FROM: USD $4,995

Greek Explorer & Cruise - 14 Days

SEMI-INDEPENDENT TOUR: Follow in the footsteps of the ancient Greek heroes with this two-week tour from Athens to Santorini, ending with a 4-day cruise through the delights of the Aegean Islands. Along the way, we'll ask the Pythian Oracle for advice at Delphi, relax on the sunny beaches of Mykonos, and explore the medieval walls at Rhodes.

Inclusions
Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels

Trip Highlights

Athens - discover one of the world's oldest cities, from the ancient Acropolis to the modern Panathenaic Stadium
Olympia - learn about the site of the original Olympics, where the Statue of Zeus - an ancient Wonder of the World - once stood
Meteora - admire the stunning, UNESCO-listed rock formations and clifftop monasteries
Mykonos - lounge on sandy beaches and enjoy the nightlife in this Aegean hotspot for the rich and famous
Patmos - climb a hill to the Monastery of St John and biblical Grotto of the Apocalypse
Santorini - relax on one of Greece's most beautiful islands, where whitewashed villages perch on volcanic cliffs
Peloponnese - cross the rocky peninsula at the heart of Greek history, home to Epidaurus, Mycenae, and the Corinth Canal
Delphi - follow the Sacred Way in the footsteps of pilgrims who sought the oracle's advice at this holy sanctuary
Thermopylae - relive the Spartans' famous last stand against the Persians on this narrow pass
Samos/Kusadasi - journey to the island birthplace of Pythagoras, or into Turkey to see the ancient site of Ephesus
Rhodes - explore the island's Acropolis of Lindos and medieval Palace of the Knights

Included

10 nights 3-4 star hotels, and 3 nights inside cabin on the cruise ship
One arrival transfer on Day 1 (Athens) and One departure transfer on Day 14 (Santorini) included per booking
Entrance fees for all included sites
A 4-day/3-night Greek Islands cruise, with all meals, drinks package, port taxes, service charges and 2 shore excursions included
13 breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 6 dinners
Guided sightseeing in Athens, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora, Thessaloniki, Rhodes, and either Samos or Kusadasi
Services of an English-speaking tour guide for all scheduled sightseeing
Note: Touring is operated in conjunction with other tourist groups, not solely On The Go. You will join travellers who booked through other operators for sightseeing each day, some staying in different hotels, and spend your evenings at leisure. The group can vary in size from 15 - 45 persons. Guiding may be in an additional language to English.

Not Included

International flights and visas
A hotel tax of €3.00 per room per night to be paid directly to the hotel at time of check in. Please budget Euro 30, for the duration of the tour. See Trip Notes for details.
Tipping - an entirely personal gesture

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrival in Athens

Welcome to Greece! Transfer to your hotel upon arrival at Athens airport, where you may spend the rest of the day at leisure.
Overnight: Athens

Day 2

Athens City Tour

Our adventure begins with a tour of Greece's 3000-year old capital city, named after the goddess Athena. We start with a panoramic tour of important sites including the Panathenaic Stadium (where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896), Temple of Olympian Zeus, and Syntagma Square. Travelling back in time, we then enjoy a guided visit of the Acropolis, the ancient hilltop sanctuary housing the architectural masterpieces of Classical Athens: the Parthenon, Propylaia, Temple of Athena Nike, and Erechtheion. This is followed by a tour of the Acropolis Museum, recently voted one of the best museums in the world. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure in the old Plaka neighbourhood and maybe shop for some souvenirs on Ermou street.
Overnight: Athens  |  Breakfast

Day 3

Across the Peloponnese

Athens - Epidaurus - Mycenae - Olympia. After breakfast, we depart for the Peloponnese, the rocky peninsula home to many of Greece's greatest archaeological sites. First we stop at the gaping Corinth Canal, a narrow waterway separating the Peloponnese and mainland Greece. We continue to Epidaurus, a hub of ancient healing with a theater famed for its acoustics.

After a short seaside stop in Nafplion, we visit Mycenae, the ancient civilization described by Homer as "rich in gold" and excavated by Heinrich Schliemann. The site includes the towering Cyclopean walls, the beehive tomb of Agamemnon, and the famous Lion's Gate. In the afternoon, we cross the mountains of the Peloponnese to arrive in Olympia for dinner.
Overnight: Olympia  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4

Olympia

Olympia - Delphi. Built on the banks of the River Alfios, the lush green sanctuary of Olympia once housed the original ancient Olympic Games, held every four years in honour of Zeus. Today we enjoy a tour through its remains, including the Temple of Zeus, the Palaestra, and Phidias's workshop. We continue to the local museum, one of the richest in Greece with famous works such as the Hermes of Praxiteles. In the afternoon, we head return to mainland Greece, over the Rio-Antirio bridge, to Delphi for dinner.
Overnight: Delphi  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5

Delphi

Delphi - Kalambaka. The sanctuary at Delphi was revered in antiquity as a center of pilgrimage, home to the Pythia (oracle) in the Temple of Apollo. We will follow the Sacred Way, the path followed by ancient visitors through the sanctuary. We then visit the local museum, where we'll find the bronze Charioteer statue and the omphalos stone. Afterwards, we cross the mountains of central Greece back to the mainland, arriving in Kalambaka for our overnight stay.
Overnight: Kalambaka  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6

Meteora

Kalambaka - Athens. This morning we visit Meteora, a stunning World Heritage site where a series of towering rock formations shelter a number of sacred Eastern Orthodox monasteries. In the afternoon we return to Athens for the night, briefly stopping at Thermopylae, where King Leonidas and 300 Spartans made a famous last stand against the Persians in 480 BC.
Overnight: Athens  |  Breakfast

Day 7

Athens Free Time

Today offers free time to further explore the delights of Athens. Alternatively a optional tour to Cape Sounion and the temple of Poseidon will be available.
Overnight: Athens  |  Breakfast

Day 8

Athens

This morning we transfer to the port for an exciting day cruise to the Saronic gulf islands. Our first stop will be the pictureaque little island of Hydra, well know to the international jetset. On Hydra we'll take a donkey ride and explore the little cobble-stoned streets. You'll also have the opportunity to explore the Mitropolis at your own pace. Next, we visit the island of Poros with its clock tower facing the Peloponnese. Last comes Aegina, a weekend retreat for many Athenians. Enjoy a horse-drawn carriage ride or take an optional visit to the temple of Afea. Make sure to buy some pistachios, as Aegina is world-famous for its production. A buffet lunch will be served on board, and on the way back you will have to opportunity to see and participate to some traditional Greek dances!
Overnight: Athens  |  Breakfast

Day 9

Cruising the Aegean

After breakfast this morning we'll return to the port to board the elegant Celestyal Cruises ship and embark on our voyage from Athens to Santorini. We'll arrive in to Mykonos in the afternoon. Take advantage of the free shuttle service provide by the cruise line to explore the bustling Chora (Mykonos town) until late in the evening.
Overnight: Greek Island Cruise  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10

Kusadasi & Patmos

Mykonos - Patmos. Our cruise takes us to Turkey this morning, we sail to Kusadasi for an excursion to the town's covered bazaar and the ancient city of Ephesus, where the Temple of Artemis - among the Seven Wonders of the World - was once located.

Returning to the ship this afternoon, we continue back to Greece and the island of Patmos. Here we find the hilltop Monastery of St John and the Cave of the Apocalypse, where the apostle is believed to have witnessed the events of the Book of Revelation, an optional excursion to visit these places is offered.
Overnight: Greek Island Cruise  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11

Rhodes

Patmos - Rhodes. In the morning we arrive in Rhodes. An included 'medieval tour' takes in the sights of this World Heritage city, including the Acropolis of Lindos and the Citadel of the Knights (Old Town). Overnight, our cruise continues south to the island of Crete.
Overnight: Greek Island Cruise  |  Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12

Heraklion & Santorini

Rhodes - Heraklion - Santorini. We arrive in Heraklion, the capital of Crete, early this morning, where you have the option of an excursion to the Minoan Palace of Knossos. Immortalized in the myth of Theseus and the Minotaur, this Bronze Age settlement stood at the heart of one of Greece's earliest civilizations. We reach the island of Santorini in the afternoon, where we leave our cruise and transfer to our hotel.
Overnight: Santorini  |  Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13

Santorini

Enjoy a day at leisure in Santorini, an Aegean paradise widely considered to be one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Explore the whitewashed towns of Fira and Oia with their views of the volcano which birthed the island, watch the spectacular sunset from the black-sanded beaches, or cruise the caldera on a boat tour.
Overnight: Santorini  |  Breakfast

Day 14

Our Greek odyssey ends today. Enjoy the morning at leisure before an included transfer to Santorini airport for a short domestic flight connecting with your onward journey.
Breakfast

Prices & Dates

Departure dates noted with a 'G' are guaranteed to operate. All other departure dates are guaranteed with a minimum of 2 persons.

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Hotels

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.

Hotel Europa , Olympia

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

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 Arty Grand , Olympia

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

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 Amalia, Delphi

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

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

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

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 Divani Meteora , Kalambaka

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

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.

Hotel Amalia , Kalambaka

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

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.

Celestyal Majesty Cruise Boat, Island Cruise

Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 star cruise boat

The Celestyal Majesty is a tastefully decorated, elegant cruise ship offering a variety of comfortable ensuite cabin choices for a memorable time on board. With a host of activity options, from a gym and swimming pool for the more active to arts and craft, dance and language lessons, there's something for everyone whilst cruising the crystal waters of the Aegean. The Celestyal Majesty can hold up to 1,460 passengers and is supported by over 600 crew. With a number of bars and restaurants guests have ample eating and drinking options.

In Brief

Range
Trip Type
Starts
Athens
Ends
Santorini
Departs
Sundays - March to October
Hotel Rating
3-4 star hotels and inside cabin on cruise ship
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes for days 2 - 6 and for shore excursions while on the cruise on days 9 - 12
Meals
Breakfast: 13, Lunch: 4, Dinner: 6
Visiting
Athens, Olympia, Delphi, Kalambaka, Island Cruise, Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Santorini, Heraklion
Countries
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