Jet off to the trip of a lifetime awaiting you in Europe!
Check-in to your hotel and spend the afternoon getting a sneak peak at mythical Athens, a city crammed with ancient wonders and busy with modern, urban soul. Later, meet up with your fellow travellers and Tour Rep back at the hotel. Wrap up the day on the shady slopes beneath the Acropolis and jump start your trip with an optional dinner in the rustic district of Plaka, where traditional tavernas spill out onto the pavements. Tonight’s festive atmosphere is perfect for getting to know your group and Tour Manager over local wine.
Step back in time in Europe’s oldest city to the birthplace of democracy. Get the run down on the Parthenon and the Acropolis from our expert Local Guide, as you wander around the famous columns above the city sprawl. Then we check out the first modern Olympic Stadium from the 1896 Games. Travelling across the Peloponnese, past rugged mountains, cypress trees and citrus groves, the group drops by the impressive man-made Corinth canal. Next up is epic Mycenae, a former military stronghold. Unravel 4000 years of history with your Tour Manager and get inside the legend with a visit to Agamemnon’s Palace. You’ll learn about the heroics, myths and curses connected to this site. Check out the impressive Acronafplion citadel that looms over Greece’s original capital, Nafplio, where we stop by for free time and lunch. Park yourself at a portside café or a grill-house in the narrow streets of the old town and order local specialties, like fried shrimp or koutsomouris (small red mullet). Tonight, we pull in to the hometown of the Olympic Games and UNESCO World Heritage site, Olympia. Finish up the day with a couple of drinks at the hotel by the pool.
This morning our Local Guide shows off the important sites of the first Olympic Games in 776BC and gives you the run down on this sporting sanctuary. Take a seat in the impressive 45 000 seat stadium and get a look into ancient beliefs with a visit to the Temples of Zeus and Hera. After a lunch stop in a traditional Greek village, watch rural Greece go by from the coach, before crossing the Corinthian Gulf and arriving in Delphi. Delphi is one of Greece’s most important sacred destinations and a scene stealer. After dinner round up some friends and discover Delphi’s casual bars, where you can try out the national drink, ouzo.
With lush valleys and a cliff-side position on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus, Delphi is all about spine-tingling views and incredible ruins. Learn how this spectacular site was the centre of the universe for Ancient Greeks and a place of prophecy, as your Tour Manager leads you through the limestone columns of the Sanctuary of Apollo. Afterwards we head back to Athens where the tour winds down this afternoon in the heart of the city at Syntagma Square, home to the Greek Parliament. Make the most of a last look at the Parthenon, high up on the hill above the city, before you begin the Greek Island Hopping leg of your tour.
With two free days here use your free time this afternoon to explore more of this open-air museum. You could honour the birthplace of drama by climbing around the massive Theatre of Dionysus or get the background on Ancient Greece at the National Archaeological Museum. Otherwise experience Athens’ urban heart, take off into the streets and find a hole-in-the-wall food joint, where you can try the famous souvlaki. You could head back to the Plaka area or pick up some quirky souvenirs at the Athens flea markets. You’ll also be transferred to meet your fellow travellers on the Greek Island Hopping tour.
Today, board a ferry to Mykonos and take advantage of the amazing views across the Aegean, full of rocky islands as you make your way to the beautiful, whitewashed vistas of cosmopolitan Mykonos.
Mykonos is famous for its blissful beaches and party culture. No matter what you’re after, chances are this island has got it! You’ll soon understand why this happening hub draws people from all walks of life, from jet-setters to backpackers. In your free time, head into Mykonos town and wander through the maze of tiny streets lined by whitewashed, cube-shaped houses. Maybe grab a table in the village and snack on fresh local specialties, like olives, feta and tzatziki dip. For a laid back afternoon, be sure to check out world-famous Paradise Beach on an optional excursion. Get some friends together, chill out to the tunes pumping at the beachfront resorts, swim and relax Wrap up the day in Little Venice and watch the sun set over the Aegean. But don’t stop there – get into the vibe and party at one of Mykonos’ many bars and hip clubs.
Today: change islands and it’s a total change of scene. Santorini will make your jaw drop with its stunning natural beauty – the result of a massive volcanic eruption. From the water, look up at the iconic blue–domed, whitewashed churches. Once we’re back on land, take in the fantastic views of the neighbouring volcanic islands.
Start your day getting familiar with this gorgeous island. Head to Santorini’s highest point for full blown vistas over the crater then cool of with a swim stop at Perissa Beach. Your Tour Manager will fill you in on Fira – dramatically perched on the edge of the crater - as the group explores its narrow streets. Get tips on the best places to pick up a piece of Santorini’s famous jewellery and where to try out the delicious local specialty, domatokeftedes (fried tomato balls). Otherwise head to one of the distinctive black or red sand beaches, and soak up the breathtaking scenery. You could jump on an optional boat ride out to the active volcanic island of Nea Kamini. Cruise past lava formations and get up close to the active crater. Or head to the northern tip of Santorini with the group to catch one of the island’s famously spectacular sunsets on the Oia at Sunset optional excursion.
After free time this morning, we cruise on to Ios. Relax on the boat and hang out with the group. Peaceful by day, pumping by night, Ios is the ultimate party destination.
Relax on sandy beaches or lounge about poolside before a big night out, when Ios’ villages come alive. Head to the small streets of Hora, packed with clubs, bars and pubs and let loose to the pumping tunes. Otherwise, join the outdoor party in the squares and lanes. If you’re keen, you can keep it moving until dawn!
Wave goodbye to Ios and the Cycladic Islands as we set sail back to mainland Greece and spend a final evening together in the mythological city of Athens. For those who are keen to learn more, there’s a chance to step back in time to the birthplace of democracy. Get the run down on the Parthenon and the Acropolis from our Local Guide in this fascinating optional, as you wander around the famous columns perched above the city sprawl. Make the most of your last night on tour and join the group for a farewell dinner. Later, head out to Athens’ up-and-coming district of Psiri, buzzing with trendy bars and clubs.
The tour ends after breakfast and it’s time to say farewell to your new friends.