Welcome to Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world with recorded history that dates back over 3,000 years. Philosophy, tragedy, comedy, history, art and architecture – all symbols of a city that is regarded as the birthplace of democracy. Your transfer from the airport to your hotel in the centre of the city, will last approximately 40 minutes. After that you have some free time to get a feel of the city at your own pace. Athens is vibrant and lively all year round! You can also optionally choose the suggested activities: a walking tour in central Athens, a guided tour by an experienced certified tourist guide to the archaeological site of the Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum, and dinner at the Museum's restaurant with magnificent views to the Acropolis hill.
In the morning you will be transferred to the port of Piraeus to take the boat to the island of Syros, the capital of the Cyclades. Syros dominates the heart of the Aegean with the dynamic character and the cosmopolitan grace of a queen. As a dominant force centered in Ermoupoli, the capital of the island and of the Cyclades continues to preserve and enhance the glamour of a bygone era. Sharing a story that unfolds through the winding alleys, the traditional villages that brilliantly orchestrate the medieval with the Cycladic architecture, the Orthodox and Catholic churches, the stunningly beautiful beaches, the azure sea and the magical natural scenery. After you have settled in your guesthouse in Ermoupolis, you have the time to explore the city with its distinctive neo-classical architectural and historic neighborhoods, swim at nearby Asteria Beach and taste local recipes at a restaurant in the city. The town of Ermoupolis is one of the most architecturally fascinating ports in the Mediterranean, a living museum with some of the most beautiful old buildings in Greece and one of the most cosmopolitan towns in the Greek islands. During your tour you can visit the beautiful Apollon Opera House, a copy of La Skala in Milan, the Miaoulis Square, one of the largest and most active central squares in Greece, surrounded by 19th century arcaded buildings and the enormous Syros Town Hall, the aristocratic Vaporia district with the beautiful mansions and then walk up to the Ano Syros neighborhood to enjoy magnificent views to the city.
Day 3: Exploring the beaches of Syros
Today you can pick up your hire car and have a tour around the island exploring its traditional villages and its sandy beaches. You may want to visit Galissas, Delfini, Kini, Finikas and Dellagratsia beaches for a swim and later head to a local winery and taste exquisite Syros wines. Another interesting place that you can visit is the Grammata and the Grey Cave in the northern part of Syros. Grammata means writing and at Grammata Bay, there are letters scratched onto the rocks. Generations of desperate sailors, washed up on this inhospitable coast, inscribed their wishes, prayers and names on them. Most of them date from Roman and Byzantine times. You can reach the bay and the Grey Cave on foot following a hiking path right next to the sea.
Day 4: Cοsmopolitan Paros
In the morning you will take the boat from the port of Syros to the island of Paros. When you reach the port of Paroikia you can pick up your hire car and drive to your hotel, which is situated close to Naoussa. After settling in your hotel, you can relax at the hotel pool or visit the nearby beach for a swim. In the afternoon, you might want to explore the picturesque Naoussa town with its white-washed houses and its small enchanting harbour that once used to be a pirate’s den, and the nearby beach of Kolymbithres, with golden sand embroidered around granite rocks, rubbed smooth by the wind and sea in incredible shapes. The seawater sculptures that locals have named Kolymbithres look as if they were moulded by an artist, with the help of the strong winds and wild seas of the Aegean. In the evening you can have a fine dining experience in a seaside restaurant in Naoussa.
Today you can explore some of the most charming and lesser known villages of Paros island. You might want to visit Lefkes village, one of the most beautiful and authentic agricultural villages of the island with little traditional whitewashed houses, mixed with Venetian architecture, wonderful churches dating from the 15th century, whitewashed windmills and beautiful dovecotes. The charm and the beauty of Lefkes are still untouched by mass tourism, which help it maintain its authenticity. You can have a walk, wandering through its peaceful alleys. And you can also have a hike on the Byzantine road, a marble-paved path 1,000 years old, which was built to connect Marpissa with Parikia. Two more inland villages that are also worth a visit. At Prodromos the entrance to the village is a vaulted roof and steeple. Walk in the streets and admire the small traditional Cycladic homes. Then make your way to Marpissa, a 16th-century village with traditional windmills and churches rich in history. Later you can go to visit Paroikia, the capital city of the island, or take a short boat ride to visit the small but beautiful nearby island of Antiparos. There you might want to visit the impressive Antiparos Cave or swim in the clear blue waters of the numerous beaches of the island.
Day 6: Day cruise to Delos and Mykonos
Today you might want to spend your day relaxing at the beach or exploring some other hidden corners of the island. You can also take a day cruise to visit the small island of Delos, a unique ancient city, a UNESCO World Heritage site, and the famous cosmopolitan island of Mykonos. Even though Delos is one of the smallest islands in the Aegean, it was the most famous and sacred of all islands in antiquity, since, according to the legend, it was there that Apollo-Helios, god of daylight, and Artemis-Selene, goddess of night light, were born – it was, in short, the birthplace of Light, which the Greeks always regarded as precious. You will have 3 hours to explore this magnificent ancient site. Later you will continue the boat tour to Mykonos island, where you can walk through the beautiful streets, visit the famous “Little Venice” and enjoy a stroll through the shops on the island.
Day 7: Fascinating Santorini
Today you will take the boat from the port of Paros to reach the volcanic island of Santorini, one of the most beautiful and scenic islands of Greece. When you reach the port of Athinios you can pick up your hire car and drive to your hotel, which is situated in Oia. The village of Oia is situated on top of an impressive cliff and offers a spectacular view over the volcano of Palia and Nea Kameni and the island of Thirassia. It is a traditional village with charming houses in narrow streets, blue domed churches, and sun-bathed verandas. Today you might want to just relax at your hotel and enjoy the fantastic sunset and the magical ambience of Oia.
Day 8: Exploring Santorini
Today you can have a day trip with your hire car exploring the most scenic places of the island. You might want to visit Akrotiri village and have a guided tour in the fascinating archaeοlogical site. Akrotiri is one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean region. The first habitation at the site dates from the Late Neolithic times and it gradually developed into one of the main urban centres and ports of the Aegean. The large extent of the settlement, the elaborate drainage system, the sophisticated multi-storeyed buildings with the magnificent wall-paintings, furniture and vessels, show its great development and prosperity. After the eruption of the Santorini volcano, the volcanic materials covered the entire island and the town itself. These materials, however, have protected up to date the buildings and their contents, just like in Pompei. Your next stop could be Perivolos which is the largest black sand beach on the island, where you can take a swim or have lunch in a traditional tavern. Then you might want to continue to the traditional village of Megalochori, which has hundreds of small white painted houses built the one upon the other and is characterised by its beautiful churches. It combines traditional architecture with vaulted houses and calderimia (stone-cobbled narrow pathways) and a lively community with a fairly large permanent population. Afterwards you can have a short visit to Profitis Ilias mountain top, the highest spot of the island (567 meters) that is located between Pyrgos and Kamari. The Mountain's name is Profitis Ilias (Prophet Elijah), coming from the Monastery with the same name on its peak. From this vantage point, you will enjoy a striking view of the entire island, from the patchwork agricultural plains to the hilltop village of Oia and the traditional village of Pyrgos, built around the remains of the Venetian castle. Your next destination could be a local winery, where you can taste the famous local wine varieties Assyrtiko, Nykteri and Vinsanto. This winery is situated in the village of Pyrgos, in a wonderful location on the caldera. It is one of the most modern wineries in Greece and its innovative architecture is remarkable, as it is built on different levels, just as the famous so- called "terraces" of the vineyard, i.e. the different levels that the farmers have developed in the farms, in order to facilitate the cultivation of the land. Alternatively you can also choose to have a boat trip to the volcano and the hot springs. The cruise ship sails from the old port of Fira to the volcano of Santorini in Nea Kameni Island! There you will have the chance to climb on the top of the volcano, see the crater which is still active and walk on its rims! Before the boat returns at the old port of Fira, the excursion continues to Palia Kameni Island, where you can have the experience of a lifetime, swim in the hot springs created thousands of years ago by the power of the volcano.
Day 9: Fascinating Santorini and return to Athens
Today you are free to explore the island at your own pace and enjoy its impressive beaches and beautiful villages. You might also want to follow the scenic hiking path that connects Oia with Fira. There is a hiking path that lines up half of the volcanic caldera, from Fira up to Oia via Firostefani and Imerovigli. Following this Santorini hiking path gives gorgeous view to the famous volcano and the Aegean Sea. Later in the day you will take the boat to return to Pireaus port in Athens. When you reach the port of Pireaus you will be transferred to your hotel in Athens.
Day 10: Last day in Athens
An amazing journey has come to an end. Spend your last day in Athens freely wandering and discovering the city on your own. Transfer to the airport and flight back home!