When people mention the cradle of Western Civilization your mind automatically brings you to Greece and for good reason; its as if the streets have been paved with columns and boat sails have been made from past togas, at least in some people’s minds. However, the remains of antiquity have also gathered a collection of cultures from across history and around the globe bringing the wonders of Greece to light. This 7-day tour will have you ready to experience these wonders that shine a spotlight...
Athens – Awakened Culture
The wonders of Athens awaken you as you arrive along the meandering hills and olive groves of Greece. Check-in to your luxury accommodation and enjoy the day exploring where the antique beauty of the Western World has inspired the thoughts and scholars of the modern world. Step along the Plaka, one of the oldest streets in Athens winding beneath the rising pillars of the Acropolis. The creamy scent of olive oil drifts from the shops. The narrow streets are paved with cobblestones as the homes and stores harken back to the past, to the days when togas reigned supreme and scrolls were the closest anyone would ever get to texting.
On the northern slope of the Acropolis you can wander through the rising streets of Anafiotika. The 19th century neighborhood practically transports you to the islands, with the whitewashed buildings reflecting the vibrancy of the sun, climbing up the hillside and shaping the labyrinthine streets of the legend. The view of the modern city below sprawls out from the water to the foothills, giving the current Greece capital a much more expanded territory than the once great city-state you read about; another introduction to the blending majesty of time within the cradle of Western Civilization.
Mykonos – Let the Ruins Rise
Begin your day with the treasures of a Greek breakfast. The fragrant air is swirled with the sweet, rich scent of Greek coffee. The bougatsa, crisp filo dough stuffed with creamy, gooey cheese, and topped with powdered sugar, gives you the boost and pep to run to Marathon, but there is no need to rush when the splendors of Athens is on display and ready for you to experience. Follow your guide on an excursion through historical Athens beginning at Syntagma Square, also known as Constitution Square. The Parliament building was originally built for King Otto I of Greece. On Sundays the guards are draped in traditional dress, known as Evzones, taken from the Cretan uniforms where nails are pinned to the soles of the shoes to aid them during hand-to-hand combat. At the hour you can watch the intimidating choreographed changing of the guards as they salute the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier chiseled into the wall behind them. Traverse through the remnants of Roman occupation at the Temple of Zeus, built by the Romans as a tribute to the Greek god, before you continue onward, deeper into history.
Follow your guide to the base of Acropolis Hill where you can see the pillars of history coming closer to you with each step you take. The whitewashed columns continue to shine in the sunlight. From the bottom of the hill you can see the outline of the Parthenon, its structure flawless from the distance, each pillar perfectly straight, each portico sound. Step through the Propylaea, the entrance gate to the Acropolis, where the marble steps give you the feeling of floating rather than walking between the pillars. Once atop the plateau the temples continue to rise, their stature as arresting and alluring as they had been in your thoughts. Listen to your guide describe the Golden Age of Athens, the original legend of the temples, which explains the blossoming olive tree and the floral fragrance in the air, along with the tumultuous history of occupation. Descend the hill and watch the pillars of the past continue to glisten like a guiding light, inspiring the present and future alike.
In the late afternoon you will wave goodbye to the grace of Athens and watch the turquoise water expand below you before arriving within the open air of Mykonos. The arid hills mix with the briny freshness of the sea. You will be picked up from the airport and taken to your luxurious hotel where the gentle trickle of the pool can be heard between the calming lapping of waves along the shore. Settle into the comforts of the island as the sun begins to drift behind the flickering spark of the sea.
Mykonos – Where the Sun Was Born
Today you will venture a short way across the waters with the cool breeze winding through your hair and you will arrive at the uninhabited island of Delos. The arid brush is manicured around the pillars and stones that connote the once prosperous trading outpost of the island. A portico holds tall on its columns, lingering above the ruins, as the polished marble of a statue decorates the remembered past. You can see the prominent lions gracefully extending themselves in opposition, guarding the Sacred Lake, the birthplace of Apollo, the Sun God, and Artemis, Goddess of the Hunt. The geometric shapes of mosaics continue to decorate the floors in many households, the colors sleek and smooth. Step inside the museum and witness the detail of the art, from textiles to frescos, busts to statues, the curled hair and chiseled abs, sweeping robes and colorful pottery. The brightness of the culture is brought out by the extent of the preservation. The wistful world of the gods remains as you venture back to Mykonos, watching Apollo drape the night over the sky.
Mykonos – Cultural Cruising
Step onto the crystal clear waters once again, where you can practically see into the depths of the ocean as you cruise around Mykonos on a traditional caque, a local boat bursting with color, tradition, and life. As you glide over the water you look back at the whitewashed structures of the island, beaming with light. The cool breeze brings a refreshing blanket from the warm sun. Mykonos starts to fade as you come closer to Dragonissi, a smaller island filled with coves and caves ready to be explored. Dive into the sea where a tunnel opens the limestone and the sharp blue of the water reveals itself to be crystal clear. The sea feels perfect, calm and inviting, warm enough to enjoy but cool enough to rejuvenate you. The scent of grilled fish and calamari calls you to shore where you find a collection of small traditional plates, like rich fried cheese and rice-stuffed grape leaves, accompanied with the bright anise of ouzo. The waters of the Cyclades bring you back to Mykonos and the tender, pleasant life of the island.
Mykonos – Coiled Majesty of Mykonos
The day is yours to explore Mykonos at your leisure, from the sensual beaches to the rugged hilltops; the island is filled with cultural gems and sensations including the very streets of Mykonos Town. Windmills mark the border, positioned to catch the win; however, the white facades and web-like wheel stand proud over the waters’ edge. The afternoon brings the rush of waves along the shore situated just beneath the rising buildings once used by wealthy merchants and fishing captains, filled with secret latches and spaces meant for stock, and a direct route to the sea.
The colorful facades blossom against the mist giving the stretch of Mykonos the nickname “Little Venice.” The cobblestoned streets guide you into the puzzle that is the center of town, giving you the preferred choice of getting lost within the luxuries of the wealth of shops, restaurants, and spirit. The treasured aromas of roasted lamb and souvlaki mix with the freshness of the day’s catch grilled to perfection, each scent creating a rich compliment of flavors. Jewelry sparkles in the windows, on people’s wrists and necks. The streets are thin like alleyways and wind like a coil, letting you wander, wonder, and experience the white walls and hued doors. The sensation of the town is its combined brilliance, from the food to the streets, the shops to the people, where smiles don’t fade but grow, and the sound of the waves are just beyond the laughter.
Mykonos – The Modern Sensations of Mykonos
Your final day in Mykonos brings with it another chance to absorb the culture of the island at your leisure, with plenty to see and do, if you desire to see and do anything at all. A car will be dropped off at your accommodation giving you the unfettered freedom of the island. Travel the stretches of road less explored by visitors, around and over the hills, the rush of wind filling the car with the freshness of olive trees. The village of Ornos sits along the picturesque blue waters, the whitewash walls of the village climbing into the arid mountains. Whether you sit and enjoy the serene beach beneath an umbrella or within one of the tavernas, the gorgeous briny perfume of the sea drifts in and out with the tide, you can relax along the warm sand, take a breath, and enjoy the moment.
Mykonos – Collecting Culture
Today you will venture to the Mykonos Airport and wave goodbye to the lapping shores, prominent windmills, and labyrinthine streets of the island. Your journey through Greece has allowed you to travel through time, from antiquity to modernity, and experience the mix of cultures along the way. Whether you draped your eyes along the sweeping togas of statues or were emotionally wrapped up in the Parthenon, you placed yourself in the magnitude of the Cradle of Western Civilization and were awoken to its immensity. Consider extending and further customizing your trip to Greece. Be sure to read the reviews for travel agents for Greek islands. The reviews will show you why travelers continue to rely on Zicasso, and give you some additional ideas of what to do in Greece, Mykonos and Delos.
- Stand toe to toe with the past as you visit one of the most famous temples in history, the Parthenon
- See first hand the effects of the ages within the millennia of Athenian occupation
- Be surrounded by greatness with a visit to the Olympic Stadium that held the first modern Olympic Games
- Experience the depth of majesty on the island of Delos where you will see where gods Apollo and Artemis were born and raised
- Relax along the luscious shores of the famous Mykonos beaches
- Wander through the beautifully puzzling streets of Mykonos Town, where the culture of the city comes to life
Western Civilization has grown from the Golden Age of Athens to the turquoise waters of Mykonos. The mysterious and legendary temples of the Acropolis sit atop a hill as if on display in an outdoor museum, while the famous beaches of Mykonos bring with them the flavor of Greece fused with the world. This cultural tour beckons you to indulge on the most ineffable experiences of Greece, on display in their sought after history, and set along the shores of the islands; see the varied forms of Greece from antiquity to modernity.
Greece vacations provide a variety of cultures to explore, but this is no truer anywhere than it is in Athens, where the heart of European history continues to beat proudly. Follow your guide through the steps of ancient Athens to see the opulent remnants of the golden age of philosophy, along with the scars of occupation. The philosophies of the city blend with the centrally situated ancient, the contemporary, and the modern bringing together a cultural time machine layered like a palimpsest.
Arrive in Mykonos where the waters of the island span the spectrum of blues. The majesty of the uninhabited island of Delos, just off the shore of Mykonos, stems from its affluent past and the legend of the island as Apollo and Artemis’s birthplace. The ruins of the city decorate the hillside and linger along the shore displaying its prominence and once vast prosperity. Enjoy Mykonos Town where you can see the beauty of history built into the walls while the modern eccentricities of the city inhabit the interiors. The beaches glisten and invite you to press your feet into the warm sand and cool water. The windmills spin in kind breezes. Mykonos brings you to the edge of the modern world while keeping one foot firmly planted in the history of Western Civilization.
$1,745 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.
- 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.
Reviews of Zicasso's Referral Service
4.9 stars based on 1642 reviews
Reviewed By Dayana L.
Reviewed By Shania S.
Reviewed By Kim A.
Reviewed By Teresa B.
Reviewed By Susan S.
Reviewed By Mrinal B.
Get Weekly Inspiration and Expert Advice on Travel
during the COVID and post-COVID era