Ultimate Greece "A"

4 nights Athens, 3 nights Classical Greece tour and 7 night cruise

  • Ultimate Greece A
    Athens Acropolis
  • Ultimate Greece A
    Athens Acropolis museum
  • Ultimate Greece A
    Athens Plaka district
  • Ultimate Greece A
    Santorini, Santorini pictures
  • Ultimate Greece A
    Marmaris
  • Ultimate Greece A
    Izmir
  • Ultimate Greece A
    Ephesus
  • Ultimate Greece A
    Istanbul, Turkey
  • Ultimate Greece A
    Mykonos, Mykonos Island
  • Ultimate Greece A
    Olympia, Ancient Olympia
  • Ultimate Greece A
    Delphi, Greece
  • Ultimate Greece A
    Meteora

Overview:



The ultimate Greece vacation package. Visit Athens, take the Classical Greece coach tour and embark the 7 night cruise to the Greek islands & Turkey.
Come and be serenaded by the romance of the Aegean on this exciting new cruise. Visit the most enchanting Greek island destinations dotted around the Aegean Sea, where culture, history, pristine beaches, and fishing villages suspended in time all await.


Departures on Sundays
(April till  End September - cruise departs on Saturdays)


PACKAGE INCLUDES:
  • 4 nights hotel accommodation in Athens
  • Half day Athens sightseeing tour
  • 4 day/ 3 night Classical Greece coach tour (Olympia, Delphi, Meteora)
  • 7 night cruise to the Greek islands & Turkey (all meals included) on board Celestyal Journey (cabin accommodation, full board, complimentary select drinks included with meals, Gala evening and shows, Entertainment on board, port and other charges, all gratuities, 2 shore excursions).
  • Entrance fees, during guided sightseeing
  • Daily breakfast
  • 3 dinners (Olympia, Delphi, Meteora)
  • All transfers as mentioned
  • 24 hour assistance phone number
  • All taxes**except the overnight tax at the hotels.

PACKAGE EXCLUDES:
  • Travel insurance
  • International flights
  • Personal expenses
  • Gratuities
 


 

Itinerary



DAY 1 Sunday: ATHENS 
Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your hotel. Balance of day at leisure.
DAY 2 Monday: ATHENS / OLYMPIA
This morning starting from Athens we drive westwards along the scenic coast, until we reach the CORINTH CANAL with its breathtaking views (Short Stop). The Corinth Canal is a junction of international sea transport and serves ships coming from the western Mediterranean and Adriatic en route to eastern Mediterranean and black sea ports and vice-versa. Continue along the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf to EPIDAURUS (Visit). On the headland called "Nesi" at Palaia Epidaurus, the theatre of the ancient city is quite well-preserved, in the shape it acquired during the latter years of its function. Apart from a few rows of seats, the cavea is made of limestone with poros staircases. The theater is marveled for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect intelligibility of unamplified spoken word from the proscenium or scene to all 12,000 spectators, regardless of their seating.
Then depart for  NAUPLIA 1st capital of Greece in 1829 (Short Stop) drive to MYCENAE(Visit)  “Mycenae 'Rich in Gold', the kingdom of mythical Agamemnon, first sung by Homer in his epics, is the most important and richest palatial centre of the Late Bronze Age in Greece. Its name was given to one of the greatest civilizations of Greek prehistory, the Mycenaean civilization.”  In the afternoon depart for OLYMPIA – Dinner & Overnight in OLYMPIA. 
DAY 3 Tuesday: OLYMPIA / DELPHI
In the morning visit the ancient home of the Olympic Games and the fascinating Museum.
Olympia the most celebrated sanctuary of ancient Greece, Dedicated to Zeus, the father of the gods, it sprawls over the southwest foot of Mount Kronios, at the confluence of the Alpheios and the Kladeos rivers, in a lush, green landscape. Although secluded near the west coast of the Peloponnese, Olympia became the most important religious and athletic centre in Greece. Its fame rests upon the Olympic Games, the greatest national festival and a highly prestigious one world-wide, which was held every four years to honor Zeus.  Visit the Archaeological Site & the Museum and then drive via PATRAS to RION, across the channel to ANTIRRION on the “State of the Art” new suspended bridge considered to be the longest and most modern in Europe. Arrive in NAFPAKTOS (drive through) then continue to DELPHI – Dinner & Overnight in DELPHI.
DAY 4 Wednesday :DELPHI / METEORA
This morning visit the Archaeological site and the Museum of Delphi.  Situated at the foot of Mount Parnassos, within the angle formed by the twin rocks of the Phaedriades, lies the Pan-Hellenic sanctuary of Delphi, which had the most famous oracle of ancient Greece. Delphi was regarded as the centre of the world. According to mythology, it is here that the two eagles sent out by Zeus from the ends of the universe to find the navel of the world met. The sanctuary of Delphi, set within a most spectacular landscape, was for many centuries the cultural and religious centre and symbol of unity for the Hellenic world and seat of the Pythian Games, the second most important games in Greece after the Olympics, which were held every four years.
Visit of the archaeological site and the Museum where one can see among other archeological treasures, the unique bronze statue of the Charioteerdedicated to Apollo by Polyzalos, the tyrant of Gela, in 478 B.C. when he won the chariot-race at the Pythian Games. This incomparable statue is a representative example of the ''severe'' Attic style, certainly the work of a major artist.
After visits depart for KALAMBAKA.  Dinner & Overnight in KALAMBAKA 
DAY 5 Thursday : METEORA / ATHENS
In the morning we will visit and see one of the most amazing places in Greece - METEORA
Meaning ‘suspended in air’ the name Meteora soon came to encompass the entire rock community of 24 monasteries, the biggest and most important group of monasteries in Greece after those in Mount Athos There were no steps and the main access to the monasteries was by means of a net that was hitched over a hook and hoisted up by rope and a hand cranked windlass to winch towers overhanging the chasm. Monks descended in the nets or on retractable wooden ladders up to 40m long to the fertile valleys below to grow grapes, corn and potatoes. Each community developed its own resources and by the end of the 14th century, the Grand Meteoron emerged as the dominant community.
The rock monasteries have been characterized by UNESCO as a unique phenomenon of cultural heritage.
After visits start the drive back to ATHENS passing through THERMOPYLAE (Photo Stop). This visit sometimes can take place the third day. Overnight Athens
DAY 6 Friday: ATHENS GUIDED CITY TOUR
Morning sightseeing tour of Athens. The striking contrast between breathtaking monuments of a glorious past and modern elegant structures is what you will enjoy during your tour of Athens. Visit the Acropolis,the crowning beauty and glory of Ancient Athens, with its many monuments atop its rocky base, including the awesome Parthenon, the Propylea, the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion, with its Porch of Maidens. Drive to the Roman Temple of Olympic Zeus, the Panathinaikon Stadium(site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 Short stop for photos), the Tomb of the unknown Soldier in front of the Parliament House on Constitution Square. See views of government buildings and elegant structures of the 19th century. Drive along Panepistimiou Avenue and view the Catholic Cathedral, the Academy, University, National Library. In contrast, conclude your tour with a visit to the new Acropolis museum a marvel of architecture with a full exhibition of the glory of Ancient Athens. Afternoon at leisure.
DAY 7 Saturday: ATHENS / CRUISE
Early afternoon, transfer to Piraeus port to embark the cruise ship for your 7 day cruise to the Greek islands & Turkey departing at 17:00.
DAY 8 Sunday: THESSALONIKI
Arrival at 10:00am.The thick Byzantine walls guarding Thessaloniki give way to an inviting mix of architectural landscapes with winding cobbled streets. Approaching the port, you will be captivated by a city that radiates culture and sophistication bathed in golden Greek sunshine. Palm-lined avenues house glamorous shops and gourmet restaurants, and historic cobblestone streets present traditional tavernas and ouzeria’s to satisfy everyone’s taste buds. Beautiful churches appear from every corner, seasonal markets sell colorful local produce and shaded spots on Aristotelous Square are where you can sit back with a homemade ice cream and watch the world go by. Departing at 19:00
DAY 9 Monday: KUSADASI / TURKEY
Our morning arrival gives us all day in Kusadasi, plenty of time to explore the colourful beach town that is the coastal gateway to the Hellenistic ruins of Ephesus, famed for one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis.
***** Excursions in Kusadasi (Turkey) :  Ancient Ephesus through the Ages - Hellenistic/Roman  (Half day)
KUS-02: Ancient Ephesus through the Ages -Hellenistic /Roman 
This is a wonderful journey through some of the most important and formative periods of history and we hope you will be enthralled by the stories of the Hellenes, Romans and of Christianity in our fascinating exploration of Ephesus. This marvellous city, sitting on the hills outside Kusadasi is a fabulous open air archaeological wonder founded by the Greeks around 2000 BC. It was one of the most important cities of the region and was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. The Temple built in her honour was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. It had more than 100 marble pillars each standing 56 feet tall and it earned the city the name ‘Servant of the Goddess.’ A single pillar remains standing on the site, found during an excavation in the 1870s. We will be able to see the Agora, Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marvel-paved Main Street of Curetes, the Baths of Scholastica, Trajan’s Fountain, the Temple of Hadrian and the Houses of Koressus, where the wealthy families of Ancient Ephesus lived. Only 13 per cent of Ephesus has so far been uncovered. The finds from the excavations made so far are housed in the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus in the city of Selcuk.
We have time for shopping for carpets, jewellery, leather and other souvenirs at the end of our tour.
DAY 10 Tuesday: CRETE / HERAKLION
Arrive Heraklion at 08:00am & depart at 19:00. Crete is Greece’s largest island and the fifth largest in the Mediterranean, a place of myths and legends.
In Heraklion you will have the opportunity to participate in a marvellous excursion to Knossos and see the ruins of the Palace of King Minos. .
***** Excursions in Heraklion:  Minoan Palace of Knossos  (Half day)
Her-02: Minoan Palace of Knossos  1st European civilization.
The ancient city of Knossos, near Crete’s capital Heraklion, was the place that ‘gave birth’ to the very fi rst civilisation of Europe, the Minoans. So we can say with some certainty it is Europe’s oldest city. Our excursion will open up the world of the Minoans as we visit one of the continent’s most important archaeological treasures. The fi rst excavations were undertaken in the 1870s by Minos Kalokairinos, a Cretan himself. A few decades later in the early 1900s, more work by Sir Arthur Evans from Britain brought to the world’s attention the full impressive scale of the Palace of Knossos, according to legend the residence of wise King Minos. We will be able to explore the large Central Court, the wonderful Throne Room, the imposing Grand Staircase and see the fresco of the ‘Prince of the Lilies.’ As you stroll through the palace apartments and view the archaeological fi nds, we think you will be just a little in awe of the rich cultural heritage of the Minoan civilisation. You will undoubtedly hear the Cretan legend of the Minotaur, half man, half bull who lived in the Labyrinth and was slain by Theseus. But that’s another story.
Exploring from room to room we will relive time in the Hall of the Royal Guard and the King’s Chamber, hearing about the extraordinary rule of King Minos.
DAY 11 Wednesday: SANTORINI
Arrive in Santorini at 07:00 am
Santorini is instantly recognizable and we are sure she will take your breath away, with her soaring landscapes, clusters of whitewashed houses in the capital Fira, incredible sunsets and of course the iconic blue-domed church at Oia. And don’t forget to try one of the many restaurants jostling for position at the edge of the caldera. In the evening you can explore at leisure or simply relax on deck sipping cocktails or a glass of fine wine.
DAY 12 Thursday: SANTORINI / MYKONOS
Depart  Santorini at 00:30am / Arrive Mykonos at 08:00am
Mykonos the Island of the Winds awaits. We have a full day for sightseeing or just strolling through the atmospheric Old Town with its immaculate whitewashed houses, winding alleys, lovely little churches and delightful restaurants. You will undoubtedly recognize the picture postcard white windmills sitting side by side, overlooking the sea. You may want to see the ancient temples on neighboring Delos.
DAY 13 Friday: MYKONOS / MILOS
Depart  Mykonos at 02:00am / Arrive Milos at 09:00am
You may be asleep when we depart Mykonos but we will be in Milos, the Island of Colours, at breakfast time. You will have time to explore the capital Plaka, 2,000 year old catacombs or simply soak up the sun on the flat rocks of stunning Sarakiniko Beach. The real beauty of this truly gorgeous island is to be found in its stunning landscapes, wind and sea sculptured rock formations, soft sandy beaches, secluded coves and crystal clear aquamarine waters. The island’s most famous export is the “Venus de Milo”.  Depart  Milos at 19:00.
DAY 14 Saturday: ATHENS
The cruise ship will arrive Athens at 07:00am. After breakfast disembarkation from the cruise ship and transfer to your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Athens
DAY 15 Sunday: ATHENS / AIRPORT 
At the indicated time you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flight. End of our services.

Optional Tours

CAPE SOUNION
Half-Day (Afternoon)
From Nov 1 to Mar 31 - Every Mon-Wed-Fri & Sat
From Apr 1st to Oct 31st - Daily
Dep.: 3:00pm – Ret.: 7:00pm

Driving along the coastal road past the wonderful beaches of GLYFADA, VOULIAGMENI, VARKIZA and countless coves, one has a splendid view of the Saronic Gulf. A crowning feature of the tour Cape SOUNION, dominated by the spectacular Temple of POSSEIDON overlooking the Aegean sea.(Oct 1 to Mar 31 - ½ hour earlier)

 
ATHENS BY NIGHT
Night Life
From Nov 1st to Mar 31st - Every Thu & Sat
From Apr 1st to Oct 31st - Daily
Dep.: 8:30pm - Ret.: around midnight

 
Starting our evening tour with a pleasant panoramic drive through illuminated city center and we will approach the slope of the sacred hill to admire the illuminated Acropolis.
Then we will visit the museum of Ancient Greek musical instruments and discover the music history of Greece. Explore the greatest and only collection with 60 reconstructed Ancient Greek Musical instruments.
Next we will walk through the narrow pedestrian street of Plaka, the old city of Athens, to dine in a Greek typical restaurant with floor folklore show with live music, ballet with dancers in traditional costumes
N.B. Drinks at the taverna are not included.







 

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