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Treasures of the Saronic Gulf

- 2-days excursion to the Methana volcanic peninsula in the Saronic Gulf near Athens -

View of Methana from Epidaurus
View of Methana from Epidaurus
View of Methana town
View of Methana town
The ancient theatre of Palia Epidavros is one of the most beautiful ancient theatres in Greece.
The ancient theatre of Palia Epidavros is one of the most beautiful ancient theatres in Greece.
Flamingos at Lake Psifta
Flamingos at Lake Psifta
The summit of the historic lava dome (256 BC)
The summit of the historic lava dome (256 BC)
Taktikoupolis village in spring
Taktikoupolis village in spring
Scenic aerial view of the northwestern cape of Methana with some of the 30 lava domes.
Scenic aerial view of the northwestern cape of Methana with some of the 30 lava domes.
Anemones
Anemones
The lava dome Rethi and anemones.
The lava dome Rethi and anemones.
The ancient tower at Thorni plain was first excavated in 1912.
The ancient tower at Thorni plain was first excavated in 1912.
The church of Agios Konstantinos&Elenis near Kounoupitsa valley and the red fruit of the strawberrytree.
The church of Agios Konstantinos&Elenis near Kounoupitsa valley and the red fruit of the strawberrytree.
The farmer Kostas on his fields.
The farmer Kostas on his fields.
The former Royal Spa of Methana
The former Royal Spa of Methana
Kameni Chora village at the feet of the young lava dome
Kameni Chora village at the feet of the young lava dome
Cafe on Methana's waterfront
Cafe on Methana's waterfront
Interior of the lava dome
Interior of the lava dome
The Saronic Gulf opposite of Athens is one of Greece's most undervalued destinations. Beyond the better known attractions such as Aegina, Poros, Hydra, and Epidauros, few people visit anything else.
Deeply intertwined with ancient history and legends, the Saronic Gulf is an area full of unspoiled nature, hidden archeological remains, charming villages and even has an active volcano (currently dormant) right in front of Aegina: the Methana peninsula with its lush, green mountains and hidden geologic treasures such as fumaroles and hot springs famous since antiquity.
On this tour which is available throughout the year at dates on request for small groups of up to 6 people, you will get to know some of the lesser known, but gorgeous destinations of this area, accompanied by an expert geologist or photographer from our team. It is a perfect addition to your visit to Athens or Greece in general and can be easily combined with your own program:
Starting in Athens, we pass the famous Corinth channel where a photo stop is almost mandatory, and soon reach the area of Epidaurus where we should visit the most famous and most beautiful of all Ancient Greek theaters. We then take you to the Methana peninsula where we spend two nights. The tour ends in Poros Island, one of the most picturesque of Greece and from here you can extend your visit of the Saronic Gulf (ferry connections to Aegina, Hydra etc) or return to Piraeus and on to other islands or back to town or the airport.
Truly a tour off the beaten track!
  • Spectacular landscapes of the Saronic Gulf
  • Active volcanic complex of Methana and hot springs
  • Canal of Corinth and the Isthmus
  • Ancient theater of Epidauros
  • Experience authentic rural Greece
  • Visit of the picturesque Island of Poros
  • Expert geologist / photographer guide

3 days Saronic Gulf & Methana

Day 1: Athens - Canal of Corinth - Epidauros - Lake Psifta - Methana
Meeting at the airport of Athens (typically around 11 am, to be agreed upon), transfer to Methana with stops at places of particular interest: Canal of Korinth, the Isthmus, the remains of the Ancient Greek and Roman port, Epidauros with its Ancient theater.
The route is very scenic and offers breathtaking views over the Saronic Gulf. Lunch in a great tavern, a locals' favorite, along the way.
Before reaching Methana, we visit the Nature reserve of lake Psifta where we can often observe flamingos.
In the afternoon / evening, we arrive in Methana, where we will go out for a good dinner in one of the local taverns.
Acc.: Family-run comfortable hotel in Methana (L, D)
Day 2: Discover the volcanically active Methana peninsula with an expert
We will explore the volcanic peninsula of Methana on a combination of short walks and excursions by car. We observe the contact between the basement and the earliest volcanic rocks, examine pumice deposit indicating violent explosive activity in the past, and climb the youngest lava dome (formed during the last eruption on land in 256 BC), with stunning lava formations and views over the area. Lunch in a cozy mountain restaurant or in a beach tavern, depending on weather etc.
Other highlights to visit include the Ancient Acropolis, a famous hot springs described already by Pausanias (2nd century AD), and visit beautiful mountain villages.
Acc.: as before (B, L, D)
Day 3: Transfer to Poros - return to Athens or own extension
Depending on your schedule, we can use the morning for another excursion on Methana (e.g. hike to an interesting bay with fumaroles), before we drive to the scenic island of Poros, a jewel among the Greek islands.
Little known is that Poros, too, was formed by volcanic activity. In Poros, you can either return to Athens via hydrofoil or ferry to Pireus, stay longer, or continue to visit other places.
Acc.: none (B)

Arrival info:

The tour starts in Athens airport typically at around 11 am and ends two days later on Poros island from where you can return to Athens or extend your stay. On request, we can also return to the airport instead.

Tour code: GRE_MTH
Tour type: Walking & study tour: photography - geology & volcanism - archaeology
Difficulty: Easy-Moderate
Group size: 1-6
Duration: 3 days / 2 nights

Dates:

Custom and group dates
15-17 Jun 2019

Price (p.p.): from 320 EUR p.p.

Included:

  • All transfers in private car or minibus during the tour, from the airport of Athens and to the island of Poros
  • English- and German-speaking expert tour guide
  • Accommodation in Methana (comfortable private hotel)
  • Full board in local taverns & restaurants (2x breakfast, 2x dinner, 2x lunch)

Tour guide:

The tour is normally guided either by German volcanologist Dr. Tom Pfeiffer or photographer Tobias Schorr. Both have been traveling to the volcanic areas of Greece including the Saronic Gulf for more than 20 years.
Tom finished his PhD studies about the great Minoan eruption of Santorini and spends much of his time in Athens. His friend Tobias, with whom Tom alternates on this tour, is a true specialist for Greece in general: he has lived permanently on Methana for about 10 years and has been returning ever since. He perfectly knows the culture and history, people, flora, fauna and of course geology. He is legendary for his good eye and often discovering rare minerals, plants, animals, or hidden archeological artifacts during the various excursions.
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