DAY 1: Athens
Welcome to Greece! Upon arrival at Athens, Eleftherios Venizelos, International Airport, you will be greeted by an OUTstanding Travel Representative, who will assist with your luggage and escort you to your hotel Athens. The lovely aroma of creamy olive oil wraps around the streets. You can see the pristine pillars of the ancient city rising above you on Acropolis Hill. Enjoy a stroll along the Plaka, one of the oldest inhabited streets in Athens, where the polished cobblestones give a charming air to the neighborhood at the foothill of the Parthenon. Antiquated mansions line the pathways. The scent of traditional Greek recipes drift from the variety of restaurants, from roasted souvlaki to honeyed baklava. When the sun starts to set you can watch the Acropolis glow like the moon beneath the night sky.
Rest of the day at leisure, we suggest an evening at the Plaka, where you'll find typical Greek taverns.
DAY 2: Athens Tour - Santorini
After your delicious breakfast, you will be met by your guide at your hotel for your walking Athens Tour.
Morning brings a comfortable shine over the city where today you will step out of your hotel and venture into the history of Athens. The streets are flush with contemporary and ancient archives, from the ground beneath your feet to strewn pillars rising over the cityscape. At the top of the Acropolis you will walk along marbled floors, the smooth and cool stone paving the entire plateau. The large pillars of the Propylaea are a reminder of the prosperity of the city and the prestige of the gods. Step through the entryway and find the famous Parthenon waiting on the other side. The temple was constructed to look perfect from all angles, as the entire city of Athens would look up in awe. That inspiring feeling as not changed over thousands of years. The pillars continue to give the temple an angle of perfection from every which way; the pediments are carved with myths of Athena, from her birth to her battle for Athens against Poseidon. The marble of the Acropolis shimmers in the morning light as you descend the hill and proceed by private transfer to airport.
The plane soars through the air along the sensational waters of the Mediterranean, touching down on the island of Santorini. By the mid-afternoon you will be sitting along the celebrated cliffs of Santorini where the homes are whitewashed and blue roofed, the sapphire water sits comfortably within the caldera, highlighting the volcano’s peak and the surrounding islands. Your view is picture perfect, giving you the romantic light, the lovely sea, and the luxuries in which to enjoy it.
DAY 3: Santorini
Morning washes over the island giving a pink hue to the whitewashed homes along the cliffs. Enjoy the delights of breakfast within your room or by the pool where the trickling water of the infinity pool is a soothing sound to wake to. The day is yours to do as you wish, whether basking in the sun watching the sparkling blue sea stretch into the distance, or exploring the charming villages along the caldera. There is a trail that leads from the capital, Fira, to the quintessential village of Oia on the northwest tip of the island. The path hugs the cliff side offering the best views of the island just for you. The breeze brushes through your hair. You can hear the water splash against the rocks below. In the distant curve of the island is the glistening village of Oia coming slowly closer. The scent of the sea rises from below and mixes with the arid mountainside. The tip of the volcano juts from the water. When you reach the marbled streets of Oia you can indulge in what feels like a private view of the caldera, where the afternoon sun lingers in the sky, and the perfume of fresh pastries fills the balcony.
DAY 4: Santorini
Another perfect breakfast with a panorama of the Mediterranean is a grand way to start a day that is at your leisure. Explore Fira or enjoy a day wine tasting among the plethora of Santorini vineyards. You could also explore Akrotiri, the ancient city that is believed to be the location of the Lost City of Atlantis. The ruins have survived the test of time, covered in ash from a massive eruption over three thousand years ago. Stroll through the streets of the preserved site where ceramic vases continue to line the paths, some filled with traces of oil and fish. The reverence is hard to ignore, as you are able to understand the everyday life of the people within the ancient city of Akrotiri. Frescos continue to decorate homes, such as two boys boxing, or a boy back from fishing, their skin tan against the dark background where the colors continue to shine. One can see the unusually large dimensions of a three-story structure thought to be a public building. The persistence of the city is inspiring and the beauty of its remains against the backdrop of the Mediterranean is magnificent.
DAY 5: Santorini
The calm morning beckons to you with promises of splendor. After your luxurious breakfast you will have a transfer to the marina where you will sail through the fabulous caldera that you have been watching for days. The view of the crescent shape of the island from within the caldera is as sensational as the view of the caldera from the island. The cool breeze brings with it the mist of the sea. The colors shift from turquoise to sapphire and back again, marvelous tricks of the sunlight. Disembark on the shore of the volcano and walk to its peak. Steam streams from small cracks in the rock face. Sit within the hot springs where the steam releases into the water, creating a comfortable and secluded area to bask in. The water turns from turquoise to royal blue, giving a dark but vibrant shade to the sea. The sun begins to drift across the sky and you arrive back on the cliffs of Santorini waiting for dusk.
DAY 6: Crete
Enjoy the panorama of the horizon one last time at breakfast before you make your way to the port and board the hydrofoil set for Crete. The crescent island drifts into the distance and disappears beyond the horizon. Sailing along the Mediterranean brings the Venetian castle of Heraklion into view. The strong stones stand proud in front of the city on guard for centuries overlooking the sea. Upon your arrival in the capital of Crete transfer and check-in to your beautiful accommodation. Look out to the water and you can see the castle’s guard continuing against the crash of the sea against the rocks.
DAY 7: Crete
The day is yours to find the treasures of Crete at your leisure, whether exploring the splendid beaches or the Samaria Gorge, the largest of the Greek Isles is at your whim and pleasure. The city of Chania in Western Crete is said to be one of the true jewels of the island. The colorful buildings wrap around the harbor like a mini Venice. The water is crystal clear, where you can see minnows swimming and the rocky ocean floor magnified by the sunlight. The edge of the city is adorned with the walls of a fortress that once watched over Chania protecting it from pirates and invaders. Across from the fortress stands the lighthouse that continues to offer guidance to fisherman and boats in the evening darkness. Stroll along the narrow paths of the winding, maze-like streets. The sky is barely visible beneath the sprawling bougainvillea and closely pressed buildings. Part of the romance of Chania is the seclusion of getting lost along the paths. Tiny restaurants fill the lanes with tables and the lovely scent of roasted meats cooked in a clay pot. When the sun starts to set the city lights up along the water’s edge glistening in the reflection of the Mediterranean.
DAY 8: Crete
Just outside the center of Heraklion are the ruins of Knossos Minoan Palace. The ancient site is said to be the location of the notorious Minotaur whose story, at its core, is a heartfelt tale of love by Ariadne for Theseus. The decadence of the palace may no longer be in tact but the grandeur is no less present still. The large stones and precision that exists within the palace remains are extraordinary, including the colors once used on the frescos, and since refurbished. The Great Propylaea continues its tradition of greeting guests at the entrance of the palace in proud fashion with murals that represent the servants serving wine to visitors. The queen’s bath is adorned with dolphins sweeping across the walls. The sensation of the palace is in its very existence, where romantics can find beauty in the walls, the pillars, the colors, and the legend of the Minotaur.
DAY 9: Crete
Your final day in Crete gives you the freedom to explore the island as you desire. Agios Nikolaos is a village along the eastern shores of the island that manages to blend the splendor of art, the beauty of leisure, and the serene balance of a seemingly sleepy yet bustling town. The small-town feel of Agios Nikolaos gives you an immediate connection to its charm. The buildings look over the lake and port, Kitroplatia beach and the marina. The lake is a deep lush blue connected to the sea by a narrow inlet. Cafes and restaurants surround the water and fill the air with a mixture of coffee, honey, melted cheese, and crepes. Stroll through the quaint streets or along the shore, either way you can be rest assured that your day in Crete is brimming with the majesty of the Mediterranean.
DAY 10: Crete – Departure Flight
After breakfast, check out of your hotel and transfer to Heraklion Airport, for your connecting flight to Athens, before flight back home with everlasting memories of Greece! Goodbye and Antío and see you soon.
THE RATES INCLUDE:
•9 overnights at the below mentioned hotels on Bed and Breakfast Basis.
•Assistance at Athens airport upon arrival by an OUTstanding Travel representative
•Private transfer from Athens International Airport to Athens (Day 1)
•Private walking tour with a guide of Athens (Day 2)
•Private transfer from hotel to Athens Airport (Day 2)
•Economy class flight ticket from Athens to Santorini (Day 2)
•Meet and assist at the port of Santorini and private transfer to the Hotel (Day 2)
•Joined group semi-private catamaran Day tour (Gay friendly) in Santorini (Day 5)
•Private transfer from the Hotel in Santorini to the Port (Day 6)
•High-speed ferry from Santorini to Heraklion, Crete (Day 6)
•Meet and assist at the Heraklion port and private transfer to the Hotel (Day 6)
•Private transfer from the Hotel in Crete to the Airport (Day 10)
•Entrance fees to the following sites: Acropolis & Acropolis Museum and all sites on the joined group tours.
The rates exclude:
• Expenses of personal nature
• Any flights
• Meals throughout the entire tour other than mentioned
• Gratituities not included
• Any other item not mentioned above
•Up to 29 days prior to arrival date: 15% from the total services
•28 – 21 days before arrival date: 30% from the total services
•20 – 14 days before arrival date: 50% from the total services
•13 – 7 days before arrival date: 80% from the total services
•Less than 7 days before arrival date: 100% from the total Services
It is our company policy to receive a 30% deposit upon booking, and full payment 4 weeks prior to arrival.