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Grecian Fables

Operated by: Insight Vacations

15 Days from $5,447 per person
APR - OCT 2023
Tours of the Acropolis and Parthenon, Athens, Greece

Countries Visited

Greece, Turkey ...more Greece, Turkey

Locations Visited

Athens, Thermopylae, Kalambaka, Meteora, Delphi, Archaeological Site of Olympia, Archaeological Site of Mycenae, Nafplion, Thessaloniki, Kusadasi, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Milos ...more Athens, Thermopylae, Kalambaka, Meteora, Delphi, Archaeological Site of Olympia, Archaeological Site of Mycenae, Nafplion, Thessaloniki, Kusadasi, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Milos
  1. Day 1 Welcome to Athens

    An Insight host will meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel, where there is time to settle in and relax. At 19:00, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception, and get to know your fellow travellers over a delightful evening of dinner and wine.

    meals Dinner with Wine
    hotel Divani Caravel Hotel, Athens., Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre.
  2. Day 2 Athens, City of Gods

    Today your mythical Grecian discovery encapsulates the intriguing history of ancient Greece. Begin with an exploration revealing the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Arch of Hadrian. Next, your Local Expert takes you to the Acropolis, one of the most important ancient sites in the Western world. Crowning the top is the Parthenon, visible from almost everywhere in the city. See the Temple of Athena Nike, also known as the Temple of the Wingless Victory, and the six stone-carved caryatids that make up the Porch of the Maidens on the Erechtheion. Continue to Thermopylae, famous as the mountain pass where King Leonidas led his Spartan army, along with fellow Greek soldiers, into battle against the Persians in 480 B.C. See the memorial dedicated to Leonidas and his courageous Spartans. Then on to your hotel in Kalambaka for a delicious dinner from a fresh, seasonal menu.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Divani Meteora Hotel, Kalambaka.
  3. Day 3 The Pinnacles of Meteora Relaxed Start

    With your Local Expert, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora, meaning 'in the air.' The massive pinnacles of smooth rock are ancient, yet could also be the setting for a science fiction tale. Visit one of the monasteries, that adds to the strange and beautiful landscape and enjoy stunning views over the Peneios Valley. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Why not explore with a relaxed walk on the nature trails? Alternatively, you may wish to visit the Natural History Museum.

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Divani Meteora Hotel, Kalambaka., Grand Meteora Hotel, Kalambaka.
  4. Day 4 The Sacred Way and onto Olympia

    Travel south, stopping at the foothills of Mount Parnassus.Ascend the Sacred Way of Delphi with your Local Expert. Pass the Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians and Polygonal Wall, with its interlocking stones still perfectly intact after thousands of years. You'll approach the Temple of Apollo, where for 14 centuries the mysterious Oracle of Delphi breathed her enigmatic ‘words,' rumoured to have successfully predicted events related to the Argonauts expedition and the Trojan War. Your travels continue to Olympia, where dinner is served in your hotel.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Arty Grand Hotel, Olympia., Amalia Hotel Olympia.
  5. Day 5 Ancient Olympia

    It's all in the name. Ancient Olympia is the site where the Ancient Olympic Games began in 776 B.C., in dedication to Zeus. See the ruined Temple of Zeus that was built to honour the ruler of the gods. Continue your exploration through time to the athletes gymnasium and the Ancient Stadium of Olympia with its characteristic arch. The start and finish points for the sprint track are still marked by stones and there is time to capture your own memory, with a photo at the starting line. In the evening, join a local chef for an entertaining cooking demonstration, showcasing classic Greek cuisine. Experience  authentic Greek flavours, as you savour dishes prepared for your Highlight Dinner.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Arty Grand Hotel, Olympia., Amalia Hotel Olympia.
  6. Day 6 Mycenae and Nafplio

    Visit the ruined city of Mycenae with a Local Expert. Walk through the Lion Gate, visit the royal beehive-tombs and see the giant Cyclopean stones used to build the city walls. Later, join a MAKE TRAVEL MATTER® Experience as you meet the artisans at a family-run pottery studio and view beautiful works of art.Travel to the elegant town of Nafplio, known for its beautiful architecture, colourful shops and cafes. Your journey continues, following the shores of the Saronic Gulf to pass the Corinth Canal, dividing the Peloponnese and mainland Greece, and arriving in Athens. In the evening, enjoy a hearty dinner in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel Divani Caravel Hotel, Athens., Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre.
  7. Day 7 Cruising to Thessaloniki Relaxed Start

    The morning is at your leisure. Late afternoon, board your cruise ship and set sail for the ancient city of Thessaloniki. While cruising, enjoy an exquisite variety of Mediterranean dishes as well as flavours, aromas and spices from around the world. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served on-board daily. Your cruise includes a selection of alcoholic beverages and non alcoholic hot and cold beverages are included.

    meals Breakfast, Dinner with Wine
    hotel MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
  8. Day 8 Discover Thessaloniki Relaxed Start

    Today you will have time to explore Greece's second largest city. Walk along the waterfront and enjoy the many cafes along Aristotelous Square and see ancient monuments such as the Arch of Galerius.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine
    hotel MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
  9. Day 9 Kusadasi Relaxed Start

    This afternoon explore the Turkish port of Kusadasi and explore the ancient ruins of Ephesus with a Local Expert. In the evening, sail on to Crete.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine
    hotel MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
  10. Day 10 Crete Relaxed Start

    Start your morning on Crete, Greece’s largest island, and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean. Home to myths and legends, including Zeus' birthplace and the Minotaur, embark on an epic tour to the capital city of Heraklion and absorb the rich history of Europe’s first advanced civilization with a visit to King Minos' Palace in Knossos. In the evening, your cruise continues to Santorini.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine
    hotel MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
  11. Day 11 Discovering Santorini Relaxed Start

    Arrive in Santorini and gaze at the sheer cliffs and dazzling panorama. Explore the capital of Thira, with its clifftop restaurants and cafés, breathtaking views and amazing sunsets. This evening is free for you to explore Santorini's nightlife.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine
    hotel MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
  12. Day 12 Mykonos Relaxed Start

    The full day is yours to relax and explore Mykonos, with its dazzling sugar cube houses and whitewashed windmills. This evening, there is time to enjoy the buzzing nightlife.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine
    hotel MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
  13. Day 13 Mykonos to Milos Relaxed Start

    Today is yours to enjoy the gorgeous island of Milos, with its crystal waters and white cliffs. There will be time to explore the capital of Plaka or soak up the sun on the flat rocks of Sarakiniko Beach.

    meals Breakfast, Lunch with Wine, Dinner with Wine
    hotel MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
  14. Day 14 Athens at Leisure Relaxed Start

    Disembark in the morning and transfer to your hotel where you are at leisure. Relax, shop or bargain in the local market. Perhaps ask about an optional experience to the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion?

    meals Breakfast
    hotel Divani Caravel Hotel, Athens., Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre.
  15. Day 15 Depart Athens

    Bid farewell to Athens. Your journey ends with a transfer to the airport.

    meals Breakfast
Map Grecian Fables Idyllic Guided Tour 2024
Price Includes

Dining Summary

  • 12 Dinner with Wine (DW)
  • 14 Breakfast (B)
  • 6 Lunch with Wine (LW)

Authentic Dining

  • Athens: Get to know your fellow travelers over a delightful Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
  • Olympia: Taste unique flavours and savour Greek regional specialities over a colourful Highlight Dinner.
  • Athens: Toast the culmination of your vacation with a lively Celebration Dinner in true Greek style at a local restaurant.

Insight Experiences

  • Olympia: Chef Farije shares with you her passion for local ingredients and high quality products. Learn how to make tzatziki and other regional dishes during a fun and immersive cooking demonstration.

Make Travel Matter

  • Archaeological Site of Mycenae: Discover ancestral pottery methods at an artist's studio that preserves important skills and ancient traditions.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Athens: Ascend the Acropolis with a Local Expert to admire the Parthenon, built in 5th century B.C. Steps away you'll see the Temple of Athena Nike, also known as the Temple of the Wingless Victory, and the six stone-carved caryatids that make up the Porch of the Maidens on the Erechtheion.
  • Athens: See the Arch of Hadrian, erected in honour of the Roman Emperor and used as a divider between the ancient city and the new Roman district, along with the remaining columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
  • Kalambaka: Your Travel Director will provide an orientation of this town situated at the base of the extraordinary Meteora rocks.
  • Thermopylae: See the Leonidas Monument dedicated to the brave warrior and his 300 Spartans.
  • Meteora: With a Local Expert, visit one of the remarkable centuries-old monasteries of Meteora, teetering on towers of rock and arguably the most spectacular place to visit in Greece.
  • Delphi: With your Local Expert, walk to The Sacred Way once lined with offertory temples. See the reconstructed Athenian Treasury and pass the superb Polygonal Wall to reach the Temple of Apollo, where the people would seek divine wisdom from the mysterious Oracle.
  • Archaeological Site of Olympia: The stadium of Olympia hosted the ancient Olympic Games and the Heraia, the women's games in honour of Hera. See the Temple of Zeus, athlete's gymnasium and the stone marker where the sprint began.
  • Archaeological Site of Mycenae: Walk through the Lion Gate past the royal beehive-tombs where Schliemann uncovered golden treasure, while hearing tales of Agamemnon from your Local Expert.
  • Nafplio: Join your Travel Director in an orientation of this beautiful seaport town and see why it is named one of Greece's prettiest spots.
  • Corinth Canal: Cross the amazing rock-cut channel dividing the Peloponnese from mainland Greece.
  • Athens: Visit the Greek Islands of Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Milos. Explore the Turkish port of Kusadasi.
  • Ephesus: Discover one of the world's finest ancient sites. Led by your Local Expert, walk the Arcadian Way, see the Library of Celsus and Amphitheatre and visit the House of the Virgin Mary.

Dates & Prices

Prices shown are per person based on two people sharing a twin room. To request a personalized travel quote, click "Request Quote" and a Travel Specialist will send your custom quote including airfare if requested.

Online Booking Process

August 2023
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Aug 20 Sun
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Optional Add-Ons

Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.


Available on Day 3

Lively Trikala Town And Dinner

Experience the picturesque and lively town of Trikala, considered to have been the birth place of the “God of Medicine” Asclepius. Enjoy an orientation of the town; walk along the river side and the pedestrian streets in the company also of the locals out socializing for the evening. Afterwards Dine at a local restaurant Greek family style, and taste a variety of sumptious dishes all served in the middle of the table, accompanied by plenty of wine!
Adult Price: € 45


Available on Day 9

Ottoman Empire and Byzantine Legacy Tour

(Approximately 9 hours) There is no place on earth like Istanbul and our nine hour excursion will immerse you in this vibrant, colourful and fascinating city straddling the Bosphorus, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. Many empires have held sway in the place once called Constantinople including the Greeks, Romans, Venetians and the Ottomans. The historic heart of old Istanbul is the Sultanahmet district where we will fi nd remnants of the Byzantine Hippodrome where horse and chariot racing once drew crowds of 100,000 or more. Nearby is the Kaiser’s German fountain, the bronze Serpent Column of Delphi, the Egyptian Obelisk and the Walled Obelisk of Constantine VII. Recognised across the globe is the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet, perhaps more popularly known as the Blue Mosque because of the stunning hand painted blue tiles inside. It also has six minarets. Whether you are inside or outside it is well worth taking a few minutes just to gaze and let the amazing beauty sink in. The grave of Sultan Ahmet lies inside the mosque. Across the square sits the imposing Church of the Holy Wisdom of God or Hagia Sophia, once a church, then an Ottoman imperial mosque and now a museum. It is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. After lunch we will visit the incomparable Topkapi Palace, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. If all this still leaves you with a thirst for more discovery you can do no better than explore the sights, sounds and colours of Istanbul’s incredible Grand Bazaar, with 4000 shops and stalls, 58 streets under one roof, 400,000 visitors daily and millions of things for sale. Not least carpets, rugs, jewellery and leather. This excursion will give a taste of Istanbul you are unlikely to forget.
Adult Price: € 124
Note: The sequence of visits may change due to traffic and/or congestion of the sites.


Available on Day 10

Greek Wine & Holy Water: Philippi & Beyond

Our half-day tour takes us from the ruins of Philippi, to the site of the first European baptism, to the vineyards of Drama, tracing the evolution of a region and the civilisations which called it home. We begin in Philippi, where King Philip II of Macedon celebrated success in the neighbouring gold mines, and where Rome truly became an empire after wiping out the last of the Republicans. From here it’s a short drive to St. Lydia’s Baptistery, where we follow in the footsteps of Paul the Apostle. Then for the rest of our morning we uncover the secrets that go into the favourite Greek bouquets, including Asyrtiko, Xinomavro and Moschato. Naturally, there will be samples, along with cold cuts, cheese and sommelier stories.
Adult Price: € 78

Available on Day 10

Nestos River and Colours of Xanthi

As you get to know Xanthi, you’ll quickly understand why locals call it the city of the thousand colours. Having been destroyed, rebuilt and expanded time and again, due to raids, civil war and earthquakes, to say Xanthi is rich in diversity would be an understatement. In the Old Town, no two houses are the same. And as you listen to stories of Thracians and Ottomans, you’ll see their lingering influence in the architecture around you. Then on the outskirts of town, time skips forward to the late industrial age. Tobacco trading helped Xanthi bloom in the late 19th Century, and the tobacco warehouses here tell a vivid story of the path to prosperous times. Other highlights unique to Xanthi include the Foundation of Thracian Art and Tradition, the Castle of Xantheia, and the home of Greek composer Hadjidakis. On our way to Xanthi, we’ll stop to marvel at the Nestos River, the ecological pride of North Eastern Greece. We cross at the boundary between the Kavala and Xanthi prefectures, where tree-lined banks and cliffsides teem with life. Pausing our journey to take it all in, this is the ideal place to share a restorative moment with nature or take a few scenic selfies.
Adult Price: € 67

Available on Day 10

Prophets, Legends & Heroes of Philippi

Overlooking the bay and coastal plain of Kavala is the hilltop town of Philippi, a significant site for the success of growing empires. It was here that King Philip II of Macedon celebrated success in the neighbouring gold mines, renaming the conquered settlement after himself. It was here too that Rome truly became an empire, when Julius Caesar’s Republican assassins made their final stand – a staggering defeat – against Mark Antony and Octavian Caesar. As we discover the archaeological city on your guided tour, meander through the ruins of a well-preserved Roman forum, early Christian basilicas, and the Theater. We also get a taste of everyday ancient life in the form of public baths, latrines and gymnasiums. Apostle Paul’s journey brought him to Philippi during his first mission, and your guide is a fountain of knowledge on the subject. They’ll show you where he preached, where he spent time in jail, and after a short coach ride to St. Lydia’s Baptistery, where he is said to have performed the first European conversion. Visitors often say they can still feel the holy aura of the site today, thousands of years later.
Adult Price: € 67


Available on Day 11

Land of Alexander the Great

This is a remarkable, historic, full-day excursion combining the glories of Pella with those of Vergina, and it includes lunch overlooking the stunning Aliakmon Valley. We begin with a 45-minute drive by air-conditioned motor coach to Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great and the second capital of ancient Macedonia. Alexander, Emperor in the 4th Century BC, was undefeated in battle and is widely considered one of history’s most successful military commanders. For 250 years Pella was the cultural centre of the Ancient Greek world and as the seat of the royal family, enjoyed its greatest prosperity during the reign of Alexander. Archaeological excavations have uncovered public buildings and luxurious private homes with intricate marble-floor mosaics along with a plethora of delicate clay figurines and vases. We have the opportunity to view these and many other treasures before heading to the city of Veria where we will enjoy a three-course lunch will be served at a local restaurant overlooking the immense Aliakmon Valley. Our next stop is Vergina, where we visit the tomb of King Philip II of Macedonia. Dating from 335 BC, the bones of the king are covered with a golden wreath of oak leaves. Also here are the king’s iron helmet and a cache of weapons. As well as King Philip’s tomb and personal effects, we will see well-preserved examples of large-scale classical painting and numerous carved, painted steles of ordinary citizens. We have an hour’s drive by coach back to the ship.
Adult Price: € 115

Available on Day 11

Panoramic Thessaloniki

Thessaloniki is the second city of Greece and the capital of Macedonia. It has a fascinating and colourful history with evidence of Byzantine, Roman and Ottoman remains and it was the richest city in the Byzantine Empire. It is a glorious blend of beauty, history, and culture, framed by vast and stunning sea views and is considered to be Greece’s cultural capital. Our panoramic tour begins along the waterfront boulevard to Aristotelous Square, named for Macedonia’s leading philosopher Aristotle. We will see Thessaloniki’s most famous sight, the White Tower, part of the lower city’s original fortification which has also served as a prison. We hear the fascinating narrative by our guide as we take in many of the city’s highlights including, the Gallerius Arch, the Rotunda, and numerous neo-Classical buildings. We visit the 5th century St. Demetrius’ Cathedral as well and stop up to the Upper Town for sweeping views of the city with Mount Olympus and the Thermaic Gulf in the background.
Adult Price: € 67

Available on Day 11

The Royal Tombs of Vergina

This a fascinating half day, where you'll step back time. Vergina was the first ancient capital of the Greek Kingdom of Macedonia and we have the privilege of visiting the Royal Tombs. The most important tomb is that of Philip II, the father of Alexander the Great. We will be accompanied into the museum by our guide to look at some of King Philip’s most important possessions, including the king’s shield and gold trimmed breast plate. Legend has it that the golden chest containing the king’s bones was washed with wine and wrapped in purple cloth. We will find out how this was unearthed before being able to discover it for ourselves. Also on display are gold diadems of unparalleled artistry, lavish wall paintings and a golden wreath of oak leaves. This is also the site of an extensive royal palace and one of the most important museums in Greece. The area was awarded UNESCO World Heritage Site status as “an exceptional testimony to a significant development in European civilisation.
Adult Price: € 74


Available on Day 12

Volos & Mt. Pelion

(4 hours) On this excursion, we will have the opportunity to travel through the ages, both to the prehistoric times, but also to the tradition and culture of Volos and Pelion. The sense of mystery engendered by the mountain’s impenetrable forests has given rise to many legends. It was said by the ancients that during the battle between the gods and the giants, the latter tried to challenge Olympus by piling Pelion in Ossa. Mount Pelion was also the remote home of Chiron, the wisest of the centaurs, who played an important role in the Greek fables. Moreover, Pelion was the mountain that the Gods held their weddings and beauty contests. We will drive up to one of the most interesting village of Pelion, Makrinitsa at an altitude of 700m. We shall leave the coach in the square at the entrance to the village and take a stroll through the narrow streets among the splendid old houses. Owing to the abundant water resources, they are also scattered; many are built in the traditional style with jutting upper storey’s, supported on wooden sorbels, and slate roofs, with overhanging saves. The main square (platia) is especially attractive due to its fountain, plane trees and tiny church (13th c.). There will be plenty of time for those wishing to stroll along the cobble paths of the village, visit the museum of culture and tradition, or just have coffee at the square of the village, gazing at Volos and the Gulf. Return to the ship.
Adult Price: € 65


Available on Day 13

Cape Sounion

Take a relaxing trip down to the southernmost tip of Mainland Greece to see the fifth century B.C Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. See if you can spot where Byron carved his initials on one of the temple’s sixteen columns. Marvel at the sheer rugged beauty of the coastline and the ancient temple perched above a 197-foot drop down to the Aegean Sea below. Stand above the site of the world’s first lighthouse, overlooking an area steeped in classical Greek history, ever since the tragic King Aegeas threw himself from the rocky precipice into the sea below, thereby giving his name to the Aegean Sea.
Adult Price: € 48

Available on Day 13

Dinner "Meze" Style In Psiri With Acropolis Illuminations

Enjoy a lovely dining experience at a wonderful restaurant located in the lively area of Psiri. Dining is “meze style”, giving you the opportunity to taste many Greek cuisine dishes, which are served in the centre of the table. Also enjoy the local free-flowing wine! Afterwards, see the Acropolis beautifully illuminated as you return to your hotel. (Casual dress)
Adult Price: € 53

Available on Day 13

Traditional Greek Taverna Meal With Entertainment

This is an evening excursion to a taverna in the centre of Athens. Enjoy excellent traditional Greek food in a lively atmosphere while being entertained by dances and music from all parts of the country. Wine, beer and soft drinks are also included. Although the venue does have an official ending time, guests are more than welcome to stay on in the taverna, to join in with the local residents! (Casual dress)
Adult Price: € 57

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