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Greece & Eastern MediterraneanRegional Journey
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 Celebration Dinner in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.
Cruising to Mykonos.
The morning is at your leisure. Late afternoon, board your cruise ship and set sail for the lovely island of Mykonos. 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.
The full days 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.
After a pleasant morning cruising the blue waters of the Aegean, arrive in Milos where you 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 Santorini.
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.
Enjoy another full free day to relax, enjoy your vessel's facilities or explore more of what Santorini has to offer.
Cruise to Crete.
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.
This morning explore the Turkish port of Kusadasi and explore the ancient ruins of Ephesus with a Local Expert. In the evening, sail back to 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?
Bid farewell to Athens. Your journey ends with a transfer to the airport.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.