Greece and Eastern Mediterranean

Greece & Eastern Mediterranean

Regional Journey

Treasures of Greece and the Islands (Summer 2018)

Duration: 15 days Visiting: Greece

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

This journey should top every traveller’s wish list. Explore 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

    Your Journey Begins

    Board your overnight flight to Europe (Please ask about our great deals).

  2. Day 2

    Welcome to Athens.

    An Insight host will meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel, where there is time to settle in and relax.
    At 19:00, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception, get to know your fellow travellers over a delightful evening of dinner and wine.

  3. Day 3

    Athens, City of Gods.

    Your exploration reveals the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Wingless Victory and Hadrian’s Arch. Next, your Local Expert takes you to the Parthenon, built atop the Acropolis. Continue to Thermopylae, famous as the mountain pass where King Leonidas led his Spartan army, along with fellow Greek soldiers, into battle against the Persians in 480 B.C. See the memorial dedicated to Leonidas and his courageous Spartans, then on to your hotel in Kalambaka for dinner.

  4. Day 4 - Relaxed Start

    The pinnacles of Meteora.

    With your Local Expert, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora, meaning 'in the air.' The massive pinnacles of smooth rock are ancient, yet could also be the setting for a futuristic science-fiction tale. Visit one of the monasteries, that adds to the strange and beautiful landscape and enjoy stunning views over the Peneios Valley. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Why not explore with a leisurely walk on the nature trails? Alternatively, you may wish to visit the Natural History Museum.

  5. Day 5

    The Sacred Way and onto Olympia.

    Travel south, stopping at the foothills of Mount Parnassus. Ascend the Sacred Way of Delphi with your Local Expert, passing the Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians and Polygonal Wall. You'll approach the Temple of Apollo, where for 14 centuries the mysterious Oracle of Delphi breathed her enigmatic 'words'. Continue to Olympia where dinner is served in your hotel.

  6. Day 6

    Ancient Olympia.

    It's all in the name. Ancient Olympia is the site where the Ancient Olympic Games began in 776 B.C. in dedication to the god Zeus. See the Temple of Zeus, the athletes gymnasium and the stadium of Olympia. The starting and finishing markers for the sprint track are still marked by stones and there is time to capture your own memory with a photo at the starting line. In the evening, join a local chef for an entertaining cooking demonstration, followed by a dinner of authentic Greek flavours.

  7. Day 7

    Mycenae and Nafplio.

    Visit the ruined city of Mycenae 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. Travel to the elegant town of Nafplio, known for its beautiful architecture, colour shops and cafes. Your journey continues following the shores of the Saronic Gulf to pass the Corinth Canal dividing the Peloponnesse and mainland Greece, and arriving in Athens. In the evening, enjoy a hearty dinner in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.

  8. Day 8

    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.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Mykonos Mystique

    This day is the first of 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?

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Mykonos at Leisure.

    Another day to explore or relax as you wish. Perhaps swim the endless array of dazzling beaches that surround the island? Or maybe enjoy a cocktail on the waterfront at Little Venice?

  11. Day 11

    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.

  12. Day 12 - Relaxed Start

    The Sunsets of Santorini.

    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. In the evening, you'll witness the first of the golden sunsets for which the island is famous.

  13. Day 13 - Relaxed Start

    Santorini as you wish.

    Another day to relax and unwind on the black, red and white beaches, or why not take a kaiki (traditional Greek fishing boat) over to the volcanic islands for a swim in the hot springs? The island's delicious cuisine, whitewashed houses that gleam in the bright Aegean sun, narrow cobblestone streets and world-renowned sunsets all combine to make Santorini a truly unique holiday experience.

  14. Day 14 - Relaxed Start

    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.

  15. Day 15

    Depart Athens.

    Your journey comes to an end with a transfer to Athens airport.

Highlights

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Mycenae: Meet the artisans of a family-run pottery studio and learn about their unique traditional methods.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Athens: Ascend the Acropolis with a Local Expert to admire the Parthenon, built in 5th century B.C., as well as the smaller Temple of Athena Nike and the Porch of the Maidens.
  • Thermopylae: See the Leonidas Monument dedicated to the brave warrior and his 300 Spartans.
  • Meteora: With a Local Expert, 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.
  • Delphi: With your Local Expert, walk to 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.
  • Olympia: The stadium of Olympia hosted the ancient Olympic Games and the Heraia, the women's games in honour of Hera. See the Temple of Zeus, athlete's gymnasium and the stone marker where the sprint began.
  • Mycenae: Walk through the Lion Gate past the royal beehive-tombs where Schliemann uncovered golden treasure, while hearing tales of Agamemnon from your Local Expert.
  • Mykonos: Walk the winding cobbled streets of Mykonos town and see the three windmills guarding the old port.
  • Santorini: Enjoy views over the famous submerged caldera.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Olympia: Join a local chef and savour the regional specialties in a fun, exciting introduction to Greek cooking.
  • Dining Summary: 13 Buffet Breakfasts (BB), 3 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight's luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with onboard washroom. Alternate vehicles without onboard washroom or 40 seats may be used on occasion.
  • On departures with 8 or more guests, personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert's fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included - you'll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • Your stay on the islands is locally hosted. On departures with 10 or more guests, travel between islands is fully escorted.
  • Transportation on the islands is by air-conditioned coach or luxury minibus.
  • High-speed ferry transfers 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.
  • Included one-way economy class flight from Santorini to Athens with transfers between airports and hotels.
  • Complimentary transfers from/to Athens Airport are available on arrival and departure days, or with additional accommodation booked through Insight Vacations.

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 trips. 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.

Lively Trikala Town And Dinner

Experience the picturesque and lively town of Trikala, considered to have been the birth place of the “God of Medicine” Asclepius. Enjoy an orientation of the town; walk along the river side and the pedestrian streets in the company also of the locals out socializing for the evening. Afterwards Dine at a local restaurant Greek family style, and taste a variety of sumptious dishes all served in the middle of the table, accompanied by plenty of wine!

Adult Price: EUR 45.00

Code: TRI0001

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 68.00

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 42.00

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 57.00

Code: SAN0001

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 75.00

Code: SAN0002

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 44.00

Code: SAN0003

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 49.00

Code: SAN0021

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

Accommodation

 

Divani Caravel Hotel or Radisson Blu Park Hotel Athens

Athens (Traditional/Contemporary) - Greece

Divani Caravel Hotel: An elegant hotel fantastic access to the key highlights of Athens. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, offers luxury and style in the heart of the historical city of Athens.
Radisson Blu Park Hotel: Overlooking Pedion Areos Park, Radisson Blu Park Hotel Athens boasts sophisticated urban design with elegantly designed accommodation equipped with free Wi-Fi access.

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.

Arty Grand Hotel or Amalia Hotel Olympia

Olympia (Traditional) - Greece

Arty Grand Hotel: Built in the hill above Ancient Olympia, this hotel exhales good taste. Its particular physiognomy is something that you experience with all your senses from the first moment that you find yourself in its spaces.
Amalia Hotel Olympia: This is a unique place that combines the energy, the space, the serenity of Ancient Olympia, set in a green landscape filled with olive trees. From every corner of the white marbled spacious lobby, guests enjoy the endless green scenery along with the open air terrace of the lounge café.

San Antonio Summerland Hotel or Rhenia Hotel or Acrogiali Hotel

Mykonos (Traditional) - Greece

Rhenia Hotel: An exclusive traditional hotel in Mykonos with breath-taking sea views. Comprising the traditional architectural elements with comfort facilities and simple but modern design throughout the property, this hotel represents Mykonos’ accommodation and hospitality at its best.

Divani Caravel Hotel Athens

Athens (Traditional) - Greece

An elegant hotel fantastic access to the key highlights of Athens. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, offers luxury and style in the heart of the historical city of Athens.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
10940 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 09 August, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Excellent. A really good idea staying two nights in areas rather than the one

    Service: The tour was excellent. A good balance of old Greece and then finishing up at Mykonos and Santorini. We had the best Tour Director and Driver. The only improvement could be a couple of better restaurants for meals. The cooking class restaurant was excellent.

  • 23 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was very good. However, I would have liked a little more time in Athens.

    Service: Insight took care of all of the organizing and details of the trip. Our tour director was knowledgeable and provided excellent customer service.

  • 23 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinerary was busy. This is not a negative comment. Greece has so much to see and learn about its ancient history. Therefore, to make the most of our trip and our days it was necessary provide a schedule that was necessary to learn about their culture, history ancient and modern, ethnic Greek foods and enable us to walk about city of Athens and other metropolitan areas even if they were small.

    Service: Dimitri, our guide, was very organized and adressed all questions immediately in a very timely manner. Bottles of cold water were made available throughout the trip for a nominal fee of only $.50. When we arrived at the hotel's lobby our rooms were ready or ready within one hour. Our bags were brought up to the room nearly immediately. John Rossi and Charlene DiCarlo

  • 23 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Met expectations of trip

    Service: Yes

  • 16 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Just a little jam packed for me, personally. So glad I got to see so much of Greece, but bad knees and hips made a few of the locations difficult....strictly my issue, and no reflection on Insight. We had free time to enjoy ourselves, with lots of optional excursions. We opted in on most, but I had to sit out a couple due to fatigue, and to deal with a death in my family. Was disappointed to miss any part of the tour, but my granddaughter was able to go and take pictures to share.

    Service: This was my 5th trip with Insight. I have always found them to be reasonably priced, their tour directors and local guides knowledgeable, and the groups a joy. On our trip to Greece, Erin (tour director) was extraordinary! She was helpful, knowledgeable and flexible, changing plans when necessary to insure the comfort, safety and enjoyment of the group. Her recommendations of local restaurants, shops and sites were spot on. Insight Vacations will always be my first choice when on tour, and I will continue to highly recommend them to friends and strangers alike!

  • 16 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We saw so many important sites! It was very organized. We would never have seen Greece like this on our own. It was fast paced the first week and then relaxed the second week.

    Service: Insight Vacations took care of all the details. They had extra surprises that enhanced the experience. The tour director and driver were amazing. I will definitely travel with Insight again.

  • 14 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The sites that we visited were well-chosen and the guides were well-informed. The inclusion of some two nights stays at hotels was appreciated.

    Service: The service was caring, thoughtful, and highly organized. The activities were well chosen and the pacing was good. Hotels were great

  • 10 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Well thought out. Group was able to participate in nearly every activity in the itinerary.

    Service: Found nothing to criticise with whole tour organisation.

  • 09 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We saw all of the key sights.

    Service: Out tour director was excellent. She showed tremendous concern for our well being and happiness. Greece and especially the islands are a place which can be very confusing and the tour director kept us organized and taken care of the entire time. Also the Insight coach is excellent. The leg room is much appreciated.

  • 09 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Interesting tours, multiple tour guides to allow for maximum information exchange. Smart use of electronics to accommodate better better listening via headphones. And on top of the incredible sites, we get to see two of the many beautiful islands of Greece.

    Service: My wife and I had a wonderful time and an incredible vacation. Our Insight Tour guide really made the trip memorable and so very meaningful. Being Greek herself, she made us feel so welcome to Greece and she was so warm and thoughtful toward her Greek contacts throughout the trip that we too felt the same toward them as well. All of the little shops along the way.... it was so very heartwarming to see how connected she was to them all and made us feel the same as well.I personally felt a special kinship toward her and the Greek people, being Armenian myself. The Greeks and Armenians share some difficult history as a people, and it was a bit emotional but important for me to hear her talk of this. And with all of the wonderful sites we visited on the mainland, then we had the pleasure of stays in Mykonos and Santorini. Could it have been any better? Absolutely not!

  • 04 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Please see previous comment.

    Service: Great tour director, Nikos. The first week of the tour was rushed, in stark contrast with the second half.

  • 02 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Covered a range of destinations and experiences.

    Service: Guide Nikos was brilliant. So personable, knowledgeable and entertaining.

*Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however are subject to confirmation at the time of booking. Prices displayed reflect available discounted rates such Early Payment Discount or Last Minute Deals (discounts are not combinable). Discounts may be withdrawn at anytime, book early to confirm space. 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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