This special shore excursion is designed for cruise passengers interested in culture and in natures phenomenon. The private tour combines ancient world-famous monuments and a geological phenomenon that happens every 6 hours together with breathtaking picturesque landscape and views.
Highlights of Athens & the unique phenomenon of Chalkis in Evia island 8-h
- 8-hours morning sightseeing private tour of Athens and Chalkis in Evia island
- Combines Athens’ modern and classical sites guided by our experts
- Explore the wonders of the Acropolis, the trademark of Athens
- The worlds unique phenomenon of Chalkis
- Cross the second bridge in Europe from the mainland on to the island of Evia
- Professional English-speaking tour driver
- Pickup and drop off at your cruise ship pier in Piraeus
Sightseeing: The Acropolis – the Parthenon – Erechthion – Temple of Athens Niki – Plaka – Ancient Agora – Roman Agora – Hadrian’s library – Monastiraki – Temple of Vulcan – Temple of Zeus – Hadrian’s Arch – the Parliament – the monument of the Unknown Soldier – Panathenian Stadium – Plaka – ex-royal house – Kolonaki – Lycabettus Hill
Visits: The Acropolis – the Parthenon – Erechthion – Temple of Athens Niki – Temple of Zeus – Hadrian’s Arch – the Parliament – the monument of the Unknown Soldier – Panathenian Stadium – Lycabettus Hill – Evia island – new bridge – the old bridge of Chalkis – the phenomenon
Description of the Athens and Chalkis, half-day shore excursion
This shore excursion is about the same as the half-day in Athens plus the picturesque and unique Chalkis. Our driver will pick you up at your cruise ship pier, board your modern Athens Shore Excursion 4 seater, 10 seaters, or 17 seater vehicle, according to your group size, leaving the quayside, for a 20-minute drive to Athens through the scenic suburbs.
Visit the mighty Acropolis dominating the landscape, to see the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Greece, and the trademark of Athens. Visit the Propylaea (Entrance), the Erectheum, the Temple of Wingless Victory, and, of course, the crowning glory of Athens, the incomparable Parthenon, the greatest monument of all times.
According to the Myth at the Erectheum, Goddess Athena and God Poseidon are said to have held a contest to decide who would be Patron of the city. When Poseidon thrust his trident into the ground, water burst forth, Athena touched the ground with her spear, and an olive tree grew. Athens won the contest and she was named goddess of the city.
The building itself contains the graceful Porch of the Caryatids, which features replica columns of marble maidens supporting the roof of the temple. All temples on the holy rock of the Acropolis, are dedicated to Athena, the patron goddess of Athens.
Our next visit is the famous Temple of Olympian Zeus, the largest (3rd century BC) Corinthian-style temple in ancient Greece. Hadrian’s Arch symbolizes and separates the old and new towns by the Roman era. Our private shore excursion includes sightseeing of the National Gardens, the National Library and the Parliament Building, the ex-Royal Palace, Plaka, Roman Agora, Monastiraki, and the Temple of Vulcan.
We continue this private shore excursion, and along the way, you will pass the ex-royal house and the Ancient Olympic Stadium for a brief photo stop. Re-built 1894, to host the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The stadium is made all of the Pentelic marble (like the Parthenon) standing on the site of the original stadium, dating from the 4th century B.C.
The Panathenean stadium is used today for very special events, like for the every year finish of the marathon and the archery competition. Also, it was used in the 2004 Olympics games.
Just before we end your private shore excursion in Athens city, your private tour driver will drive you up on Lycabettus Hill, the highest hill in Athens, where you can admire the below incredible city views of Athens.
Time for lunch…
We will have lunch in a typical Greek restaurant with home-cooked food and then continue our private shore excursion by taking the highway to North Greece. After almost an hour we’ll cross the gorgeous and breathtaking Evia bridge that connects the mainland of central Greece with the island of Evia.
Your Cruise Tours Piraeus private driver will drive after short sightseeing to the center of Chalkis town in Evia island and to the old bridge. This is the narrowest point connecting with the old bridge the mainland with the island of Evia.
Chalcis or Chalkida, Halkida, Halkis or
Chalkis, the chief town of the island of Evia in Greece, is situated on the strait of the Euripus at its narrowest point. The name is preserved from antiquity and is derived from the Greek “chalkos” (copper, bronze), though there is no trace of any mines in the area.
The island Evia is the second largest in Greece after Crete and it has played an important role in Greek History from earliest prehistory to the present day. Its importance is chiefly due to its geographical position and Geo-morphology. It is 175 kilometers long and faces the Greek mainland along the whole length of its eastern seaboard.
Evripos channel is a natural channel between Evia island and the Greek mainland, while the city of Chalkis is built on both sides. Many legends exist, trying to justify the almost unique tide phenomenon in this channel. Some researchers stayed on the illusion of explaining it while some others, unable to explain it, stayed admiring its magnificence.
The water-flow in the Evripos channel is changing direction about every 6 hours, causing a strong vortex, a rare physical phenomenon, triggering the imagination and the curiosity of humans since prehistoric times, searching for mythological, astronomical, physical, and philosophical explanations. Watch the seawater changing direction in the video below:
Greeks when talking about Chalkida they use to call this town the ” Town with the Crazy Waters “. All this up and down of the waters attracts many visitors who come from many places of Greece to see this phenomenon.
The place where the old bridge is built is the narrowest point of the channel, and the water current can reach the speed of 15km (9 miles) per hour! It is really interesting to watch the reversion of flow direction that happens about every 6 hours. The exact time of reversion is determined by the position of the moon.
Do not miss a coffee or a refreshment at the pier of the Crazy Waters, and take great pictures.
Your driver will take you back to your cruise ship in Piraeus port, where your private shore excursion in Athens ends, leaving you with memories of the best in Greece.