This luxurious 11-day Greece tour is designed to introduce you to the rich culture, iconic heritage, and mythical origins of this legendary landscape. Make your way from Athens to Crete to Santorini for the culinary and cultural treasures of Greece, which will be yours to enjoy. Any trip to Greece is not complete without a balanced exploration of both the mainland and the scenic island chains across the Aegean Sea.
Athens – The Legendary Greek Capital
Greece boasts an illustrious past complete with competing kingdoms, legendary heroes, and stoic philosophers. The capital of Athens, in particular, saw a golden age around the 4th-century BC and, for many centuries, was the spiritual and political center of the Greek world. Today, it is a time-warped city where crumbling ruins stand shoulder-to-shoulder with modern apartments, and steaming dishes delight visitors with centuries-worth of culinary tradition. Upon your arrival to the city, you will be able to embark on a guided tour of all the must-see destinations before retiring to your luxurious accommodation.
Athens – Origins of the Acropolis
The golden light of an Athenian morning will cast a hue on the city and streets, making it is hard not to believe that the Greek capital does not favor the goddess, Athena. Perched on the tip of the Greek Peninsula, the city enjoys a unique position between land and sea, and as the ancients believed, between the temporal and divine. After enjoying a leisurely morning, you will embark on a culinary tour that will allow you to sample authentic Greek dishes before making your way to the hallowed halls of the Acropolis with a private guide.
Crete – Legendary Greek Archipelago
Today, you will turn your back on the Greek mainland and make your way to the storied seascape and legendary mythos of the Greek archipelago. The various island chains scattered throughout the Aegean Sea are home to the region's most popular locations and include pristine beaches, secret coves, and stunning panoramas. A brief flight will carry you from the Athenian airport to Greece's largest island of Crete. Here, a transfer will ensure your smooth arrival to your hotel in Chania. Later, you will enjoy a brief orientation to the town from a knowledgeable local guide.
Crete – A Proper Introduction
Chania has enjoyed a long history that has seen rule from a host of other foreign empires. As you explore the Old Town, you will see evidence of this tumultuous past through the Venetian fortress that guards the port and an array of ruins that dot the landscape. Today, you will enjoy a crash course in Crete as a day tour carries you through a medieval town, ancient olive groves, an abandoned monastery, and even a Cretan canyon. A charming guide will accompany you throughout the day to answer any questions you may have.
Crete – Strolling and Snacking Across Crete
Along with an abundance of ruins and urban charms, Crete also presents visitors with a distinct natural beauty that includes protected parks, rugged canyons, and a collection of famous sea caves. Today, you will have a chance to explore the impressive terrain and characteristic biodiversity on a side of the island that is often neglected by those travelers who never stray from their resort. Accompanied by your guide, you will tour a scenic gorge hike, a boat voyage to a nearby secret beach, and an authentic 3-course meal at a local taverna.
Crete – Exploration of a Minoan Palace
One of the island's most significant attractions is the famous ruins at Knossos, which depict what ancient Cretan life was like. This treasure trove of archeological evidence paints a picture of the Minoan civilization that flourished around 1,500 BC. After departing from your luxurious Chanian hotel, you will transfer to Heraklion. On the way, you can stop at the rustic village of Rethymnon before touring the famed palace of Knossos. With the visions of ancient ruins still floating in your head, you will have the remainder of the day to relax after your arrival in Heraklion.
Santorini – A Bronze Age Eruption
Today, you will plunge further into the Greek islands as you depart the grandeur of Crete for the rugged volcanic contours of Santorini. This island, along with its surrounding islets, is actually part of a massive, semi-submerged caldera that was formed from a Bronze age volcanic eruption. This eruption lent the region its distinct shape as well as an abundance of fertile land enriched by the minerals that were deposited from the eruption. After arriving at your conveniently located hotel, you will be able to enjoy a sunset tour of the local gastropubs and traditional tavernas that serve some delectable Greek cuisine.
Santorini – The Cautionary Tale of Atlantis
Today, you will enjoy an active approach to exploring Santorini unlike many of the options encountered by the usual traveler. Making the most of Santorini's volcanic past, you will be able to enjoy a curated exploration of the island in search of the lost city of Atlantis. The fabled city was believed to have been one of wealth and power before its disappearance from the pages of history. This group activity will allow you to work together and to visit the villages of Oia, Pyrgos, Emporio, and a host of other memorable sites in search of evidence of the lost city.
Santorini – The Island's Natural Beauty
On the morning of your final full day on Santorini, you can choose to embark on the caldera rim trail, where a scenic path will carry you along the spine of the island to can get away from the crowds. Here, you can enjoy some quiet time as you ponder the abundance of natural beauty and panoramas around you. You will cap your day with a sunset catamaran cruise that will allow you to take to the waves in style and watch the sun sink lower on the horizon.
Athens – Exploring the Greek Capital
From the Minoan ruins of Crete to the volcanic views of Santorini, your tour of the Greek islands will have given you an excellent glimpse of this breathtaking seascape of rugged islands, warm locals, and an environment steeped in myth and lore. Today, you will return to where it all began with a domestic flight back to the mainland and the hustle and bustle of Athens. After settling in to your hotel for the evening, you will be able to enjoy a final tour of the bohemian side of the city as a local guide introduces you to the hip cafes and workshops of this artistic neighborhood.
Athens – Departure
From Athens to Crete and back again, this tour of Greece has included a handcrafted blend of active adventures and leisure, allowing you to chart your own course through the magical places you visited. In the morning, you will have one final chance to catch those final snapshots of the city before you enjoy a final breakfast from the attentive hotel staff. Afterward, you will be met by a transfer who will whisk you away to the airport. As the cabin doors shut to your flight home, you will be able to use this experience to plan your next adventure in this unforgettable corner of Europe.
- Stroll the steps of the Athenian way as you mount the slops of the conspicuous Acropolis on your way to greeting the impressive Parthenon and Temple of Athena
- Munch your way through the Plaka and other districts of Athens on a walking tour designed to introduce you to the tasty secrets and savory ingredients of Greek cuisine
- Amble along the cobbled avenues and alleys of the Agora, where stoic philosophers and political thinkers laid the ideological foundation for much of the Western Civilization
- Meander between charming cafes and the Aegean Sea in Chania, where the rustic character of Crete will be revealed along with the island's varied sights and attractions
- Trek through the Cretan countryside in search of one of Europe's longest gorges to discover the abundance of natural beauty on Greece's largest island
- Indulge in the flavors of a 3-course meal at an authentic Greek taverna, where the wine is local, the cheese is fresh, and the olives were hanging from the tree yesterday
- Ponder the hidden messages and faded frescoes on display at the famous archeological site of Knossos, which was once home to the proud Minoan civilization
- Take a turn for the geologic as you visit an island formed from a massive Bronze Age eruption that shook the region to its core and may have caused Atlantis to slip beneath the waves
- Enjoy a sunset cruise in the coastal beauty of Santorini, where you can observe the abundant marine life as well as some spectacular vistas of the surrounding seascape
- Enjoy the modern bohemian character of Athens as a guide introduces you to the modern artistic and cultural heart of the Greek capital
$6,595 per person (excluding international flights)
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
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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