Embark on your own grand tour of discovery on this 10-day journey of Greece, taking us from ancient Athens to Thessaloniki through the sanctuaries, monasteries, monuments, and stunning landscapes at the heart of this cradle of Western civilization.
Today we embark on a tour of Greece's vibrant capital city, named after the goddess Athena and thought to be over 3000 years old. We visit various sites of interest including the Panathenaic Stadium (where the first modern Olympics were held in 1896), Hadrian's Arch, and Syntagma Square. Afterwards we go back in time with 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 guided 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 shopping for souvenirs on Ermou street.
Overnight: Athens | Breakfast
Athens - Epidaurus - Mycenae - Olympia. After breakfast, we depart towards 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 Greek mainland. We continue to Epidaurus, a hub of ancient healing with a theatre 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
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 onto the local museum which houses the impressive statue of Hermes of Praxitelis. In the afternoon, we head north around Patras, over the Rio-Antirio bridge, to Delphi for dinner.
Overnight: Delphi | Breakfast, Dinner
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 walk along 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, to arrive in Kalambaka.
Overnight: Kalambaka | Breakfast, Dinner
Kalambaka - Thessaloniki. This morning we visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of Meteora. Incredible rock formations stand ageless on the landscape, hiding a number of Eastern Orthodox monasteries which have provided sacred retreat for monks over the centuries. We continue driving north through the plain of Thessaly and Valley of Tempi, and under Mount Olympus, home to the 12 gods of Greek mythology, before arriving in Thessaloniki, the capital of northern Greece.
Overnight: Thessaloniki | Breakfast, Dinner
Today we explore the history of Greek Macedonia. First we stop at the town of Edessa, framed by several beautiful waterfalls. Our next stop is Aristotle's School, where the great philosopher educated a young Alexander the Great. We then find the royal Macedonian tombs at Vergina, where Alexander's father Philip II is buried. Our final stop will be at Veria, where we'll see the Bema of St. Paul, colourful market, and Jewish neighbourhood. We return to Thessaloniki for dinner.
Overnight: Thessaloniki | Breakfast, Dinner
Thessaloniki - Pella - Dion - Athens. Our journey through Macedonian history continues with a visit to Pella, the ancient capital of Macedonia and birthplace of Alexander. The site at Pella is known for its exquisite floor mosaics and features a new museum. We then drive to the archaeological park of Dion, an ancient Macedonian sanctuary at the foot of Mount Olympus. We return to Athens for our final night, stopping at Thermopylae, where Leonidas and 300 Spartans made a heroic last stand against the Persians in 480 BC.
Overnight: Athens | Breakfast
Today marks the end of our grand tour of Greece. A transfer to the airport for your departure flight is included after breakfast.
Prices & Dates
Departures are guaranteed with a minimum of 4 persons. 'Twin Share' prices are per person when there are 2 people sharing a room. 'Solo Room' prices are applicable to all solo travellers, or if your booking party cannot reach the minimum of 2 persons in a room. Solo Rooms can also be booked by any other person wanting the comfort and privacy of their own room.
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.
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 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 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 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 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.
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 Mediterranean Palace , Thessaloniki
With astonishing views over the Thermaikos Gulf, Mediterranean Palace offers five-star accommodation within the heart of Thessaloniki. The attractive lobby was inspired by the city's aristocratic atmosphere in the 1930s. Guestrooms have warm, relaxing colours in line with the hotel’s classic decor, with some overlooking the city’s vibrant port. You can enjoy fine Greek and international cuisine in the Diplomatico Restaurant or relax at The Hours Bar and sip from a glass of fine wine.
Very engaging and well-informed guide. Very good coach driver. Very well-planned programme. Hotels all good. ”