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The Lesser-known Cyclades Islands Tour
TOURCODE: GR10
Duration: 15 Days Countries Visited: 1 Activity Level: 2 Tour Style: Cultural
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The Lesser-known Cyclades Islands Tour

15 Days
TOURCODE: GR10

Timeless Athens; four unique & unspoiled islands in a country known for tourist crowds; isolated traditional villages; friendly locals; fascinating history & culture; delicious food & local wines

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

This is the perfect Greek Isles experience for travellers who eschew crowds and the vestiges of mass tourism. This is also the perfect trip for the returning traveller who has seen the sunset on Santorini and perhaps danced till dawn on Mykonos and wants something a little different -- something more real, intimate, sedate, friendly and, well, more Greek. Though we're in the same general neighbourhood as the better-known locales in the Cycladic Island group, it'll feel like we're in a different world, a world in which we can experience the true essence of these magical and ancient isles. And if you know anything about the Greeks, you know that they love to chat, and eat, and drink! With this in mind, our usual delicious meal plan showcases the exciting up-and-coming traditional-based and locally-sourced island cuisines, especially during our fun hands-on cooking class at a local organic farm. Round this out with an emerging local winery scene, we'll enjoy a fascinating, relaxing, fun, and extremely varied foray through our favourite lesser-known Cyclades.

 


 

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. For general information on flights to/from the tour, click here.

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Due to deposit policies of the smaller hotels on this tour, we require a $1000 per person deposit

Optional Single Supplement: $1110 USD (number of singles limited).
This tour may require a mandatory single supplement charge of $560 if you join our share program and we are unable to pair you.



$1000 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 Tinos
Today we take a ferry (+/- 3-4 hours) from the port of Piraeus (Athens) to the Cycladic island of Tinos -- welcome to the Cyclades!* Tinos is famous for its large pilgrimage church, it's many villages, hundreds of dovecotes and, of course, excellent food and wine.

The island group's name derives from the Greek for "encircling islands," so named because they form a rough circle around the sacred island of Delos, which was the legendary birthplace of Artemis and her brother Apollo. Many of the Cyclades are famous for their jetset holiday lifestyles, attendant high prices, and inevitable crowds; our intention on this special tour is to avoid all of those things and immerse ourselves in the "other side" of these beautiful islands and enjoy a glimpse into something closer to traditional island life.

Immediately upon arrival in the Cyclades, visitors are invariable struck by the quality of the light, the impossibly blue water, and the charming white "sugarcube" architecture with its ubiquitous bright blue trim. Sifnos is typical of our overall goal of this tour -- to experience the beauty, charm, friendliness, and unique cultures of islands unspoiled by mass tourism.

On arrival, we can have a leisurely stroll about Tinos town, taking in the Panagia Church, Greece's most important pilgrimage centre for Orthodox pilgrims. Note the carpeted strip along the main road leading to the church, put in place for pilgrims who demonstrate their piety by crawling the distance from the main waterfront square, up the hill to the church.

According to mythology, Tinos was the home of Aeolus, God of the Winds. The Ionians came to Tinos around 1000 BC; in the 6th century BC Tinos was ruled by Eretria, while in 490 BC the island was seized by the Persians, regaining its freedom after the battle of Marathon. In 1207 Tinos was conquered by the Venetians. Venetian rule in Tinos island lasted longer than on any other island of the Cyclades. In 1715, Tinos was taken by the Turks, to be liberated by the Greeks in the War of Independence of 1821. The year 1822 was an important one for Tinos, for it was then that the famous icon of the Blessed Virgin was discovered, after a nun in the Kechrovouni convent saw it in a dream.

Today, most people who travel to Greece bypass Tinos. And what better reason for us to visit! With glitzy Mykonos just a short ferry away, Tinos is another world in attitude and appearance.

Overnight on Tinos.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 4 Tinos: Island Touring
Today we tour Tinos, another Cycladic island unique unto itself, with soaring mountains, dramatic cliffs and gorges and charming traditional villages. We distance ourselves from Chora, which, unlike most other Greek island choras, lacks island charm, possessing a decidedly more urban and chaotic feel. As such, the island's powers of seduction are not immediately apparent, but as we venture beyond you will soon fall under its spell.

We first head uphill to the ruined fortress of Exombourgo to admire a stunning view of the Aegean. Mt Exombourgo is a steep-sided granite cone 553m (1,814 ft) high that features a ruined Venetian castle and the remains of three churches and a fountain-house. This was the medieval capital of the island of Tinos until the town was devastated by the Turks.

We continue to the village of Koumaros where we can enjoy a traditional Greek coffee before continuing to the village of Volax, almost hidden in the middle of rounded, granite boulders -- once believed to have been flung from the heavens by the gods – that litter the countryside. Volax is also noted for its traditional handmade woven baskets. A footpath winds down the valley to Agapi; look for examples of the island's famous "dovecotes," built long ago for pigeons but today considered works of art. In the old times pigeons were sold to seafarers who came to the island to stock up with supplies.

We continue into the interior of the island through jaw droppingly beautiful scenery. Unlike our tour's next islands, the mountains here are steep, the distances between villages on the tortuous roads are vast, and nature has largely been left to its own devices. All this gives the island a wild, untamed, uninhabited feel.

Descending to the coast on the far side of the island, we break for lunch (included today) at the port of Panormos, a unique natural harbour that played a catalytic role in shipping and trade until the early 60s. It was a transfer station for exported products (mostly marble from Exo Meria) and imported goods (mainly wheat, which supplied the windmills).

This afternoon we stop in Pyrgos to visit the Museum of Marble Crafts, a unique institution presenting the technology of marble, a material that holds a particular place in the architecture and art of Greece from antiquity through to the present.

En route back to our hotel, as in other Cyclades islands we'll visit, you will notice the stone terracing, which is pretty much everywhere keeping the topsoil in place and turning steep hillsides that might otherwise be barren into farms and orchards that can last a thousand years. As far as vegetation goes, Tinos is one of the more green islands with fertile valleys with ample water able to sustain the whole island were it necessary. But more than anything Tinos has stone: marble, granite and slate, and just about everything is built out of these rocks, from walls to streets to monuments and art. No wonder Tinos is known for its sculpture artists, and the father of Phideas, acknowledged as the greatest sculptor of all time whose most well known work was the Parthenon, came from Tinos.

Overnight on Tinos (dinner on your own this evening).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch



Day 5 Tinos: Island Touring
After a bit of a leisurely morning, we'll head off for a half-day tour highlighting the island's food and wine and, of course, stunning scenery and friendly residents. Long known a a place of Orthodox pilgrimage, Tinos is now becoming a destination for those seeking to experience unique locally-produced foods, wines, arts, and crafts.

Tinos's unique geological history and untouched wild habitat make for distinctive flavours and a unique cuisine that will impress you. In 1842, French travel writer Alexis de Valon noted: "The whole island is cultivated with great determination, almost in defiance of nature; in the absence of soil, the inhabitants even plough the rocks." Indeed vineyards snuggle among granite boulders as smooth as giant cannonballs, and this windswept landscape is emerging as Greece's new wine frontier.

Tinos was a major wine producer for centuries, but when farmers switched to livestock in the 1970s, the vines were ravaged by grazing goats, but today there is an increasing number of producers. The vineyards, most of which are located in the centre of the island, often spread in terraces and the vines are trained low. An interesting blend of varieties are found here, including Assyrtiko, Malagousia, Mavrotragano, Mandilaria, Avgoustiatis, and the local Potamissi, Rozaki, and Koumari.

Our day is somewhat relaxed and free-form, but our intention is to visit a couple of local wineries (some of which don't usually accept groups), which often also double as workshops for other local products, such as herbs, soaps, oils, marble items and other works of art. As food and wine are inexorably intertwined with culture and history, and our touring today will also reveal this aspect of the Cyclades throughout the ages and how the islands (and islanders) have evolved into what/who they are today.

Overnight on Tinos.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 6 Tinos - Ferry to Folegandros
Late this morning we ferry across to our next stop, the laid-back island of Folegandros (this is likely a full transit day with a connection on Naxos).

Folegandros, named after the son of King Minos, was once thought of as so isolated that political prisoners were exiled here until the last century. However, its beauty and charm are such that many of those sent there chose to settle permanently. But beyond its 700 or so inhabitants, you are more likely to find holidaying Athenians or writers and artists seeking inspiration.

Overnight on Folegandros (due to our full day and late arrival on Folegandros, we do not include a group dinner this evening).

Included Meal(s): Breakfast



Day 7 Folegandros: Ano Meria & Chora
Today we'll head north to visit the farm settlement of Ano Meria, the island's second-largest settlement, with lush green fields and sprawling orchards and said to be one of the most authentic villages in the Cyclades. We'll visit the small Ecological and Folklore Museum located here, offering an insight into the island’s past; you can view the remains of an olive press alongside tools and utensils previously used in Folegandros.

Doubling back, we'll stop in Chora, one of the oldest traditional medieval towns in the Cyclades; the buildings stand close to one another creating the external wall of the kastro. It is no exaggeration to describe Chora as one of the most aesthetically picturesque, traditional villages of its kind. The view is said to be second only to that of Santorini, though fans of Plaka on the island of Milos might argue -- you can be the judge!

While in Chora, your Tour Leader will likely suggest a walk up a zig-zag path winding gently up the mountain to the church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary. Allegedly built on the site of an ancient temple, the church hosts significant ancient immured inscriptions and statues' pedestals in its yard and interior. Tradition has it that the silver-plated icon of the Virgin Mary is miraculous. Linked to pirate stories, the icon is carried around the town in a procession held every year on Easter Sunday. Open every evening (from 6pm-9pm), the church features stunning sculptures and statues as well as breathtaking views over the sea from the courtyard.

We return to our hotel with the rest of the day yours to enjoy the charms of this special place, which has been called "an untouched piece of true Greece." Your Tour Leader can help you plan your afternoon (or not!).

If in supply/season, we may be able to sample some of the island's specialities this evening, including: Kalassoúna (cheese pie made with cheese and onions); handmade pasta served with rabbit, goat or chicken in a tomato sauce; baked chickpeas; Karpouzénia -- a local sweet made of fried watermelon, sourotó (white goat cheese), and the famous aperitif of the island, raki with honey.

Overnight on Folegandros.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 8 Folegandros
Today's program is relatively light and free-form, given the small size of the island and the island's overall attractiveness as a place to enjoy some well-deserved "downtime." You will have a free afternoon to explore on your own, enjoy a hike, read a book, and/or enjoy some of the most beautiful beaches in the whole Cycladic group of islands.

Overnight on Folegandros.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 9 Folegandros - Ferry to Sifnos
Later today we travel by ferry to Sifnos (+/2 hours), chec-in to our hotel and head out to dinner nearby.

Sifnos is known for a few things, but most notably as the center of high quality ceramics going back to days of antiquity. Indeed, traditional Sifniot cooking is baked in the same terracotta casserole dishes that have been produced on the island for centuries. Recently, such dishes have helped propel the island to notoriety as one of the Mediterranean's most exciting emerging culinary scenes.

Overnight on Sifnos.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 10 Sifnos: Pottery & Home Cooking
This morning we begin with a visit to some local potteries to learn how locals make the island's ancient and most famous product.

It is not known when pottery began on the island though it is mentioned by Theophrastus in the third century BC. The oldest pottery found dates back to the eighth century BC, and Pliny makes mention of Sifnos ceramics in the first century BC. By the eighteenth century potters from Sifnos were travelling all over Greece, some relocating to other islands. There is even a colony of Sifnos potters in Amaroussi, a suburb of Athens. Today there are still many who practice the art of ceramics, just as their fathers and grandfathers did.

After a break for lunch, we'll have a fun and informative experience during which we'll learn much of the island's other famous products: its food. This afternoon we'll witness first-hand authentic local food production at a local farm and cooking school. Sifnian cuisine, renowned for its mouth-watering recipes throughout Greece, is based mainly on vegetables and local aromatic herbs. Here, you will have the opportunity to find out all about the efforts of the local farmer in growing and harvesting vegetables, in this 'unfriendly' natural environment. You'll have a chance to collect the fresh ingredients that will be used for our meal, which we enjoy together, just like the locals, around our wooden table next to the wood burning oven. Local white wine or a medium sweet red, which has matured in the sun, accompany the meal (non-alcoholic drinks available), and we'll finish the meal with fruits of the season, many of which are old and rare varieties.

Overnight on Sifnos.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 11 Sifnos: Kastro & Artemonas - Ferry to Milos
Still on Sifnos, our tour takes us to the village of Kastro, where we will visit the archeological museum. Its collections include exhibits dating from the early Bronze Age to the late Byzantine period and most are local finds. Among the most important exhibits is the marble head of Kouros that dates back to 6th century BC, a headstone, architectural parts, Hellenistic sculptures, sanctuaries, and a fine collection of ceramics from the Geometric to Hellenistic period.

Kastro is one of the most fascinating and mysterious places on Sifnos. The town has been inhabited for over 3,000 years and was at one time the capital of the island. The town – a unique specimen of Venetian architecture – is tightly-built, accommodating only a few open public areas, protected in its entity by the ancient fortifications and the additional enclosure formed by the outer walls of the buildings at the bottom of the hill. The name – Kastro – leaves little to the imagination: this has been a veritable castle-city, built to resist pirates or any other attack.

Kastro was inhabited since the prehistoric times; however, the town reached its peak during the Archaic era, when the exploitation of Sifnos's gold and silver mines turned the island into one of the wealthiest in the Cyclades. The town is rich in antiquities and, besides having an archaeological museum, there are artifacts scattered throughout the village. The white-washed village sits upon a domed rock that towers above the sea; to protect the town from pirates there were only five entrances in the massive walls which enclosed it. When you enter the town you go through tunnels and passageways into a labrynth of tiny streets wide enough for only two or three people to walk abreast.

There are cafes, restaurants and several interesting old churches. We'll follow the main street to eventually come out at the sea with a stunning view of the coast. As we continue to walk around the village with the Aegean below, the ancient walls and the ruins of the Venetian fortress are above you.

We continue to nearby Artemonas, a quiet village and the gem of Sifnos. It owes its name to the worship of the goddess Artemis. The beautiful small settlement displays some of the most elegant traditional old mansions of Sifnos with verdant gardens. A stroll around the village is fascinating, with its unique Venetian and neoclassical architecture. Apart from typical mansions, we'll also see remarkable churches and monasteries. If you're craving a coffee break, the village also boast several excellent pastry shops and traditional bakeries.

Early this evening we ferry the short distance to our next island,* the volcanic island of Milos, perhaps best-known for being the original home of the most famous statue ever created in Classical Greece -- the Venus de Milo. Thanks to its volcanic origin, Milos boasts a magnificently colourful landscape and a coastline that counts more than 40 beaches! The strong volcanic eruption that happened in Milos millions of years ago formatted its present landscape with reddish cliffs, soft sandy beaches, and underwater sea caves. Standing out for its majestic ambiance, rich history, picturesque fishing villages, amazing food, and indigo bays, Milos island is a timeless Cycladic gem with a personality all its own.

* Due to the dinner-hour timing of our ferry, your Tour Leader may choose include an early meal on Sifnos before our ferry, a later dinner on Milos, or include lunch on Sifnos and set you free for the evening after checking-in to our hotel on Milos.

Overnight on Milos.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 12 Milos: Full-day Island Touring
Today we spend our day exploring this interesting island. As Milos remains still somewhat untouched by chain hotels and pre-packaged tourism, you can truly discover Milos as the island has been for thousands of years. Created by the same volcano that created Milos, the neighbouring islands of Kimolos and Polyaigos are often overshadowed by their larger neighbour, though the beauty of these islands is remarkable with clear waters, caves, and rock formations. The best part is that these are unspoilt by large crowds.

While on Milos, we'll pay a visit to the Archaeological Museum of Milos in Plaka. The museum is housed in a Neoclassical building of the 1870s; at the entrance of this building, there is a replica of the famous Venus de Milo, originally found in Milos by a farmer in 1870 (the original is in the Louvre Museum in Paris). The museum also features figurines, statues, anaglyphs, and coins, along with findings that date back to the Neolithic Age (finds from Milos make up about 70% of the National Archaeological Museum of Athens' Cycladic wing). Near this museum, we can see the History and Folk Museum of Milos, a 200 year-old house which traces Miloan life from the 17th century to date. Walking through the village of Plaka, we will discover a traditional place of Cycladic architecture, stunning views to the Aegean Sea, and pastries with delicious homemade sweets.

Then we'll drive along the northern side of Milos and arrive in Sarakiniko. This is probably the most photographed spot of Milos, a fantastic place with pure white stone sculpted by volcanic eruptions. Beneath the white rocks are impressive sea caves.

We then head to the early Christian Catacombs and the ancient city of Klima; an ancient marble theatre is found close to the Catacombs that can be seen only from above due to ongoing restoration work. On the way to this ancient theatre, we'll see the spot where the famous statue Venus de Milo was discovered in 1820.

Our visit in the Catacombs reveals an important complex of labyrinths that date from the 1st century AD, as old as the famous Catacombs of Rome. These graves are mostly decorated with natural jewels and pictures, but were not just places to bury the dead, but also as Christian churches during the time when Romans were persecuting Christians.

Our tour continues to the fishing village of Klima, which was the port of the ancient city of Milos. This lovely port is lined up with houses that have boat garages on the ground floor. These houses are called "syrmata" and their doors and window shutters are painted in different colours.

We return to our hotel in time to head to a local restaurant for dinner. Milos, like Sifnos, is enjoying growing recognition for its traditional cooking using locally-sourced ingredients. The local table wines are particularly balanced, fruity and fresh.

Overnight on Milos.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 13 Milos: Kimolos & Polyaigos Islands
Created by the same volcano that created Milos, the neighbouring islands of Kimolos and Polyaigos are often overshadowed by their larger neighbour, though the beauty of these islands is remarkable with clear waters, caves, and rock formations. The best part is that these are unspoilt by large crowds.

We head to the port of Adamas where we board our private scenic cruise veseel, which will show us the best of Kimolos and Polyaigos, the latter being the largest uninhabited island in Greece. The name Polyaigos means "many goats," which today are the only inhabitants of the island. The island is mostly owned by Greek Orthodox church, which rents land to shepherds in Milos and Kimolos.

Our first stop is Kimolos and a small cove with crystalline waters called Goupa. Around the small beach, we see typical houses of the region, constructed as boat garages into the soft rock with colourful doors.

We then head for Polyaigos passing 'Diamantospilia', a very tall and impressive cave on the north of the island, big enough to fit a whole sailing boat if the weather allows a slow approach! Next stop is Faros, a sheltered bay to the east, with magnificent turquoise waters and colourful rocks. Sailing close to the island we reach Galazia Nera ("blue waters"). The transparency and fluorescent colour of the sea are beyond words; here we have a chance to swim, enjoy lunch, and relax.

Our day is somewhat free-form to take advantage of prevailing weather conditions and group interest. We return to Milos (due to our included lunch and the length of our day, dinner will be on your own this evening).

Overnight on Milos.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Lunch



Day 14 Milos - Ferry to Athens
After a morning at leisure we ferry back to Athens (+/- 3.25 hours). After transferring our hotel we'll convene for our farewell dinner at a nearby local restaurant.

Overnight in Athens.

Included Meal(s): Breakfast and Dinner



Day 15 Departure
Departure from Athens.

KALO TAXIDI!!

Included Meal(s): Breakfast

 


 

Trip Info
Trip Info

 

Inclusions
Breakfast, one lunch, and most dinners daily (see detailed itinerary). All transport, accommodation, 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 and for early arriving/late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.


Exclusions
International airfare to/from the tour. Tour Leader gratuities, most lunches, three dinners, alcoholic drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international air taxes (if applicable), and excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Travel insurance.


Seasonality and Weather
Our spring date is planned to avoid the busier and expensive high summer high season (July/August) during which ferries can be crammed and some sites can be overcrowded (especially in Athens). Our timing also avoids the extreme summer heat and high winds winds often associated with this time. Greece does not experience the extreme humidity of the tropics so this is not a concern at any time.

May/June is a gorgeous time in terms of the landscape, which after winter rains is lush and green and festooned with wildflowers. The sea is swim-able but still a bit chilly, and showers, though unlikely, are still possible. Another nice thing about springtime in Greece is the local people are well-rested after a long winter and especially delighted to see us!

Late summer (September) is generally warmer and one can still expect some heat, especially in Athens and elsewhere depending on proximity to water. Showers are less likely than spring. Though the landscape has largely shed the lush greenness of spring, the true delight is the local farm produce ready for harvest at this time, all of which makes it's way into local dishes. It's also the time of the olive and grape harvest, which we may be able to witness.


Transport and Travel Conditions
This is not a cruise! We travel to/between islands via local ferries, which can range from hydrofoils to large vehicle carrying vessels. Uncontrollable factors such as weather may result in delays & Greek ferry schedules tend to change without notice; some itinerary adjustments may be necessary with late notice.

Land transport (city & island tours, port transfers) by private air-conditioned coaches, minibuses and vans, depending on group size (see 'group size'). Locally we may make short hops using multiple local taxis.

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

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.

This program also has a strong gastronomic element, well-suited to "foodies," expert or novice, and those who enjoy savouring and lingering over a meal and sampling new things. While vegetarians are well catered for, we regret that very specific or extremely limited dietary restrictions/preferences will present a considerable challenge on this trip.

PLEASE NOTE: If you are booking your own air, our arrival back in Athens at the end of the tour could be quite late at night, which means that an EARLY MORNING departure from Athens the following day may be inconvenient with little time to rest before your journey. You may want to consider adding an extra night to rest up in the colourful city.

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


Accommodation
Our accommodation choices reflect the charm and spectacular views of for which the Greek Isles are famous. Large chain hotels are rare in the Cyclades, and most hotels are still smaller, family-run establishments. Our mid-range rated (international 3-star standard) island properties feature private bath, air-conditioning, wifi, and in-house breakfast; most have swimming pools. In Athens we have chosen a nicely-located smaller "boutique" 4-star hotel that has been fully renovated and features all the comforts and conveniences.


Staff and Support
Full-time Tour Leader, local step-on local guides in various locations


Group Size
Maximum 18 plus Tour Leader

 


 

Map & Hotels
Map & Hotels

Regions visited: Western Europe
Countries visited: Greece


*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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Platy Gialos Hotel Sifnos
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Sifnos
Country: Greece
One of two properties we alternate between on Sifnos: Hotel Platys Gialos goes back to 1960 as a the first chain of hotels in Greece, operated by the Greek government ... as Xenia. Designed by the most famous Greek architect Aris Konstantinidis. In 1970 it was acquired by the present owners and transformed into Hotel Platys Gialos. Its location is ideal for relaxed and private holidays.
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Myrto Hotel
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Sifnos
Country: Greece
One of two properties we alternate between on Sifnos: Set a 5-minute walk from Kamares Beach, this informal hillside hotel is an 8-minute walk from Sifnos Port and 8 km ... the historic Sifnos Castle. Unpretentious rooms with warm decor offer Wi-Fi, flat-screen TVs and minifridges, plus tea and coffeemaking equipment, and terraces
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Milos Hotel
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Milos
Country: Greece
Milos Hotel is a fully-renovated hotel in the center of the island, only 300m away from Adamas port.
Vhrahos Boutique Hotel
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Folegandros
Country: Greece
On a craggy hillside, this modern boutique hotel is 1 km from Folegandros ferry terminal and a 2-minute walk from Karavostasis Beach. Sleek, minimalist rooms feature flat-screen TVs, free Wi-Fi ... minibars, as well as tea and coffeemaking facilities. All have furnished balconies offering beach views.
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Favie Suzanne Hotel
3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation 3 Star Accommodation
Location: Tinos
Country: Greece
Set across from a park, this relaxed hotel is 2 km from the Agios Fokas Beach along the Aegean Sea. The Tinos ferry terminal is a 10-minute walk away. Understated ... offer free Wi-Fi, TVs and minifridges.
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Frequently Asked Questions
ASK A QUESTION
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").

 

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