Islands, Myths and Legends
• 7 UNESCO World Heritage Sites
• The Parthenon
• Journey to Cape Sounion
• The rugged beauty of the Peloponnese
• Visit Olympia - the birthplace of the Olympic Games
• Explore the Byzantine monasteries of the Eastern Pindus Mountains
• Explore Tinos, Mykonos and Delos
• Athens Archaeological Museum
• 17 land days
• Maximum 16 travelers
• Start and finish in Athens
• All meals included• Activity Level: 3
FROM: $6,995 USD
= Has Guaranteed Departures
Comfortable, well-located accommodations with private bathrooms throughout.
COMFORT NOTESFor hiking enthusiasts. Terrain at ruin sites may be uneven and loose and slopes can be steep. Footing can be unstable on ferry crossings
Journey into the realm of the Gods - Athena, Apollo, Hercules, Poseidon and the mighty Zeus. Bring the mythology and legends of ancient Greece to life in an epic journey taking you from the impressive Parthenon in Athens' Acropolis, to Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic games, to the stunning Greek islands.
Starting in Athens, we visit a myriad of ancient sites including the Parthenon, the Panathenaic Stadium and the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion. On the Peloponnese we start by visiting Mycenae and Epidaurus, both sites of the UNESCO heritage. Drive through the central Peloponnese, heading to the south, stopping at Mani, before arriving in Olympia, where the Olympic games began in 776 BC. The impressive Temple of Zeus was built here to honor the great god.
Continue on to Delphi, the heart of the ancient world, just as kings and warriors did, to consult with the oracle in exchange for great treasures. Drive through rural picturesque villages enroute to the impressive 14th-century Meteora Monasteries, set in the canyons of the Eastern Pindus Mountains. Ample opportunities exist to meet many of the locals during our countryside explorations.
No journey to Greece would be complete without a visit to the Greek Isles with their relaxed atmosphere and turquoise waters. Exploration is on foot - truly the best way to connect with the land, the people and their history.
Our epic journey to Greece concludes in Athens, as we bid farewell to a land of beautiful islands, ancient temples, friendly faces and a mythology that would even make the gods smile.
Click the PDF icon to download the Ancient Greece detailed itinerary
DAY 1: ARRIVE IN ATHENS
You are met upon arrival and transferred to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Dinner tonight will be at a local restaurant in the Plaka district.
Overnight in Athens.
DAY 2: THE PARTHENON AND CAPE SOUNION
Other than the pyramids in Egypt, the Parthenon of Athens has probably received more attention from archaeologists, historians and architects than any structure from the ancient world.
Built in the 5th century BC during the Golden Age of Greece, the Parthenon was dedicated to the Goddess Athena. Today we see the highlights of Athens, the Acropolis, Constitution Square, the temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian's Arch and the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic games of the modern era were held in 1896.
After lunch we enjoy a city tour by bus. Later this afternoon, drive to the most southern point of Attica, Cape Sounion, to see the white marble pillars of the Temple of Poseidon. For centuries, this temple acted as a landmark for boats sailing between Piraeus and the islands.
Overnight in Athens.
DAY 3: DRIVE TO NAFPLIO WITH STOPS AT MYCENAE AND EPIDAURUS
After an early breakfast we drive to Nafplio via Corinth. On our way to Nafplio, we will visit the archaeological site of Mycenae. After lunch we will visit archaeological site and the ancient theatre of Epidaurus. We spend the afternoon and evening in Nafplio.
Overnight in Nafplio.
DAY 4: CAPE TAINARO - ENTRANCE TO THE UNDERWORLD - AEROPOLI MANI
After breakfast our journey takes us to Cape Tainaro. At Cape Tainaro we walk (approximately 3 hours) to the Lighthouse at Cape Tainaro, the southernmost area of continental Europe. Greek Mythology says that Cape Tainaro was the entrance to the underworld. On our walk today we enjoy the rugged landscapes of the Mani region.
After lunch, we will stop for a short visit to the partially restored village of Vathia. The basic settlement of Vathia was formed mainly after the 18th century. It flourished in the 19th century and began to decline in the 20th.
Overnight in Aeropoli.
DAY 5: DIROS CAVES, AEROPOLI MANI
This morning we visit the Diros Caves, which were places of worship in Paleolithic and Neolithic times. They are part of a huge underground river system and are filled with stalagmites and stalactites.
After lunch you will have some free time to stroll around this historic settlement and explore its picturesque alleyways.
Overnight in Areopoli.
DAY 6: TRAVEL TO OLYMPIA - BIRTHPLACE OF THE OLYMPIC GAMES
Today we drive through the Central Peloponnese before arriving in Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Here we visit the archaeological site of ancient Olympia, the archaeological museum and the monument of Cubertin.
The games began in 776 BC to honor Zeus and according to mythology, Pelops, the King of the Peloponnese was their founder.
Overnight in Olympia.
DAY 7: THE HANDMADE TEXTILES, OLIVES AND VINEYARDS OF ARAHOVA
We depart from Olympia this morning crossing over the newly constructed Rio-Antirio Bridge and drive along the Corinthian Gulf. We will stop for lunch in the picturesque fishing village of Galaxidi.
We continue our drive to Arahova where we will check in to our hotel. In the afternoon, we visit the nearby village of Arahova famous for its traditional textiles, olives and vineyards from which a fine black wine is produced. Today, Arahova's women continue the tradition of the famous Arahovian handmade textiles, using looms and natural dyes. Women who follow the traditional ways of preparation make savories which are based on local recipes such as marmalades, sweets, drinks, chilopitas, trahana and many others. Arahova is also a great place to shop for locally produced, brightly colored shoulder bags and rugs.
Overnight in Arahova.
DAY 8: DELPHI - THE CENTER OF THE ANCIENT WORLD
In the morning we are guided to the center of the Ancient World - the Omphalos (Navel) of the Earth. On the slopes of Mt. Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo.
We visit the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the museum which contains masterpieces such as the Bronze Charioteer and the image of the famous athlete Aghias.
We drive north towards Meteora, arriving in the late afternoon.
Overnight in Kastraki.
DAY 9: METEORA
The name Meteora, meaning "suspended in air" encompasses the 24 monasteries set in the canyons of the Eastern Pindus Mountains. The Byzantine Monasteries dating back to the 14th century were constructed on the tops of huge rock pillars, and are one of the most memorable sites in northern Greece.
This morning we will hike the trails (approx. 1-2 hours) to the monasteries or opt for vehicle transportation. We visit the Moni Megalo Meteoro monasteries, then have lunch at a scenic picnic spot by the woods. After lunch we visit a workshop to see and learn how painters make Byzantine icons. In the evening, take a walk in Kastraki village and enjoy the last night on the Greek mainland.
Overnight in Kastraki.
DAY 10: TO ATHENS, FERRY (CATAMARAN) FROM RAFINA TO THE ISLAND OF TINOS
After breakfast, we start our journey back to Athens, and specifically Rafina port, from where we will catch our ferry to the island of Tinos.
Many Greek Orthodox make pilgrimages to Tinos' religious sites. The town of Tinos also has a bustling waterfront with many shops.
Tonight we dine in a local restaurant in the main town.
Overnight on Tinos.
DAY 11: TINOS, CHORA
After an early breakfast, we depart for the village of Exomburgo, where a stunning view of the Aegean awaits us. Explore the ruins of the Venetian Castle, situated on top of an overgrown hill. This fortress was built on the ruins of Psofida, an ancient acropolis of the islands. Continue on to the Church of the Sacred Heart. Following the well maintained path to Chora, we will pass through the village of Tripotamo and the Church of Kyra - Xeni, to end the trek in Chora. Wander through the white walled streets and lanes in one of the most picturesque Cylades settlements. In the afternoon journey back to Tinos for a relaxing dinner by the sea.
Overnight on Tinos.
DAY 12: TINOS, PYRGOS VILLAGE
This morning visit the picturesque village of Pyrgos. The largest village on the island, famous for its top quality white and green marble. On our walk through the village, we will see small marble workshops, as well as the museum and cemetery of the island. Continue with a short walk down to Panormos beach, where we will have lunch. Return to our hotel in the evening and later on, enjoy another delicious dinner.
Overnight on Tinos.
DAY 13: FERRY TO MYKONOS
This morning we leave Tinos by local ferry to the cosmopolitan island of Mykonos.
According to Greek Mythology it's said that both Poseidon and Hercules had a hand in destroying some of the giants that opposed Zeus on this very island. Later, as the story goes, the island was named in honor of Apollo's grandson Mykonos. Depending on time of arrival we may do a short walking tour of Chora (main town).
Overnight on Mykonos.
DAY 14: THE SACRED ISLAND OF DELOS - THE TEMPLE OF APOLLO
Today we take a small boat over to the sacred island of Delos, which is believed to be the birthplace of Apollo, the son of Zeus.
With the arrival of the Mycenaeans around 1500BC and the Ionians in 1100BC, Delos was recognized as a place of worship. In order to acquire spiritual and political status, various Ionian leagues began to compete by building elaborate shrines and temples to Apollo. In 425BC the Athenians decreed a purification of the island by removing all graves and passed a law that no one would be allowed to die or be born on Apollo's island.
Exploring the island by foot, we will see Lion Avenue, the 3 temples of Poseidon, the stadium, and old gymnasium. We also have time to visit the Archaeological Museum before taking our boat back to Mykonos. This afternoon is free.
Overnight on Mykonos.
DAY 15: RETURN FERRY TO ATHENS
After lunch we will take a midday ferry back to Athens for an evening free to enjoy this historic and exciting city.
Overnight in Athens.
DAY 16: EXPLORING ATHENS
This morning we visit the National Archaeological Museum. Afternoon is free to visit the Temple of Zeus or take the funicular to the top of Lycabettus Hill for views of Athens and the Aegean Sea. We have our farewell dinner at a local restaurant in the Plaka.
Overnight in Athens.
DAY 17: DEPART ATHENS
Today we transfer to the airport for our departure flights.
HOW BIG ARE THE GROUPS?
Each group is limited to 16 participants. Small groups are an important ingredient in adventure travel. They allow for more interaction and more personalized service throughout the itinerary.
WHAT IS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE?
All accommodations throughout; all meals, starting with dinner on day 1 and finishing with breakfast on departure day (i.e. the last day of the ElderTreks tour); bottled drinking water throughout the trip; all internal transportation; airport transfers on day 1 and departure day (i.e. the last day of the ElderTreks tour); all day trips and entrance fees as outlined in the itinerary; tips for hotels (porterage), bus driver, restaurants, national guides, and spot guides; services of a trip leader.
WHAT IS NOT INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE?
International flights, tips to ElderTreks tour leader, alcoholic drinks, visa’s and travel insurance.
ARE THESE “EDUCATIONAL” TOURS?
Yes, in the broadest sense of the word, “educational”. We visit museums, ancient sites, temples and have talks and discussions on many aspects of history, culture and nature. But this is only a portion of the educational experience. We believe that it is equally educational to meet local people on a non-commercial basis, visit their homes and even try to learn a few words in the native language. Sometimes the most “educational” moments are wandering through the streets of a village.
HOW DO WE TRAVEL DURING THE TOUR?
All local transportation is included in the land price of the trip. We travel by bus, boat/ferry and foot.
WHAT ARE OUR ACCOMMODATIONS LIKE?
Comfortable, well-located accommodations. Some places overlooking the Agean sea, others are located in beautiful alpine areas.
Please note: some of our hotels are small and do not provide porterage service.
WHAT ABOUT THE WEATHER?
Greece has a warm Mediterranean climate. Our adventures take place at the beginning of spring and fall when the temperatures are mild. In April-May, you can expect temperatures between 60°F – 70°F (16°C – 21°C); in September-October, the temperatures are higher, between the high 60’s°F and 70’s°F (19°C – 26°C).)
WHEN IS PAYMENT DUE?
A non-refundable deposit of $500 USD (plus insurance if you require it) is due at time of booking and will reserve your place on the tour. Payment of the full land cost is due 120 days before departure. Cancellation charges are applicable and are outlined in the “Terms and Conditions” section of our brochure.
IS MEDICAL INSURANCE REQUIRED?
Insurance coverage is not included in the cost of your trip. Please note that medical insurance is not required for this adventure but is recommended. ElderTreks offers comprehensive travel insurance with Manulife for Canadian guests, and John Hancock for American guests. Please CLICK HERE to view and purchase your insurance policy today. If you are purchasing insurance elsewhere, please ensure you provide the details to ElderTreks as soon as possible.
WHAT SHOULD I TAKE ON THE TOUR?
There is a detailed “What to Take” list in our Trip Kit, which we will send to you after you have booked the trip.
WHAT MEALS ARE INCLUDED?
All meals during the itinerary are included, starting with dinner on day 1 and finishing with breakfast on departure day. We eat a variety of local and international foods prepared in a wide range of settings. In many cases, we simply order a number of dishes and share, allowing you to sample new foods and decide what you enjoy best.
CAN YOU ARRANGE MY FLIGHTS?
We would be happy to take care of your air arrangements. ElderTreks offers personalized flight itineraries — not group flights. Stop over en route, come in a few days early, or extend your stay. Call us for a customized itinerary.
WHAT IF I WOULD LIKE MORE INFORMATION?
If you have any further questions about the adventure, please call our office for more details. A Trip Specialist will be happy to answer your questions. A Trip Kit containing further details on the destination will be sent to you once you have booked the trip.
Dates & Prices
All prices are currently listed in USD
*Single Supplement is the additional amount applied to the cost of the trip to those who are travelling solo and do not wish to share.