Greece

Updated: Feb 23

Reserve through the month of November 2020 for $1!

My favorite travel partner has just announced this incredible sale on small group travel for 2021! Through November 2020, you can reserve your spot on a dream trip for only US$1; one dollar gives you something to look forward to in 2021. I’m highlighting sample itineraries in this blog, but won’t be able to cover the HUNDREDS of options. If you have a travel wish, contact me for details!

Why I love this travel operator …



SMALL GROUPS

Join a small group of like-minded travelers that, like you, are eager to safely and confidently experience all the things that make our world worth exploring.


SUPPORTING LOCAL COMMUNITIES

They have always created their tours by building meaningful relationships with local communities, directly benefiting the people and places they visit.


BOOK AND TRAVEL WITH CONFIDENCE

They have measures in place to help keep you safe from the moment you book to the moment you (reluctantly) head home, earning a badge from the World Travel and Tourism Council. WTTC’s Safe Travels Protocols



FLEXIBILITY, FREEDOM AND FUN

No matter the Travel Style, their tours balance well-planned itineraries with the flexibility to do your own thing and make the experience your own.


LOCALLY-BASED GUIDES

They don’t have tour guides — they have Chief Experience Officers. And they are all locally based, meaning they know the area you’re exploring like the back of their well-traveled hand.


REGENERATIVE TRAVEL

When you travel with them, you experience first-hand their commitment to making travel a force for good is in everything they do.

STARTING AT $2379

DAY 1: ATHENS

Arrive at any time. We recommend arriving a day or two early to fully explore this world-renowned city. There are no activities planned until an evening welcome meeting. Meet your trip leader and fellow travelers, and learn more about your tour. Opt to join the group for a local meal afterwards.

Accommodation: Jason Inn Hotel Athens (or similar)

DAY 2: ATHENS

Take an orientation walk in Athens with the rest of the day free to explore. Opt to visit the Acropolis site, the new Acropolis Museum, the Ancient Agora and the National Archaeological Museum. Afterwards, be enriched and refreshed with drinks and a tour of local non-profit cafe, Shedia Home.

Shedia Home provides purpose and employment to over 150 individuals experiencing homelessness in Athens. You’ll enjoy a drink while one of Shedia’s guides recounts the recent history of Greece’s financial crisis which has made initiatives like Shedia even more important for those who have found themselves without work and shelter. Your stop here supports their programs – including the cafe, art program, and magazine – all dedicated to supporting the community.

Optional Activities:

Acropolis Museum, 5EUR/person: Visit the Acropolis Museum to see some of the artifacts and artworks discovered during excavations of the Acropolis. With over 25, 000 square meters (82,020 ft) the museum is architecturally as interesting as the collection. The museum is built over an archaeological dig site and there is an impressive view of the Acropolis from the third floor.

Acropolis and Parthenon, 20EUR/person: Discover the most famous of Athens’ eight hills: the Acropolis, the ultimate architectural and artistic expression of the ancient Athenian spirit. Visit the Parthenon, built for the Goddess Athena in 447 BC. This Greek temple, despite the gradual state of ruin and damage sustained over time, still symbolizes the key ideals of harmony and balance that defined the Classical style of Greek architecture.

Roman Agora, 2EUR/person: Take a stroll through the former marketplace for old Athens, the Roman Agora was built in the first century BC.

Syntagma (Constitution) Square, free: Most of Athens important sights and interesting neighborhoods border this central square. The square was built in the early 19th century in front of the Old Royal Palace of King Otto of Greece. Walk around to admire the architecture, stop at a café and people watch, or watch the ceremonial changing of the guards called Evzones.

National Archaeological Museum, 10EUR/person: Take a tour of the National Archaeological Museum, home to some of the most important artifacts from ancient Greece. In the collection are various sculptures, vases, as well as metal works and is considered one of the most impressive museums in the world.

Athens Sunset Bike Tour: Witness the light of the setting sun transform the ancient city of Athens into a sight to behold – and all from your bicycle seat. Take in the golden hour during a scenic bike tour as you roll past Athens’ most noteworthy sites. You will see the Panathenaic Stadium, the National Gardens, and the Acropolis Museum to name a few. Prepare for both up close and personal glimpses into life in Athens as well as breathtaking panoramic views of the city during your bike tour.

Accommodation: Jason Inn Hotel Athens (or similar)

DAY 3: ATHENS/METEORA

Travel to Kalambaka, a good base for visiting the monasteries of Meteora.

Optional Activities:

Meteora Sunset Tour, 25EUR/person: Listen to the stories and legends of Meteora from a local guide, visit one of the 6 active monasteries, the Byzantine church of Virgin Mary and enjoy great views from the most panoramic spots. The tour ends with the an awe-inspiring sunset which you will watch from a magical spot high up on the rocks of Meteora.

Accommodation: Hotel Edelweiss (or similar)

DAY 4: METEORA

Spend a full day visiting the stunning “hanging” monasteries of Meteora, perched atop pinnacles of rock. Meteora translates to ‘suspended in the air’, which describe the seemingly precarious placement of these historic, sacred structures built at 613m (2011 ft) above sea level, built before any roads or settlements existed in the area. The day is yours to choose which monasteries to visit or perhaps take a hike in the scenic local area.

Optional Activities:

Hiking, 35EUR/person: Hike along the hidden trails of Meteora, following the footsteps of the first monks who arrived here more than 15 centuries ago. You will visit the hidden monastery of Ypapanti, the Great Meteoron monastery and listen to the stories behind each place you pass along the trail from a local mountain guide. The perfect way to experience nature at its best and enjoy breathtaking views of Meteora away from the crowds.

Natural History Museum, 5EUR/person: Located along the highway and a short distance from the city centre, the Natural History Museum of Meteora houses over 300 exhibits featuring mammals, birds and local flora and fauna.

Accommodation: Hotel Edelweiss (or similar)

DAY 5: METEORA/DELPHI

Travel through mountain scenery around Mt Parnassos to Delphi. Enjoy a visit to the ancient city of Delphi, at the base of Mount Parnassos. The UNESCO World Heritage Site includes ancient buildings like treasuries, a stadium, a gymnasium, an altar, hippodrome and the Temple of Apollo, which dates back to the 4th century BC. Over the years, war and earthquakes have destroyed the site, but the ruins still standing today offer fantastic insight into the lives of the ancient Greeks.

Then spend the evening exploring the charming little town or relaxing in a small café enjoying the views of the nearby valley.

Accommodation: Hotel Acropole (or similar)

DAY 6: DELPHI/NAFPLIO

Travel to Nafplio and explore the beautiful cobblestoned streets. Opt to climb the Acronafplia to soak in the views. Described as one of Greece’s prettiest towns, the narrow pedestrian streets of old town are begging to be strolled upon.

Optional Activities:

Bourtzi Castle, 4EUR/person: Take a short ferry ride to this Venetian landmark – a medieval castle off the coast of Nafpilo. A visit here offers visitors the chance to explore the castle’s rooms, and a great views of the city on shore.

War Museum, 6EUR/person: Explore the history of Nafplio through the Greek Revolution, Macedonian Struggle, the Balkan Wars and succeeding conflicts at the War Museum, housed in the building of the First Academy.

Archaeology Museum, 6EUR/person: Located in one of Nafplio’s best preserved Venetian buildings near Syntagma Square, the Archaeological Museum exhibits a wide range of artifacts from the Argolis region, including a full set of armour cast in bronze from the Mycenean era. It’s certainly worth a visit!

Acronafplia Fortress, free: Climb to the top of the Akronofplia fortress tower to enjoy the phenomenal view from the top that looks back over the bay to Argos and out into the Saronic Gulf.

Palamidi Fortress, 8EUR/person: Explore the Palamidi Fortress, built by the Venetians in the late 1600s when they occupied the area for the second time. Climb the 999 stairs from the town to the fortress, or 913 depending on who you ask—either way expect to feel the burn tomorrow. The view over the Argolic Gulf and the city are worth the work to reach the top.

Accommodation: Park Hotel Nafplio (or similar)

DAY 7: NAFPLIO/CHANIA

Spend a free day enjoying the area. Opt to visit Epidavros, as well as the nearby site of Mycenae before an overnight ferry to Crete. There is a wealth of ancient sites within easy reach of Nafplio. Opt for a guided tour of Epidavros, which is highly regarded as one of the most renowned of Greek ancient sites. Opt to visit the famous Mycenae, also close by, with its spectacular treasury and ruins, or for another lesser-known Mycenean site, visit Tiryns, just in the suburbs of Nafplio itself.

Optional Activities:

Epidavros, 12EUR/person: Visit Epidavros, highly regarded as one of the most renowned of Greek ancient sites. The site houses a huge, well-preserved theatre famous for its incredible acoustics, as well as the remains of an important medical sanctuary.

Mycenae Site, 12EUR/person: Visit the famous Mycenae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and archaeological site with spectacular ruins and a treasury. Once a major settlement of Greek civilization, Mycenae was occupied during the Neolithic period around 4000 BC, and is linked to the mythology in Homer’s epics the Iliad and the Odyssey.

Tiryns Site, 8EUR/person: Explore the lesser-known Mycenean site, hidden in the suburbs of Nafplio. Along with Mycenae, Tiryns is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site first excavated in 1831 by German archaeologists.

Accommodation: Overnight Ferry Piraeus (Athens) to Chania, Crete

DAY 8: CHANIA

Arrive on Crete and enjoy the day relaxing at one of the many harbour-side cafés. Wander the streets of the old town with its fascinating blend of ancient and modern Turkish and Venetian architecture, reflecting the diverse history of the island.

Optional Activities:

Old Venetian Harbor, free: Take a stroll through the Old Venetian Harbor. Originally built the Venetians as a commercial port between 1320 and 1356, it is now home to quaint cafes and restaurants. Marvel at various monuments preserved from different areas of colonial rule along the way.

Koum Kapi Beach, free: Take a stroll along this beautiful beach, just outside of the walled town.

Archeological Museum of Chania, 4-8EUR/person: Spend some time at the Archaeological Museum of Chania, housed in a beautiful 16th century Franciscan monastery. Among hundreds of artifacts recovered across the Cretan islands, find clay tablets and vessels from early Minoan settlements, as well as mosaics and sculptures brought by Roman settlers.

Maritime Museum of Crete, 3EUR/person: Located at the entrance of Firkas Fortress, the Maritime Museum of Crete houses a rich collection of nautical treasures. Find exhibits on traditional Greek shipbuilding techniques (with a fully reconstructed ancient Minoan ship), galleries that trace local naval history from the Venetian occupation to present day, and dozens of maps and navigational equipment used by early voyagers.

Accommodation: Arkadi Hotel (or similar)

DAY 9: CHANIA/AGIA ROUMELI

Travel by private transfer and ferry to hike the famous and rugged Samariá Gorge. Head towards the narrowest and most impressive part of the gorge, known as the Iron Gates. This makes for a perfect rest spot to enjoy a packed lunch (not included) by the river while appreciating the surrounding natural beauty. Continue hiking, returning to Agia Roumeli with plenty of time for swimming or just resting on the beach. Spend the night in Agia Roumeli, a remote fishing village. Connected with neighboring towns by sea or footpaths, the town has retained its charm. Enjoy time for swimming or relaxing on the beach.

Optional Activites:

Swimming, free: Dive into the clear waters of the Libyan sea along the coast of this coastal village.

Accommodation: Tarra Hotel (or similar)

DAY 10: AGIA ROUMELI/LOUTRO

Travel by ferry to Loutro. Opt to rent a kayak and explore secluded beaches and coves. This evening, enjoy a cooking class and dinner with a local family. The majestic scenery, crystal-clear Mediterranean water, friendly people and peaceful atmosphere all make Loutro an ideal place to relax after all the distance traveled.

Optional Activities:

Kayaking, 10EUR/person: Rent a kayak and head out on the clear, blue-green waters along the coast of Loutro.

Marmara Beach, free: Take a visit to the pebbly bay of Marmara beach. With access to its azure waters only by boat or walking trail, this spot is truly remote, and one of the most picturesque in Loutro. Feeling active? Opt for a scenic hike in the Aradena Gorge during your visit.

Aradena Gorge Hike, free: Head out into the Aradena Gorge to experience more of this gorgeous landscape. One of the most popular walks in western Crete, the main route from Marmara near Loutro, to the Aradena village takes about 3 hours to complete. The path is rocky in places and steep, with incredible views of the landscape and local fauna. Keep a look out for the griffin vultures flying above, but don’t worry they’re not waiting for you to keel over, their nests are just nearby.

Accommodation: Protopapas Rooms (or similar)

DAY 11: LOUTRO

Enjoy a free day for exploring the area. Opt for a swim and tasty seafood meals at secluded restaurants, or hike Aradine Gorge.

Optional Activities:

Kayaking, 10EUR/person: Rent a kayak and head out on the clear, blue-green waters along the coast of Loutro.

Marmara Beach, free: Take a visit to the pebbly bay of Marmara beach. With access to its azure waters only by boat or walking trail, this spot is truly remote, and one of the most picturesque in Loutro. Feeling active? Opt for a scenic hike in the Aradena Gorge during your visit.

Aradena Gorge Hike, free: Head out into the Aradena Gorge to experience more of this gorgeous landscape. One of the most popular walks in western Crete, the main route from Marmara near Loutro, to the Aradena village takes about 3 hours to complete. The path is rocky in places and steep, with incredible views of the landscape and local fauna. Keep a look out for the griffin vultures flying above, but don’t worry they’re not waiting for you to keel over, their nests are just nearby.

Accommodation: Protopapas Rooms (or similar)

DAY 12: LOUTRO/IRAKLEION

Travel to Iraklio. Enjoy a visit to Knossos, site of a Minoan palace and residence of King Minos, known to be the largest archaeological site of the Bronze Age on Crete. Knossos was a major city ruled by King Minos and is believed to be the oldest city in all of Europe. Explore the ancient palace and surrounding city, discovered in the 1900s by the English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans.

Accommodation: Hotel Olympic (or similar)

DAY 13: IRAKLEION/SANTORINI

Hop a ferry to beautiful Santorini, and enjoy two nights on the island. Fira, the main town, sits perched on the edge of the caldera with breathtaking views of multi-colored cliffs, sugar-cube architecture, and great shopping.

Accommodation: Porto Perissa Hotel (or similar)

DAY 14: SANTORINI

Enjoy a free day to explore. Opt for a half-day volcano tour, shopping, relaxing on the beach, or make your way to the crater’s rim to savor the breathtaking view.

Optional Activities:

Volcano Tour: Explore the shape of the crater ring on a volcano tour. The crater has constantly changed over the last 3000 years, with several parts of the crater wall collapsing into the sea. Remarkably, the island has always been resettled due to the rich volcanic soil’s fertile properties. The wines, tomatoes and cucumbers from this island are super tasty due to the soil composition and low rainfall.

Santorini Sunset Cruise, 130EUR/person: Head out to sea to soak in the views of the sun setting over the azure waters over the Agean. Enjoy a dinner, take in the site of picturesque site of Santorini, and toast to another beautiful day in paradise. Opa!

Akrotiri Ancient Ruins, 12EUR/person: Rumored to be the inspiration for Plato’s Atlantis, the ancient ruins of Akrotiri are one of the most-visited attractions in Santorini for a reason. Buried under lava for centuries, many of the site’s buildings, roads and structures present visitors an intimate look into Minoan culture from 1,650 B.C.

Museum of Prehistoric Thera, 3EUR/person: Located in the island’s capital, Fira, the Museum of Prehistoric Thera invites visitors to travel through time across the Cyclades islands. Learn about the region’s geology and ancient settlements through the ceramics, frescoes and incredible objects on display, including a gold ibex figurine from the 17th century BC.

Imerovigli Village, free: Named after the “vigla” or lookout point atop this picturesque village, Imerovigli overlooks the Santorini caldera and boasts a breathtaking view of the bay and nearby Skaros Rock. Recognized as a traditional settlement, many of the village’s original hillside caves have been converted into beautiful hotels and guesthouses.

Accommodation: Porto Perissa Hotel (or similar)

DAY 15: SANTORINI

Depart at any time.

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