Step back in time and marvel at the remnants of ancient history with 4 days of extensive exploring in Greece before hitting the Mediterranean for some fun in the sun. Athens, Olympia and Delphi will be uncovered through the wisdom of a Greek tour guide, and the islands of Greece will be discovered with 13-days drifting around the Cycladic islands of Mykonos, Santorini and Ios.
Welcome to Athens, Greek adventurers! The clock starts now on uncovering this ancient country and all its quirks. We're calling it now, that this trip is THE ancient history lovers dream. Settle in to your hotel before catching up with the crew, where a traditional Athens affair is on the cards for those wanting to get straight down to the business of being cultural. On our optional dinner we'll head to the city's old town and dinner, traditional dancing as you feast your eyes (and stomach) with mouthwatering Greek tastes, under the watchful eye of the Acropolis to complete the scene. We can't think of a better way to get right into the Greek way of life.
Not a second of today will go to waste. Europe’s oldest city will unfold itself this morning as we take to the Parthenon and the Acropolis with the knowledge of a local, then explore the first modern Olympic Stadium from the 1896 Games. That's some really old Olympic vibes right there.Rugged mountains, cypress trees and citrus groves will pepper our pretty tour from Athens to Corinth, where we will stop to get a look at a man-made canal that squeezes ships through its tight cliffs in what seems like an impossible feat.What was once a military hotspot is now a jaw-dropping archaeological site amidst the mountain ranges of Greece. Our Trip Manager will uncover the 4,000 year history of Mycenae and Agamemnon’s Palace in a tale of heroics, myths and curses.And so the historical uncoverings continue as we land in Olympia, the place where the Olympic Games were birthed, and what is now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Fun fact: the first Olympic Games was held in 776BC, let's just let that number sink in for a moment...Wow. Today our Local Guide will show us all the important sites of those games, giving you the chance to sit in the 45,000 seat stadium where it actually first took place. If that's not a spine-tingling moment, we don't know what is. We'll wrap it up at the Temple of Hera (Queen of the Greek Gods), and place where the Olympic flame is lit every four years. We'll also visit the ruins of Zeus' temple before we head off on our journey, where you'll be sure to feel the vibes of one of the most well known Greek gods.The sacred lands of Delphi will be ours this afternoon, again allowing us the chance to uncover world history right here in Greece. Despite being a place of monumental importance, it happens to have a cute little bar scene, and is a great place to sample the national drink of ouzo.
Through the limestone columns of the Sanctuary of Apollo, we continue tapping into what was once the centre of the universe for Ancient Greeks. The remains of this Doric style building stands tall with it's remaining 6 (out of an original 15) pillars, and is the perfect spot to absorb the last bit of beauty that is the slopes of Mt. Parnassus before we jump on the trail back to Athens.Well there you have it, the true scope of Greece's magnificence filed neatly into four incredible days. Walk away with a wealth of new knowledge and a new posse of friends, eager to get involved in yet another Contiki adventure.
With two full days in Athens you have heaps of free time to uncover all the unique sides of this ancient city. From the urban hustle and bustle, the magnificent Acropolis, traditional tavernas, street art and tangible political energy. Tick off all the antiquities, shop the boutiques and markets or eat your way through the best souvlaki, tzatziki and dolmades you can get your hands on.
With two free days here use your free time this to explore more of this open-air museum. You could honour the birthplace of drama by climbing around the massive Theatre of Dionysus or get the background on Ancient Greece at the National Archaeological Museum. Otherwise experience Athens’ urban heart, take off into the streets and find a hole-in-the-wall food joint, where you can try the famous souvlaki. You could head back to the Plaka area or pick up some quirky souvenirs at the Athens flea markets. You’ll also be transferred to meet your fellow travellers on the Greek Island Hopping tour.
See, just like we told you. Our time in Athens was amazing and well worth delaying our island time for. But delay it further? We shall not...Let's do this! 3 nights on the island of Mykonos, how did we get so lucky? Even the boat ride across the Aegean will have you awe struck and in love.
Here we are on yet another day when it feels completely fabulous to be alive. You're still in Mykonos baby! And the day is yours to soak up sunshine and play in the sea. Overnight: Paradise Mykonos (Superior Bay View Rooms)
Windmills; cafes overflowing with olives, feta and tzatziki; storybook streets - and that's before you've even taken a dip in the ocean! Explore with the crew, take up a few optionals, or simply waste the day away as you please. Overnight: Paradise Mykonos (Superior Bay View Rooms)
This morning, let's spare a thought for all those travellers who only have the time and money to visit just one Greek Island. Those poor unfortunate souls...Saddle up! We're taking to the seas again, this time in search of the island of Santorini. It's finally your turn to be the one lulling about the white-washed blue dome churches looking like a sultry summer babe. Home to the famous Oia sunset, this is the stuff dreams are made of. Ah, life. Overnight: Okeanis Beach Hotel
Rise and shine, Greek Island travellers! The island of Santorini will not explore itself. Take a swim at Perissa Beach, eat the local specialty of fried tomato balls known as domatokeftedes, and roam the streets of Fira. Just remember to plan your day around the excursion to the iconic sunset of Oia - this is not an optional you're going to want to miss.
The beautiful thing about having two full days on the one island is you have time to both relax and explore. Whatever you didn't do yesterday is still up for grabs today. If you feel like you've crammed it all in already, just head to the black or red sand beaches and spend another glorious day ocean-side. Ain't life grand? Overnight: Okeanis Beach Hotel
Say your so longs to Santorini this morning. We have one last Greek Island to hop to, and we promise she's magnificent.A bit more rugged and remote than Santorini and Mykonos, Ios will prove a nice change of scenery. But thankfully, there will be no change in the hours spent ocean side and good times had. Overnight: Far Out Ios
Another day, another chance to soak up the Greek sun and frolic in the sand without a care in the world. Get some adrenalin in with some watersports, or if you haven't done so already, go explore the pretty town and down a hearty meal at a local cafe. You're going to need the fuel if you want to hang out in the party scene of Hora until the break of dawn. Overnight: Far Out Ios
Don’t underestimate the power of this village. When the sun sets, this place really comes to life. As such, we suggest a day out on the water getting salty on a boat trip, or a full day of pool hangs and beach time so you're all sun-kissed and feeling floaty by the time the night rolls in. Overnight: Far Out Ios
While choking back the tears and waving miserably at the dreamy islands of Greece, try to think positive thoughts: we have a boat ride to enjoy this morning, as well as one more night together in the city of Athens.One last dose of Athens and one last chance to hang out together as the Greece loving squad that we are. Overnight: Poseidon Hotel
Hugs, tears, and a final batch of reminiscing; it's astounding how close a group can get in just two short weeks. Nothing says bonding quite like the good life. The Croatia Island Hopper is probably the only way to really ease the pain of this goodbye. #NOREGRETS
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Trip Name: Spotlight on Greece Plus Greek Island Hopping
Duration: 17 Days
From Price: $2,960
Supplier Tour ID: 346.992A/256535
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