Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Athens Mykonos Ancient Greece - Islands, Myths and Legends Trip
Ancient Greece - Islands, Myths and Legends tour

Ancient Greece - Islands, Myths and Legends

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Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: 3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards. Premium - 4 star
17 days
From: $ 6,895 $ 406 / day
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Overview

Highlights

  • 5 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

Short Description

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.

We visit a myriad of ancient sites including the Parthenon, the Panathenaic Stadium and the Temple of Poseidon. Drive through the central Peloponnese, before arriving in Olympia, where the games began in 776 BC. The impressive Temple of Zeus was built here to honor the great god.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
See all the highlights and popular spots on a classic tour.
Itinerary Focus Classic Highlights
3 to 4 star western hotel equivalents. While not all lodging will be 'luxury' they will be quite comfortable by western standards.
Lodging Level Premium - 4 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Athens
End City Athens

Trip Includes

  • 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 and spot guides
  • Services of a trip leader.

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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 have some free time to enjoy the old district of the Plaka. 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: The Byzantine City of Mystras

After an early breakfast we drive to Mystras via Corinth and Sparta. Once in Mystras we take a light hike to the Byzantine Citadel.

After lunch continue via Gythio to Deep Mani, a region of rugged beauty. For centuries the area has been protected from many invaders, resisting sea threats from fortified villages and mansions on the hill. The history of the area speaks of pirates and vendettas, patriotism, pride and faith. Not only architecture, but also nature fits with this tradition. A combination of rugged hills and deep blue sea, rocky slopes, hidden gorges, olive groves and peaceful fishing villages makes this area an explorer's paradise. Overnight in Stavri.
 
Day 4: Cape Tainaro - Entrance to the Underworld

After breakfast our journey takes us to Cape Tainaro. On our way, 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. 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. Overnight in Stavri.
 
Day 5: Diros Caves, Kardamyli

This morning we travel to the picturesque village of Kardamyli. On the way 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. On arrival in Kardamyli, we take a light hike (approx. 1-2 hours) to visit the ancient ruins of the old city, including the church of St. Spyridonas and the dwellings of the Troupiani or Troupiakis-Mourzinos clan.

After lunch you will have some free time to stroll around this seaside town or join your tour leader for an optional hike. Overnight in Kardamyli.
 
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. On our way to the picturesque fishing village of Galaxidi, we will stop for lunch in Nafpaktos.

We continue out drive to 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 the locally produced brightly colored shoulder bags and rugs.
Overnight in Delphi.
 
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 in 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 Tinos island.

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 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. Wonder 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 Archeological Museum before taking our boat back to Mykonos. This afternoon is free.
Overnight on Mykonos.
 
Day 15: Return ferry to Athens

After breakfast 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 Archeological 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.

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Price Per Day: $ 406 per day
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Local Flights

All local transportation is included in the land price of the trip. We travel by bus, boat/ferry and foot.

Group Size:

Small Group - 24 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 16

Limited to 16 participants.

Accomodations

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.

Cancellation Policy:

Participants booked on all land-based adventures may receive a refund for a cancelled trip, subject to a cancellation fee, as follows:

Cancellation made Cancellation Fee (days before departure)

More than 100 days: deposit amount*

31 – 99 days:  50% of tour price

0 – 30 days : 100% of tour price

Please note cancellations for Heli-Hiking in the Canadian Rockies and Polar Bears of Churchill between 0-70 days is 100% of tour price.

Trip ID#:

AncGreEld

Trip Excludes

  • International flights
  • Tips to ElderTreks tour leader
  • National guide
  • Alcoholic drinks
  • Visa’s and travel insurance.

Meals Included:

All meals.

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