Bring the history and stories of Ancient Greece to life with the insider knowledge of a local host on a visit to the world-famous Acropolis.. Uncover stunning views and the local way of life with hikes through the island’s charming hilltop villages, from the fortress-like Ano Syros to the cave dwellings of ancient philosophers.. Taste the traditional flavours of the island with a dinner as you watch a Syros sunset over the Aegean and Rembetika music floats around you.. Soak up the atmosphere of Mykonos on a day trip, and enjoy the ability to escape its crowds back on secluded Syros.
Explore the local ways of island life with this five-day Intrepid Retreats experience to the heart of the Cyclades. From the ancient treasures of Athens, cross the Aegean to Syros in search of secluded coves and spectacular sunsets. Feel like part of the community with your comfortable, family-run base in the heart of Ermoupoli, and take the time to explore the streets that blend whitewashed houses with colourful mansions and imposing churches. Hike to hilltop viewpoints, and take a day trip to the glamour isle of Mykonos. Don’t forget to savour iconic flavours and taste tradition with a healthy helping of delicious Greek cuisine.
Breakfast Included: 4 Lunches Included: Dinner Included: 1
Athens / Syros Island
Welcome to Athens! Meet your local host at 10 am and store your luggage at the hotel, ready for an exploration of the famous Acropolis, one of the Western world's most important historical structures. Ascend the heights of this sacred rock via the towering Propylaia entrance, and hear the history and stories from your host as you encounter the Parthenon – the greatest Doric temple of the ancient world. After stepping back 2500 years, jump on taxis to the port of Piraeus, then climb aboard a scenic ferry ride to Syros Island (approximately 4 hours). Sitting in the heart of the Cyclades, Syros is known for its relaxed atmosphere and neo-classical architecture. Arrive this evening and transfer to your conveniently located, family-run hotel. With four nights here you'll help support a local business at an important time, so unpack and settle in.
Ano Syros / Syros Island
Get ready for a day of island exploration with an included breakfast this morning. Syros is one of the Aegean's most underrated islands and offers a rare opportunity to see the isles as the Greeks do. Join your host and take a morning walk through the fortress-like village of Ano Syros, and explore the hilltop town’s stone archways and narrow alleyways as you keep an ear open for traditional Rembetiko music floating out of the family-run tavernas. Take in stunning views of the Aegean as you look across the island’s typical whitewashed houses, farms, terraced fields and gorgeous sandy beaches. Head back to Ermoupoli town for a wander past well preserved neoclassical mansions and 19th-century tenement blocks with your host. Syros is a great place for those with a sweet tooth, so stop at a traditional loukoumi workshop to meet the family who run it, learn how these multi-coloured fruit-flavoured jellies (also called Greek Delight) are made, and maybe sample some chalvadopita (hazelnut, almond or honey-filled wafers) too. Take the rest of the day and maybe seek out some of the savory flavours of the island, whose cuisine takes influences from across the Aegean and Mediterranean.
Azolimnos Beach / Syros Island
This wouldn’t be an island getaway without some serious beach time, so make this a relaxing, rejuvenating day. Outside of Ermoupoli are many small tranquil coves, like south at the small village of Azolimnos that boasts crystal clear waters for swimming in. There are dive centres that run underwater trips and tavernas strewn along the shore for seafood and wine. Stroll around the village and pop your head into the small church, while inland is the relaxing area of Manna with houses with bougainvillea gardens, greenhouses and vineyards. In the evening, take taxis to a taverna to a remotely located village in the rugged northern part of the island to sample delicious syrian specialities (maybe Aetopita, fish and vegetable pie, or lachanodolma, cabbage leaves stuffed with rice) during an included meal, all while watching the sun set over the Aegean Sea.
Mykonos Island / Syros Island
After breakfast this morning you’ll take a trip across the water to an island packed with beauty and glamour, with a history of around 5000 years and said to be named after Apollo's grandson – Mykonos. You will board the 30-minute ferry at 9 am and return at 2 pm. This will give you a few hours on the island, where white-washed architecture clings to the labyrinth of narrow streets and laneways in the town's old area. Browse flower-lined paths past age-old churches and chic galleries and boutiques. Make your way to secluded, sandy beaches or enjoy a cocktail at one tavernas with colourful wooden balconies that hang precariously over the sea. Return to Syros with a free afternoon to further explore the island as you like. If you’re still feeling like a walk, discover abandoned windmills, ancient ruins and charming villages on a network of stone-paved tracks that crisscross the island, where scents of fennel, thyme and wild olives drift through the air. Perhaps head to the various archaeological sites on the island, or you might prefer to simply hole up on a beach for the rest of the day.
Syros Island / Athens
There is more free time to explore Syros this morning, before saying farewell and boarding the ferry back to Athens, where you will be taken back to our centrally located hotel, arriving in the late evening.