Best of Rome, Athens & Santorini Tour

A 10 day trip to Greece & Italy 
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From breathtaking art to fabulous architecture, the creamy colors of the Trevi Fountain to the ash covered buildings of a city lost to time, this tour paints a scintillating picture of history. Indulge yourself in the superb art of the Renaissance and behold the modern metropolis of Athens, from the panoramic viewpoint of the Acropolis. There are no limits to the marvels you will relish during your custom tailored tour of Rome, Athens, and Santorini. Enrapture yourself in the past, settle in the luxuries of the present, and venture into the future while exploring the unforgettable foundations of Western Civilization.

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General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Rome, Athens, Delphi, Santorini

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Mediterranean Futures

Much of history has subtly settled within the world's rolling countryside and numerous cityscapes. Today you will board a flight that begins your luxury vacation to Italy. Rome has not allowed her history to fade and instead displays it proudly, simultaneously preserving and presenting antiquity alongside modernity. As you fly over the Atlantic, the ardor of Rome is likely to capture your imagination; whether you fancy gladiators or gelato, the Vatican or Valentino, Rome surely has it all. Worry not, for you will soon arrive a city that has embraced its past while pioneering cultural modernity. Rome houses the ruins of one of the most powerful empires in history, which once reached from the eastern gates of Turkey to the northern highlands of England. The sheer gravity of Rome makes romantics of us all.

What’s Included: dinner, breakfast, accommodation

Day 2: Rome, Open City

Arrive at the airport and be met by a private transfer who will have you at your hotel in the blink of an eye. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to explore the city that was born of mythology, where Romulus and Remus, newly escaped from Troy, founded what would become the capital of one of the greatest empires of Western Civilization. The city is spread out but easy to maneuver, which simplifies the exploration of Rome's past and present attractions. One unique aspect of Rome is the way wonders combine with the wayside. The history of Rome has become so ingrained in the everyday lives of Romans that many of Rome's great classical structures remain relatively accessible to this day.

The Pantheon is a 2,000-year-old Roman temple built in dedication to the classical gods and subsequently consecrated as a church in the 7th century. The entire structure is magnificent, and the Pantheon is noted to have inspired artists and architects such as Brunelleschi. It is one of the great landmarks of Rome, yet it remains convenient for even the busiest of tourists. Standing beneath the shaped and tiled structure, surrounded by polished marble and antique décor, you can stare into the light that shines through the open dome and know that your time in classical Europe has only begun and that it is already amazing.  

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation

Day 3: As the Romans Do

Wake up to the delicious scent of espresso drifting through the streets, as the sun glints over the ruins spread throughout Rome. Delight in a fresh brioche, sip your café, and remember to “do as the Romans do,” before venturing out on a half-day guided tour of the city. Your day begins with a visit to the Musei Vaticani, or the Vatican Museums. Step inside one of the most famous microstates in the world. Pope Julius II founded the museums in the 16th century, and they are considered one of the greatest collections of antiquity and masterworks in the world. Exhilarate yourself by appreciating the awe-inducing works by Rafael and Michelangelo in breathtaking proximity. Even merely passing through the Vatican proves to be quite the sight; the lavishly adorned halls are sensational, and the Vatican's library is a bibliophile’s dream. One painting often too quickly passed by is Rafael’s “The School of Athens,” painted in the early 16th century and located in the Apostolic Palace. The painting depicts the masters of the Renaissance as famous philosophers of classic Greece, where the details, coloration, and grace of the fresco are enough to take your breath away.

Continuing the tour will eventually bring you to the renown Sistine Chapel, home to several of Michelangelo’s famous masterpieces. The Sistine Chapel's world famous fresco spans every inch of the room, climbing the walls and stretching across the ceiling with vibrant hues and tremendous detail. The artistry and piety involved in creating a fresco of such magnitude inspire reverence in the fortunate beholder. As you exit the Vatican, your tour continues at St. Peter’s Basilica and beyond. Conclude your day by approaching ancient Rome's bastions of entertainment and government. The imposing stature of the Colosseum instills respect for humanity’s ingenuity while the Roman Forum poignantly represents an eternal struggle for balance - in both the past and present.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation, tour

Day 4: Ancient Passions

Rome is yours to wander and wonder through, so feel free to spend the day exploring at your leisure. There is an endless energy to Rome that spills through the streets and around the revered ruins. Whether you prefer to spend your day meandering through the Borghese or strolling through the elegant centuries-old shops scented with parchment, you can do it all. Piazza Navona is famous for its ornate fountains, which help to create a baroque square filled with lemon-scented restaurants and striking street artists. The jovial atmosphere emanates from the delicate wine served at the cafes, and the radiant paintings found throughout the square well complement Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers. The aroma of fresh pasta and fresh tomatoes is seducing.

In the evening, you can dine at the excellent restaurant of Le Fric. The portions are generous, and the food is incredibly scrumptious. Whether you crave traditional fresh egg pasta tossed with meat sauce or the exquisitely prepared fresh catch of the day, satiate yourself with the indulgences of your choice. After dinner, relish a romantic stroll along the famed Trevi Fountain. The large and elaborate structure sits against the back of a building, almost hidden within a small piazza. Neptune stands proudly over the water, directing the sprouting fountain filled with coins. For the romantic and the opportunistic, turn your back to the fountain and throw a coin over your shoulder; legend says that if your coin makes it into the fountain, you will soon return to Rome. Whether the legend is true or not, returning to this majestic city will surely be high on your priority list.

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 5: Empire to City-State

Look beyond the ruins of Rome as you make your way to the airport and arrive in remarkable Athens, Greece. The golden hills that surround the city give an earthy aroma to the air. Uncut marble glistens off of the mountaintops, connoting ancient rock quarries. Your private transfer from the airport will have you in the city center beneath the shimmering marble of the Acropolis, where the antiquity therein precedes that of Rome's, harking back to the life and times of the Golden Age of Athens. Stroll along the Plaka, one of the oldest streets beneath the Acropolis. Ancient mansions continue to line the cobblestone walkway, homes that have housed families for generations. The pleasant perfume of creamy olive oil surrounds you, made from local, family owned olive groves. The weather, sites, and sounds are reminiscent of Rome’s, as is the expanse of the modern city, but the history and atmosphere of Athens are nonetheless entirely different.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 6: Where Games Began

The perfume of Greek coffee, in which sweet sugar mixes with fresh coffee beans, fills the morning air. In the early light of day, you will meet your guide and tour through the grandeur of the city, where ancient remains offer a remarkable contrast to the modern world. The Panathenaikon Stadium represents the beginning of the modern Olympic games. The stone structure wraps around the field in an elliptical format where you can imagine the rush of the crowd’s cheers roaring and echoing throughout the stadium. The continuing popularity of the games is a testament to the historical atmospheres this stadium has and will continue to engender.

Your tour continues as you step along the footpath that climbs the Acropolis. The stone walkway changes to marble, giving effervescence to the hillside.  Stand in front of the Propylaea, the entryway to the Acropolis. On the right wing of the gate, you can see the small temple of Athena Nike. The colonnaded portico is visible from both the front and back of the pristine structure. The south frieze represented the victory against the Persians in the battle of Plataea. From beneath the temple’s plateau, you can still see its remarkable stature and feel its importance, as it looks out to the Aegean. Passing through the Propylaea, you will come to the legendary Parthenon, one of the most famous temples in the world. The columns are set evenly apart, tilting inward slightly to make every angle a perfect angle. The temple is slowly being pieced back together, which makes its stature that much more magnificent. You will have the opportunity to witness the rebirth of a stunning example of Athenian architecture, filled with impressive friezes and being the subject of exceptional design.  

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation, tour

Day 7: Futures Foretold

History abounds in Greece, where each place you visit seems like it was once the setting of an epic poem or mentioned in mythology. The morning light coincides with the start of your adventurous day, as you travel northbound to see incredible Delphi. The cityscape sits at the foot of Mount Parnassos, overlooking the winding hills and located between twin rocks where the famous Oracle of Delphi once thrived. The oracle, a priestess of Apollo, was once considered the world's most true seer between the sixth and fourth centuries BC. There is a palpable energy to the air, and panoramas of the ancient city are simply majestic. The Temple of Apollo looks out over the vista, and its pillars and stone floor continue to mark the once decadent site. Even though the temple succumbed to time, the sectioned columns, along with the immensity of its surroundings, continue to emanate magnificence. As the day begins to drift away, you will return to Athens for the evening, nesting beneath the glowing Acropolis.

What’s Included: breakfast, lunch, accommodation, tour

Day 8: Along Elegant Cliffs

Today you will leave behind the past of Athens, letting the marble pillars of the Acropolis fade from view as you make your way by private transfer to the airport and fly to the cherished island of Santorini. Your semi-private transfer will transport you to your luxurious accommodation set along the cliffside that overlooks the caldera. The sapphire water glistens against the craggy precipice. Your view is breathtaking, combining the resplendent beauty of the island with the wondrous, simple architecture of the Cyclades.  Whitewashed walls stand against the reflecting light of water, where you can look out to the northern village of Oia and see picture perfect blue roofs adorning the village's buildings. As the sun starts to set over the spectacular caldera, the sky is taken over by a radiant golden orange. The island seems to freeze at dusk, allowing everyone to take a moment to stare out at the horizon and enjoy a blissful moment. From architectural majesty to the splendor of natural landscapes, Santorini has the charm, elegance, and luxury that let you settle into plush comfort.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer, accommodation

Day 9: City Lost Beneath Ash

The stunning sunrise brings a bright pink coloration to the whitewashed walls of the island, reflecting onto rocky hillsides and over the bluff into the water. The day is at your leisure, giving you a chance to experience the diversity of Santorini, whether among its charming villages or against its jagged coast. You can even spend the day traversing the ruins of Akrotiri, known as "the Grecian Pompeii", and is now thought to be the Lost City of Atlantis. Ash covered the city during a volcanic eruption around 1450 BC and Akrotiri remains well preserved today. Now Akrotiri’s remains stand beneath a large overhang to protect it from the elements; the murals, buildings, and pottery continue to awe and inspire visitors from all over the world.

Along the main square, you can see the rise of two-story buildings that range from stores to warehouses. In an area known as Complex Delta, you can see four houses in proximity, the most easterly building of which is adorned with the Spring fresco. The rough landscape of the fresco has pervasive warmth, further enhanced by the depiction of blossoming lilies and lifelike native swallows. The atmosphere of Akrotiri is not one of a lost city but that of a found relic, commensurate with an incredible history that helps illuminate not only the island’s past but the Mediterranean as a whole. 

What’s Included: breakfast, accommodation

Day 10:  Return from Antiquity

Today brings an end to your historic and historical vacation. A semi-private transfer will take you to the airport, where you will watch the crescent shape of Santorini fade behind the horizon. Soon you will be journeying over the Atlantic, with the cities of Rome and Athens, along with the island of Santorini, all becoming a vivacious remembrance. The history that you experienced, from the Colosseum to the Parthenon, Akrotiri to the Forum, will have given you a taste of humanity’s imagination and persistence. Our Roman and Grecian predecessors were able to shape the very earth around them in building towering monuments to last millennia. The ruins have been around for thousands of years and will stand for thousands more, which means you have plenty of time to come back and see them again.

What’s Included: breakfast, transfer

Price

Price 

Your custom trip package will include accommodations, transportation within the country, guided tours and activities, unique experiences, trip planning, and 24X7 support during your trip. 

Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates!