DAY 2: ATHENS – EPIDAURUS – NAUPLION -VALTESINIKO
Leave by the Coastal Road to the Corinth Canal (shortstop). Drive on and visit Epidaurus which was a small city in ancient Greece, at the Saronic Gulf. Reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius, the healer, Epidaurus was known for its sanctuary, the cult of Asclepius at Epidaurus is attested in the 6th century BC. as well as its theatre, which is once again in use today.
The Sanctuary of Asclepius at Epidaurus is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The theatre is marvelled for its exceptional acoustics, which permits almost perfect intelligibility of non-amplified spoken word from the proscenium or scene to all 15,000 spectators, regardless of their seating.
Then proceed to the Town of Nauplion, the first capital of Greece. We will see the Bourtzi and the Palamidi fortresses and then continue to Tripolis for a sort stop. We will visit the small towns of Levidi and Vytina and arrive in the village of Valtesiniko to visit the monastery of the assumption of Virgin Mary and the monastery of Saint Nicolas, used as a fortress during the Greek revolution of 1821. Overnight at Valtesiniko
DAY 3: VALTESINIKO – STEMNITSA – DIMITSANA – LAGADIA – OLYMPIA
After breakfast in the hotel, we will shoot the sunrise from the opposite mountain and leave for today’s trip. We will have a lot of drive through the forest, passing through the villages of Pirgaki and Elati and arrive in the famous Stemnita with a lot of stone houses with a special colour. Then we go to Dimitsana, a small town that stands on the top of a small hill, with nice houses and a special open-air Hydropower Museum which we will visit. We continue to Lagadia village, famous for its architecture, built on the slope of the mountain. We leave the village and drive from the mountains to the flat Ancient Olympia, the Cradle of the Olympic Games for overnight.
DAY 4: OLYMPIA – WINE TASTING – DELPHI
Olympia was a sanctuary of ancient Greece, known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, the most famous games in history.
The sanctuary, known as the Altis, consists of an unordered arrangement of various buildings. Enclosed within the temenos are the Temple of Hera (or Heraion/Heraeum) and Temple of Zeus, the Pelopion and the area of the altar, where the sacrifices were made. The Hippodrome and later stadium were also to the east.
To the north of the sanctuary can be found the Prytaneion and the Philippeion, as well as the array of treasuries representing the various city-states.
Olympia is also known for the gigantic ivory and gold statue of Zeus that used to stand there, sculpted by Pheidias, which was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Antipater of Sidon.
After the archaeological site, it is time for a modern famous Greek winery for inspection and wine tasting with Greek meze
Then drive on through the plains of Eliad and Achaia until the magnificent bridge which is crossing the Corinthian Bay from Rion to Antirion. Pass by the picturesque Towns of Nafpactos (Lepanto) and Itea, arrive in Delphi. Overnight in Delphi.
DAY 5: DELPHI – METEORA
Delphi was the centre of Ancient World – the “Omphalos” (Navel of Earth) – whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic World.
On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios.
Visit the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the Museum containing such masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias. Depart for Kalambaka, a small Town situated at the foot of the astonishing complex of Meteora, gigantic rocks.
Tonight we will take you to admire the sunset on the top of Meteora and then for dinner outside the city to a nice taverna to taste the local cuisine
Overnight in Kalambaka.
DAY 6: METEORA – ATHENS
Meteora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. Among striking scenery, perched on top of huge rocks which seem to be suspended in mid-air, stand ageless Monasteries, where you can see exquisite specimens of Byzantine art. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the northwestern edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and the Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The Meteora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Return to Athens via Trikala, Lamia, Thermopylae (visit the Leonida’s monument). Arrive in Athens in the evening and transfer to your hotel.
DAY 7: ATHENS – SANTORINI
Early morning transfer to the pier of Piraeus to board the ferryboat to Santorini.
We go along the Athens Riviera in the Saronic Gulf to the south end of Attica passing close to the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion. Look around the ship, enjoy the sun on the decks and the services on board.
Upon your arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel.
Tonight we will take you for dinner in a nice restaurant by the beach and then return you to your hotel.
DAY 8: SANTORINI – VOLCANO CRUISE
Today enjoy a half day cruise to the small islands of Nea Kameni & Palea Kameni located inside the caldera, the Hot Springs with the green and yellow waters (with free time for swimming) and the island of Thirassia.
Pick up from your hotel and transfer to Vlyhada marina.
Orientation with the boat and sailing on the south coast of the island.
We will pass near the red and white beaches and continue sailing the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea to the Caldera. Near the Nea Kameni (volcano island) we will see the old port and then go to Palea Kameni and Thirasia. We will see the hot springs with green and yellow waters and have time for swimming here or in another place depending on the season of the year.
We continue sailing below Imerovigli, Firostefani and Fira towns and will arrive in Vlyhada marina.
Transfer to your hotel
Tonight we will take you to Fira town to admire the famous sunset over the Santorini Volcano and then to dinner in a nice restaurant.
DAY 9: SANTORINI
A day at leisure to enjoy the beach and know better this unique island. One of the jewels of small volcanic archipelagos five islands is undoubtedly Santorini. Santorini was created due to a volcanic eruption culminated in the explosion of a volcano caldera, therefore, its rugged landscapes dotted with huge cliffs.
Santorini’s capital, Fira, with white-washed houses, narrow streets and open air cafes that cling to a steep cliff, is at the top of the beautiful island where you can enjoy the beautiful views of the bay. Discover Santorini villages that retain their authenticity, with beautiful blue and white buildings and barren volcanic rocks. It is a very fascinating and picturesque island. A magical place that has nothing to do with the rest of the Greek islands, a place to spread the peaceful and hospitable nature of its people.
A panoramic tour of the island in the afternoon will end to Kamari beach for dinner by the sea and return to your hotel
DAY 10: SANTORINI – HERAKLION
This morning we will do a panoramic tour of Megalochori traditional village.
At the indicated time you will be transferred to the port for your ferryboat to Heraklion. Upon your arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel
Tonight dinner in a local restaurant famous for its authentic Cretan cuisine
DAY 11: HERAKLION -KNOSSOS TOUR – CHANIA
After breakfast, we will visit the archaeological site of Knossos. The name Knossos survives from ancient Greek references to the major city of Crete. The identification of Knossos with the Bronze Age site is supported by tradition and by the Roman coins that were scattered over the fields surrounding the pre-excavation site, then a large mound named Kephala Hill, elevation 85 m (279 ft) from current sea level. Many of them were inscribed with Knosion or Knos on the obverse and an image of a Minotaur or Labyrinth on the reverse, both symbols deriving from the myth of King Minos, supposed to have reigned from Knossos.
Following we will visit the National Archaeological Museum of Heraklion and then we will drive to Chania. Rest of the day at leisure.
Tonight we will take you to a nice restaurant in the old city for dinner and return to your hotel for overnight
DAY 12: CHANIA – TOUR TO FALASSARNA BEACH AND GRAMVOUSA
Falassarna is an ancient Greek harbour town on the northwest coast of Crete. Falassarna beach is one of the most famous in Crete with clear blue waters. We will enjoy our bath here and the drive to Gramvousa area for lunch in a nice local restaurant and return to your hotel in Chania.
Tonight we will take you for dinner in a nice restaurant in the old harbour and return you to your hotel.
DAY 13: CHANIA – RETHYMNON – ARGYROUPOLIS – KOURNAS LAKE
After breakfast, we will drive to Rethymnon to visit the castle and do a panoramic tour of this small but beautiful city.
On the way to Chania, we will visit the Argyroupolis waterfalls to admire the scenery and have lunch in a special restaurant. Here we will taste a lamb roasted in a special way (antikristo). Then we will visit Kournas lake for a coffee and return to Chania.
Tonight we will take you to a nice restaurant in the old city for dinner and return you to your hotel.
DAY 14: CHANIA – ATHENS
Chania is the second largest city of Crete. Chania is the site of the Minoan settlement the Greeks called Kydonia. Some notable archaeological evidence for the existence of this Minoan city below some parts of today’s Chania was found by excavations in the district of Kasteli in the Old Town. This area appears to have been inhabited since the Neolithic era.
The city of Chania can be divided into two parts: the old town and the modern city which is the larger one. The old town is situated next to the old harbour and is the matrix around which the whole urban area was developed. It used to be surrounded by the old Venetian fortifications that started to be built in 1538.
Chania’s Old Town is considered the most beautiful urban district on Crete, especially the crumbling Venetian harbour.
Panoramic walking tour of the old town of Chania, the covered agora (market) and lunch in a Gyros restaurant
At the indicated time you will be transferred to the port for your overnight ferryboat to Piraeus.
DAY 15: ATHENS – CITY TOUR – GREEK NIGHT
Upon your arrival, you will be met at the port and transferred to the tour terminal for your morning sightseeing tour of Athens including all famous monuments: House of Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Adrian’s Arch, Temple of the Olympian Zeus, the Royal Palace, the Academy, the University and the National Library.
Tour will end by visiting the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum, “State of the art” in museum construction and very rich in content.
After your city tour, you will be transferred to your hotel.
Afternoon free to get some rest and be ready for our Greece night.
Tonight we will take you to a restaurant with Greek popular music (the transportation is included but not the meal and the drinks)
DAY 16: ATHENS – FULL DAY CRUISE
This small cruise will take you to Hydra, Poros and Aegina and bring you back in the evening full of fun and with the taste of the Greek islands.
Morning transfer to the pier of Piraeus, to embark your cruise ship for your full day cruise to the islands of Aegina, Poros and Hydra. Good opportunity to know a little bit of Greek Islands and visit a small part of Ancient Greece in the optional tour to the temple of Aphea Athina in Aegina.
On the return trip, you enjoy a program with Greek music and songs and join the dancers on Greek folklore dancing. Included is the transfers to and from the port, port taxes and lunch on board.
DAY 17: ATHENS – AIRPORT
According to your departure time, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.
The ideal time for this tour: April to October
The ideal size of the group: 4 to 8 persons
Official English speaking guide only on the Athens city tour
The price per person will be calculated according to the number of persons participating
Hotel category can be from 3* to 5* (5* hotels not available in all places)
Travel Plan – Inclusions
STARTING POINT: Athens, daily January to December
TRAVEL PLAN: 17 DAYS/ 16 nights
4 nights hotel accommodation in Athens
3 nights hotel accommodation in Santorini
1 night hotel accommodation in Heraklion
3 nights hotel accommodation in Chania
1 night hotel accommodation in Valtesiniko
1 night hotel accommodation in Olympia
1 night hotel accommodation in Delphi
1 night hotel accommodation in Kalambaka
1 overnight ferryboat tickets Chania – Piraeus
Ferryboat tickets Piraeus – Santorini
High-speed ferryboat tickets Santorini – Heraklion
Half day Athens city tour with the Acropolis Museum (Organized bus tour)
Half Day Private tour of Knossos
Half day Santorini Volcano Cruise
Full day tour to Falassarna beach and Granvousa area
Full day tour to Rethymnon, Argyroupolis waterfalls, Kournas lake
Full day cruise to Aegina, Poros and Hydra with lunch
Greek night restaurant (transportation only. Meal and drinks to be paid by clients)
All transfers as per program
Entrance fees to the archaeological sites during sightseeing
The service of an official English speaking guide at the Athens city tour
The services of an English speaking driver-tour leader
Government hotel taxes
* Special overnight tax of €4 for 5* hotels, €3 for 4* hotels, €1,5 for 3* hotels and €0,5 for 2* hotels per person per night to be paid by clients directly to the hotels in Greece.
Ancient Olympia – Greece