Travel back to a time of legends, gods and philosophers, as you journey from the ancient city of Athens to Crete, passing the Sacred Way at Delphi, mythical hilltop monasteries and the vibrant Aegean ports of Mykonos, Kusadasi and Santorini.
Welcome to Athens. You are met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. After checking, spend the rest of the day relaxing or exploring the city. Meet your Travel Director and fellow travelers for a Welcome Meeting this evening.
Your Local Specialist takes you on a morning sightseeing tour of Athens starting with a visit to the ancient Acropolis and the Parthenon, which is considered to be the most important building to survive from Classical Greece. View the Panathinaiko Olympic stadium, the Evzone guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and a host of other famous sites including the Temple of Zeus and Hadrian's Arch. This afternoon, leave Athens and travel north towards the stunning region of Mt. Parnassos for your overnight stay in Delphi.
Meet your Local Specialist this morning to tour Delphi and see the site of the most important oracle in the classical world. Walk the Sacred Way to the Temple of Apollo dating from the 4th century. It was here that, every four years, athletes competed in the Pythian Games, dedicated to Apollo and the arts. Drive this afternoon to Thermopylae, famous for the heroic defense by King Leonidas and his brave Spartans against the invading Persians. Arrive later in Kalambaka, where you dine tonight at your hotel.
This morning, travel to Meteora, with your Local Specialist, and visit one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, built on sandstone rocks above the town. Later, return to Athens.
Transfer to the port and cruise to stunning Mykonos. Spend time discovering this island paradise with its distinctive white-washed houses and maze of narrow cobbled streets before setting sail to Turkey.
Arrive early in Kusadasi in Turkey and take in the incredible ruins of Ephesus, site of the famous Temple of Artemis, on your included shore experience. Continue your cruise to Patmos, where there is time to shop, relax on the beach or take an Optional Experience to the Monastery of St. John.
Wake this morning in Heraklion, on the island of Crete, and enjoy a complimentary shore experience visit to the Palace of Knossos. Continue to the spectacular volcanic island of Santorini, where you have the opportunity to visit the islands' spectacular Oia village.
This morning, disembark from your cruise ship and transfer to the airport. Onward flights from Athens Airport should not be scheduled before 12 noon.
14 meals: 7 Buffet breakfasts, 3 Cruise lunches, 4 Three-course dinners.
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.
This is an evening excursion to a taverna in the center 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: €55
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 center of the table. Also, enjoy the local free-flowing wine! Afterward, see the Acropolis beautifully illuminated as you return to your hotel. (Casual dress)
Adult Price: €50
The shore-experience with the coach and your local expert sets off from Chora. Next stop at the south, the leeward beach of Ornos, a picturesque fishing harbor which is a popular anchorage and then on to the small beach of Agia Anna and Kalafatis beach. During the trip back to Chora, you will visit the traditional village of Ano Mera and the monastery of Panagia Tourliani, founded in 1542. The pretty village square is the perfect spot for a short break. Returning to Chora you will stop at Paraportiani. A few feet down you will meet the Mykonos Folklore Museum, which is housed in an old two-storied merchant baron’s house. You continue towards the “Little Venice” of Mykonos, Alefkandra, with its windmills and the almost other-worldly sunsets.
Adult Price: €67
We visit Patmos a UNESCO “World Heritage Monument” and enjoy a panoramic guided tour of the island, a magical visit to the Grotto of the Apocalypse, where it is said St. John the Apostle wrote the Book of Revelation. We reach the medieval town of Hora to enjoy a leisurely walk, marvel at the views of the Monastery of St. John the Evangelist, and culminate our tour at Scala the port of Patmos where we enjoy a welcoming coffee, tea or refreshment.
Adult Price: €67
The ancient city of Knossos the residence of the wise King Minos and the Minotaur, with constant habitation from the Neolithic era until the 5th century A.D., is beyond doubt the land that “gave birth” to the first civilization of Europe, the Minoans. The palace of Knossos spreads around a large Central Court. You will reach the awe-inspiring Throne Room, the fresco of the “Prince of the Lilies”, the imposing Grand Staircase, the Queen’s Megaron. Walking through the apartments of Knossos Palace and observing the finds simply as passers-by, and the information from your Local Specialist, will make you feel part of this cultural heritage. There is time for a stop in the city of Heraklion before boarding the ship again.
Adult Price: €74
Our drive through the crescent-shaped island offers unsurpassable views of the lace-like caldera, the little islands of Thirasia, Palea and Nea Kameni. Our route takes us through Fira, the islands' capital, past small traditional settlements of Firostefani and Imerovigli arriving at the beautiful and romantic village of Oia. Iconic Cycladic architecture of whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches and blue shutters, buildings that look like they are trickling down the islands’ cliffs await. Time at leisure in spectacular Oia to stroll through the marble-paved alleys, to gaze at the gorgeous shops, to find and capture perfect pictures moments. After our time at leisure, we return to the ship.
Adult Price: €74