Organised Bus Tour Services: An easy and efficient way to discover the city and its surroundings
An organised bus tour service takes visitors sightseeing, with routes around the major tourist attractions of Athens and its surroundings. There are many key points of interest and attractions along the routes the buses follow, like the Acropolis, the Panathenaic Stadium, Cape Sounion, Delphi, Mycenae and many other jewels of Greek culture. The tour includes visits to the monuments, memorials, museums and government buildings of Athens, as well as visits to historic sites away from the city centre. These tours run all year round with modern, air-conditioned coaches and professional multilingual guides. The prices vary depending on the route and the services selected (e.g. first class ticket, meal included and other special services each company offers), but they range between €30 and €100. Organised bus tours also offer passenger pull service from major hotels and attractions (based on scheduled timetable).
Here are some of the most common routes that organised bus tours offer in Athens:
This tour gives you an opportunity to discover the great variety that Athens has to offer and to get acquainted with the cultural heritage of Greece.
This tour usually begins with an introduction to the more contemporary side of Athens, including Syntagma Square, the Greek Parliament, the Monument of the Unknown Soldier and the National Library, among others. It continues towards the "Sacred Rock" of Acropolis with a stop at the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896. Along the way to the Acropolis, passengers will have the chance to see the Arch of Hadrian and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. At the Acropolis, you will enjoy works of art from the Golden
Age of Athens: the Erechtheum, the theatre of Herodes Atticus, the Propylaea and the Temple of Athena Nike. Take a moment to enjoy the breathtaking view of Athens and continue the tour with a visit to the New Museum of Acropolis, designed by Bernard Tschumi and due to open in June 2009.
Many of the bus tour companies also offer a night-time tour of Athens that introduces you to Athenian entertainment, featuring a fine dinner at a traditional Greek tavern with folk music and plenty of dancing, usually followed by a stroll around the picturesque streets of Plaka.
Approximately 5 hours
Price Range: €30 - €60
If you also want to enjoy the warm Athenian sun while discovering the city, you should try the open-top double-decker tour buses that depart every 30' from Syntagma Square. The open-top double-decker tour buses go to all the Athenian top sightseeing spots in 90'.
Cape Sounion is one of the most famous and scenic locations in Attica. It is the southern- most point in Attica and offers a breathtaking view of the Aegean and the islands. In ancient times, the temple was the last sign of civilisation the Athenians saw as they sailed away from home and the first as they returned. A drive along the coastal road, passing through the attractive suburbs of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni and Varkiza will take you to Cape Sounion, where the glorious Temple of Poseidon stands above the cliffs. Enjoy the spectacular view from the temple and then grab a bite of fresh sea food with a glass of cold ouzo at the tavernas nearby.
Approximately 4 hours
Price Range: €30 - €50
Another must offered by organised bus tours is a daytrip to Delphi. Delphi is located in southern mainland Greece, along the slope of Mount Parnassus, and includes the Sanctuary of Apollo and the site of the ancient oracle. It takes approximately 90 minutes to get there from the centre of Athens. Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world; it was sacred throughout the Greek world as the site of the omphalos stone, the centre of the earth and the universe. A drive through the rich plain of Boeotia, the city of Thebes, related to the tragedy of King Oedipus, and Livadia will take you to Delphi, where you can visit the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Treasury of the Athenians and the museum. The museum contains masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture, such as the bronze "Charioteer of Delphi" and the famous athlete Hagias. It is also worth visiting the spring of Castalia and the sanctuary of Athena Pronaia. On the way back to Athens, a short stop is usually scheduled at the charming mountain village of Arachova, built on the southern slopes of Parnassus and well known for its attractive hand-woven carpets, rugs and quilts, as well as for its local wine and cheeses.
Approximately 9 hours
Price Range: €70 - €100
These are some of the most popular guided tours offered, although there are plenty of options to suit everyone's tastes and needs. An appealing alternative offered by many of the tour companies is a tailor-made tour, whereby each group or family selects their own route depending on their interests. These tours can be arranged through your travel agent. No matter which route you choose, the guided bus tour is a unique and fascinating way to discover the hidden gems of the Greek culture and heritage.
Enjoy the ride!