Classical Greece Plus Greek Island Adventure


  • 14 days

  • Europe

  • Steady pace

tour : RGN

Overview

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Explore both Greece and some of its islands on this awe-inspiring vacation. Begin in Athens to discover the fascinating sites of the Acropolis and Olympia, and visit ancient Corinth, dating back to the 8th-century BC and the place where St. Paul preached; the Beehive Tomb and Lion Gate in Mycenae; the amazingly well-preserved, 2,300-year-old open-air theatre in Epidaurus; and Thermopylae, where the battle between the Greeks and Persians took place in 480 BC. Hear about the legendary Oracle at Delphi, tour the excavations, and visit its Archaeological Museum. Experience authentic Greek traditions and tastes with a sirtaki dance lesson; chance to taste the classic Greek liqueur, ouzo, and the signature tzatziki in mouth-watering Mediterranean dishes. Mingle with the locals and listen to your expert Tour Director’s commentary on all the sites and secrets only the locals would know.

From Athens, fly to the Greek island of Crete. An expert guide will introduce you to Heraklion, its legendary history, architecture, and art, then ample time to explore further this fascinating island. Board a high-speed ferry to the charming island of Naxos—with a history dating back to the 4th-millenium BC. Visit the Archaeological Museum and sample the famed citrus dessert. Spend free time enjoying the fruits of the island—olives, figs, grapes, and citrus fruits—or take a dip in the sea. Next, stop to the island of Paros—known for its fine white marble and Church of a Hundred Doors. Your escorted vacation ends in Athens. A historic adventure!

Highlights

ATHENS
Welcome drink; guided sightseeing, visit the Acropolis
CORINTH Guided visit
MYCENAE Guided visit of the excavations and museum
EPIDAURUS Guided visit of the 2,300-year-old open-air theater
OLYMPIA Guided visit of the archaeological site and the museum; LF learn how to make the traditional Greek tzatziki appetizer
DELPHI Guided visit of the excavations, visit the Archaeological Museum; LF learn to dance the sirtaki and have a glass of Ouzo
METEORA AREA Guided visit of the Varlaam and St. Stephen’s Monasteries
THERMOPYLAE Guided visit
ATHENS-HERAKLIONBy Air
HERAKLIONCity sightseeing LF Bougata Tasting
HERAKLION-NAXOSBy Ferry
NAXOSSightseeing & Archeological Museum LF Spoon Citrus Dessert
NAXOS-PAROSBy Ferry
PAROSIsland Tour, visit Panagia Ekantotapiliani Church
PAROS-ATHENSBy Ferry

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Flights available from most UK airports

2020 Tour itinerary

Total meals included:

  • 13 breakfasts, 7 dinners

ATHENS, GREECE.

Day
1

Welcome to Athens! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink with your Tour Director.

ATHENS

Day
2

. Sightseeing with a Local Guide features a visit to the world-famous ACROPOLIS, perched high on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city. Here, see the Parthenon, the Erechtheum with its Porch of Maidens, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Enjoy a panoramic view that includes glimpses of the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Theater of Dionysus, and the beautifully preserved Theseum, where Socrates taught. Later, a city orientation tour features the Parliament House and a picture stop at the Panathenaic Stadium. Dating back to the 2nd century AD, it is the only stadium in the world built entirely of marble, and was host to the opening and closing ceremonies of the first modern Olympics in 1896. The rest of the day is at leisure. Tonight, perhaps join an optional dinner outing to sample local fare.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

ATHENS–CORINTH–MYCENAE–EPIDAURUS–NAUPLIA

Day
3

Cross the spectacular Corinth Canal, and visit ANCIENT CORINTH, where St. Paul preached. Two highlights today: MYCENAE, where 19th-century excavations reveal impressions of the splendors so vividly described by Homer. Admire the Beehive Tombs, known as the Treasury of Atreus; the Lion Gate, Europe’s oldest known monument; the remains of Agamemnon’s Royal Palace; the impressive fortifications of the Citadel and visit the museum. A short drive brings you to EPIDAURUS for a tour of its amazingly well-preserved 2,300-year-old open-air theater. Overnight in nearby Nauplia.
Today’s Distance: 132 mi / 212 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

NAUPLIA–OLYMPIA

Day
4

. Spectacular scenery abounds on the way through the Arkadian Mountains. Spend the afternoon in OLYMPIA, where athletes of antiquity competed in honor of the king of deities. Learn about the history of those original Olympic Games as you walk among the impressive remains of the Gymnasium and the Temples of Hera and Zeus. Also visit the MUSEUM that displays Praxiteles’ magnificent statue of Hermes. Tonight, LF enjoy a COOKING DEMONSTRATION and learn how to make the traditional Greek tzatziki appetizer.
Today’s Distance: 112 mi / 181 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

OLYMPIA–PATRAS–DELPHI.

Day
5

Pass by the busy seaport of Patras, proceed to mystic Delphi. The afternoon is devoted to a fascinating tour of the ancient sanctuary of the god Apollo in its dramatic setting on Mount Parnassus. Hear about the Oracle and tour the EXCAVATIONS. End the day with a visit to the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM to admire the Charioteer, an extraordinary 5th-century BC bronze statue. A highlight this evening is LF a DANCE LESSON, where you’ll learn how to dance the sirtaki, made famous in the movie Zorba the Greek, accompanied by a glass of Ouzo.
Today’s Distance: 149 mi / 239 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

DELPHI–METEORA AREA

Day
6

Drive past Lamia and Trikala to Kalambaka in the unreal, fantastic landscape of Meteora with its rock-top monasteries. Visit VARLAAM MONASTERY, famous for its frescoes, and ST. STEPHEN’S MONASTERY, featuring a unique collection of icons and an incredible panoramic view.
Today’s Distance: 155 mi / 249 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

METEORA AREA–THERMOPYLAE–ATHENS

Day
7

. Today’s highlight is a guided visit to THERMOPYLAE, the site of the heroic battle of Leonidas’ 300 doomed Spartans against Xerxes’ huge Persian army. On the way back to Athens, your Tour Director will tell you about Thebes, the setting of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, and Marathon, where 10,000 Athenians defeated more than twice that number of Persian invaders in 490 BC. Tonight, maybe join an optional dinner at a local restaurant.
Today’s Distance: 236 mi / 380 km

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

ATHENS–HERAKLION, CRETE

Day
8

Transfer to the airport for your flight to Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. Later, dinner at a local restaurant awaits!

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

HERAKLION

Day
9

Today, discover Heraklion on a walking tour and see the legendary churches, fountains, monuments, and the LION SQUARE. Stop in a typical bougatsa pastry shop to taste LF the traditional bougatsa. An optional excursion to Knossos, center of the 3000-BC Minoan civilizations and to the archaeological museum is available.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

HERAKLION–NAXOS, GREECE

Day
10

Hop aboard a high-speed ferry this morning and cruise north across the Sea of Crete to the island of Naxos, inhabited continuously since the 4th millennium BC. Influenced over the centuries by the Greeks, Byzantines, Venetians, and Franks, the pretty port town is a showcase of cobblestone alleys lined with whitewashed houses and Venetian castles. Guided sightseeing shows you the highlights, including a visit to the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM to see artifacts from all periods of Naxos’ long and fascinating history. Follow your guide to a local kafenio to LF taste the famous citrus spoon desert

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

NAXOS

Day
11

The entire day is free to enjoy this lush, green island. You could spend time shopping for souvenirs; sampling the locally produced olives, grapes, figs, and citrus fruit; checking out the ancient Greek ruins; or heading to the beach for a refreshing dip in the sparkling waters of the Aegean!

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

NAXOS–PAROS

Day
12

This morning, a short ride on a high-speed ferry delivers you to Paros. The island was historically known for its fine white marble. Visit the 4th-century PANAGIA EKATONTAPILIANI, the “Church of a Hundred Doors,” founded by Constantine the Great’s mother, St. Helen, during her pilgrimage to the Holy Land. This evening, savor Greek specialties at a local restaurant.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast
  • Dinner

PAROS–PIRAEUS–ATHENS

Day
13

After breakfast, board the ferry back to Athens. During your final day in this glorious city, you could catch up on some last-minute shopping or explore more of the city on your own. Tonight, how about an optional dinner at a local restaurant?

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

ATHENS

Day
14

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Meals included:

  • Breakfast

Things to note

  • Please check visa requirements with your local consulate(s); responsibility for obtaining visas rests with the traveler.

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