THE BEST OF GREECE
9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

DESCRIPTION

With its beautiful countryside, astounding archaeological sites and bucolic villages, Greece charms you to your core. And then there is Athens, the birthplace of Western civilization and democracy, with the famous Acropolis, Parthenon and Temple of Zeus. Outside of the capital, we take you to the ancient theater of Epidaurus, to the Delphi oracle & museum and to the Meteora monasteries, perched on massive stone formations. Our trip also includes some island hopping to Santorini, an island of extreme beauty, and to Mykonos with its breathtaking views, sights and tombs.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Beautiful countryside of Greece
  • Astounding archaeological sites
  • Bucolic villages
  • Ancient Athens - birthplace of Western civilization
  • World-famous Acropolis & Parthenon
  • Acropolis museum
  • Temple of Zeus
  • Corinth Canal
  • Ancient theater of Epidaurus
  • Mykonos’ breathtaking vistas
  • Archaeological sites of Mycenae and Olympia
  • Arched Tombs of Kings & Gigantic Lion’s Gate
  • Cyclopean Walls
  • Picturesque Venetian town of Nafplion
  • Oracle & Museum of Delphi
  • Meteora Monasteries
  • Santorini, Island of extreme beauty
  • Stunning sunsets and much more…

Photo and Video



DAY BY DAY ITINERARY


Day 1 Depart USA
Today you fly from the U.S. on an overnight flight to Athens, Greece. Meals and refreshments served on board.

Day 2 Arrive Athens, Greece
Kalimera! Welcome to Greece! Upon arrival proceed to baggage claim. After clearing customs, you will be met by your tour director and transferred to your hotel for check-in. The rest of the day will be at leisure. Tonight, welcome dinner to Athens and overnight at the hotel. (D)

Day 3 Athens - City Tour
After breakfast depart for a city tour of Athens. This tour gives you an opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. Our expert guides will take you to see the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896. Continuing on you will pass by the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Hadrian's Arch, the Parliament and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library, the Constitution Square (Syntagma). On the Acropolis visit the Architectural Masterpieces 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. Afterwards you will visit the place where at last the statues found their home and admire the wonders of the classical era: The new Acropolis museum. A walk through its galleries is a walk through history - between the masterpieces of the Archaic and Classical periods, but also in the ancient neighborhoods of Athens. Balance of the day at leisure. (B)

Day 4 Athens - Corinth Canal and Epidaurus Tour - Nafplion
After breakfast, you leave Athens behind and drive the scenic coastal road to the Corinth Canal. Enjoy the imposing landscape in the Corinth Canal's protected waters, one of the 19th Century world's engineering masterpieces with history that starts as early as 602 B.C. Then onwards to Epidaurus with its 4th century B.C. theatre, famous for its astonishing acoustics. Lunch is included at a local restaurant along the way. The town of Nafplion, your next stop, a modern seaside resort and old town, is crowned by the mighty ramparts at the Palamidi Fortress. Arrival at your hotel, dinner and overnight. (B, L, D)

Day 5 Nafplion - Mycenae Tour - Olympia
Morning free. Then transfer to Mycenae, the Homeric city of Atreides, the city "rich in gold" of the ancient poets. Visit the Lion's Gate, the Cyclopean Walls and the Royal Tombs. Lunch at local restaurant. Depart for Olympia through Central Peloponnese, Tripoli and Megalopoli. Arrival at your hotel, dinner and overnight (B, L, D)

Day 6 Olympia - Ancient Olympia Tour - Achaia - Delphi
Enjoy your breakfast and after visit Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the idea and site of the Ancient Olympic Games. Visit the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus and the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, which hosts important treasures such as the famous statue of Praxiteles, Hermes. Lunch at local restaurant. Continue through Achaia and Rio - Antirio towards Delphi, passing through the picturesque towns of Nafpaktos and Itea. Arrival in Delphi, enjoy your dinner at hotel and overnight. (B, L, D)

Day 7 Delphi - Delphi Tour - Kalambaka
Enjoy your breakfast and depart for your tour to Delphi. Located on the slopes of Mount Parnasus, Delphi, once believed as the center, "Naval" of the Earth, is the home of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. At the oracle of Apollo, Pythia, the high priestess of the temple, under the influence of the ancient god Apollo delivered her famous prophesies. You will also visit the Treasury of the Athenians and the Delphi Museum, which hosts valuable pieces of art like the famous bronze charioteer. Lunch at local restaurant. Depart for Kalambaka. Enjoy your dinner at hotel and overnight. (B, L, D)

Day 8 Kalambaka - Meteora Monasteries Tour - Athens
After breakfast, visit the breathtaking monasteries of Meteora. Perched on huge granite rocks, the monasteries seem to suspend between earth and sky, providing a magnificent view. Each monastery contains priceless historical and religious treasures. Enjoy your lunch at local restaurant in Kalambaka, before returning to Athens bypassing Trikala, Lamia and Thermopylae where a stop will be made to visit the memorial of Leonidas and the brave 300 Spartans. Return to Athens and overnight at hotel. (B, L)

Day 9 Athens to USA or extend your stay with an optional Santorini extension
After breakfast, transfer to Athens airport for your return flight home. (B)

OPTIONAL SANTORINI EXTENSION
Day 9 Athens - Santorini
Enjoy your breakfast and transfer to Athens port for your ferry to Santorini. Upon arrival on the Island of Santorini, transfer to your hotel for check in. Remaining of your afternoon at leisure to admire the spectacular caldera with white washed houses perched on the edge, created by the eruption of the islands' volcano in the ancient times. Overnight at your Santorini hotel. (B)

Day 10 Santorini - Island Tour with wine tasting
Begin your tour after breakfast by visiting the Monastery of ProfitisIlias which is at the highest point on Santorini and spans to 1,856 feet at the summit. From here you can see the surrounding islands and, on a clear day, the mountains of Crete, more than 100 km (66 mi) away. Continue to Pyrgos, which can found at the highest point of Santorini, with panoramic views of the whole island all the way to the village of Oia. This hillside village was declared a protected settlement in 1995. Afterwards you will visit the Koutsoyannopoulos wine museum. Being the only one of its kind in Greece, the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum occupies a natural cave. It is eight meters below ground, 300 meters long and has a labyrinth-like shape. The Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum presents the history of wine and the life of vine-growers in Santorini since the 1600s. You will have the opportunity to see representations of the history of wine and to taste four of the best wines that winery produces today, in a specially designed wine-tasting area. End your tour with a visit to Oia, which is a traditional settlement in the north of Santorini. The beauty of Oia is unsurpassed and in fact, almost impossible to describe in words. Small white houses tier the hillside, interspersed by splashes of rich okra, deep fuchsia, cobalt blue, oyster pink and earthy red. Oia is one of the most photographed places in Greece. It has inspired artists, poets and every visitor who visits Santorini. Oia is best known for breathtaking sunsets; if truth be told, sunrise in Oia is also magical. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight at your Santorini hotel. (B)

Day 11 Santorini - USA
After breakfast transfer to Santorini airport for your flight to Athens and your return flight home. (B) B - Breakfast, L - Lunch, D - Dinner


Hotel and itinerary are subject to change.

INCLUDES

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - From New York, JFK
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 17 Meals included meals consisting of 7 breakfasts, 5 lunches and 5 dinners (half a bottle of wine or a beer included with dinner)
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: City Tour of Athens including Acropolis Museum, Corinth Canal & Epidaurus Tour, Mycenae Tour, Ancient Olympia Tour, Tour of Delphi including Delphi Museum, and Meteora Monasteries Tour
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompasse cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy and social systems, and interaction with locals
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour upon arrival in Athens
  • DELUXE MOTORCOACHES - Touring by private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

OPTIONAL SANTORINI EXTENSION TOUR FEATURES
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 2 nights
  • SCENIC FERRY RIDE - One-way passage on a ferry from Piraeus to Santorini
  • DOMESTIC AIR TRANSPORTATION - One-way flight from Santorini to Athens
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 2 included meals consisting of 2 buffet breakfasts
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: Tour of Santorini including wine tasting
  • PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTOR - Assistance of a professional Tour Director for the entire length of the tour
  • BAGGAGE HANDLING AND TRANSFERS - Baggage handling for one piece of checked luggage outside of the airport

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