- 11 Days
- Age 12+
Arrival at Eleftherios Venizelos Airport. Welcome to Athens! According to the Greek mythology, the name “Athens” came from the goddess of wisdom, Athena. Our transfer will pick you up from the airport and escort you to the Hotel for check in. Then we will have an illuminated night tour of Athens. First, we will see the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896. We will continue and pass by the Prime Minister’s residence (ex-Royal Palace), which guarded by the Euzones in their colorful uniform, and see the Temple of Olympian Zeus – one of the largest in antiquity, the Hadrian’s Arch – the symbolic entrance to the city, the Parliament, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library and the Syntagma (Constitution Square). Then we will transfer back to the Hotel. Overnight in Athens.
Breakfast at the hotel. Get ready for the most amazing city tour through history, which gives you an opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city!! We will start our tour with Acropolis, the Architectural Masterpieces in the world of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally “the harmony between material and spirit”, the monument that “puts order in the mind”, the Parthenon. Then we will visit the New Acropolis Museum which is only 300m. away from the sacred rock of Acropolis and where at last 4000 priceless statues found their home and admire the wonders of the classical era. Free time for lunch and then walk to the ancient Agora (Market) of Athens. The Ancient Agora, where the place that ancient Greeks used to do their trades, but also used to gather to discuss city matters, thus, creating the idea of Democracy. In this magnificent walking tour, we will see the Stoa of Attalos, originally erected during the 2nd cent. BC as a gift of the king of Pergamon, Attalos II, to Athens and was one of the world’s first shopping malls, which was 116 meters in length and two floors high, supported by Doric, Ionic and parchment columns. After we will see the temple of Hephaestus, more widely known as Thisio, which is probably built around 460-420 B.C. by an unknown architect. Then we will have free time at Plaka, which is the oldest neighborhood in Athens the picturesque quarter of the city, where there are little shops with handmade crafts and Monastiraki, the Flea Market, where you can have a pleasant walk. Return at the Hotel. Overnight in Athens.
Early breakfast at the hotel. Today we will explore the famous Greek islands by Saronic Cruise. We will cover three of the most beautiful islands of Saronic Gulf, Aegina, Hydra and Poros. These islands are small havens near Athens where we will enjoy natural beauty, historical treasures, unique architecture, and glamorous, yet romantic atmosphere. The island of Aegina is one of the most popular tourist destinations as it is the closest island to Athens. Even though it is a small island, it boasts a great number of sights and natural beauties. Highlight is the famous Aphea Temple. It forms in fact an equilateral triangle with the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, the so-called “holy triangle” of the antiquity. Second stop is Hydra island, Hydra island is built in the shape of an amphitheater on a slope overlooking the Argosaronic gulf, one of the most romantic destinations in Greece. Traditional stone mansions, narrow cobblestoned streets, secluded squares. There is no use of cars but around 500 donkeys as means of public transportation, which explains the reason why Hydra preserved its distinctive atmosphere through the passage of time. The town of Poros is built in the shape of an amphitheater over two hills. Poros with the lush pine trees vegetation, crystal clear beaches, a lively waterfront adorned with shops, cozy cafes and restaurants, a picturesque capital with grand traditional mansions and picturesque cobbled streets, as well as a wide selection of entertainment venues are the ingredients of this quiet, yet cosmopolitan, destination. (Lunch in the cruise Mediterranean buffet ).
Breakfast and transfer to Athens port to take the ferry to Mykonos island. In Greek mythology, the island of Mykonos was named after the namesake hero Mykonos, the descendant of the legendary king of Delos, Aneos. The island is also said to have been the location of a great battle between Zeus and Titans and where Hercules killed the invincible giants after having lured them from the protection of Mount. When your ferry docks in the Mykonos port, you will see the best of the town. We will have a walking tour and we will explore the narrow streets and alleys of the old town. We will see Manto Square, where the famous monument of Manto Mavrogenous stands, then we see little Venice, the five in a row windmills, which still stand proudly. Transfer to the Hotel. Overnight in Mykonos.
Breakfast at the hotel. Ferry to the island of Syros. Syros is an island with rich culture, which stands proudly in the center of the Aegean Sea. Ermoupolis, the capital of Syros, which used to be a rich trade center in the past, which is depicted today in its wonderful architecture. The elegant mansions with the Venetian style and the Neoclassical buildings of Ermoupolis come in contrast to the traditional Cycladic architecture of the other villages on Syros. The highlight of Ermoupolis is Miaouli Square, where we will see the impressive Town Hall. The most picturesque neighborhood of Ermoupolis, Vaporia, is great to walk around. Then we will see the church of Kimisi Theotokou (Assumption), to see the famous original icon of Dominicos Theotokopoulos (El Greco), the famous painter of the 15th and 16th century. Later, we will go to Ano Syros, a nice village almost attached to Ermoupolis. From the square of Ano Syros, you get the best view of Ermoupolis and the busy port. Take the ferry to Mykonos. Transfer to the Hotel. Overnight Mykonos.
Early breakfast at the hotel. Departure by ferry to beautiful Santorini.Transfer to our hotel. In the afternoon, walking tour in Fira and Oia to catch the sunset. Oia hosts the most magnificent views on Santorini and a picturesque road with cliffs on one side and sea on the other leads to this attractive village typical of Santorini’s architecture with houses sunk deep into the volcanic soil, their whitewashed walls and blue domes sparkling in the sunlight. After sunset transfer for dinner and return to our hotel.
Today after breakfast, you will have the most popular tour in Santorini, which is certainly the boat trip with kaiki (wooden boat) to the volcano and the hot springs. Walk on top of a still active volcano, see the caldera villages from an impressive spot and then we sail around the islet by excursion boat. We will make a stop for swimming at the bathing beach of Palea Kameni where the hot waters reach a temperature of 35oC. Swim in thermal water with therapeutic ingredients.
Breakfast and free time at Santorini. Then we will be transferred to Santorini port for our ferry embarkation to Crete Island. Crete is the largest island in Greece and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean and has an exquisite 1,000 kilometer-long coastline. After all, it is among the finest in the world and most popular holiday destinations. And, of course, the island’s historic importance in today’s world as the home of the Minoan civilization, with important archaeological finds. We will arrive at Crete, at Heraklion Port. Transfer to our hotel in Crete.
Breakfast at the hotel. Today we will explore the cradle of the Minoan civilization, the palace – labyrinth of legendary King Minos and its mythical Minotaur. The Minoan palace is the main site of interest at Knossos, an important city in antiquity, which was inhabited continuously from the Neoli thic period until the 5th c. AD. The palace was built on the Kephala hill and had easy access to the sea and the Cretan interior. According to tradition, it was the seat of the wise king Minos. The earliest traces of inhabitation at the area of the palace go back to the Neolithic period (7000-3000) BC). Then we will head to Heraklion city. The city’s reputation is being one of the most attractive amongst many cities in the Mediterranean! The region of Heraklion is famous for Zeus, the Greek god of hospitality, who met and fell in love with a Princess of unsurpassed beauty, named Europa. She gave birth to the race of Minoan Kings and sages, the founders of the earliest civilized nation in Europe. However, modern-day Heraklion has a much wider range of attractions to offer. There we will see the unique Venetian monuments which the town offers, such as the Venetian fountain of Morosini, The Basilica of St. Marc, The Venetian Loggia, St. Titos church, the Venetian Port with the Fortress of “Koule”. A walk inside the town’s open-air market will make our senses awaken with its different and various smells, colors, and sounds. In the old (Venetian) port, next to the modern facilities, one can see the vaulted tarsanades where ships used to be built, while the western side is dominated by the Koule fortress (16th century). Overnight in Heraklion.
After breakfast we will take the boat and we will visit the glorious Venetian fortress at island of Spinalonga. Spinalonga is a small island near Elound a in East Crete. Spinalonga is also known as the “Leper Island”, as that is where lepers from Crete and the rest of Greece were quarantined until 1957. The islet had a strategic position for the control and defence of Elounda harbor, during the Hellenistic period or the Minoan years, the island was a stronghold of Olounites, which was built to protect the port of the ancient city Olous. Lunch. Then we will experience the quintessential luxuries of East Crete by visiting the most photographed landmarks – the town of Agios Nikolaos with its breath-taking ancient lake.. Transfer back to the hotel
Today, after breakfast you will be transferred at airport for your departure flight via Athens. Bid farewell to this colourful country with fond memories and treasured moments.