13:30 Departure to Amfipolis, one of the most important cities of the Macedonian Kingdom, and the place where Alexander the Great started his journey for the conquest of Asia.
Guided visit to Amfipolis Archaeological museum which houses exhibits from the prehistoric to the Late Byzantine period and the famous Lion of Amfipolis.
You then head towards the Cave of Alistrati, one of the largest in Europe, which offers a significant decoration of huge stalactites and stalagmites in various beautiful colors. Return to Serres.
18:30 Tour ends at the hotels
Explore Amfipolis, the land of Alexander the Great & the Cave of Alistrati with the numerous stalactites and stalagmites
It was an ancient city built by the Athenians in 437 BC, on the banks of the Strimon River, attempting to control the mines of Thrace. Then during the Peloponnesian Wars (431 BC), it passed into Spartan hands until 357 BC where conquered by Philip, the father of Alexander the Great and became part of the Macedonian Kingdom. After the fall of the Macedonian Kingdom by the Romans, Amphipolis became part of the Roman Empire which built the famous “Via Egnatia”. After the invasions of the Slavs in the late 6th century AD, Amfipolis gradually depopulated till to be completely abandoned in the 8th century. In the area were found several gravestones, votive reliefs and statues, as well as many vases that testify intense commercial traffic.
The Lion of Amfipolis
The Lion of Amfipolis is one of the most important monuments of the 4th century BC, and for more than 70 years is the landmark of Amfipolis. During the First Balkan Wars, Greek soldiers reported the existence of ancient ruins in the banks of Strimon river, which remained scattered until 1930, when the French Archaeological School of Athens began to study them. The archaeologists believe that the Lion was placed on top of the Casta hill, where extensive excavations were taking place after a marvelous Tomb came to light in 2014.
Amfipolis Archaeological Museum
The Archaeological Museum houses exhibits found to the surrounding area, reflecting the history of Amfipolis from prehistoric to the Late Byzantine period. Amongst the most important items to admire are the stamp and the Neolithic figurines from a prehistoric settlement, a gold jewelry from the graves in Casta tumulus, the inscribed Amintas headstone (4th BC), the gold stator of Alexander the Great, the silver ossuaries and the gold olive wreath which was found in it, the ring stone of the Roman times, the marble column of the Amphipolis, fragments of a Byzantine chapel (12th century) and much more.
Cave of Alistrati
The cave according to the Greek mythology is at a place where Pluto, the underworld god, stole Demeter’s daughter, Persephone, to take her through the gorge to the Gate of Hades. The cave is one of the largest in Europe which the rich decoration includes huge stalactites and stalagmites in various beautiful colors. It covers an area of approx. 25,000 sq.m., has a length of 3,000 m. and due to its size it hosts an impressive number of bats, endemic organisms and offers a unique ecosystem with great biological interest. Its fauna dates back about two million years ago, including fossils of various animals and whitewashed herbivores bones. Cave temperature is constantly at 17°C and there are countless levels yet to be discovered.