Grecian Dreams

Greece & Turkey

Regional Journey

Grecian Dreams Premier (Summer 2020)

Duration: 12 days Visiting: Greece, Turkey

Prices from US${{lowPrice | number:0}}

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

This multi-layered journey showcases the temples and arenas of ancient Greece and Turkey with a highlight 4-day cruise to the glittering isles of the Aegean Sea.

  1. Day 1

    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, and get to know your fellow travellers over a delightful evening of dinner and wine.

  2. Day 2

    Athens, City of Gods.

    Your exploration reveals the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Arch of Hadrian. Next, your Local Expert takes you to the Parthenon, built atop the Acropolis. See the Temple of Athena Nike, also known as the Temple of the Wingless Victory, and the six stone-carved caryatids that make up the Porch of the Maidens on the Erechtheion. 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.

  3. Day 3 - 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 relaxed walk on the nature trails? Alternatively, you may wish to visit the Natural History Museum.

  4. Day 4

    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. Pass the Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians and Polygonal Wall with 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,' rumoured to have successfully predicted events related to the Argonauts expedition and the Trojan War. Your travels continue to Olympia where dinner is served in your hotel.

  5. Day 5

    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 ruined Temple of Zeus that was built to honour the chief of the gods. Continue your exploration through time to the athletes gymnasium and the Ancient Stadium of Olympia with the characteristic arch. 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 showcasing classic Greek cuisine. Experience the authentic Greek flavours as you savour dishes prepared for your Highlight Dinner.

  6. Day 6

    Mycenae and Nafplio.

    Today you leave the ancient city of Olympia and begin your journey back to the capital. Stop for a visit at 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 Peloponnese and mainland Greece, before arriving in 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.

    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. 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 onboard daily. Your cruise includes a complimentary drinks package with a selection of alcoholic, soft drinks and hot beverages.

  8. Day 8

    Kusadasi and Patmos.

    Today explore the Turkish port of Kusadasi and visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus. 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.

    Upon arrival at Rhodes, chosen by the Crusaders as their fortified headquarters, the day is yours to explore at your own pace. Perhaps join the included walking tour of the old town surrounded by medieval walls and the fishing village of Lindos 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.

    In the morning, you dock at Heraklion in Crete, the site of the ruins of King Minos' Palace of Knossos. Later, cruise beneath the sheer cliffs of Santorini. Explore the capital of Thira, with its clifftop restaurants and cafes, 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 bargain in the local 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

 

INSIGHT EXPERIENCES

  • Mycenae: Meet the artisans of a family-run pottery studio and learn about their unique traditional methods.
  • Oia: With you Local Expert, explore this village of Santorini during your included shore excursion.
  • Ephesus: Travel from Kusadasi to reach this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Led by your Local Expert, enjoy your time exploring the famed excavated site of this Greco-Roman treasure.

TOP RATED HIGHLIGHTS

  • Athens: Ascend the Acropolis with a Local Expert to admire the Parthenon, built in 5th century B.C. Steps away you'll see the Temple of Athena Nike, also known as the Temple of the Wingless Victory, and the six stone-carved caryatids that make up the Porch of the Maidens on the Erechtheion.
  • Athens: See the Arch of Hadrian, erected in honour of the Roman Emperor and used as a divider between the ancient city and the new Roman district, along with the remaining columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
  • Thermopylae: See the Leonidas Monument dedicated to the brave warrior and his 300 Spartans.
  • Kalambaka: Your Travel Director will provide an orientation of this town situated at the base of the extraordinary Meteora rocks.
  • 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.
  • Corinth Channel: Cross the amazing rock-cut channel dividing the Peloponnese from mainland Greece.
  • Nafplio: Join your Travel Director in an orientation of this beautiful seaport town and see why it is named one of Greece's prettiest spots.
  • Heraklion: While in Crete, enjoy your guided visit to the Palace of Minos at Knossos.
  • Mediterranean Dreams Cruising: Visit the Greek Islands of Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete and Santorini. Call in at the Turkish port of Kusadasi.

AUTHENTIC DINING

  • Olympia: Join a local chef and savour the regional specialties in a fun, exciting introduction to Greek cooking.
  • Athens: Toast the culmination of your journey 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. Your cruise includes a complimentary drinks package, featuring a selection of alcoholic, soft drinks and hot beverages.
  • Dining Summary: 11 Breakfasts (B), 4 Lunches (L), 7 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW), all with tea or coffee. Your cruise includes a complimentary drinks package featuring a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, and hot beverages.

INCLUDED INSIGHT SERVICES

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas. In Athens, your knowledgeable local Insight host will ensure your time in this city is seamless.
  • 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.
  • 7 nights aboard your mid-size cruise ship featuring air-conditioned cabins with private facilities, outdoor pool, fitness centre, beauty salon, casino, bars & restaurants.
  • You will enjoy the services of a Cruise Director, while on board, and all port taxes and crew gratuities are included.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily onboard your ship and we provide a complimentary drinks package, featuring a selection of alcoholic, soft drinks and hot beverages.
  • Transfers are included between Insight hotels and cruise port. 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 trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.

Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.

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

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

Desert Castles

Join us as we travel to the east and south of Amman to visit Jordan's desert castles, beautiful examples of early Islamic art and architecture. These preserved caravan stations were centres of agriculture and trade in the eighth century that helped distant rulers forge ties with local Bedouins. One of the best preserved monuments, Qusair Amra, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with lively frescoes and colourful mosaics.

Adult Price: USD 122.00

Code: AMM0001

Ajloun Castle Experience

Built in 1184 AD, Ajloun Castle played an important role in defending this area against the Crusaders, who unsuccessfully spent decades trying to capture the castle and the nearby village. Afterwards, we’ll travel to the quaint village of Rassoun for a simple, but generous, home-cooked meal with the family of Abu Baker, who’s built a kitchen and living room on the top of his house to entertain us.

Adult Price: USD 165.00

Code: AMM0003

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 74.00

Code: HER0001

Mykonian Countryside Tour With Hora & Little Venice

We set off from Mykonos town (Chora) with our local expert and stop at the beach of Ornos, a picturesque fishing harbour and then on to the small beaches of Agia Anna and Kalafatis. Afterwards we'll visit the traditional village of Ano Mera and the monastery of Panagia Tourliani, founded in 1542. The pretty village square is a perfect spot for a short break. Returning to Chora, we'll stop at Paraportiani, a famous whitewashed church complex. A few metres down we'll meet the Mykonos Folklore Museum, which is housed in an old two-storied merchant baron’s house. We continue towards the “Little Venice” of Mykonos, Alefkandra, with its windmills and the almost otherworldly sunsets where our trip culminates.

Adult Price: EUR 67.00

Code: MYK0005

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 67.00

Code: PAT0002

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 74.00

Code: SAN0009

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! Afterwards, see the Acropolis beautifully illuminated as you return to your hotel.

Adult Price: EUR 50.00

Code: ATH0002

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

Olive Oil Tasting with Dinner

We will spend our evening in the upmarket central neighbourhood of Kolonaki,located on the slope of Lycabettus hill. This old aristocratic Athenian district, abundant with high end boutiques, art galleries and trendy little cafes, is home to a unique gastronomy centre. Here you will be warmly welcomed and invited to taste and discover the the texture of the star ingredient in Greek diet, olive oil. After the tasting, savour authentic Greek recipes, prepared with the highest quality locally sourced ingredients.

Adult Price: EUR 48.00

Code: ATH0019

Accommodation

 

Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre

Athens (Traditional) - Greece

Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre is located in the central Athens suburb of Ilissia, named after the hidden historic river that still flows below the main road. Your traditional, yet comfortable room offers all modern amenities to ensure you stay, whether short or long, is most enjoyable.

Divani Meteora Hotel

Kalambaka (Traditional) - Greece

Surrounded by the majestic, towering rocks known as Meteora, in the charming village of Kalambaka.

Arty Grand Hotel/Amalia Hotel Olympia.

Olympia (Traditional) - Greece

Built in the hill above Ancient Olympia, this hotel exhales good taste. 
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.

Divani Caravel Hotel/Crowne Plaza Athens City Center, Athens.

Santorini (Contemporary/Resort) - 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.
Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre is located in the central Athens suburb of Ilissia, named after the hidden historic river that still flows below the main road. Your traditional, yet comfortable room offers all modern amenities to ensure you stay, whether short or long, is most enjoyable.

M/V Celestyal Olympia (or Similar)

Olympia (Cruise) - Greece

Celestyal Cruise ships operating in the Eastern Mediterranean typically embody 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.

Divani Caravel Hotel/Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre, 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.
Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre is located in the central Athens suburb of Ilissia, named after the hidden historic river that still flows below the main road. Your traditional, yet comfortable room offers all modern amenities to ensure you stay, whether short or long, is most enjoyable.

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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. 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.