Expert-Led Group Tour

Greece Group Tour - Ancient Epirus and beyond

Departing 3rd - 11th September 2020

9 days

from £3,495pp
  • Retrace the step of the famous battle of Leonidas and his 300 spartans
  • Explore the archaeological site of Nikopolis, the largest in size, ancient city in Greece
  • Travel through the Zagori region, home to the stunning Pindus mountain range
  • Explore the labyrinthine passageways of the Sanctuary of Persephone and Hades

This is a Greece with a difference, focusing not only on the great poleis or city-states of the south but on some of the fascinating sites of the regions of Acarnania, Epirus and Boeotia. The names of these regions of ancient Greece may be unfamiliar, but the events, personalities and settings will be well-known. Accompanied by Greek historian, Carolyn Perry, who will bring this region to live.

In Acarnania you will see where the Battle of Actium, between Octavian and Antony and Cleopatra, took place, in Epirus visit Dodona the city of Olympias, mother of Alexander the Great, and capital of King Pyrrhus, and in Boeotia pass by the site of the battle of Thermopylae, where the legend of the 300 Spartans was forged.

The Greek landscape, characterised by its mountain chains, gorges and jagged coastline, provides a spectacular backdrop to the history of this mesmerizing region.

Why should I join this group tour?

For the expertise of Carolyn Perry, as well as the opportunity to travel with like-minded individuals to a region of Greece that offers a fascinating history.

"Carolyn Perry is excellent; well prepared, always smiling and ready to answer questions.", Greece Group tour with Carolyn.

What is the accommodation like in Greece?

We have carefully selected a range of small comfortable hotels and boutique three to four-star guest houses for this group tour. Where possible, we have chosen properties with wonderful locations.

Is this tour suitable for solo travellers?

Our group tours are perfect for solo travellers, as travelling as part of an organised group in faraway places does provide security and peace of mind. We handle all the arrangements for you and there will be a local tour guide on hand throughout to provide advice and help if needed, as well as the expertise of a Tour Lecturer.

If you are willing to share, we will always do our best to match you up with another solo traveller of the same sex so that you do not have to pay for a single room.

If you would prefer the privacy of your own room and would like this guaranteed, then the single room price supplement will apply.

How fit do I need to be to enjoy this tour?

You do not need to be particularly fit to participate, there are no long walks involved but there will be a certain number of stone steps and uneven surfaces.

What is the food in Greece like?

Greek cuisine offers a unique blend of Mediterranean flavours, representing a rich historical past.

From baked lamb with yoghurt to fresh vibrant salads - the Greeks live for lunch. The main food in Greece is characterised by the use of spices such as black pepper and Mediterranean herbs such as oregano, mint, basil and rosemary. In the cooking of meat and fish, chilli pepper and garlic is used to good effect. In true Greek style, take lunch at a local’s house to try homemade sheep's cheese (feta), made from traditional methods in the mountains and washed down with the local hooch, raki...not for the faint-hearted!

What will the weather be like in Greece in September?

Not excessively hot but the days should be clear and sunny. When travelling in mountainous areas the weather can vary.

Departing on:
  • 3rd September 2020

For a detailed itinerary or to book your place on this tour, please contact us.

STARTFINISHPrice Excluding Flights £Flight cost fromSingle SupplementTour ExpertStatus 
3rd Sep 2020 11th Sep 2020 £ 3,495 £ 225 £ 460 Carolyn Perry Limited
  Click here to see what is included/excluded

what is included

  • Accommodation (as indicated)
  • Accompanied by a local guide throughout
  • Accompanied by Carolyn Perry throughout
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Entrance Fees
  • Entrance Fees to Sites and Museums
  • Gratuities for local guides, drivers and porters
  • Meals (as indicated)
  • Transportation (as indicated)

what is excluded

  • International flights
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Travel Insurance
  • Visa


Itinerary at a glance

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Day 1

Arrival into Athens. Transfer to Patras

On arrival you will be met by Carolyn Perry, your tour expert, and your local guide. Transfer by private vehicle to Patras.

The journey from Athens to Patras should take around four and a half hours with a short stop en route.

Athens is often referred to as the historical capital of Europe, given its long history which dates back to the Neolithic age. In 1834, Athens became the capital of the modern Greek state and since then has become an attractive and contemporary metropolis with unrivalled charm. The marketplace of Agora is one of the most interesting archaeological sites to visit, having been the heart of public life in Socrates and Plato's day.

Group welcome dinner

This evening, there will be a welcome dinner introducing Carolyn Perry, your tour expert for this group tour, and your local guide, both of whom will travel with you throughout your time in Greece.

The largest city in the Peloponnese, Patras is a picturesque city named after King Patreas, who ruled Achaia around 1100 BC, he then settled here along with other Achaeans. Patras didn't play an important part in Greek history till 146 BC, when it was conquered by the Romans. The city is built at the foothills of Mount Panachaikon, overlooking the Gulf of Patras.

Welcome dinner included.

You will be staying at Patras Smart Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 2

Patras to Messolonghi, Oiniadai, Stratos and Preveza

Depart Patras for Messolonghi, a journey of around 45 minutes. Messolonghi is a town of glorious cultural and historical past famously known as the location of the most dramatic moments of the Greek Revolution of 1821 and the two sieges of Missolonghi Exodus.

On arrival, visit the hillside archaeological site of Plevron with its extensive Hellenistic walls and well-constructed cistern. The name Plevron refers to two settlements, the older of which was at the foot of Mount Curium between the river Acheloos and the river Evenos. Also, of interest is the small theatre set into the walls.

Continue via Aitolikon to Oiniadai which was a strategically important town as the key to South Akarnania and as such, was the subject of many attacks, including those by the Athenians Pericles and Demosthenes. See the theatre which features inscriptions recording the freeing of slaves, the dockyards and fortifications. After lunch visit the 4th century unfinished temple of Zeus at Straton. 

Finally, continue to your coastal base at Preveza on the strait of the Ambracian Gulf, the former site of Berenika, a city founded by Pyrrhus in honour of his mother-in-law, Queen Berenice I, wife of Ptolemy I.

Breakfast and dinner included.

You will be staying at Dioni Boutique Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 3

Preveza to Orraon and Arta

Morning visit to the little-known archaeological site of Orraon, a well-preserved Molossian hill settlement with striking remains of its narrow streets and two-storey high buildings.

In the afternoon, visit the early 3rd-century theatre and the strongly fortified walls of the ancient city of Ambracia, spending some two hours on site. Ambracia is an ancient Corinthian colony and the capital (from 294 BCE) of Pyrrhus. In 189 BCE it was destroyed by the Romans.

This evening, walk over Arta’s packhorse bridge to a riverside tavern, for dinner.

Situated at the mouth of the Ambracian Gulf, Preveza is a charming coastal city. The ruins of the ancient city of Nikopolis, lie four miles north of Preveza.

Breakfast and dinner included.

You will be staying at Dioni Boutique Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 4

Preveza to Kassope and Nikopolis

Today visit the 4th century city of Kassope, considered one of the best examples of a city built on a Hippodamian street plan. The site is remote and magnificent, overlooking the sea and with the slopes of the Zalongo mountain to the north. 

In the afternoon visit the incredible UNESCO city of Nikopolis, the largest ancient city in Greece. The city, meaning ‘victory city’, was built by the Roman emperor Octavian after his victory at Aktion against Antony and Cleopatra of Egypt. Many inhabitants of surrounding cities were resettled here in order to populate the city. See the impressive theatre, of which the proscenium walls still stand. 

Breakfast and dinner included.

You will be staying at Dioni Boutique Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 5

Preveza to Parga and Ephyra

In the morning, head north to visit the Necromanteion, also known as ‘Oracle of the Dead’ and ‘Sanctuary of Persephone and Hades’, located near the small village of Messopotamo. The Necromanteion was an ancient temple dedicated to the god of the underworld, Hades, and his consort, the goddess Persephone. According to ancient Greek beliefs, while the bodies of the dead decayed in the earth, their souls would be released and travelled to the underworld via crevices in the earth. Temples were created in places thought to be entrances to the underworld to allow the opportunity to practice necromancy, a form of communication with the dead, in order to obtain prophecies.

Lunch at the picturesque seaside town of Parga, which has a fortress or Frourion of Norman origin.

In the afternoon, walk along the River Acheron, once thought to be the river of the underworld with its source, the entrance to Hades itself.

Breakfast and dinner included.

You will be staying at Dioni Boutique Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 6

Preveza to Agios Giorgios, Dodoni and Ioannina
Depart on the 40-minute drive to Agios Giorgos to view the Roman aqueduct. Visit Dodoni to see the ancient oracle of Zeus, reputedly the oldest in Greece and mentioned in The Iliad and The Odyssey. Successive phases of the cult buildings can be distinguished on the site. Also see the well-preserved theatre, one of the largest in Greece, dating to the reign of King Pyrrhus.

In the afternoon, visit Ioannina to see the Archaeological Museum and a short visit to the castle or Frourion, the fortress of the despots of Epirus, restored by Ali Pasha and now housing his tomb.

Breakfast and dinner included.

You will be staying at Dioni Boutique Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 7

Preveza to Meteora and onto Trikala
Depart for Meteora with a stop in the picturesque Vlach village of Metsovo in the Pindus Mountains. The Vlachs are the descendants of pastoralists whose flocks moved from the highlands of Epirus down into the plains. Metsovo still retains many characteristics of the culture.

Continue onto the UNESCO World Heritage site of Meteora to marvel at the Eastern Orthodox monasteries which cling to the spectacular rock formations that seem to rise miraculously from the plain. Six of the original twenty-four monasteries remain, dating from the 14th century onward.

Breakfast and dinner included.

You will be staying at Doupiani House Hotel, bed and breakfast

Day 8

Meteora to Thermopylae And onto Athens
Today, make a famous journey from Trikala to Thermopylae - the Hot Gates, site of the famous last stand of Leonidas and his 300 Spartans against the Persians. Although the landscape has changed since the early 5th Century BC, it is still possible to make out the topography of the battle and the small hillock upon which the Spartans stood and fell.

Travel onto the city of Thebes, made famous in Greek tragedies and myths. Not much remains of the ancient town however, there is an excellent museum. Enjoy a walking tour of the city to see the excavations of the Mycenaean palace and the remains of some of the Seven Gates.

Continue onto Athens, where you will spend your final evening.

The word Meteora means literally 'hovering in the air'. What created this rare geological phenomenon is one of the mysteries of nature and theories abound, but what is known is that Meteora is one of the most spectacular places to visit in Greece.

Breakfast and dinner included.

You will be staying at Ergon House, bed and breakfast

Day 9

Breakfast included.

Destination Experts

Our experts have unrivalled firsthand knowledge of Greece

Katie Benden, Travel Expert

"Katie was brilliant and very helpful. Helped to put together the itinerary I was dreaming of for my honeymoon and she was excellent with communication."

"Very happy with Katie Benden. Great service – always prompt reply to queries and always polite, attentive and informative. A wonderful holiday."

Read More

Thomas Frost, Travel Expert

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For a more detailed itinerary with great ideas on what to do and where to stay, please get in touch with our experts.

Tour expert

Carolyn Perry

Carolyn Perry
Following a degree in Classics and Archaeology, Carolyn lectured in Ancient History and Mythology in the Department of Mediterranean Studies at Queen Mary College, University of London before re-training to teach primary school children, eventually specialising in Special Education.

In 1997 she moved to the Education Department of The British Museum, where she set up and ran the Arab World Education Programme, a ground-breaking project which used the relevant collections of the British Museum to counteract negative images and stereotyping of the Arab world and related Islamic cultures The programme involved a range of events and activities for all audiences and had a strong focus on outreach.

In 2002, Carolyn left the British Museum to become the administrator of the newly formed MBI Al Jaber Foundation, a UK based charity which aims to promote better understanding between the peoples of the Middle East and the wider world through activities in the areas of education, cultural dialogue and good governance. She has been Director of the Foundation since 2006 and is now also responsible for all aspects of Sheikh Mohamed's philanthropy, within the Foundation and beyond.

From January 2008 to February 2009 Carolyn was Manager of the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology, UCL. The Petrie Museum houses an estimated 80,000 objects, making it one of the greatest collections of Egyptian and Sudanese archaeology in the world and illustrates life in the Nile Valley. Carolyn also lectures on aspects of the ancient Mediterranean and Islamic world and is a regular speaker at the British Museum and elsewhere on Islamic Art and Architecture, Ancient Arabia and Ancient Mediterranean history and mythology.

Carolyn has led tours for Steppes Travel for over five years. We enjoy working with her, not only for her incredible knowledge and passion about the regions that she travels to. But, we find that she is great fun to travel with and our clients tend to travel with her again and again visiting different destinations with her. We currently offer tours to Albania, Greece and Iran which are accompanied Carolyn.
Enquire about this Expert Led tour:

Group Size:

Min 6 / Max 15

Tour Expert:

Carolyn Perry

Departure Date (S):

  • 3rd September 2020

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