The Greek Islands are known for their extreme beauty with many white buildings set against the Deep blue Mediterranean Sea. The pictures are truly worth a million words. One can only truly experience this beauty by seeing it for yourself.
We begin our trip in Mykonos home of the famous Windmills, beautiful beaches, quaint seaside villages and cobbled stoned streets. We will stay in a beach front hotel and enjoy the tranquil beauty that surrounds us. This island is also famous for it's nightlife.
Our next island is the beautiful island of Santorini ranked as the number one island in Europe by Conde’ Nast magazine. When you think of Greece and see the photos you are visioning Santorini. The sunsets alone are famous in their own right for the amazing colors and serene beauty of yet another wonderful day turning into a fabulous night. Santorini also boast vineyards to tour and the extreme topography of one side of the island being flat with wonderful beaches including a black sand and red sand beach. The other side of the island is the caldera side with its high cliffs and breathtaking views of the sea.
Your tour will continue to Crete this unique yet large and diverse island is home to he site of Knossos, Venetian villages, mountains and so much more. We will stay at the picturesque town of Chania and it's colorful Marina.
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Day 1: May 18, 2019 – Arrive into Athens and transfer via flight to Mykonos island. Upon arrival transfer to your beach front hotel. Located on Platis Gialos Beach famous on the island with it's local beach cafes just outside the door. Enjoy the day at leisure to relax at the beach, pool or venture into town. You may chose to visit the island of Delos, the birthplace of the twin Gods Apollo and Artemis. Enjoy lunch in the 18th century district of Alefkantra or Little Venice, where beautiful balconies adorn the facades of the sea facing mansions. Late afternoon our guide will take us into town for a tour and to enjoy some time to wonder and see the windmills, shop in the boutiques and enjoy a famous sunset dinner on the water. Welcome dinner tonight with the group to meet your travel companions for the tour. Petinos hotel - Sea View room for 3 nights (D)
Day 2: May 19 - Today we will visit the nearby island of Naxos and enjoy a guided tour of this unique island with it's gorgeous beaches. See and experience the real Naxos with our guide a native Naxian who has lived on the island his entire life. This half-day island tour includes a coffee stop at a local, traditional kafeneion (café). Follow a narrow paved trail to discover the Kouros of Melanes at Flerio, an unfinished ancient statue dating to around 550 BC, charmingly located in a local Naxian family’s garden. Then view the famous marble quarries, and visit an authentic marble factory. Visit ancient Panagia Drosiani, an Early Christian, trio-apsidal, domed church with its beautiful frescoes. The traditional and picturesque, marble mountain village of Apeiranthos is next. Pass through Filoti Village on the way to Chalki Village, where after a pleasant stroll, visit the hundred-year-old family distillery, which still produces Naxos’ well-known KITRON liqueur. History comes alive at the ancient temple of Demetra, in Sagri Village, dated 530 BC, and dedicated to the goddess of agriculture. Built on the edge of a fertile Naxian valley, as the first Greek temple constructed entirely of marble (its roof as well), it’s of even greater historical importance. (B,L)
Day 3: May 20 - Free Day. Take this day to enjoy the many beaches of Mykonos, Explore the old Venetian port and the sunset along the water. Venture off to the other side of the island and explore the beaches. Take a short ferry trip to some of the alcoves and beaches Mykonos is famous for. (B)
Day 4: May 21 - We will set off via the fast ferry for Santorini Island. We arrive around noon time and will be transferred to our hotel, perched atop the famous caldera and providing stunning views of the deep blue sea. Stay in a traditionally designed cave style room, making the experience authentic. Join your Tour Leader, who will take you on a guided tour of Fira, the capital of Santorini, and its most important village. It is located on the west side of the island, on the edge of an impressive cliff, at a height of 260 meters, and offers a great panoramic view of the submerged volcano. Though the island of Santorini was largely destroyed during a 1956 earthquake, some of the 18th -century buildings were saved. Fira is a typical Cycladic village, made up of charming white houses with blue windows and doors, separated from each other by small paved streets. Many of its beautiful buildings date back to the Venetian invasion. For those in search of island culture, there is an archaeological museum featuring many items from several excavations conducted in the ancient Minoan settlement of Akrotiri. Take advantage of the hotel pool, do some shopping in town or explore a bit more of the island. You may opt to cruise the island in a 4x4 or head to the black sand beaches on the opposite side. If you like you can visit one or two of the famous Greek wineries for some authentic Greek wine tastings and some fabulous views along the way. This evening, have dinner along the caldera with famous sunset views. Boutique hotel on the Caldera in Santorini – 2 nights Sea View room. (B,D)
Day 5: May 22 - Today we enjoy a tour of the coastal side of the island including the red and black sand beaches via our Catamaran. We will sail to the volcanic island of Nea Kameni with amazing views across the sea to Mykonos, the boat heads to the “Hot Springs” and their thermal sulfurous waters, where you can let yourself indulge in the warm and soothing waters. The vessel docks close to Thirassia, the second largest of the complex of islands forming the caldera, giving you the opportunity to escape into its crystal clear and refreshing blue waters. Meanwhile, the crew prepares a delicious traditional buffet of Greek food which will be accompanied by delicious local white wine. Next, head to the northern tip of Santorini and the town of Oia, with its two small fishing ports. The boat offers a unique vantage point from which to admire and photograph this traditional settlement. Relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery, while cruising over the Aegean Sea. The remainder of the day and evening is at your leisure to explore the island as you choose. Later our tour leader will take you to explore the town of Oia, offering a very different feel and design. From here we will enjoy the sunset and have dinner with a water view before heading back to Fira. (B,L)
Day 6: May 23 - Your last day in Santorini is at your leisure to take in any sites and expereinces not already had. In the late afternoon, take the fast ferry to Crete and transfer to the hotel, located near the port in the city of Heraklion. After check-in, we will enjoy dinner at a local tavern. Atrion Hotel 1 night (B,D)
Day 7: May 24 - After breakfast, embark on a full-day tour of the area. First, visit the archaeological site of the magnificent Minoan palace of Knossos, the center of Minoan civilization. Your licensed guide will give you an in-depth tour and discuss the site’s history and artifacts. Continue on to the wonderful town of Chania (Hania), with stops along the way. Among the tour Highlights: the quaint towns of Rethymnon and Georgioupoli, Greek winery, and of course, you’ll have time to snap some photos along the way. Arrive in Chania in the late afternoon. Spend the evening at your leisure, enjoying dinner overlooking the marina and setting sun. Porto Veneziano Hotel - Sea View room – 2 nights (B,L)
Day 8: May 25 - Our last on Crete and in Greece will be spent first enjoying a guided walk of the town of Chania and it’s old buildings offering a unique Venetian history of the island. Visit the local market for authentic shopping of olive oils and honey grown and harvested on the island. Many other wonderful shops offer great deals on local crafts and goodies to bring home. Later today we are treated to a very special Cretan cooking class where we will learn the traditional ways of making some of the fabulous food we have been eating all week. All dishes are made of genuine, pure Cretan products such as olive oil, vegetables, cheese, meat, wine, etc. and of course all the ingredients are fresh and local. In addition, useful information about the herbs, olive oil and other ingredients used is given together with explanations about their nutritional value and ways of usage. We will then dine on our creation. This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner to say goodbye to Greece and our new friends. (B,D) The Old Town of Chania is built on the remains of the Minoan Kydonia and comprise of many historic districts. People with different cultures and morals lived in Chania creating a unique atmosphere. Right across the town’s entrance you will see the magnificent Venetian Lighthouse, which was built during the 16th century. The archaeological findings reveal that the region was constantly inhabited since the Neolithic Age and was an important town during the Minoan, Byzantine and Roman period. Especially during the Roman period Chania was an important financial and cultural center. But then the Turks came and everything changed. After the liberation of the town from the Turks, Chania along with the rest of Crete, united with the Greek State.
Day 9: May 26 - Departure day. You will transfer via air this morning from Chania Crete (CHQ) for your return flight home. Departure times from Chania are at 6:30 AM and 9:25 AM. Please consult with us regarding the best option on your return flight as most flights should be booked as a continued route departing from Chania via Athens. (B)
Cost: $2614.00 per person based on double occupancy,(Roommates can be provided)
Single supplement: $450.00
Save 3% off the tour price if paid in full via check
Booking/final payment deadline is 60 days prior to departure.
8 nights’ 4* Deluxe accommodations
Fast Ferry business class seats: Mykonos - Santorini - Heraklion
Boat cruise in Santorini
Greek Cooking class
R/T Transfer from port to hotel in Santorini
Transfer from airport to hotel in Mykonos, transfer from hotel to cruise port
Transfer from port to hotel in Heraklion
Transfer in Chania, Crete hotel to airport
Entrance fee and private tour in Knossos Palace
Full day guided tour from Heraklion to Chania, Crete
Ferry trip to Naxos Island and guided tour
Additional Pre nights in Mykonos $179.00 Double per person, $265 Single
International airfare – We can arrange airfare for you
Meals not listed in itinerary
Room charges such as phone calls, mini bar, laundry, room service
Alcoholic drinks and soft drinks with meals
Airfare from Athens to Mykonos, airfare from Crete to Athens
Visa, Passport fees or departure taxes
Entry Requirements: Visitors from the US, Canada and Australia need a valid passport, Visas are not required for Americans, Canadians or Australians visiting for less than 3 months. If you are a citizen of another E.U. country, you do not need a passport, only an identity card. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the date you intend to leave the European Union. Make sure you check your passport expiry date at least 2 months prior to travel. Before traveling abroad it's a good idea to make two photocopies of your passport, driver's license and credit cards. Leave one copy at home with a friend or family member and another bring with you.
Time Zone: Greece is 7 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (NYC) 8 hours ahead of Central Standard Time, 9 hours ahead of Mountain Standard Time (DEN), and 10 hours ahead of Pacific Standard Time (LAX). Greece does observe daylight saving time, The European 24-hour clock is used to measure time, so on schedules you'll see 3:30 PM as 15:30, and 11:00 PM as 23:00
Weather: Greece has a warm, dry climate. The best time to visit begins in May. Mykonos may have some strong winds, and Crete is mild and sunny nearly all year round, Santorini may get some winds however it keeps a nice warm temperature. Temperatures will range from the mid to upper 80's for day and low to mid 70's for the evenings.
Currency: The local currency in Greece is the euro. The best way to get cash in the local currency is from an ATM. Keep in mind that most banks impose a fee every time a card is used at another bank's ATM, and that fee can be higher for international transactions ($1 - $3) so try and withdraw as few times as possible. Credit cards are accepted by most shops and restaurants however check with your credit card company regarding foreign exchange fees. You will also have a better chance making deals at local shops if paying with cash.
Electricity: Voltage in Greece is 200 volts AC (50 cycles) and the plug is the typical European plug with two round prongs. Many stores in North America sell the appropriate transformers and adapters, and they can also be purchased on arrival in Athens airport, as well. Any heat generating appliances that you bring need a transformer, and they may still not work properly with the different voltage. Small electronics which are such as laptops, tablets, Phones, etc., have dual voltage, so you only need a plug converter.
Taxes/Vat: Greece has a value-added tax (VAT) on most purchases made within the country, and the displayed price already includes it. It ranges from 6% (for books) to 23% (general goods). Luxury goods such as jewelry, and expensive imported liquors include a 30% built-in tax. To get a VAT refund on purchases that qualify, present your passport to the salesperson and ask for the special stamped form. Present the form with your purchases at the booth marked IVA Tax Refunds at the airport, as you leave the country. You'll get your money refunded right at the booth.
Health: Greece does not offer free medical treatment to visitors. Travelers from Canada and the United States must pay for medical services rendered, but will be reimbursed by their travel insurance. Your health insurance provider may not cover you while traveling to Greece so it is best to check with them prior to travel. It is always advisable to purchase a travel insurance plan while traveling abroad. This way you will be covered for accidents, injury and illness. No vaccines are required for Greece. The water is not safe to drink and thus bottled water must be used to drink and in same cases at certain hotels for brushing your teeth.
Activity Level: This trip has a fairly limited activity level however at each stop we will be walking quite a bit. Most streets are uneven pavement or on cobble stone paths. To be able to fully enjoy the tour and participate in scheduled activities, you need to be able to walk, at a leisurely pace, up to 3 or 4 or so miles on some days. You should be able to stand unassisted for up to 30 minutes at times during the tours. You will need be able to keep up with the group without any assistance. At times you will need manage your own luggage. This trip is pretty easy for the average person however if you can't or choose not to participate in certain activities this is at your own discretion. However it cannot affect the groups participation nor can any tours or activities or refunds be offered or changed due to an individual not being able or not wanting to participate.
As a traveler it is highly recommended for you to know the exact list of items you need to bring with you. It is not advised to carry a huge suit case with unnecessary items. Also, when in Rome do as the Romans do and hence, it is ideal to pick and choose your dressing […]