Authentic Greece – Flying Longhorns
  • $3,995
  • $600
  • Sofia
  • Moderate
  • Land Only

Travel off the tourist track with Dr. David and Elizabeth Iliadou Sparks, a former Professor of Aegean Studies and a Greek native, for an insider’s journey through Authentic Greece. This personalized, family run journey is custom designed for the Texas Exes, including hand-selected menus at local tavernas, engaging lectures on the legacy of the Greeks, unique sites in stunning locations, and choice accommodations in vibrant, matchless locales. Extension available to the stunning island of Santorini.

 

 


Gallery


Itinerary

 

Day 1 & 2

Arrival

Check in to our hotel in the central square of Greece’s second largest city, Thessaloniki, and enjoy a complimentary welcome reception on the roof garden café with spectacular views of the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. (D)

Day 3

Thessaloniki

We begin our time in Greece with a cultural orientation and basic Greek language lesson. We then set out on a tour of Thessaloniki including the ancient Roman Forum, 1,400 year old Church of St. Dimitrios, bustling outdoor food market, Arch of Galerius, White Tower, and the harbor promenade. Enjoy dinner out at a quaint taverna favored by the locals. (B,L,D)

Day 4

Philippi, Kavala

Following breakfast we depart for Philippi, a major Roman city on the Via Egnatia. At Philippi we tour the extensive archaeological site, visiting the theater, city walls, basilica, forum, and baptistery. A quick ride takes us to the picturesque port of Kavala where we see the impressive Ottoman aqueduct and enjoy lunch on our own along the fishing boat lined harbor. Return to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

day 5

Verea, Vergina

Today we visit the town of Verea where we enter the restored Jewish synagogue and hear about the Nazi occupation of Greece during WWII. Enjoy drinks and the view at Verea’s classic hillside café before heading to Vergina and the tombs of Phillip II of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great. We explore the museum and the Macedonian Tombs with their priceless artifacts, wall paintings, and royal treasures. We continue on to our beachfront hotel in Leptokaria on the foothills of Mt. Olympus where we enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening by the seaside. (B,L,D)

day 6

Meteora

We drive to the stunning monasteries of Meteora, perched high atop towering rock formations. We are introduced to Greek Orthodoxy and explore the still active 600 year old Grand Meteoron monastery. Departing Meteora, we continue to our hotel in the quaint mountain village of Delphi with spectacular views of the olive tree lined valley below. (B,L,D)

day 7

Delphi

Delphi was the most important religious center of classical Greece, and our tour takes us up the ancient Sacred Way to the famous Oracle of Apollo. We then tour Delphi’s impressive museum with its bronze Charioteer. Enjoy lunch and the quaint shops of the modern village of Delphi before heading to Athens, the greatest city of ancient Greece and the bustling modern capital. Check in to our hotel at the foot of the Acropolis and enjoy up close views of the Parthenon from our wonderful hotel roof garden. (B,L,D)

day 8

Athens

No other city exemplifies ancient Greece like Athens, and we begin our tour with a visit to the new Acropolis Museum. From there we head to the Acropolis itself and visit the crowning
achievement of ancient Greece: the world-famous Parthenon. We also visit the ancient Athenian agora as we examine the creation of Democracy. The afternoon brings us into the Plaka for a walking orientation of this historic marketplace district. (B,L)

day 9

Athens Free Day

The day is at leisure to enjoy Athens. Take an optional excursion to the National Archaeological Museum, home to the greatest treasures of Ancient Greece, shop in the cosmopolitan boutiques, or attend a Greek Orthodox service. In the evening we gather together for an elegant final dinner in Athens. (B,D)

day 10

Mycenae, Nafplio

Leaving Athens, we enter the beautiful Peloponnese Peninsula, known as the Tuscany of Greece. At Mycenae we tour the Bronze Age palace of King Agamemnon, leader of the Trojan War, and the monumental beehive tomb of his wife Clytemnestra. We then visit the Venetian-built Palamidi Fortress high above Nafplio, mainland Greece’s most picturesque town and our home for two nights. (B,L,D)

day 11

Epidavros

In the morning we visit the ancient healing center of Epidavros, known for its magnificent ancient theater, the best preserved ancient Greek theater in the world and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Returning to Nafplio, the afternoon is free before a celebratory final group dinner along the romantic harbor promenade. (B,D)

day 12

Peloponnesian Vineyard Tour

In the afternoon, we conclude our tour at a charming, family-run Peloponnesian vineyard for a slice of authentic Greek life in the countryside. Sample the local wines that have been cultivated in this region for thousands of years and dine on the rustic specialties of southern Greece. Travelers then either depart for the excursion to Santorini or return to Athens to prepare for their flights home. (B,L)

day 13

Departure / Santorini Excursion

Those travelers not on the Santorini excursion return home with unforgettable memories and as lifelong lovers of Greece! (B)


Optional Extension: Santorini Island
day 14

Arrive Santorini

After enjoying the Peloponnesian vineyard tour, we head to the Athens airport for a short flight to Santorini Island.  We check in to our hotel high on the rim of an ancient volcano in the town of Oia, world-renowned for its spectacular views, stunning architecture, and breathtaking sunsets. (B)

day 15

Free Day Oia

The town of Oia is at once cosmopolitan and serene. Spend the day at leisure wandering the picturesque alleyways, shopping at exquisite boutiques and art galleries, swimming at a black sand beach, or enjoying a meal with endless views of the crystal blue Aegean Sea. (B)

day 16

Catamaran Ride

As a group, we’ll meet this morning and set off on a catamaran ride around the island and through the caldera of the ancient volcano. While we swim in the Aegean, the crew will cook us a fresh barbecue feast on board. We’ll return to our hotel in time to enjoy another sunset from our balconies. (B,L)

day 17

Free Day Oia, Athens

After enjoying your final outdoor breakfast at the hotel, you’ll have most of the day to shop, eat lunch and explore Oia before we head to the airport and return to Athens in the evening. We’ll check in to our spa hotel across the street from the Athens airport so we can easily board our flights home the following morning. (B)

day 18

Depart for USA

Fill up on the plentiful breakfast at the hotel and then walk across the street to board your international flight home. (B)


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