Greek Island Wanderer

Start and end in Athens! With the In-depth Cultural tour Greek Island Wanderer, you have a 15 days tour package taking you through Athens, Greece and 17 other destinations in Greece. Greek Island Wanderer includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.

PRICE STARTING FROM$1,870 

Payment Plans Available

DURATION 15 days

IDEAL AGE From 14 to 85 year old

STYLE In-depth Cultural

GROUP SIZE 12-18

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Itinerary

 


Introduction


Our island hopping trip begins in Greece's capital, Athens, before exploring the gleaming waterfront
harbors, rocky coves and long sandy beaches of the Cyclades. Visit the islands of Syros, Paros,
Santorini and Naxos by ferry.


Santorini - Discover its stunning volcanic scenery and whitewashed churches with their iconic
blue-domed roofs


Syros - Capital of the Cyclades Islands; take coastal walks and sample cuisine in authentic
seafront tavernas


Paros - Chance to walk along an ancient Byzantine road and go snorkeling from Golden Beach.


Day 1: Join trip in Athens

Starting Point
Hotel Evripides, Hotel reception,


Arrive in Athens. The city is a heady mix of ancient and modern, having been the capital of Greece
for less than 200 years, but with a history dating back over 3,000 years. Located on the Plain of
Attica, an area of amazingly varied scenery, from high mountains covered by pine forests to a
stunningly beautiful coastline with a myriad of harbors.

 

For those arriving on time our Leader plans
to meet you in the hotel reception at 7.30pm and for those that wish, there is the chance to go out
for dinner. Due to a number of flights arriving into Athens later in the evening, our welcome meeting
will take place on the morning of day two. There are no other activities planned today, so you are
free to arrive in Athens at any time. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport transfer
today, you'll need to arrive into Athens International Airport (ATH), which is about one hours' drive,
depending on traffic.

 

If your flight arrives earlier in the day, perhaps you might choose to visit one of
the cafes in the colorful Psyrri district which offer traditional Greek cuisine of scrumptious
aubergines, tomatoes and cheese washed down with ouzo or raki. There are traditional rustic
tavernas in the well-known Plaka area at the foot of the Acropolis.



Day 2: Walking tour of Athens; chance to visit the Acropolis


After our Leader does an initial welcome meeting, we'll take a walking tour of Plaka with our leader
to soak up the atmosphere of the old town. You'll notice the contrast between the modern capital -
the well-heeled inhabitants of Kolonaki on the one hand and the animated Plaka old quarter on the
other. Along the way we'll see Syntagma Square and the Roman Agora. Every hour it's possible to
see the changing of the guard at the Parliament building. Our walk will end at the Acropolis and you
have the afternoon free.

 

You might like to take a tour of the Acropolis and climb the winding path to
the top of this sacred rock that has been used since Neolithic times. At the top you'll find the
majestic ruins of the Athens of Pericles: the Propylaea (or marble entrance hall), the Parthenon
(built by Ictinos 2,500 years ago), the Temple of Athena Nike (the Wingless Victory) and the
monument most venerated by the ancient Athenians themselves - the Erechtheion. Tradition
relates that the gods Athena and Poseidon quarreled here; the sea-god struck the rock with his
trident, causing salt water to gush out, while Athena hit it with her spear and brought forth an olive
tree. As olives were deemed to be more useful, the other gods let her take the city under her
protection.

 

Alternatively, you might choose to stroll around the shops or listen to bouzouki music in
an outdoor café. For those that love to shop and like trying local food then the central market is a
must with a huge variety of fruit, meat, fish and bread on sale amongst other things. Other
attractions that you could visit include the Acropolis Museum, which is about 5-minutes' walk from
the main site, the National Archaeological Museum or the Olympic Stadium. You may like to walk
up or take the funicular train to Likavitos, which has great views across the city below. As well as
exploring on foot you could purchase a 24-hour ticket for the local trams and public transport to
help you cover as much ground as possible.


Day 3: Ferry to Syros island; afternoon coastal walk


This morning we drive from our hotel to Piraeus harbor where we board the ferry to Syros (which
departs at around 7.30am and takes just under four hours). On the ferry we will have reserved
seating, so we are assured of a seat, but you\ re also free to take in the view from the deck. We
disembark at Ermoupouli Harbor and drive to our hotel in Galissas. Syros is the capital of the
Cyclades and covers an area of about 56 square kilometers.

 

This afternoon we will drive along the
coast to Kini where we'll have the opportunity to purchase a picnic lunch or dine in a local tavernas.
From here we'll take an easy coastal walk back to Galissas (covers approximately 4.7kms with
100m ascent and 100m descent and taking around two hours). This peaceful walk takes us
through typical Mediterranean scenery with cypress and olive groves and great sea views.

 

If you don't wish to join the walk then this afternoon is free for you to relax on the long beach near our
hotel; with shallow waters it's an ideal spot for swimming. Alternatively you can explore the tranquil
village of Galissas, which is set around a small harbor in a scenic agricultural area.



Day 4: Free day; chance to take a coastal walk and tour of the island


Today is free for you to relax in Galissas or to explore more of the island. This morning you may
like to join a coastal walk with our tour Leader. Taking a public bus the short drive to Azolimnos
where the walk begins. The walk takes around one and half hours to Vari (covering approximately
4kms). This walk gives you an excellent taste of the island's scenery. Once you arrive in Vari you
can enjoy a swim, relax on the beach and have lunch in a nearby tavern before taking the public
bus back to Galissas.

 

This afternoon you may choose to join a bus tour of the island to see more
of the fantastic surroundings. The island produces loukoumi, the Greek sweet that is similar to
Turkish Delight and you'll have the chance on this excursion to visit a small factory and to
purchase this local specialty. As part of our tour we'll take a walk to Ano Syros, which oozes
medieval charm. Its long history can be seen its many cultural landmarks including its old castle
gates that lead into the old town area. The town is built onto a hill with its tiered white and sand
colored buildings rising up to the Capuchin Church at the very top.

 

Tonight there is the opportunity to join your Leader for dinner in the islands capital, Ermoupolis.


Day 5: Free day on Syros; catch the evening ferry to Paros


There's the opportunity to go on a further coastal walk this morning or to relax in Galissas. You
may choose to walk from Posidonia to take in the great views from the lighthouse or to walk from
Vari to Khroussa or from Agathopes to Mega Gialos. All are great options that allow you to see
more of the islands scenery.

 

Later this afternoon we drive to Ermoupoli, where you can store your
main luggage on the bus. You'll have free time to discover the island's capital and to have dinner
before we board the ferry this evening to Paros. There is only one ferry between the islands that
departs at around 9pm and the journey is approximately one and half hours, on the shorter ferry
crossings there is no reserved seating. On arrival we'll transfer to our hotel in Drios and we'll arrive
at our hotel at around midnight.

 

Paros is one of the most attractive of all the Cycladic Islands. Its capital is Paroikia, on the west coast.

Dominating the interior is Mount Profitis Ilias (770 metres) on the slopes of which are the famous

marble quarries.

 


Day 6: Chance to walk along the Byzantine road and sample homemade ice cream


Paros was the birthplace of the poet Archilochus, the inventor of Iambic verse. Among the many
places of interest are the marble quarries, the picturesque fishing villages and a Venetian fortress.
Especially interesting is the church, Ekatontapiliani Church of 100 Doors, about which a legend
says that when the 100th door is discovered the Greeks will take back Constantinople (Istanbul).

 

Today, you may choose to take a walk along one of the well preserved Byzantine roads that cross
the island. This is an easy walk that takes around two hours. We'll use the public bus to reach the
trailhead at the traditional mountain village of Lefkes. This is a very popular walk and the path is
lined with wild herbs such as thyme, sage and oregano, so it's a sweet scented experience too.
We'll finish our walk at Prodromos where there will be the chance to stop at a local café to enjoy
homemade ice cream and baklava. Here in the side streets you'll usually find the locals playing a
game chess or backgammon. From here we'll take the bus back to Drios or there may be the
opportunity to stop in Piso Livadi for lunch or a further walk along the coast.

 

Once back in Drios you can relax on the Golden Beach or you may like to join a cooking lesson

of traditional Greek cuisine in the Hotel Anezina.


Day 7: Free day with the option to go on a cacique boat cruise


Today is free to further explore Drios at your own pace or there is the opportunity to explore the
islands coast from a different perspective by joining a full day boat trip aboard a traditional Greek
cacique. During the boat cruise there will be the opportunity to go swimming in the clear blue waters
and also to have a barbecue lunch cooked by the crew.

 

Alternatively, there is the option to discover
the marine life of the area with local oceanographers who run diving and snorkeling trips from the
Golden Beach. The snorkeling activities are suitable for beginners. Perhaps you'd prefer to take a
local bus to nearby Naoussa or Parikia. Naoussa is a coastal, white village that's buildings
practically glimmer in the sunshine. The area is famous for its wine and jam made in the
surrounding vineyards which you can try in the village cafes. The Old Port area is the perfect spot
to sample the cuisine and a glass of wine in a traditional tavernas by the harbor. It's in Parikia
where you can visit the Church of 100 Doors and other historical places found here including the
Byzantine site of Panagia Ekatontapyliani, an old Venetian fortress on the hilltop above the town, an
8th century BC waterfront cemetery and the Paros Archaeological Museum.



Day 8: Ferry to Santorini; opportunity to go wine tasting


This morning we drive to Parikia to catch the ferry to the island of Santorini. Our ferry normally
departs just after midday, so we'll have a little time to look around Parikia before we board the boat.
The ferry crossing takes around three hours and on arrival we will drive to our hotel in Karterados.


Santorini (or Thira, as the island is also known) is the most southerly of the Cycladic Islands. It's
one of the most picturesque areas in the Aegean and the familiar images of whitewashed churches
with blue-domed roofs adorn this beautiful landscape. It's also an area of particular interest to those
keen on the Lost Atlantis legend. Formerly a huge volcano, its center disappeared in an enormous
explosion in around 1450 BC and this area now forms a lagoon where some believe that the city of
Atlantis now resides having been destroyed by the eruption and swept into the waters. Record
show that the eruption did overwhelmed the Minoan settlements at Akrotiri as well as those on
Crete.

 

This evening you can choose to join a local wine tasting at the Avanti Estate in Messaria or
another winery in the area. The island is best known for its delicious white wines. After the wine
tasting you might like to go with your leader to Fira for dinner, before taking a local bus back to our
hotel later this evening.


Day 9: Caldera walk to Oia; free afternoon to visit the Museum of Ancient Thira


This morning you have the opportunity to go on a coastal walk from our hotel to Fira and on to Oia.
This is a moderate walk takes approximately four hours and covers eight kilometers. The path
goes along the lip of a caldera and provides great views along the way out to sea and of the
surrounding countryside. Halfway through the walk there's the option to stop at a coffee shop for
refreshments. The village of Oia is built along a rocky stretch of coastline and is one of the most
photogenic places on Santorini. It has a long seafaring culture and there are two types of houses
here - cave houses that are dug into the volcanic rock in the cliff side and the captain houses
above ground where the upper class ship owners once lived. Many of the churches here are also
dedicated to sailors.

 

After exploring Oia you can take a local bus back to Fira and then walk the
short distance to our hotel (around 20mins). Whilst in Fira this afternoon you may like to visit the
Museum of Ancient Thira, which explains the islands ancient heritage, or the Pre-historic Museum
of Thera.

 

From the halfway point of the walk it is possible to take a public bus back to Fira or to Oia
to enjoy more free time in either place.

 


Day 10: Free day with the chance to join a volcano excursion by boat


Today is free for you to enjoy relaxing or exploring the island or you may like to join a cruise to an
active volcano. During the boat trip to the volcano, for those who wish, there is the opportunity to
take the dramatic path to the peak and to stand in the centre of the Caldera. The climb takes
around one hour per way and the ascent is steep in places. There'll also be the chance to enjoy a
swim in the sea to warm springs. The last stop on the cruise is the tiny island of Thirassia. You'll
have a couple of hours to relax in the bay here with views of the volcano out to sea. There's time
for lunch here or to climb up through the hillside village and walk around the surrounding vineyards.


Day 11: Opportunity to visit the ancient site of Akrotiri; ferry to Naxos


This morning there's the chance to take the local bus to Akrotiri and from the bus stop in the village
it's just a short walk (one kilometer each way) to the ruins of the Minoan Bronze Age settlement.
Akrotiri was covered by volcanic material when Thera Volcano erupted and this has preserved the
buildings and household objects found here. Before returning to the hotel you might like to make a
quick swimming stop at the nearby Red Beach. Please note that it is not possible to visit both
Akrotiri and Red Beach this morning.

 

This afternoon at around 3pm we'll transfer the short distance
from our hotel to the port and board the ferry to Naxos. The crossing takes around two hours and
we disembark at Naxos harbor and walk to our hotel in Naxos Town, which takes about 30
minutes (our luggage will be transferred to our hotel from the port).

 

The island of Naxos is the
largest and some would argue the most beautiful of the Cyclades. The god Dionysus is believed to
have lived on the island and taught the inhabitants to cultivate wine, which still has an excellent
reputation today.


Day 12: Free day in Naxos with the option to visit Delos and Mykonos by boat


Over the years, Naxos Islands interior is home to fertile and well-watered valleys and there are
many places of interest on the island. Besides wine, the island also exports olive oil, corn, fruits of
many kinds and marble which is comparable in quality to that of Paros. The town has plenty of
character and in the Kastro, just above the town center, is an area of pretty houses from a bygone
era that are Venetian in style and marked with coats of arms.

 

Today you may like to join a full day
boat trip to Delos and Mykonos islands. We depart first to Delos, which takes approximately one
and half hours. Delos is an entire island covered with ancient ruins and amongst the highlights are
the Temple of Apollo, Terrace of Lions, 3rd century BC theatre, ancient town and Mount Kynthos
(113 meters). Following time here to explore we take the boat on to Mykonos (takes around 30
minutes). This island is frequented by the rich and famous. Whilst here you can explore its winding
streets with its boutique and exclusive shops and another highlight are of course the windmills,
which are one of the most photographed places in the Cyclades. We then return to Naxos by boat
(takes around one and a half hours).

 

Alternatively, you could choose to join a full day bus tour of
Naxos Island, spend the day exploring Naxos Town or take a local bus to the surrounding villages.


Day 13: Opportunity to walk to Eggares and visit the Olive Press Museum


Today is free for you to explore or relax in Naxos Town or there's the option to take a taxi to
Kinidaros, which is the starting point for the walk to Eggares. This easy walk will take us around
two hours and covers approximately seven kilometers. This walk is different to many of the others
we've taken whilst in the Cyclades as it takes us inland. Kinidaros is located close to the
mountainous center of the island and is nestled into the rocky hillside that is surrounded by olive,
plane and oak tress and the island's marble is quarried nearby. Eggares is a small farming village
surrounded by fields and fertile farmland. There a number of pretty churches and also two restored
olive presses, and whilst in Eggares you can visit the Olive Press Museum to learn about the
process. This afternoon we take a taxi back to Naxos Town where the evening is free.


Day 14: Ferry back to Athens; free evening in the city


This morning we walk to the port, which takes about 30 minutes and our luggage is transferred
from the hotel. We board the ferry via Paros back to Athens on the mainland. On the ferry we will
have reserved seating, so we are assured of a seat, but you\ re also free take in the view from the
deck. The journey takes approximately five and a half hours and takes us through the Cyclades
Islands to Piraeus Harbor. On arrival we'll transfer to our hotel to enjoy our last evening in
Greece's lively and historic capital city.


Day 15: Trip ends in Athens


End Point
Hotel Evripides, Hotel reception,

 

The trip ends after breakfast at our hotel in Athens.

 

There are no activities planned today, so you
are free to depart from Athens at any time. If your flight is departing later in the day luggage
storage facilities are available at our hotel. If you would like to receive a complimentary airport
transfer today, you need to depart from Athens International Airport (ATH), which is about one
hours' drive, depending on traffic.


What’s Included

 

Accommodation - 14 nights standard hotel

  • Hotel Evripides (or similar)

  • Naxos Holidays (or similar)

  • Hotel Nikolas (or similar)

  • Anezina Village Hotel (or similar)

  • Hotel Francoise (or similar)

 

Our comfortable, mid- range accommodation offers a good level of service, often with amenities
such as, restaurant, bar, garden or swimming pool. Rooms generally have en-suite facilities


Guide

Tour Leaders are quite simply the glue that holds our tours together. They are chosen for their
travel experience and people skills and are thoroughly trained by Explore, widely acknowledged as
some of the best training in the industry. A Tour Leader's ultimate aim is to ensure everyone is well
looked after and have a fantastic trip. They are there to ensure that the tour logistics run smoothly,
that health and safety is adhered to and provide comprehensive briefings at the beginning and
throughout the tour.

Meals

14 Breakfasts
A key facet of our responsible approach to tourism is that we encourage our groups to eat in local
restaurants that prepare locally grown food. We give customers choice as to their meals and do
not use rather bland and impersonal hotel restaurants or all- inclusive options


Transport
Bus, Ferry, Taxi


Others
All accommodation, activities and meals that are shown in the itinerary are included in the total cost
of your trip You will also receive a complimentary transfer to and from the airport if you arrive on
day 1 of the trip and depart on the last day and have provided your international flight information.

Not Included 

  • Flights International flights not included in the tour cost

  • Travel Insurance is not included -REQUIRED 

  • Additional Services

  • Any visa costs, spending money and tips are not included in the trip price. You can also book extra nights’ accommodation at the beginning and end of the trip and the cost of this accommodation along with any transfers would be quoted separately.

  • Tips

 

 

Please Note

​​

  • Travel Insurance is required for this tour. You will be asked to provide your Travel insurance information after your booking is confirmed. It must cover cancellations, medical expenses, evacuations, flight loss or delays and 24/7 assistance.

  • As much as we want for this trip to go exactly as planned, we can't predicted complications that may arise; due to inclement weather and/or closures due to uncontrollable circumstances like Covid-19.  We will do our very best to make onsite scheduling adjustments as needed, but please note that all listed and intended activities are weather permitting.  No refunds will be given if an activity has to be pulled.  Additionally, the tour is listed as a package, and no price adjustments will be given if someone wants to "opt-out" of an included activity

  • Not liable  to any losses, damages, accidents, injuries, death, or sickness during your trip. The same applies to any changes in trip schedule due to weather, strikes, or any other force majeure. Service providers reserve the right to change routes, schedules, and itineraries if needed because of weather, road conditions or should the necessity arise because of unforeseen reasons or circumstances. 

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend that you protect your investment with travel insurance. Cancellation and interruption insurance covers in case of cancellation due to an insurable reason. We require adequate out of country medical insurance for unforeseen medical emergencies while traveling. The All Inclusive Plan includes emergency and health coverage and cancellation/interruption insurance. The rate for travel insurance is determined by the cost of the tour (can be increased to cover flights and other extras), the length of travel and your age.

Terms & Conditions


It is the responsibility of the passengers to verify documentation requirements directly with the embassy or consulate of the country of travel. Customs and/or immigration officials can deny a person entry into their country at their own discretion. We strongly recommend traveling with a passport that is valid for at least 6 months beyond your return date. Please be aware that different living standards and practices exist outside of North America including but not limited to provisions of utilities, accommodations and services of all kinds.


One Who Loves Travel cannot be held responsible for any errors, omissions or mistakes in this form. Your reservation is subject to the rules and conditions of the tour operator

TR