Classical Greece & Idyllic Islands - 12 Days
Discover Greece’s extreme beauty on this 12-day tour travelling from ancient Athens uncovering centuries of civilization at the astounding archaeological sites Acropolis, Olympia and Meteora; soaking up the gorgeous beaches of Zakynthos and the outstanding scenery of the Peloponnese before discovering the magical island of Santorini.
Today we set our sights exploring the most important landmarks and monuments of the historical city of Athens, one of the oldest cities in Europe. Our first stop is to the Panathenaic Stadium, home of the first modern Olympic Games and the only stadium in the world made entirely from marble. We then continue to other iconic landmarks including the Zappeion, the temple of Olympian Zeus, and Hadrian’s wall. Our final stop is to the iconic Acropolis where we enjoy a guided visit to Propylae, the temple of Athena Nike, the Parthenon, the Erechtheion and the Acropolis Museum, recently voted one of the best museums in the world. This afternoon is at leisure to further explore – wander through the picturesque old neighbourhood of Plaka or shop for souvenirs on Ermou Street.
Overnight: Athens | Breakfast
Across the Peloponnese
Athens - Epidaurus - Mycenae - Olympia. This morning finds us travelling towards to Peloponnese, home to many of Greece’s greatest archaeological sites. Our first stop is to the impressive Corinth Canal which separates the Greek mainland from the Peloponnese before continuing our journey to Epidaurus, a hub of ancient healing famous for its theatres acoustics.
This afternoon we briefly stop in Nafplion, a beautiful town filled with numerous Venetian and Turkish buildings, labyrinth streets and authentic atmosphere, before continuing onto Mycenae, one of the most famous archaeological sites in the country. The site includes the towering Cyclopean walls, the beehive tomb of Agamemnon, and the famous Lion's Gate. In the afternoon, we cross the Peloponnese mountains to arrive in Olympia for dinner.
Overnight: Olympia | Breakfast, Dinner
Olympia – Zakynthos. The beautiful town of Olympia, set on the banks of the River Alfios, is ours to explore today. We begin with a tour through the remains of Ancient Olympia, home of the original Olympic Games, including the Temple of Zeus, the Palaestra and Phidias’s Workshop. We continue to one of the richest museums in Greece where we marvel at the impressive Hermes of Praxitelis statue.
Our afternoon finds us leaving the rest of the group and taking a private transfer to the port of Kyllini where we embark on the local ferry to the island of Zakynthos, one of the most popular islands on the Ionian Sea. After checking into our hotel, we have the rest of the afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Zakynthos | Breakfast
This morning we embark on a coach tour to the north-east part of Zakynthos, with our guide telling us about the history and mythology of the island en-route. We have a brief stop at Alykes Hills for the perfect photo opportunity with great scenery overlooking the whole of the island, mainland Greece and the neighbouring island of Kefalonia. We arrive at a small fishing village where we board our boats to travel around the north shores of the island, arriving at Navagio beach, the most photographed beach in the world, before the crowds. Our boat then continues to the famous “Blue Caves” (subject to weather conditions), one of the islands most famous natural attractions, for a dip in the caves rich waters which appear to turn everything below the water blue. On our way back to the port we look out for dolphins and sea-turtles before stopping at the sea-spa of Xingia, a small sandy beach with turquoise waters containing traces of Sulphur and collagen, for a swim that will leave you feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. We return to our hotel for an afternoon at leisure.
Overnight: Zakynthos | Breakfast
Zakynthos – Delphi. This morning we have some free time to enjoy the town of Zakynthos before we make our way back to Kyllini port. From there we take a transfer to the meeting point and rejoin the group before continuing around Oatras and over the Rio-Antirio bridge to Delphi for dinner.
Overnight: Delphi | Breakfast, Dinner
Delphi – Kalambaka. Delphi, one the most sacred pilgrimage centre in the world, is ours to explore today. We begin admiring the Sanctuary of Apollo before we walk up the Sacred Way, the path followed by ancient visitors that runs through the Sanctuary until we reach the temple of Apollo, where we’ll find the bronze Charioteer statue and mythical omphalos stone. This afternoon we cross the mountains of central Greece back to the mainland, arriving in Kalambaka, the gateway to Meteroa, for an evening meal.
Overnight: Kalambaka | Breakfast, Dinner
Kalambaka - Meteora – Athens. After breakfast we visit the stunning Meteroa World Heritage Site. The towering rock formations have provided a sacred retreat for monks over centuries. We explore the Orthodox monasteries hidden at the top and marvel at the spectacular view across the plain. We return to Athens for the night stopping at Thermopylae, where King Leonidas and 300 Spartans made a famous last stand against the Persians in 480 BC.
Overnight: Athens | Breakfast
Athens – Santorini. After breakfast, we travel to the port of Piraeus to catch the local ferry to the magical island of Santorini. The journey takes roughly 8 hours and once we have docked we are transferred to our hotel where the remainder of the day is at leisure.
Overnight: Santorini | Breakfast
The next two days are at leisure to explore the volcanic island of Santorini. No trip to the island would be complete without exploring the whitewashed towns of Fira and Oia which boast amazing views of the volcano that birthed the island, sit on the black-sanded beaches for one of the best sunsets in the Aegean, or cruise along the caldera on a boat tour.
Overnight: Santorini | Breakfast x 2
Our tour of Greece ends today. Spend the morning at leisure before an included transfer to Santorini airport for your onward flight.
Prices & Dates
Departure dates are guaranteed to operate subject to availability. Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price.
The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.
Polis Grand, Athens
In the heart of Athens, the Polis Grand is a contemporary hotel with excellent facilities. Guest rooms are well appointed with elegant furniture and all modern conveniences. Some rooms are equipped with a balcony with fantastic views over to the Acropolis. The hotel benefits from a number of eateries which serve up an array of Greek and international cuisine as well as tasty coffee and delicious pies. Definitely head for a cocktail in the evening at the roof garden bar for amazing views across the city.
Titania Hotel, Athens
Nestled in the historic centre of Athens, the Titiana offers beautiful accommodation all classically designed. The ensuite guest rooms are furnished to a high standard with neutral tones and wooden flooring. Breakfast is served in the impressive rooftop Olive Garden restaurant which affords amazing views across the city including the Acropolis. The hotel also benefits from complimentary Wi-Fi and a fitness centre.
Hotel Arty Grand , Olympia
Located on top of a hill overlooking Olympia, the Arty Grand Hotel is all about the guest experience. From the welcoming reception hall, up to the spacious rooms and beautiful verandas, the Arty Grand provides world-class treatment. Arranged over three floors, there is an outdoor swimming pool and spa centre, where you can relax with a rejuvenating massage after a day of exploring. The hotel serves a daily breakfast buffet and you can order from the lunch and dinner menu. Then take your pick between the hotel or poolside bar to enjoy an evening drink.
Hotel Europa , Olympia
Set at the top of Drouvas Hill, Hotel Europa offers views of the Arcadian Mountains and Alfios Valley from your own private balcony. The spacious guestrooms also feature marble floors and modern amenities, with free WiFi and breakfast included. Relax on the comfortable sunbeds by the outdoor pool that is surrounded by luscious greenery. Within the garden there is a Greek tavern where you can enjoy a delicious feast of Mediterranean cuisine prepared with natural and organic ingredients.
Hotel Amalia, Delphi
Located at the foot of Mount Parnassus, Hotel Amalia overlooks a picturesque green valley and the Ionian Sea. Guestrooms are spread over four levels, offering plenty of natural light and all the essential amenities. Relax in the main lounge where you can enjoy the magnificent vistas by a rustic fireplace. Next to the beautiful gardens you will find the main restaurant, serving up a rich American breakfast buffet and a la carte lunch and dinner featuring Greek cuisine. You can also enjoy coffee, fresh juice and cocktails as you unwind at the poolside bar.
Hotel Apollonia , Delphi
Situated in an ideal location within the modern town, Hotel Apollonia provides the perfect base for exploring ancient Delphi. Offering a majestic view of the Corinthian Gulf, the hotel combines wood and stone in a traditional-style build. The spacious guestrooms and modern facilities offer a very comfortable stay, with a delicious breakfast and dinner served in the hotel restaurant. You can also relax by a cosy fire with a drink or two from the bar.
Hotel Amalia , Kalambaka
Hotel Amalia is embedded on 14 acres of beautiful greenery. Built from traditional materials to match its surrounds, the hotel features extensive gardens, a large swimming pool and distant views of the Meteora Rocks. Guestrooms are spacious and fully equipped with the latest facilities. In the dining area, a rich American buffet breakfast is served with both local and international cuisine available for lunch and dinner. Relax by the fireplace in the hotel’s cosy lounge bar and listen to piano music as you sip a cocktail.
Hotel Divani Meteora , Kalambaka
Offering the chance to enjoy traditional Greek hospitality within a contemporary setting is the Hotel Divani Meteora. Surrounded by natural beauty, the hotel is set in front of the World Heritage-listed Meteora sandstone monasteries. The fully renovated hotel has a welcoming decor, with warm shades and a luxury wooden floor. A tranquil restaurant offers delicious Mediterranean cuisine and there is an outdoor and indoor pool. You can also unwind after a day of exploring in the sauna steam bath or bubbling Jacuzzi.
Orizontes Hotel & Villas Santorini, Santorini
Located in the village of Pyrgos, the Orizontes Hotel was recently renovated and is surrounded by vineyards. Guest rooms have private balconies looking out to the sea or the garden and are equipped with lots of modern conveniences. The hotel also has a couple of restaurants serving local and international cuisine. Plus there is a lovely outdoor pool to cool down in and lots of sunbeds.
El Greco Resort & Spa, Santorini
Conveniently located just minutes from the centre of Fira, El Greco is a beautiful white washed complex in the classic Santorini style. All guest rooms are air conditioned and reflect the Cycladic style whilst including all mod-cons and exception ensuite facilities. The resort benefits from an outdoor pool, on site restaurant and adult-only Spa Centre for guests.