Athens & the Aegean

Athens & the Aegean
Stand in the shadow of the Acropolis and marvel at the fusion of modern buildings and crumbling ruins of the Athenian cityscape. Set sail for the Aegean Islands to see thatched windmills, blue-domed churches, white-washed houses, and pristine beaches.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Yassou Athens
Meet your tour director and check into hotel
Athens city walk
Plaka districtTemple of Olympian ZeusHadrian’s Arch
Details: Athens city walk
You’re never more than a few steps away from the past in Athens. Accompany your Tour Director to the Plaka, the historic district that borders the Acropolis. In its twisting narrow streets you’ll catch glimpses of an older city, from wrought-iron balconies bursting with geraniums to traditional Greek dancing in basement tavernas. Continue on to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, begun in the 6th century B.C. and finished in A.D. 132 by the emperor Hadrian. Its enormous columns provide a sense of the scale of the original temple. Nearby, the elaborate Hadrian’s Arch separated the ancient and imperial sections of the city.
Day 3 Athens landmarks
Athens guided sightseeing tour
ParthenonAcropolis visitTemple of Athena NikeOmonoia SquareSyntagma Square2004 Olympic site
Details: Athens guided sightseeing tour
Not just another crowded dusty city, Athens has developed from the birthplace of democracy to a bustling modern metropolis. With a local licensed guide, start your time travel at the ancient hot spots of the first Olympic site and the sprawling Acropolis, classical Athens’ religious and civic center. The awe-inspiring Parthenon -- a temple dedicated to Athens’ patron saint Athena -- is the obvious centerpiece, but take time to examine the building next door, where sculpted women hold up the roof with their heads, and the amazing view of modern Athens below. Jump back to the present in Syntagma Square, the center of the modern city, to see the Parliament building and the British-style changing of the guards ceremony. (There’s a rather un-British flair to it, however -- the Greek guards wear white skirts, head scarves, and shoes and knee bands adorned with pom-poms.) Continue to Omonia Square, Athens' other main meeting point, to relax by the splashing central fountain ringed with palm trees.
Day 4 Delphi landmarks
Delphi guided sightseeing tour
Delphi site visitTemple of Apollo
Details: Delphi guided sightseeing tour
Prophet from the past. Explore the impressive ruins at Delphi, which the Greeks considered the center of the world. Within the depths of the Temple of Apollo, a priestess would inhale intoxicating vapors that used to rise from the earth and, thus inspired, deliver the prophecies of Apollo. Modern visitors might find more inspiration in the view from Mount Parnassus, over 8000 feet high.
Day 5 Aegean cruise (Aegean cruise departs on Mondays only)
Optional shore excursions available (purchased on tour)
Please note Samos will replace Kusadasi as a port of call on all Greek cruises
Cruise overnight to Kusadasi
Details: Depart Athens on four-day Aegean cruise
Island hop, Aegean style! This four-day cruise will take you to six of the most beautiful islands in the world, all with a unique look and feel. There are more than 160 inhabited Greek islands, and they comprise one-fifth of Greece, and should not be omitted from any visit to this beautiful country. Your first port of call is Mykonos, with museums, white, cubistic buildings, Crayola-colored boats, gourmet restaurants, and lots of beach. Next stop is Kusadasi, an ancient Turkish hill-sloping town that is now one of the most popular Mediterranean tourist destinations. From there it’s on to seahorse-shaped Patmos, where you’ll see gold-leafed Byzantine frescos at the Monastery of St. John, the capital city of Hora, and the busy port of Skala. Rhodes offers tiled-roofed gazebos, huge trees, open-air plazas, old towns with whitewashed streets and buildings, and of course, beaches. Visit Heraklion, the capital of Crete, a former Minoan seaport with Venetian architecture and the largest collection of Minoan archaeology. And finally, you’ll visit Santorini, where whole villages seem to cling to the side of the volcano, and mysterious black sand beaches stretch into the sea. Cruise excursions are provided by the liner and can be purchased during the voyage.
Details: Mykonos visit
Now one of the most popular of the Aegean islands, Mykonos is rugged and beautiful at the same time, and is one of the smallest islands of the Cyclades – it’s only 10 miles long and 7 miles wide. Mykonos is absolutely picturesque - thatched windmills, whitewashed streets, and a medieval quarter boasting cubic houses with picturesque balconies, and churches with red or blue doors. You can walk along the main shopping street, Matoyanni, and search for jewelry and clothing, or just take a break in one of the cafes that line the street. You’ll also visit the capital, Hora, with its colorful harbor in which little fishing boats nest happily side by side with luxury yachts. Please note that planned shore excursions range between $75 and $125 and will be sold through the cruise ship in Greece.
Day 6 Kusadasi--Rhodes
Cruise overnight to Rhodes
Details: Kusadasi visit
On Turkey’s west coast, Kusadasi (“Bird Island”) was named for the many pigeons that made their homes in and around the island’s 14th-century fort. Now tourists from around the world flock to this top Turkish resort for its miles of sandy beaches, beautiful rugged scenery, and proximity to important archaeological ruins. Wander through the market, where intricate carpets and glittering jewelry vie for buyers’ attention. Please note that planned shore excursions range between $75 and $125 and will be sold through the cruise ship in Greece.
Details: Cruise on and visit Patmos
Patmos is a barren island, and is the home of the famous Monastery of St. John the Theologian. There are only 2,500 lucky inhabitants of this rocky but beautiful island, and they are mostly concentrated in three towns – Skala, Chora and Kambos. Many people come here to pay religious homage, while wealthy Athenians and Europeans use this island as a vacation destination. You’ll see gold-leafed Byzantine frescos at the Monastery of St. John, the picturesque village of Chora, and Skala, the busy port town with many beautiful beaches, shops, and much else to keep you busy – all found on this beautiful and picturesque island.
Day 7 Rhodes--Crete
Cruise overnight to Crete
Details: Rhodes visit
Once a political and religious center of the ancient world (and home of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world), Rhodes now lures visitors with sunny beaches, well-preserved medieval fortifications, and a castle on a hill. A league of Christian knights built the beautiful palace in the 1300s on the highest point of the island. Though partially destroyed by an explosion in 1856, the palace was rebuilt by the Italians to serve as one of Mussolini’s summer homes. Please note that planned shore excursions range between $75 and $125 and will be sold through the cruise ship in Greece.
Day 8 Crete--Athens
Cruise overnight to Athens
Details: Crete visit
The largest city on Crete and the fourth-largest city in Greece, Heraklion holds many treasures from the past within its modern buzz. The central Archaeological Museum proudly displays the remains of Heraklion’s Minoan heritage. Walk around and explore the many churches and ancient ruins, or just shop the markets and sample wonderful Greek fare. Please note that planned shore excursions range between $75 and $125 and will be sold through the cruise ship in Greece.
Details: Cruise on and visit Santorini
Rising steeply from the Aegean, crescent-shaped Santorini marks the rim of a volcanic crater that exploded in 1625 B.C., destroying and fragmenting a much larger island. The sea flooded into the crater, and now white towns gleam from the tops of the rocky cliffs, streaked black, brown, pink, and pale green. Rumors claim that this island may actually be the not-so-lost Atlantis. Please note that planned shore excursions range between $75 and $125 and will be sold through the cruise ship in Greece.
Day 9 Cape Sounion
Arrive in Athens
Details: Cape Sounion guided excursion
Contemplate the sea god Poseidon from his temple perched high atop the hill of Cape Sounion, the southern-most tip of Central Greece. Stand among the tall, marble pillars rising up from the slippery slabs of rock and look out over the calm blue Aegean Sea. The Temple of Poseidon, built around the same time as the Parthenon (between 450-440 BC), is a refreshing point of calm after the chaos of modern Athens.
Day 10 End tour

  • Or
  • Day 10 Start extension to London
    Fly to London
    London city walk
    Thames RiverTrafalgar SquareNational Gallery visitPiccadilly CircusCovent GardenLeicester SquareSoho
    Details: London city walk
    Step outside your hotel for a stroll through the heart of the English-speaking world. In this city of nearly seven million, you'll see everything from 12th-century fortifications to modern skyscrapers, royal parks to street art. Your Tour Director will lead you to some of the most famous sites. Walk along the Thames River. Cross Trafalgar Square. See bustling Piccadilly Circus. Pass trendy shops and cafés in Bohemian Soho on your way to Covent Garden, a 13th-century fruit and vegetable garden transformed into a maze of narrow streets and pedestrian walkways burgeoning with street performers, open-air markets and boutiques.
    Details: National Gallery visit
    Located in an impressive domed building right in Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery houses a rich collection of over 2,000 works of art dating from the mid 13th century to 1900. Explore the beautiful marble hallways to see famous paintings by Van Eyck, Turner and Van Gogh.
    Details: Classic fish & chips dinner
    Nothing’s more British than fish and chips—there are eight fish and chip shops (“chippies”) for every McDonald’s in the country. Head to an authentic pub with your Tour Director for a taste of this national food, generally served with malt vinegar.
    Day 11 London landmarks
    London guided sightseeing tour
    Buckingham PalaceBig BenHouses of ParliamentWestminster AbbeyTower BridgeHyde ParkSt. Paul’s Cathedral
    Details: London guided sightseeing tour
    Join a licensed local guide for an in-depth look at London, from the royal haunt of Buckingham Palace (the official London residence of Queen Elizabeth II) to the slightly more democratic Speakers’ Corner of Hyde Park, where anyone can pull up a soapbox and orate to his heart’s content. You’ll see the changing of the guard (season permitting), the clock tower of Big Ben with its 14-ton bell, and Westminster Abbey, where almost every English king and queen since William the Conqueror has been crowned. After a stop at the Houses of Parliament, continue on to the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral, the masterpiece of London architect Christopher Wren.
    Day 12 End tour
    Map of Athens & the Aegean Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 4 overnight stays (6 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • 4 overnight stays in cabins on cruise ship
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • 4-day Aegean Cruise
    • Lunch on cruise ship
    • Greek evening on cruise
    • Cruise excursions not included
    • Flight from Athens--London on extension
    • Tour Diary™
    • Tips to cruise staff
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.
    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.
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