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October 20th - October 29, 2014
Day 1 – Monday
We recommend an early morning arrival in Athens. The legendary King George II Palace provides limousine service from Athens International Airport. The luxury King George II Palace combines the grace of a historic landmark with ultra-modern amenities and personal attention that put guests’ comfort above all else. So renowned is its service the hotel received the “Guest Recognition Award of Excellence.” For all of our Goddesses the hotel has arranged an individually designed and decorated suites for your stay.
To eliminate your jet lag it is a day of relaxation at the Palace Day Spa. As a welcome gift, there will be late afternoon appointments with a Grecian Style Consultant, specializing in color coordination, hair, make-up and nails. Measurements will also be taken for your personally designed handmade, Goddess sandals by Claudia’s nephew, Strato Parellis—a master cobbler for the high-end fashion boutiques of Athens.
This evening, everyone gets together for a private “Meet and Greet” Cocktail Reception in the Royal Penthouse with a spectacular view of the Acropolis, including the city in full regalia from the commemorative week. Hosted by your Tour Connoisseur, Claudia von Kielich, you will be introduced to the General Manager, Mr. Panagiotis Almyrantis for your entire hotel needs. You will receive a “Goddess Within Questionnaire” and a “Goddess Journal” to record your “Goddesses Go to Greece” journey.
Day 2 – Tuesday
We gather for a Goddess breakfast specially prepared by the hotel Chef in the Royal Tudor Hall Restaurant overlooking Syntagma Square and the House of Parliament. Please bring your completed “Goddess Within Questionnaire” to the mid-morning repast and dress causally for our outing. An Athenian Scholar joins us for a day of private lectures and touring.
After breakfast we head out to experience one of Athens’ bravura achievements: the Athens Metro. A magnificent marriage of high-tech transportation and archeology, this rapid transit system is a museum in of itself with its marble surroundings, displays of antiquities uncovered during construction and glass-encased artifact exhibits. Nowhere else in the world can one experience the glory of one civilization simultaneously within the urbanity of another.
Exiting the Metro we pass by the hill where St. Paul introduced Christianity to the Athenians on our way to the top of the Acropolis, home of the Parthenon, dedicated to Athena–the Goddess of Wisdom and Patron Goddess of Athens–the Erechtheion, the Temple Of Athena Nike and the Propylae. Descending, our next stop is the Theater of HerodusAtticus as we make our way to the New Acropolis Museum.
Walking into the museum the 3rd century comes alive from a downward view of an ancient Athenian neighborhood encased in the museum floor. Intended, as “the ultimate showcase of classical civilization”, the museum, which cost $200 million, is one of the highest-profile cultural projects undertaken in Europe in this decade.
Then it’s onward to the Hadrian’s Gate and the Temple of Zeus, husband to Goddess Hera, Father to Goddesses Artemis, Athena and Afroditi. Afterwards we return tothe King George II Palace—for a quick rest prior to our evening activity.
Tonight we dine at the prominent Dionysos restaurant—famed for its spectacular view of the Acropolis, exquisite décor, Greek and International cuisine with impeccable service. Named after the Greek God of wine, this culinary enchantment is a must-do while in Athens. The daytime view is fantastic, but the evening view…you can’t buy that anywhere else. While at dinner, Claudia will introduce you to your personal Greek Goddess and give special gifts reflecting your individual divinity.
Day 3 – Wednesday
Once again we meet for our breakfast in the Royal Tudor Restaurant. Then join our private chauffer in the hotel lobby. Make sure you bring your bathing suits, suntan lotion and beach gear because today we spend a glorious morning in the sun replenishing our mind, body and soul in an organic health spa. Traveling in our private chauffeured limousine we take scenic drive out of the city.
Just a short distance in the southern coast of Attica lies the magical and mysterious Lake Voulliagmeni–a small fresh-water lake fed by an underground hot spring currents seeping through the mass of Mount Hymettus, creating a ecologic mineral spa. Recognized as a natural wonder because of its unique appearance and pictorial surroundings, millions of years ago it was originally a vast cavern with a countless number of hot springs. Due to the high temperatures and moisture from the hot spring the cavern’s roof caved in crating the lake. An extended part of the cave is still underwater with numerous unexplored, bottomless channels and waterways.
Anastasios Christomanos, a Professor of Chemistry from the University of Athens, discovered the therapeutic quality of the lake in 1889. Voulliagmenti contains a plethora of minerals–potassium, natrium, lithium, ammonium, calcium, ferrium, chloride and iodine–creating a slight radioactive properties that heals a variety of diseases, from rheumatic, gynecological and skin disorders. For us Goddesses it is heaven on earth as we take the morning to swim, soak and sunbathe. Upon returning to Athens, we stop for a mid-day feast of gourmet seafood at the seaside restaurant Lambros. Then back to the hotel to change for another special late afternoon and evening occasion.
Lucky for us, the Herakleidon, Experience In Visual Arts Museum, is hosting a “Woman as Muse, 1900 – 1950″ exhibition. Known for its mission to exhibit artists’ evolution through their careers and their varied techniques used to express their creative visions, the Herakleidon’s exhibition showcases about 90 works of world renowned artists of modernism, depicting their varied interpretations of the female form and reflecting the prevailing artistic movements of their time.
The female form has been an inspiration to artists of all ages and ethnic groups, dating back to antiquity. Representative in this exhibit are the works of artistic modern idols such as: Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, Henri Matisse, Aristide Maillol, Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec, Paul Landacre, Dame Laura Knight, Henri Matisse, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Jules Pascin, Yiannis Moralis, George Varlamos, George Economidis, Markos Zavitzianos, and Emmanuel Zeppos to name a few, with women portrayed as a mother, muse, lover, friend or confidante—a monumental visual display of the feminine nurturing, beguilement, assertive or conspiratorial aspects.
Characterized as “the last Greek Goddess”, Melina Mercouri, is Greece’s most admired, modern female muse and an inspiration to all women in the 20th century. She was a many-sided and much-loved vibrant personality. Known as a theatre and film actress of international fame, Melina played a leading role in the struggle against the Colonel’s Junta in 1967 – 1974. A politician who left her mark on the Greek culture, Melina brought Greece into the spotlight of the media and deemed her the inspirer of the “Cultural Capital Of Europe”.
It is only fitting after visiting the “Woman As Muse” exhibition; we stop by the Melina Cafe for a coffee or an aperitif to honor one of the world’s greatest iconic female figures. A tribute to Melina, the café combines the classic European cultural atmosphere with the magic of jazz and folk art music. Dominated by Melina’s aura, inspiration and passion for life, it is the ideal place for us to reflect upon our personal Goddesses heartened by this magnificent woman.
Later, Claudia’s nephew, Theo, joins us to escort everyone for a special treat. We make our way through the Plaka to famous Gero tou Moria with live ethnic Greek music, dancing and plate throwing. Acclaimed as the one of the best restaurant for anyone to begin the Greek food adventure with its traditional cuisine, we sit down for a cultural fare. So be prepared to call upon your divine muse to cut-loose and get those Goddesses’ mojos a going!
After breakfast, we board a private chartered yacht, the DIONI, traveling to Aegina, one of the most cherished islands of the Greek people. The beauty of chartered yachting is that it allows us to explore hidden coves, sea arches, remote ruins and cliff villages known only to the Greek citizens.
The island of Aegina is a priceless jewel in the Saronic Gulf, rich with ancient Greek mythology. After docking, we are met by a private chauffeured Mercedes limo for our journey to the Temple of Aphaea—a daughter of Zeus and half sister to Artemis. This local Goddess was originally named Briomartis. Along our stunning coastline journey we encounter the medieval village of Palaiochora, home to 37 churches dating to 896 AD.
Built in 480 BC, the Temple of Aphaea, the foremost ancient site of the Saronic Gulf isles, sits on a pine-covered hillside of Aegina. Looking out over the Saronic Gulf from this pictorial, well-preserved temple, considered the forerunner of the Parthenon, one can see across the aqua-hued sea to the far distant Cape Sounion.
Returning back to our port of entry, we take time for a late lunch and kick off our shoes for a succulent seafood feast at an isolated family-owned seaside inn with tables placed in the water. Then it is back to the DIONI for a spectacular sunset cruise to Athens and the hotel. Late afternoon port, coffee and deserts will be served on the DIONI during our trip.
Your evening will be a free night.We encourage you to trust the essence of your inner Goddess to lead you into whatever she chooses for you to do.
Day 5 – Friday
Taking time to sleep in, we meet for a late breakfast at the Royal Tudor Restaurant. Claudia’s sister—a 25-year Athens resident—joins us for her customized tour of the least tourist-invaded, yet illustrious, areas of the city. Known as the “Walk of the Millenniums”, she takes us down the legendary Ermou Street for a journey through time.
In the heart of central Ermou lies a quaint 11th Century Byzantine Church traditionally called the Church of Panaghia Kapnikarea. A tribute to the Virgin Mary, the church was built on a temple ruin site dedicated to the Goddess Demetra during the Middle-Byzantine period and is also known as the Church of the Princess.
From the 11th Century AD we move back in time to 11th Century BC and the most historic burial area in ancient Athens for over a thousand years. Keremikos with its revered Street of Tombs was the final resting place for prominent Athenians in Ancient Athens. Named after Kermos the son of the God Dionysus and Goddess Adriadne, he was also a famed hero to the Athenian potters.
Continuing down Ermou street, we enter into the Gazi District named after the Gas (Gaz) Factory, established in 1857 until deserted in 1984. This 3-acre site that originally blanketed the sky with soot from its factory’s gas-producing furnaces is now an incomparable architectural, industrial museum and multi-purpose cultural center. Crowned as Technopolis with its restaurants, cafes, music and unique graffiti art alleyways, the area is hailed as one of the most innovative and happening places in Europe.
For dinner we will dine in one of the modern tavernas in the area and will be joined by Claudia’s niece, Katerina. An award winning swimmer, Katerina was Greece’s first female jockey and an Athenian Councilwoman. During our meal she enlightens us on Greece’s current accomplishments and trials to reinvent itself as a major cultural society.
The most energized ‘spirit of place’ in all of Greece is the ancient ruins of Delphi. Traveling out of Athens in our private chauffeured Mercedes limousine we take a morning ride to experience what the ancient Greeks regarded as the centre of the world. Built on the slopes of Mt. Parnassos, overlooking the Gulf of Corinth, Delphi’s allure lies in its stunning setting and inspirational sites.
One cannot visit Delphi without taking in the Sanctuary of Apollo with its steps leading into the Sacred Way that gradually winds up to the foundation of the Temple of Apollo. Academics of Delphi will join us to reveal the site’s historical details and accolades dedicated to this imperial sacred homage to the Greek God, Apollo.
The female Delphi Oracles’ prophesies altered the course of nations. The revered site from where they spoke, The Delphic Oracle, was the most influential source of sacred wisdom in the ancient world. Many who walk this hallowed ground make claim of life-altering experiences. If you are open to the experience, hopefully our visit will ignite your Goddess aspect into fruition.
After a light lunch in Delphi we will return to Athens taking a different route to explore the local villages along the scenic coastline. This leisurely drive will afford stops along the way to take in the charms of Nafpaktos, the beautiful Galaxidi and the Corinth Canal, which separates the Peloponnese from mainland Greece connecting the Gulf of Corinth and the Saronic Gulf.
During our return to Athens we will stop for dinner at a celebrated family-owned taverna for a classical country meal under the stars in Amhrova–an ancient local village. Here we will share the insights and personal experiences we learned about our Goddesses while at Delphi.
Day 7 – Sunday
This morning we all gather for a light Greek breakfast on the balcony of the Royal Tudor Restaurant to partake in one of the city’s most popular and revered traditions. In the streets below a full regiment of Evzones executes the Changing of the National Guard in front of the House of Parliament. Joining us is Kosta, an Evzone by trade, to describe the ceremony and the history of this national custom.
For Athenians the place to be on Sunday is the Plaka and the Monastiraki Flea Market. It’s a must-see while in Athens with an eclectic mix of sights, sounds and smells that has a tantalizing effect on the senses. Not to mention it’s a great place to bargain and pick-up fabulous gifts or keepsakes for family and friends.
From the market we visit the Tower of Winds, the Roman Agora and Ancient Agora along our way toward the world famous Diogenes Restaurant for lunch. Known for its authentic Greek cuisine and elegant decor, it is the perfect place to myth gossip and discover more about our Goddesses. Claudia’s brother-in-law, an Athenian Aristocrat and Greek Mythology Scholar, will reveal the unknown facts of your divine personas.
Our final stop will be the world-renowned Ilias Lalaounis Jewelry Museum–aunique museum devoted to the art of jewelry and the decorative arts. Founded in 1993 the Museum’s permanent collection includes over 4000 pieces of jewelry and micro sculptures from over 50 collections. All designed by the museum’s founder, Ilias Lalaounis, between 1940 and 2000. Later we return tothe King George II Palace—for a quick rest prior to our evening activity.
Tonight we go to one of the oldest and most prestigious restaurants in Athens, the Abunknva. This sophisticated and cultured establishment has three different dining areas in its three-storied eatery—each with a different décor and feel for their patrons. For us Goddesses, they have arranged a private area on their rooftop garden with the best view of the Acropolis while surrounded in greenery and floral for our dining experience.
Day 8 – Monday
After another delectable breakfast we set off from the King George II Palace down Embassy Row pass neoclassical buildings with an array of colorful flags of nations. Our first stop is the Benaki Museum, Greece’s oldest privately owned museum. A monument in culture and art commemoration, the museum is the foremost in terms of history of both ancient and modern Greece as well as art and culture.
Our second stop is Museum of Cycladic Art. Dedicated to the study and promotion of ancient cultures of the Aegean; the museum places a special emphasis on Cycladic Art of the 3rd millennium BC. Next, it’s on to the National Art Gallery and Alexandros Soutzos Museum. Acclaimed as Greece’s most vital institution, it is a magnificent assemblage devoted to the history of Greek and Western European art from the 14th century to current day.
Then it is to Kolonaki Square, the Fifth Avenue of Athens with its high-end boutiques and trendy milieu. Boarding the Rack Rail we head for Lykavittos Hill—the highest point in Athens. Legend has it Athena inadvertently created the hill when she dropped a large rock during the construction of the Acropolis. For us it will be the place to take in a late lunch surrounded by an awe-inspiring panoramic view.
This evening we crown our cultural activities with a performance at the Greek National Opera. The Greek National Opera is the country’s lyric opera company that has created and organized a national archive of music, a music library, and a museum with costumes, stage models, musical scores and many items from great performances presented by the company. The GNO is responsible for a wide variety of performances, including opera, ballet, musical theater and symphony concerts with its company touring both within Greece and internationally.
Our driver meets us in the lobby of the King George II Palace, escorting us to our private Mercedes limousine. In the tranquil countryside outside of Athens lies a temple complex in Vravrona, sometimes romantically called, The Parthenon of the Bear Maidens. To most, the site is commonly known as the Temple of Artemis–the Goddess of the hunt, wild animals, childbirth and young girls.
Skipped by most visitors and most tour operators–solely because it is a bit out of the way–this temple is rarely crowded and stands by a delightful museum filled with images of the children who once studied at the temple.
Winding along the countryside roads we veer off the beaten path to stop at the olive groves and vineyards to partake in the local harvest season. This leisurely drive will afford a stop along the way at Basileoy Winery for wine tasting. Then it is onto Porto Rafti and a seaside taverna for our lunch.
Pórto Ráfti, a picturesque little port in a bay on the east coast of Attica, takes its name from a large marble statue of the Roman period, popularly known as the “Tailor” (raftis), on a rocky islet which shelters the harbor. One of the common sights of the seaside village is tavernas or docked fishing boats with fresh caught octopus hanging in the sun to dry. We lunch at the most noted of theses seaside tavernas, the Aimani Cafe.
One cannot leave Greece without experiencing Cape Sounion, the eminent site of ruins for the Temple of Poseidon—the God of the sea. Perched on the headland surrounded on three sides by water, this sacred sanctuary in ancient times was the last sign of civilization the Athenians saw as they sailed away from home and the first upon their return. For us it is the perfect parting gift from Greece–to behold the majestic setting sun over the Agean Sea.
Returning back to the King George II Palace we will have a late celebratory dinner under the stars with the city lights and luminous view of the Acropolis on the balcony of the Royal Tudor Restaurant. This is the night to dress up and radiate your Goddess spirit, sharing what you have discovered and the attunement of your divine deity from your “Goddess Journey.”
We meet for breakfast on the outside patio of the Royal Penthouse next to the infinity pool for a champagne brunch. You will receive your exclusive “Goddesses Go To Greece” gift-your individually designed sandals created by Strato Parellis. It is an opportunity for everyone to exchange contact information, personal pictures and whatever one chooses to share prior to saying adieu. After we have said our goodbyes, the hotel limo service will take you to the airport for your individual flights back home.
For more information about this tour please contact Claudia von Kielich at (310) 383-5100 or email@example.com. CST #2054515-50