Grecian Dreams - Insight Vacations

Grecian Dreams Cruise Premier (Summer 2017)

Duration: 12 days Visiting: Greece, Turkey

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

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  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
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Care-free voyages of discovery around Turkey and the Greek Islands with 5 Days' Premium Cruising.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Athens!

    You are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel where there is time to settle in and relax. Later, join your Tour Director for a Welcome Reception, and an opportunity to get to know each other over a delightful evening of dinner and wine.

  2. Day 2

    The Parthenon, Mycenae and on to Nafplio

    Morning sightseeing reveals the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Wingless Victory and Hadrian's Arch. A Local Expert takes you to the Parthenon, built atop the Acropolis. Then follow the shores of the Saronic Gulf to the Corinth Canal, dividing the Peloponnese from mainland Greece. Next is the ruined city of Mycenae, featured in epics of Homer. With a Local Expert, walk through the Lion Gate, visit the royal ‘beehive' tombs and see the giant Cyclopean stones used to build the city walls. Later, meet the artisans and view beautiful works of art at a family-run pottery studio. Continue to the elegant seaside town of Nafplio.

  3. Day 3

    The Mountains of Arkadia to Olympia

    Travel into the heart of Argolis and with a Local Expert, visit the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus with its superb 4th century BC theatre. Visit the Asklepieion and discover a fascinating collection of ancient findings at the Archaeological Museum. Then a delightful drive takes you through the mountains of Arkadia to Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games. This evening, join a local chef for an entertaining cookery demonstration followed by a dinner of authentic Greek flavours.

  4. Day 4

    Delphi, Centre of the Ancient World

    In Olympia, see the city's ancient temples, the Olympic Stadium and the athletes' gymnasium with a Local Expert and learn about how the original games were first held in 776BC. Then head north to Patras and cross the soaring Rio-Antirrio Bridge to the mainland. Follow the coastal road before driving up in the foothills of Mount Parnassus and on to your hotel.

  5. Day 5

    The Sacred Way then to Kalambaka

    Ascend the Sacred Way of Delphi with a Local Expert, past the Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians and Polygonal Wall – its interlocking stones still perfectly intact after thousands of years. You'll approach the Temple of Apollo, where for 14 centuries the mysterious Oracle of Delphi breathed her enigmatic ‘words'. Continue north, stopping at Thermopylae to see the memorial to Leonidas and his courageous Spartans. Then on to your hotel in Kalambaka for dinner.

  6. Day 6

    Scenic drive to the Monasteries of Meteora and to Athens

    With a Local Expert, visit one of the amazing monasteries of Meteora, meaning 'in the air'. Incredibly perched on top of pinnacles of rock, see where the early Christians worshipped and enjoy stunning views over the Peneios Valley. Afterwards, enjoy a scenic drive along the coast back to Athens. In the evening, enjoy a hearty Celebration Dinner in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    Cruising to Mykonos

    (Relaxed Start) Board your cruise ship and set sail for the lovely island of Mykonos with its dazzling sugar cube houses and whitewashed windmills. Tonight, the maze of walkways, welcoming tavernas and nightlife are yours to explore. Late in the evening, your cruise sails across the Aegean to Turkey. While cruising, enjoy an exquisite variety of Mediterranean dishes as well as flavours, aromas and spices from around the world. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are served on board daily. Your cruise includes complimentary soft-drinks, tea and coffee. Once on-board, your drinks package can be upgraded for an additional cost, to include alcohol if you wish.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Kusadasi and Patmos

    Wake up to find you have docked at the Turkish port of Kusadasi where you visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus with a Local Expert. In the afternoon, sail to the island of Patmos where St. John the Devine was exiled by the Emperor Domitian. Later, your cruise sets sail for Rhodes.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Rhodes

    (Relaxed Start) Upon arrival at Rhodes, chosen by the Crusaders as their fortified headquarters, day is yours to explore at your own pace. Perhaps take a walking tour of the old town surrounded by medieval walls, or simply enjoy a relaxing day on the golden beaches? In the evening, your cruise continues to Crete.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Crete and Santorini

    (Relaxed Start) In the morning, you dock at Heraklion in Crete. Perhaps take an optional experience to the Palace of King Minos? Later, cruise beneath the sheer cliffs of Santorini. Explore the capital of Thira, with its clifftop restaurants and cafés, breathtaking views and amazing sunsets. In the evening you sail onto Athens.

  11. Day 11

    Athens

    Disembark in the morning and transfer to your hotel where you are at leisure. Relax, shop or barter in the flea market. Perhaps ask about an optional experience to the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion?

  12. Day 12

    Depart Athens

    Bid farewell to Athens. Your journey ends with a transfer to the airport.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Athens: Ascend the ‘Sacred Rock', the Acropolis, to admire the Parthenon built in 5th century BC as well as the smaller Temple of Athena Nike and ‘Porch of the Maidens'.
  • Argolis: View beautiful works of art during your visit to a family-run pottery studio, which embraces traditional methods.
  • Olympia: Olympia was the original location of the Olympic Games, held every four years during a 1,000-year period as a celebration of the Hellenic spirit. Here lie the ruins of temples and treasures dedicated to Zeus, King of the Gods.

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Mycenae: Walk through the Lion Gate past the royal ‘beehive' tombs where Schliemann uncovered golden treasure, hearing tales of Agamemnon (hacked to death in his bath by his wife Klytemnestra!).
  • Epidaurus: Visit the Sanctuary of Asklepios. In the centre of the enclosure stood the temple dedicated to the god of medicine. Visit the museum, as well as the best preserved open-air theatre in the whole of Greece.
  • Delphi: Ascend the Sacred Way, once lined with offertory temples. See the reconstructed Athenian Treasury and pass the superb Polygonal Wall to reach the Temple of Apollo, where the people would seek divine wisdom from the mysterious Oracle.
  • Meteora: Visit one of the remarkable, centuries-old monasteries of Meteora, teetering on towers of rock, and arguably the most spectacular place to visit in Greece.
  • Athens: Delve into their glorious history with a visit to the Acropolis, still dominating the frantic bustle of modern Athens with its serene presence. Admire the Parthenon, built in 5th century BC to the honour of the goddess Athena, see the Caryatid beauties as well as the smaller Temple of Athena Nike.
  • Ephesus: Your Local Expert guides you through the famous archelogical site.

ADDITIONAL INCLUDED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Athens: See Hadrian's Arch and the Temple of Zeus.
  • Corinth Canal: Cross the amazing rock-cut channel dividing the Peloponnese from mainland Greece.
  • Patras: Cross world's longest multi-span cable-stayed bridge.
  • Thermopylae: See the memorial to Leonidas and his heroic Spartans.
  • Athens: See the Royal Palace, Agora, Hadrian’s Arch & Temple of Zeus.
  • Ephesus: Your Local expert will guide you through one of the world's finest archeological sites.
  • Mediterranean Legends Cruising: Visit the Greek Islands of Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete & Santorini. Call in at the Turkish port of Kusadasi.

AUTHENTIC REGIONAL FLAVOURS

  • Olympia: Join a local chef and get to grips with the local flavours in an introduction to Greek cooking.
  • Athens: Toast the culmination of your tour in true Greek tradition at a lively Celebration Dinner with wine.
  • Cruising: While cruising, enjoy an exquisite variety of Mediterranean dishes as well as flavours, aromas and spices from around the world. Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner are served on board daily.
  • 12 Breakfasts (BB), 4 Lunches (L), 6 three-course table d'hôte Dinners or Buffets (D); plus 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Signature Evening (SE) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee. Your cruise includes a complimentary soft-drinks package (with tea and coffee). Once on-board, your drinks package can be upgraded for an additional cost, to include alcohol if you wish.

STAY AT THE BEST ADDRESSES

  • Athens: The Divani Caravel is a luxury hotel situated in the heart of Athens. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, it epitomises refinement, elegance and exceptional service.
  • Nafplion: Nafplia Palace is located on the slope of the ancient fortress of Akronafplia. It offers rooms with views of the Argolic Bay and spacious private balconies overlooking Nafplion and Bourtzi island fort.
  • Olympia: At the Antonios Hotel, the emphasis is on a comfortable and cosy stay. Take advantage of the discreet service and tranquil atmosphere. Rooms are functional and offer all the essential comforts.
  • Delphi: The Amalia Hotel is located within walking distance from the famous attractions of Delphi, the Archaeological Museum, the temple of Apollo and the Castalia Fountain.
  • Kalambaka: The Divani Meteroa is surrounded by the majestic, towering rocks known as Meteora, in the charming village of Kalambaka.
  • Athens: The Divani Caravel is a luxury hotel situated in the heart of Athens. A member of The Leading Hotels of the World, it epitomises refinement, elegance and exceptional service.
  • Cruising: Celestyal Cruise ships operating in the Eastern Mediterranean are typically in a more local style and are smaller than many ocean going vessels – which is also reflected in cabin size. However, these ships are well-suited to the Greek islands, allowing easier access to the ports of call. All mid-size cruise ships feature air-conditioned cabins with private facilities, outdoor pool, fitness centre, beauty salon, casino, bars & restaurants.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • 4 nights aboard your mid-size cruise ship featuring air-conditioned cabins with private facilities, outdoor pool, fitness centre, beauty salon, casino, bars & restaurants.
  • Cruises include all port taxes and crew gratuities.
  • Whilst cruising Breakfast (B), Lunch (L) and Dinner (D) are served daily.
  • All-inclusive soft-drinks package.
  • Shore excursion to Ephesus with a Local Expert.
  • Insight hotels include all service charges, taxes and porterage.
  • Sightseeing by air-conditioned coach with on-board toilet.
  • Locally hosted in Athens.
  • Services of a Cruise Director while cruising.
  • Headsets for all guided visits and walking tours in Athens.
  • Arrival and departure transfers between the airports and your Insight tour hotels.

Optional experiences

Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations. The Optionals and pricing listed here are a guideline only and subject to change.

Dinner "Meze" Style In Psiri

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 centre of the table. Also enjoy the local free-flowing wine! (Casual dress).

Adult Price: EUR 50.00

Code: ATH0001

Traditional Greek Taverna Meal With Entertainment

This is an evening excursion to a taverna in the centre of Athens. Excellent traditional Greek food in a lively atmosphere, entertained through 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: EUR 55.00

Code: ATH0003

Cape Sounion

Take a relaxing trip down to the southernmost tip of Mainland Greece to see the fifth century B.C Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. See if you can spot where Byron carved his initials on one of the temple’s sixteen columns. Marvel at the sheer rugged beauty of the coastline and the ancient temple perched above a 197-foot drop down to the Aegean Sea below. Stand above the site of the world’s first lighthouse, overlooking an area steeped in classical Greek history, ever since the tragic King Aegeas threw himself from the rocky precipice into the sea below, thereby giving his name to the Aegean Sea.

Adult Price: EUR 40.00

Code: ATH0005

A Step into Authentic Greek Culture

Feel the warmth of Greek hospitality this evening as we are welcomed to a unique venue overlooking inimitable Athens. Tonight we will experience many aspects of traditional Greek life as our hosts divulge secrets of traditional bread making, the art of weaving, and the production of flour, but to name a few. Following, we enjoy appetizers of warm home - made bread, olive oil, olives with Greek feta cheese, and a glass of ouzo, whilst a local chef delights you with a cooking lesson, sharing recipes of many favourite dishes. These will be savored afterwards during our traditional dinner accompanied by free flowing wine. The festivity continues as we watch skilled dancers dressed in authentic costumes perform famous dances such as ‘Zeimbekiko’ and “Kalamatiano”. Join the dancers and as the custom dictates-break plates whilst trying out your dancing steps! Dinner with drinks, cooking demonstration, and entertainment included.

Adult Price: EUR 55.00

Code: ATH0014

Flavours of Parnassos Mountain and Wine Tasting

A delightful evening commences as we meet our local wine expert at our welcoming restaurant. Located in the heart of the village of Delphi, it overlooks a sea of olive trees covering the stunning valley below. As we discover the tantalizing local wines and learn about the indigenous grape varieties cultivated locally, we savor a variety of Greek hors d’oeuvres followed by a choice of delicious entrees and sumptuous dessert. A wonderful night to remember! Wine tasting, drinks and dinner included.

Adult Price: EUR 49.00

Code: DEL0001

Minoan Palace Of Knossos - 1st European Civilization

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 the Knossos palace and observing the finds even as passers-by, you will feel part of this cultural heritage.

Adult Price: EUR 70.00

Code: HER0001

Romantic Nafplion the First Capital of Greece with Nemea Wine Tasting

According to archaeological excavations, wine was first produced in Nemea almost 3500 years ago. Today it’s one of the largest winemaking regions of Greece and produces some of its best wines. We’ll enjoy a wine tasting and then return to Nafplion, where we’ll have free time to explore this beautiful port city, with its incredible history, before returning to our ship.

Adult Price: EUR 70.00

Code: NAF0002

Patmos Countryside Tour With Hora And Grotto Of Apocalypse

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; 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: EUR 65.00

Code: PAT0002

Medieval Tour - Acropolis Of Lindos And The Citadel Of The Knights

We visit Lindos, the jewel of Rhodes, situated 55 km (40 miles) from the port and the city of Rhodes. Ascend the Acropolis of Lindos, with the ancient Temple of Athena, and marvel at the spectacular views of St Pauls Bay and the beautiful Aegean Sea below. In the village below see the captains’ mansions, and Church of the Virgin Mary of Lindos, with frescoes from the 15th century. Returning to Rhodes town, we see the medieval walls and walk on to the best preserved Medieval Street, the Street of the Knights.

Adult Price: EUR 74.00

Code: RHO0001

Spectacular Oia Village Perched On The Caldera Rim

First we'll visit Megalochori, one of the most authentic and unspoiled villages of the island. Continuing east, we'll pass through settlements like Kamari, Monolithos and Fira and experience unsurpassed panoramic views. Arriving in Oia, you'll have plenty of time to stroll through the marble-paved alleys, gaze at the adorably cute shops, take pictures, and become acquainted with the characteristic buildings, carved into the rocks. As well as the unusual captains’ manors, the settlement Ammoudi at the foot of the caldera.

Adult Price: EUR 70.00

Code: SAN0009

Accommodation

 

Crowne Plaza Radisson Blu Park Divani Caravel Athens

Athens (Central) - Greece

Crowne Plaza/Radisson Blu Park/Divani Caravel, Athens

Nafplia Palace Hotel and Villas Amphitryon Amalia Nauplia

Nauplia (Scenic) - Greece

Nafplia Palace Hotel & Villa Nauplia/Amphitryon/Amalia, Nauplio

Antonios Hotel Arty Grand Olympia Amalia Olympia

Olympia (Scenic) - Greece

Antonios/Arty Grand Hotel/Amalia, Olympia

Amalia Delphi Aegli Arachova Delphi Apollonia Delphi

Delphi (Scenic) - Greece

Amalia Delphi/Aegli Resort & Spa (Arachova)/Apollonia, Delphi

Divani Meteora Hotel or Grand Meteora Hotel or Meteora Kastraki Kalambaka

Kalambaka (Traditional) - Greece

Divani Meteora Hotel: Surrounded by the majestic, towering rocks known as Meteora, in the charming village of Kalambaka.
Grand Meteora: Located in Laspes Kastrakiou, Grand Meteora Hotel offers accommodation with views over the Meteora Rocks, free WiFi access in all areas and a short distance to Kastraki Village and Kalabaka Town.
Meteora Hotel: This hotel is the most modern hotel in Meteora, but still retains its traditional roots. It offers unique comforts and splendid spaces of relaxation that characterize them the detail and the originality in the decorative assiduity.

GUEST REVIEWS & EXPERIENCES

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on 7784 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 06 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Athens and the bus trip stops were terrific. I wasn't enthused to go to monasteries , but many people were. I especially like the local speakers at the other bus trip stops. They explained their sites extremely well. The cruise stops were fine except for Santorini. I felt that I paid for a trip and was left to shop (after being many places with shops.) The view was excellent, but we were given no information. That is the reason for the 4 instead of 5 rating. The rug dealer in Turkey was different because we learned a lot.

    Service: Our tour director, Susanna Paakko, is the outstanding reason my trip was so fine. She was at the hotel even though I arrived a day early. All the transportation on land and sea was seamless due to her care. She enriched my experience because of how she "took care" of every person in our group. You are fortunate to have her in your company.

  • 06 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: See comment on previous page

    Service: Good combination of land and sea visits. Hotels of very acceptable standard. Top Tour Director who was well organised and smoothed potential difficulties. She cared for all in her group. As a solo traveller she ensured that I was included and invited me to lunch with her on a couple of occasions.

  • 04 November, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Loved the tour of Ancient Greece, experts were amazing!

    Service: Knowledge of ancient sites was amazing And our tour guide made everything seamless. We were met a day early and pampered every step of the trip. Susanna was the most amazing guide -even when not taking a planned tour she would leave maps and information, suggestions for the morning . Way above our Expectations.

  • 15 October, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: This cruise had everything packed into 4/5 days of cruising. Would have liked more time at all stops as there was so much to see in a short space of time. All islands were unique and well worth visiting. Ephesus was highlight with local guide John (Can) and now we want to see more of Turkey. MV Celestyal Olympia is a mid size ship, cabins small but comfortable and clean (as expected) and food choices were very good . You don't spend much time in cabin. We were too tired for entertainment at night and had fairly early starts each day. You don't go on this cruise for a rest especially when you do optional tours on islands.

    Service: Tour Director, Erin was excellent and well organised. Erin and the ship worked well together to make our trip a wonderful experience. We didn't have to worry about anything as Erin took care of everything and all went smoothly. The ship appreciates Insight Vacation guests and looks after them well.

  • 28 September, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The services in the dining room is excellent too.The cook even fixed our native foods

    Service: Our trip was well planned.Our tour director Moraig Mac Gregor is excellent.We saw everything that we need to see in such a short period of time

  • 19 September, 2017

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: As I stated on the previous screen, loved my tour guide, Lisa - Very knowledgeable and made you feel right at home - Always a smile and interacted with everyone so well. Our coach driver was nice and accommodating. Dinners and activities were great. Nic, our cruise guide, was very nice. If I do this trip again, I would just pic 2 islands to go to and spend a few days on each. Insight is #1. This was my 3rd trip and was not disappointed!

    Service: Loved my tour guide, Lisa. Tour exceeded my expectations. Hotels were great, coach driver was great and accommodating. Lisa was very knowledgeable and made you feel right at home. Always smiling and full of life. Nic, our guide for the island cruise, was very nice. I'm glad I got to see as many islands as I did, but I think next time I would just pick out 2 and spend a few days on each. This was my 3rd trip with Insight and was not disappointed. Traveled wit Trafalgar before but cannot compare with Insight. You're #1!

NB: Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Note prices displayed reflect available discounted rates (i.e. Early Payment Discount, Last Minute Deals). All trip information is correct at time of trips going live, however is subject to change, please confirm all details at time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.
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