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Greece & Eastern MediterraneanRegional Journey
Athens, City of Gods.
You are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. At 19:00, join your Insight Vacations Representative and fellow travellers for a Welcome Drink.
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. Late in the evening, your cruise sails across the Aegean to Turkey. 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, featuring a selection of alcoholic, soft drinks and hot beverages.
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 the island of Crete.
Crete and Santorini.
In the morning, you dock at Heraklion in Crete, the site of the ruins of King Minos' Palace of Knossos with a Local Expert. 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.
Athens at Leisure.
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? Join your fellow travellers for a delightful evening of dinner and wine.
Athens at Leisure.
With another day free, there's plenty to discover within this dynamic city and its mix of history and edginess - ancient and modern, with equal measures of grunge and grace. Iconic monuments, first-rate museums, lively cafes and al fresco dining are yours to enjoy at your own pace. Alternatively, why not sit back and relax by the water or perhaps pamper yourself with a treatment at the spa? Later, meet 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.
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.