Welcome to Athens
Put the 'oh' in opa and embark on an unforgettable exploration of an ancient land of gods and goddesses, myths and legends. Your springboard to your spellbinding holiday is the vibrant capital of Athens, an effortless mix of ancient treasures and modern verve, which you will have an opportunity to explore after being transferred to your hotel. This evening, join your Travel Director and travel companions for a Welcome Reception, including a light meal and welcome drink.
Explore Amazing Athens Dive Into Culture
Join your Local Specialist for a guided morning sightseeing tour to the ancient complex that was once the 'Cradle of Western Civilisation'. Along our journey into antiquity, we'll have an opportunity to explore the Acropolis with its treasures and admire the Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena, the Royal Palace, Temple of Zeus and the Agora, once the haunt of Socrates and Plato. Dive Into Culture and see remarkable displays of an ancient world during an included visit to the Acropolis Museum, and see Hadrian's Arch and the stadium where the first modern Olympics took place in 1896. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy on your own. Stroll through the Plaka, people-watch in Syntagma Square or go in search of the city's tastiest souvlaki – the choice is yours.
Journey to Corinth, Mycenae and Nafplion
We depart Athens this morning, crossing the mighty Corinth Canal to the wild Peloponnesian Peninsula. Arriving in Corinth, we join a Local Specialist to explore an ancient city that several empires fought over throughout the centuries. We continue to Mycenae, a mighty kingdom of Ancient Greece, where we'll see the Beehive Tombs (the Treasury of Atreus), the Lion Gate and the remains of Agamemnon's Royal Palace, in the company of a Local Specialist. Later, we'll travel to Epidaurus to visit the ancient theatre and view the Sanctuary of Asclepius, the God of Medicine, whose snake-entwined staff remains the symbol of medicine to this day. Arriving in the Venetian town of Nafplion later, we'll dine in our hotel this evening.
Continue to Ancient Olympia Connect with Locals
We traverse the Mountains of Arcadia to ancient Olympia, the site of the first Olympic Games held in 776 BC. This evening, we Connect With Locals joining the Karambellas family for dinner on their olive and wine farm at a Be My Guest experience featuring traditional dancing and characteristic Greek philoxenia.
Onwards to Patras and Delphi
We join a Local Specialist this morning to delve into centuries of history. We'll visit the ancient Olympic site, the museum and the ruined remains of the Temples of Zeus and Hera. Leaving Olympia, we skirt the coastline north to Patras, crossing the Gulf of Corinth to mainland Greece before continuing to Delphi, our home for the night.
Off to Thermopylae and Kalambaka
Tread in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks, who would descend on the sanctuary of Delphi to consult with the most important oracle in the classical world. Join your Local Specialist and walk the Sacred Way to the 4th-century Temple of Apollo. View the statues immortalising the strength of the athletes who once competed in the Pythian Games, held in honour of Apollo and the Arts. A scenic afternoon drive brings us to Thermopylae, famous for the heroic defence by Leonidas and his brave Spartans against the invading Persians. We cross the lush Thessaly region, the 'breadbasket of Greece', then travel over the Pourmaraki Pass towards Kalambaka.
Admire Meteora and Return to Athens
The UNESCO World Heritage monasteries of Meteora are our first stop today. Join a Local Specialist to visit two of the six Eastern Orthodox monasteries that cling impressively to immense, rounded rock towers overlooking the town. A scenic drive returns us to Athens, where we'll enjoy a rousing Farewell Dinner with our travel companions and reminisce over an incredible journey through Greece.
Athens Your Way
Spend the day at leisure on your own and see the city's ancient sites.
Embark on Your 7-Day Cruise
Spend the morning on your own exploring what was once the 'Cradle of Western Civilisation'. See the city's ancient sites before boarding your cruise ship this afternoon for your seven-night cruise through the Aegean.
Journey to Istanbul
Nothing stands between you and a morning of pure indulgence as you sail across the Aegean bound for Istanbul, the meeting place between East and West. Embark on an included Bosphorus cruise then don't resist the urge to stretch your legs in its historic Sultanahmet district this evening.
The Grand Bazaar and More in Istanbul
Today, visit the Grand Bazaar, one of the world's oldest and largest covered markets and a wonderland of carpets, lanterns, spices and teas. You'll have the rest of the day on your own to explore the city that Napoleon once called the capital of the world.
Through the Dardanelles to Kavala
Cruise through the Dardanelles strait where Asia and Europe meet and brave warriors have fought through the ages. Today's stop is Kavala, a vibrant seaport resort perched on the slopes of Mt. Symvolo. The city is dominated by the majestic Byzantine castle and the Kamares – an aqueduct erected by Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century. Stroll through the picturesque harbour with its countless brightly coloured fishing boats moored along the waterfront or explore the sandy beaches, stately squares and stylish shops.
This morning we sail into the port city of Thessaloniki. Beyond its thick Byzantine walls, Thessaloniki is an appealing mix of the traditional and the glamorous. Wander along winding cobbled streets and palm-tree lined avenues, popping in to browse chic boutiques and feast on traditional delights in local ouzerias. Explore age-old churches, rub shoulders with the locals browsing the markets and enjoy homemade ice cream in Aristotelous Square.
Explore Vibrant Volos
You'll have the day to visit the vibrant university city of Volos, which sits in the shadow of Mt Pelion. Spend the day exploring and stop at one of the tsipouradika tavernas on the seafront Argonauts Avenue to sample the local tsipouro (pomace brandy). Return to your ship in time for an evening departure.
Onwards to Santorini
Admire the dramatic volcanic landscape of Santorini, an inspiring backdrop for an encounter with laid-back island life. Embark on an included excursion to the stunning clifftop village of Oia, passing pretty villages of whitewashed houses and vineyards set against Santorini's magnificent caldera. Marvel at Oia's iconic blue domed church, a true pinch-me moment.
Disembark in Athens
This morning, disembark from your cruise ship and transfer to your hotel.
Transfers are provided to the airport for your return flight home. Find out more about your free airport transfer at trafalgar.com/freetransfers.