UP TO 13 GUESTS
Halkida – Thebes 6 Hours Private Tour
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Halkida- Thebes private tour
- Archaeological Museum of Thebes
Archaeological site of Thebes
Old Bridge of Khalkis
Khalkis / Halkida
Our first stop is the Archaeological Museum of Thebes, one of the most important museums of Greece since some of its collections are rare or unique. The exhibits originate from excavations all around Boeotia and cover a long chronological period spanning from the Palaeolithic to the Post Byzantine periods. Considered as one of the best museums in Greece as it also respect its environment, at its yard a Byzantine tower can be visited, while under your feet you can admire through glass floor the ruins of the Bronze Age Acropolis.
We will walk around Thebes / Thiva, a town in central Greece that combines modern life with its glorious past. The Mycenaean Palace, or Kadmeion, dates from the 13th century BC and is located almost centrally on the acropolis. The palace was decorated with frescoes and clay tablets in Linear B and amphorae and was destroyed by fire in around 1200 BC.
Our next stop will be Karababa castle, an Ottoman castle of the 17th century built on the “continental” coast of the city of Chalkis (it is not on the island of Evia) which together with the destroyed castle of Chalkis made the city impregnable.
We will next see the tidal phenomenon of Halkida, observed in the famous Evripos Channel. It is a very rare phenomenon of a change of direction in the flow of the sea currents. This phenomenon has provoked the admiration and interest of humans from ancient times, not only from an astronomical and geophysical perspective but also a philosophical one.
The mystery and beauty of this phenomenon captivates the visitor, as its combination with the imprint of the channel creates a remarkable panorama.
Thanks to its strategic geographic position, the city has remained a crossroad of cultures and ideas over the centuries, an apple of discord for many foreign conquerors. Today the cosmopolitan city of Halkida, the administrative and commercial center of the island built on both sides of Evripos straits, is a popular destination among Athenians for short breaks away from the hustle and bustle of the capital city. Thanks to its impressive ultra-modern cable bridge, the access to the city has now become easier and quicker. It provides a variety of restaurants to enjoy your lunch by the sea.
Inclusions - Exclusions
Private Tours are personal and flexible just for you and your party.
Professional Drivers with Deep knowledge of history. [Not licensed to accompany you in any site.]
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Transport by private vehicle
- Bottled water
- Entrance Fees [6€ for over 6 yo for Non-EU & 24 yo for EU Citizens]
- Licensed Tour guide upon request depending on availability [Additional cost – 250 €]
- Airport Pick Up and drop-off (Additional cost)
- Food & Drinks
ADMISSION FEES FOR SITES:
(1 April – 31 October): 6€ per person
Archaeological Museum of Thebes: 6€ (08:00am- 20:00pm)
Karababa castle: free (08:00 – 15:00, Tuesday Closed)
(1 November – 31 March): 6€ per person
Archaeological Museum of Thebes: 6€ (08:00am- 15:30pm)
Karababa castle: free (08:00 – 15:00, Tuesday Closed)
Free admission days:
- 6 March (in memory of Melina Mercouri)
- 18 April (International Monuments Day)
- 18 May (International Museums Day)
- The last weekend of September annually (European Heritage Days)
- Every first Sunday from November 1st to March 3rd
- 28 October
- 1 January: closed
- 25 March: closed
- 1 May: closed
- Easter Sunday: closed
- 25 December: closed
- 26 December: closed
Free admission for:
- Escorting teachers during the visits of schools and institutions of Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education and of military schools.
- Members of Societies and Associations of Friends of Museums and Archaeological Sites throughout Greece with the demonstration of certified membership card
- Members of the ICOM-ICOMOS
- Persons possessing a free admission card
- The employees of the Hellenic Ministry of Culture and Sports and the Archaeological Receipts Fund, upon presentation of their service ID card.
- The official guests of the Greek government, with the approval of the General Director of Antiquities.
- Young people, under the age of 18, after demonstrating the Identity Card or passport to confirm the age.
Reduced admission for:
- Greek citizens and citizens of other Member – States of the European Union who are over 65 years old, upon presentation of their ID card or passport for verification of their age and country of origin.
- Holders of a solidarity card
- Holders of a valid unemployment card.
- Large families’ parents of children up to 23 yrs old, or up to 25 yrs old (on military service/studying), or child with disabilities regardless the age, having a certified pass of large families, certification from the Large Family Association or a family status certificate issued by the Municipality
- Persons with disabilities (67 % or over) and one escort, upon presentation of the certification of disability issued by the Ministry of Health or a medical certification from a public hospital, where the disability and the percentage of disability are clearly stated.
- Single-parent families with minors, upon presentation of a family status certificate issued by the Municipality. In the case of divorced parents, only the parent holding custody of the children
- The police officers of the Department of Antiquity Smuggling of the Directorate of Security
- Tourist guides upon presentation of their professional ID card.
- University students and students at Technological Educational Institutes or equivalent schools from countries outside the EU by showing their student ID.
Everyone has heard of Thebes. Well, everyone who studied Ancient Greek history at least, since it was a major Greek city-state and a traditional enemy of Athens as well as the birthplace of Dionysius, Heracles, Pindar, Epaminondas, Oedipus and a few other historical and mythological figures. The Thebans were with Leonidas and the Spartans at Thermopylae, since it is just down the road, but they lacked commitment and it is unclear if they left early, surrendered, or died with the 300 and not mentioned. Led by the invincible Sacred Band of Thebes, a troop of male couples, they won the important battle of Lefktra against the Spartans in 371. Thebes became the most powerful city-state in Greece and was responsible for freeing the Messenians from Sparta and founding the city of Megalopolis in the Peloponnese. They enjoyed their powerful position for all of 9 years but after that things went downhill quickly. Joining the Athenians they were defeated by Phillip of Macedon at Chaeronea in 338 BCE and every one of the Sacred Band was killed. Occupied by the Macedonians they revolted 2 years later and were completely wiped out by his son Alexander the Great who destroyed the city, except for the temples, and it’s 36,000 inhabitants were killed or became slaves. Thebes made something of a comeback when it was rebuilt by Cassander in 316 but by the Christian Era it was not much more than a large town. In subsequent centuries they were conquered by the Goths, Bulgarians, the Normans and a few others and except for becoming a center of the silk industry they pretty much disappeared from history.
If you throw in the Mycenaeans from before all of this, and the Byzantines towards the end, nearly everyone has been in Thebes at one time or another either as conqueror, as savior, or both. And that brings me to why you should come here too. The center of modern Thebes is on a long narrow plateau which sits on top of Kadmeia, the ancient acropolis, and there are bits and pieces of ancient buildings poking out here and there, though there is much more underneath the long central square, restaurants, cafes, churches, shops and apartment buildings that will most likely never be seen, including most of its two Mycenaean palaces. The visible ruins which are just the tip of the iceberg are the type that you would have to be an archaeologist to appreciate and most of us would be much happier eating grilled meat, drinking wine, or having ouzo and mezedes at one of the restaurants on and around the square. Still it is the type of place that whenever there is any new construction going on the archaeologists come running to claim whatever is found.
The archaeological museum:
Thebes, like many historical places in Greece had a small archaeological museum located in what was left of the Castle of Nicholas II de St Omer. The castle was destroyed by the Catalans in 1311 leaving hardly anything but the tower. For a provincial town it was a good museum, on the itinerary of any scholar who used The Blue Guide as his Bible but not somewhere the rest of us would go out of our way to visit. But it was one of the oldest museums in Greece, built in 1905 in an old barracks building, which was later expanded to house the many unique findings from the area.
The site of the fortress is identified by some scholars with ancient Kanethos as scanty remains of buildings and graves are preserved on its surface. The hill was probably fortified in the Roman period but it was certainly not fortified in the Byzantine, the Venetian and the early period of the Turkish occupation.
The castle now seen was probably built by the Turks in 1684 in order to protect Chalkis from the Venetians. It was designed by the Venetian Gerolimo Galopoand its architectural form is more European than Turkish in character. The fortress was unsuccessfully sieged by the Venetians of Morozini in 1688 and the Turks managed to keep it until the Greek liberation when they gave it over to the Greek state after the treaty of 1833.
Halkida sits on the long narrow island of Evia, one of the largest islands in Greece, but you don’t have to take a boat to get there. Instead, there are two bridges.
The new bridge (1993) is a marvel of modern technology: a cable suspension bridge, 694.5 m long, of which 215 m are at a height of 35.5 m. Impressive though this may be, the old bridge still retains its charm as a signature landmark of Halkida, leading straight to the heart of the town’s social life because of the real magic, the ‘crazy waters’ of the gulf of Evia. It may seem like a really small tide for those used to the Atlantic but its behaviour is seen nowhere else on this planet.
The old bridge, located at the narrowest point of the Evripus strait and one of the world’s last remaining “sliding” bridges, opens every night a little after 23:00 to allow vessels to pass through the strait.
Mystery tide, crazy water
Below the old bridge linking Halkida with the mainland, you’ll witness something that happens nowhere else in the world. Every six hours the currents swell up and change direction. This weird behaviour is somehow due to the moon’s gravitational pull and the difference in sea level between the north and south parts of the gulf of Evia but the details remain a little murky.
The effects of an unusual sea tide are on full display here six to seven times a month, when the Euripus strait’s current changes direction, sometimes as many as 14 times during a single 24-hour period. This is why Halkida is regarded as a city of “crazy waters”, while locals call themselves trelonerites, or people of crazy waters. It is said that, like the changing water currents, locals can be fickle.
Hundreds of visitors come almost daily from Athens, though probably not only to see this bizarre natural phenomenon. More likely, they are drawn by the warm atmosphere, the cafes and bars, walks by the shore and the delicious seafood.
She sells seafood by the seashore
Chalkida’s lively seaside invites you to walk amongst fishermen, wandering artists and itinerant sellers and then sit down for a coffee or a drink amid groups of happy friends. The waterfront is lined with tavernas, each with its own trademark style. Choose the one that attracts you and dig into delicious freshly-caught seafood.
Among the beautiful old buildings you’ll find in Chalkida are the Red House, built-in 1884; the House of Statues, constructed by the Euboean Studies Company in 1891; the Town Hall, a mixture of baroque and Italian eclecticism; and the Kriezoti mansion and Karakostas manor.
For Athenians, Chalkida is generally regarded as an ideal getaway for a day trip during which a little tsipouro (potent spirit) and seafood can make for a relaxed and special day. The city offers numerous mezedopolia (eateries serving assorted meze dishes and drinks) renowned for their fresh shells and seafood, cozy cafes with sea views, as well as bars.
Chalkida, however, is not just an entertainment destination but a temptation to explore as well, blessed with a history, stretching back 3,000 years. Its influence in antiquity was wide reaching and its colonies spread all the way to Sicily and Italy. As other areas in Greece, it later fell to a succession of rulers – Franks, Venetians, Ottomans and Germans.
- Firstly and most importantly, ALL CANCELLATIONS MUST BE CONFIRMED BY Olive Sea Travel.
- Regarding Day Tours, Cancellation 24 hours before your service date is 100% refundable.
- As Licensed Tour Guides and Hotels are external cooperators, they have their own cancellation policy.
- Apart from the above cancellation limits, NO refunds will be made. If though, you fail to make your appointment for reasons that are out of your hands, that would be, in connection with the operation of your airline or cruise ship or strikes, extreme weather conditions or mechanical failure. You WILL be refunded 100% of the paid amount.
- Let it be noted that, if your cancellation date is over TWO (2) months away from your reservation date, It has been known for third-party providers such as credit card companies, PayPal, etc. to charge a levy fee usually somewhere between 2-4%.
- Olive Sea reserves the right to cancel your booking at any time, when reasons beyond our control arise, such as strikes, prevailing weather conditions, mechanical failures, etc. occur. In this unfortunate case, you shall be immediately notified via the email address you used when making your reservation and your payment WILL be refunded 100%.