- “I have no words! Our guide was exceptionally prepared, very knowledgable and friendly. Visiting the site without him would not be the same. The place is mostly ruins and you need to imagine everything as it must have been. Our guide did an excellent job to make us realize the importance of the place and how it must have felt like to be an initiate into the Mysteries. Great work and great tour! Thank you :)"
- Patricia K, USA
- "Amazing tour! From the moment we stepped in the car, Michalis traveled us to the world of ancient Greece and the time of the holy procession to the Eleusis. We had a very nice intro to what would follow and got to know each other. The driver was very professional and kind. Arriving at Eleusis, we entered the site which was mostly in ruins, so a guided tour is necessary here. Michalis had prepared some very interesting activities that helped us understand the stages of initiation and the story of how the Mysteries came to be. Excellent preparation and organization! This is an excursion I highly recommend if you are visiting Athens!
2. What you can expect
The Athens excursion to Eleusis will start after picking you up from your hotel. We will travel to Eleusis by car, the city selected as the European Capital of Culture for 2021. We will follow the ‘Iera Odos’ (Sacred Way), the road that the procession of the Eleusinian Mysteries used to take to Eleusis, which still survives, 2500 years later.
The Eleusinian Mysteries were secret religious rites of ancient Athens that annually celebrated the story of Goddess Demeter and her daughter Persephone, who was kidnapped by Hades, Lord of the Underworld. The Eleusinian Mysteries were famous in the ancient world and many prominent men were initiated into them; Plato, Pythagoras, Pericles, the Roman Emperor Hadrian, to name a few… What is so intriguing about the Mysteries is that, despite the fact that many thousands of initiates took part in the sacred rituals over so many centuries, no one ever divulged the secrets of what really took place. One reason for this silence is obvious: speaking of the sacred rituals was a crime punishable by death. What we do know, though, is that those who participated in the mysteries were no longer feared death.
With the help of our expert guide and storyteller, we will follow the steps and many stages of initiation through interactive narrative and activities. We will get to know the Goddess of harvest and fertility, Demeter, and the places she walked on during her life on Earth, according to Greek Mythology. Through a fun theatrical play, we will learn how the Eleusinian Mysteries were established and what they symbolized for ancient Greeks.
The deeper we delve into the different stages of initiation, the more we unfold. We will hear about stories and secrets, rituals and legends! We will have the chance to taste the famed 'Kykeon', Demeter's sacred drink. We will also approach and observe one of the ancient gates to the Underworld, the Kingdom of Hades.
Finally, we will visit the small but very important site Museum. There, we will observe the headless statue of Demeter, dating back to the 5th century BC, the Eleusis amphora, one of the most splendid examples of the Proto-attic style, which bears a representation of the blinding of Cyclops Polyphemus by Ulysses, and the colossal statue of a Cistophorus Kore, who was one of the two Caryatids supporting the roof of Lesser Propylaea. After we admire the view over the hill to the sea, we will head back to Athens' city-center or your hotel, whichever you like best.