Map of Premium Greece in Depth including Greece

Delight in the best of mainland Greece and the Cycladic Islands

Embark on a 16-day Premium journey exploring very the best of mainland Greece and the Cyclades. Whether it’s tracing a path through ancient ruins in Delphi, visiting secluded monasteries high in the Meteora Valley, or watching as the sun sets over the whitewashed buildings of Santorini, this is a country where the weight of history makes its presence felt. With plenty of opportunities to mingle with the locals, savour traditional Aegean cuisine and visit the acclaimed sites, this is a complete adventure into Greece’s sun-kissed heartland.


Start
Athens, Greece
Finish
Santorini, Greece
Destination
Greece
Style
Premium
Theme
Explorer
Code
ZVPCC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 15
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why you'll love this trip

intrepid premium

premium comfort

Our best accommodation and highest level of service.

premium experiences

Unusual, exceptional and authentic on-trip experiences.

premium knowledge

Led by our most experienced and highest rated local leaders.

  • Step back in time as you travel with your local leader to the Athens Acropolis, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and the Prodromos monastery, where you’ll enjoy a coffee with a local monk.

  • Be amazed by the magical monasteries and ancient rock pinnacles of Meteora and learn about the natural and cultural history of one of Greece's most extraordinary sights.

  • Get an insider’s look at Greek produce when you visit a family of beekeepers in Itea, take part in ouzo tasting in Nafplion, a kitron tasting and a hands-on cooking class in Naxos and a wine tour in Santorini.

  • Experience two remarkable feature stays - a gorgeous and traditionally decorated stone mansion in the medieval village of Dimitsana and a fabulous whitewashed hotel on the magical island of Santorini.

  • Learn the secrets of Greek cuisine in Naxos during an in-depth cooking class with a local, using organic ingredients from her garden to create regional specialties which you will then enjoy for lunch.

Is this trip right for you?

  • Pickpocketing can be an issue in Athens, especially on public transport. If you keep your valuables concealed and secure while travelling on the metro or bus, you should have no problems.

  • Summer temperatures in Greece can reach up to 40°C, so you will need to be able to cope with the heat if you're visiting during the warmer months. Please consider the time of year and your suitability to visiting during that season.

Itinerary

Welcome to Greece! Your journey begins in Athens, Greece's storied capital. You will be collected from the airport and transferred to your hotel where you will meet your tour leader and group for a 6pm welcome meeting. There is a lot to do and see here in one of the world's oldest cities, so you may wish to arrive a few days early to allow time for exploration. The Archaeological Museum of Athens is highly recommended. After your meeting, head out for an included dinner with the group at one of Athen’s marvellous restaurants. Your leader will introduce you to some traditional Greek fare that’s a real treat for the taste buds, and perhaps you’d like to toast the beginning of the adventure with a glass of raki or ouzo.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Electra Athens or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Athens - Welcome Dinner at Local Restaurant
  • Athens - Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Dinner
Special Information
It’s very important that you attend the welcome meeting as we will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. If you are going to be late please let your travel agent or hotel reception know. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where and when the meeting will take place. The arrival transfer is only valid if arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through us. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 14 days prior to travel, as we may not be able to confirm a request made within 14 days of travel.
Today you’ll get to know ancient Athens during visits to two of the city’s most famous sites. Your tour leader will bring history to life as you visit Temple of Olympian Zeus, the largest temple in all of Greece. Then it’s on to the famous Acropolis, one of the Western world’s most important historical structures. Meet with an expert local guide who will provide profound insight into the history and legacy of the civilisations who lived in this ancient citadel. Start with an ascent to the top via the towering entrance, the Propylaia. Once inside, encounter the Parthenon – the greatest Doric temple in the ancient world. Later in the afternoon, drive north to the town of Kalambaka, nestled at the base of the striking Meteora Mountains. This evening you can choose to have dinner at the hotel or perhaps take a short walk into town and dine at one of the local tavernas.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Grand Meteora or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Athens - Acropolis Archaeological Site Visit with Local Guide
  • Athens - Visit to the Temple of Olympian Zeus
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 4.5 hours.
After breakfast, travel into the hills for a walk through the incredible monasteries of Meteora. The ancient stone buildings, which sit precariously on soaring cliffs, make these mountains one of Greece's most extraordinary natural and cultural sites – there’s truly nowhere else in the world like it. Settlement of the area dates back to the 11th century, when hermit monks first settled in the hidden caverns of Meteora. Begin your hike at the nearby Kastraki village, see the ruins of the Pantokrator monastery, cross a lush forest and walk through the huge rocks of Meteora with your leader by your side to guide you and answer questions on the awe-inspiring landscape and the history behind it. You will have the opportunity to visit a number of the monasteries, one of which will be the Moni Varlaam (Varlaam Monastery) with its fine examples of late Byzantine frescoes. Return to Kalambaka in the afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Grand Meteora or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Meteora - Hike & Monastery Visits with Local Guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Enjoy breakfast before travelling to Delphi. On arrival visit the fascinating Sanctuary of Apollo in Ancient Delphi, home to the Delphi Oracle. Your leader will tell you that legend has it that Zeus released two eagles from different ends of the world, and Delphi was where they came together. Zeus then threw a Sacred Stone at this same point, making Delphi the centre of the world. Walk through the complex and explore the Temple of Apollo, the most important building of the site. This is where statues and offerings to the gods were housed, and where cult rituals took place. You will also see the Sanctuary of Athena, the 4th-century BC theatre and the well-preserved stadium during your visit. There will also be time to visit the Delphi Museum if you wish. Continue to your overnight stop in the small coastal town of Itea.
Accommodation
  • Nafsika Palace Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delphi - Oracle, Temple of Apollo & Sanctuary of Athena
  • Delphi - Archaeological Site Visit with Local Guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 4.5 hours.
This morning, visit a family of local beekeepers to learn about honey production, see the beehives and of course taste some of the delicious local honey. Next, drive on to the archaeological site of ancient Olympia. Stop en-route at the village of Galaxidi or Nafpaktos for a visit to a traditional family-owned bakery offering stuffed pastries and famous sesame round bread. Chat to the owner and get a glimpse at local life. Olympia is a complex that once comprised temples and public buildings, and was the site of the first Olympic Games. Your leader will show you the main stadium, gymnasium, wrestling school, priest houses, Temple of Hera, Temple of Zeus and the hippodrome. Continue to the enchanting medieval village of Dimitsana, home to your feature stay accommodation for the next two nights. Sitting pretty at the base of the Arcadian mountains is the gloriously romantic stone guesthouse of En Dimitsani. Traditionally decorated rooms delight with modern comforts, cosy fireplaces and panoramic balconies. Settle in for an evening in lodgings just as gorgeous as their idyllic surroundings.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse En Dimitsani (Feature stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Olympia - Archaeological Site Visit with Local Guide
  • Itea - Beekeeping Experience & Honey Tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 5.5 hours.
Today join your leader for an exploration of the central part of the Peloponnese peninsula and the spectacular Lousios Valley. Walk deep into the valley to the incredible working monastery of Prodromos. This wood and clay structure, which has stellar views over the valley below, was built precariously into a rock face. Gain a special look into the lives of the local monks as they show you around on a tour of their home and offer you a coffee or the local specialty, the Greek delight. See the splendid 14th-century frescoes decorating the rock walls inside the chapel. Further along on the hike, visit the tenth-century Byzantine monastery of Philosophou. Learn how this monastery was the base for a secret school known as 'Kryfo Scholio', which was run by monks during Ottoman rule to teach Greek children their own language and religion. Later on, visit the medieval villages of Stemnitsa, Karitena and Andritsena. Return to Dimitsana.
Accommodation
  • Guesthouse En Dimitsani (Feature stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Central Arcadia - Lousios Valley Hike
  • Central Arcadia - Prodromos Monastery Visit with Coffee & Greek Delight
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s walking distance and time is approximately seven kilometres (3 hours). Please note that the roads in Central Arcadia are very windy. You might want to consider taking medication if you are prone to motion sickness.
This morning drive to the delightful seaside town of Nafplion (Nafplio), the original Greek capital. Stop in for a tasting of Greece’s most celebrated drink – Ouzo. A taste of this anise-infused alcohol will take you straight to the heart of Greek culture. Chat to the experts and learn how Greece’s national drink is made. Enjoy some time to take in Nafplion’s charms. Perhaps explore one of the town's three fortresses, or head to the seaside promenade – lined with lively cafes and restaurants, this is a great place to watch local life unfold. Of course, your friendly leader will be on hand to offer suggestions. Later, continue to ancient Epidaurus (Epidavros), the most famous healing centre of the Greek and Roman world. The highlight of Epidaurus is the third-century theatre, one of Greece's best-preserved classical structures. The theatre has incredible acoustics and is still used today for major performances. Return to Athens in the afternoon.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Electra Athens or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Epidaurus - Guided Tour
  • Nafplion - Ouzo Tasting
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s total driving time is approximately 4 hours.
Enjoy a day at leisure in Athens. You may like to take a walk around the gorgeous National Garden or explore the colourful Plaka neighbourhood. A meeting will take place at your hotel at 6pm this evening to welcome any new travellers joining you for the next part of your adventure. After the meeting, head out for dinner with the group at a local restaurant in the vibrant Psiri neighbourhood.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Electra Athens or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Athens - Welcome Dinner at Local Restaurant
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group will likely change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary. We suggest you attend, as this is also a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers. It’s important that you attend the welcome meeting as your new group leader will be collecting insurance details and next of kin information at this time. Ask reception or look for a note in the lobby for more information on where the meeting will take place.
This morning you will be transported to Athens' port at Piraeus and board a ferry bound for Paros – a beautiful and relaxed island with a layered history. Ferries are a great way to travel between the islands and are the lifeblood of many remote islands in Greece's multitude of archipelagos. In the afternoon, get to know Paros during an island tour with a local guide. Start off in Parikia, the island’s main town, where you will visit the Ekatontapiliani church, also known as the Church of a Hundred Doors. Explore charming narrow streets and learn about the architecture of the town. Continue with a drive through the island’s mainland, passing by ancient marble quarries, then stop off at the village of Lefkes. Take some time to explore the peaceful village, surrounded by verdant hills dotted with olive and pine trees, then carry on to Naoussa – a delightful village known for its whitewashed alleys, Venetian castle and stunning port. After your tour, enjoy an evening at leisure.
Accommodation
  • Paros Agnanti Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Paros - Highlights of Paros Half Day Island Tour with Local Guide
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s ferry journey is approximately 3.5 hours.
The day is yours to uncover more of Paros’ charms. There’s certainly no shortage of things to see and do on the island. You may like to begin the day with a guided morning hike along the coast – starting off at a lovely fishing village and weaving through some of the island’s most pristine beaches. In the afternoon you will have the option to visit the nearby island of Antiparos – a favourite secret holiday spot for royals and celebrities, this lesser-known island offers a tranquil escape. Or perhaps you’d like to spend the day relaxing on one of Paros’ many beautiful beaches, cooling off with dips in Aegean Sea. Speak to your leader for more information about the activities on offer today and for tips on how to make the most of this spectacular island.
Accommodation
  • Paros Agnanti Hotel or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you will say goodbye to Paros and catch a short ferry to Naxos. The largest of the Cyclades islands, Naxos has something for everyone – from glittering beaches to an endearing Old Town and hundreds of years of Venetian history. Take some time to settle in on arrival, then regroup in the late afternoon to discover the wonders of the town with the guidance of your leader. Pay a visit to the Portara, a giant marble doorway and the only remaining part of an unfinished temple of Apollo from 530 BC. Naxos is unique in the fact it is the Cyclades’ only self-sufficient island, meaning all produce is grown and available on the island without imports. Because of this, the cuisine is hyperlocal and differs to the rest of the country. This evening you will enjoy an included dinner and learn about the wonderful regional specialties of the island.
Accommodation
  • Astir of Naxos or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Naxos - Old Town Walk & Portara Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Special Information
Today’s ferry journey is approximately 30 minutes.
This morning you will drive to Eggares, a small farming village set in the region that produces most of the island’s produce. Here you will tour an olive oil press museum to learn about the importance of olive oil to Greek culture and traditional extraction methods. After your visit, you’ll put your new knowledge to good use as you travel to the nearby village of Galini for a hands-on cooking class. Meet with a local who will share her in-depth culinary knowledge with the group, leaving you with wonderful recipes you can cook up at home to bring you back to the island. First you will collect fresh ingredients from your host’s organic garden and learn about cultivation and farming on Naxos, then you’ll be shown how to put the ingredients together to create a marvellous Naxian dish from scratch, enjoying the fruits of your labour for lunch. Continue to the village of Halki for a look at its magnificent ancient buildings, then pay a visit to the iconic Vallindras distillery for a kitron tasting. With a history stretching back to the 19th century and only produced on Naxos, a taste of this citron liqueur will take you straight to the heart of the island’s culture.
Accommodation
  • Astir of Naxos or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Naxos - Vallindras Distillery Visit & Kitron Tasting
  • Naxos - Halki Half Day Trip
  • Naxos - Cooking Class at a Local Home
  • Naxos - Eggares Olive Oil Press
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Today is free to explore more of wonderful Naxos. You may like to head to one of the island’s beaches for a day at leisure, or perhaps discover more of the Naxos’ history at a local museum. The Archaeological Μuseum of Naxos in Chora Naxos dates back to the 17th century and houses artefacts from the Neolithic to the early-Christian periods, and the Geological Museum of Apeiranthos digs up the natural history of the island. If you’re after a sweet treat, walnut cake flavoured with local kitron is an excellent regional specialty. Your leader will be on hand to help tailor a day that suits your interests.
Accommodation
  • Astir of Naxos or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Depart Naxos in the morning and catch a ferry to the magnificent island of Santorini. Upon arrival in Santorini's capital, Fira, you will be met and transferred to your feature stay hotel. A whitewashed building in the traditional Cycladic style, the hotel boasts a magnificent backdrop of the Santorini caldera and volcano. The island’s breezy, laidback atmosphere is translated into this superb hotel, offering tranquillity away from the main town, and where nothing is too much trouble. Here you’ll enjoy spacious rooms, modern amenities, an expansive swimming pool and a prime location for exploring the treasures of Santorini. Enjoy a free afternoon to absorb this veritable paradise. Your leader will be able to offer suggestions on what to see and do. In the late afternoon make sure you view Santorini's world-famous sunset, which has been immortalised in many photos and works of art.
Accommodation
  • Santorini Palace Hotel (feature stay) or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today’s ferry journey is approximately 1.5 hours.
In the morning, embark on a hike along Santorini’s legendary caldera. The island you see today is what remains from a huge volcanic explosion that destroyed the early settlements and created a geographical caldera. The spectacular natural beauty of this caldera is what makes Santorini such a special place. Your walk begins at your hotel and you will continue along the north-western rim of the caldera, passing steep cliff faces and experiencing breath-taking views along the way. The walk ends in the town of Oia, built on a steep slope inside Santorini’s incredible volcanic caldera. Famous not only for its stunning scenery, Santorini’s microclimate and volcanic soil make it a top spot for wine production. This afternoon you will sip your way around the island during visits to three wonderful family-run wineries, where you will learn about history of wine production, its importance to the local economy, and taste the different varieties yourself.
Accommodation
  • Santorini Palace Hotel (feature stay) or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santorini - Caldera Hike
  • Santorini - Winery Excursion & Wine Tasting
Optional Activities
  • Santorini - Thira Prehistoric Museum - EUR6
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Special Information
Today's walking distance is approximately 12 km (3 to 5 hours). The surface varies between gravel and loose volcanic scree. There are multiple uphill and downhill sections, and there are no shade and no toilet facilities along the way. Please note that in summer the leader may decide to start the hike as the sun rises in order to avoid the heat of the day. Therefore it may be necessary for you to organise a takeaway breakfast, as the hotel will not serve breakfast this early. Please speak to your leader for more details if you have any concerns. As an alternative to the hike you can take the bus to Oia instead, and meet up with the rest of the group there.
Your adventure comes to an end after breakfast this morning. If you would to spend some more time on Santorini, additional accommodation can be arranged ahead of time (subject to availability).
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

15 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners

Transport

Private vehicle, Ferry, Taxi

Accommodation

Hotel (11 nights), Feature Stay (4 nights)

Included activities

  • Athens - Welcome Dinner at Local Restaurant
  • Athens - Complimentary Airport Arrival Transfer
  • Athens - Acropolis Archaeological Site Visit with Local Guide
  • Athens - Visit to the Temple of Olympian Zeus
  • Meteora - Hike & Monastery Visits with Local Guide
  • Delphi - Oracle, Temple of Apollo & Sanctuary of Athena
  • Delphi - Archaeological Site Visit with Local Guide
  • Olympia - Archaeological Site Visit with Local Guide
  • Itea - Beekeeping Experience & Honey Tasting
  • Central Arcadia - Lousios Valley Hike
  • Central Arcadia - Prodromos Monastery Visit with Coffee & Greek Delight
  • Epidaurus - Guided Tour
  • Nafplion - Ouzo Tasting
  • Paros - Highlights of Paros Half Day Island Tour with Local Guide
  • Naxos - Old Town Walk & Portara Visit
  • Naxos - Vallindras Distillery Visit & Kitron Tasting
  • Naxos - Halki Half Day Trip
  • Naxos - Cooking Class at a Local Home
  • Naxos - Eggares Olive Oil Press
  • Santorini - Caldera Hike
  • Santorini - Winery Excursion & Wine Tasting

Premium Inclusions

  • Arrival airport transfer
  • Tipping for accommodation, activities and transport
  • Luggage transfer
  • Daily breakfast and signature local meal experiences
  • 24/7 on-ground support

Dates & availability

Trip departures are unavailable.

There are currently no scheduled departures on our Premium Greece in Depth trip. If you are interested in other trips in the region visit one of the links below.

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Important notes

1. A complimentary airport arrival transfer is included; valid if you are arriving on Day 1 or if you have booked pre-tour accommodation through us. You must provide your flight details to your booking agent at least 14 days prior to travel.
2. A single supplement is available if you’d prefer not to share a room on this trip. The single supplement applies to all nights of your trip and is subject to availability. There are a limited number of single supplements available per trip departure. Please speak to your booking agent for further information. 

Essential trip information

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