Grecian Legends

Greece & Eastern Mediterranean

Regional Journey

Grecian Legends Standard (Summer 2019)

Duration: 12 days Visiting: Greece, Turkey

Prices from {{lowPrice}}

Menu
  • 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 3-day cruise to the glittering isles of the Aegean Sea.

  1. Day 1

    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.

  2. Day 2 - 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. 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.

  3. Day 3

    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.

  4. Day 4 - 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.

  5. Day 5

    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.

  6. Day 6 - Relaxed Start

    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.

  7. Day 7 - Relaxed Start

    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.

  8. Day 8 - 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.

  9. Day 9 - Relaxed Start

    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.

  10. Day 10

    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.

  11. Day 11

    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.

  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.
  • Heraklion: While in Crete, enjoy your guided visit to the Palace of Minos at Knossos.
  • 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.
  • Mediterranean Legends Cruising: Visit the Greek Islands of Mykonos, Patmos, Crete & 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), 3 Lunches (L), 6 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW) all with tea or coffee. Your cruise includes a complimentary drinks package, with a selection of alcoholic drinks, soft drinks and hot beverages.

STAY IN STYLE

  • Athens: 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.
  • 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.
  • Kalambaka: 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: 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: Built in the hill above Ancient Olympia, this hotel exhales good taste.

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.
  • 3 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

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

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

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

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

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

Accommodation

 

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 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/Grand Meteora/Meteora Hotel

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/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.

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.

Guest Reviews & Experiences

Our guests rate us 4.5 out of 5 based on
11478 independent user reviews received during the past year.

  • 14 November, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Got to see all the historical, picturesc and local areas, had great food and although the bus was the perfect way to travel - all that extra room, the cruise to the islands was cramped and service left a lot to be desired (the cruise company not our tour director). Lisa was fantastic, very knowledgeable and passionate.

    Service: Fantastic trip with great people

  • 18 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Itinerary was packed full of interesting places to see and things to do

    Service: Grecian Legends tour was fantastic thanks to our wonderful knowledgeable TD Anastasia Sofou she was very caring to all of the group, the three night cruise of the Islands was also wonderful due to the fantastic organising by Dimitry and the customer service desk representative Mia.

  • 08 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: A little too much bus time on one day, however allowed same hotel

    Service: Very organized, knowledgeable

  • 01 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Loved the islands. Learned a lot during the land portion of the tour.

    Service: Excellent organization of all excursions. Knowledgeable guides. Small group on the bus. Would definitely travel again with Insight and recommend to others.

  • 01 October, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We visited an amazing number of incredible and historical sights.

    Service: Everything was planned and taken care of. It left us with only the responsibility of enjoying our vacation.

  • 03 September, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Saw so much!! Great Job!!

    Service: Wonderful experience!!! Erin Nedelisky and our driver Andres were outstanding. They worked so hard behind the scenes to make it seem effortless. Made us feel valued and took the time to know each guest. Learned and saw so much about Greece. This was my fourth vacation with Insight. Would like to go again.

  • 18 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Good except too many ruins. otherwise tour was great. no. Hotels had the worst beds I have ever slept in!

    Service: Very good

  • 09 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: A little tough with early starts for older people.

    Service: Everything was just great. Assistance at every stage. Your Tour directors (Anne & Erin) and driver (Andreas) worked hard and skilfully to make travellers comfortable

  • 06 July, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: The itinery was very good. The room at the hotel in Meteora was very good, the food, not so good. The last hotel we stayed in before we went back to Athens, the rooms were dated, but the food in the hotel was good, and the pool was very nice.

    Service: The guides were great,the driver was excellent.

  • 19 June, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: Excellent tour guide and tour.

    Service: The farewell dinner was an absolute shocker, food and service was terrible. The Insight survey was given out the day before so couldn't rate this dinner.

  • 14 May, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: We appreciated the high number of included excursions in the itinerary. We added two optional experiences, which were also well worth it! Eight archaeological sites, many of which are World Heritage sites, five Greek Islands in 3 days, the Corinth Canal, a visit to a Turkish Rug factory and so much more! A trip of a lifetime! Wear good walking shoes!

    Service: My husband and I can count on Insight Vacations to provide us with a quality vacation, with efficient and fun Travel Directors and coach drivers. Anne (the cruise Director) and Dimitris (land Director) were professional, organized, communicated efficiently, and great problem solvers! Dimitris made arrangements for alternative menus for my special diet. He had to rearrange the itinerary for the Celebration Dinner because of a severe rain storm and flooding and did so efficiently! Here are pictures of the "hand-off" from Anne to Dimitris as they gathered our luggage off the ship and a video of Dimitris and our driver, having fun at our traditional Greek dinner with dancing.

  • 14 May, 2018

    TRIP:
    SERVICE:

    Trip: went to the places we wanted to go

    Service: Trip was planned well and guides were good

*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.