This program was custom designed to explore not only 3,000 years of history in Greece, but also contemporary society.
This itinerary is subject to change. Travel demands flexibility. We will strive to balance adaptability with remaining on schedule. Please trust that, when it is not possible to follow the plan laid out below, your program leaders and tour manager will work to find substitutions that retain the quality of this Study Travel program. Various details may be added or changed due to information obtained while making reservations. B, L, and D indicate meals and T indicates a tasting included in the program fee.
Thursday, April 28 Depart USA
Individual departures from your hometown. Plan to arrive in Athens by mid-afternoon.
Friday, April 29 Athens (D)
Upon arrival in Athens, transfer on your own to Hotel Herodion near the old town of Plaka. We’ll meet for welcome drink in the hotel at 5:30 pm, along with a welcome lecture by Jim. We’ll head out on foot to our welcome dinner arund 7:30 pm (remember, we’re in a Mediterranean culture!) in the old town, probably with live Greek music. Overnight at Hotel Herodion or similar.
Saturday, April 30 Athens (B)
We’ll be met by our national guide, Stella Galani, who will stay with us for the duration of the program. She’ll lead us on a walking tour including the Ancient Agora, the Acropolis Museum, Theatre of Dionysus, and the Acropolis. There will be a break for lunch on your own. Late afternoon and evening free, with dinner on your own. Overnight at Hotel Herodion or similar.
Sunday, May 1 Athens to Naplion (BT) May Day (Greece)
Check out and settle your personal charges (or confirm nothing has been mistakenly charged to your room). We’ll depart on our private bus towards the Peloponnese, passing by the Corinth Canal, and stopping at the site of Ancient Corinth for a look. (Because it’s May Day, the site is closed.) Visit Markellos olive oil mill for a tasting and to learn how the tasty Greek olive oil is made. Lunch on your own. Continue to Naplion, the small seaside town, the first capital of liberated Greece. Dinner on your own. Overnight at Hotel Marianna or Grand Sarai or similar.
Monday, May 2 Naplion/Day Excursion to Epidaurus (BLD)
Drive to visit Epidaurus, the open-air ancient theater and its small museum in the morning. We have arranged a private cooking demonstration at the Zotos farm, which is located just outside Naplion amidst orange groves, and you will learn some delicious Greek recipe and enjoy lunch, your own culinary creations. Afternoon return to Naplion. Afternoon (optional) visit the Palamidi Castle if time allows. Group dinner in the old town. Overnight in Naplion
Tuesday, May 3 Naplion to Athens/Overnight Ferry (BTL)
After breakfast we’ll take our private bus to visit the site of Mycenae, the remnants of the Palace of Agamemnon, and Nemea to visit the stadium and archaeological museum. We’ll visit a local winery to learn how the famous red variety agiorgitiko is made, along with a wine tasting and light lunch. We’ll continue on to Athens and the port of Piraeus. Dinner on your own or on the ferry. Depart on the overnight ferry to Chania, Crete; accommodations are in twin-bedded, outside cabins.
Wednesday, May 4 Arrive Chania, to Heraklion (BD)
We’ll arrive in the picturesque town of Chania around 7 am and have breakfast and short walking tour in the old town. We’ll take our new private bus to the town of Rethymnon, where we’ll have a short walk around the port area, stopping to see the famous phyllo maker in the old town. Lunch on your own. Then we’ll continue to the new museum at Eleftherna. In the late afternoon we’ll arrive in Heraklion. Group dinner at a traditional taverna. Overnight at the centrally located hotel Aquila Atlantis or similar.
Thursday, May 5 Heraklion (BD)
We’ll start today with a guided visit of the Heraklion Archeological Museum, within walking distance from the hotel. Then we’ll take our private bus to visit the Palace of Knossos. We’ll make a stop for lunch on your own in the traditional village of Archanes. On our return to Heraklion we’ll stop to visit the Tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis, author of Zorba the Greek. Group dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Aquila Atlantis or similar.
Friday, May 6 Heraklion/Day Excursion (BLT)
After breakfast we’ll drive to the beautiful Monastery of Kresmasta, then on to Neapolis, Vrysses, the picturesque port of Agios Nicholas, and finally to Elounda, where we’ll stop for a group lunch. After, we’ll take a small boat on a one-hour trip around the island of Spinalonga, an old lepers’ colony, famous from the book Island by Victoria Hislop. On the return, we’ll stop at the Lyrarakis Winery for a wine tasting, tour of the facilities, and light snacks. Return to Heraklion for a free evening with dinner on your own. Overnight at Hotel Aquila Atlantis or similar.
Saturday, May 7 Heraklion to Overnight Ferry (B)
This morning we’ll travel to the coast of the Libyan sea to visit Gortyna and then the Minoan Palace of Phaestos. Continue to the town of Matala, famous for its caves, with lunch on your own their. We’ll return to Heraklion to board the overnight ferry to the port of Athens (two bedded outside cabins with private showers). Dinner in Heraklion or on the ferry on your own. Overnight onboard the ferry.
Sunday, May 8 Athens to Rhodes (BD)
We’ll arrive in the port of Athens in the early morning and drive to Hotel Herodion for breakfast. Then we’ll visit a replica of an Ancient Trireme in the Marina of Flisvos. Next we board a one-hour flight to Rhodes. Transfer to the hotel for check-in and group dinner. Overnight at Rodos Palace or similar.
Monday, May 9 Rhodes (BL)
We’ll transfer to the city center for a guided walking tour of the Rhodes old town, including the Street of the Knights, archaeological museum, and the Palace of the Knights. Group lunch in the old town before driving to the Acropolis of Lindos, once visited by St. Paul. In the afternoon we’ll visit Cair Winery, which produces a local champagne. Return to the hotel for dinner on your own and a relaxing evening. Overnight at Rodos Palace or similar.
Tuesday, May 10 Rhodes/Day Excursion to Symi (BL)
Today we’ll take a full day boat trip to Symi, the island of the sponge divers. Upon arrival we’ll see the sponge workshop and enjoy a group lunch in a local taverna. Return via ferry or catamaran to the Rhodes port and then by bus to our hotel. Overnight at Rodos Palace or similar.
Wednesday, May 11 Rhodes/Day Excursion (BD)
We’ll take another day trip, this time on our private bus, to explore Ancient Kamiros, Ialyssos, and Filerimos, a medieval monastery on a hill with nice views of the bay. Lunch on your own at a local restaurant. Return to the hotel for group dinner and overnight at Rodos Palace or similar.
Thursday, May 12 Rhodes to Athens (BD)
Likely morning free before our return flight to Athens. Transfer to Hotel Herodion. Meeting at the hotel before our farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Herodion.
Friday, May 13 Depart Greece
Transfer on your own to the airport for return flights to the U.S.
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