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Good value for $ — accommodations, food, guide, itinerary, and [small] size of group. Have traveled with other tour groups ... and like you best.

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Prairie Village, KS
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Small Group Tour Highlights
  • Athens sightseeing, including Acropolis and Parthenon
  • Excursion to ancient Delphi
  • Visits to archaeological sites of Corinth, Mycenae, and Epidaurus
  • Tour and tasting at olive oil factory
  • Half-day excursion to Hydra
  • Heraklion’s Minoan Palace of Knossos and Archaeological Museum
  • Private cruise to Spinalonga
  • Two-night stay on island of Santorini
  • Winery tour and tasting
  • Archaeological site of Akrotiri
  • Tour of National Archaeological Museum, Athens
Day-by-Day Itinerary

Day 1: Depart U.S. for Athens, Greece

Day 2: Athens After a late morning arrival in the Greek capital, there’s time to relax at our hotel. As guests’ arrival times may vary greatly, we have no group activities or meals planned for today.

Day 3: Athens On this morning’s tour we visit the city’s most important sites, including the 5th-century Acropolis and Parthenon; and the renowned Acropolis Museum. We also take a walking tour of Hadrian Street and the Plaka district. This afternoon we visit the National Archaeological Museum, home to the world’s most significant collection of Greek artifacts. Tonight we enjoy a welcome dinner. B,D

Day 4: Delphi Today’s excursion takes us to central Greece to explore Delphi, one of the most beautiful and celebrated ancient sites. Nestled between twin cliffs on a slope of Mount Parnassus and spilling out onto the Sacred Plain, Delphi is where the oracle representing the revered god Apollo presided over the ancient world. We see the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo; walk the marble Sacred Way; and climb to the 4th-century BCE theater still in use today. We also visit Delphi’s museum that houses the bronze “Charioteer,” one of antiquity’s greatest statues. After lunch in a local restaurant, we return to Athens late afternoon. B,L

Day 5: Athens/Corinth/Peloponnese We travel today by coach to the Peloponnesian Peninsula, Greece’s southernmost region separated from the mainland by the Corinth Canal. En route we visit the ruins and museum of Ancient Corinth, one of the country’s largest cities in antiquity that was demolished by the Romans (146 BCE), who then rebuilt it a century later. Today, only low stone walls, foundations, and several Corinthian columns remain as testimony to the mighty city that once flourished here. The site boasts a strong connection to Christianity: Paul wrote his two letters, First and Second Corinthians, here; and we see the altar where he preached. Next: a visit to the Melas olive oil factory to learn about the history of olive oil production – Greece consumes more olive oil than any other country – and to enjoy a light lunch and tasting. This afternoon we reach our resort hotel on the Peloponnesian coast and dine there tonight. B,L,D

Day 6: Epidaurus/Mycenae/Nafplion Among the highlights of this morning’s visit to the vast archaeological site and museum of Epidaurus: the 2,300-year-old theater, a masterpiece of Greek architecture known for its perfect acoustics and still in use today. Long associated with healing and medicine, Epidaurus comprises one of the most complete sanctuaries remaining from antiquity. This afternoon we tour the imposing ruins at Mycenae, a UNESCO site that represented the pinnacle of civilization from the 15th to the 12th centuries BCE. A key influence on the development of classic Greek culture (and hence Western civilization), Mycenae also is linked to Homer’s epics, Iliad and The Odyssey. We see the Tomb of Agamemnon, with what was the world’s highest and widest dome for more than a thousand years; and the Lion’s Gate, the only known Bronze Age monumental sculpture in Greece. Then we visit nearby Nafplion, a gem of a Venetian/Byzantine town with picturesque narrow streets, fortifications, and a bounty of waterfront cafés – and where we enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Tonight we dine together at a local taverna. B,L,D

Day 7: Peloponnese/Hydra This morning we travel to the port of Ermioni, where we board a private boat for the ride to Hydra, the car-free Saronic island where donkeys provide the transportation. After lunch together at a local taverna, we have free time to enjoy this picturesque island as we wish. Late afternoon we return to our resort for an evening at leisure. B,L

Day 8: Peloponnese/Heraklion, Crete En route to Athens this morning we stop to see the Corinth Canal, cutting at sea level through the narrow Isthmus of Corinth to the Saronic Gulf in the Aegean. We continue on to the Athens airport for the 50-minute flight to Crete, arriving mid-afternoon in Heraklion, the Cretan capital. After checking in at our hotel, we enjoy an afternoon at leisure; this evening we take a walking tour of the Venetian/Ottoman-influenced town center prior to dinner at a local restaurant. B,D

Day 9: Heraklion/Knossos Today we visit one of Greece’s greatest museums: Heraklion’s Archaeological Museum housing artifacts from 5,500 years of Cretan history, from the Neolithic period to Roman times. The museum is especially renowned for its Minoan collection, much of which was excavated from the palace of Knossos – our next stop. The political center of Minoan civilization and legendary home of King Minos, the Labyrinth, and the Minotaur, ancient Knossos is considered Europe’s “oldest city” and the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete. Following our tour and lunch, we return to Heraklion for a visit to Koules Fortress, the well-preserved 16th-century bastion at the entrance to the old port. Then the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration. B,L

Day 10: Heraklion/Spinalonga/Agios Nikolaos After an hour’s drive this morning, we board a private boat for a cruise through the Bay of Elounda to Spinalonga, a former Venetian island fortress later occupied by the Ottomans then used as a leper colony from 1903 to 1957. From here we travel to the colorful harborside town of Agios Nikolaos, with its galleries, shops, cafés, tavernas, and tiny Lake Voulismeni, where, legend has it, the goddess Athena once bathed. B,D

Day 11: Crete/Santorini We depart this morning by high-speed ferry for Santorini, southernmost of the Cycladic islands. Once believed to have been the legendary lost island of Atlantis, Santorini today attracts both Greeks and visitors alike with its stupendous setting of cubiform whitewashed houses sitting atop the jagged cliffs of a crescent-shaped caldera. Upon arrival we visit Venetsanos Winery for a tour and tasting then have free time in the town of Thira for lunch and to explore on our own. Late this afternoon we head to the town of Oia, known for its iconic white-washed architecture and stunning views. B,D

Day 12: Santorini Today we tour Santorini’s archaeological site of Akrotiri, a Bronze Age Minoan location that was abandoned in the 17th century BCE following a volcanic eruption – whose ash also preserved the excavations that we now see. Then the remainder of the day is at leisure to enjoy this idyllic island as we wish. B

Day 13: Santorini/Athens After a late morning flight to Athens, we check in at our hotel then are free for lunch on our own and an afternoon at leisure, perhaps to visit the Plaka for last-minute shopping or to stroll the broad plaza of lively Syntagma Square. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner overlooking the Acropolis at the rooftop restaurant of our hotel. B,D

Day 14: Depart for U.S. We transfer to Athens’ international airport this morning, where we connect with our return flight home. B

Please note: This trip involves considerable walking on uneven or cobblestone streets and at sites of ancient ruins. You should be in good physical condition to enjoy the tour to the fullest.

B = Breakfast included L = Lunch included D = Dinner included

Tour Price Includes
  • Round-trip air transportation from listed cities; all flights within itinerary
  • 12 nights’ accommodations in Deluxe, Superior First Class, and First Class hotels
  • 24 meals: 12 breakfasts, 5 lunches, 7 dinners
  • Extensive sightseeing as described, including all entrance fees
  • Services of an Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director
  • Private motorcoach transportation throughout your trip
  • Luggage handling for one bag per person
  • Gratuities for local guides, dining room servers, airport and hotel porters, and all drivers
  • $100 frequent traveler credit towards your next Odysseys Unlimited tour ($200 after three tours; $300 after 10 tours)
Tour Dates & Prices

2019 Tour Dates & Prices
including international airfare and all taxes, surcharges, and fees

Apr 11
Apr 15
Apr 18
Oct 3
Oct 7*
Oct 14*
Apr 29
May 6, 9
Aug 29
Sep 5, 9
Sep 12, 19
Sep 26
May 23
May 30
Jun 6
New York$5,292$5,492$5,792
Boston, Phil$5,492$5,692$5,992
Atl, Char, Chi, Cinc,
Cleve, Detroit, Mia,
Orl, Tampa, Wash, DC
$5,592$5,792$6,092
Dal, Den, Hou,
Los Ang, Minn,
Phoe, Port (OR),
San Fran, Seattle
$5,692$5,892$6,192

Please call if your city is not listed or for land only prices. Prices are per person based on double occupancy and include airline taxes, surcharges, and fees of $497, which are subject to change until final payment is made.

Single travelers please add $1,195 Apr, Oct; $1,395 all other dates. Your $375 deposit is fully refundable up to 95 days before departure. All 2019 tour prices above (excluding airlines taxes, surcharges, and fees) are guaranteed.

*Transportation from Crete to Santorini on Day 11 will be by air (connecting in Athens) rather than ferry

Airline upgrades (subject to availability) on round-trip Trans-Atlantic flight: Business Class – $3,795 per person; Premium Economy – $1,495 per person

A visa is not required for this tour.

Accommodations
    Electra Palace Hotel, Athens / Days 2-4, 13 / Deluxe

    Centrally located in downtown Athens, the recently renovated Electra Palace Hotel stands in the foothills of the Acropolis and many other historical sites. Hotel amenities include two restaurants and a bar, internet access, laundry and dry cleaning services, fitness center, and outdoor swimming pool. Each air-conditioned guest room features designs that match the classic and elegant façades of both the hotel and the Plaka district and has private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

    Kandia's Castle Resort & Thalasso , Kantia / Days 5-7 / Superior First Class

    Located on an undeveloped stretch of the Peloponnesian coast, Kandia’s Castle Resort & Thalasso takes full advantage of its seafront location.  The hotel was designed to evoke the appearance of a medieval castle, and includes two restaurants, two bars (including a poolside bar), full spa, indoor swimming pool, sprawling saltwater outdoor pool overlooking the beach (Greece’s largest hotel pool), fitness center, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have ocean views and include private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, minibar, TV, and phone.

    Aquila Atlantis Hotel, Heraklion (Crete) / Days 8-10 / First Class

    Recently renovated in 2013, the Aquila Atlantis Hotel sits in the heart of Heraklion, just a short walk from the harbor and the Castello a Mare.  The hotel offers a modern, airy atmosphere that includes a restaurant, bar, two swimming pools (one indoor and one outdoor with views over the harbor), full spa, laundry and dry cleaning service (for a fee), and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, tea- and coffee-making facilities, TV, and phone.

    Santorini Palace Hotel, Thira (Santorini) / Days 11-12 / First Class

    The Santorini Palace Hotel sits within walking distance of downtown Fira, and just steps from the cliff of the island’s caldera, which offers stunning ocean views.  This contemporary hotel offers a range of amenities including a restaurant and bar, swimming pool with snack bar, fitness center, spa, sauna, hot tub, laundry and dry cleaning service, and complimentary Wi-Fi internet access.  Air-conditioned guest rooms feature white walls and furnishings to match the island’s aesthetic, and include private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, and phone.

Ratings are based on the Hotel & Travel Index, the travel industry standard reference.
Tour Directors for this Journey
Gemma Economopoulou

“Gemma brought our tour alive with her eidetic memory of Greek history and art, her humor, her infectious enthusiasm and her ability to bring disparate individuals together to function as a group.”
Mary and Lon Allan
Monte Sereno, California

Lina Harokopou

“Lina was absolutely amazing! We have been on several tours with other companies and guides who we thought were topnotch, but Lina is the best of all of them.”
Joanie King & Ray Boehm
Payson, AZ

Maria Kazantzidou

“Maria was well informed and answered all questions. She was friendly and most helpful. We could not have asked for anyone better. She was a delight!”
Cynthia & Ian Crawford
Natick, MA

Zanna Mouzaki

“Zanna is a very special tour guide who not only shared the sights with us but shared the true Greece with us. We enjoyed visiting with her over meals and learned so much during that time, as well. She is a friend to us and not just a guide.”
Catherine McGuigan
Sugar Land, TX

Destination Insight

Suggested Reading

Henry Miller
The Colossus of Maroussi
Miller captures the spirit and warmth of the resilient Greek people in this inspired tale of a wartime journey from Athens to Crete, Corfu and Delphi with his friend Lawrence Durrell.

Edith Hall
Introducing the Ancient Greeks, From Bronze Age Seafarers to Navigators of the Western Mind
Classicist Edith Hall visits 10 Greek communities at different moments during the 20 centuries of ancient Greek history, brilliantly assembling a unified vision of the Greek spirit.

David Michael Smith
Ancient Greece
Part of Thames and Hudson’s excellent Pocket Museum series, this handy reference profiles over 200 significant works of ancient Greek art with magnificent illustrations and brief, authoritative descriptions. An excellent photographic overview.

Michelin
Greece Map
A colorful shaded map of Greece, the Greek Islands and the western coast of Turkey (including Istanbul) at a scale of 1:800,000.

Diane Harris Cline
The Greeks, An Illustrated History
This accessible photographic history of ancient Greece pays special attention to Greek innovations: great literature and architecture, war tactics, democracy, the Olympics, Socrates and much more. Cline laces the gripping story of the Greek empire with archaeological discoveries.

Anthony Everitt
The Rise of Athens, The Story of the World’s Greatest Civilization
Anthony Everitt (The Rise of Rome, ITA335) shifts his focus to the world of the ancient Greeks in this expansive history. The accessible book covers the ideological and physical foundations of Athens that laid the groundwork for the Greeks’ prodigious accomplishments.

Marina Belozerskaya, Kenneth Lapatin
Ancient Greece: Art, Architecture, and History
This lively illustrated guide covers the architecture, painting and sculpture of Ancient Greece from the third millennium to the end of the Hellenistic period. With 282 color and 28 black-and-white illustrations.

Cathy Gere
Knossos & the Prophets of Modernism
In this marvelous scholarly study of myth and meaning on Minoan Crete, Gere illuminates both the original excavations of Sir Arthur Evans at Knossos and how this ancient civilization captured the Western imagination as an idealized society.

Mary Beard
The Parthenon
A lively tale of the construction, significance and uses of the
2,500-year-old architectural marvel.

Daniel Klein
Travels With Epicurus
Daniel Klein’s witty meditation on the ancients, life in the Greek Islands, his favorite philosophers — and growing old gracefully — is also a delightful romp through the Aegean, primarily Hydra.

Artemis Leontis (Editor)
Greece, A Traveler’s Literary Companion
In this terrific anthology, 24 modern Greek writers offer a flavor of their nation, its culture and people, beautiful landscapes and rich history.

Kristine K. Kershul
Greek, A Language Map
This durable foldout card gives easy phonetic pronunciation for several hundred of the most commonly needed words and phrases.

Stephen Joyce (Photographer), Rebecca Seal
Postcards from Greece, Recipes from Across the Greek Seas
Making the cuisine of the Greek islands easy to digest, this collection of recipes by the British food writer includes cheese pies, moussaka, chocolate mousse and much more.

Stathis Kalyvas
Modern Greece, What Everyone Needs to Know
A primer on Greek history from the 19th century on, with an in-depth look at the government debt crisis of 2010
and a consideration for the far-reaching implications of the country’s current economic instability.

Robert McCabe (Foreword), Athina Cacouri
Mycenae, From Myth to History
With contributions from archaeologists who worked on the Mycenae site, this lively history delves into the mystery and legend surrounding the civilization that flourished 800 years before the classical Greeks then vanished into legend.

Thomas Cahill
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter
Cahill brings to life ancient Greek society and civilization through the lives and words of politicians, playwrights,
a poet, a philosopher and an artist in this eloquent and absorbing tribute.

David Stuttard
Greek Mythology, A Traveler’s Guide
This informative, literary traveler’s guide introduces Greek mythology geographically through 22 chapters dedicated to specific destinations, from Mount Olympus and Delos to Athens and Mycenae, illustrated with beautiful color drawings.

Robert Graves
The Greek Myths, Complete Edition
A new edition of Graves’ classic collection with a cover by comic book artist Ross MacDonald. This expert retelling by Graves, a poet, memoirist and the author of I, Claudius
(ITL429), remains the seminal modern translation of the mythologies of Ancient Greece.

Mary Renault
The King Must Die
The first in Mary Renault’s trilogy of well-researched page- turners features the tale of Theseus, slayer of the Minotaur and the king of Athens. Known for her exhaustive research, Renault is an acknowledged master of historical fiction.

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