Day 1 Arrive Athens. Stay in Athens.
Day 2 Spend the morning in Athens. Visit the Byzantine Museum and the Benaki Museum. In the afternoon catch a Flying Dolphin to Monemvasia on the south-east corner of the Peloponnese. Monemvasia (meaning literally ‘one way in’) is a fortified promontory, attached to the mainland by a causeway, which was an important centre in the Byzantine period. Stay in Monemvasia.
Day 3 Explore the castle and churches in the upper and lower towns of Monemvasia in the morning. Time to relax and swim in the afternoon. Dinner and stay in Monemvasia.
Day 4 Drive to the Mani, the central ‘prong’ of the southern Peloponnese and historically a remote and fiercely independent part of Greeece. Stop for lunch in the port town of Gythion from where Paris is said to have set off back to Troy with Helen. Drive down the east coast of the Mani and arrive at the deserted hiil-top village of Vathi in the afternoon. Take a late afternon walk to Cape Tanaeron, one of the mythical entrances to the Underworld. Stay in Vathi.
Day 5 Tour the churches of the the Inner Mani, many of which are accessible only by foot, but which all hide beautiful frescoes within them. Dinner in the port village of Yerolimin. Stay in Vathi.
Day 6 Spend the morning exploring the west coast of the Mani. Then drive north to Mistras, the ruined Byzantine town which occupies at the foot of Mount Taygetos looking over the plain of Sparta. It flourished right at the end of the Byzantine period and its churches contain some of the period’s greatest artistic treasures. Arrive in time to In the afternoon walk up into the mountains behind Mistras. Stay in Mistras.
Day 7 Spend the morning exploring the town of Mistras. In the afternoon visit the churches scattered in the olive groves around the village of Geraki in the foothills of Mount Parnon to the east of Sparta. Stay in Mistras.
Day 8 Drive back to Athens. Visit the Byzantine fortress of Acrocorinth and the monastery at Daphni on the way. Depart in the evening.