamyli
Shopping in Kardamyli followed by lunch at I Dioskouroi, overlooking the island around which Patrick Leigh Fermor swam every day. Depart for Kalamata airport to catch the 1755 BA0
HOW TO BOOK: Call 01225 427311 or please email Katherine at firstname.lastname@example.org. Price per person: £2,250 which includes all meals, wine with meals, transport and entrances. You need to book and pay for your own flights. Single supplement: £300. A non-refundable deposit of £750 will be required, with the full balance due on 1st February 2024.