The 8 Day Cyclades Mini Island Adventure
Athens - Paros (by air) - Santorini (by sea) – Athens (by air)
The 8 Day Cyclades Mini Island Adventure
Ideal for the adventurous traveler limited on time, this mini-adventure through the Cyclades begins in Athens, touring the iconic Acropolis before heading to some of the most alluring Greek Islands. Hike through the gorgeous interior of Paros before cruising to Santorini.
You’ll have time to explore its magnificent landscapes and sapphire sea, sailing on a catamaran around the caldera cliffs, stopping to snorkel and soak in the warm waters of a volcano spring. Discover Santorini’s epic views and mountains with ease on our electric mountain bike tour.
At a Glance
|Arrive into Athens International Airport and enjoy the capital city at your leisure.||Athens|
|Join an expert-led tour of Athens’ Acropolis Hill and its iconic Parthenon.||Paros|
|Embark on a tour through the Parian countryside, with a hike around the stunning interior||Paros|
|Catch the ferry to Santorini, exploring its spectacular beauty on your own.||Santorini|
|Enjoy a 5-hour catamaran cruise around Santorini’s caldera cliffs.||Santorini|
|Discover the unspoiled island of Thirassia on a fascinating electric mountain bike tour||Santorini|
|Enjoy a leisurely morning on Santorini before catching a flight to Athens.||Athens|
|Your mini Cyclades adventure ends today, returning to Athens airport.|
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Day by Day Itinerary
Arrival to Athens
Welcome to one of the world’s oldest cities, continuously inhabited for at least 5,000 years. You’ll be met by private transfer at the airport for the ride to your hotel in Athens where you’ll be able to explore ancient ruins, legendary monuments and world-famous museums, along with modern delights, including a fantastic food scene with everything from delicious street foods to fine dining on international fare.
Take time to settle in and enjoy discovering some of its hidden treasures and popular attractions on your own, perhaps unwinding in one of the alluring cafes sample tasty local bites while enjoying some people watching.
Today you’ll get an in-depth look at Athens’ most iconic attraction and a symbol of the city, the Acropolis. Led by an expert guide, this tour allows participants to immerse themselves in the history of the ancient Greeks while discovering monuments like the Temple of Athena Nike and the Parthenon which has been looming over this city that’s considered the birthplace of modern civilization for nearly 2,500 years.
Hear the stories behind them, learning more about the Erectheion, Karyatide and Propylaea, and enjoy the stunning panoramic view from the elevated vantage point before catching an afternoon flight to Paros to begin the island-hopping portion of your journey.
Wake up in beautiful Paros with its lush rolling hills, fertile valleys and tranquil landscapes dotted with ancient monasteries and lovely churches, complemented by gorgeous beaches framed with dazzling clear blue waters. You’ll be able to explore the beautiful area on our ‘Paros Essence Tour.’ An easy hike on a scenic trail that goes back to Byzantine times and is bordered with aromatic herbs. Explore the traditional villages of Lefkes & Prodromos. Starting from the old capital of Lefkes, a traditional village in the mountainous island interior. We explore the village’s maze-like alleys, its white-washed stacked houses and its 19th century marble-built cathedral. We follow the centuries-old footpath known as “the Byzantine Way” that leads to the picturesque village of Prodromos below.
The path is paved with marble plates and offers beautiful views of Parian nature as it winds around traditional hillside terraces with olive groves, old vineyards and grain fields; in springtime, it is also full of aromas of thyme, oregano, sage and other herbs that skirt the trail. We learn about the plants, herbs and their use – for cooking or medicine, as well as the traditional agricultural life on Paros. The gentle hike ends at the village of Prodromos with its winding alleys and small chapels.
You might want to take a sunrise stroll on Paros before catching the ferry to your next island: Santorini. Viewing those famous whitewashed cave homes and blue-domed churches spilling down the rim of an ancient volcanic crater for the first time is sure to be one of the most memorable moments of your trip.
You’ll have the rest of the day to enjoy all of it at your own pace, perhaps exploring its famous beaches like Red Beach where dramatic fiery-hued cliffs disintegrate into scarlet sands at the bottom. Edged by glistening sapphire waters, it’s quite a sight. There are white sand beaches and exception black sand stretches like Perissa and Perivolos too.
One of the highlights of any Cyclades vacation is a cruise alongside Santorini’s caldera cliffs. You’ll enjoy a 5-hour sail in an elegant catamaran, getting another perspective of the island’s breathtaking sights from the water while stopping to enjoy the warm geothermal waters of the volcanic crater springs, snorkeling through the crystal-clear waters of the Aegean and enjoying the Mediterranean sun on those colorful beaches.
The luxurious excursion is enjoyed in a small, intimate group for up to just seven couples to ensure exceptional service by the crew and plenty of opportunities to ask questions about what you’re seeing. It also includes a full Greek meal complemented with soft drinks, Greek wine or beer to keep you fueled for the adventure.
After breakfast, experience Santorini as it was a half-century ago by visiting the most authentic part of this volcanic island group, Thirassia, the closest island to Oia. You’ll be far from the tourist crowds, immersed in unspoiled natural scenery as you explore on an electric mountain bike, a nearly effortless way to take in the maximum number of sights in the shortest period of time.
Admire the beauty of the landscape and its three settlements, including windmills, churches and whitewashed homes. A hike is included as well, featuring plenty of breathtaking views, including the volcano, along with a delicious meal by the sea at a traditional local, family-owned taverna.
Enjoy a relaxing morning on Santorini, taking in some of your favorite sights one last time (at least on this trip), before you have to say goodbye. At mid-day or in the afternoon, catch a flight back to Athens, taking the rest of the day to experience it at your leisure. Perhaps enjoy one of its more hidden gems like the small but incredibly scenic neighborhood of Anafiotika.
Tucked along the northern slopes of Acropolis hill next to the Agora entrance, it looks as if it should be on one of the Cyclades islands with its typical Cycladic features like narrow alleys winding to whitewashed homes with blue doors and window frames, many of which are draped with brilliant bougainvillea.
The final morning of your adventure through Athens and the Cyclades has arrived. Prepare to return to Athens International Airport, enjoying breakfast before being met with your private transfer.
Of course, if time allows, you could always choose to extend your time in the capital city or embark on another journey elsewhere. If that sounds intriguing, be sure to talk to our travel experts for some exciting ideas.
- Private transfers in luxury vehicles throughout your journey with us
- 1 Night in Athens in a luxury hotel with breakfast
- Acropolis and Parthenon tour in Athens
- One-way flight from Athens to Paros including check in luggage and seats
- 2 nights in Paros in a luxury hotel with breakfast
- Hiking tour in Paros
- Pre-booked high-speed ferry to Santorini
- 3 Nights in Santorini in a luxury hotel with breakfast
- Day sailing cruise in Santorini including lunch and refreshments
- Private E bike tour on Thirassia island
- One-way flight from Santorini to Athens including check in luggage and seats
- 1 Night in Athens in a luxury hotel including breakfast
- 24/7 concierge service throughout your trip
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