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Athens and the Greek Isles 1 - Itinerary
May 21 - 31, 2024  

May 21 - 31, 2024
11 Days / 10 Nights
This tour starts and ends in Athens

$5,980 per person/double occupancy
$1,880 optional single supplement
$400 additional day / per room (includes airport transfer)
Includes all fees and taxes

This tour may be combined with Evrytania: The “Switzerland” of Greece post-tour extension (May 31 - June 3, 2024)


Click on the image to enlarge the map

This tour starts at 4:00PM on Tuesday, May 21, 2024 in Athens.
Please assure that your flight arrives no later than 2:00PM on May 21, 2024.

Day 1: Arrivals, Introductory Tour of Athens

On your arrival at Athens International Airport (ATH), a Sights and Soul Travels representative will meet you at the airport at your flight arrival time for your private transfer to the boutique Hotel Herodion, at the foot of the Acropolis in Athens. In the afternoon, we'll enjoy an introductory walk through the ancient Plaka area, stopping at the Dionysus Theater, the Roman Forum, Hadrian's Gate and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, then we'll get to know each other during the welcome dinner of local specialties in an elegant, Greek mythology inspired restaurant featuring the night time view of the lit up Acropolis.
Meals: Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Herodion, Athens

Day 2: Athens - The Acropolis
We'll spend our first full day in Greece exploring the treasures of Athens with a private guide. We'll step back in time, as we visit the Acropolis and its imposing temples, including the Parthenon, the masterpiece of Periclean Athens. We'll also tour the city's ancient Agora and other antiquity monuments and conclude with the showcase of ancient Greek art at the New Acropolis Museum. The afternoon will be free for individual exploration of the Athens' Archaeological Museum or you may choose to enjoy the atmospheric heart of the city with excellent shopping and people watching. In the evening, we'll relax over dinner in a moonlit Greek taverna in Plaka, overlooking the lit up Acropolis, and if we stay long enough we may even join the locals in some traditional Greek dancing.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Herodion, Athens
Day 3: Athens to Santorini, Fira
In the morning, we'll leave Athens and take a short flight to the stunning island of Santorini, set among the Cyclades Islands, where we'll stay at the breathtaking Volcano View Hotel, overlooking the sunken caldera and the remains of the Mythical Atlantis. After check-in and lunch with a view, we'll enjoy the hotel's many pools, terraces and amazing views. In the afternoon, we'll set out to explore the atmospheric town of Fira with its narrow, winding streets, tiny, whitewashed houses, sapphire blue domes and many terraces overlooking the Aegean Sea.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Volcano View Hotel, Santorini
Day 4: Sailing around the Island of Santorini
Today may be the highlight of our trip, as we sail around the volcanic crescent island of Santorini, on a private catamaran, exploring the island's red, black and white sand beaches and hidden coves, swimming in volcanic hot springs, then enjoying a freshly prepared lunch and Santorini wines onboard the catamaran. We will be accompanied by a local captain who will share with us his love for the island and enhance our understanding of Santorini's natural beauty, ancient sites and contemporary culture.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Volcano View Hotel, Santorini
Day 5: Santorini Wines, Traditional Villages, Oia

After a free morning, we'll join a local sommelier to visit one of Santorini's unique vineyards, where we'll get to appreciate the creative cultivation methods used in the island's vineyards, and sample some of the best wines produced here. Afterwards, we'll continue to the famous black beach of Kamari, where the clear blue waters of the Aegean contrast with the black volcanic sand. We'll conclude with the whitewashed village of Oia, located on the hillside overlooking the caldera crescent, where we'll enjoy the ultimate sunset dinner at a restaurant perfectly located to appreciate the eerie beauty of the flooded caldera.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Volcano View Hotel, Santorini

Day 6: Profitis Ilias Monastery, Flight to Crete
After breakfast, we'll further explore the island of Santorini, as we visit the traditional villages of Pyrgos and Megalochori, which offer stunning, 360 degrees views of the island. We'll also tour the Monastery of Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elijah), an 18th-century sanctuary built on the highest point of the island, 1860 feet above sea level, and offering all-encompassing views over the entire island that many believe is the lost Atlantis. In the afternoon, we'll fly to Heraklion on the Island of Crete. After checking into the boutique Megaron Hotel in Heraklion, we'll enjoy a rooftop dinner of Cretan specialties as we look out over the imposing Venetian port and the sea fortress.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodations: Hotel Megaron, Heraklion
Day 7: Heraklion, Palace of Knossos, Chania

Today, we'll spend the day exploring the Minoan civilization of Crete. We'll start with a visit to Heraklion's Archaeological Museum which holds the beautifully preserved remains of the 3,000 year old Minoan civilization. We'll continue to the Palace of Knossos, the most important Minoan complex. According to tradition, Knossos was the seat of the legendary Cretan King Minos. The Palace is associated with myths of the Labyrinth and the Minotaur, as well as the story of Dedalos and Icarus, and the site was continuously inhabited from the Neolithic period (7000-3000 B.C.) until Roman times. In the afternoon, we'll travel to western Crete and to Chania's Minoa Palace Resort, where we can relax and enjoy the hotel's beautiful pools, the beach and the views of the sea and St. Theodore's Island from our rooms.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Minoa Palace Resort, Chania

Day 8: Manousakis Winery and Cooking Class

After a full day of history and architecture, today we'll focus on food and wine. We'll start in the morning by joining a Cretan gourmand for a shopping visit to a local market, followed by a private cooking class, held at a beautiful vineyard, which will introduce us to Cretan cuisine, being the basis for the Mediterranean diet. In the afternoon, there will be some time to be spent at leisure, enjoying the Minoa Palace Resort, its spa services, pools and powdery sand beaches.
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodations: Minoa Palace Resort, Chania

Day 9: Chania Walking Tour, Agia Triada Monastery
In the late morning, we'll set out to visit one of Crete's most important historical monuments, the Monastery of Agia Triada, in the north of the Akrotiri Peninsula. This highly photogenic structure, built in 1634, preserves the Greek Orthodox monks' way of life. After the visit, we'll continue with a slow exploration of Chania, Crete's most beautiful town, built in Venetian and Ottoman architectural styles. With its white marble streets, labyrinths of narrow alleys, colorful markets, Byzantine architecture and Venetian fortifications overlooking the atmospheric harbor, the city casts its spell on all who visit. In the evening, we'll eat, drink and laugh as we enjoy a dinner of delicious Cretan specialties
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Minoa Palace Resort, Chania
Day 10: Falassarna, Sfinari and Elafonissi Beaches

After breakfast, we'll set out to explore Crete's most beautiful beaches: Falassarna, Sfinari and Elafonissi, and take in some of the breathtaking mountain scenery that surrounds them. We'll stop for lunch at a seaside taverna for a rustic fishermen's lunch, and in the evening, we'll celebrate our Greek adventure with an elegant farewell dinner.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodations: Minoa Palace Resort, Chania

Day 11: Chania to Athens - Departures
After a very early breakfast, we'll transfer to Chania airport for an early morning flight to Athens before flying back home.
Meals: Breakfast

This tour ends at 8:00AM on Friday, May 31, 2024 in Athens International Airport.
You should schedule your return flight no sooner than 10:00AM.

Itinerary specifics subject to change.