A 16-day Mediterranean Interlude
Vacation in Greece
Athens • Mykonos • Syros • Delos • Naxos
Hideaway in the Greek Isles. This itinerary includes Athens – Classical Greece! Athens, Nauplia, Olympia, Delphi – see where our own Western civilization began, and how modern Greece lives today! Then whisk you by air to idyllic hideaways in the Greek Islands: Mykonos, Delos and Naxox. You’ll compare superlatives. You may start with the Islands, please let us know at the time of booking. Our select island facilities offer privacy, intimacy, and outings to villages, beaches, taverns and more. The choice is yours. Daily, Athens (Apr–Oct).
DAY 1: Athens – Daily – April – Oct
WELCOME TO ATHENS!
Our local representative escorts you from the airport to your hotel, maybe with time left to start exploring Athens as you wish.
DAY 2: Full Day Private Tour, Athens (cBL)
On your first morning in Athens we show you the top sights: the Acropolis and its museum, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, the Theater of Dionysus.
The Acropolis hill, called the “Sacred Rock” of Athens, is the most important site of the city. During Perikles’ Golden Age, ancient Greek civilization was represented in an ideal way on the hill and some of the architectural masterpieces of the period were erected on its ground. The first habitation remains on the Acropolis date from the Neolithic period. Over the centuries, the rocky hill was continuously used either as a cult place or as a residential area or both.
This private tour gives you an opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. Your expert guide will take you to see the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic games of modern times were held in 1896 (short stop). Continue and pass by the Prime Minister’s residence (ex Royal Palace) guarded by the Euzones in their colorful uniform, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Hadrian’s Arch, the Parliament and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library, the Constitution Square (Syntagma). On the Acropolis visit the Architectural Masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally “the harmony between material and spirit,” the monument that “puts order in the mind,” the Parthenon. Continue and visit the place where at last the statues found their home and admire the wonders of the classical era: The new Acropolis museum. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Afternoon leisure guided walking of the ancient district of the Plaka, with break to enjoy the local Greek ice cream.
DAY 3: Mycenae, Epidaurus & Nauplia (BD)
Leave Athens along the Saronic Gulf coastal road to the Corinth Canal, which connects the Aegean Sea with the Ionian Sea. Drive on to Mycenae, the Homeric City of the Atreides, “rich in gold” of the ancient poets. (Visit the Lion’s Gate, the Cyclopean Walls and the Royal Tombs), center of ancient Mycenaean civilization (2800-1100 BC); the legendary home of the Atreides, is situated upon a small hilltop on the lower slopes of Euboea Mountain, between two of its peaks, on the road leading from the Argolic Gulf to the north (Corinth, Athens, etc.). A palace was built on the summit of the hill while towards the Argolic plain lay the wall – painted “Cult Center,” the main gate or “Lion Gate” and “Grave Circle A” which contained the treasures now displayed at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. On the NE side, a tunnel leading to a subterranean fountain was built in “cyclopean” masonry in around 1225 B.C. Mycenae was occupied without interruption until 468 B.C. when it was conquered by the city of Argos and its population banished.
Drive through the fertile plain of Argolis to Nafplion, a picturesque town nestled at the foot of the Palamidi Fortress. After lunch, leave for Epidavros to visit the theater (4th Century B.C.) famous for its astonishing acoustics. Lunch on your own in Mycanae or Nafplion. Drive through central Peloponnese, Arcadia – the home of Pan and the Nymphs. We pass by Tripolis and Megalopolis on our way to Olympia. On to Olympia where we overnight.
DAY 4: Olympia (BD)
Tour the ancient site of the Olympic games. We visit the great Temple of Zeus, one of the Wonders of the Ancient World, and tour the museum. On to Delphi and overnight.
DAY 5: Delphi (BD)
Tour Delphi, site of the famed oracle, at the foot of Mount Parnassus. During the Mycenaean period, the female deity of Earth was worshipped in the small settlement of Delphi. The development of the sanctuary and oracle though, began in the 8th century B.C. with the establishment of the cult of Apollo. Under the protection and administration of the Amphictyony, the sanctuary continued to be autonomous after the First Sacred War and, as a result, increased its panhellenic religious and political influence. The Pythian Games were re-organized, the sanctuary was enlarged and it was enriched with nice buildings, statues, and other offerings. In the 3rd century B.C. it came under the domination of the Aetolians and later, in 191 B.C., was conquered by the Romans. During the Roman occupation the site was sometimes plundered but was also favoured by some of the emperors. With the spread of Christianity, the sanctuary lost its religious meaning and was permanently closed down with a decree of emperor Theodosius the Great. In the afternoon, we drive via the lovely Kalambaka, a small town situated at the foot of the astonishing complex of Meteora. We spend the night at Kalambaka.
DAY 6: ATHENS (B)
We tour Meteora where, perched at the top of huge rocks which seems to be suspended in mid-air, stand ageless Monasteries where you can see exquisite specimens of Byzantine art. Meteora is from the biggest and most important group of monasteries in Greece after those in Mount Asos. We can locate the first traces of their history from the 11th c. when the first hermits settled there. The rock monasteries have been characterized by UNESCO as a unique phenomenon of cultural heritage and they form one of the most important stations of cultural map of Greece. On to Athens via Trikala, Lamia, Thermopylae, visit the Leonidas Monument, and Kammena Vourla. Arrive Athens in the evening.
DAY 7: Athens, Syros (BD)
Take the morning to finish your shopping, or for additional explorations. In the afternoon, around 3 PM (subject to change) we’ll call for you and see you to the port of Piraeus for your ferry ride to the island of Syros. We’ll have a representative on hand to meet you, and check you in to your hotel. Dinner is included tonight at the hotel.
Sample Hotels (or similar):
First Class (4 stars): Dolphin Bay Hotel or Faros Village.
Deluxe: Hotel Ploes Syros, Apollonian Palace, or similar.
DAY 8: Syros – Private Tour (BLD)
Breakfast & Dinner at the hotel: Dolphin Bay Hotel or Faros Village or similar. Syros is the capital of the Cyclades, its proximity to Athens and Piraeus make it a very popular tourist destination. Ermoupolis, the capital of Syros is full of Venetian and neoclassical buildings which make it one of the most beautiful and interesting towns in Greece in regard to the architectural mix, no doubt that you will find also great unspoiled beaches. Private tour with a private guide to explore the highlights of Ermoupolis, explore this great town and its lovely narrow streets, admire the historic Town Hall, enjoy your lunch in one of the street Greek cafes on Miaouli Square, visit one of the Greek churches, and of course we will not miss the Archaeological Museum.
DAY 9: Syros – Private Tour (BLD)
Breakfast & Dinner at the hotel: Another day and another private tour in Syros to visit the fortified city of Ano Syros, the village of Kini, with a charming little port, and enjoy your lunch before heading back to your hotel, or maybe you prefer to go the beach and watch a great Greek sunset!
DAY 10: Syros – Mykonos (B)
After breakfast at the hotel, we head for the ferry (business class when available on board) and on to Mykonos, and your hotel. The day is totally yours. There’s no need to venture beyond the grounds of your lovely hotel. But on the other hand, there’s plenty of reason to do so, starting with 350 whitewashed churches and chapels, dramatic cliffs, blue seas, and secluded beaches.
Maybe this will be your day to stay put. Or maybe you’ll mix relaxation with walks to photograph the famed windmills of Mykonos, or to watch fishermen at work along the sea.
DAY 12: Mykonos – Delos (B)
After Breakfast, our local rep escorts you to the port for Delos Island Tour. A 30-minute boat ride to this neighboring island. Delos was perceived in the Ancient World to be one of the most important sites as it was the birthplaces of many of the ancient gods such as Apollo and Artemis. Humans settled this island almost 3000 years BC. Delos used to be the power seat and the religious center of the Ancient Aegean world. The island is now uninhabited. The guided tour covers the ancient ruins/temples and the museum, the Sacred Holy Lake, Temple of the Dilions, the Theatre and the Agira. Return to Mykonos and your hotel.
DAY 13: Mykonos, Naxos (B)
Spend another relaxing morning. Reserve some time to stroll the cobbled lanes of Mykonos, to sip an ouzo at a waterside café, to discover a beach or two, to pick up a loaf of fresh bread and cheese and olives, and picnic on a hillside as you look out to sailboats at sea. We’ll rendezvous in time to take you to your fast ferry/hydrofoil for Naxos for (45 minutes approx. direct or 1 hour/ 30 minutes via Paros subject to days of the week and availability).
Portara – Apollo Temple (The Great Door) proudly stands on the edge of a narrow promontory, also known as the Baths of Ariadne, which is the first to welcome you when you reach Naxos. In Naxos, the port and the capital of the island, you will also find one of the most beautiful and imposing Venetian castles, the town’s most romantic location, where you can enjoy the majestic sunset, with the view of Paros in the background.
Day 14: Naxos (B)
Another day of Mediterranean fantasy at leisure in Naxos, you may want to take a stroll around the tangled paved streets, where you can admire the white houses with the colorful doors and windows, with the flowerpots and the people with their smiling faces. The calmness that surrounds everything will surely relax you and offer you special moments of tranquility and peace, unforgettable images of a wonderful, rich land.
Day 15: Naxos – Private Tour (BL)
Full day private tour including: the Kouros of Flerio, the church of Panagia Drosiani, a scenic drive through the olive groves and mountains, lunch at a charming local Greek tavern.
DAY 16: DEPARTURE – Naxox (B)
After breakfast, our local representative escorts you to Naxox airport for your flight home. Bon Voyage.
|RATES per person in USD|
|Triple||$ 8795.00||US$ 7515.00|
|Double||$ 9005.00||US$ 7725.00|
|Single||$ 11,155.00||US$ 9985.00|
Please note that for the cities Nauplia, Delphi, Olympia, Meteora: Hotels used are moderate 3-4 stars hotels
Tour Rate includes:
- Hotel accommodation as per itinerary.
- Private touring as per itinerary, such as in Athens, Syros, Naxos and Delos with a private driver, private air-conditioned vehicle and private guide.
- Pre-set menu meals as listed lunch: (L), dinner (D).
- Breakfast daily at the hotels.
- Airport and port greeting and assistance hotel transfers always on a private basis.
- Hotel service charges and taxes.
- Airfare within Greece as per itinerary, in economy class, tax included.
- Ferry tickets as listed, in business class if/when available, tax included.
- International airfare from/to USA or your home country
- Personal expenses
- Beverages, and meals not specifically listed
- Trip Cancellation Insurance
- Travel Insurance
- Deluxe: Divani Palace Acropolis
- First: Electra Palace, Stanley Hotel
- Deluxe: Royal Myconian
- First Class: Petassos Beach
- Deluxe: Nissaki Beach Hotel, Mitos Suites, Alkyoni Beach Hotel, Cyano Suites or similar.
- First Class; Nastasia Village Hotel
- Deluxe: Hotel Ploes Syros, Apollonian Palace, or similar.
- First Class: Dolphin Bay Hotel, Porto Naxos Hotel, Faros Village, or similar.