Greece & the Greek Islands

Greece & the Greek Islands

Greece & the Greek Islands Tour Snapshot.

*The tour information below is from 2019 – the 2020 tour itinerary will be updated shortly.*

Ancient history, from Plato and Socrates to early Christians. Gorgeous coastal and mountain scenery, and breathtaking islands. Wonderful people and delicious local cuisine. Experience all that this beautiful region has to offer in an unforgettable vacation.

Tour Dates: May 14 – May 28, 2020
Tour Price:

Tour price includes:

  • Roundtrip airfare from Boston or New York to Athens*
  • Airport transfers
  • 15 overnights in deluxe accommodations of regional character: Athens (2), Arachova (2), Kalabaka (2), Thessaloniki (2), Elounda Bay (3), Santorini (2), Mykonos (2)
  • All breakfasts, 6 lunches, 10 dinners. All meals include wine
  • Full-time tour leader
  • All professional English-speaking, local tour guides
  • Transportation via air-conditioned minibus
  • Two island trips by ferry
  • Private market tour and cooking class
  • Winery visit with lunch in Santorini; a visit with tasting at a “Formaella” Cheese Producer in Arachova; a visit with tasting at an ouzo distillery; a visit to an olive farm with a cheese-making demonstration on Crete
  • One internal flight: Thessaloniki – Heraklion, Crete
  • All museum and monument entrance fees
  • All tips, and taxes
Tour price is per person based on double occupancy.
Single supplements are available for those traveling alone who would like their own room.
*Cost of airfare can be deducted if you wish to make your own arrangements.

Greece & the Greek Islands Itinerary

We depart from the United States, flying overnight to Athens.

Day 1
We arrive at the Athens Airport and transfer by shuttle to our hotel in the city center. After taking some time to relax, we take a guided tour of the old historic center. Tonight is a sumptuous Greek welcome dinner.
Overnight: Athens Meals:  D
Day 2
Our day begins with a visit to the ancient Parthenon temple. The finest sanctuary of ancient Athens, dedicated to the goddess Athena, presides over the Acropolis hill. We continue back in time, visiting the National Archeological Museum of Athens, which houses objects dating from the Neolithic to the late Roman era. The Antikythira Mechanism, the funeral mask of Agamemnon, and the “Boy of Marathon” are just some examples of the treasures kept within the museum. Tonight we gather for a classic Greek dinner accompanied by local live music.
Overnight: Athens Meals:  B, D
Day 3
According to myth, Zeus determined Delphi to be the center of the earth. The great sanctuary that ancient Greeks built here was one of the most important destinations in the antique world: a sacred site and home to the Oracle of Delphi, whose widely influential prophecies were consulted for over a thousand years. Situated at the foot of Mount Parnassus, the archeological site of the ancient Delphi Theater, with its spectacular views over the entire sanctuary, the surrounding mountains, and the valley below, is truly one of the wonders of the world. Today we visit this breathtaking site with an archeological guide. We spend the night in the lovely mountain village of Arachova.
Overnight: Delphi/Arachova Meals:  B, D
Day 4
This morning we visit the Monastery of Hosios Loukas, one of the finest Byzantine monuments in Greece and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, set on a picturesque slope in the western foothills of Mount Helikon. We then stop at a dairy farm to taste Arachova’s famous Formaella Cheese. This traditional Greek cheese is exclusively produced in the region of Parnassos and only found in Arachova and the surrounding villages. Dinner tonight is on our own.
Overnight: Delphi/Arachova Meals:  B
Day 5
After breakfast we drive north toward Kalabaka. Lunch is in a classic Greek restaurant along the way. To lighten the journey, we stop at a typical “ouzo” distillery. Ouzo is the most famous liquor in Greece. As we arrive in the geographic heart of the country, we find that beginning in the 14th century, Greek Orthodox monks built a number of great monasteries high upon spectacular rock formations. These monasteries are called the Meteore of Kalabaka, meaning “suspended on air.” The site is one of very few UNESCO World Heritage Sites to be listed under two categories: nature and art. Our lovely hotel in the town of Kalabaka is just a few kilometers away. Tonight we dine at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Kalabaka Meals:  B, L, D
Day 6
After breakfast our guide takes us to see the famous Meteore. We learn about their early history and enjoy fabulous panoramic views from the mountain top. We have lunch in a local restaurant and have a free afternoon and evening in Kalabaka.
Overnight: Kalabaka Meals:  B, L
Day 7
Today we head to our most northern destination, Thessaloniki. We pass through Larissa, and then continue toward the coast to enjoy lunch by the sea. Thessaloniki is easy to fall in love with— beauty, chaos, history and culture, remarkable cuisine, and wonderful, vast sea views. Old and new cohabit vibrantly here: the Arch of Galerius, an intricate 4th- century monument, overlooks the busy shopping drag of Egnatia, while the White Tower anchors a waterfront packed with cocktail bars. We check into our luxury hotel and, after some time to rest, take a first look at the city with a guided walking tour. Dinner tonight is a gourmet affair.
Overnight: Thessaloniki Meals:  B, L, D
Day 8
We meet our guide in the morning and embark on a gastronomic tour of the city. We see interesting food shops, street food and wineries, all with fresh ingredients and local flavors from the Macedonian land and seas. We visit the famous Modiano Market to collect food for our cooking class with a Greek chef. After our lunch, we visit the beautiful church of St. Gregory Palamas, a typical example of Byzantine architecture. The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. The “Ladadika” District offers a beautiful pedestrian area which comes to life in the evening. It has an impressive number of small taverns, bars and restaurants whose tables invade the streets.
Overnight: Thessaloniki Meals:  B, L
Day 9
This morning, we head to the Thessaloniki Airport for our flight to the island of Crete. The fifth largest island in the Mediterranean Sea, Crete is an enchanted place where both history and culture can be found on every corner. Located at the southernmost point of Europe, the island is a triumph of Greek art and civilization, not to mention its spectacular sea and beaches of fine sand. We land at the Heraklion Airport and transfer to our hotel in Elounda Bay, on the eastern coast of the island. This area is famous for its wonderful emerald sea and beauty, boasting thousands of years of history. Tonight we dine at the hotel restaurant.
Overnight: Elounda Bay Meals:  B, D
Day 10
Today our local guide leads us on a discovery of the town and the tranquil Gulf of Mirabello. We visit a Venetian fortress and a Byzantine church dating back to the 7th century A.D. The view of the bay is breathtaking. We have a free afternoon and tonight enjoy dinner on the seashore.
Overnight: Elounda Bay Meals:  B, D
Day 11
Today we head north to visit an olive farm, with a 130-year-old olive press saved from the village of Vrouchas. The original farmstead has been perfectly preserved. A shepherd shows us the traditional cheese-making area where local cheese is produced. We participate in the process and taste the product. After lunch on the farm, we return to our hotel for some leisure time. Tonight we enjoy a gourmet dinner.
Overnight: Elounda Bay Meals:  B, L, D
Day 12
Our first must-see stop today is the famous palace of Knossos, the City-Palace that once dominated the island of Crete and the Aegean. The building was so large and complicated, it was depicted as a labyrinth. Next we take a ferry to Santorini, one of the most iconic islands in the Mediterranean. Together with Milos, it is the only Greek island that rests on an ancient volcano. The beauty of Santorini is bound to the extraordinary uniqueness of its villages, perched on majestic black cliffs. After settling into our beautiful hotel, we dine at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Santorini Meals:  B, D
Day 13
Today we enjoy a guided walking tour of the main village, tracing the ridgeline of Santorini from the southern to the northern tip of the geographic crescent. We stop at a winery to learn how the island produces its amazing wines. We enjoy lunch with a wine pairing and then return to the hotel for free time.
Overnight: Santorini Meals:  B, L
Day 14
This morning we take a ferry northwards to the last island on our journey, Mykonos. We begin our visit with the capital, Chora, where the narrow, twisted streets are lined with houses embellished by beautiful blue railings with balconies and porches overflowing with flowers of a thousand colors. We are free to choose one of the many enticing restaurants for dinner tonight.
Overnight: Mykonos Meals:  B
Day 15
Today we pay a visit to the Folklore Museum, the Museum of Agriculture and, last but not least, the lovely Casa di Lena, authentic traditional home of the Mykonos bourgeoisie. We spend this afternoon at leisure to relax or do some shopping before our farewell feast.
Overnight: Mykonos Meals:  B, D
Day 16
After breakfast, we take a private transfer to the airport for the flight home.
Meals:  B

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