This fairytale 11-day adventure through Greece brings you on the precipice of greatness. The ruins in Athens tower over the city like an old friend reminding you of the Golden Age that inspired many. The beaches of Mykonos invite you onto their pristine shores like friendly neighbors. The portrait of Santorini beckons to you to stop inside and stay awhile. Crete is steeped in the legend of the Minotaur, the ruins of the Knossos Minoan Palace, and the grace of Venetian cities. Open up the book...
Athens – A Daedal Journey
Welcome to Athens, a city with a Golden Age that has inspired the millennia. Be met at the airport and taken into the center of the ancient city. The pillars of the Acropolis are set high above the modern buildings. The gentle air of the olive trees that surround the city give way to the mixture of rich, roasting lamb and aged marble. The day is yours to wander and wonder through, as your sensational time in Greece has begun.
Athens – An Almost Mythological History
Let the morning sun wash over the marble of the city bringing with it a bountiful day that starts with the rich, amorous fragrance of Greek coffee. Step into the city on a tour that will take you through the modern and classic fascinations of the city that have kept people in awe of Athens throughout history. Walk alongside the Kallimarmaro where the first Modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. The stone seats wrap around the field as tightly as cellophane, with as much shine and character today as they did then. Along with the steps of Parliament building that was once the Palace of King Otto I, you will continue on to the foothill of the Acropolis where the pillars of Athens’s Golden Age are writ large.
Step through the monumental entrance of the Acropolis, known as the Propylaea where you can see the small temple of Athena Nike protruding over the right side of the ascending steps. Ionic columns and a porch treat the west end, and is the first temple of the Acropolis to greet you. Once atop the citadel, you will come to the grandeur of the Parthenon. Like all temples, the Parthenon was designed to be viewed from the outside, making the opulent stories carved along the sides of the metopes as vivid and detailed as a stage play. You can imagine circling the grand temple and seeing the enormity of the statue of Athena that once graced its interior.
Mykonos – No Need for Wax Wings
Today you will leave the Athenian history behind as you make your way to the hydrofoil and sail along to Mykonos. The beauty of Mykonos is set within the very essence of the island, the pristine waters, the rolling hills, the meandering streets of Mykonos Town, and the renowned nightlife. Once along the island’s shores, the cool breeze wraps around your shoulders as a kind welcome. Arrive at your accommodation with the special blend of comfort and accessibility to the best of Mykonos, where you can almost hear the sea’s gentle rush against the sand.
Mykonos – A Perfect Perch
Morning reaches slowly over the island giving you ample time to rise and shine. Let the day call to you and bring you whichever way you prefer to spend the day, whether strolling through the lovely streets of Mykonos Town or traversing the numerous churches of the island. Spectacular beaches practically line the shores of the island, making almost every inch of sand a perfect place to listen to the gentle lull of the water, wiggle your toes in the warmth of the sand, and watch the reflective grace of the sea. Whether you prefer the active life of Super Paradise Beach or the relaxed feel of Platis Gialos, every step along the shore will bring you to exactly where you want to be.
Mykonos – A Visit with the Gods
Myths abound in ancient Greece causing incredible ideas that have lasted throughout the years, including the notion that you haven’t seen Mykonos if you don’t see the island of Delos. Spend the day exploring the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, where the ancient city on the uninhabited island stands along the shore and reaches into the hills. Discover the virtual open-air museum where the remains of the once flourishing port city continue to inspire visitors. The Doric Temple of Isis rises above the ruins, the columns continuing to hold up the portico after all these forgotten years. Marble lions proudly guard the Sacred Lake with imposing ferocity. You could even pay tribute at the remaining statuary markings of the House of Dionysus. The cool marble towers over the light grass where the serene sound of the breeze through the prairie reaches the waves. Return to Mykonos with the gentle orange of the sun fading behind the Aegean.
Santorini – Away from the Labyrinth
The afterglow of the sunrise reaches your window and gleefully awakens you. The perfume of decadent Greek coffee beckons to you. After breakfast you will be transferred to the port where you will climb aboard the boat and venture away from the labyrinthine streets of Mykonos Town and off to the picturesque island of Santorini. The cliffs rise over the water in a crescent shape, where the blue sea shimmers in the afternoon light, a hue of which you could have only imagined. The whitewashed walls of the buildings along the cliffs show you the classic Cycladic architecture, the pristine color of the walls beneath the cobalt color of the roofs. Enjoy the ease of your transfer to your accommodation where the view of the caldera is enough to take your breath away.
Santorini – A Step into Perfection
Morning arrives with the wonderful pink warmth of the sunrise painting over the whitewalls of the island. Your day in the postcard perfection of Santorini is yours to spend as you wish, reveling in the majesty of the island. Whether you prefer to stroll through the four villages or bask on the beach, there is a never-ending supply of things to see and do, including a visit to the ancient city of Akrotiri. The city was lost beneath volcanic ash thousands of years ago and, it has been theorized that this could be the location for Plato’s mentioning of the Lost City of Atlantis. Your return to the past brings you toe to toe with a stretch of prominent homes and warehouses that connote a once-prosperous civilization. One house even rises to three stories, while earthenware is situated in the same places as they stood before the eruption. Frescos tell tales of everyday life, one showing papyrus with rich black curvatures and vibrant yellow bulbs, standing close to the light-well that allowed a wash of fresh light into the center of the room every day. The splendor of Santorini stretches across the cliffs and its history, waiting for anyone willing to discover it.
Santorini – The Volcanic Rim
After the stretch of morning brings you onto your balcony for the view of the caldera; the water is as pure as a diamond that you want to dive into. With the day at your leisure why not enjoy a trip to the volcano. Enjoy a semi-private transfer to the marina where you will board a boat that will take you along the crystal waters to the edges of the red, craggy base of the volcano at the center of the caldera. It is an easy hike to the top where you can look down into the cracks of the hilltop and watch the wisps of vapor escaping. One in the water you can luxuriate in the hot springs; the heat of the water giving you a relaxing embrace and changing the water from clear to sapphire. The end of the cruise brings you to the marbled walkways of Oia, where the beautiful scent of freshly grilled seafood mixes with lemon zest and drifts into the sky. Stand along the cliff and watch the wondrous shine of the sunset fade into a cool stretch of night.
Crete – Around Venetian Remains
Today you will be stepping out of the postcard of Santorini with your semi-private transfer to the port. Once aboard the hydrofoil you will be whisked to Greece’s largest island, Crete. Arrive in the capital of Heraklion where the city rises over the port and the Venetian castle continues to guard the waters. Once settled into the luxuries of your hotel you can venture into the sumptuous streets of the city. Bohemian cafes are hidden within the twists and turns of narrow roads. The Venetian Loggia decorates the pathway near the main square with stone prowess and arched windows, paved with polished marble and remarkable arcades. Crete’s grandeur is within its natural gorgeousness and impressive history.
Crete – Discover the Minotaur
The morning arrives and with it comes the promise of the entirety of Crete. The day is yours to spend it however you desire, whether strolling along the lovely Venetian port towns of Western Crete, notably Chania and Rethymnon, venturing through the marvelous Samaria Gorge, or exploring the antiquity in and around Heraklion. Outside the center of the city you will come to the ruins of Knossos Minoan Palace; the legend of the Minotaur continues to thrive. Daedalus built the labyrinth in which the half man, half bull was imprisoned, hidden beneath the grandeur of Knossos Palace. Explore the legendary remains and step into the annals where mythology meets reality. Stroll through the Great Palace where four winds are arranged around the central courtyard. The queen’s quarters is decorated with frescos of elegant and regal griffins. The mural of a bull rushing through the rolling hills of Crete continues to decorate the wall beneath the standing, colored pillars around the north entrance. You can also see the Royal Tomb, believed to belong to one of the last Minoan Kings.
Crete – Better than Wax Wings
When the sun spreads over the island of Crete you will find yourself dreaming of Greece vacations. You will wake to the comfortable aroma of a proper Cretan breakfast: a crepe stuffed with crumbly cheese, and blanketed in honey. After the delectable flavors of breakfast you will venture to the airport and make your way to Athens. Unlike the wax wings that Daedalus made for Icarus, you will soar over the European continent and above the Atlantic Ocean eventually finding yourself in the comforts of home.
- Explore the mythological history of Athens on a tour of its modern history and ancient ruins, including the celebrated Parthenon
- Relax on the pure beaches and within the crystalline waters of Mykonos
- Indulge along the sensational meandering streets of Mykonos Town
- Luxuriate along the cliffs of the famous island of Santorini
- Wander beside the picturesque white and blue homes of Santorini
- Enjoy the unparalleled sunset of Santorini where the sky is overrun with magnificent color
- Witness the fabled ruins of the Knossos Minoan Palace, home to the dreaded Minotaur outside the city of Heraklion, Crete
- Discover the charm of the Venetian cities that continue to decorate Crete
Step inside the myths and legends of Ancient Greece on this 11-day tour that will take you through the rumored beauty of the islands and the sensational stories of the mainland. From the storied philosophers of Athens to the birthplace of the gods, you will be able to stretch to edges of Grecian mysticism. Each day is sure to be more magical than the last, within the islands, within Athens, and within your journey through it all.
Welcome to Athens and it’s gorgeous ruins that tower over the city as a reminder of the age that inspired history. Spend time exploring the old streets and mansions of the city that stretch from the Golden Age to Roman occupation and beyond. The next day your guide will tour you through the modern history and antiquity of the city where a palace looms and the Parthenon lusters. On your third day you will board a hydrofoil and cruise to the illustrious island of Mykonos where the days can be a mix of crystal waters, hot sandy shores, and labyrinthine streets. Off the coast of the island is the uninhabited island of Delos, the birthplace of gods Apollo and Artemis. Discover the unimpeded mysticism of the island that has absorbed and inspired people for millennia.
Your arrival in Santorini brings you to the base of the crescent cliffs of the island. The whitewashed buildings reflect the colors of the light during sunrise and sunset. The days are at your leisure, blending them with a mix of relaxing beaches, infinity pools, and strolls along the cliff side where the luminous water crashes against the rocks. Your final days along the islands bring you to the shores of Crete and the city of Heraklion. Antiquity and natural beauty thrive, where the labyrinth of the Minotaur once stood beneath the grandiose Knossos Palace just outside the city. Step into the ruins of the palace or discover the colorful life of Western Crete set within the Venetian port cities of Chania and Rethymnon. Your journey home will take you from the myths of Daedalus into the comforts of the sky, where wax wings will forever remain in the depths of Geek legend, but you soared within the greatness of Greece.
Related Information: Zicasso offers a variety of trips to Greece. Browse the reviews for travel agents for Greece.
$2,745 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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