The Athens Marathon

  • Run the original Marathon!
  • Visit Socrates' Cave
  • Hike up to the Pynx where democracy was born
  • Stroll the Greek and Roman agoras
  • Explore the Temple of Zeus and Temple of Nike


Athens Classic MarathonAthens Classic MarathonAthens Classic MarathonAthens Classic MarathonAthens Classic MarathonAthens Classic Marathon

In 490 BC the outnumbered Greeks defeated the invading Persians on the fields of Marathon. Legend has it that a soldier named Phidippides ran 24.85 miles from Marathon to Athens to bring news of the shocking victory ("nike" in Greek). His heroic effort was memorialized in 1896 when the first modern Olympics, held in Athens, recreated the run officially dubbed the Marathon. During the 1908 London Olympic, the British changed the course to 26.2 miles.

2500 years after the original Marathon, you have the opportunity to re-trace that very legendary route. Had the Greeks not stymied the Persians from conquering the mainland, the glory of ancient Greece as the cradle of Western Civilization might never have come to pass. The Athens Marathon is an occasion for to honor the roots of a culture whose accomplishments continue to inspire greatness in each of us today.

Dates Rating Average
km/day
Total
Distance
Cost per person
in euros

October 28 - November 1

challenging

26.2 miles
42 km

26.2 miles
42 km

4 nights - 930
Single Supp - 140
6 Day Antiquities Tour
10-15 persons - 1230
16-30 persons - 1050
Single Supp - 185

Start/End Points
Tour starts and ends in Athens. Optional 6 day tour starts in Athens, ends in Nafplio with transfer to Airport (2 to 2 1/2 hour transfer)

Races
Three races held simultaneously for Marathon runners, Marathon power walkers, 10 km runners and 5 km runners.

Itinerary

Day 1: Athens
You arrive to one of the most continuously occupied cities in the world, Athens, the capital of modern Greece. Early evening a welcome toast with light meze (Greek appetizers) and a sip of raki to get you into the spirit of Greek life.

Day 2: Athens
Optional 30-45 minute morning run around the Acropolis pedestrian walkway. Today's highlight is a walking tour of the
Acropolis with a professional guide.

Day 3: Athens
Transfer to southern Attiki peninsula to admire the magnificent
Temple of Poseidon. Lunch in Marathon. Visit the memorial battlefield and return to Athens via the route you will run tomorrow. Distribute race numbers in Athens. Pre-event pasta dinner.

Day 4: Athens
Show time! Transfer to Marathon. As you run today's route try to imagine Phidippides and his exciting, sensational news -- Greece, the underdog and vanquished Persia, the superpower of 490 BC. Evening Nike/Victory dinner with traditional Greek music and dance.

Day 5: departure

DelphiOlympia, GreeceNafplion, Greecenafplion, greece

Antiquities Add-On

Day 5: Delphi
The ancients regarded Delphi as the center of the universe. Every city-state called upon the oracle before making important decisions. She prophesized for the lives of individuals, too, if you had enough resources for the sacrifice. A tour with a professional guide enlightens you about this most sacred site.

Day 6: Olympia
The earliest recorded Olympic Games were in 796 BC, 300 centuries before the Marathon. The Temple of Zeus at Ancient Olympia, part of which is still standing, was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. A professional guide takes you around the grounds plus the museum where there is an exquisite statue of Hermes.

Day 7: Stemnitsa
You don't really know Greece until you spend a little time in a traditional mountain village. Stemnitsa, population 400, lies in the heart of the Arcadia mountains and abuts the verdant Lousios Gorge. An invigorating hike takes up to a monastery on the side of a cliff and the "secret school" which came about during Greece's war for independence against the Ottoman occupation in the 1820s.

Day 8: Nafplio
Modern Greece's first capital was Nafplio, an elegant little harbor city with neo-Classical mansions and a spacious plaza. Close by is Ancient Mycenae, home of King Agamemnon who launched the Trojan War. You will marvel at his unusual beehive tomb. Tour the grounds with a professional guide.

Day 9: Nafplio
During your professional guided tour of Epidavros, you will learn that its famous theatre was not the major attraction in the ancient world as it is today. Rather, Epidavros was the largest of some 200 Asclipion centers in ancient Greece where adherents came from all over for body, mind and spirit healing, including dream therapy and rubbing snakes on their bodies. Today the outdoor Epidavros Theatre, seating 15,000, holds summer drama festivals.

Day10: departure
Transfer to Athens Airport for flights home

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