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Highlights
  • Acropolis tour
  • National Archaeological Museum tour
  • Olive and olive oil tasting
  • Mani Peninsula villages
  • Byzantine Mystras tour
  • Wine tasting
  • Ancient Olympia tour

Rick Steves Athens & the Heart of Greece tour is an odyssey of time-travel thrills, from Athens' majestic Acropolis to the must-see ancient sites of Delphi, Olympia, Epidavros, and Mycenae. With knowledge and a nudge from your Rick Steves guide, you'll walk among marble monuments where Plato pondered, splash in the turquoise Aegean where Odysseus sailed, gaze up at god-dwelling mountains, sample family-crafted olives and wines — and maybe learn to play backgammon at a whitewashed taverna on the island of Hydra. Join us for Athens & the Heart of Greece in 14 Days!

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Flights & Transport
  • Only ground transport

8
Rick Steves Travel Reviews & Ratings
100% Recommend

5.0 out of 5
Excellent 8 Great 0 Average 0 Disappointing 0 Terrible 0
Value
4.9 Guide
5.0 Activities
5.0 Lodging
5.0 Transportation
5.0 Meals
5.0
Athens & the Heart of Greece in 14 Days Tour

No reviews yet for this trip. Browse other reviews below for Rick Steves.

M

Recommends

Our Rick Steve's "Best of Italy Tour," starting in Varenna, October 18, through Rome, November 3, 2015. January 2017

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We flew into Milan and toured the town on our own a few days. Then we took the train to Varenna on Lake Como to formally start our Rick Steves tour with our guide, Lisa Anderson. She was excellent; very organized, helpful to a fault, and took us to a lot of out-of-way places not on the itinerary. What I liked most was the mixture of planned activities and time our own own; a nice balance which I believe gave us a good feel for the people, culture, and historical places we toured throughout Italy. You can read any itinerary for this trip and learn about what you're going to see, but getting to know your traveling companions (there were 28 of us) well, share food (and a cold- achoo!) made it all the better. I would highly recommend this tour to anyone who would really like to get a taste of Italy from Rome north. I had no interest in visiting Italy before, but would go back in a heartbeat. I especially enjoyed our time high up in a ski village in the Dolomite Mountains. Seeing the "big three" of Venice, Florence, and Rome was great, but I also enjoyed seeing Pisa and Assisi, and spending time in places I had never heard of before - Cinque Terre , Siena, and Orvieto. While I know you can't pick your tour hosts, I would give the highest marks to our guide Lisa, her assistant, Alex, and our bus driver extraordinaire, Adrian. They helped put an excellent adventure over the top. Kudos to you Rick Steve's! We'll book another one of your tours in the next few years.
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Operator Rick Steves

M

Recommends

Great Tour of Paris July 2016

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
My family and I took the seven day Paris tour run by Rick Steves and had a great time. Excellent guide and perfect mix of scheduled events and free time. The specialist guides in the museums provided essentially a college level class on art history and appreciation which made it all the more special. The accommodations were well located and nicely sized. The mix of free time was excellent for my photography so I never felt rushed nor did we hold up the group. We look forward to booking another Rick Steves tour sometime in the future.
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Operator Rick Steves

BH

Recommends

Excellent! October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We went on the My Way Best of Euope 14 day tour last month. Excellent tour. So much to see!!! We loved it!! I would highly recommend it if you are an independent traveler who doesn't want any stress.

Operator Rick Steves

M

Recommends

Absolutely fantastic tour! October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
Just got back from the Best of Scandinavia Tour. It was absolutely fantastic in every respect: Great venues and sights, great food and lodging, great local tour guides, a wonderful group to travel with, but the best part was having two fantastic professional guides with us every day to make everything come to life and help us connect in a very meaningful way with the cultures and lands we were there to experience. This is my second RS tour and I would say both have exceeded my expectations. I would highly recommend RS tours to anyone looking to travel in this part of the world!!
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Operator Rick Steves

CW

Recommends

Rick Steve's tours are the best! October 2015

5.0
  • Value 5.0
  • Guide 5.0
  • Activities 5.0
  • Lodging 5.0
  • Transportation 5.0
  • Meals 5.0
We had a glorious time in Europe. Rick Steve's tours are the best way to learn about the various country's history, people, and culture. Great recommendations for places to eat when you're on your own. Fun meeting people in the tour group.
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Operator Rick Steves

Itinerary

Day 1: Welcome to Greece

At 6 p.m. we'll meet at our hotel near Athens' pedestrian-friendly Plaka neighborhood for a "Welcome to Athens" get-together. Then we'll get oriented to our neighborhood and walk to a nearby restaurant where we can get acquainted over dinner. Sleep in Athens (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Athens' Acropolis

This morning we'll hike to the top of Athens' legendary Acropolis, where we'll take a walking tour of its 2,500-year-old Golden Age temples, dominated by the dramatic Parthenon. We'll then work our way down and tour the sleek new Acropolis Museum, custom built to showcase the amazing Parthenon sculptures. Your afternoon and evening are free for exploring Athens' marketplaces — the ancient Agora and the modern Plaka's labyrinth of inviting streets, squares, shops, and cafés. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Greek Treasures and Delphi

This morning we'll tour Athens' impressive National Archaeological Museum, home to amazingly preserved masterpieces in marble, bronze, and gold. Then we'll leave the city and drive into the rugged countryside. In a dramatic setting on the flanks of 8,000-foot Mt. Parnassus we'll enjoy the fresh air and tour the mystical ruins of Delphi. Here, 25 centuries ago, the celebrated oracle allowed mere mortals to converse with the gods. This evening we'll have dinner together and sleep in the town of Delphi (1 night). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 4: Peloponnese Mountains

Today we'll cross over the Gulf of Corinth to the Peloponnese Peninsula, where we'll temporarily leave our bus for a steep, scenic cog railway ride past the waterfalls and caves lining the narrow Vouraikos Gorge. At a riverside café in the mountain village of Planitero, we will enjoy a lunch of freshly caught trout and other Greek specialties before our bus takes us to our destination high up in the Menalon Mountains. Tonight we will enjoy dinner together. Sleep in or near Lagkadia (1 night). Train: 1 hr. Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 5: Ancient Olympia

This morning's winding mountain drive will take us to Olympia, site of the world's first Olympics, over 2,700 years ago. There we'll take a vivid walking tour of Olympia's ancient athletic venues, temples, and museum, followed by lunch together. This afternoon's drive will take us along sweeping views of the Ionian Sea to the relaxed seaside village of Kardamyli, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Seaside Kardamyli

Kardamyli is an ideal place to enjoy a "vacation from your vacation." After some orientation by your guide, the day is all yours. You might hike along the ancient cobbled paths that wind their way through the nearby hills — or just relax on the beach — and end your day with a grilled seafood dinner and a view from the little taverna you've discovered. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 7: Mani Villages

We'll follow the coast to the isolated Mani Peninsula, home to generations-long clan wars, salt-of-the-earth villages, and unique pyrgospita — tower houses. If Greece had a Tombstone and an O.K. Corral, here is where they'd be. We will enjoy lunch together, and after making a few off-the-beaten-path discoveries, we'll ride on to the dramatically set medieval town of Monemvasia, where you'll be free for dinner. Sleep in mainland Monemvasia (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 8: Medieval Monemvasia

This morning we'll cross the causeway to tackle the massive rock that shoots straight up out of the blue-green Aegean Sea. After an orientation walk around Monemvasia's cozy little Lower Town, the rest of the day is free. You can wander more of the romantic walled town or take a swim in the Aegean. Those who want a workout can hike to the very top of the rock. You will be rewarded with sweeping Aegean views and a chance to explore the ruins of the Upper Town — a living museum of Byzantine, Ottoman and Venetian history. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Byzantine Mystras

Today we'll head up into the heart of the Peloponnese, where we'll tour the haunting ruins of the fortress town of Mystras and its still-standing group of Byzantine churches. After stopping in nearby Sparta for lunch, we'll continue north to our destination: the delightful, fortress-topped harbor town of Nafplio. We'll enjoy a Greek wine and ouzo tasting, and sleep in Nafplio (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 10: Mycenae and Nafplio

After breakfast we'll take a short drive to mysterious Mycenae, the fortified city founded by Perseus a thousand years before the Parthenon was built. We'll take a walking tour through the grand Lion Gate, along the "cyclopean" walls, and into a remarkably domed tholos tomb. Then we'll return to Nafplio for a free afternoon to explore the colorful alleyways of the Old Town, ride a boat to the little castle island in the harbor, or hike up to enjoy a Venetian fortress view. We'll regroup for dinner together this evening. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Ancient Epidavros

This morning we'll drive to nearby Epidavros. Once the most famous healing center in the Mediterranean, today's star attraction is its ancient theater, large enough to accommodate 14,000. We'll learn about the roots of drama here, before hopping a boat to the idyllic traffic-free island of Hydra, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Boat: ½ hr. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: Island of Hydra

Your entire day is free to soak up the whitewashed architecture as you wander Hydra's narrow streets and harbor promenade. You might swim at a nearby beach, hike across the island, or try to make friends with a donkey. We will cap our island vacation with a relaxing sunset happy hour. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 13: Return to Athens

This morning we'll take a ferry ride to Piraeus, where our bus will be waiting to take us back to our Athens hotel. Your afternoon is free to wander and shop through the Plaka, or explore other parts of this bustling city. Tonight we'll gaze at the floodlit Acropolis and enjoy a final dinner together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Opa! Sleep in Athens (1 night). Boat: 2 hrs. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: light.

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. You can easily catch a cab for the airport, or to nearby Piraeus where a fleet of ferries awaits to transport those with time to even more Greek destinations. Antio!

Dates & Pricing

Price From

$ 2,995

Price Per Day:

$ 214 per person
 
  • Single Supplement (Single Occupancy): $ 675
Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.
Details
Trip Includes
  • A small, friendly group of 24–28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art, and culture of Greece come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 16 group sightseeing events, Acropolis tour, Acropolis Museum tour, National Archaeological Museum tour, Ancient Delphi tour, Scenic Diakofto–Kalavryta Railway, Olive and olive oil tasting, Ancient Olympia tour, Mani Peninsula villages, Monemvasia orientation, Byzantine Mystras tour, Nafplio orientation, Wine tasting, Ancient Mycenae tour, Folk music evening, Theater of Epidavros tour, Hydra orientation…and more
  • All group transportation from Athens to Athens
  • 13 nights' accommodations in memorable, centrally located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Rick Steves Travel Store credit to use toward guidebooks for your trip
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2017
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above
Trip Excludes
  • Airfare
  • Passport and visa expenses
  • Any kind of insurances
  • Other personal expenses
Flights & Transport
Only ground transport
Group Size:
Standard Group
Maximum Number of People in Group: 28
Start City
Athens
End City
Athens

Trip ID#: AthHearic

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