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9 Day Greek Island Tour
TOURCODE: GI4
Duration: 9 Days Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural
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9 Day Greek Island Tour

Santorini, Mykonos & Delos
9 Days
TOURCODE: GI4

Guided Athens city tour; Scenic local ferries, more time on isles than on a cruise; Guided sacred isle, Delos, tour; Spectacular Santorini; Beautiful beaches of Mykonos

Tour Overview
Tour Overview
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Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural

In the sun-drenched islands of Greece, it is easy to get lost in the deep azure blue of the Aegean Sea and the postcard perfect viewpoints that arrive around every corner. But if you join one of our Greek Island hopping tours, you will see a side of Greece that is multifaceted and utterly interesting.

From the ancient port town of Athens, our Greek Island hopping tours start with an introduction to a history so grand that its impact is still felt to this day. Everything from democracy to philosophy, architecture to the arts has been influenced by this great city. No place is more apparent to this historical importance than the Acropolis, and our Greek Island hopping tours start with a guided journey through buildings erected as early as the 5th century BC. Discover where the great works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes were first performed while touring the Dionysus Theatre. From the classical age of Greece, to the Roman and Byzantine times, Athens has been the centre of it all for thousands of years.

Wandering away from the cobblestone centre, our Greek Island hopping tours will head to the port and venture aboard a Greek ferry to whisk us away to the beautiful and idyllic Greek Isles. While on the islands, our guided tours of Greece are at a relaxed pace to allow our group time to enjoy the splendours of history, gain valuable insights into Greek culture, taste the delicious cuisine from local restaurants, but also enough time to reflect on the magnificent journey and have some independent explorations.

Many of the towns we visit are as scenic as they are serene. Whitewashed buildings concealing dozens of little shrines, chapels, and churches look out onto breezy harbour fronts and sandy shorelines. Even though our Greek Island hopping tours take us far from the mainland, history and folklore has a way of weaving into these sacred islands. On the tiny island of Delos, we join our local guide for a tour of the sanctuary which was once the religious and political capital of the Cyclades for nearly 1000 years. Merchants and mariners from as far as Syria and Egypt once ventured to this tiny island, and a visit to the theatre which once held 5,500 people in one sitting allows us to imagine how populated and important this place once was.

From morning to sunset, each day on our Greek Island hopping tours offers photographers something to see. Perhaps no sunset is more picturesque than the one we will experience in Santorini. Overlooking the tiny villages that surround Santorini's caldera, the sky here turns a magnificent array of colours that leave all travellers in awe. One look and it is easy to understand how these small villages such as Oia have inspired many generations of artists.

It may be the attractive scenes of Greece that lured you in, or perhaps the sweeping legacies and culture, but it the combination of both which makes Greece so special.

 


 

Dates & Prices
Dates & Prices

 

 

Prices below are per person, twin-sharing costs in US Dollars (USD). Pricing does not include airfare to/from the tour and any applicable taxes. For single supplement rates and taxes (if any), please refer to below Prices & Dates table.

Select the Number of Travellers:   -   1   +

 

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Optional Single Supplement: $548 USD (number of singles limited).



$500 USD DEPOSIT REQUIRED per person
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Full Itinerary
Full Itinerary

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Day 1 Arrival in Athens
Today we arrive in Athens, the capital of Greece and the historical capital of Europe. The city has a long history dating from the first settlement in the Neolithic age; in the 5th Century BC, the city’s values and civilization acquired a universal significance. In 1834, it became the capital of the modern Greek state and an attractive modern metropolis with unrivalled charm.

Overnight in Athens.

Included Meal(s): Dinner



Day 2 Athens: City Tour
Today we enjoy a guided tour of Athens, the heart and soul of Greece.* A large part of the town's historic centre has been converted into a 3-kilometre pedestrian zone (the largest in Europe), leading to the major archaeological sites, reconstructing -- to a large degree -- the ancient landscape, thus allowing us to avoid the city's horrendous traffic.

We start at the Acropolis (with hopes to beat the heat/crowds), near the site of the Dionysos Theatre. Constructed in the 6th century BC, it is one of the world's oldest theatres and the place where the great works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes were first performed. We will also see a more recent theatre, the Odeon of Herod Atticus from the second century AD, which is still used for concerts and performances.

Ascending to the top of the Acropolis, we will see magnificent buildings dating from the 5th century BC, the Golden Age of Athens. On the highest point on the Acropolis is the Parthenon, often considered the finest monument to Greek civilization. The temple was dedicated to Athena "Parthenos," the virgin and patron goddess of the city.

After our Acropolis tour, we'll descend and enter the Ancient Agora located adjacent to the Plaka, the old town of Athens. Among the numerous sights in this archaeological park are the well-preserved Temple of Hephaistos and the landmark Roman era Tower of the Winds.

Our guided tour ends at the Acropolis Museum, located at the foot of the Acropolis. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece; nearly 4,000 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square metres. From here you are free to wander and explore on your own or make your way back to the hotel with your Tour Leader's assistance.

* The exact order of our sightseeing in Athens may be altered by your Tour Leader depending on several variables and their judgement on how best to run today's tour.

Overnight in Athens.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 3 Athens - Ferry to Mykonos
Early this morning we travel by local ferry from Athens' port, Pireaus, to the island of Mykonos.*

From the harbour waterfront, you can watch the local fishing boats, or venture into the labyrinth of dazzling, white-washed streets to the many churches, tavernas, or shops selling artisan crafts. In the distance stand a string of windmills that once harnessed the breezes of days gone by. The sugar cube buildings are stacked around a cluster of seafront fishermen's dwellings. The labyrinth design was intended to confuse the pirates who plagued Mykonos in the eighteenth and 19th centuries. The whitewashed houses concealing dozens of little churches, shrines and chapels.

* PORTERS ARE GENERALLY NOT AVAILABLE ON THE GREEK ISLES, OR ON FERRIES BETWEEN THEM. You MUST be able to carry / wheel your baggage on and off ferries.

Overnight on Mykonos.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 4 Mykonos: Walking Tour & Boat Trip to Delos
This morning we'll take you on an orientation walking tour of Mykonos Chora. We wander the pirate-proof streets of town and see the Paraportiani Church near the quay, an architectural masterpiece of five chapels in one.

We then meet the boat that will take us to the tiny sacred island of Delos (40 minutes away). Delos gives the whole group of islands surrounding it their name, the Cyclades -- so named because they form a circle (kyklos) around Delos. For nearly 1,000 years this sanctuary was the political and religious centre of the Aegean. Leto, pregnant by Zeus, gave birth to the twins Apollo and Artemis on Delos. In the 18th century BC, the annual Delia Festival was established on
the island to celebrate the birth of Apollo. Delos was populated during its height in Hellenistic times with wealthy merchants, mariners and bankers from as far away as Egypt and Syria.

During our guided walking tour of Delos, we will see the Agora of the Competialists, Roman merchants or freed slaves who worshipped the guardian spirits of crossroads; the Sanctuary of Apollo, the three temples of Apollo and the Sanctuary of Dionysus. In the House of the Masks we are able to see a mosaic portraying Dionysus riding on a panthers back. The theatre here could seat 5,500 people.

We return to Mykonos where you will have free time to explore Mykonos town on your own.

Overnight on Mykonos.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 5 Mykonos - Ferry to Santorini
Today we take a ferry or hydrofoil (depending on scheduling) to the island of Santorini.

Vast geological upheavals have given this island its unique form resulting in the nickname, "Pre-Historic Pompeii." The effect of terracing makes this unlike any other island, Greece's most visually stunning. Santorini is the island of churches, wine, and donkeys! From as early as 3000 BC the island developed as an outpost of Minoan civilization until around 1650 BC when the volcano erupted. At this point the island's history became linked with the legend of Atlantis.

At some pount in our visit, we'll stop in at the The Museum of Prehistoric Thera. It was built on the site of the old Ypapanti Church, destroyed in the 1956 earthquake. The museum houses a very large number of ancient artefacts from various excavations on Santorini, such as at Akrotiri and at the nearby Potamos site.

Overnight on Santorini.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 6 Santorini: Akrotiri & Island Tour
Visually, Santorini is the most spectacular of the Cycladic islands. With its brilliant flooded caldera, high cliffs and charming villages, it is the Greek Isle of everyone's dreams. Our coach tour today will take us to Santorini's many highlights.

We begin with a visit to Akrotiri for a thorough guided tour. Excavations have revealed a complete prehistoric Minoan city with squares, streets, and two-storey houses, which contained marvelous frescoes. The buildings date to the late 16th century BC. No skeletons or treasures have been found in Akrotiri, so historians think that the inhabitants were forewarned of the eruption and were able to escape. The excavations have yielded evidence that has revolutionized our knowledge of the Late Bronze Age; indeed the town has been called a "Bronze-age Pompeii."

We will also visit the hilltop village of Pyrgos, once the capital of the island and home to more than 30 churches. The village is composed of traditional houses built around the Venetian Castle and the small streets follow the shape of the hill. Climbing from the square up to the castle of Pyrgos, the stone houses crowd more densely together within the labyrinth of narrow vaulted lanes.

Our drive around the island will also take us up to the Prophet Elias Monastery built on the highest point of the island in 1711 AD. Though we will not visit inside the monastery, the view from here is breathtaking.

Fira is the capital of the island and the most important village. Perched on the edge of an impressive cliff 260m high, the town offers great panoramic views over the submerged volcano. Here the small streets are filled with all kind of shops, cafes, and restaurants. After an orientation walk through the town, you might choose to visit the impressive Archaeological Museum in your spare time (optional). This museum features many artifacts dating back to the time of the Cycladic Civilization. The most impressive legacies of this civilization are the statuettes carved from Parian marble -- the famous Cycladic figurines. Like statuettes of Neolithic times they depicted images of the Great Mother. Other remains include bronze and obsidian tools and weapons, gold jewelry, and stone and clay vases and pots.

Return to Kamari Beach (those who wish to extend their time in Fira can return to Kamari using the public bus system).

Overnight on Santorini.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 7 Santorini: Fira - Imerovigli - Oia / Free Afternoon
This morning we will head to the small town of Oia, situated at the northern tip of the island. We start by taking the public bus to Fira, where we enjoy the stunning caldera views and dramatic setting. From here we will follow the scenic path along the vast caldera rim. Our route leads up through the village of Firostefani and brings us to the village of Imerovigi. The views are ever-changing as the perspective of the island changes minute by minute. We will look out to Skaros, the remains of a Venetian Castle built in 1207 by Marco Sanudo, the ruler of all Cyclades islands that time.

From Imerovigli we will continue by bus to Oia (pronounced "EE-ah"). Built on a steep slope of the caldera, many of Oia's dwellings nestle in the niches hewn in the volcanic rock. This was once a major fishing port but is principally known these days as perhaps the most dramatically situated towns in the whole of Greece. The peak of prosperity for this small port town was reached in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. At that time the locally based merchant fleet plied its trade in the Eastern Mediterranean, especially from Alexandria to Russia. The two-story captains' houses built on the highest part of the village are a reminder of the village's former affluence. Oia is a place where many artists have found their inspiration... and here we will wander the narrow streets and old ruins, and enjoy the stunning views of the caldera with panoramic views of the rest of Santorini and the Aegean Sea. After a break for lunch we will return back to Fira and Kamari.

We then return to Kamari Beach (those who wish to extend their time in Oia or Fira can return to Kamari using the public bus system). The balance of your day is free to explore on your own, and your Tour Leader will assist with options. Perhaps enjoy some time on one of Santorini's famous black beaches, or hike up to the ruins of Ancient Thira.

Overnight on Santorini.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 8 Santorini - Fly to Athens
Today we'll fly back to Athens, aiming to have some free time in the city for some last minute shopping and/or sightseeing and our farewell dinner.

PLEASE NOTE: Ever-changing air schedules and weather delays may necessitate a return to Athens by ferry.

Overnight in Athens.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 9 Departure from Athens
Departure from Athens.

KALO TAXIDI!!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

 


 

Trip Info
Trip Info

 

Inclusions
Breakfast and dinner (mostly local restaurants) daily. All sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters. Airport transfers for land & air customers arriving/departing on tour dates.


Exclusions
International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international air taxes (if applicable), and excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs and shopping.


Seasonality and Weather
This tour is offered in spring, summer, and fall, the most popular being spring and fall when temperatures are milder, crowds thinner, and airfares lower. Spring is popular for green landscapes and wildflowers; beachgoers prefer fall sea temperatures. The region has a Mediterranean climate with early springs, long hot and dry summers, and autumns that are bright and warm into mid-October. Showers are possible in spring, rare in summer, and possible in late fall.


Transport and Travel Conditions
This is not a cruise! We travel between islands via local ferries, which can range from hydrofoils to large vehicle carrying vessels. Greek ferry schedules tend to change without notice; some itinerary adjustments may be necessary at the discretion of your Tour Leader.

Land transport (city & island tours, port transfers) by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on group size (see 'group size'); some local buses and taxis.

Porter service is rarely available on the islands (see 'inclusions'); you MUST be independent with your luggage, especially getting on / off ferries.

This trip is typical of most of our European tours, which are ambitious and involve full days of travel and sightseeing. While we don't have any actual strenuous activity (ie hiking) built into the program, you will do a lot of walking on this trip. These walks will mostly be in the form of walking tours of towns and cities and short walks to dinner. Being Europe, and a hilly/mountainous area, cobbles, uneven surfaces, and slopes/stairs are common. If you are accustomed to typical "bus tours," which rely heavily on vehicular transport for all sightseeing activities, you should be aware that this tour is considerably more active.

Am I suitable for this tour? Please refer to our self-assessment form.


Accommodation
Well-located, air-conditioned, mid-range hotels (3-4 star) throughout. Island hotels are smaller properties (3-4 story) that will likely not have elevators. All hotels have en suite bath, though most have shower only.

A special note about Santorini, which is primarily a luxury tourism destination and, while we can confidently promise our visit will be fulfilling and rewarding, one's hotel expectations must be in line with our overall purpose, which is sightseeing and cultural experience and not focused on the "hotel experience" per se. Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.


Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, driver (s), local step-on local guides in various locales.


Group Size
Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

 


 

Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.


The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.


Hotel Divani Palace Acropolis
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Athens
Country: Greece
Divani Palace Acropolis enjoys a priceless location right by the world-famous Acropolis, the perfect place to savour Athens fascinating history. Our beautiful hotel offers elegant rooms and suites, an outdoor ... with bar, and delicious dining including our summer Roof Garden restaurant with enchanting views of the ancient heritage. Top-notch meeting rooms and romantic banquet rooms make our hotel ideal for business meetings or a truly memorable event.
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Hotel Petinos
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Mykonos
Country: Greece
Hotel Petinos, built and painted in traditional Cycladic architecture and colours, offers its guests a warm, cozy, hospitable environment. The Hotel was renovated in January 2006. All rooms and common ... areas are air conditioned. The hotel also provides a TV room, a large courtyard garden, bar and restaurant facilities and a swimming pool nearby. There is a mini market just across the street.

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Santorini Palace
4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation 4 Star Accommodation
Location: Santorini
Country: Greece
Santorini Palace is an A' Class Hotel in Fira, the island's capitol. It is within walking distance from the breathtaking caldera, fine restaurants, and the main shopping center. With a ... of 106 impeccably furnished rooms and suites, fully air-conditioned, an outdoor 300 sq meters swimming pool, a deluxe restaurant, main bar and pool bar.



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Gallery

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions
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FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
01. What is the maximum number of participants on a trip?
Most of our tours carry a maximum of 18 participants; some tours (ie hiking tours) top out at 16. In the event that we do not achieve our minimum complement by our 60-day deadline, we may offer group members the option of paying a "small-group surcharge" as an alternative to cancellation. If all group members agree, we will confirm the trip at existing numbers; this surcharge is refundable in the event that we ultimately achieve our regular minimum. If the small group surcharge is not accepted, we will offer a refund of your deposit or a different trip of your choice.
02. Can I extend my tour either at the beginning or end? What about stopovers?
Yes, you can extend your tour either at the beginning or the end and we can book accommodation in our tour hotel. Stopovers are often permitted, depending on air routing. Stopovers usually carry a "stopover" fee levied by the airline.
03. How do I make a reservation? How and when do I pay?
The easiest way to make a reservation is to contact us by telephone. You can also book online through our website. A non-refundable deposit is payable at the time of booking; if a reservation is made within 60 days, full payment is required. Some trips require a larger deposit. If international airline bookings require a non-refundable payment in order to secure space or the lowest available fare, we will require an increase in deposit equal to the cost of the ticket(s). Early enrolment is always encouraged as group size is limited and some trips require greater preparation time. Once we have received your deposit, we will confirm your space and send you a confirmation package containing your trip itinerary, any visa/travel permit related documents, invoice, clothing and equipment recommendations, general information on your destination(s), and forms for you to complete, sign and return to us. Your air e-tickets (if applicable), final hotel list, final trip itinerary, and instructions on how to join your tour, will be sent approximately 2-3 weeks prior to departure.
04. What about cancellations, refunds, and transfers?
Should you need to cancel your trip, you must notify us in writing, by letter, e-mail, or by fax immediately. Deposits are non-refundable, though if you cancel more than 90 days prior to tour departure date, the deposit is transferable to any other tour taken within 12 months of the original tour start date, minus a per person transfer fee (some tours have a 100% nonrefundable/ nontransferable deposit; you will be informed of this at the time of booking). Less than 90 days prior to departure, all monies paid are 100% non-refundable, nontransferable. Name changes are not permitted. Insurable risks may be covered under trip cancellation insurance policies, if purchased. We will not grant partial refunds for any unused trip arrangements—voluntarily missed meals, sightseeing, transport, etc—after the trip has commenced, or any refunds to trip members who do not complete any portion of the itinerary for whatever reason. All air tickets are non-refundable and valid only for the flight(s) indicated. We may cancel departures if forced to do so by circumstances such as war, civil or political unrest or what is commonly referred to as force majeure. In these instances we will refund all passengers in full if cancellation takes place more than 60 days prior to tour start date. If cancellation occurs within the 60 day period, we will offer to postpone your trip to another departure of the same tour code within 12 months of the original tour start date; or, if circumstances do not permit, an alternative will be offered at that time. We will not be responsible for costs associated with re-issuance or extension of visas, airline change fees, or for any compensation. We strongly recommend that all travellers purchase trip cancellation insurance, either through Adventures Abroad or elsewhere, as this may provide coverage under such circumstances. If we cancel your tour due to insufficient enrolment, we will endeavour to find an alternative tour for you. If this is not acceptable, all monies paid will be refunded in full and will constitute full settlement. We will not be responsible for any expenses incurred, such as visas, vaccinations, independently purchase airfare, or any compensation. Notice of cancellation due to insufficient enrolment in any program will be given approximately 60 days prior to departure.
05. I am a single who prefers my own room. What is a single supplement?
All of our tours have a single supplement for those who want to be guaranteed their own room at each location. This supplement is a reflection of the fact that most hotels around the world do not discount the regular twin-share rate for a room by 50% for only one person occupying a room. Most hotels will give a break on the price, but usually in the range of 25-30% of the twin-share rate. This difference, multiplied by each night, amounts to the single supplement. The conventional amount can also vary from country to country and some destinations are more expensive than others for single occupancy. In order to be "single friendly," the supplements we apply are not a profit centre for us and we do our best to keep them as reasonable as possible. On most tours we limit the number of singles available, not to be punitive, but rather because many hotels allow for only a limited number of singles; some smaller hotels at remote locations also have a limited number of single rooms available. Please note that most single rooms around the world are smaller than twin-share rooms and will likely have only one bed.
06. Do you have a shared accommodation program?
Yes! If you are single traveller and are willing to share, we will do our best to pair you with a same-gender roommate. On most of our tours, if we fail to pair you, we will absorb the single supplement fee and you will default to a single room at no extra charge. At some destinations, however, where single rooms are not significantly discounted, or not at all, we may apply a "mandatory" single in the event that we cannot find you a share partner. This is usually 50% of the usual supplement, but can be as much as 100%. If applicable, this proviso will be noted on each tour page on this website, on your invoice, and in our tour date/price book (available for download under "Resources").

 

What People are Saying
Carol W.
Stamford, CT - US
I have been travelling the world for over 20 years and I have to say that our AA tour leader was one of the best tour leaders I have encountered. We had some difficulties with the ferry strike, the metro strike and the air traffic controller strike, but she handled all of it with grace. I know she must have been terribly upset, but she did not show it - a sign of a truly great leader.
Dallas D.
Vancouver, BC - CA
The excursions were excellent this was our third time to Greece and have enjoyed it all. Wouldn't change a thing. Excellent all of the local guides are very knowledgeable. Excellent transportation as always. Excellent cross section of foods, loved it all. We had an absolute all round fantastic, patient, knowledgeable tour leader. She was helpful and caring with everyone she comes in contact with. A real gem. Adventures Abroad have always been the best way to travel with as they only have small groups and all the staff, tour leaders are really great to deal with. We keep travelling with them, wouldn't do it any other way.
Deb D.
Houston, TX - US
Loved the extra small group setting - made the trip very intimate. Accommodations were good - food was fabulous. I think she has a good knowledge of Greek current affairs as well as history and the areas we visited. If Erin couldn t answer a question, she found the answer! And she took notes to continue to improve her knowledge.
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