VIEW OF PARTHENON FROM OUR HOTEL

VIEW OF PARTHENON FROM OUR HOTEL

ATHENS | Optional Pre-Tour Experience, Minimum Fourteen Travelers

Pre-Tour Day 1 & 2 - Depart USA | Arrive Athens

Arrive in the greatest city of both ancient and modern Greece: Athens. We check in to our hotel at the foot of the Acropolis with its fantastic rooftop restaurant with the best view of the Parthenon. Overnight Athens. (B,D)

Pre-Tour Day 3 - Athens

the caryatids in the acropolis museum

the caryatids in the acropolis museum

Our exploration of the city’s matchless heritage begins at the impressive Acropolis Museum, as we examine the world-famous Parthenon Marbles up close. Heading to the Acropolis, we sit in the Theater of Dionysus, the very birthplace of drama and comedy, before ascending the Acropolis to stand in the shadow of the architecturally perfect Parthenon. In the evening we gather together for a festive dinner in the Plaka, the traditional marketplace district. Overnight Athens. (B,L,D)

Pre-Tour Day 4 - Athens | Nafplio

Enjoy the morning at leisure as we await the arrival of the rest of the group and our journey to the seaside town of Nafplio

NAFPLIO

Nafplio is one of the most beautiful towns of the Peloponnese as well as one of the most romantic cities of Greece. It was the first capital of the newly born Greek state between 1823 and 1834. With two mountains crowned by medieval fortresses overlooking the town and the small island fortress called the Bourtzi that once protected the harbor, Nafplio enjoys a stunning setting filled with Venetian architecture and charming sea-side cafes. All of this is within a short hop of Mycenae (the palace of Agamemnon), Epidavros (the best preserved Greek Theater), and biblical Corint!

The Harbor of Nafplio

The Harbor of Nafplio

Days 1 & 2 – Arrival
Depart USA | Nafplio, Greece

We depart from Chicago, bound for the beauty of Greece. We arrive in Athens and transfer to Nafplio to check in to our seaside hotel steps away from the historic main square. Enjoy the stunning sea views from every room. After a welcome reception, we gather together for an authentic dinner at a local taverna. (D)

The theater of Epidavros

The theater of Epidavros

Day 3  Nafplio | Epidavros

This morning we welcome all with introductions and our cultural orientation to life in Greece. The day begins with a familiarization walking tour of Naplio with its monuments commemorating Greece’s War of Independence. We then board our bus and travel to the ancient healing center of Epidavros, where we visit the best-preserved theater from ancient Greece. For lunch, we visit Palaia Epidavros for fresh seafood. Returning to Nafplio in the afternoon, we have free-time to roam through the narrow streets lined with boutique shops and tavernas. Weather permitting, you may want to venture to the blue waters for the Aegean Sea for an afternoon swim. In the evening, we gather by the harbor for a festive dinner. (B,L,D)

 

vintage wines from local greek grapes

vintage wines from local greek grapes

Day 4 – Palamidi | Mycenae | Peloponnesian Vineyard

After a leisurely breakfast, we visit the Palamidi fortress built by the Venetians during the 18th c. perched above the city and nestled on the crest of a 700 foot high hill. The view is spectacular of the surrounding settings. We then visit Mycenae and hike to the palace citadel of King Agamemnon, leader of the Trojan War. We tour the Bronze Age site, including the underground cistern and beehive tombs. Following Mycenae, we make our way to Nemea, where we visit a countryside, family-run vineyard for a tour of the complex and then enjoy a sumptuous lunch of delicious local cuisine. (B,L) 

communion at corinth

communion at corinth

Day 5 – Nafplio | Corinth

This morning we visit an Orthodox worship service, before heading to ancient Corinth where the Apostle Paul engaged in ministry for a year and a half. While in the Roman agora, we celebrate Holy Communion in the same place where the first century Christians did. Leaving Corinth, we return to Nafplio. In the afternoon, take a final stroll along the harbor or soak up the sun along the water-front. Our evening dinner features local Greek musicians as we learn a few folk-dances! Opa! (B,L,D)

HYDRA

Hydra is like a dream. From the elegant charm of the neoclassical building lining its picture-perfect harbor to the peaceful ambiance that permeates the island, your stay in this idyllic town will linger with you for a lifetime. Wake up to the clop of mules hauling goods through the whitewashed streets (all forms of motorized transportation are banned on the island) and take a catamaran ride to the beautiful old port of Spetses on this relaxing three-night visit to one of the most beautiful hidden gems of Greece.

Our hotel in mykonos

Our hotel in mykonos

Day 6 – Nafplio | Hydra

After breakfast, we set out on the blue waters of the Aegean Sea to the unforgettable island of Hydra. Before docking in Hydra, we visit the island of Spetses with its grandiose Posidonion Grand Hotel. We sit on the waterside veranda where European dignitaries have dined for over a century. We enjoy a modern Greek-fusion lunch prepared by the hotel’s celebrated chef. In the afternoon, we take carriage rides along the seaside to the wonderfully quaint old harbor of Spetses for afternoon coffee amongst the locals before continuing by sea to the island of Hydra. We check into our hotel - a small 5 star nook of tranquility and relaxation hidden in the center of this remarkable Greek destination - for three blissful nights. (B,L,D)

the harbor of hydra

the harbor of hydra

Day 7 – Hydra

In the morning, we are introduced to beautiful Hydra as we learn about its impressive history. In front of the port lies the Church of the Dormition of the Virgin. It was initially founded as a monaster in 1643, and today is the ecclesiastical museum displaying historical documents, jewelry, and icons of the 19th century. We continue our exploration of Greek orthodox theology, history, and traditions. Afternoon at leisure. In the evening we gather for our sunset watching party, followed by dinner. (B,D)

horse ride across hydra

horse ride across hydra

Day 8 – Hydra

Several options await you today. Ride on the mules through the narrow streets of the port town or join a horse-back riding adventure to the out-of-town Convent of Agios Matronas where you can enjoy your morning coffee with the nuns. In the afternoon, join an optional culinary experience featuring local cuisine. We join together at the close of the day for dinner in the local port surrounded by sailboats from around the world. (B,D)

MYKONOS

Mykonos is rightly considered one of the planet’s premier destinations. Its main town is an enchanting collection of white washed buildings, blue domed chapels, and winding alleyways, while its cosmopolitan nature makes it a treasure trove of world-class restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. Its popularity aside, Mykonos retains the simple charm and relaxed elegance of the Greek people. From a fresh seafood lunch on an uninhabitated island to a stunning sunset experience, we dig beyond the surface of Mykonos to conclude our tour on a perfect note.

LITTLE VENICE in mykonos

LITTLE VENICE in mykonos

Day 9 – Mykonos

Departing Hydra, we head to Mykonos via the port of Athens. Stopping in Piraeus, we enjoy lunch in this bustling harbor city inside an ancient Stoa. Following lunch, we catch our flight to the world-famous island of Mykonos, known for its whitewashed homes and exquisite beaches. We check in to our elegantly designed Mykonion resort and enjoy a dip in the salt-water pool or the Aegean, concluding our day with dinner served on the beach. (B,L,D)

one of the many chapels of mykonos

one of the many chapels of mykonos

Day 10 – Mykonos

Today we explore the main town of Mykonos with its winding streets and its main sites: the old windmills, main harbor, Little Venice, and the Church of the Paraportiani. The small but outstanding museum houses some truly remarkable findings. Take in the many art galleries and browse the vast array of boutique shops. (B,D)

aboard our ship

aboard our ship

Day 11 – Mykonos | Delos | Rhenia

This morning we board our private traditional Mykonian fishing boat for an unforgettable journey to the ancient island of Delos, the sacred sanctuary of Apollo. After our tour, we set sail to the uninhabited island of Rhenia. We join the third generation Mykonian fisherman Panagiotis Faroupos, whose family was the first to bring livestock to the barren island of Rhenia in the 1800s. Sailing along the picturesque coast, we drop anchor and have a barbeque lunch of grilled seafood caught and prepared by our captain. (B,L)

the windmills of mykonos

the windmills of mykonos

Day 12 – Mykonos

Enjoy a day of leisure with a morning swim in the Aegean, or a final stroll through the winding streets of the city. We gather for our farewell dinner as we say our goodbyes to Greece! (B,L)

Day 13 – Athens / USA

Morning departure flight from Mykonos to Athens with wonderful memories, shared experiences and a renewed spirit. Take our transatlantic flight to the USA. (B)