Description

    Discover the magnificent ruins of ancient Greece in their tranquil Mediterranean settings. This comprehensive journey explores Greece's most important ancient monuments, like the famed Temple of Zeus, archeological site of Olympia and ancient artifacts of Delphi. Explore Athens your way – choose a tour of the incredible Acropolis, or embark on a walking tour of some of the city’s hidden gems. Visit a local farm in the countryside to see how olive oil and wine are produced. Learn how to cook traditional Mediterranean cuisine during a cooking demonstration. Wander the winding streets, vineyards, marketplaces and beaches of Mykonos and Santorini. Explore the excavations of the ancient city at Akrotiri, the most important prehistoric settlement found anywhere in the Eastern Mediterranean. In Athens, enjoy traditional cuisine, wine and entertainment at a family-owned taverna in the lively Plaka district. Learn the history of this fascinating country from local experts on guided tours of Athens, Meteora, Delphi, and Olympia.

    • Itinerary Type : Standard

    • Activity Level : 3


    • Number of Days:15

    • Number of Meals:22

    • Hotels:El Greco Resort (Santorini), Domotel Anemolia Mountain Resort (Arachova), Europa Hotel (Olympia), San Marco Hotel (Mykonos), Famissi Eden Hotel (Kalambaka), Crowne Plaza City Center (Athens), Crowne Plaza City Center (Athens), Amalia Hotel (Nafplio)

    • Experiences:Come to know two breathtaking Byzantine monasteries in Metéora, built over 600 years ago. Experience the Delphi Museum with its priceless collection of ancient artifacts. Broaden your knowledge of traditional Greek music with a delightful Greek dance class.

    • Must Sees:Join a local expert to explore Athens and its famed sites. Explore the grandeur of Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games. Have a day to explore Mykonos, the whitewashed jewel of the Cyclades Islands.

    • Culinaries:Feast on local food and wine at a traditional "taverna." Partake in a Mediterranean cooking experience followed by a traditional Greek lunch. Sample the finest wines in Greece during a winery tour in Santorini.

    Itinerary (14  days)

    • 1

      Athens, Greece - Tour Begins

      Your tour begins in the capital city of Athens. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner in Athens’ historic Plaka district. In a traditional taverna, feast on local cuisine and wine while enjoying Greek entertainment.

    • 2

      Athens

      Enjoy a panoramic tour of the highlights in Athens showcasing the city's ancient and glorious monuments, such as the Temple of Zeus, the Royal Palace, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, and the Olympic Stadium. Next, it’s your choice! Choose a comprehensive tour of the incredible Acropolis -OR- embark on a walking tour of some of the city’s hidden gems, including Pnyx – where democracy was formed in Greece – and the Temple of Hephaestus. This evening, perhaps you’ll choose to join an optional local food tour of Athens.

    • 3

      Athens - Thermopylae - Metéora - Kalambaka

      Travel north through central Greece to Thermopylae. Stop to see a monument dedicated to Leonidas who died defending the city against the Persians. Arrive in Metéora and visit two remote monasteries situated in a unique landscape of limestone rock “towers” that extend nearly 900 feet into the air. Over 600 years ago, Byzantine monks chose to build their monastic community perched atop these virtually inaccessible rocks. End your day at a family-owned taverna where you will savor a delicious meal with recipes passed down from generations.

    • 4

      Kalambaka - Delphi - Arachova

      This morning, visit a local studio to see painters at work creating beautiful Byzantine icons. Continue to the ancient city of Delphi, one of Greece’s most important religious centers during Classical times. A local expert guides you on a visit to the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Doric Temple, the ancient theatre, and the Delphi Museum with its priceless collection of ancient artifacts. It was here that the famous Oracle was consulted to foretell the destiny of Man. Continue on to charming Arachova, a popular ski resort town with breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains and valleys.

    • 5

      Arachova - Olympia

      Travel along the Gulf of Corinth, crossing into the Peloponnese to the historic city of Olympia, a testament to the grandeur of ancient Greek civilization. Visit a local farm in the countryside and meet with the owners to learn about everyday life. Following the tour, enjoy a tasting of local wines, olive oil, homemade jams, marmalades and sweets.

    • 6

      Olympia

      Your guided visit to ancient Olympia includes a tour of the sanctuary of Zeus, the Olympic Stadium – where the first Olympic Games were held in 776 B.C. – and the museum. Next, learn how to cook some of the region’s best dishes as you partake in a Mediterranean cooking experience followed by a traditional Greek lunch. This evening, broaden your knowledge of traditional Greek musical instruments and folkloric dances with a delightful Greek dance class.

    • 7

      Olympia - Mycenae - Nafplio

      Enjoy spectacular scenery as you cross the Arkadian Mountains en route to the ancient city of Mycenae for a guided visit of the excavations featuring the Beehive Tombs and the Lion Gate. Your day ends in the picturesque seaside resort of Nafplio.

    • 8

      Nafplio - Athens - Mykonos

      This morning, transfer* to the port of Athens for the high-speed ferry ride to Mykonos, the whitewashed jewel of the Cyclades Islands. Enjoy magnificent views as you cruise across the brilliant Aegean Sea to this island paradise.

    • 9

      Mykonos

      Enjoy a relaxing day to independently explore the charms of Mykonos. Don’t miss Mykonos Town, where mazes of narrow streets link the whitewashed buildings and traditional life continues amidst the bustling activity.

    • 10

      Mykonos - Santorini

      Cruise to the most spectacular destination in the Mediterranean, the fabled island of Santorini.

    • 11

      Santorini - Oia - Santorini

      Begin your day with a visit to the excavation site of ancient Akrotiri, the most important prehistoric settlement found anywhere in the Eastern Mediterranean. Known as the "Minoan Pompeii," the flourishing town was at once destroyed and preserved by a volcanic eruption around 1450 B.C. Next, travel through a fascinating landscape of vineyards, whitewashed chapels and volcanic cliffs to the spectacular town of Oia, where the best views of the crater are found. End your day with a visit to a local winery that produces the unique and famous wines of Santorini.

    • 12

      Santorini

      Your day is at leisure to relax or independently explore Santorini, considered one of the most stunning landscapes in the world. Shop in Thira’s charming town center, take in the breathtaking scenery, visit a local museum or simply enjoy the amenities of your hotel.

    • 13

      Santorini - Athens

      Bid farewell to the Greek Islands and fly back to Athens for your overnight stay. Celebrate the end of a memorable trip to Greece with a delightful farewell dinner.

    • 14

      Athens - Tour Ends

      Your tour ends today.


    Location


    Highlights


    City

    Athens

    A place where democracy was born and the birthplace of the Olympics; happens to be the largest city located in one of the most historic countries and is also the capital of Greece. Located in Athens is one of the 7 wonders of the modern world, Acropolis of Athens, the Holy Rock which dates back to 5 BC. Athens is recognized as a global city for its strategic location and its modernistic views in finance, commerce, media, entertainment, arts, international trade, culture, education, and tourism.

    Attraction

    Taverna Dinner Show

    Geros Tou Moria is a traditional Greek tavern, located under the Acropolis in the historic Plaka, one of the most picturesque areas of Athens. Geros Tou Moria is considered the oldest Greek tavern in the Plaka, offering traditional Greek cuisine and wines accompanied by lively Greek music and dancers.

    Attraction

    Choice on Tour

    Embark on a comprehensive tour of the legendary Acropolis! Built in the fifth century BCE, the architecture and structure of these buildings are truly breathtaking. Located on the top of a rocky hill, the Acropolis is home to famous sights such as the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the famous Parthenon. The latter two buildings are in honor of Athena, who is patron goddess of Athens. Ancient legends claim that the people of Athens accepted Athena as their patroness after she presented them with the gift of the first domesticated olive tree. OR Journey on a walking tour through the city of Athens! You’ll discover the ancient city’s hidden gems, such as the Pnyx. The Pnyx was a hill that served as a popular meeting spot in Ancient Greece, eventually leading to the development of democracy. You’ll also get a chance to see the Temple of Hephaestus, which was built around the year 445 BCE. This temple was built in honor of Hephaestus, the god of fire, metal, and craftsmanship. Suiting to the nature of the mythological god, many workshops are located in the area surrounding the temple.

    City

    Metéora

    Meteora, located in Thessaly and Kalampaka, is a city under the rock of towers. The most famous attraction is the monasteries on the top of the rock towers. Today, the Orthodoxy has been continually practiced uninterrupted for over 600 years by the monasteries on top of the Meteora rocks: Holy Monastery of the Great Meteoro, the Varlaam Monastery, the Saint Stephen Monastery, the Holy Trinity Monastery, the Saint Nicolas Anapafsas Monastery, and the Roussano Monastery.

    City

    Delphi

    The place where heaven meets earth. It is said that the Pythia, the priestess serving as the oracle in the pre-classical Greek world, resided in Delphi. Delphi is the setting for many Greek myths and serves as a major site for the worship of Apollo because of his accomplishment of slaying Phython, a dragon protecting the navel of Earth. Delphi is both an archaeological site and a modern town in Greece. Delphi’s deep history is a large attraction for tourists.

    City

    Olympia

    The birthplace of the Olympics, which was held in honor of Zeus. Olympia is a sanctuary of ancient Greece in Elis on the Peloponnese peninsula, also nicknamed the “Vallyey of Gods.” Overtime the site was buried under sedimentary deposits, from what is thought to have been a flood. It wasn’t until 1766 when it was re-discovered. The first excavation took place in 1829. Today the Olympic flame of the modern Olympic Games is lit by the reflection of sunlight in a parabolic mirror in front of the Temple of Hera. Visitors can walk through the ruins of the area where athletes trained in the ancient stadium as well as visit the museum that houses sculptures of decoration of the temple of Zeus, which happens to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Visitors can also take part in activities, such as walking along the promenade, and outdoor sports like biking, rafting, kayaking, and kite surfing.

    Attraction

    Greek Farm Visit

    Farming has been a core part of Greek culture since the ancient times. This was one of the main sources of income for the Ancient Greek economy. Now, farming still flourishes in Greece thanks to its most famous crop – olives. Although olives are the most popular crop, Greece also produces many other crops such as grapes, tomatoes, and cotton. You’ll be able to visit an authentic Greek farm and meet with the owners to learn about daily life in the countryside.

    Attraction

    Cooking Class

    Guests will experience a presentation of Mediterranean cuisine followed by lunch, which includes: Greek Cheese pies & Tzatziki (cucumber, yogurt, garlic and oil), giant beans, stuffed vine leaves, seasonal salad, "spetsofai" sausages cooked in real tomatoes with peppers OR stuffed tomatoes & Peppers, grandmother's meatballs, lentil soup, bread, oil, olives, feta cheese and traditional dessert, mineral water, coffee or tea, ouzo, and house wine.

    Attraction

    Greek Dance Class

    The Greek dance class is an interactive, one hour Greek dance and music presentation on a variety of Greek dances and musical instruments. Guests will be able to participate in various traditional dances.

    City

    Mycenae

    An archaeological site in Greece, located southwest of Athens. Once inhabited by many, Mycenae was abandoned, and by the Roman period in Greece its ruins had become a tourist attraction. Treasures of Atreus is one of the most impressive preserved Mycenaean tombs, the cistern where the Mycenaeans found their source of water, the cyclopean walls, and the lion’s gate are sites you will find in Mycenae.

    Attraction

    Nafplio

    Stay in the seaside resort town of Nafplio. The ancient origins of this place are evident, with numerous castles and fortifications found alongside golden beaches and winding cobblestone alleys.

    City

    Mykonos

    Mykonos, also known as the island of the winds, is one of the Greek Islands, Cyclades. It is also the name of the largest town on the island. Because of the location of Mykonos, several islands relied on it and it became an important place for supplies and transit. Mykonos also holds a place in Greek mythology. It is said that Mykonos was named after its first ruler, Mykons, the son of the god Apollo. Another myth says the island is the location of a great battle between Zeus and the Titans. Today, the island relies heavily on tourism and is widely known for its incredible nightlife.

    City

    Santorini

    High on the hill overlooking the turquoise Aegean Sea sits Santorini, the world’s only inhabited caldera (volcano cauldron). This mountainous island is an amazing sight. Its towns are filled with whitewashed houses that "spill" over the edge of the cliff toward the sea. The striking cobblestone alleyways painted in white and highlighted with blue and red are lined with colorful fabrics and artwork and filled with friendly people. Take in the atmosphere and relax as you gaze at the breathtaking sunsets and stroll along the stunning black sand beaches; then you'll truly understand why this island has been inhabited for thousands of years.

    Attraction

    Ancient Akrotiri

    A Minoan Bronze Age settlement located on the volcanic Greek island of Santorini. The settlement was buried in volcanic ash by the Theran eruption in 1627 BC. The site was excavated. Much of what was found was the remains of Frescoes (type of painting style) and other objects and artworks. Today Akrotiri is still under some construction. However, a path was built from the city to the parking lot of excavations that is suitable for outdoor activities such as mountain biking, walking and running.



    * This itinerary is subject to availability and can be cancelled or varied without notice.