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1 / 40

The Greek Islands

13 days
It’s nearly impossible to get a true taste of Greek culture without sampling its flavorful isles. Experience the relaxed lifestyle and vibrant locals that color all the islands, spending time to discover the character and history unique to each locale. Absorb Hellenic heritage in ancient Athens before soaking in Crete’s legendary landscapes. Cruise the Aegean to the volcanic shores of Santorini and anchor on the star-studded beaches of lively Mykonos.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 11 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 4 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing & select entrance fees

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Athens today.

Athens2 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Athens

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Greece! Meet your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner tonight.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Athens

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Acropolis site

A local guide introduces you to the highlights of this bustling ancient capital, home to the world’s first democracy. 

• Tour the ancient Acropolis, site of the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike

• Visit the 6th-century Temple of Zeus

• View the classically inspired Greek Parliament

• Pass through Syntagma Square to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Enjoy a free afternoon in Athens or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Cape Sounion $35*pp Details

Journey to the southern tip of the Attic Peninsula to take in the sights of the Poseidon Coast, including sandy beaches, natural and manmade harbors and, of course, the Aegean Sea itself. High above the sparkling shoreline, the Temple of Poseidon dominates the landscape. Of the original structure, 16 elegant Doric pillars remain. Afterward, decide how you'd like to spend your free time. Take a moment to look out from the lofty cliffside vantage point, where you can see five Aegean islands on a clear day. You may also choose to enjoy a coffee, stop in the souvenir shop or stroll through the area. Please note: This excursion involves some walking on uneven terrain.

Crete2 nights Hotel info

Day 4: Sightseeing tour of Heraklion

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Palace of Knossos, Heraklion Archaeological Museum

This morning fly to Heraklion on the island of Crete, where you’ll enjoy a guided tour. 

• Visit Knossos, the setting for the Minotaur legend, according to which, King Minos imprisoned the Minotaur in a labyrinth

• Explore the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Day 5: Free day in Crete

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Crete or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Chania & Fodhele $99*pp Details

Travel to Chania, where a local guide will introduce you to the city's Old Town. You'll visit Chania's cathedral before a walk through the Venetian quarter, where you'll reach Etz Hayyim, the only synagogue on the island of Crete and a symbol of the city's ages-old Jewish community. Your guided tour ends at the port where you'll visit an ancient mosque. On your way back to Heraklion, you'll visit the village of Fodhele, the birthplace of the painter El Greco. Lunch is included on this excursion.

Santorini3 nights Hotel info

Day 6: Transfer to Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Take a ferry to Santorini, an island of stunning volcanic landscapes.

Day 7: Sightseeing tour of Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Akrotiri excavations

Take in the local sights on a guided tour of Santorini, a volcanic isle known for its black-sand beaches, cliff-lined shores and stunning whitewashed architecture.

• Visit the prehistoric settlements unearthed at the Akrotiri Excavations

• Ride to the top of Profitis Ilias Mountain for panoramic views of the whole island 

• Stop in the small, picturesque village of Pyrgos 

Enjoy a free evening in Santorini or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Santorini Caldera Cruise & Dinner $95*pp Details

Cruise through Santorini’s awe-inspiring caldera and around the volcanic island of Nea Kamenim for views of the picture-perfect cliffside village of Oía (pronounced “EE-ah”). Situated on the western end of the island, Oía was once a maritime center and stately captains’ houses still sit on its high ridges. Take in the scenery as you enjoy dinner on board the boat.

Day 8: Free day in Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Santorini or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Greek Wine Tasting & Lunch $45*pp Details

Santorini was once a volcano, and the island's nutrient-rich soil nurtures some outstanding vineyards. On this excursion, you'll enjoy a tour through a local winery followed by a wine tasting and an included lunch overlooking the Aegean.

Mykonos2 nights Hotel info

Day 9: Transfer to Mykonos

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel by ferry to Mykonos this morning and spend the rest of the day as you wish.

Day 10: Free day in Mykonos

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Mykonos or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Delos $79*pp Details

Journey by boat to the island of Delos, rich with mythological history and once one of Greece's most sacred spots. Your guided tour of the island's ancient city will transport you to the time when this was an important center for trade in silk, spices and slaves. You can explore the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Sacred Cave, the Lion Terrace and the House of Dionysus, where you'll find a breathtaking mosaic of the god of wine.

Athens2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Transfer to Athens

Included meals: Breakfast

Board a ferry for your return trip to Athens and enjoy free time to continue your explorations of the ancient city on your own.

Day 12: Free day in Athens

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Athens or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Delphi $85*pp Details

Journey to the slopes of Mount Parnassus and the town of Delphi, home of the mystical oracle. Embark on a guided tour featuring the Temple of Apollo, where, according to legend, the god Apollo once communicated with mortals. Greece’s ancient military leaders customarily left gifts here in hopes of good fortune in battle. After an included lunch, visit the Delphi Museum. Take time to explore the collection on your own, which includes a huge bronze charioteer among its ancient treasures. Please note: This excursion involves some walking on uneven terrain and hills.

Day 13: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to explore Istanbul.

Add Istanbul $449 pp

The cultural and economic capital of Turkey, Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia—both figuratively and geographically. Once known as Constantinople, this former capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires has long been a bustling and cosmopolitan crossroads. Experience the intersection of East and West at the Byzantine-built Hagia Sophia, the Ottoman-era Blue Mosque and the exotic Topkapi Palace.

Istanbul3 nights Hotel info

Day 13: Transfer to Istanbul

Included meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Athens’ airport for your flight to Istanbul, the city at the crossroads of East and West.

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Istanbul

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia

A local guide leads a tour of the city’s fascinating sights.

• Discover the ancient Hippodrome, which served as the public center of Byzantium for over a thousand years

• Behold the breathtaking Blue Mosque, built by Sultan Ahmet and decorated with exquisite blue Iznik tiles

• See the Topkapi Palace, once the residence of the Ottoman sultans

• Visit Hagia Sophia, the pride of Christendom until the city fell to the Turks in 1453

Enjoy a free evening in Istanbul or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Whirling Dervishes: Sufi Mystics $49*pp Details

The Whirling Dervishes are devoted adherents of Sufism, a mystical interpretation of Islam. For centuries, they've been known for their sema, the spinning dance that inspired their colorful nickname. The sema is full of symbolism, and you'll gain an appreciation for this distinctive communion with the divine at tonight's performance.

Day 15: Free day in Istanbul

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Istanbul or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Bosphorus Straits Cruise $55*pp Details

Cruise through the Bosphorus Straits, looking out on decadent Ottoman palaces and imposing medieval castles as you journey through the narrow waterway that separates Europe from Asia. On your way, you'll stop to visit the famous Egyptian bazaar, known as the Spice Market. After returning from your cruise, sit down to a lunch of Turkish specialties. Please note: This excursion is weather dependent. In some cases, dinner will be offered instead of lunch.

Day 16: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

Local cuisine with beer or wine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 11 nights in handpicked hotels

  • Breakfast daily, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing & select entrance fees

Overnight Flight1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Athens today.

Athens3 nights Hotel info

Day 2: Arrival in Athens

Included meals: Dinner

Welcome to Greece! Meet your fellow travelers at a welcome dinner tonight.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Athens

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Acropolis site

A local guide introduces you to the highlights of this bustling ancient capital, home to the world’s first democracy. 

• Tour the ancient Acropolis, site of the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike

• Visit the 6th-century Temple of Zeus

• View the classically inspired Greek  Parliament

• Pass through Syntagma Square to see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Enjoy a free afternoon in Athens or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Cape Sounion $35*pp Details

Journey to the southern tip of the Attic Peninsula to take in the sights of the Poseidon Coast, including sandy beaches, natural and manmade harbors and, of course, the Aegean Sea itself. High above the sparkling shoreline, the Temple of Poseidon dominates the landscape. Of the original structure, 16 elegant Doric pillars remain. Afterward, decide how you'd like to spend your free time. Take a moment to look out from the lofty cliffside vantage point, where you can see five Aegean islands on a clear day. You may also choose to enjoy a coffee, stop in the souvenir shop or stroll through the area. Please note: This excursion involves some walking on uneven terrain.

Day 4: Free day in Athens

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Athens or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Delphi $85*pp Details

Journey to the slopes of Mount Parnassus and the town of Delphi, home of the mystical oracle. Embark on a guided tour featuring the Temple of Apollo, where, according to legend, the god Apollo once communicated with mortals. Greece’s ancient military leaders customarily left gifts here in hopes of good fortune in battle. After an included lunch, visit the Delphi Museum. Take time to explore the collection on your own, which includes a huge bronze charioteer among its ancient treasures. Please note: This excursion involves some walking on uneven terrain and hills.

Crete2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Heraklion

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Included entrances: Palace of Knossos, Heraklion Archaeological Museum

This morning fly to Heraklion on the island of Crete, where you’ll enjoy a guided tour. 

• Visit Knossos, the setting for the Minotaur legend, according to which King Minos imprisoned the Minotaur in a labyrinth

• Explore the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

Day 6: Free day in Crete

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Crete or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Chania & Fodhele $99*pp Details

Travel to Chania, where a local guide will introduce you to the city's Old Town. You'll visit Chania's cathedral before a walk through the Venetian quarter, where you'll reach Etz Hayyim, the only synagogue on the island of Crete and a symbol of the city's ages-old Jewish community. Your guided tour ends at the port where you'll visit an ancient mosque. On your way back to Heraklion, you'll visit the village of Fodhele, the birthplace of the painter El Greco. Lunch is included on this excursion.

Santorini3 nights Hotel info

Day 7: Transfer to Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Take a ferry to Santorini, an island of stunning volcanic landscapes.

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Akrotiri Excavations

Take in the local sights on a guided tour of Santorini, a volcanic isle known for its black-sand beaches, cliff-lined shores and stunning whitewashed architecture.

• Visit the prehistoric settlements unearthed at the Akrotiri Excavations

• Ride to the top of Profitis Ilias Mountain for panoramic views of the whole island 

• Stop in the small, picturesque village of Pyrgos 

Enjoy a free evening in Santorini or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Santorini Caldera Cruise & Dinner $95*pp Details

Cruise through Santorini’s awe-inspiring caldera and around the volcanic island of Nea Kamenim for views of the picture-perfect cliffside village of Oía (pronounced “EE-ah”). Situated on the western end of the island, Oía was once a maritime center and stately captains’ houses still sit on its high ridges. Take in the scenery as you enjoy dinner on board the boat.

Day 9: Free day in Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Santorini or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Greek Wine Tasting & Lunch $45*pp Details

Santorini was once a volcano, and the island's nutrient-rich soil nurtures some outstanding vineyards. On this excursion, you'll enjoy a tour through a local winery followed by a wine tasting and an included lunch overlooking the Aegean.

Mykonos2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Transfer to Mykonos

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel by ferry to Mykonos this morning and spend the rest of the day as you wish.

Day 11: Free day in Mykonos

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Mykonos or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Delos $79*pp Details

Journey by boat to the island of Delos, rich with mythological history and once one of Greece's most sacred spots. Your guided tour of the island's ancient city will transport you to the time when this was an important center for trade in silk, spices and slaves. You can explore the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Sacred Cave, the Lion Terrace and the House of Dionysus, where you'll find a breathtaking mosaic of the god of wine.

Athens1 night Hotel info

Day 12: Transfer to Athens

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Board a ferry for your return trip to Athens, where you’ll have free time to continue your explorations of the ancient city on your own. 

Tonight, say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner in Athens.

Day 13: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home or extend your stay to explore Istanbul.

Add Istanbul $449 pp

The cultural and economic capital of Turkey, Istanbul straddles Europe and Asia—both figuratively and geographically. Once known as Constantinople, this former capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires has long been a bustling and cosmopolitan crossroads. Experience the intersection of East and West at the Byzantine-built Hagia Sophia, the Ottoman-era Blue Mosque and the exotic Topkapi Palace.

Istanbul3 nights Hotel info

Day 13: Transfer to Istanbul

Included meals: Breakfast

Transfer to Athens’ airport for your flight to Istanbul, the city at the crossroads of East and West.

Day 14: Sightseeing tour of Istanbul

Included meals: Breakfast

Included entrances: Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia

A local guide leads a tour of the city’s fascinating sights.

• Discover the ancient Hippodrome, which served as the public center of Byzantium for over a thousand years

• Behold the breathtaking Blue Mosque, built by Sultan Ahmet and decorated with exquisite blue Iznik tiles

• See the Topkapi Palace, once the residence of the Ottoman sultans

• Visit Hagia Sophia, the pride of Christendom until the city fell to the Turks in 1453

Enjoy a free evening in Istanbul or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Whirling Dervishes: Sufi Mystics $49*pp Details

The Whirling Dervishes are devoted adherents of Sufism, a mystical interpretation of Islam. For centuries, they've been known for their sema, the spinning dance that inspired their colorful nickname. The sema is full of symbolism, and you'll gain an appreciation for this distinctive communion with the divine at tonight's performance.

Day 15: Free day in Istanbul

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Istanbul or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Bosphorus Straits Cruise $55*pp Details

Cruise through the Bosphorus Straits, looking out on decadent Ottoman palaces and imposing medieval castles as you journey through the narrow waterway that separates Europe from Asia. On your way, you'll stop to visit the famous Egyptian bazaar, known as the Spice Market. After returning from your cruise, sit down to a lunch of Turkish specialties. Please note: This excursion is weather dependent. In some cases, dinner will be offered instead of lunch.

Day 16: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your return flight home.

How's the weather?

  • Athens, Greece
  • Crete, Greece
  • Santorini, Greece
  • Mykonos, Greece
  • Istanbul, Turkey
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa

In order to enter Greece (as well as Turkey on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. A visa is also required for U.S. and Canadian passport holders to enter Turkey on the tour extension. Effective in 2014, U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain an electronic visa through the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website prior to arrival in Turkey. The cost of a visa for entry into Turkey is $20 USD for U.S. citizens and $60 USD for Canadian citizens (payment is subject to change without notice). If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements. 

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage. 

Baggage handling

Please note that porter service cannot be guaranteed on the ferry from Crete to Santorini and Santorini to Mykonos. Please be prepared to handle your own baggage. 

Clothing & packing tips

Due to the temperate climate, light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are recommended for sightseeing. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality—a lightweight sports jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you will probably feel more comfortable in something more formal. Also, remember that it is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (entrance may be denied on this basis). 

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to Greece. During the summer months, take proper care for sun exposure. Also, codeine (commonly found in headache medications) is banned in Greece, and you may face prosecution if you bring it into the country. While no vaccinations are required for entry into Turkey (on extension), it is always advisable to check with your doctor or health-care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel recommendations. 

Cuisine

One of the pleasures of traveling is the variety of local cuisine. Greece’s climate ensures a constant supply of high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables. Salads are excellent here, served with olive oil and topped with feta cheese and oregano. Grilled fish and meat are also a staple. Barbecued lamb, squid, octopus, spinach and cheese pies, baked eggplant and zucchini are other delicious dishes. Turkish food is fresh and very carefully prepared. Sourdough bread with sheep’s cheese and olives, as well as jam or honey, is typically eaten for breakfast. A midday meal or dinner often starts with a meze, which is a plate of varied appetizers, such as cheese pastry rolls, pickled vegetables and potato fritters. Turkish coffee is extremely strong and thick. 

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Athens. A flight from Athens to Heraklion is included. Ferry from Crete to Santorini, a ferry to Mykonos, and a ferry from Mykonos to Athens are also included. All other included transportation is by private motor coach.

Despite the famed hustle and bustle of Athens, the city’s main attractions are easily accessed on foot. If you do need to use public transportation, however, there’s a brand-new metro system that was conveniently completed in time for the 2004 Olympics. It’s now one of Europe’s best.

Currency

The euro (in Greece) and the Turkish lira are the currencies you will be using on your tour. We advise that you take a combination of ATM/bank cards and credit cards, as needed. For Turkey, we recommend dollar bills in small denominations. Exchange small amounts of Turkish lira at one time in order to compensate for rising inflation. ATMs can also be found in Turkey, most connected to the Cirrus and Plus international networks. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

How's the weather?

  • Athens, Greece
  • Crete, Greece
  • Santorini, Greece
  • Mykonos, Greece
  • Istanbul, Turkey
Temperature Precipitation
  • JAN
  • FEB
  • MAR
  • APR
  • MAY
  • JUN
  • JUL
  • AUG
  • SEP
  • OCT
  • NOV
  • DEC

Passport & visa

In order to enter Greece (as well as Turkey on the tour extension), U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport with an expiration date extending at least six months beyond the date of reentry. A visa is also required for U.S. and Canadian passport holders to enter Turkey on the tour extension. Effective in 2014, U.S. and Canadian passport holders must obtain an electronic visa through the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website prior to arrival in Turkey. The cost of a visa for entry into Turkey is $20 USD for U.S. citizens and $60 USD for Canadian citizens (payment is subject to change without notice). If you’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact each country’s consulate for your specific entry requirements. 

Baggage allowance

Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage. 

Baggage handling

Please note that porter service cannot be guaranteed on the ferry from Crete to Santorini and Santorini to Mykonos. Please be prepared to handle your own baggage. 

Clothing & packing tips

Due to the temperate climate, light, loose-fitting clothing that provides comfort when exploring the sights is essential for your tour. A sun hat, sunglasses and a sturdy pair of walking shoes are recommended for sightseeing. It’s always a good idea to be prepared for any eventuality—a lightweight sports jacket and emergency rainwear are advised. If you plan to visit an especially elegant restaurant or attend the opera or theater, you will probably feel more comfortable in something more formal. Also, remember that it is preferable not to visit churches or other religious sites with bare legs and shoulders (entrance may be denied on this basis). 

Health

There are no major health risks when traveling to Greece. During the summer months, take proper care for sun exposure. Also, codeine (commonly found in headache medications) is banned in Greece, and you may face prosecution if you bring it into the country. While no vaccinations are required for entry into Turkey (on extension), it is always advisable to check with your doctor or health-care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel recommendations. 

Cuisine

One of the pleasures of traveling is the variety of local cuisine. Greece’s climate ensures a constant supply of high-quality fresh fruits and vegetables. Salads are excellent here, served with olive oil and topped with feta cheese and oregano. Grilled fish and meat are also a staple. Barbecued lamb, squid, octopus, spinach and cheese pies, baked eggplant and zucchini are other delicious dishes. Turkish food is fresh and very carefully prepared. Sourdough bread with sheep’s cheese and olives, as well as jam or honey, is typically eaten for breakfast. A midday meal or dinner often starts with a meze, which is a plate of varied appetizers, such as cheese pastry rolls, pickled vegetables and potato fritters. Turkish coffee is extremely strong and thick. 

Transportation

Round-trip flights arrive in and depart from Athens (or Istanbul on the tour extension). A flight from Athens to Heraklion is included. Ferry from Crete to Santorini, a ferry to Mykonos, and a ferry from Mykonos to Athens are also included. All other included transportation is by private motor coach.

Despite the famed hustle and bustle of Athens, the city’s main attractions are easily accessed on foot. If you do need to use public transportation, however, there’s a brand-new metro system that was conveniently completed in time for the 2004 Olympics. It’s now one of Europe’s best.

Currency

The euro (in Greece) and the Turkish lira are the currencies you will be using on your tour. We advise that you take a combination of ATM/bank cards and credit cards, as needed. For Turkey, we recommend dollar bills in small denominations. Exchange small amounts of Turkish lira at one time in order to compensate for rising inflation. ATMs can also be found in Turkey, most connected to the Cirrus and Plus international networks. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.

Tipping

At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.

See what our travelers say about this tour—all reviews are authentic and unedited.

Have you been on tour with us? Visit My Account to submit a review.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/3/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: IL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

best tour director

Roberto was absolutely awesome, extremely helpful and knowledgeable.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/2/2014

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Greece is the word!

This was our 4th Go Ahead Tour and as with the others, our expectations were totally fulfilled. Our Tour Director, Roberto receives our five star rating. We had an extremely large group of 45 and in spite of the size, Roberto kept us in line, on time and happy. He provided additional information about each of the places we visited and arranged for an additional visit to Oia and a sunset cruise on the caldera in Santorini. Our hotels on the island were really great. The Metropolitan in Athens was just OK - it could use an update, the closets were in a cramped hallway and the carpets in the room and halls could stand to be cleaned. The Avenue Resturant in the hotel was pricey but worth it. The free bus from the hotel to center city was a nice convenience. We especially enjoyed the islands which are really beautiful. We had a last minute change of hotel in Santorini which we actually preferred. The original was near Fira and the replacement was near the black, volcanic sand beach. We preferred that location as Fira seemed pretty busy even in October and the beach was quieter, had restaurants and shopping nearby, The ferries were fine as we had nice weather. You have to handle your own luggage on and off the ferry which was OK until we ran into a group of Chinese tourists who must have thought the boat was sinking as we approached port because there was near hysteria on their part (no reflection on Go Ahead). Pack light! We would have preferred a 45 minute flight from Mykonos to Athens rather than the 4+ hour ferry but it wasn't a deal breaker. As with other ancient sights, this trip involved lots of walking and climbing up hill and stairs with no railings. Climbing to the Acropolis was difficult - steep, uneven steps, no railing and slippery but beautiful. It was difficult but worth the trip. We booked all the optionals, skipped Delos because we just needed to rest, but truly enjoyed the others. We would highly recommend this trip and would even recommend to Go Ahead to add an extra day on each of the islands.

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 10/3/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 4 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Outstanding Tour Director

This was my first time using Go Ahead Tours. I had no problems, and everything went well meeting up with the tour. I went on the Greek Islands tour with the extension to Istanbul, Turkey. The itinerary was nice, just know that if you add on all the extra excursions, as I did, there won't be much downtime. I had an outstanding tour director (Roberto) for the Greece tour. He made sure everything went as smooth as possible and he really took great care to all the travelers; especially considering he had a very large group (46 people) to look after. I would gladly take another Go Ahead Tour if I knew I would have him as the director. For the Istanbul, Turkey extension the guide was not as attentive, even though we had a much smaller group (23 people); and he appeared to be rushed and distracted by other tours he was doing prior to and after this one. He (Suleyman) did however give a lot of information if you needed it, although he could be rude and impatient at times. I'm not sure if this was a cultural thing, but otherwise I enjoyed seeing Istanbul and would definitely recommend the extension if one has the extra time. The only thing I was not fond of, as far as my tour went, was my return flight Itinerary; so if I was to use the company again, I would consider making my own flight arrangements so I don't have to have three connections to get back to a major international airport such as LAX; because of a flight delay, (not the fault of Go Ahead tours) I barely made one of my connections back to the states since you have to go through security checkpoints in every country you travel through and the flight times was cutting very close. Overall I had a good experience with Go Ahead Tours, and would recommend them to my family and friends. I might even consider them myself if I decide to go on another group tour in the future.

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3 / 5

3 / 5

Traveled On: 5/7/2010

Number of Past Tours: 4

From:

Tour Director: 2 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

Worst Cruise Line

The Greek cruise line was not good. The food was awful. The only all night buffet was a server walking around with a tray of hors d'vrs and he walked straight on past us. The shows were junior high quality. people could hardly wait to get off @ each island to grab something to eat. I actually got depressed my 2nd day on board. Just change the cruise line and use a Norwegian or Celebrity.

 

Dear Augusta, We no longer offer a cruise portion during our Greek Islands itinerary, but we sincerely thank you for sharing your feedback with us. Please feel free to reach out to us with any further comments or concerns. Happy travels!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 22, 2014

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/11/2014

Number of Past Tours: 4

From: PA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Yet from Go Ahead

Wow! My trip to the Greek Islands was fantastic! The reason for this was our tour director Gloria. She made us all feel at home in a different country which I didn't know was possible. I feel that she made this the best trip I've ever taken with Go Ahead. Thanks for all you did to make our trip a success! Thanks Go Ahead for a trip to remember!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/20/2014

Number of Past Tours: 5

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Gorgeous Islands

This tour was exceptional and I have been on a number of them with Go Ahead. Gloria was outstanding as our tour director helping us to avoid large crowds from cruise lines, etc..... and also helping to get assistance with our checked luggage for the ferry transfers. The islands are magnificent, Santorini was my favorite with it's spectacular sunsets and the blue domed buildings. We ventured into Oia on our own the day after our group spent the evening there and were able to see the town at our own pace which was nice. Heraklion in Crete is a place with something for everyone, beautiful sights, a happening city center as well as the port views. Mykonos, while a bit on the windy side, was fun as well. The people of Greece are some of the most friendly that I have met on any of my travels, even to the point of corresponding by email with one of the salesman we became friends with in Fira. The optional to Delphi while in Athens was a great trip, I encourage you to take it. You get away from the city and get an opportunity to see more of the countryside of Greece and Delphi itself is really very fascinating. Highly recommended!!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/20/2014

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: NY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Ruins of Greece

This tour was very good. The group of people were great to travel with and our Tour Director, Gloria, was outstanding. Our guide in Istanbul, Suleyman, had a difficult task to meet Gloria's standards. While the pace of the trip was noted to be hectic, and it was, the brochure did not indicate how strenuous it would be to climb up the ruins in Greece. For those individual traveling on this trip in the future, it should be noted that there is extensive climbing without support railings which nay prove to be difficult for some travelers to maneuver.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/20/2014

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: MD

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Great tour director and well organized

Tour director very accomodating to everyone and knowledgeable.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 6/20/2014

Number of Past Tours: 3

From: OH

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wow!

What a wonderful trip! I honestly had never thought about going to Greece until my brother asked if I would be interested in going. The scenery was beautiful, our guides were informative, food was great (I even tried octopus!), I never tired of looking and learning about the ancient ruins. The group of people that came together on our tour was a good bunch. Everyone got along, no arguing, a friendly group, always on time. Our tour guide, Gloria, was better than the best!! She gave us so much information, went beyond the call of duty to make sure things were right and easier for us, had a good sense of humor, and was so kind. I can't say enough good things about her.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 4/20/2007

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Sally—Our Tour Director

It's been seven years since I took this tour with my sister, but still think it was one of the best trips I've ever had, and I have traveled all over Europe with my husband and sister. Sally took great care of everyone in the tour, making each of us feel very special. She was from England, but spoke what seemed to be very good Greek when she needed to do so. Her stories about the Greek gods were witty, had us all laughing, and her Greek history was informative and never boring. Hard to pick a favorite part of the tour, but Santorini definitely was one of the best. It gave me goose pimples when we sailed sailed beneath the fire-born cliffs of the caldera and the view from the top of those cliffs? Stunning! The hotels were more than adequate (the one in Mykonos was literally right on the beach and everyone had breakfast on the huge shaded terrace), the food marvelous, and the sights amazing! I would really like to do it again! Maybe I will! :-D

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