Two-Week Family Vacation: Myths & Wonders of Greece

A 14 day trip to Greece 
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An adventure with your kids always brings you closer, and this customizable family Greece tour will immerse you all in marvelous history, enchanting mythology, captivating scenery, and incredible luxury. From Athens to Crete, Santorini to Naxos, your entire family will have the adventure of a lifetime as you discover medieval homes and Venetian towers, ancient temples and traditional villages with picturesque examples of iconic Cycladic architecture. Swim in the refreshingly warm waters of the Aegean Sea, follow in the footsteps of the Olympian Zeus, and delight in the masterful flavors of traditional delicacies while sharing experiences for the ultimate family tour in Greece.

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Most tours are customized for private travel.

General Information

Photos
Detailed Itinerary

Places Visited 

Athens, Acropolis, Crete, Chania, Vamos, Rethymnon Beach, Knossos Palace, Heraklion, Santorini, Oia, Akrotiri, Naxos, Chalki, Mount Zas, Portara, Myli

Departure Dates 

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.

Detailed Itinerary 

Day 1: Athens – Arrive in Athens with an Introductory Cultural Tour

The dynamic city of Athens reveals ancient history in a modern world to celebrate the “Cradle of Western Civilization.” The Parthenon crowns the Acropolis summit with a harmonic design that reflects the ingenuity of the architects and their desire to make the structure look symmetrical from every angle. As the emblem of Greece, the Parthenon dates back of the fifth century BC and continues to draw visitors from around the world to view the iconic image of philosophy’s Golden Age. As soon as you arrive at Athens International Airport, your private transfer greets you at customs and escorts you into the heart of the bustling city, usually with your first views of these historic areas possible.

You will have time to settle into your hotel, and depending on the time of day and your energy levels, you can wander the Agora, or simply rest up for all that is in store as your vacation begins.

What’s Included: airport transfer, accommodation, tour

Day 2: Athens – Discover the Acropolis and the Ancient Mythology of Greece

The morning is filled with the excitement of visiting the Acropolis where the combination of history and mythology come to life. The kids will be thrilled to venture up the famous hillside to reach the fascinating temple that they have likely seen pictured in their history books, and the environment is engaging even if they have not. Before reaching the base of the hill, your guide will take you to the Temple of the Olympian Zeus, a landmark of Athens shaping the legend of the great king of the gods. The grand structure stands in view of the Parthenon sitting atop the 512-foot tall summit of the Acropolis.

You will continue up to the Acropolis to see the Parthenon up close. The fascinating temple was erected in honor of Athena between 447 BC and 338 BC as the ultimate sacred shrine. As the Guardian of Athens and the Goddess of Wisdom and Warfare, the architectural style of the temple has an attention to detail that reveals an intricate understanding of the optical illusion needed to ensure the building looks perfectly balanced. The metopes help tell the story of Athena’s birth from the head of Zeus on one side while also offering images of the conflict between Athena and Poseidon, who battled to become the patron of Athens.

After a very busy morning in the midst of crowds, the afternoon and evening can be left for your family to enjoy your accommodations, or your guide can plan other activities to keep everyone entertained as your jet lag tapers off and you all settle in.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 3: Athens – Adventure along the Saronic Gulf on a Fishing Boat

After breakfast, your family will venture out to the glowing waters of the Saronic Gulf to board a fishing boat and set sail from Piraeus, the port of Athens. The scent of the fresh seawater brings a briny aroma to the air while your traditional fishing boat glows with bright colors against the shimmering clear waters of the Aegean Sea. Your guide will lead your family into the open water for a fantastic demonstration of traditional Greek fishing techniques amid the gorgeous scenery of the Greek coastline and scattered islands.

The kids will notice the paragadi, a customary basket filled with fishing line made of nylon with hundreds of hooks wrapped around the rim. The line can be over half a mile long with the fishers leaving a new hook every 10 feet. The kids will be intrigued by the technique as the sailors determine what they want to catch before setting out to sea. The boat will eventually drop anchor at Fleves Island, a small, dry, uninhabited island perfect for swimming. It will be impossible to keep your kids from jumping into the cool waters, and so you may as well join them as the afternoon is yours to enjoy, before returning to Athens for the evening.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 4: Crete – Travel to Chania, Crete with the Day at your Leisure

The guards in front of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier change on the hour showcasing their elite training form the special Evzones unit of the Hellenic Army by performing specific steps in unison across the plaza. The distinctive display of non-verbal communication captivates the entire family before you fly from Athens to Crete, Greece’s largest island. Your private escort will greet your family upon your arrival in Crete and escort you to the charming town of Chania.

Boutique shops fill the labyrinthine lanes of the town with elegant window displays that showcase ceramics, local artists, and vibrant clothing. A Venetian tower soars above the opening of the marina and once protected the coastline from the threat of Ottomans, but the history of civilization on the island dates back to the Bronze Age nearly 5,000 years ago under the rule of the Minoans.

The old harbor shines with sunlight reflecting against the sea green water while colorful buildings line the esplanade and date back to the fourteenth century. Cafes and restaurants serve fresh seafood, and your kids will enjoy walking along the cobbled, maze-like lanes of town before finding the Archeological Museum inside the Gothic architecture of the Church of San Francesco. Minoan ceramics including painted burial urns and gold jewelry fill the gallery, in addition to a stunning clay female figurine crafted with a bird’s face. As with each day, there is a lot of room for you to organize your day based on your mood and the energy levels of everyone in your family, so your guide will customize your itinerary accordingly.

What’s Included: transfer, accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 5: Crete – Uncover Ancient History and Mythology around Chania

After breakfast, you will set out to explore the ancient history of Crete and the beginnings of Chania at the Minoan ruins of Kydonia. Hidden inside the ruins of the former center of Chania on the hills behind the old port, you will find the excavations of the old Minoan city, once one of the most important settlements on Crete. Archeologists have uncovered many of the artifacts on display in the museum inside the Church of San Francesco with fragments of walls and columns dating back approximately 3,000 years.

After taking it all in, you can return to Chania and wander the streets. The herbaceous scent of raki, a local spirit with the distinctive aroma of black licorice, drifts through the aisles of the municipal market fading beneath the nutty aroma of the soft cheeses. You will find lots of amazing food to try, and your children will enjoy interacting with the stall keepers and friendly people that are all around.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 6: Crete – Sample the Delicacies of Cretan Olive Oil and Cheeses

Today you will take to the countryside for a savory selection of Cretan specialties produced in Vamos village. Restored cottages and traditional stone houses will immerse the family in the traditional culture of the island, and the specific customs of Vamos that are shared best through the authentic tastes of local cuisine passed down through the generations.

Crete is often cited as the best location in Greece for foodies with fantastic locally made olive oil, magnificent vegetables, stunning cheeses, and the traditional mezze. Your kids will take an interest in the antique olive oil press located at the heart of the city that dates back to the nineteenth century and once helped press the olives until the oil seeped out through the edges. By the end of your cooking excursion, your family will have sampled the variety of olives grown on the island, tasted the marvelous array of cheeses, and learned to craft the traditional cheese pie known as sarikopitakia, which is often topped with a drizzle of honey.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 7: Crete – Explore the Majesty of Vamos Village and the Cretan Scenery

In the morning, your family will set out on a casual hike across the landscape of the island to better enjoy the combination of lush landscape, rocky outcroppings, and views of the expansive azure water. The island becomes a mosaic of natural diversity as you venture outside of Vamos. Local women knead bread as you pass offering a vibrant yeasty aroma to the air. The market fills with the bright color of graviera, traditional Greek yellow cheese.

You will continue to Milia and enjoy wandering the small path flanked by giant chestnut trees leading to a collection of 13 stone houses. During harvesting season, visitors can help press the grapes and locals enjoy picking the olives from the trees. The unforgettable beauty of the countryside offers a different view of Crete separate from the celebrated beaches and historical towns but gaining prominence among visitors who relish a slower pace when traveling.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 8: Crete – Traverse Rethymnon Beach, Ancient Knossos, and Heraklion

The day will begin along the water at Rethymno, a seaside town with a gorgeous Venetian harbor set beneath the soaring nineteenth-century lighthouse. The charismatic ambiance is enhanced as the placid turquoise water reflects the regal buildings along the promenade as the gateway to the surrounding beaches of the Mediterranean. The maze at the heart of town creates a charming way to explore the collection of the boutique shops punctuated by wooden balconies set beneath the occasional minaret.

The sound of waves crashing against the rocky shoreline permeates the interior, and you can spend time on the pebbled beach of Platanias. The golden sand stretches beneath rows of lounge chairs overlooking the quiet water while nearby Greek taverns offer local cuisine and drinks as well as sweet treats in the warm Mediterranean sun. After enjoying some time there, you will continue to the city of Heraklion and the captivating grounds of the Palace of Knossos.

The infamous home of King Minos housed the mythological Minotaur, the story of which continues to fascinate visitors from around the world. Knossos stood as the most important city-state of the Minoan civilization during its peak between the seventeenth and fourteenth centuries BC and walking along the palace grounds you can find recreations of the original structure with frescoes depicting the remarkable preserved works of the Minoans. The throne room hosts a fascinating work depicting two griffins lying down and facing the throng. The mythological creatures held an important place in Minoan civilization as seen on identity stamps as the seal on rings. Your engaging guide will keep the kids involved as you all explore, and you can return to the beach to pass the hours of the later afternoon if you would like to.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 9: Santorini – Venture to Santorini to Tour the Island’s Hidden Charms

You will have a brief flight to Santorini in the morning as you move from the fascinating mythology of Crete to reach the legendary beauty of the caldera. Your kids will quickly become interested in the geological history of the island after learning it was shaped by volcanic activity after an eruption caused the water from the Aegean to fill the active crater. Upon arriving on the island, your guide will greet your family at the airport for an introductory tour between the main town of Fira and the charming northern village of Oia. The capital of the island possesses winding cobbled lanes that crisscross along the edge of the caldera overlooking the water.

You will have a great view of the distant village of Oia across the water where the iconic whitewashed walls and blue window shutters glint in the sunlight. The Museum of Prehistoric Thera contains a remarkable collection of ancient artifacts unearthed at Akrotiri, a once thriving Minoan settlement considered the Pompeii of Greece. The gallery displays fascinating works like a gold ibex figurine from the seventeenth century BC. The kids have trouble imagining the timeframe of the fossilized olive tree leaves dating back to approximately 60,000 BC.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 10: Santorini – The Rich History of Akrotiri before a Catamaran Ride

The morning light washes over the caldera returning the shimmering cobalt hues to the water and glinting against the neighboring whitewashed walls of Oia. The kids will be excited to wander around the preserved ancient streets of Akrotiri, a city buried in the ash and pumice of a volcanic eruption during the sixteenth century BC. Some scholars believe the city become the foundation for Plato’s story of Atlantis, and the preserved structures of Akrotiri make the family feel as though you are strolling through a ghost town with some homes reaching three stories tall.

The main allure of the ancient homes remains the stunningly preserved with frescoes that highlight the beauty of daily life with a sensational collection of colors. A frieze in the West House offers an elaborate procession of a ship crossing the marina, while others picture animals prancing on the outskirts of the city as people perform their daily activities. The collection of ships spans the waterways with different styles of sails and rows venturing between islands for a unique and intricate scene.

In the afternoon, you will all board a catamaran bound for the caldera. The captain drops the sail and picks up the breeze heading to the famous pebbled shores of Red Beach where the oxidized volcanic soil has turned the cliffs a rusty red hue. The boat weighs anchor, and the kids leap into the warm, crystal clear water for a dreamy afternoon in the Greek islands.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 11: Naxos – Arrive in Naxos by Ferry with the Remaining Day at Leisure

You will leave behind the beauty of Santorini for the overlooked grandeur of the island of Naxos. The brief ferry ride lands you along the ancient splendor of the Aegean Sea brushing against the Venetian architecture of the main town, Hora. The waterfront leads into a web of cobbled lanes that wind beneath the hilltop castle. Boutique shops divide the collection of cafes and restaurants with the main road that leads to gorgeous remote beaches, isolated mountain villages, and select archeological sites that display the fascinating ancient history scattered across the island. Farms around the countryside produce figs and citrus fruits in view of the staggering heights of Mount Zas, which stands nearly 3,294 feet above sea level.

The remainder of the day is yours to get acquainted with marvels of Naxos at your family’s preferred pace. For a spectacular view of the island, you can venture to the summit of Mount Zas, known as the childhood home of Zeus, king of the gods, as well as the highest point on any of the Cycladic islands. The greenery of the landscape gives way to the rugged sandstone of the higher altitudes. Signs easily guide you up the Aghia Marina route, the least challenging of the three main pathways reaching approximately five miles roundtrip. The marvelous view overtakes the edges of Naxos and the distant Cyclades with traces of Zeus lingering among the rocks, with all of it pretty enough to captivate all ages.

What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour, breakfast

Day 12: Naxos – Delight in an Active Scenic Hike across Naxos

You will all wake to the wonderful landscape of Naxos and begin your morning in the village of Myli. Pink and red homes stand out beneath the lush oak trees growing along the western valley of the island with neighborhoods connected by a trail that is dotted with active watermills. Many of the two-room homes in the lower section of the village have tranquil courtyards, while the middle neighborhood contains a series of valleys winding between the whitewashed two-story homes erected in the 1930s.

The nearby old quarry contains two unfinished statues of Greek gods intended to adorn the roofs of the ancient temples before the sculptors found fault with the marble. However, their staggering size at more than 35 feet long, as well as their rich history dating back to the sixth century BC, continues to impress spectators. You can also visit the famed, yet unfinished, Temple of Apollo that decorates the Palatia islet. The kids will likely be enchanted by the myth that the temple was built atop the place where Ariadne, the Minoan princess, was abandoned by her lover. Locals and visitors alike enjoy the view of the sunset beyond the nearly 20-foot call columns.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 13: Naxos – Relish a Family Horseback Riding Excursion along the Coast

Your guide will greet you in the morning and introduce your family to their horses, each handpicked for each member of your family. The horses are calm and kid-friendly, as are your guides. Together you will follow through the pastures and along the beautiful hillsides of the island’s lush interior before stopping in the town of Apiranthos, located in the mountains.

Often considered the “jewel” of Naxos, Apiranthos shimmers upon your arrival with buildings and streets crafted out of marble and situated at nearly 1,968 feet above sea level overlooking two verdant valleys. Your guides will keep care of your horses, leaving you to take a well-deserved break to enjoy that is on offer in this quaint village.

The scent of freshly brewed Greek coffee drifts out of the small cafes, and the promise of a Greek pastry will call you in. A collection of classic museums can provide insight into the ancient, natural, and traditional history of the island. The Folklore Museum of town is housed inside a typical traditional home reflecting how villagers lived as recently as a century ago. Agricultural tools and shepherd’s clothes help paint a more detailed picture for visitors of life before the industrialization of Europe and will fill the imaginations of your kids before hopping onto your horses for a return to your hotel.

What’s Included: accommodation, tour, breakfast

Day 14: Naxos – Depart for Home

After breakfast, your private transfer greets the family in the hotel lobby and escorts you to Naxos Airport for your return flight to Athens, where you board the plane bound for home.

What’s Included: airport transfer, breakfast

Price

Starting Price 

$3,495
This trip is customizable for your private travel.

What's Included 

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.