Magical Islands of Greece

Tour Highlights

• Athens  • Mykonos  • Crete  • Santorini 
The charm of the Greek Islands has fascinated visitors for many years. On this tour we start in Athens, with its historical treasures, vibrant culture and celebrated monuments (out of Athens we also enjoy a day cruise and an excursion to classical Delphi).  Then we visit three of the most popular islands in Greece.

Mykonos is a delightful port with winding cobble-stoned streets, white washed houses and picturesque churches. Its famous windmills look glorious against the backdrop of the blue Aegean Sea and sandy beaches. Everything is on the waterfront: shops, cafes and tavernas. Sit a while in a taverna, sip the local Ouzo and watch the sunset ... heaven!

Santorini is known for its high cliffs, black volcanic sand beaches and spectacular landscapes formed by centuries of volcanic activity. The main town of Fira sits atop a cliff edge which plunges almost 900 ft. to the sea. The island's cafes and shops line the streets of the town, and the white houses with distinctive blue doors spread down to the long, black beaches. From the west end of town there are stunning views of the harbour, coastline and the neighboring islands. One of the great pleasures is to wander the cobblestone streets, browse through the craft shops and arrive at the western edge of town to watch the sun bathe the harbour and sea in a magenta glow. Mules are used as transport to and from the harbour.

Crete is the largest Greek island, and its attractions are many  - mosques, monasteries, gorges, grottoes, beaches and wonderful mountain scenery. The walled capital city of Heraklion is just 3 miles from the restored ruins of the 5,000 year old Minoan Palace of Knossos, believed to be the site of the mythical labyrinth of King Minos. Heraklion also has one of the finest archaelogical museums in Greece. There are coastal fishing communities and rustic farming settlements in the hills. This diversity makes for an interesting and lively stay.

*** Those joining any of our European tours must be able to walk fairly long distances and climb stairs easily.

Tentative Itinerary

We depart for Athens, a direct non-stop flight from Toronto.
We arrive in Athens and transfer to our hotel, located in the heart of Athens within walking distance of The Plaka - the oldest section of Athens with churches, shops, cafes and ruins of ancient temples. It is a safe and delightful area to explore.
On our full day tour of Athens we see wonders known around the world - Hadrian's Arch, the Temple of Zeus, the Stadium, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the former Royal Palace and the government buildings. The highlight will be the Acropolis and Parthenon. Lunch will be at a typical taverna.
Our full day tour to Delphi begins with a drive into the mountains for a visit to Arahova, known for its colourful rugs and carpets. We then proceed to Delphi, once known as the centre of the world. Here we visit the temple of the Greek God Apollo, a beautiful site which evokes the classical past of this area. Those who wish may climb to the top of the theatre for incredible views of the countryside.
We cruise to the Saronic Islands via Aegina, a busy port in antiquity and today a tranquil resort. We continue on to Paros where we will enjoy a stroll by its enchanting little harbour, and then the quaint, colourful harbour of Hydra. Lunch is included. We return to Athens for our overnight.
We fly to Crete and transfer to our hotel. The remainder of the day is at your leisure.
Today’s excursion will include a visit to the Palace of Knossos - the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete that has been named Europe's oldest city at various points in history. We then visit the town of Heraklion and the Archaeological Museum, showcasing the most notable and complete collection of artefacts of the Minoan civilization of Crete.
Today we will enjoy a full day tour of the countryside which will take us past vineyards and olive groves to Gortys - the old Greek and Roman town with ruins of Saint Titus Church. Then on to Phaestos for a visit of the Minoan Palace and for the beautiful view over the Messara Plain and Ida Mountain.
We ferry over to the dramatic island of Santorini and transfer to our hotel.
Two days at leisure to explore the town at your own pace. See the Orthodox Cathedral, now a Byzantine museum, and marvel at the dazzling white houses topped with blue domes.
We ferry to Mykonos for 3-night stay. Enjoy the facilities of our resort hotel and beach, stroll into the quaint village or perhaps take the local bus to explore the small churches, chapels, glittering white houses, arcades and narrow streets.
This morning we will have an orientation of Mykonos, including the beautiful esplanade lined with cafes and outdoor terraces overlooking the busy harbour.
Our tour today takes us to the island of Delos - birthplace of the legendary Gods Apollo and Artemis. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Delos is one of the most important mythological, historical, and archaeological sites in Greece.
We fly to Athens for some time at leisure to further explore the Plaka or revisit one or more of the many attractions. Tonight is our Farewell Dinner.
We fly home, direct non-stop to Toronto.

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