Athens & Islands
In Greece, the tapestry of ancient empires overlay in style, with ruins and relics on display everywhere from the seaside harbors and palaces of Crete, to Athens’ iconic Acropolis and the mountain sanctuary of Delphi. Experience some of the country’s most impressive archaeological sites and the serenity of two Aegean islands—where delicious food and local wine pair perfectly with idyllic natural beauty.
Best time to visit: April-June, September, October
Ideal for: Couples, Families
Day 1 – Welcome to Athens
Arriving in Athens this morning, you will be met for a private transfer to your downtown hotel, within easy walking distance of the city’s most exciting sights. Settle in and enjoy the rest of the day exploring on your own—take a stroll through the National Gardens, visit the all-marble Panathenaic Stadium, and then head to the Plaka neighborhood for dinner.
Day 2 – Acropolis Tour
Get acquainted with some of Athens’ most important archaeological sites on a private, half-day tour through the layers of history of the Acropolis. On the way to this magnificent hilltop citadel, you’ll see the Temple of Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, the Dionysious Sanctuary, and the Herodion Theater. The Acropolis contains much more than just the iconic Parthenon and your guide will help you understand the significance of its many different sites as you discover the ancient past.
Day 3 – Excursion to Delphi
This morning, head to the northwest of Athens for a full-day tour of Delphi, the mythological center of the world and home to the Oracle of Delphi. Explore some of the most notable sites on slopes of Mount Parnassus; visit the incredible collection of statues and artifacts at the Archaeological Museum, and then settle into your hotel in the small mountain town of Arachova for the night.
Day 4 – Fly to Crete
Today, catch your flight from Athens to Chania, which lies on the northwest coast of Crete, and settle in at your seaside hotel near the town’s 14th-century Venetian harbor. Crete boasts splendid beaches and resorts, Minoan palaces, palm groves and mountain peaks, thousands of years of human history, mythology, and culture. Spend the evening exploring the historic harbor’s narrow streets and Venetian and Ottoman architecture.
Day 5 – Beaches & the Bronze Age
Enjoy a day relaxing on one of the northwest’s incredible beaches—pebbled, sand, and private rocky coves—and swimming in crystal-clear waters. In the center of the island, you can tour Knossos Palace, a legendary archaeological site that was the heart of the Bronze Age Minoan civilization; its urban area may have once boasted nearly 100,000 people. Continue your journey through history exploring the ancient structures and museums of Heraklion.
Day 6 – Hiking in Samaria Gorge
Spend another day on the majestic coastline of Crete or go for a hike in Samaria Gorge National Park. The hike begins at 4,000 feet and winds its way down into the forested gorge; there are striking views and a scattering of old churches and settlements along the way. If you hike all the way to the tiny seaside village of Agia Roumeli, you can take a boat out of the park for the return journey.
Day 7 – High-Speed Ferry to Santorini
Get an early start today head to the port in Heraklion to board the high-speed ferry to Santorini, about a 2-hour trip. When you land, you’ll be picked up and brought to your hotel in Fira, a town of gleaming white houses that climb the side of a volcanic caldera. Spend the rest of the day exploring the shops and winding streets of Fira, enjoying dynamic views from café and restaurant patios perched above the sea.
Day 8 – A Day on the Water
Today, embark on a private sailing excursion in the bay below the caldera; swim at the island’s Red Beach, see the Venetian lighthouse, and explore isolated volcanic beaches backed by red, black, and white-colored cliffs. Go snorkeling in complete solitude, and then enjoy a delicious lunch served onboard the boat.
Day 9 – Santorini Sightseeing
Santorini is known for its scenic walking trails, and you can walk along the caldera to Oia—past several churches—on your own, or opt for a tour that will take you to some of the best sights on the island. With your private guide, learn about the traditional architecture of Pyrgos, tour the ruins in Mesa Gonia, and visit the Episkopi church built by the Byzantines.
Day 10 – Departure
Fly back to Athens in the morning and connect to your international flight home.
Remarkable Journeys has partnered with Lost World Adventures to create this journey. We partnered with Lost World due to their well-mannered relationships with tour guides, hotellers, airlines, and ground management services in the region. In our opinion, they offer the best value and experience in the region.
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