Mythological tour of Athens with Alternative Athens

The temple of Olympian Zeus
The temple of Olympian Zeus

Last Saturday I was invited along with the other members of Travel Bloggers Greece to a Mythological tour of Athens hosted by Alternative Athens. I was very happy to join this tour as  I am a big fan of Mythology, I find these stories very fascinating.

The view of the Acropolis and Hadrian's Arch from the temple of Olympian Zeus
The view of the Acropolis and Hadrian’s Arch from the temple of Olympian Zeus

We met our guide Ioanna at the gate of the temple of Olympian Zeus at 9:30. We bought our tickets and entered the first archaeological site of the tour, the temple of Olympian Zeus. The construction of the temple began in the 6th century B.C. by an Athenian tyrant but soon stopped to be resumed more than 600 years later by the Roman Emperor, Handrian. It was completed in the 2nd century AD and fall into disuse when the christian population of the city increased.

The temple of Olympian Zeus
The temple of Olympian Zeus

According to the myth from that spot Zeus started the Great Flood because he was unhappy with mankind. The flood lasted 9 days and 9 nights and the only survivors were Deucalion and his wife Pyrrha as they found refugee in a wooden chest. After the flood they thanked Zeus and asked him to help them replenish the earth with people. They were told that they should throw the bones of their mother behind them and a new human race would appear meaning that they should throw stones to the earth.

The Temple of Olympina Zeus used to have 104 columns
The Temple of Olympina Zeus used to have 104 columns
Hadrian's Arch
Hadrian’s Arch

After a short stop to Hadrian’s Arch we headed to the ancient theatre of Dionysus at the slopes of the Acropolis. It is considered to be the most ancient theatre of the world with a capacity of 15.000 seats. There, we learnt the interesting story of Dionysus the god of fertility and wine.

The ancient theatre of Dionysos
The ancient theatre of Dionysos

Our next stop took us to the Acropolis where we learned the story of each monument of the sacred rock, the Propylaea, the temple of Athena Victory, the Parthenon and the Erechtheion. Apart from the historical facts our guide shared with us a lot of mythological stories including how Athena became the patron of the city. We then had time for photos and to enjoy the breathtaking views of the city.

Our guide Ioanna showing us how Propylea used to be in ancient times
Our guide Ioanna showing us how Propylea used to be in ancient times
The Erechthion at the Acropolis
The Erechthion at the Acropolis
According to legend the whole at the top of the temple was created by Poseidon
According to legend the whole at the top of the temple was created by Poseidon
The Caryatids
The Caryatids

We then headed to Plaka, the city’s oldest neighborhood where we had a refreshing break in one of the outdoor cafe. Although it was February we were lucky to enjoy a glorious warm day.

The Panathenaic Stadium and the Temple of Olympian Zeus as seen from the Acropolis
The Panathenaic Stadium and the Temple of Olympian Zeus as seen from the Acropolis
Plaka and Lycabettus hill as seen from the Acropolis
Plaka and Lycabettus hill as seen from the Acropolis

Having our batteries recharged we were ready for our next stop the Ancient Agora and the temple of Hephestus one of the best preserved temples of the antiquity where our guide shared with us the story of Hephaestus and how he ended up marrying the most beautiful goddess Aphrodite despite being very ugly.

The temple of Hephestus in Ancient Agora
The temple of Hephestus in Ancient Agora
Temple of Hephestus, one of the best preserved temples
Temple of Hephestus, one of the best preserved temples

The final stop of the tour was the cemetery of Kerameikos. It was the first time I visited that particular archaeological site and I was very impressed. At this place prominent Athenians were buried and their tombs are a work of art, each one telling a different story. Here we learnt the story of Adis the god of death.

After 4 hours our wonderful tour came to an end. I should tell you that this was one of the most interesting tours I have ever had. I learnt a lot of interesting facts about my city Athens and heard a lot of myths. This tours combines perfectly the historical facts with mythology. If you are traveling with children I am sure they will find it fascinating. Our guide Ioanna is a licensed guide and had a great knowledge of Athens history and mythology.

Click here for more information and to book the tour.

Here we are on tour with Alternative Athens on this beautiful Saturday in Greece. Our individual blog posts on the only mythology tour in Athens will be coming soon.

Μια φωτογραφία που δημοσίευσε ο χρήστης @travelbloggersgreece στις

 

I was a guest of Alternative Athens but as always opinions are my own.

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18 Comments

  • You’re so lucky to live in Greece Chrysoula it is so beautiful! I’m fascinated with mythology too especially Greek mythology, I’d love to check out the ruins and hear all the stories about the Gods. How they have survived until this day is beyond me! I’m off to Crete this summer and unfortunately don’t have enough time to check out Athens but I’ll be giving Alternative Athens a call when I do get there to take the tour 🙂

    • Thanks Mel. Living in Greece has the ups and downs. I love Greek mythology tour.There are some amazing archaeological sites in Crete too. Enjoy your holidays

  • Ahh, this makes me want to go back and explore more of Athens! We loved checking out the ruins in the city, especially the temple of Olympian Zeus. I would love to do this tour though because it would be great to hear all the history while you are seeing the ruins! We just wandered around ourselves so they were fun to see, but would be even better knowing all the cool facts!

  • There’s something about ruins that I’m so drawn to. This is exactly the kind of tour I know I would absolutely enjoy. The view from the Acropolis seems lovely!

  • Athen is also on my bucket list and I personally do like tours and do them regularly. So, this is a tour which seems to be great (4 hours seems like a quite long tour 🙂

  • AMAZING history here! I haven’t been to Greece yet, but I’m dying to go. I would love to explore this place. Ruins are so amazing – I always dream about what it would have been like back in the day. Thanks for the tour 🙂

    • What I loved about this tour was that our guide showed us photos of how the places used to be in antiquity.

  • What a fun tour. I’ve been to the Acropolis twice and did some reading and took awesome photos but this tour would have definitely helped me to understand it and appreciate it more. Caryatids is my fave! 😉 Nice photos.

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