Architect Lens

Trip Highlights

  • Athens, Pelion, Thessaloniki
  • Meteora, Chalkidiki, Arachova
  • Nefkatos, Nafplion, Rio Bridge
  • Tel Aviv, Caesarea, Haifa
  • Acre, Capernaum, Safed
  • Tel Dan, Masada, Jerusalem

Trip Highlights

Lifetime Discovery invites you to spend 14 days for a 3-act play to discover Greece and Israel through the lens of the architect.  Find the myriad parallels while learning the history as seen through the architectural design.   It becomes wildly apparent that there is an enormous amount of similarity between the two destinations where building and beauty is concerned!

Sites, Citing & Insights

Guides with years of comparative architecture experience by accompanying travelers in both Israel and Greece will be there to point out the insights as they are cited at each destination.   There is an option to extend the discovery if you connect between the two countries by air.  As always with our custom-tailored programs, the details are up to you.

* Rate is per person per night based on double occupancy, depending on time of travel, chosen hotels, availability and number of passengers.

Electra Palace | Athens

Days: 1

The hotel‚Äôs location is particularly privileged compared to other hotels in Athens for another reason: As it is located inside the commercial and business district, one can have a walk for shopping, coffee or entertainment, any time of the day. Electra Palace Hotel Athens‚ÄĚ was recently expanded, refurbished and fully renovated to reflect the high-class and subtle aesthetics of the old aristocratic¬†neighborhood¬†which make it stand out among other hotels in Athens.

Electra Palace

Domotel Xenia Palace | Volos

Days: 2

With absolute respect to the cultural heritage of ‚ÄúXenia‚ÄĚ buildings that had been some of the most brilliant examples of Greek architecture in the 20th century, the hotel build in the 60‚Äôs is characteristic of the postwar modernism in Volos. It has been fully renovated, the services have been updated and the hotel has been transformed into a modern 5-star city and conventions resort for a relaxing Volos accommodation.¬† Pelion, according to the Greek mythology was the summer residence of Gods and the Centaurs‚Äô homeland.

TOBACCO Hotel | Thessaloniki

Days: 3 4

The Tobacco Hotel is the transformation of one of the oldest tobacco houses of Thessaloniki into a first class traditional hotel (4 stars), at the city centre, ready to welcome you. Opened in the autumn of 2004, The Tobacco Hotel aspires to offer you a home away from home whether you visit Thessaloniki for business or recreation.

ARNI Domotel | Karditsa

Days: 5

Designed by a French architect, it is one of the first hotels in the Balkans (it welcomed its first guests in 1921) and it is a rare sample of rococo architecture. After its renovation in 2006, hotel Domotel Arni has transformed into an A-class traditional hotel, presenting an environment ideal for relaxation, business and recreational activities. The high quality services and the customer-based approach make Domotel Arni one of the most modern hotels in Karditsa for amazing getaways and business meetings. Its location (at the junction of two key motorways leading: to the central square of Karditsa city, to the Lake Plastira, to the Pertouli ski center, to Elati, to Meteora, to Trikala city and to Argithea offers a great variety of choices for short trips and sightseeing in Trikala and Karditsa areas.

Santa Marina | Arachova

Days: 6

Santa Marina Arachova, a contemporary boutique hotel, in the midst of awesome scenery, is a welcome retreat for mountain lovers, whether you wish to experience the pleasures of ski and snow or the charming delights of summer in Arachova. The archeological sites of Delphi and enchanting seaside and mountain villages are only a short distance away from the hotel.

Onto Israel for more discoveries

Days: 7

Travel by air between Greece and Israel.

 

David Intercontinental | Tel Aviv

Days: 8

David InterContinental is a luxury Tel Aviv hotel near the beach with an outdoor pool (seasonal), spa and health/fitness center on the site. The hotel is perfectly located in Tel Aviv’s trendy, urban Neve Tzedek neighborhood with some of the best shopping and restaurants in the city, and near the business district of Tel Aviv.

 

Dan Panorama | Haifa

Days: 9

The Dan Panorama Hotel, rising twenty-one stories high on Mount Carmel, offers you a choice of spectacular views: one side commands a splendid panorama of the city of Haifa, Mount Carmel and the sea. Another vantage point presents the huge curve of Haifa Bay and the endless stretches of Israel’s beautiful Mediterranean coastline.

Bayit BaGalil | Upper Galilee

Days: 10 11

Located within a national nature preservation it is also home to protected wildlife . The estate overlooks Lake Kineret (Sea of Galilee) and gazes upon Israel’s Golan mountain range. Each of its 26 suites and presidential terrace suite have breathtaking views of the hillsides and forest surrounding it.

Isrotel | Dead Sea

Days: 12

Deep below sea level, at the lowest point on the face of the earth and by the shore of a unique natural phenomenon, Isrotel Dead Sea Hotel & SPa awaits you. Isrotel Dead Sea Hotel & Spa is a green oasis of health, tranquility, indulgence and spa, located in Israel, within dramatic views of desert mountains and elevated cliffs.

 

Day 1: The Glory of Athens

Accomodation: Electra Palace | Athens

Upon you arrival at the Athens airport, we will assist your check-in to the luxurious Electra Palace, named after Electra, the character of ancient Greek¬†theater¬†and literature who became a symbol for her love to her father. ¬†The hotel¬†was recently expanded, refurbished and fully renovated to reflect the high-class and subtle aesthetics of the old aristocratic¬†neighborhood¬†which make it stand out among other hotels in Athens.¬† We will have “tea”¬† while hearing an introduction about Greek architecture.¬† Our first stop will be the new Acropolis Museum, a work of art itself, ¬†and a presentation that provides all you need to know about ancient Athens before visiting the “real things” (The ¬†Acropolis, Parthenon and the Athena Palace). ¬†From there we will learn about the Agora Market while seeing it from the overlook at the Acropolis.¬† In the evening we will set out to the Plaka district for a leisurely night of galleries, music and cafe-hopping.

Day 2: On to Makrinitza via Pelion Region

Accomodation: Domotel Xenia Palace | Volos

We will set out towards the Pelion region where we will see the exterior building decoration so unique to the Pelion but, as you will see, parallel to things found in the Wadi Nis Nas neighborhood of Haifa in Israel  We will continue to Makrinitza, a whole village built from the stones of Mt. Pelion, truly merged with the environment.  We will head towards our overnight destination,  the wonderful Domotel Xenia Palace, stopping along the way a late lunch of authentic Greek cookery.

Day 3: Thessaloniki has something for everyone

Accomodation: TOBACCO Hotel | Thessaloniki

Today we travel to Thessaloniki where we find see a mix of architectural multiculturalism¬†of Roman, Byzantine, Orthodox Christian and Jewish heritage buildings. Many buildings were converted or reconstructed on the whim and pleasure of the reigning¬†conqueror¬†of the time, such as the Turks who conducted major surgery on the city. Our hotel has a unique history of once being a tobacco factory. You’ll hear all the details after we check in.

Day 4: A bit of Athos

Accomodation: TOBACCO Hotel | Thessaloniki

We will travel to Athos, the area of Chalkidiki.  Athos is one of the three peninsulas  extending from mainland Greece about one hour from Thessaloniki.  The island is an independent monastic community where only men are allowed enter, so we will take a boat that will provide us a glimpse of the extraordinary monasteries  found on the island  Once coming ashore and getting underway back to Thessaloniki we will stop at Sitonia, another of the 3 peninsulas but with a very different luscious  greenery.

Day 5: Mainly Meteora

Accomodation: ARNI Domotel | Karditsa

Today begins with the miracle of natural architecture at  Meteora.  Recognized as a  UNESCO World Heritage site, Meteora are an example of extraordinary how Mother Nature worked her wonders and how man appreciates the gift.  At the top of the cliffs we will visit the different Christian monasteries, each in their own architectural signature.    From there we will travel southward to the intriguing city of Trikkala, to enjoy the unique experience of the Arni Hotel, with its rococo architecture.

Day 6: Oracles and Arachova

Accomodation: Santa Marina | Arachova

From Trikala we will head towards the mythological town of Delphi where we will see where we will learn about the Delphi Oracle and about the history of Greek mythology.  The museum in Delphi is a source of insight into the magic of Greek mythology  that was a natural way of life for the ancient Greeks but which seems to mystical for us today.  We will move on to the town of Arachova to  stay at a hotel known for its architectural uniqueness, built into the mountain.

Day 7: Rio Bridge, monastery in Semantron then finally Napflion & Corinth Canal

Accomodation: Onto Israel for more discoveries

For the last day of our architectural discovery in Greece, we will visit the historic “Rio Bridge” which was built to connect the north of Greece with the south.¬† On the way we will stop in the picturesque village port town of Neffkatos, with its beautiful boutiques and coffee shops.¬†¬†From here we will ¬†continue on to see the¬†¬†unique Semantron Hotel, a structure built from the bricks ¬†of the nearby monastery before continuing on to the magical Napflion & Corinth Canal, a delightful way to end a discovery of the wonders of Greek architecture and environment.

Bon Voyage to your architecture discovery in Israel, by air, or to your your next destination or home sweet home.

Come Back Soon!

Day 8: Tel Aviv Metropolis & Habima Theatre design

Accomodation: David Intercontinental | Tel Aviv

Arrive in the modern metropolis of Tel Aviv to begin discovering the parallels between Greece and Israel through the lens of an architect.  After check-in at your hotel  and freshening up, step outside see the Bauhaus and restoration in the southern part of the city. Keep walking (or biking!) towards  the Independence Hall landmark on the famous Rothschild Boulevard to finally reach the newly built Habima National Theatre with its controversial design. Conclude your first glimpse of the first modern Jewish city while being wowed by  the modern  architecture of the new seaport  for an evening of  browsing and dinner.

Day 9: Caesarea ruins, Bahai and Templar architecture

Accomodation: Dan Panorama | Haifa

Head up the coastline to stop and see the ancient ruins in Caesarea including the ancient amphitheater  a UNESCO World Heritage site.   Stop at the Dalyat el-Carmel outdoor market and have some authentic Druse cooking for lunch before continuing to Haifa for a visit to world-famous Bahai Temple, followed by a walk through the unique 19th Century Templar architecture and seeing the extraordinary construction used in the German Colony of the Templar times.  Have an authentic middle eastern dinner before mounting the Carmel for the magnificent view of the sea.

Day 10: Knights in Acre and Crusaders & Arcs in Western Galilee

Accomodation: Bayit BaGalil | Upper Galilee

Head north, still hugging the coastline to the ancient port of Acre, with it’s magnificent mosques, churches and relics building from from ¬†medieval times. ¬†After¬† a delicious¬† lunch at one of the famous seaside fish restaurants we will¬†continue¬†to one of the most amazing sites of natural architecture at “Cave of the Arch” in Adamit in the western Galilee and the grottoes at Rosh HaNikra.¬† The evening will be spent in one of the most unique luxury hotels in the country.

Day 11: Sea of Galilee and Safed

Accomodation: Bayit BaGalil | Upper Galilee

We will traverse the Galilee for the our first stop at the ancient and mystical city of Safed, known for the Kaballah and its winding stone streets.  The Abuhav and Caro synagogues, with their classical sephardic design will be on the itinerary before we leave Safed and follow the winding road to the Sea of Galilee and discover the wonders of the  ancient ruins at Capernaum, Tabgha and Tiberius.  From there we will wind northward to Tel Hai and then to a  hotel that is a throw-back to the castles of yore.

Day 12: North to South

Accomodation: Isrotel | Dead Sea

Wake early to see the wonder of nature at Tel Dan and the Banias waterfalls and cave named after Greek god Paniass.   From there we will head south from one sea to the next and to see the wonders of Jordan Valley before reaching the lowest spot on earth.  After a dip in the Dead Sea we will have a free night to absorb the wonders of the desert, before an early rise to climb Masada at sunrise.

 

Day 13: Masada & The Dead Sea

Accomodation: American Colony Hotel | Jerusalem

Wake up at dawn to ascend Masada.  As the last stronghold against the Romans, Masada has been deemed a World Heritage site by UNESCO.  A cable car is available, but for the more rugged among us, the hike is invigorating.  At mid-day we will head onto Ein Gedi for a float in the magical Dead Sea.  The option of getting muddy with the world famous Dead Sea mud treatment is totally up to you.

Day 14: Jerusalem, the history

As the Bible says, the world was created in 6 days and the seventh day was meant for rest.¬† For the seventh day of discovering Israel (and the 14th day of the¬†journey beginning in Greece) through the eyes of the architect, you will have learned enough to notice things and identify them while you browse the “shuk” (bizarre) within the old city walls, see the famous stops of the Via Dolorosa and enjoy the exotic smells and sounds of the bustling life of Jerusalem.¬† You may see how¬† the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Holy Sepulcher, and the Western Wall ‚Äď each with its own special architecture – are situated just meters from each other.¬† In the evening, it is recommended that you see the special “Sound and Light at the Citadel” before packing your bags and getting ready to go home.

 

Day 15: Homeward bound or onto Greece

Wherever your continuing to, Lifetime Discovery staff will assist you with a speedy check-in at the airport and ensure you continue to your next journey safely.

Have a safe trip and come back for more discoveries very soon!