Athens, Mykonos, Santorini
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
The marbled temples of the Acropolis will glint in the sunlight and the whitewashed walls of Oia will glow at sunset during your 10-day Greece highlights tour. Discover the essential charms of Santorini’s seaside cliffs and colorful beaches. Embrace the maze-like streets and captivating windmills of Mykonos’s largest town. Discover the depth of history brimming from Athens as you experience the enchanting essence of culture and tradition in Greece.
Athens radiates history and culture at its core in a country considered the cradle of Western Civilization. Ruins of both Greek and Roman development continue to decorate the city center. Byzantine mosaics decorate churches and museums with gilded allure. Your private transfer is waiting at the airport upon your arrival.
On the way to your hotel in the city center, the aroma of olive groves surrounds you. You can see the pure white marble of Mount Pentelicus, an ancient quarry that has provided building material for Athens for millennia. The original Panathenaic Stadium was constructed in the 4th-century BC. The replica was erected in the 19th-century to house the first modern-era Olympic games. The stadium contains 47 tiers of seating and a 669-foot long track.
You settle into the comforts of your hotel to find classical architectural elements on the outside and rapturous modern luxuries on the inside.
In the morning, the aroma of fresh bread, sweet baklava, and breakfast pastries drift out of bakeries. You can indulge in a strong and flavorful cup of Greek coffee, served with a top layer of foam and a bottom layer of grounds for a richer taste. Your guide meets you in the hotel lobby after breakfast eager to show you the splendors of Athens’s captivating history.
After exploring the contemporary sites of Constitution Square and the Presidential Palace, you arrive at Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. The cobblestone streets of the Plaka, the oldest section of Athens, stand across the road from the temple. You can see the Acropolis rising over the historic buildings lining the streets. The Parthenon crowns the edge of the hill like an ancient jewel.
The Temple of the Olympian Zeus was erected under that patronage of Roman Emperor Hadrian in the 2nd-century AD. The massive columns stood more than 55 feet high with a diameter of more than six feet. The Corinthian columns add elegant details to the marble structure that once held one of the largest cult statues in the ancient world. The herbaceous aroma of the trees wafts through the air. The staggering size of the temple makes you wonder how the structure was built in the first place. When viewing the temple from the south, you can see the Acropolis rising above the city in the background.
The sunlight washes over the Plaka and reflects off of the white stone of the ancient buildings. The village ambiance encompasses the pedestrian-friendly streets and cheerful squares decorated with bougainvillea. At breakfast, you experience the sweet and savory aroma of bougatsa, dough baked until crunchy and often filled with cheese. After your meal, your guide leads you from the hotel to the Athenian coastline.
The town of Glyfada stands at the center of coastal Athens. The city tram runs through the neighborhood ferrying locals and visitors from the city center to the shoreline and back again. The neighborhood has a jovial and energetic spirit emanating from the numerous shops and chic cafes near the marina.
When you reach Cape Sounion, you find the 5th-century BC Temple of Poseidon. The dramatic location atop sheer cliffs overlooks the Aegean Sea. The marble temple once served as a landmark for sailors of the ancient world. Fifteen of the original 34 Doric columns remain. The breeze whistles around the temple. The fresh aroma of the sea is unmistakable. The Ionic frieze on the ease pediment contains a seated female figure. The temple continuously rewards visitors with its historic power and unparalleled panorama. From the edge of the precipice, you can look out on the cobalt water and see a number of Greek islands on the horizon.
In the morning, the northeast side of Acropolis Hill shimmers in the reflective white light. The stunning neighborhood of Anafiotika ascends the hillside with Cycladic style, dating back to the 19th-century when workers from the islands came to help build the presidential palace.
After breakfast, your transfer escorts you to the port where you board a high-speed ferry across the Aegean to the island of Mykonos. The cobalt blue water splashes alongside the ferry. Islands drift past the windows with rugged shorelines and quaint homes overlooking small fishing boats. When you reach the port at Mykonos, you find your private transfer waiting.
The cobblestone streets of Chora, also known as Mykonos Town, embrace the same Cycladic style found in the Athenian district of Anafiotika. Buildings shimmer white underneath the Mediterranean sun. Doors and shutter windows are painted blue. Your private transfer leads you to your fabulous accommodation overlooking the popular beach Platis Yialos. Sunbeds stretch along the sand. The aroma of fresh grilling seafood blends with the sea breeze. The Aegean Sea has a particular shimmer that layers the water with ranges of color from cobalt to turquoise.
Your hotel has a unique and relaxing spa center on the property. Even the pool has an ocean view. Mykonos emanates beauty, and in the comforts of your hotel, you can relax in authentic island luxury.
At breakfast, you choose to sit on the patio near the pool and enjoy the view of the beach. Fishing boats return with their morning catches. You notice the lingering white and blue colored buildings at the edge of the rugged outcropping leading up from the water. You sip your Greek coffee and relax in the warm sunlight.
After breakfast, your guide greets you at the hotel ready to take you out on a private tour of the island. Once in Alefkandra, you can explore the streets of “Little Venice.” Old houses have elegant style and sit at the edge of the Aegean Sea. Restaurants have tables on the cobblestone patios where you can practically dip your fingers into the tranquil water.
The whitewashed homes create a stunning backdrop during the sunset when the colors of the evening drape across the building facades. The cobbled streets turn into a maze, allowing you the little pleasures of strolling through town. Artists set out chairs and paint the simple, traditional characteristics of a wooden staircase or antique door. Chic cafes fill the old homes of historic captains, who had built doors leading straight to the water where they moored their boats. Mykonos is an island of stunning detail hiding inside a world of bright lights.
In the morning, you can relax at breakfast underneath the rising sunlight and listen to the lapping waves on the nearby beach. After breakfast, the day is yours to indulge in the wonders of Mykonos as you please, whether soaking in the sand and sun or strolling through the labyrinthine streets of Chora. You could even take advantage of the spa located inside your hotel, basking in the therapeutic remedies of Thalassotherapy. The spa is tranquil and filled with an aroma hinted with mint.
The staff leads you into the first pool and offers you a refreshing tea to enjoy during your serene time relaxing in the fresh waters of the therapeutic pool. Thalassotherapy uses mineral-enriched seawater at various temperatures and pressures to help soothe your body. The staff lets you know when it is time to switch pools, moving from the room temperature water to a warmer pool. This pool also has jets positioned to massage your muscles. You can feel any remaining levels of stress fade away. The warmth of the water and the refreshing flavor of the tea ease you into a perfect state of relaxation.
In the evening, enjoy a candlelit meal at a small restaurant in Chora located in a traditional Mykonian building with a charming veranda.
In the morning, you have a beautiful view overlooking Chora and the picturesque windmills at the edge of town. A stone arch frames the marina below. After breakfast, your private transfer escorts you to the harbor to catch your high-speed ferry to the island of Santorini. When you arrive in Santorini, the rugged cliffs wrap around the water in a crescent. Your private transfer greets you at the port and leads you up the winding road and through the main town of Thira, to settle into your hotel near the town of Oia.
Santorini is everything you thought it would be. The buildings are painted white to help keep the interior cool in the Mediterranean sunlight. The windows and rooftops are painted bright blue. Villages rise up the craggy bluffs overlooking the sea. Your sensational hotel provides you with a comfortable suite and a rooftop pool where you can bask in the panorama of the Aegean and the island. You can see Thira to the left, the zigzagging buildings of Oia to the right, and below the hotel, you find the waves of the Aegean Sea crashing against the precipice.
In the morning, you delight in the panoramic view from the rooftop. Tables provide a perfect space to nibble on breakfast pastries or an omelet, sip your Greek coffee, and listen to the waves. The multi-colored cliffs of the island rise to nearly 985 feet above sea level, towering over the sunken caldera. Your private transfer meets you in the early afternoon, escorting you from Oia to the Vlychada port. You board a 40-foot catamaran and set out into the Aegean.
The skipper casts the sail, and it flutters in the breeze. Water mists into the air and splashes against your cheeks. Your guide points out the 19th-century lighthouse on the cliff above. It is the oldest lighthouse in Greece. You reach Red Beach, known for the color of the sediment surrounding the pebbled stretch of beach emanating from the bluff. The crystal clear water makes for a perfect place to enjoy a swim. You can see down to the ocean floor. You could spend all day in the refreshing warm sea.
Your tour takes you to the White Beach and lets you bask in the hot springs located in the caldera where the temperature can increase more than 40 degrees Fahrenheit than the surrounding sea. Your guide weighs anchor with a view of the black rocks jutting out of the water. The rocks are cooled magma from the most recent volcanic eruption in the 1950s. The aroma of grilled calamari with fresh squeezed lemon simmers in the gentle breeze.
At breakfast, you indulge in the boutique aesthetic of your hotel overlooking the million-dollar view. The remainder of the day is yours to relish the island at your preferred pace. You could stroll through the capital town of Thira or relax in the luxurious pool of your cliff-side hotel. If you are in the mood for a cultural excursion, you can venture to the archeological site of Ancient Akrotiri. The city was discovered in the 1960s but has roots as an ancient Minoan city. Akrotiri is often referred to as the Greek Pompeii. In the 17th-century BC, a volcanic eruption blanketed the streets and buildings in ash, preserving the cityscape and mosaics for future generations.
Pottery continues to decorate the roads. Some pots maintain remnants of their original contents, from olive oil to wine. A two-story edifice known as Xeste 3 has 14 rooms on each floor. Multiple doors connected the rooms. A mosaic depicts a goddess seated on an altar. A line of people bears gifts for the goddess. An abundance of color continues to radiate from the mosaic. The ambiance around the archeological site creates a vivacious sense of history.
In the morning, the windmills in Oia reflect the expanding light of the rising sun. Fishing boats sway in the soft wake of the small marina below Oia. On your final morning on Santorini, you can delight in breakfast in your room, taking advantage of the luxuries of your suite one last time. You have come to find the rich flavor and foamy layer of your morning Greek coffee comforting. The collection of sweet and savory treats at breakfast could satisfy any desire.
After breakfast, your private transfer meets you at the hotel and escorts you to the Santorini National Airport. It is a short flight to Athens where you will board your connecting flight and make your way home.
Greece embodies charm in its landscape and wealth of ancient history. Your 10-day Greece vacation to Athens, Mykonos, and Santorini lets you indulge in the luxuries of the islands and embrace the splendor of the country’s vibrant past. Vacations to Greece begin in Athens, a timeless city surrounding the remnants of its former golden age. Your private transfer takes you from the airport to your comfortable hotel near the heart of the city. Your private tour of Athens offers insight into the contemporary and ancient history of Athens, along with leading you through the labyrinthine streets of antique neighborhoods to experience the culture of the city.
Venture to the edges of Athens along the shores of the city to visit local markets known for fresh fish, colorful vegetables, and tasty wine. Your guide leads you around the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon, situated overlooking Cape Sounion. Transfer to the celebrated island of Mykonos by high-speed ferry where luxury and relaxation are one in the same. Enjoy a tour of the island, where you view the Cycladic architecture and the Paraportiani Church. A day at leisure allows you to relax on the beaches, enjoy a spa treatment, or stroll through the cobbled streets of the town at your preferred pace.
You travel to Santorini by high-speed ferry and find the island as picturesque as a postcard. You step onto a luxurious catamaran for a sunset cruise around the caldera, providing sweeping views of the cliffs, precious beaches to experience, and a tremendous meal to enjoy while bobbing in the Aegean Sea. Your day at leisure on Santorini can take you to see the ancient city of Akrotiri or wine tasting in one of the historic wineries on the island. You could even spend the day at the rooftop pool basking in the vista. On your final morning in Santorini, your private transfer escorts you to the airport for your flight to Athens. You will meet you connecting flight to take you home. If you aren't ready to leave Greece, consider a trip extension. To read about travelers' experiences on their customized trips, browse the reviews for Greece travel on Zicasso.
$2,495 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.
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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