Aegean Islands Discovery Tour
007423 - R15
Embark on a tour through the Aegean Sea, taking local ferries around the Cyclades Islands. Indulge in a little island hopping and take the time to uncover remote ruins, gorgeous beaches and outstanding scenery. Travel from the ancient capital of Athens all the way to the spectacular natural wonders on the island of Santorini on this wonderful Greek adventure.
- Ermoupolis, Syros, home to well preserved neoclassical mansions and famous for its sweets
- Wander narrow alleyways in the fortress-like town of Ano Syros, with great views of the Aegean Sea
- Walk amongst ancient relics on the uninhabited, sacred island of Delos
- Enjoy the chic shops and restaurants in Mykonos or laze on one of the many beautiful beaches
- Marvel at the stunning cliff-side, white-washed villages of Santorini
- Shop for handmade souvenirs in small island shops and listen for traditional Rembetiko music floating out of family-run tavernas
007423 - R15
Kalimera! Welcome to Greece. As there’s not much time to explore Athens on this trip before you head out to the islands, arriving a few days early is recommended. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm today – confirm the time and place with reception. If you can’t arrange a flight that will arrive in time, you may wish to arrive a day early. Important information will be collected at the meeting and provided to you regarding your travel program. After the welcome meeting, perhaps head out for some gyros and ouzo with your new travel companions.
Highlights of Athens include the renowned changing of the guard at Syntagma (Parliament) Square, the National Gardens, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the original Olympic Stadium and of course the Acropolis, where you can enter the Pantheon and enjoy fabulous views over the city. Maybe join an Urban Adventure day trip, such as ‘Taste of Athens’ or ‘Markets, Ruins and Ancient Athens’. You could also take a day tour to the Peloponnese peninsula via ancient Epidavros and the Corinthian canal.
Optional add-ons in Athens:
- Athens – Acropolis Pass for 5 Sites – EUR30
- Athens – National Archaeological Museum – EUR10
- Athens – Day Trip to the Saronic Islands – EUR85
- Athens – Day Trip to Delphi – EUR60
- Athens – Dora Stratou – EUR15
- Athens – Lycabettus Hill – Free
- Athens – Numismatic Museum – EUR6
- Athens – Walking Athens Urban Adventure – EUR55
- Athens – Taste of Athens Urban Adventure – EUR68
- Athens – Markets, Ruins & Ancient Athens Urban Adventure – EUR58
- Athens – Bohemian Tales of the City Urban Adventure – EUR70
- Athens – Twilight Athens Urban Adventure – EUR91
Today travel by metro to the port of Piraeus, then catch a relaxing scenic ferry to Syros (approximately 4 hours). In the heart of the Cyclades, Syros offers a rare opportunity to see the islands as the Greeks do. One of the Aegean’s most underrated islands, the island features typical whitewashed houses, farms, terraced fields and gorgeous sandy beaches. Your leader will take you on a wander through the main town of Ermoupolis, home to well preserved neoclassical mansions and 19th-century tenement blocks. Syros is also home to delicious sweets. Stop at a family run traditional loukoumi workshop where you will be shown the procedure of how these multi-coloured fruit-flavoured jellies (also called Greek Delight) and chalvadopita (hazelnut, almond or honey-filled wafers) are made – make sure you try some of them. You’ll have plenty of time to explore tomorrow, so perhaps kick up your feet at a waterfront cafe and watch the setting sun turn the houses pink.
Take a walk through the fortress-like town of Ano Syros, which offers great views of the Aegean Sea. Wander the narrow alleyways, pass handmade-souvenir shops and keep an ear open for traditional Rembetiko music floating out of the family-run tavernas. Enjoy free time to further explore Syros at your own pace. Discover abandoned windmills, ancient ruins and charming villages on a network of stone-paved tracks that crisscross the island. Perhaps head to the various archaeological sites on the island, or you might prefer to simply hole up on a beach for the afternoon. Outside of Ermoupolis are many small tranquil coves, while the most popular beaches are on the southern side of the island. While some are sandy and others pebbly, all boast crystal clear waters for swimming in. In the evening, take taxis to a taverna to a remotely located village in the rugged northern part of the island to sample delicious local specialities during an included meal, all while watching the sun set over the Aegean Sea.
- Syros – Archaeological Sites & Ruins – EUR5
Today board a two-hour ferry to Mykonos, a beautiful island named in honour of Apollo’s grandson. Mykonos is legendary both in ancient and modern times. Known in ancient Greek mythology as the battlefield where Zeus fought the Gigantes, today the island is best known for its decadence, style, and nightlife. Join your leader for a walk through the maze-like old town and be captivated by the quintessential Greek Isles vista of squat white houses brightly juxtaposed against the cerulean sea. Browse the chic galleries and boutiques, follow flower-lined paths past age-old churches and tiny restaurants to secluded, sandy beaches, and spend the afternoon soaking up the rays and splashing in the water. As the sun sets, join the group for a picnic dinner of local specialties. Your leader will know the ideal spot to sit back and enjoy an Aegean sunset.
This morning you will take a half-day trip out to the nearby island of Delos. One of the most important archaeological and mythological sites in the Greek Islands, a sacred area that was once the political and religious centre of the Aegean, Delos is considered to be the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis. A living museum, the wealthy built mansions in the town that developed around Apollo’s sanctuary, decorating them with luxurious frescoes, mosaics and statues. The island is overflowing with archaeological finds like the Terrace of the Lions and the Sacred Precinct, with many more still being uncovered. Later on today you might like to head to one of Mykonos’ many beaches, which are some of the nicest in Europe. Take a short bus ride to the pumping Paradise or Super Paradise beach bars, or perhaps find a quieter spot to relax along the beautiful coastline. You could also check out the 19th-century House of Lena or the Aegean Maritime Museum in town. This evening you could make your way to the village of Ano Mera and seek out a tavern for a seafood dinner.
- Mykonos – Aegean Maritime Museum – EUR4
- Mykonos – House of Lena – EUR2
- Mykonos – Trip to Village of Ano Mera (by public bus) – EUR4
- Mykonos – Paradise Beach (by public bus) – EUR4
- Mykonos – Super Paradise Beach (by public bus) – EUR10
Take another ferry and arrive on the spectacular southern island of Santorini (approximately 3 hours). Renowned for its amazing natural beauty, Santorini is one of Europe’s tourist hotspots, the home of the iconic image of the Greek islands – whitewashed, blue-domed buildings clinging to the cliff face with sparkling water in the background. Discover the hilltop ruins of Ancient Thira and its fascinating Prehistoric Museum, as well as the archaeological site of Akrotiri, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement that gives an insight into how the people here lived before the eruption. Check out the range of restaurants and shops in the island’s capital, interchangeably called Thira or Fira. If you have time while you’re here, perhaps head to one of Santorini’s volcanic beaches, such as Red Beach or the black beaches of Perissa, Vlhada, Perivolos or Agios Georgios. Be sure to try some of the island’s delicious food – the nutrient-filled volcanic soil makes the ingredients grown here full of flavour.
- Santorini – Museum of Prehistoric Thira – EUR6
- Santorini – Volcano & Hot Springs Half Day Trip (by boat) – EUR25
In 1500 BC a volcanic eruption sank the centre of Santorini, forming one of the most significant geological formations on the planet – the awe-inspiring caldera. The spectacular natural beauty of this caldera is what makes Santorini such a special place. Today make an excursion along the crater rim, starting in Thira town and walking through little villages all the way to Oia, passing steep cliff faces and experiencing breathtaking views along the way. If you have time, you might also like to take a half-day trip to the island’s volcano and hot springs in the centre of the lagoon. Or perhaps visit one of the island’s wineries – the vines here are cultivated in a very unusual way, with the plants being pruned to form a low basket shape that sits on top of the volcanic soil to protect the grapes from strong winds. On the last evening of your adventure, rub shoulders with friendly locals in packed pubs and cafes, sipping a cocktail as you witness a magnificent Santorini sunset.
Today your Greek Islands adventure comes to an end. There are no activities planned and you are able to depart the accommodation at any time this morning. Should you wish to extend your stay to see all Santorini has to offer we are happy to book additional accommodation, subject to availability. Please enquire at the time of booking.
- Transportation by public bus, metro, taxi and ferry
- 7 nights of accommodation including local taxes
- 5 breakfasts, 1 dinner
- Syros - Loukoumia Workshop, Ano Syros Walk, Sunset Dinner
- Mykonos - Wine & Finger Food
- Delos - Day Trip to the sacred Island of Delos, Archaeological Site
- Santorini - Caldera Rim Hike to Oia
- International airfare to/from Athens
- Transportation one-way Santorini to Athens (options to take a flight or ferry)
- Meals and drinks not specified in the itinerary
- Santorini Cable Car tickets (must be purchased on site, approx. 12 Euro per person)
- Optional local tours as outlined
- Gratuities to local guides, hotel staff, drivers
- Travel Insurance
- Items of a personal nature
Disclaimer: We do our utmost to ensure that information posted on our website is correct at the time of publication, however trip details are subject to change without notice by the suppliers and operators involved. We update the information as soon as possible when changes are advised to us, however, we cannot assume responsibility for such changes made by the suppliers and operators.