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EuropeGreeks to Greece: Athens & The Islands

Greeks to Greece: Athens & The Islands

13 days, 5 cities26
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From $3419 with flightsPayments as low as $150

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Vaccination is currently required for this trip. Chat or call us with questions.

Why go?

It makes sense that ancient gods and goddesses settled down in Greece. For starters, the islands average 300 days of sunshine a year. Then there’s the clear-blue water, the crazy-tasty diet, and the #nofilter sunsets. It all gives OMG a whole new meaning, doesn’t it?

Picture yourself

  • Channeling ancient goddesses atop the Acropolis

  • Going off the beaten path in Crete

  • Diving off a boat into the clear-blue Aegean Sea

  • Posing in front of the cotton-candy Santorini sunset

  • Snorkeling through a shipwreck off the island of Ios

What you'll get

  • Round-trip flights & airport transfers

  • 4 island-to-island ferry rides

  • 11 nights in handpicked accommodations

  • 11 breakfasts

  • 2 dinners

  • Expert Tour Director

  • 24/7 support from our travel gurus

  • Insider Acropolis tour with local guide

Full trip itinerary

Itinerary

  • Day 1: Overnight Flight to Athens

    Board your overnight flight to Athens, the cradle of Western Civilization and one of the oldest cities in the world. Pro tip: if you’re looking to earn some bonus points with the locals upon arrival, make sure you refer to Greece by its real name: Hellas.

  • Day 2: Arrive in Athens + Welcome Dinner

    Welcome to Athens! This city is at least 5,000 years old, but hardly looks a day over 25 (when you look past the historic structures and ancient statues). What we’re trying to say is, Athens is a beautiful city filled with art, literature, history, and about a million Instagram-worthy spots. And it’s the first stop on your journey through the Greek Islands.

    In the evening, enjoy a Welcome Dinner of local cuisine and drinks with fellow travelers at an authentic local spot. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!

    Today's highlights:

    • Meet an EF representative at the airport
    • Transfer to your accommodation and check in
    • Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director
    • Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive
    • Get acquainted with Athens on a brief walk around the city with your Tour Director.
  • Day 3: Explore Athens

    The remains of some historically significant and crazy old structures still stand in this ancient citadel, including the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike. So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal. The rest of the day is yours to explore Athens.

    Today's highlights:

    • Step back in time in the historic Acropolis of Athens with your local guide.
    • See the Propylaea, the Theatre of Dionysus, and a bunch of other structures you’ll need your guide’s help to pronounce.
    • Take in incredible panoramic views of Athens from the citadel’s hilltop vantage point, and understand why the ancient city’s name translates to “high city”.

    Free time suggestions

    Fill Up: Sample ouzo, the local anise-flavored aperitif, at an authentic Greek restaurant, locally known as a taverna.
    Dig It: The National Archaeology Museum is considered one of the greatest museums in the world, with pieces ranging from Greek sculptures to Egyptian Antiquities. Mama Mia! That’s quite a collection.

    After you’ve taken in the sites of ancient Athens, head to Piraeus Port to board your overnight ferry bound for Chania, Crete.

  • Day 4: Explore Seaside Chania

    Chania is one of Crete’s most picturesque coastal cities, with a maze of narrow streets and family-owned shops. Take today to explore the area on your own.

    In the evening, head back to the harbor for dinner along the water and a night out on the town. Many of Chania’s tavernas feature live music.

    Today's highlights:

    • Spend the day in Old Port on your own.
    • Admire the unique architecture of Chania, a mix of Venetian and Turkish styles
    • Learn about Chania’s role in history and its Minoan, Ottoman, Venetian, Byzantine and Greek influences

    Free time suggestions

    Get Crafty: Visit Tabakaria, the leather district, for well-priced, handmade leather goods
    Beachy Keen: Lounge at the beach, enjoying the soft sand and sparkling water (round-trip transportation included).

  • Day 5: Beach Day on Falassarna

    Join your Tour Director and head to Falassarna, a mile-long golden sand beach outside of Chania, or take a free day to explore.

    Return to Chania in the evening for one last night before heading to Heraklion.

    Today's highlights:

    • Drive to Falassarna, complete with amazing ocean and mountain vistas
    • Rent an umbrella, grab a fruity drink and relax in style
  • Day 6: Travel to Heraklion

    Enjoy a scenic drive through olive groves and mountainous terrain from Chania to Heraklion. The Old Town is known for its massive stone fortifications, astounding Venetian and Turkish fountains and urban sophistication.

    Today's highlights:

    • Board your private coach en route to modern, urban Heraklion, capital of Crete
    • Arrive and check in to your accommodation
    • Get to know the area with your Tour Director

    Free time suggestions

    That's Bull: Visit the Palace of Knossos, the setting of the myth of the Minotaur, just three miles outside of Heraklion
    Eat Up: Heraklion is home to one of Greece’s most thriving cafe and restaurant scenes
    Stock Up: The best shopping in the Greek Islands is in Heraklion’s Old Port

  • Day 7: Transfer to Santorini

    You’re headed to Santorini, one of the most iconic Greek Islands, complete with whitewashed and blue-domed buildings, romantic beaches, and endless sunshine. Think you know your adult grape juice? Join an optional Cliffside wine tasting excursion.

    Today's highlights:

    • Hop aboard a short ferry ride bound for Santorini
    • Arrive and check in to your accommodation.
    • Get to know the picturesque island that you’ll be calling home for the next two nights.
    • Sprint to the nearest beach and enjoy a Santorini sunset.

    Free time suggestions

    Sun Down: Oia is the traditional village in the northwestern end of Santorini and best known for its blue-domed churched, windmills and winding streets that pop up in everyone’s Instagram feeds. And for good reason. Head there before sunset for awe-inspiring sunset views and get ready to capture some likes…errr, photos.
    Life's a Beach: Visit one of Santorini’s top beaches for an evening swim—from Perivolos to Kamari to Ammoudi Bay—there are tons to choose from and you literally can’t go wrong.

    Cliffside Wine Tasting & Village Tour (extra cost)

    Quaint villages, wine, and a breathtaking sunset—it doesn’t get more Greek than this. Go from village to village with a local guide, exploring the volcanic landscape. Then, sample local wines at a cliffside winery.

    Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.

  • Day 8: Free Day in Santorini

    Keep the good times and island vibes rolling with a free day in Santorini, and take in all the romantic views and olives you can handle. Get your heart rate up with a hike from Fira to Oia, or curl up on a beach towel and work on your tan. Word of advice: don’t fall asleep with a gyro on your lap. It will result in a bizarre and hunger-inducing tan line.

    Today's highlights:

    • Head back to your favorite beach from yesterday, or go on the hunt for a new spot.
    • Wind your way along the paths of Imerovigli. When it comes to sunsets, this village is known as the “balcony to the Aegean.”
    • Enjoy dinner with a view at cliffside cafes and restaurants. Bonus points if your view includes the caldera.

    Free time suggestions

    Museum On: Get your history on at a few of the island’s museums. The Archaeological Museum of Thera and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera are home to well-preserved artifacts and fossils dating back to 17th century BC.
    Skary Stories: Take a trail to Skaros Rock, an outcropping of rock that juts out over the Aegean Sea. This is the perfect place to get some scenic views (and sweaty palms, if you get too close to the edge).

  • Day 9: Set Sail for Ios

    Next stop, Ios! This hilly island in the Cyclades is known for all-day parties, sandy beaches so soft they’ll have you ditching your shoes permanently, and nightlife that stretches into early morning. This is the place to party, relax, and repeat.

    Today's highlights:

    • Blow a farewell kiss to Santorini and board your ferry to Ios.
    • Arrive and check in to your accommodations.
    • Join your Tour Director on a walking tour of the area and get a feel for the island living.
    • Spend the rest of the day exploring on your own, then get the party started with the island’s famous nightlife.

    Free time suggestions

    Beach It: Head to Mylopotas Beach, located near the island’s main village of Chora, for a day of sunbathing, or hit the water for windsurfing, snorkeling, and Marco Polo-ing. Prepare to get your socks knocked off—this is the most visited beach in Ios…not that you should be wearing socks at the beach anyways.
    Take a Hike: Head into the cliff-top villages of Ios and catch a glimpse of the iconic windmills. Then, feel on top of the world after hiking up to Pyrgos, the island’s highest point, and take in some serious views.

  • Day 10: Explore Ios + Optional Speedboat & Shipwreck Snorkel

    Enjoy a free day to explore Ios on your own. By now, you probably already understand why the nightlife on this island is so famous, but Ios is more than just a party destination—it’s full of history, tradition, and activity. Spend the day wandering around island villages, going for a hike, or just relaxing under blue skies on one of the island’s pristine beaches. Bring a bottle of wine, a book, and your personal playlist—you’re in paradise.

    Today's highlights:

    • Make your way to the beach for more splashing, sunshine, and sand between your toes, and love that this is now part of your daily routine.
    • Head to the harbor to devour fresh seafood and ocean views.
    • Snap a picture at the Panayia Gremiotissa bell tower, one of the most photographed spots on the island.
    • Dance the night away in the Greek Islands’ most famous party scene.

    Free time suggestions

    Don’t ruin it: Explore Paleokastro (translation: old castle) and discover the ancient ruins that have been standing on a cliff’s edge overlooking the Aegean Sea since 1397 AD.
    Dig it: Ios is more than just a pretty face. Soak in some of the island’s ancient history at the Archeological Museum.

    Speedboat & Shipwreck Snorkel (extra cost)

    Hop on your speed boat, grab a snorkel, and swim amongst a shipwreck. Then, voyage into secret caves in the coast of Ios, relax on our favorite isolated beaches and hidden lagoons, and munch on a light lunch.

    This excursion is pre-book only; if your trip is less than five days away, please call 800-766-2645 to purchase.

  • Day 11: Free Day in Ios

    You can never have too much free time in paradise. Spend the day revisiting your favorite sunbathing spot, exploring new hiking paths, or snorkeling with some fish friends.

    Today's highlights:

    • Take a break from the nonstop parties on Manganari beach, a secluded spot perfect for a peaceful afternoon under the sun.
    • Trek over to Skarkos Hill for a look at the island’s largest archaeological excavation site, and get a peek into ancient civilization.
    • Stay out till the break of dawn (and then stay out a little longer) to end your last night in Ios the right way.

    Free time suggestions

    Shop ‘til you drop: Spend some time shopping in Chora, the island’s main village. This classic Greek village offers incredible views and has endless alleys and side streets to explore.
    ***Go Homer:***Pay homage to one of the greatest poet’s in Greek history during a hike in the northernmost part of the island to Homer’s Tomb. If you ever read Odyssey or Iliad in high school, you know who to thank.

  • Day 12: Return to Athens + Farewell Dinner

    Athens felt neglected, so it’s a good thing you’re heading back to pay it another visit. End the trip with a bang in a city known for stunning views and world-class nightlife. By now, you’re an old pro when it comes to exploring Greece, so we’re giving you the day to adventure in Athens on your own before an included farewell dinner with the group.

    Today's highlights:

    • Take a ferry from Ios to Athens, and greet the ancient city like a really, really old friend.
    • Revisit some favorite spots from day one in Athens, or go on a hunt to find new hidden gems.
    • Check out some of the residential areas for an authentic look at life in Athens.
    • Enjoy one last group dinner, and raise a glass to an epic trip.

    Free time suggestions

    Go Ancient: Step back in time in the historic Acropolis of Athens, and take in incredible panoramic views of Athens from the citadel’s hilltop vantage point.
    Follow the Light: Flood-lit like a beacon towering over the city, Mount Lycabettus offers a spectacular view of the city. If you’ve been holding out on posting a scenic Instagram post, this is your moment.

    Farewell Dinner
    Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.

  • Day 13: Fly Home

    Antio, filoi!
    Translation: Goodbye, friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s, “See you later.” The only question is, where?

    –OR–

    EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS

    1. Double the fun
    A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.

    2. Go ahead or stay behind
    Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for a $30 fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.

    Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.

Traveling with us helps the EF community plant trees, at no extra cost to you.

Reviews


Overall rating: 5 out of 5
Based on 26 authentic traveler reviews
  • Greeks to Greece is a 100!

      Diana, traveled Jul.. 2022

    Amazing!!!!! So many beautiful sights with amazing new people. Tour Director Ben made the trip safe, fun and exciting!!!!

  • Greeks to Greece

      Hanna, traveled Jun.. 2022

    Literally the best and the most exciting trip I’ve been on. Everything was perfect and the excursions are a must! I did not want to leave, I even cried when I arrived back to the US because I missed Greece so much. If you have the chance to go on this trip, do it! I had an absolutely amazing tour director, Thanos, who made the adventure even more worthwhile!

  • Trip of a lifetime!

      Francesca, traveled Jun.. 2022

    I absolutely loved getting to come back to Greece with EF, and this time take my sorority sisters! It was so fun to explore the Greek Islands together and spend time with our amazing tour director Simone. I highly reccomend requesting him as your tour guide. He made sure every single one of us were always taken care of and enjoying our time. He is the best o... See more

  • Best trip ever

      Nemyah, traveled Jun.. 2022

    This was the best spontaneous move I ever did. Being there for 12 days was amazing! I felt like I was in a dream. Pictures really don’t do the justice compared to the naked eye! I had an amazing tour guide which made the trip 1000x better. It was stress free, everything was planned out you just had to get up meet your guide and go. The tours were perfect, l... See more

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Dates: May 4, 2023–May 16, 2023May 4, 2023–May 16, 2023
    Travel Protection
    Excursions
Total price with flights$3499
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