Wonders of Ancient Greece
9 DAYS/7 NIGHTS

DESCRIPTION

Greece, the cradle of western civilization, beckons with amazing wonders, ancient antiquities, sun-filled days, and lively nights for all to enjoy. On this splendid journey, experience the mystery and mystique of Greece’s ancient ruins – from Athens’ Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum to the impressive Corinth Canal; from ancient sites of Mycenae and Epidaurus to Delphi, home to the famed oracle and to the breathtaking Meteora Monasteries. Share unforgettable moments with our signature Cultural Discovery Series experiences that include cultural connections with locals and a delectable olive oil tasting and Ouzo sampling opportunity. Plus, you can also extend your ultimate exploration of Greece with an add-on stay in the picture-perfect Greek Island of Santorini that awaits you, sitting perched along its world-famous caldera. It’s a trip to Greece you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Cultural connections and Greek interactions
  • Discussions with local guest speaker
  • Local olive farm plantation visit
  • Beautiful countryside of Greece
  • Astounding archaeological sites
  • Ancient Athens – birthplace of Western civilization
  • World-famous Acropolis & Parthenon
  • Acropolis Museum
  • Engineering wonder of Corinth Canal
  • Ancient theater of Epidaurus
  • Archaeological site of Mycenae
  • Arched Tombs of Kings & Gigantic Lion’s Gate
  • Cyclopean Walls
  • Picturesque Venetian town of Nafplion
  • Oracle & Museum of Delphi
  • Archeological site of Olympia
  • Temples of Hera and Zeus
  • Magnificent Meteora Monasteries
  • Breathtaking Cape Sounion
  • Temple of Poseidon
  • Santorini, Island of extreme beauty
  • Stunning sunsets and much more...

Photo and Video



DAY BY DAY ITINERARY


Day 1 - Depart USA
Depart from the United States on an overnight flight to Athens, Greece. Meals and refreshments served on board.

Day 2 - Arrive Athens, Greece
Say Kalimera or "good day" to Greece! Upon arrival in Athens, you will be greeted by your Aventura World tour director and transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is yours at leisure. Relax at your hotel or take time to explore Athens at your own pace before your welcome dinner tonight. (D)

Day 3 - Athens – City Tour
After breakfast, depart on an insightful city tour of Athens. Our expert guides will take you to see the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896. Continuing along, you will pass by the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, Parliament, Memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library, and Constitution Square (Syntagma). Visit the ancient Acropolis and then take in the magic of the New Acropolis museum where you can see the original artistic works found at the Acropolis, including the Caryatid statues that served as columns. Stroll through its galleries and trace the paths of history, from the masterpieces of the Archaic and Classical periods to the ancient neighborhoods of Athens. Enjoy time at leisure before joining our local guest speaker for a discussion on Greece and its relations with the European Union as part of our Cultural Discovery Series. (B)

Day 4 - Athens – Mycenae and Epidaurus Tour
Start your day with breakfast at your hotel before departing on a full day excursion to the heart of Argolis where you will explore the remains of the ancient city of Mycenae, a major center of Greek civilization from 1600 BC to 1100 BC. Following a short stop to marvel at the wondrous engineering of the Corinth Canal, you will enter the region of Argolis, land of Homer’s Golden Mycenae that has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Dating back to the second century B.C., Mycenae was one of the major centers of Greek civilization and a military stronghold that dominated much of southern Greece. Visit the archaeological site, home to the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon. Hear how the city was, in Greek myth, ruled by King Agamemnon, and view highlights such as the Cyclopean Wall, Tomb of Agamemnon and the Lion’s Gate. Then savor a traditional Greek lunch with Ouzo sampling (Cultural Discovery Series) at a local restaurant before driving on to the Venetian seafront town of Nafplion, the first capital of modern Greece. Continue to Epidaurus and visit the ancient theatre, a well-preserved classical Greek structure that is still used today due to its amazing acoustics. This UNESCO World Heritage monument is said to be the birthplace of Apollo's son, Asklepios, the healer. Return to Athens in the late afternoon. (B,L)

Day 5 - Athens – Delphi Tour/Delphi Area
Today we leave Athens behind and depart for Delphi, famous in antiquity as the home of the oracle of Apollo. Perched on the sides of Mt. Parnassos, overlooking olive trees and the sea, Delphi is one of Greece’s most impressive excavated sites. Following lunch at a local restaurant and as part of our Cultural Discovery Series, enjoy an olive oil tasting at a local farm. Next, pass by Castalia Spring then visit the archaeological site and view the monument of the Argive Kings, the treasury of the Athenians, the Athenian Stoa, the Polygonal Wall, the monument of Platea, and the Temple of Apollo. Continue along to the Delphi Museum that houses valuable pieces of art, including the bronze Charioteer. Proceed to your hotel in the Delphi area for check-in. (B,L,D)

Day 6 - Delphi Area
Today you can opt to enjoy a day at leisure to explore at your own pace, or choose to join in an optional tour to Olympia. This full day excursion will take you to the majestic site where the first Olympic Games took place 2,800 years ago. Olympia is also home to the UNESCO World Heritage site “Sanctuary of Zeus” – a vast expanse of well-preserved altars, temples, theaters, and marble statues. Highlights of the site include the Temples of Hera and Zeus, the Council House, and the Treasuries. The Archaeological Museum here also houses exquisite sculptures such as the statues of Praxiteles and Hermes. (B,D)

Day 7 - Delphi Area
This morning you have a free day to shop for local goods or depart for an optional tour to the breathtaking monasteries of Meteora situated at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pinios River in central Greece. Looming up high on imposing granite rocks, the monasteries seem to be suspended between earth and sky overlooking a simply magnificent view. This complex features six Eastern Orthodox Monasteries containing priceless historical and religious treasures, and is designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in the nearby town of Kalambaka before returning to the Delphi area in the late afternoon. (B)

Day 8 - Delphi/Athens
Have breakfast at your hotel before heading back to Athens. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure or take an optional half day tour to Cape Sounion. This fascinating tour starts with a scenic coastal drive that features a splendid view of the Saronic Gulf. At Cape Sounion, you will visit the 5th century BC Temple of Poseidon and enjoy one of the most breathtaking panoramic views in the world. The precipice here is a sheer 197-foot drop to the sea. Take in the views of the island of Aegina backed by the mountains of the Peloponnese. The beauty of the surviving Doric columns has inspired many poets, including Lord Byron who carved his name on one. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner to unforgettable Greece. (B,D)

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 breakfast at your hotel then transfer to the airport for a flight to the picture-perfect island of Santorini. Upon arrival, transfer to your hotel for check-in. The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure to enjoy the island’s white-washed cafés and tavernas perched along the spectacular caldera that was created by an eruption of the island's volcano in ancient times. (B)

Day 10 - Santorini - Island Tour
with wine tasting Begin your tour after breakfast by visiting the Monastery of Profitis Ilias, situated at the highest point of Santorini 1,856 feet up. From here you can see the surrounding islands and, on a clear day, you can even take in the views of the mountains of Crete more than 66 miles away. Continue to Pyrgos where you can enjoy panoramic vistas 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. One of its kind in Greece, this museum is located within a natural cave. Here you will have the opportunity to see representations of the history of wine in Santorini since the 1600s. As well, you can taste four of the best wines that winery produces today in a specially designed winetasting area. Next visit Oia, a traditional settlement in the north of Santorini. Take in the vistas of white homes and shops dotting the hillside, interspersed by splashes of rich ochre, deep fuchsia, cobalt blue, oyster pink, and earthy red. Take time this afternoon at leisure to enjoy Oia’s breathtaking sunset, relax at a cliffside taverna, or shop for one-of-a-kind mementos. (B)

Day 11 - Santorini to USA
After breakfast transfer to the Santorini airport for your flight to Athens, connecting to your return flight home. (B)


Hotel and itinerary are subject to change.

INCLUDES

  • ROUND TRIP AIR TRANSPORTATION - Air transportation from New York
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATIONS - Hotel accommodations for 7 nights
  • SUPERB CUISINE - 13 included meals consisting of 7 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners
  • SIGHTSEEING TOUR PROGRAM - Sightseeing, including local guide and all entrance fees as follows: City tour of Athens including Acropolis Museum, Corinth Canal, a full day excursion to Ancient Sites of Mycenae and Epidaurus, and Delphi tour. Optional tours available
  • CULTURAL DISCOVERY SERIES - Our program encompasses cultural connections, in-depth learning on the local economy and social systems, and interaction with locals such as a discussion presented by a local guest speaker, olive oil tasting at a local farm and sampling of the traditional Greek aperitif Ouzo
  • 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
  • DOMESTIC AIR TRANSPORTATION - Round trip flight from Athens to Santorini
  • FIRST-CLASS ACCOMMODATION - Hotel accommodations for 2 nights
  • 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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