• $4,995
  • $600
  • Sofia
  • Moderate
  • Land Only

Join the Iliadou-Sparks family for the quintessential Greek island experience. Instead of rushed cruise stops, sip a drink along the unbelievably picturesque Venetian harbor of Chania, Crete; enjoy a freshly caught fish dinner on an uninhabited island off stunning Mykonos; sail the Aegean to the picture-perfect car-free island of Hydra; and be welcomed by the matchless hospitality of the locals on this personalized, off-the-beaten-path journey to three of the world’s most beautiful destinations.

 

 


Gallery


Itinerary

Day 1 & 2

Depart USA, Arrive Chania

We arrive on the island of Crete and are transferred to our hotel located in the historic city center of Chania (han-YA) with views of the picturesque Venetian-built port. In the evening, we gather together for a welcome reception and opening meeting before enjoying dinner out at a nearby, seaside taverna. (D)

day 3

Chania Guided Tour

Founded by the ancient Minoan people, Chania has a one-of-a-kind history, and our walking tour today takes us to the main sites from the city’s 5,000 year history. Our day begins with a stroll along the old Venetian harbor, then to the archaeological museum, where we see remnants of Europe’s very first civilization. We then tour the main Greek Orthodox cathedral of town as we are introduced to this ancient form of Christianity. Walking through the traditional leather market, we arrive at the bustling modern agora with its exotic collection of foods and goods. Returning to the harbor, we see a modern, full sized replica of an ancient Minoan boat before walking past the Venetian arsenals to the Yiali mosque. In the evening, we gather together for a festive meal by the waterside. (B,D)

day 4

Samaria Gorge

For those interested, an optional excursion takes us to the unforgettable Samaria Gorge, the second largest gorge in Europe. Entirely downhill, this thirteen kilometer hike passes through beautiful scenery, past abandoned stone villages, and alongside the famous Kri Kri mountain goats. At the “Gates”, the rock walls of the gorge narrow spectacularly to only four meters wide and 300 meters tall. Exiting the national park, we arrive at the seaside town of Agia Roumeli for a chance to enjoy a meal or swim in the sea before catching a ferry back to the main road. For those not inclined to the hike, the day is at leisure to explore Chania, enjoy an authentic Turkish bath, or visit a nearby beach. (B)

day 5

Countryside Winery

In the afternoon, we head to the foothills of the White Mountains to visit the countryside vineyard of the Manousakis family. Amongst this wonderfully picturesque setting we enjoy the pleasures of the Cretan countryside, from tart country cheeses to freshly pressed olive oil. We sample the organic wines and enjoy a full lunch in this relaxed environment. In the evening, we gather together at a pier café to watch the sun setting over the Aegean Sea. (B,L)

Enjoy a freshly caught fish dinner on an uninhabited island off stunning Mykonos.

Day 6

Arrive Hydra

Departing Chania and traveling through Athens, we arrive in the charming port of Hydra by boat and are immediately struck by the enchanting setting. As there are no cars allowed on this island, we are greeted by the mule drivers who load up our luggage in carts as we take a short walk to our hotel, situated within the 200 year old former mansion of a shipping magnate. In the evening, we gather together for a festive dinner in the beautiful surroundings. (B,D)

Day 7

Hydra

The day is free to enjoy the peaceful elegance of Hydra. In the morning, take an optional horseback ride out of town to the Convent of Agios Matronas where you can enjoy your morning coffee with the nuns and a spectacular view of Hydra town and the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. In the afternoon, visit the Naval Museum, which attests to Hydra’s years as one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean, or take a boat ride to a nearby, secluded beach. (B)

Day 8

Day trip to Spetses

In the morning we board a catamaran and sail across the Aegean Sea to the beautiful island of Spetses. Arriving in the port, we visit the jewel of Spetses, the stately Posidonion Grand Hotel. We sit on the waterside veranda where European dignitaries have dined for over a century and enjoy a modern Greek-fusion Sunday brunch from their celebrated chef. In the afternoon, hire a carriage to take you along the harbor to the wonderfully quaint old harbor of Spetses for afternoon coffee amongst the locals and dinner waterside. Overnight Hydra. (B,L)

Day 9

Arrive Mykonos

Departing Hydra, we head to Mykonos, world famous for its whitewashed buildings, blue domed chapels, cosmopolitan culture, and exquisite beaches. We check in to our elegantly designed resort and enjoy dinner on the terrace as we watch the sun set over the Aegean. (B,D)

Day 10

Traditional Farm

Today we are oriented to the main town of Mykonos and its famous sites, including the old windmills, Little Venice, main harbor, and the Church of Paraportiani. In the evening we head out to a countryside, family run, organic farm and vineyard for a night of live traditional music, homemade wine, and fresh island cuisine. (B,D)

Day 11

Mykonos

The day is at leisure to explore cosmopolitan Mykonos, relax on a beautiful beach, or shop at the world class boutiques. (B)

DAy 12

Rhenia

In the afternoon we board a traditional Mykonian fishing boat for an unforgettable journey to the uninhabited island of Rhenia. We join third-generation Mykonian fisherman Panagiotis Faroupos, whose family was the first to bring livestock to the barren island of Rhenia in the 1800s. After sailing along the picturesque coast, we are taken to Panagiotis’ traditional home, complete with ancient Greek pottery he found on the sea floor. In this truly remarkable location, we enjoy a celebratory feast of fresh seafood caught by our captain as we conclude our time on the Greek islands. (B,L)

Sept 29

Depart for USA

Depart Greece relaxed, refreshed, and invigorated with the life giving spirit of the Greeks. (B)


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