Grecian Fables

Greece & Turkey

Regional Journey

Grecian Fables Reverse Standard (Summer 2020)

Duration: 15 days Visiting: Greece, Turkey

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

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

This multi-layered journey showcases the temples and arenas of ancient Greece and Turkey with a highlight 7-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

    The Parthenon, Mycenae and on to Olympia.

    Your exploration reveals this ancient city as 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. Your journey continues, following the shores of the Saronic Gulf to pass the Corinth Canal dividing the Peloponnese and mainland Greece. Arrive at the ruined city of Mycenae, featured in the epics of Homer. With your Local Expert, walk through the Lion Gate, visit the royal beehive-tombs and see the giant Cyclopean stones used to build the city walls. Meet the artisans and view beautiful works of art when you visit a family-run pottery studio. Travel on to the elegant town of Nafplio, known for it's beautiful architecture, colourful shops and cafes. You then continue to Olympia where dinner is served at your hotel.

  3. Day 3

    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.

  4. Day 4

    Delphi, Centre of the Ancient World.

    Travel north to Patras and cross the soaring Rio-Antirrio Bridge to the mainland. Follow the coastal road before 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 journey continues to Kalambaka where dinner is served at your hotel.

  5. Day 5 - 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.

  6. Day 6

    Thermopylae and to Athens.

    Journey south 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. Travel on to Athens, City of Gods, to see the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Wingless Victory and Hadrian's Arch. 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 Kusadasi.

    The morning is at your leisure. Late afternoon, board your cruise ship and set sail for the ancient city of Kusadasi. 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 and soft-drinks, and hot beverages.

  8. Day 8 - Relaxed Start

    Kusadasi.

    This morning explore the Turkish port of Kusadasi and explore the ancient ruins of Ephesus with a Local Expert. In the evening, sail on to Rhodes.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    Cruise to Crete.

    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, or simply enjoy a relaxing day on the golden beaches? In the evening, your cruise continues to Crete.

  10. Day 10 - Relaxed Start

    Santorini.

    Sail to Crete, home to the birthplace of Zeus according to the Greek mythology. There is time at leisure to explore the capital, Heraklion, site of King Minos' Palace of Knossos with a Local Expert.

  11. Day 11 - Relaxed Start

    Santorini and on to Milos.

    Wake up in Santorini with a full morning at leisure to relax. Gaze at the sheer cliffs of Santorini and dazzling panorama. Explore the capital of Thira, with its clifftop restaurants and cafés, breathtaking views and amazing sunsets. Later, join a Local Expert for a visit of the Cycladic village of Oia, one of the most authentic and unspoiled villages of the island before cruising to Milos.

  12. Day 12

    Milos.

    Enjoy plenty of time to venture through this gorgeous island, with its crystal waters and white cliffs. Later in the evening, you set sail for Mykonos.

  13. Day 13 - Relaxed Start

    Mykonos.

    The full day is yours to relax and explore Mykonos, with its dazzling sugar cube houses and whitewashed windmills. Tonight, the maze of walkways, welcoming tavernas and nightlife are yours to discover.

  14. Day 14 - Relaxed Start

    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?

  15. Day 15

    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 Fables Cruising: Visit the Greek Islands of Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Milos. Explore 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: 14 Breakfasts (B), 7 Lunches (L), 10 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.

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

Sacred Island and Apollo Sanctuary

You will be transported by boat to the ancient harbor of Delos and you will travel back in time. In front of the pier is the “Agora of Hermaists” or “Competialists” with altars and shrines. The ancient road crossed two porticoes. Behind the south portico used to be the “Agora of Delians”. Next follows the “Oikos (House) of Naxians”, dated to the 7th century B.C. Further north you will admire the three “Temples of Apollo”, the oldest of which was already in use by the 6th century. The southernmost temple is known as the “Temple of the Delians”. At the northern side of the temples you will stand in front of the so-called “treasures”. Here, every city of antiquity exhibited its offerings. A monument that will draw your attention is the “Sanctuary of the Bulls”. You will find yourself at the “Agora of Theophrastos”, and will pass by the “Temple of the Twelve Gods” to eventually reach the “Granite Monument”. Next follows the “Avenue of the Lions”, which was encircled by full-sized marble lions. The large building complex that rises in front of you is the “Establishment of the Poseidoniasts of Beirut” and it was built by ship owners and merchants from Beirut. The shore experience comes to an end at Chora with free time for strolling through the alleys and the shops.

Adult Price: EUR 74.00

Code: DEL0003

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

Akrotiri Village Excavations

In 1650 BC a volcanic eruption reshaped Santorini and sank its center. You'll marvel at the towering cliffs around the port at Athinios and visit Santorini’s most significant archaeological site, Akrotiri, before moving onto the capital, Fira. Here you’ll visit the Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral and enjoy some free time.

Adult Price: EUR 74.00

Code: SAN0011

Step Back In Time

Step back in time with us on the incredible volcanic island of Milos, one of the most beautiful places on earth. A short drive takes us to Sarakiniko, an inlet of pure white almost lunar stone. This startlingly otherworldly spot is one of the island’s many wonders and one of the most photographed places in the Cyclades. We'll continue along the dramatic coastline to the cobblestone streets and alleys of Plaka, a classic Cycladic village of white stone houses and bougainvillea flowers. Then, it's off to the ruins of ancient Melos and its Roman amphitheater, which is cut into a rocky slope near the ancient agora. Finally, we'll visit the award-winning Mining Museum to understand how the rich geology of Milos shaped the island’s history.

Adult Price: EUR 74.00

Code: MIL0001

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.

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 Meteora Hotel/Grand Meteora Hotel/Meteora Hotel, Kalambaka.

Kalambaka (Traditional) - Greece

Surrounded by the majestic, towering rocks known as Meteora, in the charming village of Kalambaka.
Located in Laspes Kastrakiou, Grand Meteora Hotel offers accommodation with views over the Meteora Rocks and is a short distance to Kastraki Village and Kalabaka Town.
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.

Divani Meteora Hotel

Kalambaka (Traditional) - Greece

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

Divani Caravel Hotel

Athens (Traditional) - Greece

An elegant hotel with 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.

MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar)

Athens (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.

*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.