Soak up the magic of Santorini from your whitewashed feature stay hotel, offering spacious rooms, modern amenities, an expansive swimming pool and a prime location against a stunning backdrop.. Experience the dazzling variety of Greek cuisine during a welcome dinner in Athens, a kitron tasting at a local distillery and a hands-on cooking class in Naxos and a wine tasting experience in Santorini.. Take a guided hike along Santorini’s legendary caldera, passing steep cliff faces and unbelievable views as you learn about the geological history of the island along the way.. Learn the secrets of Greek cuisine in Naxos during an in-depth cooking class with a local, using organic ingredients from her garden to create regional specialties which you will then enjoy for lunch.
Let the charm of the Cyclades wash over you on a nine-day Premium Greek island adventure. Start off in the storied city of Athens, explore the charming villages of Paros, uncover ancient riches in Naxos and soak up million-dollar views in Santorini. Travel with a passionate local leader who’s eager to share the magic of their country as you discover fascinating histories, incredible food and welcoming locals. Whether you’re searching for tumbledown ruins and ancient myths or simply a stretch of sand by the Aegean Sea to read a book on, Greece has it all in spades.
Breakfast Included: 8 Lunches Included: 1 Dinner Included: 2
Welcome to Greece! Your adventure begins in Athens, Greece’s storied capital with a lively cosmopolitan side. There is a lot to experience in this ancient city, so arriving a few days early is highly recommended. You will be met at the airport on arrival and transferred to your hotel, where you will meet your local leader and fellow travellers for a 6pm welcome meeting. If you arrive early, you may like to pay a visit to Athens’ iconic Acropolis, or perhaps take a walk around the gorgeous National Garden. After your meeting, get a taste of Greece’s celebrated cuisine during dinner with the group at a local restaurant in the vibrant Psiri neighbourhood.
This morning you will be transported to Athens' port at Piraeus and board a ferry bound for Paros – a beautiful and relaxed island with a layered history. Ferries are a great way to travel between the islands and are the lifeblood of many remote islands in Greece's multitude of archipelagos. In the afternoon, get to know Paros during an island tour with a local guide. Start off in Parikia, the island’s main town, where you will visit the Ekatontapiliani church, also known as the Church of a Hundred Doors. Explore charming narrow streets and learn about the architecture of the town. Continue with a drive through the island’s mainland, passing by ancient marble quarries, then stop off at the village of Lefkes. Take some time to explore the peaceful village, surrounded by verdant hills dotted with olive and pine trees, then carry on to Naoussa – a delightful village known for its whitewashed alleys, Venetian castle and stunning port. After your tour, enjoy an evening at leisure.
The day is yours to uncover more of Paros’ charms. There’s certainly no shortage of things to see and do on the island. You may like to begin the day with a guided morning hike along the coast – starting off at a lovely fishing village and weaving through some of the island’s most pristine beaches. In the afternoon you will have the option to visit the nearby island of Antiparos – a favourite secret holiday spot for royals and celebrities, this lesser-known island offers a tranquil escape. Or perhaps you’d like to spend the day relaxing on one of Paros’ many beautiful beaches, cooling off with dips in Aegean Sea. Speak to your leader for more information about the activities on offer today and for tips on how to make the most of this spectacular island.
This morning you will say goodbye to Paros and catch a short ferry to Naxos. The largest of the Cyclades islands, Naxos has something for everyone – from glittering beaches to an endearing Old Town and hundreds of years of Venetian history. Take some time to settle in on arrival, then regroup in the late afternoon to discover the wonders of the town with the guidance of your leader. Pay a visit to the Portara, a giant marble doorway and the only remaining part of an unfinished temple of Apollo from 530 BC. Naxos is unique in the fact it is the Cyclades’ only self-sufficient island, meaning all produce is grown and available on the island without imports. Because of this, the cuisine is hyperlocal and differs to the rest of the country. This evening you will enjoy an included dinner and learn about the wonderful regional specialties of the island.
This morning you will drive to Eggares, a small farming village set in the region that produces most of the island’s produce. Here you will tour an olive oil press museum to learn about the importance of olive oil to Greek culture and traditional extraction methods. After your visit, you’ll put your new knowledge to good use as you travel to the nearby village of Galini for a hands-on cooking class. Meet with a local who will share her in-depth culinary knowledge with the group, leaving you with wonderful recipes you can cook up at home to bring you back to the island. First you will collect fresh ingredients from your host’s organic garden and learn about cultivation and farming on Naxos, then you’ll be shown how to put the ingredients together to create a marvellous Naxian dish from scratch, enjoying the fruits of your labour for lunch. Continue to the village of Halki for a look at its magnificent ancient buildings, then pay a visit to the iconic Vallindras distillery for a kitron tasting. With a history stretching back to the 19th century and only produced on Naxos, a taste of this citron liqueur will take you straight to the heart of the island’s culture.
Today is free to explore more of wonderful Naxos. You may like to head to one of the island’s beaches for a day at leisure, or perhaps discover more of the Naxos’ history at a local museum. The Archaeological Μuseum of Naxos in Chora Naxos dates back to the 17th century and houses artefacts from the Neolithic to the early-Christian periods, and the Geological Museum of Apeiranthos digs up the natural history of the island. If you’re after a sweet treat, walnut cake flavoured with local kitron is an excellent regional specialty. Your leader will be on hand to help tailor a day that suits your interests.
Depart Naxos in the morning and catch a ferry to the magnificent island of Santorini. Upon arrival in Santorini's capital, Fira, you will be met and transferred to your feature stay hotel. A whitewashed building in the traditional Cycladic style, the hotel boasts a magnificent backdrop of the Santorini caldera and volcano. The island’s breezy, laidback atmosphere is translated into this superb hotel, offering tranquillity away from the main town, and where nothing is too much trouble. Here you’ll enjoy spacious rooms, modern amenities, an expansive swimming pool and a prime location for exploring the treasures of Santorini. 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 make sure you view Santorini's world-famous sunset, which has been immortalised in many photos and works of art.
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 at your hotel 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 Oia, built on a steep slope inside Santorini’s incredible volcanic caldera. Famous not only for its stunning scenery, Santorini’s microclimate and volcanic soil make it a top spot for wine production. This afternoon you will sip your way around the island during visits to three wonderful family-run wineries, where you will learn about history of wine production, its importance to the local economy, and taste the different varieties yourself.
Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you would to spend some more time on Santorini, additional accommodation can be arranged ahead of time (subject to availability).