Day 1 – Oct 15: Depart USA
Depart from the United States on an overnight flight to Athens, Greece. Meals and refreshments are served on board.
Day 2 – Oct 16: Arrive Athens, Greece
Arrive Athens, the Cradle of Western Democracy, and proceed to baggage claim. After clearing customs, you will be met by your tour director and transferred to your hotel. Relax and acclimatize.
Day 3 – Oct 17: City Tour of Athens & Acropolis Museum
After breakfast, depart on an insightful city tour of Athens. Our expert guides will take you to see the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896. Continuing along, you will pass by the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, Parliament, Memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library, and Constitution Square (Syntagma). Visit the ancient Acropolis, Parthenon, and Erechtheion. Afterward, you take in the magic of the New Acropolis Museum, where you can see the original artistic works found at the Acropolis, including the Caryatid statues that served as columns. Stroll through its galleries and trace the paths of history, from the masterpieces of the Archaic and Classical periods to the ancient neighborhoods of Athens. Later tour of the National Archeological Museum. The museum is the most significant archaeological museum in Greece and one of the most important museums in the world devoted to ancient Greek art. It was founded at the end of the 19th century to house and protect antiquities from all over Greece, thus displaying their historical, cultural, and artistic value. Afterward, you check into your hotel and relax.
Day 4 – Oct 18: Ancient Sites & Mountainside Villages of the Peloponnese Peninsula
Following your breakfast, depart for a full-day excursion to the heart of the Peloponnese Peninsula and enjoy a ride through a beautiful mountainous Arcadia. The morning will be dedicated to exploring the great Mycenaean culture that flourished in this area between 1600-1300 B.C. Visit the impressive archeological site and its majestic Lion’s gate, the Cyclopean Walls, and the Royal Tombs. Following lunch at a local restaurant, drive to Epidaurus to see a majestic amphitheater with its white limestone tiers rising over 65 feet above the ground. Built-in 4th century B.C., the Amphitheatre seated, and still seats, some 14,000 spectators. Continue to Nafplion, a charming port town with stepped streets overhung with balconies dripping with bougainvillea, handsome neoclassical buildings, enticing shops, restaurants, and cafes. Explore this lovely seaside town on your own, and as part of our Cultural Discovery Series – enjoy an olive oil tasting at a local farm, before returning to your hotel late in the afternoon. Return to Athens in the late afternoon.
Day 5 – Oct 19: Athens-Delphi
Take a tour to Delphi, Greece’s most breathtaking ancient site. Famous in antiquity as the home of the oracle of Apollo, it is here where the Oracle representing the revered god Apollo presided over the ancient world. Perched on a mountain slope overlooking olive trees and the sea, Delphi continues to radiate as you marvel at the impressiveness of the site even in ruins. Visit the Delphi Museum, which houses valuable pieces of art including the bronze Charioteer, one of antiquity’s greatest statues. Following lunch at a local restaurant, there will be free time to explore. Return to the hotel late in the evening.
Day 6 – Oct 20: Athens – Santorini
Enjoy your breakfast and transfer to the airport of Athens for a flight to the volcanic island of Santorini. Upon arrival in Santorini, transfer to your hotel for check-in. The remainder of your afternoon is at leisure to admire the spectacular caldera with white-washed houses perched on the edge, created by the eruption of the islands’ volcano in ancient times.
Day 7 – Oct 21: Santorini – Island Tour
Begin your tour after breakfast by visiting the Monastery of Profitis Ilias which is at the highest point on Santorini and spans to 1,856 feet at the summit. From here you can see the surrounding islands and, on a clear day, the mountains of Crete, more than 100 km (66 mi) away. Continue to Pyrgos, which can be found at the highest point of Santorini, with panoramic views of the whole island all the
way to the village of Oia. This hillside village was declared a protected settlement in 1995. Then you will visit Oia, a traditional settlement in the north of Santorini. The beauty of Oia is unsurpassed. In fact, it is almost impossible to describe in words. Small white houses tier the hillside, interspersed by splashes of rich okra, deep fuchsia, cobalt blue, oyster pink, and earthy red. Oia is one of the most photographed places in Greece. It has inspired artists, poets, and every visitor who visits Santorini. Oia is best known for breathtaking sunsets; if truth be told, sunrise in Oia is also magical. This afternoon there will be leisure time to relax or shop until you drop.
Day 8 – Oct 22: Santorini-Athens
Morning free in Santorini to catch a flight later in the day to Athens. Evening free in Athens.
Day 9 – Oct 23: Athens to USA
Transfer to Athens airport for your flight to the USA.