Exploring Greece and Its Islands
|Resort:||Exploring Greece and Its Islands|
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 citys 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, Olympia and Corinth.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Discover the beauty and timeless wonder found only in Greece. This fascinating tour of Greece begins with an overnight flight.
Day 2: 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.
Day 3: 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, choose to explore the city your way. Perhaps you will select a comprehensive tour of the incredible Acropolis. Or, you may choose to embark on a walking tour of some of the citys hidden gems, including Pnyx where democracy was formed in Greece and the Temple of Hephaestus.
Day 4: Athens – Thermopylae – Metéora – Kalambaka
Ease your way into the local culture as your Tour Manager teaches you a few key phrases of the native language. 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 Metora 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 in Kalambaka, a typical Greek town at the foot of the Pindos Mountains, and enjoy dinner at a family-owned restaurant.
Day 5: 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 Greeces most important religious centers during Classical times. A local expert guides you on a visit to the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Doric Temple, 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.
Day 6: 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. Learn how to cook some of the regions best dishes as you partake in a Mediterranean cooking experience followed by a traditional Greek lunch.
Day 7: 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, 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. This evening, broaden your knowledge of traditional Greek musical instruments and folkloric dances with a delightful Greek dance class.
Day 8: Olympia – Mycenae – Tolo
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 Tolo.
Day 9: Tolo – 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 sail across the brilliant Aegean Sea to this island paradise.
Day 10: Mykonos
Enjoy a relaxing day to independently explore the charms of Mykonos. Dont miss Mykonos Town, where mazes of narrow streets link the whitewashed buildings and traditional life continues amidst the bustling activity.
Day 11: Mykonos – Santorini
Sail to the most spectacular destination in the Mediterranean, the fabled island of Santorini.
Day 12: 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.
Day 13: Santorini
Your day is at leisure to relax or independently explore Santorini, considered one of the most spectacular and stunning landscapes in the world. Shop in Thiras charming town center, take in the breathtaking scenery, visit a local museum or simply enjoy the amenities of your hotel.
Day 14: 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.
Day 15: Athens – Tour Ends