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- Wandering through mazes of white-washed houses, bright blue doors, & brilliant bougainvillea of the Greek Isles
- Exploring the massive volcanic crater and vineyards on Santorini
- Hiking along ancient trails on Naxos
- Feasting on traditional Greek cuisine and sampling wine in spectacular settings
- Learning about Greek history and traditions from locals
- Visiting Nafplio, considered one of the prettiest towns in Greece
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Day 1: Arrival Day Athens
Day 2: Athens Sightseeing and evening drive to Cape Sounion
After breakfast, go on a morning driving tour of Athens. Visit the Constitution Square, the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the House of Parliament, which was the Royal Palace until 1935. Also visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch and Panathinaiko Stadium, venue for the first Olympic Games. Explore the Acropolis, the vantage point that offered protections of the ancient city-state and the centre of ancient Athenian religious and commercial life.
After lunch and some rest in the evening we will drive to Cape Sounion, before we move to a seafront restaurant in the Athenian Riviera for dinner.
Cape Sounion is noted as the site of ruins of an ancient Greek temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea in classical mythology. The remains are perched on the headland, surrounded on three sides by the sea. The ruins bear the deeply engraved name of English Romantic poet Lord Byron (1788–1823). The site is a popular day-excursion for tourists from Athens, with the sunset over the Aegean Sea, as viewed from the ruins, a sought-after spectacle.
Overnight in Athens.
Day 3: From Athens to Nafplio – Visit Mycenae & Epidaurus
After breakfast we will begin our journey to the Peloponnese with a first short stop at the Corinth Canal, the six kilometer waterway connecting the Ionian and Aegean seas.
Next, drive to Mycenae, a place intrinsic in the works of Homer, 9th century BCE poet. Enter the Mycenean citadel through the Lion’s Gate and wander through the remaining ruins. Also visit the third-century theater of Epidaurus, one of the best-preserved classical Greek structures renowned for its superb acoustics.
Then continue on the scenic drive to Nafplio. Considered one of the prettiest towns in Greece, Nafplio was the first capital after independence and has been a major port since the Bronze Age. Settle to our hotel, where we will have time to relax before we go into the old town of Nafplio. We will enjoy dinner at an outdoor tavern near the old, marble paved square of the town.
Overnight in Nafplio
Driving Distance: 140Km’s / 87 Miles – about 2 hours’ drive + 1 hour in between driving to the sites
Day 4: Discovery Central Arcadia – Hike Lousios Gorge – Arrive to Olympia
This morning climb the 999 stairs to the Palamidi castle, an old Venetian Fortress built between 1711 and 1714 that has marvelous views of the city. We continue to a less touristy but very inspiring mountainous region in central Peloponnese, renowned for its rich in history villages like Dimitsana, Stemnitsa and Karytaina. Here we can hike in the impressive Lousios Gorge. The hike offers a beautiful combination of history with nature. We will walk amongst trails of dense vegetation going parallel and criss crossing the Lousios River. We visit monasteries that appear to be literally hanging from the cliffs and end the trek at the archaeological site of Ancient Gortys. This is one of the most stirring of all Greek sites as it is based along the rushing river known in ancient times as the Gortynios. Having enjoyed our traditional Greek lunch we then continue our journey to Olympia.
Early in the evening arrive to Olympia. Overnight in Olympia
Driving Distance: 200Km’s / 124 MILES about 2,5-3 hours’ drive + in between drive for the hike
Day 5: Olympia and drive to Delphi
The site of Olympia is one of the largest and most beautiful sites in Greece. Your guide will walk you along through the valley of wild olives and plane trees to the Ancient Ruins as you walk under the frame of the great temple columns you will feel the awe of the Olympian history. The guide will then take you to visit the Sanctuary of the Olympian Zeus and the Museum. As this is one of the most important historical sites in Greece you will spend a comprehensive guided tour, and some free time to enjoy the ambience of the sight.
In the afternoon we will start by heading towards the capital of the Peloponnesse “Patra”. The drive will offer us the opportunity to cross the impressive bridge over to western Greece via the “Little Dardanelles” from Rio to Antirio. Once we cross over we will drive through a beautiful coastal route on the Corinthian Gulf all the way to Delphi.
Overnight in Delphi
Driving Distance: 240Km’s / 150 MILES about 4 hours’ drive
Top Range: http://www.amaliahoteldelphi.gr
Day 6: Delphi, return to Athens for flight to Mykonos
A professional guide will accompany your visit to the awe-inspiring archaeological site and museum at Delphi. Considered the center of the world by the ancient Greeks, Delphi is best known for its oracle, believed to be the mouthpiece of Apollo, god of light and truth.
Delphi was a major site for the worship of the god Apollo after he slew Python, a deity who lived there and protected the navel of the Earth and of the Delphic Oracle, the most important oracle in the classical Greek world. Apollo’s sacred precinct in Delphi was a panhellenic sanctuary, where every four years athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, one of the four panhellenic games. Delphi was revered throughout the Greek world as the site of the omphalos stone, the centre of the earth and the universe.
We will stop for lunch in the nearby village of Arachova before we start our journey to Athens.
Driving Distance: 125 MILES about 2,5 hours’ drive.
Our next destination is Mykonos where we can either catch a domestic flight.
Transfer to our hotel and overnight in Mykonos.
Day 7: Sailing excursion including Delos Site visit
With a classical MotorSailer, enjoy a day cruise of great swimming and culture. We begin our cruise with Delos, where its unique light reflects its history, offering you the chance to experience an excursion of discovery while at the same time our guide will talk you through its endless history and unique importance e for the Ancient Greek civilization.
DELOS is a small Island situated in the centre of the Cyclades, a few miles southwest of Mykonos. During the Ancient Times, Delos was considered as the most important Pan-Hellenic sanctuary. Between 900 BC and AD 100, sacred Delos was a major cult centre. According to Greek mythology, Delos was the birth place of Apollo, the god of light, and Artemis, the goddess of hunting (both children of Leto and Zeus).The myth says that Leto was pregnant by Zeus and the jealous Hera, Zeus’s legitimate wife chased her husband’s mistress away and forbade her all places on earth so that she could not find where to give birth to her children. Leto finally found a small island to give birth. Hera asked Poseidon for help and he revealed the small island. The island was called Delos, which means “revealed” because it was revealed from the waves. Delos is one of the most important mythological, historical and archaeological sites in Greece and part of UNESCO’s World Heritage List.
We continue to Rhenia island. Rhenia offers secluded bays well protected by the etesian winds surrounded by tranquil turquoise waters making them a small paradise on earth. There, you will have the chance to swim, sunbathe and have your lunch, daily prepared with gastronomical delicacies including traditional local recipes.
Overnight in Mykonos.
Day 8: Cooking Experience in Mykonian Spiti
Spiti’ means home – and the “Mykonian Spiti” is our home that you are welcome at, during this cooking experience. Although this activity highlights the traditional factor of the Mykonian lifestyle, on the other hand a “traditional” description of its “programme” hardly does it justice. This may sound vague, but during these 6 hours (approximately) you will experience the traditional Greek way of life, the culture, the Greek art of cooking. It is not what you will do, it is mostly how you will do it. During this time you will learn tips and cooking methods that have made Mykonian Spiti, Mykonos and Greece, loved by its friends and visitors, but most importantly you will instil the hospitality and the everyday lifestyle of a traditional Mykonian family.
To become a bit more specific, after you are collected from your hotel (or the port or the location you prefer) and transferred to the Mykonian Spiti, Teta will wholeheartedly invite you into her beautiful Mykonian home and create a charming and intimate evening that will turn this visit to the “Island of the Winds” into a highlight of your trip. She will teach you about Mykonian culture and history, share stories about her family’s life and make you feel just as if you are visiting close relatives or friends. She will share stories about Mykonian true lifestyle and chat with you while you will taste and enjoy some Mykonian meze snacks like dakos with kopanisti cheese and tomato, louza (sun dried pork fillets), wine and Cretan raki. You will wander through her vegetable garden, learn about local organic farming and enjoy a wonderful time.
And then onto the kitchen where we you will make tsatziki and spinach pie, stuffed peppers and tomatoes, beef with orzo and everything else in our Mykonian Spiti’s traditional menu. All guests, will be supplied with protective equipment (aprons) from the Mykonian Spiti farm-estate. Most cooking ingredients will be readily available in special bowls in the kitchen area ready for the menu preparation. Teta will guide you through the whole procedure, giving the opportunity to everyone to master their cooking skills. There is a small intermission between the preparation and the tasting stage, which can be used for a short period of relaxation and to enjoy the company of those around you, but after that lunch or dinner starts, where you can consume as much as your belly holds. Moreover, guests upon request also have the option of visiting the family’s farm and vineyard and experiencing the traditional animal and organic farming or they can take a quick swim at a beautiful nearby beach.
There are many other details to the “class” that we could share with you but the essence is that as you can see, this is much more than learning to cook a fabulous Greek meal. It is also about family, conversation, food and culture and becoming a member of a family that perhaps you didn’t even know you had. It is quality time in the home of someone close to you, finding yourself in their kitchen helping to cook, enjoying the experience of meeting new people and honouring us by becoming a part of our family.
Overnight in Mykonos.
Day 9: from Mykonos to Santorini
Today we will catch the morning ferry to Santorini which was the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions of all time. Here everything is brighter: the whitewashed cube-shaped houses, the lapis lazuli sea and the sunsets that light up the caldera.
After settling in our hotel, we will hike towards picturesque Oia, the most beautiful village of the island if not the whole Aegean sea. The cobblestone trail follows the rim of the Caldera, taking you away from the crowds, permitting you to admire the power of the natural forces that shaped this amazing environment.
Day 10: Santorini – Akrotiri Archeological Site and Sea Kayaking
Dorians, Venetians, and Turks occupied Santorini, but its most influential early inhabitants were Minoans. They came from Crete sometime between 2000 BC and 1600 BC and the settlement of Akrotiri, dubbed as the Greek Pompeii, dates from the peak years of their civilization. Alongside with a guide you will have the opportunity to walk along the streets and squares of the city, which was buried in volcanic ash after the eruption of the volcano and frozen in time.
Finishing the walk it is time for kayaking. We will explore the south side of the island as few people do. Seeing Santorini from the sea level is a real treat, plus paddling gives your upper body a bit of exercise. We will paddle by the Red and White beach with stops on the way for swimming and snorkelling.
Day 11: Santorini to Naxos
Time to visit a less touristy yet beautiful, authentic and very interesting island of Naxos. Naxos, the biggest of the Cyclades Islands with imposing mountain massifs and fertile valleys, is inhabited by cheerful locals with a tradition in music and dance, and full of beauty that enchants visitors. With its long history (Ariadne of Naxos, by Richard Strauss) important monuments, hidden niches to discover, sandy beaches, towers and forts, ancient temples and great villages you can easily spend a week exploring this magic place. Naxos is also renowned for its great potatoes and Naxian gruyere cheese which you will have the chance to taste in delicious recipes that you will taste.
Overnight in Naxos.
Day 12: Naxos Cultural Hike
After breakfast we transfer to Kouros Statues where our hike starts. Visit Kouros (big male statues) of Melanes, that lies under the pleasant shadows of trees, on the backyard of a Greek family, and then continue onwards to Kouros of Potamia. Then we will follow the path to Ano Potamia picturesque village. After a short refreshing stop at the village’s spring, we will hike to Apano Kastro (Upper Castle). Build on a strategic position, provides panoramic view of Naxos town, port and the surrounding villages (optional hike to the peak). Continue onwards via Tsikalario little village to Halki. In Halki village, will visit Valindras small distillery that produces Kitron (the local alcohol drink of Naxos) and enjoy our lunch at the square of the village.
Overnight in Naxos.
(there are many other options for hikes in the north part of the island where villages re really authentic and there are great stories about the region like the emery villages).
Day 13: Cruise to small Cyclades – Iraklia & Koufonisi Islands:
The excursion includes acquaintance with the authentic “Small Cyclades”. First we visit Iralklia, the small island of 115 residents where time seems to have stopped. The next stop is at Koufonisi . Upon arrival on the island, the white windmill that dominates at the left of the harbour seems to welcome the visitors. Its sandy beaches complete the breathtaking view of the island. During the 4.5 hours spent on the island, visitors can swim and enjoy fresh fish in traditional local
Overnight in Naxos.
Day 14: Departure – Ferry to Athens
This morning take a ferry back to Athens to connect with your international flight. Depending on your departure times, we may recommend that you stay an extra night in Athens.
CONTACT US FOR MORE DETAILS!
**Please note that this itinerary is based on 4* hotels. It can also be arranged with 3 or 5* hotels.
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- 13 nights 4* accommodation (based on double occupancy)
- All transportation per itinerary (bus, domestic flight, ferry, etc)
- All meals as per itinerary (13 breakfasts, 8 lunches during activities or at taverns, 3 dinners)
- Entrance fees and professional guides in the following archaeological sites: Athens & Sounion/Mycenae & Epidaurus/Ancient Olympia/ Delphi/ Delos in Mykonos/Akrotiri in Santorini
- Activities as per itinerary
- From Day 3-day 6 – english speaking trekking guide/driver throughout the trip – in Athens and the islands all activities arranged by local guides/suppliers
- International flights (can be arranged through [email protected])
- Mandatory travel medical insurance and optional cancellation insurance (can be arranged through [email protected])
- Activities and services not mentioned in itinerary
- Meals and beverages not mentioned in itinerary
- Items of a personal nature
- Tips for guides, drivers, servers, etc.
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Dates: AVAILABLE ON A CUSTOM BASIS FROM APR to OCT
A 20% non-refundable (unless cancelled by us) deposit is required at time of booking to reserve your place. Please contact [email protected] for more booking information, Terms & Conditions and an invoice.
Full payment is due 60 prior to departure