19 days

Complete Greece

Complete Greece

UNESCO World Heritage-listed archaeological site of Delphi

The sacred rock of Acropolis

Meteora's ancient monasteries

Central Arcadia's Lousios Valley

Agia Irini Gorge walk

Santorini's wines

Hania - ‘the jewel of Crete'

Olympia

The old-world charm and glamour of Mykonos

Santorini’s legendary caldera

Temple of Olympian Zeus

Trip rating
  • Itinerary

    Day 1 - Athens

    • Your journey starts in Athens, Greece's bustling capital.
    • It is one of the world's oldest cities and there's a feast of things to see and do, so you may wish to book some extra nights' accommodation before your tour starts to make the most of your time here.
    • A visit to the Archaeological Museum of Athens is highly recommended. There are no activities planned today so you may arrive at any time. Please make your own way to the joining hotel (details are in your travel documents). In the evening you meet your tour leader and fellow travelling companions at a welcome meeting (this is usually at 6pm, but please check for the exact time and place in a noticeboard located near the reception at our hotel), where your tour leader will give us a briefing on what lies ahead on the tour.
    • This evening there is the optional visit to the famous Plaka area to enjoy a traditional dinner and show at an excellent taverna, where you can dine on typical Greek cuisine and watch performances of traditional dances from different parts of the country.
    Hotel Hermes or similar
    Breakfast | Dinner

    Day 2 - Acropolis - Nafplion

    • Today you will visit two of Athens most impressive sites. The first is the Temple of Olympian Zeus - the largest temple in all of Greece.
    • It was completed under the rule of Roman Emperor Hadrian in 131 AD, after over 700 years of construction. Of the original 104 Corinthian columns of the temple, only 15 still remain.
    • Next it's on to the famous Acropolis – one of the western world's most important historical structures. Your guided tour will start with an ascent to the top of this sacred rock via the towering entrance, the Propylaia. Once inside you will be confronted with the Parthenon – the greatest Doric temple in the ancient world.
    • The Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion are also impressive.
    • You will then drive to the Peloponnese, your first stop is ancient Epidaurus (Epidavros), the sanctuary of the god of medicine, Asclepius, and the most famous healing centre of the Greek and Roman world.
    • The highlight of Epidaurus is the 3rd century theatre - one of Greece's best preserved classical structures. This theatre has incredible acoustics and is still used today for major performances.
    • You will then continue on to the delightful seaside town of Nafplion (Nafplio), which was the first Greek capital. Due to its strategic location on the Argolic Gulf, it was an important port town from as early as the Bronze Age.
    • In your free time you may choose to explore one of the town's three fortresses or perhaps wander through the narrow winding streets, filled with Venetian houses and neoclassical architecture, and stopping at the centre of the old town – Syntagma (Constitution) Square.
    • The seaside promenade is lined with a multitude of lively cafes and restaurants and is a great place to sit back and soak in the wonderful seaside atmosphere.
    Nafplia Hotel or similar

    Day 3 - Mycenae - Dimitsana

    • This morning you will visit Mycenae. You will have the opportunity to explore the ruins of this city, which during the second millennium BC was a powerful military stronghold and a major centre of Greek civilisation.
    • Perhaps the most famous town from ancient Greece, it was written about by the poet Homer and the famous geographer, Pausanias. Your guide will take you to explore the site including the Lion Gate and the Treasury of Atreus, a self supporting domed tomb. Being surrounded by mountains, sea and an expansive countryside of olive and orange groves, the site also offers wonderful views.
    • You will then drive further east of the Peloponese into the spectacular Lousios Valley, one of the most scenic places in the central Arcadia region.
    • You will discover the incredible working monastery of Prodromos. Hidden deep in the valley away from the threat of intruders, this wooden and clay structure was built precariously into a rock face.
    • The local monks will show you around on a tour of their home. Upon entering the chapel, you will be confronted with splendid 14th century frescoes decorating the rock walls.
    • You will also visit the Byzantine monastery of Philosophou, built in 963 AD and the base for a secret school known as 'Kryfo Scholio', which was run by monks during Ottoman rule to teach Greek children their own language and religion.
    • You will then drive to the charming medieval village of Dimitsana, your base for the night. Built in the 7th century on two hills above Lousios Gorge, Dimitsana's charm lies in its idyllic location, set amidst magical mountains.
    Dimitsana Hotel or similar

    Day 4 - Andritsena -Olympia

    • You will farewell Dimitsana and travel to Andritsena to visit the unique Temple of Vasses – Greece's most isolated temple.
    • Built between 400 and 420 BC on the site of a Archaic temple, the temple stands at a height of 1130m on Mt Kotilio and combines all three architectural styles; Doric, Ionian and Corinthian.
    • The temple is one of the best preserved monuments of the ancient classical world and is today protected by a giant tent. After your visit, you will drive on to Olympia where you will spend the night.
    Neda Hotel or similar

    Day 5 - Ancient Olympia - Delphi

    • You will drive on to explore the archaeological site of ancient Olympia, a complex that once comprised of temples and public buildings and was the site of the first Olympic Games.
    • Over the centuries and during both times of war and peace, the games were held every four years without exception. Even during periods of battle, the ancient games were bound by a sacred truce that required city states to cease fighting and travel to Olympia to compete.
    • On your guided tour you will see all the major sites including the main stadium, gymnasium, wrestling school (palaestra), priest houses (theokoleon), Temple of Hera, Temple of Zeus and the hippodrome, where chariot races were held.
    • After the tour, there is some free time to visit the museum which houses the impressive marble statue of Hermes of Praxiteles and sculptured head of Hera.
    • You will board a minibus and drive to the town of Delphi next, at the foot of Mount Parnassus in picturesque Phocis Valley. After settling into your hotel, you will enjoy some free time to wander through the town's lively main street.
    Leto Hotel or similar

    Day 6 - Delphi - Kalambaka

    • This morning, after breakfast you will visit the fascinating Sanctuary of Apollo in ancient Delphi, home to the Delphi Oracle. The setting amidst the surrounding mountains adds to magnificence of the site of great mythology significance.
    • Legend tells that Zeus released two eagles from different ends of the world and Delphi was the spot where they met, Zeus threw the Sacred Stone at this same point, making Delphi the centre of the world.
    • Your guide will lead you through the complex and you will explore the Temple of Apollo, the most important building of the site and the place were statues and offerings to the gods were housed and were cult rituals took place.
    • You will also see the Sanctuary of Athena, the 4th century BC theatre and the well-preserved stadium during your visit.
    • There will be free time after the tour of the site to visit the Delphi Museum.
    • Later in the afternoon, you will board the minibus and drive north to the town of Kalambaka in the centre of the country.
    • This evening you can choose to have dinner at the hotel or maybe take a short walk into town to dine in one of the local tavernas.
    Famissi Eden or similar

    Day 7-8 - Meteora - Athens

    • After breakfast you will travel up to the magical monasteries of Meteora, one of Greece's most extraordinary sites.
    • Built on top of a series of ancient rock pinnacles, this is a sight that needs to be seen to be believed. Settlement of the area dates back to the 11th century when hermit monks first settled in the hidden caverns of Meteora.
    • Over the years the monks climbed further up the rock face to inaccessible peaks and built the first monasteries by bringing building materials with basic baskets and ladders.
    • In the 14th century when the Turkish occupation was in full force, the monks moved to the area to seek protection. As the monasteries also attracted many writers, painters, poets and philosophers, it has been said that they were responsible for keeping Hellenic traditions, culture and religion alive, which may otherwise have been lost during Ottoman rule.
    • On your visit to Meteora, you will visit two of the monasteries, one of which will be the Moni Varlaam (Varlaam Monastery) with its fine examples of late Byzantine frescoes.
    • This afternoon you will drive back to your starting point Athens.
    Hotel Hermes or similar

    Day 9 - Hania (Crete)

    • This morning you will transfer to the airport and take a short flight to the island of Crete, the largest and most southerly of the Greek islands.
    • Upon arrival you will be transferred to Hania (Chania), your base for the next three nights.
    • Your feature stay hotel is located on the outskirts of the town in the quieter area of Halepa. Built in the 1800s by a wealthy merchant, it was designed in neoclassical style. During the period of Cretan democracy it was used as the British Embassy and many significant treaties were signed here.
    • After settling into the hotel, you will into the old town and discover what makes Hania so special and why it has been called ‘the jewel of Crete’.
    • One of the first structures you stop at is the agora (or municipal market), which is in the centre of town. Today the building shelters a number of specialty shops that sell local handicrafts and produce.
    • You will pass a number of historical churches including the Catholic Church of the Isodion and the Agios Fragiskos Church (now home to the archaeological museum).
    • Strolling on you will discover the remains of a Venetian monastery and wander through the charming Old Harbour area, with its two Venetian shipyards and Great Arsenal building. The old Venetian lighthouse stands tall over the port and was reconstructed during Turkish rule, to include a minaret.
    • Heading deep into the narrow cobblestone alleys of the Venetian town you will discover a range of Venetian and Turkish architecture including impressive facades in old mansions in the once aristocratic area. Many of these have been converted to guesthouses.
    • You may wish to visit one of Hania’s many great museums, go souvenir shopping at the Agora, or perhaps sit back in one of the many portside cafes and absorb the colourful atmosphere of this lovely town.
    • In the afternoon, you will drive to the traditional village of Vamos, renowned for its rich cultural heritage. You’ll have a short stroll around the historical centre or the old neighbourhood with its traditional old houses, old ruins, ancient stone roads and secret nooks.
    • Perhaps enjoy a local taverna dinner with fellow group members to complete the colourful day.
    Halepa hotel or similar

    Day 10 - Agia Irini – Sougia - Hania

    • You will leave the hotel early this morning for the one-and-a-half hour drive to the beautiful hill village of Agia Irini (600m) in the east. From the village you will start a walk through the Agia Irini Gorge, where you will encounter dramatic and varied landscapes from spectacular mountains to dense forests, all the way to the beautiful coastline.
    • You will walk on rocky riverbeds, along the steep sides of mountains and through rich vegetation of trachea pine, Mediterranean cypress, beech, carob tree and kermes oak. In the rocks a number herb varieties can be found including the healing Greek herb, Dittany (Dictamo), used for the relief of stomach pain and arthritis.
    • The aromas from the native wildflowers and herbs fill the air. A variety of interesting fauna lives in the gorge including the endangered bearded vulture, partridge, Bonelli’s eagle and golden eagle. If you’re lucky you may even catch a glimpse of the Kri-kri goat (or Cretan ibex), now found only on Crete and three smaller neighbouring islands.
    • The Kri-kri was thought to have been worshipped on Crete during antiquity - a theory supported by the excavation of several wall paintings depicting the animal.
    • Your rewarding walk will conclude with your arrival in the small coastal village of Sougia, on the southern side of Crete. This is a great place to relax after a day’s walk and you can enjoy a swim as well as an optional lunch and refreshing drink in one of the traditional seaside tavernas.
    • At end of the day you will enjoy a picturesque two-hour drive back to Hania. (Total Walking: 12km / 4 -5 hours)
    Halepa hotel or similar

    Day 11 - Crete

    • Today will be a free day for you to explore Crete.
    • There are plenty of things to see and do. For those wishing to embark on another great walk on the island, there’s the chance to join an optional excursion to hike the famous Samaria Gorge. This walk is 17 kilometres long and, depending on fitness levels, takes between four and six hours to complete (refer to ‘optional excursions’ section).
    • Alternatively you may wish to relax on one of Hania’s city beaches – Nea Hora is a sandy beach west of the Venetian walls and is decked out with sun beds and is close to restaurants. If you walk to the west of this beach you will come across quieter beaches.
    • Another option is to take a local bus to Elafonissi Lagoon on the west coast. Elafonissi is considered Crete’s prettiest beach and a daily bus leaves from Hania in the morning and returns in the late afternoon.
    • There is also the possibility of taking an optional guided excursion to the ruins of Knossos, once the capital of Minoan Crete (refer to ‘optional excursions’).
    • Alternatively you may wish to spend your day experiencing more of the wonderful township of Hania. Your leader will be able to assist you with all the options available on your free day.
    Halepa hotel or similar

    Day 12 - Crete - Santorini

    • Today you will farewell Crete and travel to spectacular Santorini, the southernmost island in the Cyclades group.
    • You will leave the hotel in Hania early for the two-hour drive to the port city of Iraklio. From here you wil board a ferry for the trip across the Sea of Crete to Santorini.
    • This is a great way to travel between the islands and the journey takes approximately two hours.
    • Upon arrival in the capital, Fira, you will be met and transferred to the hotel in Oia (pronounced ‘Ia’). Oia was built on a steep slope of Santorini’s incredible caldera and is a quieter part of the island compared to Fira.
    • You will enjoy a free afternoon to absorb this veritable paradise. Your leader will be able to offer suggestions on what to see and do.
    • In the late afternoon you will as the group and head into the gorgeous town of Oia to view its world-famous sunset, which has been immortalised in many photos and works of art.
    • This evening you will have the option of dining together in one of the lovely tavernas in Oia and enjoying sumptuous seafood and other local cuisine against the truly spectacular backdrop.
    Finikia hotel or similar

    Day 13 - Santorini

    • In the morning you will embark on a walk along Santorini’s legendary caldera.
    • The island that you see today is what remains from a huge volcanic explosion that destroyed the early settlements and created a geographical caldera. This caldera offers spectacular natural beauty and is what makes Santorini such a special place.
    • Your walk begins from Oia and you will walk along the north-western rim of the caldera, passing steep cliff faces and experiencing breathtaking views along the way.
    • Your walk will come to an end in the town of Thira where you will visit the fascinating Prehistoric Museum of Thira and learn more about the incredible history of this unique island, as well as see masterpieces from the prehistoric Aegean age including important wall paintings.
    • The rest of the afternoon will be free and you may wish to visit one of the island’s wineries. The vines here are cultivated in a very unusual way with the plants being pruned to form a low basket shape that sits on top of the volcanic soil, with the basket shape protecting the grapes from strong winds.
    • The Santos Winery, a co-operative and the largest winery on the island, offers tours as well as wine tasting. This winery is idyllically located with marvellous views over the island and the sea - a lovely place to sit and enjoy a glass of wine! (Walking time: approximately 2.5 - 3 hours)
    Finikia hotel or similar

    Day 14 - Santorini

    • You will have a free day today to explore Santorini.
    • There is a lot to do on the island and your tour leader will be on hand to offer suggestions.
    • Perhaps you'd like to learn more about the viticulture of the island with a visit to one of Santorini's wineries, or you may prefer to simply unwind and relax on the beach.
    Finikia hotel or similar

    Day 15 - Santorini - Mykonos

    • This morning you will be transported to Santorini’s port and board a ferry bound for the island of Mykonos.
    • Mykonos, considered the most glamorous and cosmopolitan of the Cycladic islands, still holds on to its old-world charm and many locals maintain their peaceful island existence amongst the many foreigners who grace their shores.
    • Upon arrival in Mykonos, you will be transferred to the region of Vryssi, on the western side of the island, where the hotel is located.
    • This afternoon you will embark on a walking tour of Mykonos’s charming Old Town, a captivating labyrinth of stone-paved lane ways, traditional whitewashed houses and windmills.
    • This evening will be free so you can step out into the lively Mykonos street scene and dine in one of the many tavernas and restaurants on offer. Your tour leader will be available to offer suggestions on the best places to try.
    Vienoulas Garden Hotel or similar

    Day 16 - Mykonos - Delos - Mykonos

    • Today you will embark on an excursion to the island of Delos, a short boat trip from Mykonos. Delos has a vast and interesting history and it is one of the most important sites of archaeology in Greece. New discoveries of ancient archaelogical wonder are still made from time to time here.
    • Considered a sacred place, it’s acclaimed as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis and it has been inhabited since around 3000 BC. The earliest shrines and temples were built around the 8th century BC. By the 5th century BC, the Athenians took control of Delos making it the location of the treasury.
    • During the Hellenistic era, the island was one of Greece’s most important religious and commercial hubs, attracting the wealthy from all over who contributed to the island’s many temples and shrines. When the Romans set their sights on the island in 167 BC it became a free trading port and home to a flourishing slave trade market, with thousands of slaves being traded daily.
    • You will explore the site in-depth and gain an insight into this sacred island’s intriguing history.
    • In the afternoon, you will take a return ferry back to Mykonos, for another night on this lively island.
    Vienoulas Garden Hotel or similar

    Day 17 - Mykonos

    • You will have a free day to discover Mykonos for yourself today.
    • You may wish to take an optional boat trip along the coast to experience beautiful Mykonos from the sea.
    • Your tour leader will be able to assist you with booking this.
    Vienoulas Garden Hotel or similar

    Day 18 - Athens

    • After a leisurely morning, you will transfer to the Mykonos port for your ferry across the Aegean back to Athens.
    • Upon arrival at Pireaus port, you will be taken to your centrally located hotel in Athens.
    • The remainder of the day is free. As tonight will be your last evening together, you might like to join together for a final dinner.
    • Your leader will be able to offer suggestions on the best places in Athens to dine.
    Hotel Hermes or similar

    Day 19 - Athens

    • Your tour will come to an end after breakfast this morning.
    • Additional accommodation can be booked in Athens, or alternatively if you are flying out, you may wish to book a departure transfer to take you to the airport - enquire at time of booking.
  • What to Know

    What's Included

    • The services of Peregrine's expert English-speaking local tour leader.
    • Visit many of Greeces most impressive sites including; Temple of Olympian Zeus, Acropolis, Epidaurus, Temple of Vasses
    • Explore the archaeological site of ancient Olympia, a complex that once comprised of temples and public buildings and was the site of the first Olympic Games.
    • Visit the fascinating Sanctuary of Apollo in ancient Delphi, home to the Delphi Oracle.
    • Walks through dramatic and varied landscapes from spectacular mountains to dense forests, all the way to the beautiful coastline on the Greek Islands.

    Not Included

    • International flights
    • Arrival and departure transfers
    • Departure taxes
    • Visas
    • Travel insurance (compulsory on all trips)
    • Meals (where not listed as included in the itinerary)
    • Optional additional tours or activities during free time
    • Tips
    • Items of a personal nature
  • Map Itinerary

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Trip at a glance

Trip Code PECG
Group size 4 - 16
Start City: Athens
End City: Athens

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