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Southern Jewels with Islands

Explore the wonders of Athens and roam ancient ruins. Stroll picturesque villages bursting with beauty in Crete. Bask in the Mediterranean sunshine as you soak in the scenery of Santorini before enjoying a private sailing experience aboard a yacht to admire the unique rock formations of the area. Sip local wines, visit a town preserved since the 16th-century following a volcanic eruption, and watch the sunset over Poseidon’s Temple.

Trip Type: Cosmopolitan

Gallery

Southern Jewels with Islands
Southern Jewels with Islands
Southern Jewels with Islands
Southern Jewels with Islands

Day By Day

Day 1 – Arrive in Athens and Dinner in Athens

Welcome to Athens. Upon arrival, please make your way into the arrivals hall where you will be met by a local representative. An English-speaking driver will transfer you by private vehicle from the airport to your city accommodation.

This evening, enjoy an early dinner in a rooftop garden overlooking the Acropolis and Parthenon.

Starting Accommodation: Electra Metropolis Athens
Meals: Dinner


Day 2 – Athens City Sights

Enjoy an exciting, guided tour of downtown Athens. Visit the Old Royal Palace which has housed the Greek Parliament since 1934. Stroll along the tree-lined Syntagma Square before heading to Panathinaiko Stadium – an historic attraction known for being the only stadium in the world to have been made entirely of marble. A tour of Athens would not be complete without spending time at the Parthenon, the Acropolis Museum. Return to your hotel via a walking tour in the bustling Plaka neighborhood. A delicious local lunch is included today.

Starting Accommodation: Electra Metropolis Athens
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 3 – Day Trip to Nafplion, via Mycanae

Head out of Athens and cross over from the mainland to the Peloponnese region on your journey. Stop at the Corinth Canal—a man-made marvel that once offered shorter passage for trade vessels. Continue towards the ancient city of Mycanae, a former influential Greek kingdom that is home to the largest surviving sculpture in the prehistoric Aegean—The Lion Gate.
 
According to Greek mythology, Perseus, the son of Zeus and Danae founded Mycanae. This ancient city sits atop a small hill between two larger hills on a fertile plain. The acropolis dates back to the Bronze-age and is one of the great cities of the Mycenaean civilization that played a vital role in classical Greek culture. Despite inspiring poets, writers, and artists throughout the centuries, it was ultimately abandoned more than 2,000 years ago.

Travel to the coastal town of Nafplion for a walking tour and lunch in a local restaurant. Return to Athens in the afternoon.

Starting Accommodation: Electra Metropolis Athens
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 4 – Travel to Heraklion

Ahead of your flight, you will be transferred by private vehicle from your Athens city accommodation to Athens Airport for check in.

Takeoff to Heraklion and continue on the next stage of your adventure.

Upon arrival to Heraklion, make your way to baggage claim where you will be met by your English-speaking driver. Leaving the airport, your tour of Crete begins with a visit to Knossos, the heart of Minoan culture. Marvel at the legendary Palace of Knossos which stands at the center of the Minoan civilization where it is said the mythological creature Minotaur was defeated by Theseus. Drop off at your accommodation following the tour.

Starting Accommodation: Lato Boutique Hotel
Meals: Breakfast


Day 5 – Heraklion Historic Village Tour

Spend the day in a quaint, historic village and gain spectacular insight into how the locals live their daily lives. Stroll amongst monuments and Cretan architectural sites and enjoy lunch in a local taverna.

Starting Accommodation: Lato Boutique Hotel
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 6 – Heraklion Archeological Museum and Walking Tour

Visit the Heraklion Archeological Museum filled with history, artifacts and art belonging to the ancient Minoan civilization that once populated the island of Crete. Enjoy a walking tour of the town.

Starting Accommodation: Lato Boutique Hotel
Meals: Breakfast


Day 7 – Heraklion to Elounda, via Aghios Nikolaos

Enjoy the short drive from Heraklion to the picturesque town of Elounda. Visit Spinalonga, the former leper colony and island made famous by Victoria Hislop’s book The Island. Wander the town of Aghios Nikolaos with its lovely lake by the port.

Starting Accommodation: Domes of Elounda
Meals: Breakfast


Day 8 – Elounda at Leisure

A world away from Crete's bustling capital, Elounda is situated on the north-east coast of Crete and features fishing villages, uninhabited islands, and tranquil bays. The little fishing boats in the scenic harbor continue a time-honored tradition of bringing in the day’s catch to supply the local restaurants and tavernas. The town is centered around the main square which is great for people watching. There's plenty to explore as you follow the sea past the seafood restaurants, and along the causeway. In the shallows lies the sunken city of Olous, a Greco-Roman city of archaeological importance—a great spot for divers. Go in search of an early Christian Basilica of which a mosaic remains portraying frolicking dolphins. This sprawling town also offers nature preserves, a fortress and access to Spinalonga, a former leprosy colony.

Starting Accommodation: Domes of Elounda
Meals: Breakfast


Day 9 – Travel to Santorini by High Speed Passenger Ferry and Santorini Tour

You will be transferred by private vehicle from your Elounda accommodation to Heraklion Port.

Depart Heraklion on the speed ferry to Santorini.

You will be met at the ferry port by your driver and taken on a tour of Santorini before being delivered to your accommodation. Visit one of the finest archeological sites in the world. The town of Akrotiri remains a preserved reminder of the devastating volcanic eruption which took place in the 16th-century BC. Sample some local wines at a local winery and snack on some meze as you enjoy the vineyard views.

Starting Accommodation: Andronis Arcadia
Meals: Breakfast


Day 10 – Santorini Yacht Cruise

Sail to the Red and White beach to admire the unique formations, and enjoy a swim stop at Mesa Pigadia Beach. Marvel at the black sand resulting from volcanic ash mixed in and explore the small caves. Head to the Caldera through the Indian Rocks and pass by the Venetian Lighthouse. Stop at the hot springs for a swim in the sulfurous waters and snorkel by the volcano while the crew prepares a lovely lunch.

Starting Accommodation: Andronis Arcadia
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch


Day 11 – Travel to Athenian Riviera and Poseidon's Temple Sunset Tour and Dinner

Ahead of your flight, you will be transferred by private vehicle from your Santorini accommodation to Santorini Airport for check in.

This evening, travel to Cape Sounio for a guided tour of Poseidon’s Temple. Perched high above the Aegean Sea, the temple was built in the 5th century to honor Poseidon, the god of the sea. The structure was built entirely out of locally quarried white marble, with the columns standing over twenty feet tall and three feet in diameter. Famous poets including Lord Byron had been known to fall under its spell, composing poetry in an ode to the marvelous structure. Witness shades of blue, red, orange, pink and purple blanket the sky as the sun sets over the cape. Enjoy a delicious dinner before traveling back to your hotel.

Starting Accommodation: Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel, Vouliagmeni
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner


Day 12 – Athenian Riviera at Leisure

This sheltered coastline, which stretches for 43 miles along the Saronic Gulf, is where Athenians flee in summer to escape the city heat. Pretty whitewashed towns bordered by pine trees offer plenty to the sophisticated traveler. Cycle along seafront promenades and wander up to modernist Greek Orthodox churches where intricate frescoes of heralding angels adorn the interiors. Walk past crumbling Greek ruins and down steep banks to sheltered pebble beaches, with waves quietly lapping the shore. Soak in thermal springs with a backdrop of chiseled cliff-faces, sip cocktails in a private beachside cabana, and while away an evening in one of many restaurants, serving freshly caught charred octopus and crispy calamari.

Starting Accommodation: Four Seasons Astir Palace Hotel, Vouliagmeni
Meals: Breakfast


Day 13 – Depart Athenian Riviera

Ahead of your flight, you will be transferred by private vehicle from your Athenian Riviera accommodation to Athens Airport for check in.

Meals: Breakfast


Pricing

Package Level: Deluxe

Pricing for this package is on request. Please call a Swain Destinations Specialist to customize this journey.


Terms and Conditions

Prices are per person, twin/double share in USD. All highlighted savings are reflected in the price. Price does not include airfare unless otherwise stated. Travel may be limited to certain days of the week. Hotels and tours remain subject to availability. Cancellation penalties and other booking or alteration restrictions may exist. Please note blackout dates may apply to Christmas, New Year and local special event periods. Pricing may increase over Holiday and special event periods and may not be reflected in price grid. Prices indicated remain subject to change without notice. Prices are not guaranteed until full payment is received and processed. CST #2012413-20 See our full Terms and Conditions: www.swaindestinations.com/terms

Details

Length:

12 Nights

Pricing:

Pricing on request

Destinations:

Athens; Heraklion; Elounda; Oia; Vouliagmeni

Inclusions:

  • Airport and Ferry Transfers
  • 3 Nights Athens
  • Athens City Sights tour
  • Day Tour to Nafplion and Mycanae
  • 3 Nights Heraklion
  • Heraklion Sights
  • Heraklion Historic Village tour
  • Heraklion Archeological Museum and Walking Tour
  • Tour to Spinalonga Island and Aghios Nikolaos
  • 2 Nights Elounda
  • Ferry Heraklion to Santorini
  • 2 Nights Santorini
  • Santorini Yacht Cruise
  • 2 Nights Athenian Riviera
  • Poseidon’s Temple Sunset Tour and Dinner
  • Meals: 12 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 2 Dinners
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