Days
18
Price from
$7,025USD

Soak up the best of Greece, from Athens to Delphi and the Cycladic Islands

Be part of a curated journey exploring the best of mainland Greece and the Cyclades. Whether it’s tracing a path through ancient ruins in Delphi, visiting secluded monasteries high in the Meteora Valley, or watching as the sun sets over the white-washed domes of Mykonos – this is a country where the weight of history makes its presence felt. With plenty of opportunities to mingle with the locals, savour traditional Aegean fare and visit iconic sites, this is an all-encompassing adventure into Greece’s sun-kissed heartland.


Start
Athens, Greece
Finish
Mykonos, Greece
Country
Greece
Style
Peregrine
Code
PECGC
Physical rating
Traveller’s rating
2 reviews
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Experience three nights of excellent Cretan hospitality at the Halepa Hotel in Chania, one of our 'feature stays' on this trip. This gorgeous neoclassical building was used as the British Embassy in the 1800s.

  • With magical monasteries built on a series of ancient rock pinnacles, Meteora is one of Greece's most extraordinary sights.

  • Experience a different side of Greece by staying in the medieval village of Dimitsana at our 'feature stay', a gorgeous 7th-century township set on top of two hills and a gorge in little visited Central Arcadia. Share a coffee or 'Greek delight' with a monk during a visit to nearby Prodromos monastery.

  • Discover the local history with included visits to the Thira Prehistoric Museum and the mythical archaeological site of Delos Island.

  • There's plenty of free time in Crete, Mykonos and Santorini to relax by the cool blue waters of the Mediterranean.

  • Enjoy a sunset picnic overlooking the caldera away from the crowds. Indulge in local cheese, ham and bread, all complimented by a local grape variety and a world-class view.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Pickpocketing can be an issue in Athens, especially on public transport. If you keep your valuables concealed and secure while travelling on the metro or bus, you should have no problems.

  • Summer temperatures in Greece can reach up to 40°C, so you will need to be able to cope with the heat if you're visiting during the warmer months. Please consider the time of year and your suitability to visiting during that season.

  • Due to the current financial situation, banking services in Greece could become limited at short notice. It's important to carry several different means of payment with you, such as debit cards, credit cards and plenty of Euros in case of emergency or unforseen circumstances.

  • As accommodation on this trip is twin share, single travellers will share a room with another traveller of the same gender. If you’d prefer not to share, a single-room supplement is available at an additional charge. On the other hand, sharing is a great opportunity to chat with like-minded travellers. Note that some hotels in Europe do not have double beds, but often two single beds that can be pushed together.

  • This is a combination of two trips, Greek Island Odyssey (PEGI) and Highlights of Greece (PEHG). This means your leader and the composition of your group may change on return to Athens on Day 9.

Itinerary

This journey begins in Athens, Greece's storied capital. There is a lot to do and see here in one of the world's oldest cities, so you may wish to arrive a few days early to allow time for exploration. The Archaeological Museum of Athens is highly recommended. There are no activities planned for today, other than an important welcome meeting this evening. Afterwards, you will head out for dinner with the group and sample some traditional Greek fare. Toast the beginning of the adventure with a glass of raki or ouzo. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel Hermes or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
An arrival transfer is included in the price of this trip. Please advise your travel agent of your flight details at the time of booking. Tonight's welcome meeting is usually at around 6pm, but check with the hotel's reception or noticeboards for the exact time and place. In this meeting, your trip leader will give you a briefing on what lies ahead.
Today visit two of Athens' most impressive sites. The first is the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the largest temple in all of Greece. Then 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, encounter the Parthenon – the greatest Doric temple in the ancient world. Later in the afternoon, board your private minibus and drive north to the town of Kalambaka in the centre of the country. The town is nestled at the base of the striking Meteora Mountains. This evening you can choose to have dinner at the hotel or perhaps take a short walk into town and dine at one of the local tavernas.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Famissi Eden or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Acropolis Visit
  • Visit to the Temple of Olympian Zeus
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After breakfast, travel into the hills to see the monasteries of Meteora. The ancient stone buildings, which sit precariously on soaring cliffs, make these mountains one of Greece's most extraordinary sites. Settlement of the area dates back to the 11th century, when hermit monks first settled in the hidden caverns of Meteora. The monasteries attracted many writers, painters, poets and philosophers, who were responsible for keeping Hellenic traditions, culture and religion alive 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. Return to Kalambaka in the afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Famissi Eden or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Meteora Monasteries
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast before travelling to Delphi (approximately 4 hours). On arrival visit the fascinating Sanctuary of Apollo in Ancient Delphi, home to the Delphi Oracle. Legend has it that Zeus released two eagles from different ends of the world, and Delphi was where they came together. Zeus then threw a Sacred Stone at this same point, making Delphi the centre of the world. Walk through the complex and explore the Temple of Apollo, the most important building of the site. This is where statues and offerings to the gods were housed, and where 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 to visit the Delphi Museum.
Accommodation
  • Leto Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delphi Oracle & Temple of Apollo Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
After an early morning drive (approx. 3,5 hours) arrive at the archaeological site of ancient Olympia, a complex that once comprised temples and public buildings, and was the site of the first Olympic Games. Over the centuries, and both during 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. 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. After your exploration enjoy some free time to visit the museum, which houses the impressive marble statue of Hermes of Praxiteles and sculptured head of Hera. Next is the charming medieval village of Dimitsana (approx. 2 hours), where you will spend the next two nights at our feature stay. Dimitsana's charm lies in its location, set amidst magical mountains in Central Arcadia.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse En Dimitsani (Feature stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Guided Tour of Olympia
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today explore the central part of the Peloponnese peninsula and the spectacular Lousios Valley, one of the most scenic places in the central Arcadia region. Hidden deep in the valley, away from the threat of intruders, you'll walk to the incredible working monastery of Prodromos. This wood and clay structure, which has stellar views over the valley below, was built precariously into a rock face. The local monks will show you around on a tour of their home and offer you a coffee or the local specialty, the Greek delight. As part of your visit you'll see the splendid 14th-century frescoes decorating the rock walls inside the chapel. Further along on our hike, visit the 10th-century Byzantine monastery of Philosophou. This monastery was 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. Later on visit the medieval villages of Stemnitsa, Karitena (with a towering Crusader Castle) and Andritsena. Return to Dimitsana.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse En Dimitsani (Feature stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Lousios Valley Monasteries Hike
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s walking distance and time: Approx 7 km, 3 hours
This morning drive to the delightful seaside town of Nafplion (Nafplio), the original Greek capital. In your free time you might 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. The seaside promenade is lined with a multitude of lively cafes and restaurants, making it a great place to watch local life unfold. If you're still unsure what to do, your friendly Peregrine Leader will be on hand to offer suggestions. Later, continue to ancient Epidaurus (Epidavros), 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. The theatre has incredible acoustics and is still used today for major performances. Return to Athens in the afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Hermes or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Epidaurus Guided Tour
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
There is a lot to experience in this ancient city, and you will have all day free to explore at your own pace. In the evening enjoy dinner with the group at a local restaurant in the vibrant Psiri neighbourhood.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Hermes or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
As this trip is a combination trip your leader and group composition may change at this location. There will be another welcome meeting at 6pm tonight. You are welcome to attend so you can meet your new fellow travellers.
This morning travel to Cape Sounion and visit the ruins of the ancient Temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea in classical mythology. The remnants are perched on the headland and surrounded on three sides by the sea, creating spectacular views of the Greek coastline. Look closely and you'll also find the ruins have been engraved with the name of English Romantic poet Lord Byron. Return to Athens in the afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day to explore. Perhaps visit the Acropolis Museum, where you can find relics from Ancient Greece. Another option is to watch the uniquely theatrical changing of the guard at Parliament, or see where the Olympics once took place at the Panathenaic Stadium. At dusk, pull up a chair at one of the local restaurants and dine on traditional souvlaki and ouzo.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Hermes or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Cape Sounion & Temple of Poseidon
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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 Chania (often also spelled Hania), your base for the next three nights. Your historic hotel (the feature stay of the trip) is located a short distance from Chania's town centre, in a quieter part of town. After settling in you will take a walk into the Old Town. First stop at the agora (municipal market), then pass a number of historical churches. Discover the remains of a Venetian monastery and wander through the charming Old Harbour area, with its two Venetian shipyards and Great Arsenal building. Heading deep into the narrow cobblestone alleys of the Venetian town, discover a beautiful array of Venetian and Turkish architecture in the former aristocratic area. Afterwards, enjoy some free time before driving to the traditional village of Vamos. This area is renowned for its rich cultural heritage. Here you will take a short walk around the historical centre or the old neighbourhood with traditional old houses, ruins, ancient stone roads and secret nooks. Stopover at a local tavern and enjoy a typical Greek moment with meze, a meal shared around the table, done for centuries by the locals. Clink glasses with the locals and wash it all down with the traditional local white spirit raki. Return to Chania for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Halepa (Feature stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vamos Village Excursion
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive towards the White Mountains and visit the lush surrounds of the Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete. This nearly 20 hectare garden was burned to the ground in 2003, however it has since been carefully redeveloped. At the center of the park lies a burnt centennial olive tree, a constant reminder of the devastating fire. Take the time to explore the park and discover some of the 150 species of fruit trees grown here, as well as a rich variety of herbs and plants. The walking path takes approximately two hours to complete. If you work up an appetite you'll be able to take lunch at the Botanical Gardens restaurant. Afterwards you may wish to spend the rest of your day experiencing more of the township of Chania.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Halepa (Feature stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free for you to explore Crete. If you are looking to embark on a great walk on the island, there’s the chance to join an optional excursion to hike the famous Samaria Gorge (17 km; approximately 4–6 hours, depending on fitness level). Alternatively you can relax on one of Chania’s city beaches. Nea Hora is a sandy beach west of the Venetian walls – it's 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 goes there from Chania in the morning and returns in the late afternoon. There is also the option of visiting the ruins of Knossos, the former capital of Minoan Crete that is considered to be Europe's oldest city. Your leader will be able to assist you with all the options available on your free day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Halepa (Feature stay) or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Bid farewell to Crete and travel to spectacular Santorini, the southernmost island in the Cyclades group. Firstly you will embark on a very early morning drive to the port city of Heraklion (approximately 2 hours). Here you will board a ferry and head across the Sea of Crete to Santorini (approximately 2 hours). This is a great way to travel between the islands. Upon arrival in Santorini's capital, Fira, you will be met and transferred to the hotel in Oia (pronounced ‘eeah’). Oia was built on a steep slope inside Santorini’s incredible volcanic caldera and is a quieter part of the island compared to Fira. 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 view Oia's world-famous sunset, which has been immortalised in many photos and works of art. Enjoy a sunset picnic overlooking the caldera away from the crowds. Indulge in local cheese, ham and bread, all complimented by a local grape variety and a world-class view.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Finikia or Agnandi Villas or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santorini Sunset Picnic
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning, embark on a hike along Santorini’s legendary caldera. The island you see today is what remains from a huge volcanic explosion that destroyed the early settlements and created a geographical caldera. The spectacular natural beauty of this caldera is what makes Santorini such a special place. Your walk begins in Oia and you will continue along the north-western rim of the caldera, passing steep cliff faces and experiencing breath-taking views along the way. The walk ends in the town of Fira (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. Look out for its fossilised olive tree leaves from the caldera from 60,000 years ago. The rest of the afternoon is free, so perhaps 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 to protect 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. It's also idyllically located, with marvellous views over the island and the sea – a lovely spot for a tipple.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Finikia or Agnandi Villas or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santorini Caldera Hike
  • Thira Prehistoric Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today's walking distance is approximately 10km (3 to 3.5 hours). Please note that in summer the leader may decide to start the hike as the sun rises in order to avoid the heat of the day. Therefore it may be necessary for you to organise a takeaway breakfast, as the hotel will not serve breakfast this early.
Today is free for you to explore Santorini as you please. You might like to simply relax on the beach, or take a boat tour to the hot water beaches and the summit of Nea Kameni (the still active but currently dormant volcano in the middle of the caldera). There is a lot to do on the island and your leader will be on hand to offer suggestions. Art Space, a local gallery, boasts wine caverns replete with an excellent collection of modern Greek painting and sculpture.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Finikia or Agnandi Villas or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
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 among the many foreigners who grace their shores. Upon arrival you will be transferred to the area of Tourlos, where the hotel is located. After settling in, you'll visit Mykonos’ charming Old Town, a captivating labyrinth of stone-paved laneways, traditional whitewashed houses and windmills. This evening you will make your way to the village of Ano Mera for a delicious dinner at a local taverna and taste the local Myconian delicacies mostra and louza.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Rhenia or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you will make an excursion to the island of Delos, a short boat trip from Mykonos. Delos has a vast and interesting history and is one of Greece's most important archaeological sites. It's considered a sacred place. You will explore the site in depth and gain an insight into the island’s intriguing history. New discoveries of the ancient world are still made here from time to time. Delos is acclaimed as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, and has been inhabited since around 3000 BC. The earliest shrines and temples were built around the 8th century BC. 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. In the afternoon you will take a return ferry back to Mykonos for your last night on this lively island.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Rhenia or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delos Archaeological Site
  • Boat Tour to Delos Island
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and your Greek Island Odyssey wraps up this morning. You may wish to take an optional boat trip along the coast so you can witness some of the scenery further afield. Another great option is to make your way to one of the famous beaches on the island's north coast, such as Paradise Beach. Your leader will be able to assist you with this. Alternatively, simply stay in town to stroll around and admire the traditional Cycladic houses, or head to one of the seaside eateries for a leisurely lunch. If you'd like to remain on the island for a few extra nights, Peregrine Adventures is able to arrange additional accommodation on request. 
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

17 breakfasts, 4 dinners

Transport

Boat, Private vehicle, Plane

Accommodation

Comfortable hotel (12 nights), Feature stay in Dimitsana (2 nights), Feature stay in Chania (3 nights)

Included Activities

  • Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Acropolis Visit
  • Visit to the Temple of Olympian Zeus
  • Meteora Monasteries
  • Delphi Oracle & Temple of Apollo Visit
  • Guided Tour of Olympia
  • Lousios Valley Monasteries Hike
  • Epidaurus Guided Tour
  • Complimentary Arrival Transfer
  • Cape Sounion & Temple of Poseidon
  • Vamos Village Excursion
  • Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete
  • Santorini Sunset Picnic
  • Santorini Caldera Hike
  • Thira Prehistoric Museum
  • Delos Archaeological Site
  • Boat Tour to Delos Island

Reviews

Our Complete Greece trips score an average of 4.5 out of 5 based on 2 reviews in the last year.

Complete Greece, June 2017

Joan Tibballs

Complete Greece, May 2017

Peter Moore

Dates & availability

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Important notes

ARRIVAL TRANSFER
An arrival transfer from Athens Airport to the start point hotel is included in the price of the trip. Please advise your travel agent of your flight times at the time of booking.

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT
Single Supplement, pre and post tour additional accommodation and departure transfers are available to book upon request, subject to availability. Please contact your travel agent for more details.

ATHENS METRO
We have had reports of travellers being pickpocketed on public transport in Athens. Please be careful with valuables whilst travelling on the metro or the bus.

HOT WEATHER
Summer temperatures can reach up to 40 degrees Celsius, which can be uncomfortable for those not used to the heat. Please consider the time of the year you wish to travel and your suitability to that season.

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.