Treasures of Greece & the Islands - Insight Vacations

Treasures of Greece and the Islands (Summer 2017)

Duration: 14 days Visiting: Greece

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  • Overview
  • Itinerary
  • Highlights
  • Optional experiences
  • Accommodation
  • Reviews
  • Dates & prices

This tour should top every traveller's wish list. Tour the sun-kissed temples and time-worn towns of the mainland and visit two of the most romantic islands on earth, where relaxing on the beach or in local cafes is the order of the day.

  1. Day 1

    Welcome to Athens!

    Enjoy your complimentary private VIP door-to-door transfer to your UK departure airport. You will be 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 pleasant evening of dinner and wine.

  2. Day 2

    The Parthenon, Mycenae & on to Nafplio

    The morning's sightseeing with a Local Expert reveals the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Wingless Victory and Hadrian's Arch. The highlight is a visit to the Parthenon, built atop the mighty Acropolis. Then follow the shores of the Saronic Gulf to the Corinth Canal, which divides the Peloponnese from mainland Greece. Next is the ruined city of Mycenae, featured in epics of Homer. Walk with a Local Expert 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 one of the most spectacular collections of ancient findings in Greece at the Archeological Museum. Then a delightful drive takes you through the mountains of Arkadia to Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games. In the 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

    With a Local Expert, see the Olympic Stadium, where the original games were first held in 776BC, plus the athletes' gymnasium and the city's ancient temples. Then head north to Patras and cross the soaring Rio-Antirrio Bridge to the mainland. Follow the coast road before driving into 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, once lined with offertory temples and statues to the honour of Apollo. Pass the Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians and superb Polygonal Wall to reach the legendary Temple of Apollo, where the mysterious Oracle of Delphi breathed her enigmatic ‘words'. Continuing north, stop at the pass at Thermopylae, site of one of history's most famous last stands in 480BC. Pass by the market town of Trikala to Kalambaka.

  6. Day 6

    Scenic drive to the Monasteries of Meteora and to Athens

    With a Local Expert, visit one of the amazing Meteora monasteries, incredibly perched on top of pinnacles of rock and enjoy stunning views over the Peneios Valley. Afterwards, cross fertile Thessaly, for a scenic drive along the coast to return to Athens. In the evening, enjoy a hearty Celebration Dinner in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.

  7. Day 7

    Across the Mediterranean to Mykonos

    An early departure takes you to the port of Piraeus where your high-speed ferry awaits to whisk you over to the Island of Mykonos, playground of the rich and famous. On arrival, you are transferred to your hotel.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Mykonos Mystique

    (Relaxed Start) You have two glorious days at leisure. Explore the town with its winding maze of walkways, white-washed houses, magnificent windmills and uninhibited nightlife. Perhaps watch the sunset at Shirley Valentine Beach or take a short boat ride to Delos?

  9. Day 10

    Set Sail for Santorini

    Board the high-speed ferry bound for the truly beautiful island of Santorini. You are met at the port and transferred to your hotel.

  10. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    The Sunsets of Santorini

    (Relaxed Start) With two more sun-drenched days on one of the most romantic islands on earth, you won't ever want to leave. Relax in clifftop restaurants, laze on the sun-soaked beaches or observe history unearthed at the site of Akrotiri.

  11. Day 13

    Flight to Athens

    In the morning, maybe take one last dip in the pool and grab your final glimpse over the lustrous Aegean and world-famous caldera. You are transferred to the airport for your return flight to Athens.

  12. Day 14

    Depart Athens

    Your journey comes to an end with a transfer to Athens airport. On arrival at your UK airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your return private VIP transfer home.

Highlights

 

SIGNATURE EXPERIENCES

  • Athens: With a Local Expert, 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".
  • 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 with a Local Expert, teetering on towers of rock, and arguably, the most spectacular place to visit in Greece!

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!).
  • 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 1000 year period, as a celebration of the Hellenic spirit. Here lie the ruins of temples and treasures dedicated to Zeus, King of the Gods.

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.
  • Mykonos: Walk the winding cobbled streets of Mykonos town and the three windmills guarding the old port.
  • Santorini: Enjoy views over the famous submerged caldera.

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 Classical mainland tour at a lively Celebration Dinner with wine.
  • 13 Breakfasts (BB), 2 three-course table d'hôte Dinners or Buffets, with tea or coffee (D); 1 Welcome Dinner (WD), 1 Signature Evening (SE) and 1 Celebration Dinner (CD) all with wine, plus tea or coffee.

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 epitomizes refinement, elegance and exceptional service.
  • Nafplio: 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.

ADDITIONAL FIVE STAR SERVICES

  • On mainland Greece, an expert Insight Tour Director, smooths your way throughout your journey. They are your 'travelling concierges', expert guides, consummate organisers and friends in a foreign land.
  • Enjoy the unique comfort of Insight's luxury air-conditioned 40 seat coach with extended leg room and on-board restroom. It's business class comfort.
  • Personal radio headsets, gives you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights without missing any of your local expert's fascinating insights and commentaries.
  • Baggage handling everywhere, with seamless and prompt delivery to your door at every hotel. Hotel and restaurant tips included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. Plus we include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Insight Flourishes - from time to time, your Tour Director will enchant you with local tidbits, each representing authentic food or beverages unique to the destination.
  • Included airport transfers on arrival and departure days.
  • Your stay on the islands is locally hosted. Travel between islands is fully escorted with a group size of 10 or more. Island transfers by air-conditioned coach or minibus.
  • High-Speed ferries from Athens to Mykonos and Santorini. (Ferry schedules and the availability of High-Speed ferries may be affected by adverse weather conditions and other unforeseen circumstances. Porterage is not available on ferries).
  • One way economy class flight from Santorini to Athens.

Optional experiences

Most Insight tours 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 Tour Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your tour. 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.

Ancient Delos

We take a boat ride to Delos, once a Sacred Island, the legendary birthplace of God Apollo and his twin sister Artemis. Today Delos is one of the most important archaeological sites of the eastern Mediterranean. We see amongst others, the remains of the Temple of Apollo, the sanctuary of Artemis, the old city and the theatre and then walk down the celebrated Lion Street. In the museum of Delos one can admire Archaic, Classical, Hellenistic and Roman Sculptures, a collection of vessels from all periods as well as small items of everyday use. Transfers to/from port and entrance included.

Adult Price: EUR 65.00

Code: MYK0003

Mykonos Island Tour

A walking tour through Mykonos town takes us through the labyrinth of windy streets, boasting beautifully white washed cubed architecture with iconic blue shutters and blue domed churches. See the old port with little fishing boats and stunning yachts while walking towards “little Venice” to see the picturesque famous windmills. We might just see Petros the Pelican- Mykonos’ mascot the the secrets of the cosmopolitan yet traditional town are revealed. We explore the island, visiting some of the most beautiful beaches and viewing the landscape of inland Mykonos. Visit “Ano Mera” and its famous Monastery, and Kalafatis beach, to perhaps enjoy a swim in the beautiful Aegean Sea.

Adult Price: EUR 37.00

Code: MYK0001

Santorini Island Tour With Visit To Akrotiri

We drive to the highest point of the island - Profitis Ilias for stunning views of the island, and make our way to the village of Pyrgos, to see the iconic blue domed churches and classic Cycladic architecture. Afterwards we visit the prehistoric Akrotiri – a Bronze Age settlement destroyed by a huge eruption during the 17th century BC and buried under the volcanic ash, preserving the whole city in perfect condition. It is often referred often as “Prehistoric Pompei”. Afterwards we head for the black sand beach of Perivolos, passing picturesque villages. Enjoy a time at leisure on the beach where we can swim, have lunch or do both. Entrance to Akrotiri included.

Adult Price: EUR 52.00

Code: SAN0001

Senses Of Santorini And Oia Sunset

We head to the Baxedes region of Santorini to visit our acclaimed local winery. We will enjoy a variety of local “meze” (Greek hors d’oeurves) which will enchant your taste buds; sample the stunning locally produced wines, walk in the vineyards, see the “kalathies” vines and the unique way that locals have been growing grapes for centuries. We take a short drive to the spectacular village of Oia. Walk through the marble streets and have time at leisure in the village for magnificent photos. We will stroll to our chosen spot to marvel the sunset and perhaps enjoy local delicacies at one of the local restaurants. We are sure Oia will delight your senses! Wine tasting and light snack included.(Dinner not included).

Adult Price: EUR 40.00

Code: SAN0003

Sunset On Board

This afternoon we board our large wooden “ caique” and set off to the Volcano. Take the opportunity to climb up to the top of the volcano and experience a real active volcano, or perhaps stay on board, relax and enjoy the amazing view. Afterwards we can swim in the hot springs and enjoy the natural spa like feeling of the thermal waters. We enjoy a casual dinner with wine on board accompanied by music, and marvel at the sunset and the breathtaking village of Oia high above on the Cliffside. Dinner with wine included.Volcano entrance of €2.00 per person is not included.

Adult Price: EUR 70.00

Code: SAN0002

Traditional Greek Wedding Show

This evening you are invited to take part as a guest in a traditional Greek wedding. A life changing ceremony, a group celebration. Be part of the story. Meet the family. Eat, drink, dance, and break plates. The custom is traditional. The experience is not! This Greek Wedding Show is not only a Greek Night, but an unforgettable interactive musical experience!

Adult Price: EUR 45.00

Code: SAN0021

Dinner "Meze" Style In Psiri With Acropolis Illuminations

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! After dinner we are whisked away on our wheeled mini train for a fun ride up one the most famous streets in Athens for a fantastic photo opportunity of the Acropolis illuminated so beautifully (Casual dress).

Adult Price: EUR 54.00

Code: ATH0002

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

Accommodation

 

Antonios Hotel Arty Grand Olympia Amalia Olympia

Olympia (Scenic) - Greece

Complimentary Wifi

Antonios/Arty Grand Hotel/Amalia, Olympia

Amalia Delphi Aegli Arachova Delphi Apollonia Delphi

Delphi (Scenic) - Greece

Complimentary Wifi

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

Divani Meteora Grand Meteora Hotel Meteora Kastraki Kalambaka

Kalambaka (Contemporary) - Greece

Complimentary Wifi

Divani Caravel Crowne Plaza Athens

Athens (Central) - Greece

Complimentary Wifi

Divani Caravel/Crowne Plaza, Athens.

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  • 5 out of 5

    A vacation to remember

    10/17/2016 Hwang Sim, Wheelers Hill, Australia

    Had the most awesome 14 days in Greece, with the last week spent on Mykonos and Santorini. Though there were not as many places to visit in Athens (compared to when we just been to Rome), outside Athens made up for it. We not only learn about the food and culture, i just realised that the history of Greece back dated to prior Christ was born! It was a trip to remember.

    2 out of 2 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Outstanding

    6/19/2015 Davese Gallarini, Orange, United States

    We took our dream trip for two weeks to Greece. Insight vacations is absolutely outstanding. Nickos, our tour guide was phenomenal and took care of every single detail and concern. He went overboard with coffees, cakes and treats. He has a true gift of working with people and made our trip what it was. With out him it wouldn't have been as good. Every day went perfect and we can't wait to travel with insight again. Thank you Miles and Davese Galla-Rini 239 S. Willow Springs Rd Orange Ca. 92869 714-244-6567 Gallarinis@sbcglobal.net

    3 out of 3 people found this comment useful

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  • 4 out of 5

    report from kevin barker

    6/16/2014 Ann Barker, Maroochydore, Australia

    the whole tour was well planned and organised.the group was happy and harmonious with different but compatable personalities . the insight staff were very knowledgeable and professionable and helpful. i expected that all the hotels selected would have free access to the wifi in our rooms or the lobby which seems standard now days,but this was not so. no tea making facilities in some rooms /hotels. the hotels all were good and staff helpful. some more more so than others .the hotels i mean. the buses and drivers were clean and comfortable with no difficulties... the tour had more walking than i personally expected and welcomed, but i realise greece is a land of history and wars and ruins and people have to walk thru these to see and appreciate them. we had been told that our bags would be transferred to brisbane from athens and were very happy that this happened in spite of changing airlines. please advise NICOS our greek guide.very helpful and professionable. thank you kevin barker

    11 out of 12 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Our visit to Greece ...

    6/16/2014 Donald Titus, Salmon Arm, Canada

    Not sure how we would handle a 'bus tour', we booked in the hopes of a positive experience. We were not disappointed. Now realize it was 'the only way to go'. Greece has so much to offer, it would have been a mistake to try it on our own. I realize we probably just 'scratched the surface', but the sights we saw and the things we learned gave us a huge insight of what this beautiful country has to offer. Our tour director was very knowledgable, well organized; our driver amazingly skilled and the local guides were excellent. Our hotels were very comfortable and the meals provided were very good. Great trip !!

    13 out of 13 people found this comment useful

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  • 5 out of 5

    Treasures of Greece and the Islands

    6/1/2014 Leslie Tod, Woodcroft, Australia

    Great tour. Tour director Lisa Tigkaraki was outstanding. The sites visited, Delphi, Delos, Mycenae, Temple of Zeus, Thermopylae, took one's breath away. The islands, Mykonos and Santorini were wonderful, the latter really lives up to the tourist brochures. Athens was a bit run-down and dirty because of austerity cuts, but the Greek people were welcoming, pleasant, courteous and many spoke English. And Lisa was always there to smooth the way. This was our fourth Insight tour - would not travel with anyone else. Thanks, Lisa. Les and Lyn

    14 out of 14 people found this comment useful

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*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, Red Hot Deal). All trip information is correct at time of tours 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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