Athens, Patmos, Mykonos, Santorini, Rhodes, Crete
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
You have been dreaming about the wonders of Greece for years; now you can stop dreaming and start living through the majesty of the Mediterranean on this custom tailored tour that will bring those dreams to life. From the sensational ancient city of Athens to the wondrous ruins of Ephesus, the Acropolis of Lindos on Rhodes to the whitewashed walls of Santorini, the beauty is never ending, the splendor is everywhere; you just have to let the wonder wash over you.
Athens – Athens Unwrapped
Welcome to the city of Athens. If you were able to untie the bow around a present and watch the wrapping fall away this would be what you find underneath. The Acropolis rises over the center of ancient Athens and glistens a subtle orange in the light. The Plaka, one of the oldest and longest consecutively used streets in the city, winds along the foothill. The path is paved with stone. Tradesmen welcome you into their shops with trinkets and sparkly jewelry, some made with bronze, other with silver. Restaurants stretch down the street giving the air a blend of luscious aromas, from crispy filo stuffed with cheese to gorgeous roasted lamb. The lively calls, lovely food, and range of ancient history are almost too much to bear…almost.
Athens – Antiquity at Your Service
Let the wonder of Athens wash over you as you venture deeper into the city’s history, both modern and ancient. Your tour begins once you leave your hotel and journey through the fabulous streets. Along the way you will stand beside the Panathenaic stadium, the first stadium to hold a modern Olympic games in 1896. The marble arena reaches far back from the street, wrapping round the track and giving space for plenty of spectators and fans. You can almost hear the roars of history’s cheers celebrating their country, their favorite runner, or the first javelin record archived.
Collect the jewel of Athenian history by witnessing the sensation of the Acropolis. The entire plateau is paved with marble, harkening back to the city’s Golden Age. The Erechtheion stands to the left of the Parthenon where Caryatids, robed female figures used as architectural support, decorate the temple with grace. An olive tree gives an air of earthen zest to the citadel, a gift from the goddess Athena to the city of her namesake. The Parthenon is one of the most famous temples in history, standing before you like something out of a postcard, almost unreal in its elegance and historical significance. Carvings grace the surrounding metopes of the temple. The porticos are decorated with people and their offerings to Athena. Upon the citadel it feels like you could step back and watch the opulent structures of the city remain just as sturdy and smooth throughout time.
Athens – A Wonderful Day for Exploration
The new day brings another chance to venture through the city at your leisure, finding the nooks and crannies that make Athens such a desirable city to visit. Whether you prefer the vibrant markets of Monastiraki or would rather stroll through the Cyclades neighborhood of Anafiotika, this day is for your whims. The New Acropolis Museum sits lavishly beneath Acropolis Hill with a splendid view of the Parthenon from the third floor. Enter the foyer and stand over the ruins of the ancient city that spread throughout the center of Athens. The large hall that houses busts and statues not only embraces the past but displays its charm and awe within the art that has decorated the past. A bust of Alexander the Great is positioned within the room almost highlighting each strand of hair within the sculpted marble. It is hard to imagine how detailed a sculpture can be, until you take a walk through the Acropolis Museum.
Day 4 - 5
Mykonos – Island Ascension
The antiquity of Athens has been around for thousands of years and will wait for your return to the city but today you will depart for the inspired island of Mykonos. The beaches almost wrap around the entirety of the island like one stretch of ornate sand, where the water sparkles with the opulence of a sapphire. Mykonos Town gives a classic sense of the whitewashed walls of the Cyclades meandering beside the labyrinthine streets that offer simultaneous charm and trendiness to the day. Mykonos lets you settle in, relax, and enjoy its splendor.
Mykonos – An Ideal Favorite
Once settled onto the shores of Mykonos there is no wonder as to why the island is a favorite for people around the world. Today can be spent wandering along the island at your leisure, but if wandering doesn’t seem to be in the cards then grab a towel and venture to one of the many fabulous beaches that the island has to offer. Perch beneath an umbrella along the perfect sands of Paradise Beach. The calm water kisses the shore. The hot sands shimmer like gold beneath your feet. Beside the boardwalk brings a plethora of rich aromas, from melting cheeses to creamy tzatziki. You could even relax with a cool, sweet drink beneath the shade of a parasol. With the sound of the water in the distance, the icy glass in your hand, your cares melt away as you blissfully watch the day go by.
Mykonos – A Castle in the Clouds
It may not actually be in the clouds but with another day to traverse the sensational island the Castle Panigirakis is not to be missed. The castle overlooks the entirety of Mykonos Town, the white walls wrapping around the coastline and shining against the various shades of blue sea. Vibrant grass blankets the hillside and leads you to the famed stone archway that frames the town and ocean below. The breeze is sweet and cool. A windmill watches over the hillside. It is easy to lose track of time as you look below to the winding streets of town, and beyond to the archipelago created by the islands of Syros, Tinos, and Delos. Sit along the skyline, look into the horizon, and let the dusk roll across the sky.
At Sea – Where Cruisers Cruise
Today you will separate yourself from the land all together as you board your cruise ship and make way to the bordering waters of Turkey. The majesty of the water is alluring, drifting from turquoise to crystal clear to sapphire and back again. Sporadic islands drift by in the distance. The sea is filled with the sweetness of the mist rising from the sea and the wind blowing through your hair. The middle of the Mediterranean allows a sense of serenity to rush over the ship and urge you forward.
Patmos – Wondrous Ancients and Ancient Wonders
Step onto the shores of Kusadasi, a Turkish island that holds the secrets of the best preserved Greek and Roman ruins in Asia Minor. The stronghold was a center for trade amongst the East and the West for centuries. Where once the prominent city stood lay the ruins that now inspire and awe visitors. Mosaics date back to the ancient Greeks, one in particular that displays Medusa, pieced together with colorful tiles to outline the piece. The mythical icon boasts locks of brown hair from which the heads of two snakes peer. At the south end of Domitian Street is the temple of Domitian. Terraces continue to stand showing the original size of the structure as two stories. Marble columns stand in front of the cellar made of brick and sitting along the foothill of the surrounding slope. There is tangible history that fills you with awe at the stunning remains of the ancient city.
The island of Patmos is known for housing the cave in which St. John the Divine wrote the Book of Revelation. Arrive in the port and explore the island at your leisure. The castle-like structure that looms over town is actually a monastery built over St. John’s cave. Patmos Town sits in whitewashed opulence beneath the monastery, with a sun-kissed sheen under the afternoon sky. The oldest homes of the island were built in the 12th century, the walls painted white and plastered. The walls were built higher than the roofs to discourage climbing, especially in the surge of pirate fears. The delicate perfume of bougainvillea and pastries drift from the square. Each street looks as charming as the last. You almost feel like you have stepped into a storybook because no town could ever be so seamless.
Rhodes – Who Needs the Colossus of Rhodes
The island of Rhodes no longer boasts the colossus that once stood as a symbol of power and prosperity for all who came within viewing distance of the island. However, the history of Rhodes is far greater than one single statue, set deep within the people and the remaining architecture of the city at large. Whether you choose to indulge in a tour or meander through the old town on your own, the gems of the island are far too great to be missed. A visit to the Acropolis of Lindos is filled with illustriousness from a heyday of ancient times. The plateau looks out over the Mediterranean giving a sense of blessing to those leaving the city and a beacon for those returning. The Doric Stoa was once shaped like a great hall of a university, flanked by structural wings. The pillars at the base of the stairs, and the stairs themselves, continue to decorate the Acropolis, giving you a sense of the enormity of the structure in its prime. The façade of Temple of Athena Lindia also continues to stand proud against the backdrop of ruins. Within the temple you can see the spot where the statue of the goddess once stood.
Crete – Castles and Calderas
Journey to the heart of Heraklion, Crete, at your leisure; stroll along its cobbled paths that rise and fall, narrowing and widening between hotels, shops, and restaurants. If you choose you can also visit the famed Knossos Minoan Palace where the infamous Minotaur was held captive. Along the port of Heraklion is the Venetian castle of Koules. The imposing two-story structure surrounds the harbor and once guarded entry to the port. Built by the Venetians, the castle has been restored by various occupiers over the years; however, the structure is no less powerful and inspiring. The cool stones stand at the water’s edge bracing against the rugged sea. Stroll along the stretch of the fortress walls and view the expanse of the Mediterranean as it extends away from Crete.
The latter half of the day brings you to the famous cliffs of Santorini. The whitewashed homes brace the precipice of the crescent shaped island. Once along the ridge of Santorini you can look into the caldera, the afternoon sea clamors against the rock. The volcano’s tip rises in the distance, looking like a tiny island within the beautiful blue sea. Stroll through the town of Fira, the island’s capital, where the panorama of the island will do nothing less than take your breath away. The lighthouse in the distance stands against the sometimes harsh wind of the island. The pleasant streets of the town allow you to stroll at your leisure, where local artesian shops mix with the rich flavors of local restaurants, all with a view of the open world beyond.
Santorini – It Doesn’t End
Today you will transfer to the Santorini airport to begin your journey home. As your begin to relive your expedition to Greece you can feel the vibrant memories replaying through your head. The sights you’ve seen and the adventures you’ve had will never be taken away and, the best part is, they will never fade away. From the antiquity of Athens to the monastery of Patmos, the mainland to the islands, other holidays may come and go but the wonder of Greece never ends.
Consider extending or customizing this tour. See the reviews for Greece and Santorini travel agents for additional information and ideas.
- Explore the ancient history of Greece including the famous Parthenon
- Luxuriate on the famous beaches of Mykonos known to jetsetters around the world
- Cruise through the stunning waters of the Mediterranean
- Discover the incredible Greek and Roman ruins of Ephesus on the Turkish island of Kusadasi
- Stand within reach of where St. John the Divine wrote the Book of Revelations
- Venture along the grandiose Acropolis of Lindos with a backdrop of the horizon
- Witness the fabulous panorama of the Santorini sunset
Enjoy your journey into the unparalleled sights of Greece on this 12-day tour through the Mediterranean Sea. The antiquity brings with it a sense of nostalgia for a Golden Age which inspired the whole of Western Civilization. Cruise through the famous islands that combine pristine beaches, fabulous architecture, and some of the most well known ruins of the past. Your time along the shores will bring you not only to the grandeur of Greece, but the magic of its history.
The wonder begins with your arrival in Athens, the city that brought about the Golden Age. Tour through Greece’s past along the ruins of the Acropolis and within the New Acropolis Museum which houses much of the art from the surrounding city. Step onto the cruise ship and venture to Mykonos where the celebrated island brings about the luxuries of beaches and the charm of its town’s cosmopolitan streets. The days are yours to spend them as you wish, where the water is pure and the town has plenty to discover. A day cruising along the Mediterranean will bring you out of Greek waters and into the waters of Turkey.
On the shores of the Turkish island of Kusadasi you will find yourself wandering through the ancient city of Ephesus where the fabled temple of Artemis once stood. Today the ruin is a prized monument to the prosperous trading post it had been. On the island of Patmos you can stroll through town or within the walls of the monastery that commemorates St. John the Divine’s stay when he wrote the Book of Revelations. Travel to Rhodes where the island boasts the grand ruins of the Acropolis of Lindos which rise 400 feet above the sea. In Heraklion you can meander along the fortress built by Venetians during their occupation of the island in the 13th century before coming to the cliff side shores of Santorini. The whitewashed walls and blue roofs bring those famous photo images of Greece into three-dimensional relief. As you depart for home you can rest assured that the wonders of the Mediterranean were not just visited but experienced.
$2,995 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.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
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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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