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Greece & Eastern MediterraneanRegional Journey
Duration: 14 days Visiting: Greece
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 dinner in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.
Across the Mediterranean to Mykonos.
An early departure takes you to the port of Piraeus where your high-speed ferry awaits to whisk you over to the Island of Mykonos, playground of the rich and famous. On arrival, you are transferred to your hotel.
This day is the first of two glorious days at leisure. Explore the town with its winding maze of walkways, white-washed houses, magnificent windmills and uninhibited nightlife. Perhaps watch the sunset at Shirley Valentine Beach or take a short boat ride to Delos?
Mykonos at Leisure.
Another day to explore or relax as you wish. Perhaps swim the endless array of dazzling beaches that surround the island? Or maybe enjoy a cocktail on the waterfront at Little Venice?
Set Sail for Santorini.
Board the high-speed ferry bound for the truly beautiful island of Santorini. You are met at the port and transferred to your hotel.
The Sunsets of Santorini.
With two more sun-drenched days on one of the most romantic islands on earth, you won't ever want to leave. Relax in clifftop restaurants, laze on the sun-soaked beaches or observe history unearthed at the site of Akrotiri. In the evening, you'll witness the first of the golden sunsets for which the island is famous.
Santorini as you wish.
Another day to relax and unwind on the black, red and white beaches, or why not take a kaiki (traditional Greek fishing boat) over to the volcanic islands for a swim in the hot springs? The island's delicious cuisine, whitewashed houses that gleam in the bright Aegean sun, narrow cobblestone streets and world-renowned sunsets all combine to make Santorini a truly unique holiday experience.
Flight to Athens.
In the morning, maybe take one last dip in the pool and grab your final glimpse over the lustrous Aegean and world-famous caldera. You are transferred to the airport for your return flight to Athens.
Your Grecian odyssey comes to an end with a transfer to Athens 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.
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.
San Marco Luxury Hotel & Villas/Rhenia Hotel/Porto Mykonos.
De Sol Hotel & Spa/Splendour Resort/The Majestic Hotel, Santorini.