24 February 2017
On this superb nine day trip around Greece as well as seeing all the iconic and historic sights in the capital city Athens, you take a ferry to one of the country's most fascinating and dramatic islands before arriving at Crete, which, as the tour name suggests, you will get to appreciate in all its glory. And during the journey you will have plenty of time to relax in between visits to so many famous places.
Welcome to Greece! Your driver will be waiting for you at Athens airport to take you to your hotel in the city. Athens is the historical capital of Europe, with a long history. Over the years, a multitude of conquerors occupied Athens, and erected unique, splendid monuments. In 1834, it became the capital of the Modern Greek state and in two centuries since it has become an attractive modern metropolis with unrivalled charm. The rest of the day is at leisure for you to relax or explore on your own.
After breakfast at the hotel you are picked up for a tour during which you will see the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. Expert guides will take you to see all the famous buildings and monuments and at the Acropolis you see the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age, including the Parthenon. In the afternoon you are taken on a drive along the scenic coastal road to Cape Sounion which is only 45 miles from Athens. The Cape’s Temple of Poseidon is perched on a rocky hilltop overlooking the sea.
Enjoy breakfast at your hotel in Athens before being picked up for your morning transfer to Piraeus port to catch the ferry to the stunning island of Santorini, the stuff of myth and legend, with world-famous sunsets and breathtaking volcanic scenery. On arrival you will be taken to your hotel and then have plenty of free time to relax or to explore the city at your own pace and have your camera ready for one of the best sunsets you will ever see. Overnight on Santorini.
Today is at leisure to explore Santorini. Walk the busy narrow cobblestone streets of the capital Fira and the picturesque Imerovigli overlooking the craggy red rock Skaros. Take a mule ride up the 286 steps close to the cliff that leads to Oia and visit Pyrgos, the medieval jewel that dominates the hill, offering the best panoramic view of the island. Admire the little white chapels, the cave houses with their blue windows and the imposing mansions of the medieval wealthy families of the island. Then prepare to watch another amazing sunset.
Maybe get up early today and see the sunrise over the island before having breakfast at your hotel on Santorini. You will then be picked up and taken to the island's port to catch your ferry to Heraklion, in Crete. This journey is memorable and you will have spectacular views of the island as you sail away. On arrival in Heraklion port you will be collected by one of our tour representatives and driven to your hotel. The rest of the day and evening is free for you to explore the town.
Today join an organised tour to Knossos and Heraklion city. You will visit the famous Palace of Knossos, the largest and the most spectacular of all the Minoan Palaces in Crete. Then stop at a winery at the village of Peza where you’ll be able to see how wine is made and also how virgin Cretan olive oil and soap is produced. The final adventure of the day is a walk to explore the streets of the town of Heraklion itself. You will have free time for shopping or browsing through the markets and dining in one of the local restaurants.
A relaxing day today or, after breakfast at you hotel, you go and see more of the sights on this beautiful island at your own pace. You may will want to return to Knossos as there is so much to see there or travel out to one of the many quaint fishing villages that dot the island and enjoy a leisurely lunch in a waterside taverna. If you have had enough sightseeing and culture you can always spend the day soaking up the sun on one of the island's many family-friendly beaches.
After breakfast today there may be some time for more sightseeing and last minute shopping on Crete before one of our tour representatives picks you up from your hotel and takes you to the airport for your short flight back to Athens. On arrival you will be collected from the airport and driven to you hotel to enjoy a final night in this buzzing modern metropolis where the old rubs shoulders with the new at every turn and dine out in one of the many top class restaurants.
Your wonderful tour of Athens and the islands of Santorini and Crete comes to an end today. After breakfast at your hotel in Athens there may be time for some more sightseeing or shopping before you are picked up and driven to the international airport to catch an onward flight or begin your journey back home having seen lots of the famous sights in this fascinating country.
5* Accommodation fr £1037pp
Rates based on twinshare
International flights not included unless otherwise stated