• $3,795
  • $600
  • Sofia Travel
  • Moderate
  • Land Only

Travel off the tourist track to the heart of Greece with the Greek-American husband and wife team of Sofia Travel. Meet our friends and enjoy the most authentic experience as we explore the glorious history of ancient Athens, spend three nights on a picturesque, car-free Greek island, sample wine at a family-run countryside estate, and dine waterside on the world’s best cuisine in a 16th century Venetian-built city. This is a personalized trip like no other! Extend your journey with three nights on the stunningly beautiful island of Santorini.



Itinerary

May 10/11 – Arrival
Depart USA, arrive Athens and transfer to Nafplio, Greece. Check in to our seaside hotel steps away from the historic main square of Nafplio, Greece’s first capital, and enjoy the stunning sea views from every room. After a welcome reception, we gather together for an authentic dinner at a local taverna. (D)

May 12 – Nafplio, Epidavros
In the morning we begin with our welcome meeting and a cultural orientation to life in Greece. We then explore the picturesque town of Nafplio, including the square where Greece declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire, before exploring the expansive ruins of the Venetian-built Palamidi Fortress, high above Nafplio. We then continue to the ancient healing center of Epidavros as we learn about medicine in ancient Greece. We use the opportunity in the adjoining, magnificent theater of Epidavros, the best preserved from ancient Greece, to explore Greek drama and comedy in its original setting. In the evening, we gather by the harbor for a festive dinner accompanied by local musicians as we learn about Greek folk music and how to do traditional Greek dances. (B,L,D)

May 13 – Mycenae, Countryside Vineyard
Departing Nafplio, we visit the palace citadel of King Agamemnon, leader of the Trojan War, at Mycenae. We tour the Bronze Age site, including the underground cistern and beehive tomb of Clytemnestra. We then visit a counntryside, family-run vineyard for a tour of the complex, a sampling of the wines, and a sumptuous feast as we sit within the wine barrel room. Enjoy a free evening in Nafplio with time to shop in the designer boutiques and relax along the cafe lined harbor promenade. (B,L)

May 14 – Nafplio, Hydra
After a free morning and afternoon in Nafplio, we set out on the blue waters of the Aegean Sea to the unforgettable island of Hydra. This small island—an important naval harbor in the 18th century—is unbelievably serene and full of charm. All motorized transportation is banned on the island, making the quaint harbor the perfect place to watch the sunset and enjoy a quintessentially Greek evening of fresh seafood, plentiful wine, and good company late into the evening. We check into our hotel—the former mansion of an 18th century shipping magnate—for three blissful nights. (B,D)

May 15 – Hydra
In the morning we are introduced to beautiful Hydra as we learn about its impressive history. In the late afternoon, take an optional horseback ride out of town to the Convent of Agios Matronas where you can meet the elderly nuns and marvel at the spectacular views of Hydra town and the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. (B)

May 16 – Spetses
We take a day trip to the beautiful island of Spetses. Arriving in the port, we visit the jewel of Spetses, the grandiose Posidonion Grand Hotel. We sit on the waterside veranda where European dignitaries have dined for over a century and enjoy a modern Greek-fusion lunch from their celebrated chef. In the afternoon, hire a carriage to take you along the seaside to the wonderfully quaint old harbor of Spetses for afternoon coffee amongst the locals and dinner waterside. Overnight Hydra. (B,L)

May 17 – Hydra, Athens: Acropolis Museum, Theater of Dionysus, Parthenon
Departing Hydra, we arrive in the greatest city of both ancient and modern Greece: Athens. We check in to our hotel at the foot of the Acropolis with its fantastic rooftop bar with the city’s best views of the Parthenon. Our exploration of this city’s matchless heritage begins at the impressive Acropolis Museum, as we examine the world famous Parthenon Marbles up close. Heading to the Acropolis, we sit in the Theater of Dionysus, the very birthplace of drama and comedy, before ascending the Acropolis to stand in the shadow of the architecturally perfect Parthenon. In the evening we gather together for a festive dinner in the Plaka traditional marketplace district. (B,L,D)

May 18 – Athens: National Archaeological Museum, Athens free day
In the morning, take an optional visit to the National Archaeological Museum, home to the world’s single greatest collection of ancient Greek antiquities in the world. We then visit the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier before lunch at a local favorite near the bustling center of Athens at Monastiraki Square. The afternoon and evening are free to continue exploring this cosmopolitan city. (B,L)
Itinerary

May 19 – Athens, Cape Sounion
The morning is free to shop in the boutiques of the Plaka, tour one of Athens’ amazing museums, hike on the nearby Hill of the Muses, or simply enjoy a coffee at one of the myriad streetside cafes. In the afternoon, we head out to unforgettable Cape Sounion,where we enjoy a festive final dinner and closing meeting at a seaside taverna. We then visit the beautiful Temple of Poseidon, located on a promontory high above the Aegean Sea at the edge of mainland Greece, as we watch the stunning sunset over the distant waters of the Aegean Sea. (B,D)

May 20 – Depart
Depart for stunning Santorini for an optional four day extension, or depart Greece as lifelong lovers of this legendary land!

Hotels

Nafplio Amphitryon Hotel May 11-14
Hydra Cotommatae 1810 Boutique Hotel May 14-17
Athens Herodion Hotel May 17-20
Santorini Andronis Boutique Hotel (or similar) May 20-23
Athens Airport Sofitel Hotel May 23-24

Santorini extension

May 20 – Depart Athens, Arrive Santorini
Transfer to the Athens airport for an early afternoon flight to Santorini. Upon arriving in the village of Oia, check in to your traditional cave house accommodations on the rim of an ancient volcano with stunning views of the blue waters below. (B)

May 21 – Oia
The day is at leisure to enjoy stunning Oia. Stroll through the maze of whitewashed streets, dine on fresh seafood and drink the famous Santorini wine, shop in designer boutiques, visit a Neolithic archaeological site, or relax on a black sand beach. (B)

May 22 – Catamaran Cruise
In the morning take an unforgettable catamaran ride through the water-filled caldera of the volcano that makes up the island of Santorini. Sail to a sulfur spring, dock by a pristine beach, and enjoy a full Greek barbecue cooked on board (B,L)

May 23 – Transfer to Athens
After a morning and afternoon in Oia, take an evening transfer to Athens in anticipation of your morning flight the following day. (B)

May 24 – Depart Greece
Fly home from Greeve with unforgettable memories and as lifelong lovers of Greece! (B)


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