Ancient Greece and Minoan Highlights 10 Day Journey
A 10-day adventure exploring the heritage and culture of the mainland and on Crete, starts in the city where modern civilization was birthed, Athens. You’ll enjoy a day trip to the seaside town of Nafplio and ancient Mycenae and experience especially exciting tours of Delphi and Meteora, with the latter enjoyed at sunset after the crowds have gone for the day. Delight in the old and new, embarking on a food and culture tour through Thessaloniki and the fly off to Crete to explore the Minoan treasures.
At a Glance
|Arrival into Athens International Airport followed by private transfer to your Athens hotel||Athens|
|Embark on a day trip to Nafplio and Mycenae||Athens|
|Tour the ruins of Delphi, one of the most important archaeological sites in the country||Delphi|
|Visit the monasteries of Meteora at sunset, after the tourist crowds have departed||Kalabaka|
|Travel to Thessaloniki to explore its enticing mix of old and new||Thessaloniki|
|Join a culture and food excursion through Thessaloniki||Thessaloniki|
|Catch a flight to Crete, enjoying the rest of the day at your leisure||Crete|
|Join a tour of the Minoan palace of Knossos and the Heraklion Archaeological Museum||Crete|
|Return to Athens by plane followed by a tour of the Acropolis and Acropolis Museum||Athens|
|Departure day has arrived, take private transfer to Athens International Airport|
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Day by Day Itinerary
After your arrival into Athens International Airport, you’ll head into the city by private transfer to check into your hotel. You’ll have the rest of the day to do as you please, perhaps taking things at a leisurely pace by wandering the beautiful streets of the Plaka district with its historical buildings carefully restored. Each street will lead you to either Syntagma Square of the Acropolis. You’ll find plenty of sidewalk cafes where you can sample traditional Greek cuisine or sip a cup of that irresistible Greek coffee as you watch the world walk by. There are plenty of shops for picking up gifts and souvenirs as well.
A day trip will bring you to the historic seaside town of Nafplio that’s been frozen in time since the 19th-century, visiting workshops and craftsmen from a bygone era along with the mythical ancient citadel of Mycenae nearby. You’ll walk beneath the famous Lion Gate to explore ruins from one of the oldest civilizations, discovering Homer’s epic tales and marveling at the 3,500-year-old Tomb of Agamemnon as your knowledgeable guide reveals the stories behind them. Afterward gaze up at the towering fortifications in Nafplio and watch the artisans at work. You’ll get to enjoy lunch and see how traditional almond pastries are made as well.
Delphi (Day Trip)
Transfer by car to Delphi, the site once believed to be the center of the world by ancient Greeks. According to myth, Zeus released a pair of eagles, with one coming from the east and the other from the west, both directly to fly to the middle point. That point is what became Delphi – it was marked by a stone that was later taken to the Temple of Apollo. In the afternoon you’ll tour this UNESCO World Heritage site that’s one of the most important archaeological sites in the country. View many significant ruins, including the Temple of Apollo, Athenian Treasury and a theater that hosted the ancient Pythian Games.
A highlight for many during a trip to Greece is on the itinerary today, you’ll journey by car transfer to Meteora. Its name “suspended in the air” is just what you’ll see, with the dramatic cliffs rising more than 1,200 feet into the sky. They overlook the villages of Kastraki and Kalamba, the latter of which you’ll enjoy your overnight stay. Your tour of Meteora and its 14th-century monasteries, six of which are open to the public, begins after all the tourists have gone. You’ll take an unforgettable sunset tour guided by locals through the narrow winding roads, venturing off the beaten path for an authentic experience.
You’ll travel to Thessaloniki, the second biggest city in Greece and the capital of the Macedonian region, via car transfer. Upon your arrival you’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy it at your leisure. Discover a fabulous mix of new and old, with everything from world-class museums and art galleries to bustling food markets, Byzantine walls and Turkish baths. Enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants and bars that are famous across the globe for their delicious and often spicy fare. This region produces some of the best wines in the country, so you may want to try a local glass or two as well.
With this city truly a foodies’ haven, the perfect way to explore it is an in-depth tour. Dive into the food and culture on this excursion that begins by picking up some local snacks and pastries, sure to keep you fueled for the experience, though you can expect plenty more to come. You’ll visit two popular local spots serving the area’s signature specialties, tasting and experience daily life here along the narrow streets. Your inspiring guide to bring you to discover the secrets of a Greek open market, its aromas, colors and lively atmosphere before visiting a shop where the aroma of the fresh-prepared street foods is sure to entice you in.
Catch a flight to Crete where you’ll get to enjoy the day exploring it independently. Rethymnon Old Town is a favorite to stroll, dating back to the 11th-century, it has a rich history with grand Venetian Renaissance architecture along with a remarkable array of shops and dining options. Capture photographs of the pretty Venetian harbor and the Rimondi Fountain and then pop into one of the tavernas to enjoy some of the traditional Greek delicacies with iced coffee. If you’d rather relax, soaking up the sun and the sand, there are countless beautiful beaches along the coast where you can do just that.
Your day begins by visiting Crete’s most important archaeological site, delving into the myths and ancient history that surrounds the Minoan palace of Knossos. One of the most famous monuments from the Minoan civilization, you’ll be led by an expert who will reveal its unique historic course along with its rituals and arts as you marvel at the massive columns and stunning frescoes. Afterward your trip back into prehistoric times is complemented with a visit to the Heraklion Archaeology Museum. One of the country’s most extensive prehistoric collection of artifacts is showcased here, allowing visitors to view treasures from all Minoan palaces along with other areas with evidence of the civilization on the island.
Crete - Athens
Return to the airport to catch a flight back to Athens this morning or at mid-day. After checking into your hotel and getting settled in, you’ll get to retrace the footsteps of ancient greats with an insider guide on a tour of the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. Get an in-depth look at Athens’ impressive archaeological heritage, iconic symbols known around the world that are considered true artistic masterpieces of ancient Greece. You’ll climb Acropolis Hill, taking in a jaw-dropping panoramic view from the elevated position, marvel at the Parthenon and other landmarks before exploring the Acropolis Museum which holds many important archaeological finds from the area.
The time has come to bid farewell to Greece, enjoying breakfast this morning before meeting transfer to return to Athens International Airport.
- Private transfers in luxury vehicles throughout your journey with us
- 2 Night in Athens in a luxury hotel with breakfast
- Day trip to Nafplio and Mycynae from Athens
- Day tour to Delphi and Delphi Museum
- 1 night at Delphi in a luxury hotel with breakfast
- Day tour to Meteora
- 1 Night in Meteora in a luxury hotel with breakfast
- 2 Nights in Thessaloniki in a luxury hotel with breakfast
- Food and Culture tour in Thessaloniki
- One-way flight from Thessaloniki to Crete including check in luggage and seats
- 2 Nights in Crete in a luxury hotel with breakfast
- Day tour to Knossos Palace and Museum and Heraklion Museum
- One-way flight from Crete to Athens including check in luggage and seats
- 1 Night in Athens in a luxury hotel with breakfast
- Tour to Acropolis and Acropolis Museum
- 24/7 concierge service throughout your trip
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