View Dates & Prices

The Greek Islands: Mykonos, Santorini & Crete

13 days (14 days in 2017)
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, discovering 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 beaches of lively Mykonos.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Maximum tour group size: 30 travelers

Tour Pace: You will walk for about 1.5 hours daily across uneven terrain, including paved roads and cobblestone streets, with steep hills and stairs.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

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 and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Athens today.

Athens 3 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

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 Old Royal Palace, home of the Hellenic 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 $45pp* 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $55)

Day 4: Free day in Athens

Included meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Delphi $99pp* 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Mykonos 2 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Transfer to Mykonos

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel by ferry to Mykonos this morning and spend the rest of the day soaking up the sun and unique island culture.

Day 6: Free day in Mykonos

Included meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Delos $89pp* 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $99)

Santorini 3 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

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 $75pp* 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 a casual buffet dinner on board the boat. Please note: This optional excursion is seasonal and runs only from late May to mid October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $85)

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 $65pp* Details

Santorini’s volcanic landscape and nutrient-rich soil nurtures a wealth of outstanding vineyards. On this excursion, you’ll tour a local winery, enjoying a film screening followed by a wine tasting. Taste five different varietals, including Vin Santo, a sweet wine made from dried grapes, then enjoy a light lunch overlooking the Aegean Sea.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Crete 2 nights Hotel info

Day 10: Transfer to Crete

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This afternoon, take a ferry to Crete, the largest of the Greek islands.

Day 11: Free day in Crete

Included meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Chania $109pp* Details

Travel to historic Chania, where a local guide introduces 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. Spend some time strolling through the indoor market, perhaps sampling local herbs, olive oil and cheeses. Your guided tour ends at the port where you’ll visit an ancient Turkish Ottoman mosque. Lunch is included on this excursion, as well as free time to get to know this beautiful city at your own pace.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Athens 1 night Hotel info

Day 12: Sightseeing tour of Heraklion & transfer to Athens

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Before returning to Athens, enjoy a guided tour of Heraklion.

• Visit the ruins of Knossos, where King Minos imprisoned the Minotaur in a labyrinth, according to the myth

• Explore the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

This afternoon, fly to Athens to say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner.

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

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

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.

Istanbul 3 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

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

• Enter 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 $59pp* 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $69)

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 $55pp* 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $65)

Day 16: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

Let us handle the details

Expert Tour Director

      Local       cuisine

Handpicked hotels

Sightseeing with local guides

Private transportation

Personalized flight options

Your tour includes

  • 12 nights in handpicked hotels

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

  • Multilingual Tour Director

  • Private deluxe motor coach

  • Guided sightseeing and select entrance fees

Overnight Flight 1 night

Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Athens today.

Athens 3 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

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 Old Royal Palace, home of the 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 $45pp* 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $55)

Day 4: Free day in Athens

Included meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Delphi $99pp* 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $109)

Mykonos 3 nights Hotel info

Day 5: Transfer to Mykonos

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel by ferry to Mykonos, and enjoy a guided tour of the island when you arrive.

• See the iconic windmills in Mykonos Town, built as early as the 16th century 

• View Little Venice, the charming neighborhood right along the Aegean Sea 

• Enter the Church of Panagia Paraportiani and admire its unique architecture

Day 6: Free day in Mykonos

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy a full free day in Mykonos soaking up the sun and unique island culture, or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Scenic Mykonos: Villages & Landscapes $75pp* Details

Travel inland to the village of Ano Mera, one of the oldest towns on Mykonos, for a visit to the Monastery of Panagia Tourlani. Enter the ancient chapel to admire its iconic architecture and intricately carved marble bell tower. Then, continue on to the Armenistis Lighthouse, which overlooks the waters between Mykonos and the island of Tinos, and soak in stunning views of the Aegean Sea. End the day at the postcard-perfect Kalafatis Beach, where you’ll soak up the sun—and maybe spot windsurfers out on the ocean.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $85)

Day 7: Free day in Mykonos

Included meals: Breakfast

Enjoy another day exploring Mykonos at your leisure or add an excursion.

Optional Excursion - Delos $89pp* 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $99)

Santorini 3 nights Hotel info

Day 8: Transfer to Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Take a ferry to Santorini, then enjoy free time to discover the island’s  a volcanic black-sand beaches, cliff-lined shores and stunning whitewashed architecture.

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast

Today, take in the local sights on a guided tour of Santorini.

• 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 $75pp* 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 a casual buffet dinner on board the boat. Please note: This optional excursion is seasonal and runs only from late May to mid October.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $85)

Day 10: Free day in Santorini

Included meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Greek Wine Tasting & Lunch $65pp* Details

Santorini’s volcanic landscape and nutrient-rich soil nurtures a wealth of outstanding vineyards. On this excursion, you’ll tour a local winery, enjoying a film screening followed by a wine tasting. Taste five different varietals, including Vin Santo, a sweet wine made from dried grapes, then enjoy a light lunch overlooking the Aegean Sea.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $75)

Crete 2 nights Hotel info

Day 11: Transfer to Crete

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

This afternoon, take a ferry to Crete, the largest of the Greek islands.

Day 12: Free day in Crete

Included meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Chania $109pp* Details

Travel to historic Chania, where a local guide introduces 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. Spend some time strolling through the indoor market, perhaps sampling local herbs, olive oil and cheeses. Your guided tour ends at the port where you’ll visit an ancient Turkish Ottoman mosque. Lunch is included on this excursion, as well as free time to get to know this beautiful city at your own pace.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $119)

Athens 1 night Hotel info

Day 13: Sightseeing tour of Heraklion & transfer to Athens

Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Before returning to Athens, enjoy a guided tour of Heraklion.

• Visit the ruins of Knossos, where King Minos imprisoned the Minotaur in a labyrinth, according to the myth and see the Heraklion Archaeological Museum

This afternoon, fly to Athens to say goodbye to your group at a farewell dinner.

Day 14: 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

Please note: Extension is not available on all departure dates.

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.

Istanbul 3 nights Hotel info

Day 14: 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 15: Sightseeing tour of Istanbul

Included meals: Breakfast

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

• Enter 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 $59pp* 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $69)

Day 16: Free day in Istanbul

Included meals: Breakfast

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

Optional Excursion - Bosphorus Straits Cruise $55pp* 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.

Save $10 when you book this excursion up to 3 days before your tour departs. (On-tour price: $65)

Day 17: Departure

Included meals: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

How's the weather?

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

Passport & visa requirements

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 prior to arrival in Turkey. You can get an e-visa by visiting the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (evisa.gov.tr). 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; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Baggage handling

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

Clothing & packing tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with 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 the tour extension), be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare 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 ferry from Athens to Mykonos, ferry from Mykonos to Santorini, ferry to Crete, and a flight from Crete 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.

Electricity

Greece operates on the European standard 220 volts.

Time zones

Greece and Turkey are two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 7 p.m. in Athens.

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’s 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.

Shopping on tour

Please note that some excursions may include a stop at a market or specialty store. Go Ahead Tours has no relationship with these vendors and encourages you to research specialty items you’re interested in purchasing abroad before you leave to ensure you’re receiving the best quality.

Purchasing excursions on tour

If you have not yet purchased your optional excursions, you may be able to do so while on your tour. Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions. Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See the separate “Optional Excursions” sheet for more information.

How's the weather?

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

Passport & visa requirements

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 prior to arrival in Turkey. You can get an e-visa by visiting the Turkish Ministry of Foreign Affairs website (evisa.gov.tr). 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; be advised that you are responsible for any such costs. Contact your airline for detailed information regarding luggage size and weight restrictions for your flight, but please note that Go Ahead travelers are restricted to one checked bag per person due to storage limitations on motor coaches and other internal transfers, which may include train connections or flights. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 total inches (length + width + height). Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on bag.

Baggage handling

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

Clothing & packing tips

To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).

Health

There are no major health risks associated with 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 the tour extension), be sure to check with your doctor or healthcare 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 ferry from Athens to Mykonos, ferry from Mykonos to Santorini, ferry to Crete, and a flight from Crete 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.

Electricity

Greece operates on the European standard 220 volts.

Time zones

Greece and Turkey are two hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) and seven hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time (EST). When it’s noon in New York, it’s 7 p.m. in Athens.

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’s 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.

Shopping on tour

Please note that some excursions may include a stop at a market or specialty store. Go Ahead Tours has no relationship with these vendors and encourages you to research specialty items you’re interested in purchasing abroad before you leave to ensure you’re receiving the best quality.

Purchasing excursions on tour

If you have not yet purchased your optional excursions, you may be able to do so while on your tour. Your Tour Director will only accept cash (in USD only), Visa or MasterCard as payment for optional excursions. Please be advised that if you pay for an excursion by credit card while on tour, it may take up to three months for your card to be charged. Some optional excursions may only be purchased in advance. See the separate “Optional Excursions” sheet for more information.

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: 10/9/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: MT

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Exclamation Points Galore Tour

Grip your heart, grab your camera, hold on to the memories! The Greek Island/Istanbul add-on tour filled the history lover, the sun lover, the explorer in my heart. Just for starters, imagine flying into Athens and seeing the Acropolis to your right.And that was the arrival. To set the scene and the tone, our tour director, Roberto, provided the humor, history, leadership and independence that many travelers appreciate. Most of us were exhausted from the flight, , but there we were at the St. George Lycabettus Hotel restaurant and deck to see the Acropolis lit up, a beacon for what would follow. I recommend studying sites that you will be viewing ahead of time.That's a personal goal because I believe in being an active vs. passive traveler. Websites provide a wealth of aha! moments. I couldn't wait to see the lovely Caryatids, and there they were. We expected an overcast Sunday, but the sky cleared and the Acropolis turned into exclamation points. The tours are so fast-paced, it helps to be familiar. If you can, do sign up for each of the extensions. From Cape Sounion to Delphi, each location and experience enriched our days. A special and necessary moment happened prior to dinner in Heraklion. The group gathered. Roberto dispensed prizes to each of us. Ladies received a bracelet dotted w/ "evil eye" and men received "worry beads". We were exhausted from the flight to Crete, enjoyed a historically huge day at Palace of Knossos and the Archaeological Museum and were ready for food. That was our "meet and greet" time. Since we were going on this tour together, it was time to know about our traveling team. That happened to be my birthday and the second singing to me. That was tres cool. From that time, the ice was broken and many of us chose to not spend our time with familiar cliques. Each morning Roberto gathered us on the bus and we started with our Greek lessons. After all, isn't knowing greetings, please and thank you the best way to become an engaged traveler? Additionally, Roberto provided individuals with plenty of information to make their stays from Athens to the Islands as beneficial as he could. I was particularly happy for the extra bus ride to Oia. What a walking gem. Next he provided an extra bus tour opportunity around Mykonos. I just had to see THE beach from "Shirley Valentine". I'm so happy that my husband and I took the Delos and Delphi tours. Delphi is nothing like I imagined. There we were up in the mountains and it felt like Switzerland. It was the center of their world. SOME FINAL NOTES:: Research and take a travel manual, like Rick Steves, with you. To know more helps you appreciate the grandeur of this experience. Although you may have a disappointing wall view at the hotel in Athens, I believe they provided the best Greek breakfast. From breads, salads, fruits, fluffy eggs, Greek yogurt to dates, fruits, baklava. You could gorge, feast, or pick your way through and be prepared for the rest of the day. Yes there is coffee. As Rick Steves says: Be a cultural chameleon. Immerse yourself as much as you comfortably can. This tour requires sturdy shoes, feet, and legs. Be prepared. Sickness happens. One person starts sneezing and suddenly there are nearly a dozen people hacking and wheezing. Bring OTC meds. In Greece it's cheap to purchase needful items at a pharmacy. Street food is fine. In fact, we preferred it. Surprise, surprise, gyros did not have lamb. Speak with the local folks at the stores. Bring post cards of your home city and state. I left post cards along w/ a room tip at each location. Consider bringing energy bars for those moments when you need something. Drink lots of water. Take this trip. You will return home a rejuvenated person. OK, a selfie stick is a grand tool for creating group photos. If you get Roberto as your guide, how fortunate you are!

 

Hi Patricia! Thank you so much for your thorough and passionate review. A bird’s eye view of the Acropolis from your plane sounds like a breathtaking way to start your trip! We’re pleased you found your Tour Director to be a knowledgeable and good leader. It’s great to hear that he organized fun things such as distributing prizes and teaching your group a bit of Greek. Our Tour Directors definitely go the extra mile. We’re thrilled that you were able to celebrate your birthday in Crete. What an unforgettable way to celebrate! Regarding your travel tips, you make some great suggestions for future travelers. Meeting with locals, wearing sturdy shoes, and drinking lots of water are all great tips. A selfie stick is also a very handy travel tool! We love your “cultural chameleon” travel attitude, and we share your belief that immersion is the way to truly see a destination. We’re happy to hear you would recommend the optional excursions offered and certainly agree they are not to be missed. We’re so glad you feel rejuvenated from your tour, and we hope to welcome you onto another in the future!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | January 11, 2016

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 10/10/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Ever !!!

This tour was the best I've ever had. From day 1 to the last. It was very organized, never had to wait for anything, everything was on time. The Tour Director Roberto was amazing !!! Caring, funny, considerate. I was traveling by my self, but the first night I find new friends. Actually the entire group was fantastic !!! I have never heard about Go Ahead Tour before. I looked it up on the internet because I wanted to go to Greece. I took my chances. And boy, what a surprise !!! It was much better then I have ever imagined. The best thing I have ever done. Thank you Roberto !!! Thank you Go Ahead Tour and thank you everybody on the tour !!! I had the best time of my life !!! I am going with Go Ahead Tour from now on !!!!

review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo
1 / 13

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 9/4/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: WI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

Gloria was the most enthusiastic and really concerned tour director I've had. Her knowledge and background is fascinating. She made the Greek Islands a treat!!! Always providing not only history, but also movie, books etc that fit into where we were travelling.The pacing was great, because when I thought I couldn't go on, the next day started late and allowed the morning at the pool!!! Food excellent and who would not find it a bonus to loose 2 lbs!!!! (with all the hiking and excursions) I would enjoy taking another tour from Gloria and Go Ahead Tours!!!

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/4/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: WI

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Gloria the Great!

Gloria was our tour guide in Greece and I cannot say enough about her knowledge and complete commitment to her 'guidees'. I had a very bad hotel experience on Mykonos and she actually wanted to change rooms - I refused as she works harder than anyone I have ever experienced. She is truly the example all tour guides should aspire to - extensive knowledge and love for the sights she is showing us and a genuine desire to help everyone have the experience of a lifetime. Loved her! I must mention that the hotel on Mykonos - Mykonian Mare - needs to be replaced on the tour until they get their act together. It is my understanding that new management is trying to fix the problems, but they have a way to go. The room we were given was within 15 feet of the speakers at the pool. They are apparently trying to become a party hotel and played VERY VERY LOUD techo music until 12:30am or so when I finally complained - particularly since they had INCREASED the volume about 12:15am. Adding insult to injury, we had no telephone in the room so I had to get dressed to go to the front desk and complain. While they were slightly dismissive because of my age ( much older than 20/30's), an employee was staying in a room at right angles to ours and she also complained - the music was shut down and the next night was fine. Also, the drapes at the door to the patio were draped onto the floor - yes, very hip I know - however they were filthy with dirt on the bottom two inches. The floor of the patio had chipped paint all over it and the table was too high for the furniture. The furniture was old and the cushions were not comfortable. In short, unusable. I believe we were in a room that housed summer help rather than a guest room. Many others in our group had various complaints. There were empty rooms so there was no reason to put us in 103. I wish the new owners/managers well, but they really need to speed up their improvements. The public spaces were very nice and the food was quite good if pricey - but Mykonos is expensive anyway. The most fabulous hotel was the Santorini Palace. I cannot say enough about what a great place it is! From the lovely rainshower bathroom to the glorious pool space to the beautiful lobby and great food. The staff was more than helpful and pleasant. It is on my list of places to stay on my own, and that is a fairly short list! The hotel in Athens was fine given that Athens hotels are expensive. Food was good, the staff was wonderful and they provided free shuttle service to city center - so life was good.

 

Dear Karen, We are so glad that you enjoyed your Tour Director, Gloria. We are proud to have a team of expert Tour Directors all over the world, and Gloria is certainly an asset to our team. We regret to learn that you had multiple issues with the hotel in Mykonos. We want to assure you that these are concerns that we are addressing directly with the hotel. We certainly do our best to secure hotels that provide our customers with comfortable experiences, and we regret to learn that your expectations were not met in this case. Please know that your comments, as well as the evaluation responses from you and your fellow travelers, are the basis of our on-tour decision making. We are so glad that you enjoyed the other hotels on tour. It sounds like you found a new favorite destination in Santorini, your special Palace! Thank you again for your important feedback. We are so pleased that you decided to take this journey with Go Ahead, and we hope to welcome you onto another tour again soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 23, 2015

4 / 5

4 / 5

Traveled On: 9/4/2015

Number of Past Tours: 8

From: NC

Tour Director: 3 / 5

Tour Value: 3 / 5

CHECK CAREFULLU

JUST GOT BACK FROM GREEK ISLAND TOUR AND IT WAS BEAUTIFUL--JUST LIKE THE MOVIES AND PICTURES YOU HAVE SEEN, BUT I AM GLAD AS A RETIRED PERSON I WENT WHEN I DID--OVERALL THE WALKING AT TIMES WAS DIFFICULT TO SAY THE LEAST---IN ATHENS THE WALKS AND STEPS WERE MARBLE--SLIPPERY--AND A GOOD NUMBER OF PEOPLE STOPPED UNABLE TO WALK ALL THE WAY UP THE HILL---MAKE SURE YOU GO TO THE GALAXY RESTAURANT A SHORT DISTANCE FROM THE HOTEL --IT IS FABULOUS AND INEXPENSIVE---THE OPTIONAL TO CHANIA IS GREAT--THE GROUP ON THE TOUR COULD NOT HAVE BEEN NICER---SANTORINII WAS CROWDED, MYKONOS IS WINDY(DON'T BOTHER WITH COMBING YOUR HAIR)---THE WAITERS IN MYKONOS ARE COLLEGE KIDS WORKING DURING THE SUMMER AND ARE VERY NICE AND WILL GIVE YOU DIRECTIONS--YOU CAN GET A BUS IF YOU GO TO THE FIRST BEACH DOWN THE HILL--ONLY ONE AND A HLAF EUROS AND IT RUNS EVERY 15 MINUTES---HOTELS WERE NICE, BUT ISOLATED. IF YOU ARE UNSURE ABOUT WALKING THIS IS NOT THE TOUR FOR YOU.

 

Dear Nena, Thank you for your detailed review filled with highlights and advice! The Greek Islands are some of the most beautiful in the world, and as such can be well visited during their busy season. We are so glad that their beauty lived up to your expectations, and are delighted that you chose explore them with us! We do our best to accommodate travelers with a range of mobility abilities. We do understand that there are some places, especially in the ancient world, where streets and steps can be challenging for some people. Our expert Tour Directors are well trained to provide additional support or alternative options to those travelers for whom certain destinations are not feasible. Our hotels are either centrally located to places of interest, or are near public transportation. We are thrilled you were able to use the quick and easy bus to get where you wanted to go, and thank you for providing our future travelers with directions on how to do so! We are so pleased that you enjoyed your trip with us, Nena, and we do hope to welcome you onto another Go Ahead tour soon!

Posted by Daniela, Director of Quality Control | September 23, 2015

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/17/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: CA

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Wow!

This tour completely exceeded my expectations! We were able to visit Athens and the Islands, great itinerary, our tour director Roberto was the best!, great tour group size, etc. The optional tours were great too-All I can say is that I've been missing Greece since I left and would love to go again! Nothing beats a sunset in Oia, Santorini, or a beach day in Mykonos or just admiring the Parthenon!!! So much history - so little time! Everyone in GoAhead Tours was very helpful since the time I inquired about this tour until the end- highly recommended! Oh, and the food in Greece is to die for! I could go on and on, but the other reviews cover it! :)

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/10/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: KY

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Best Tour Director

Great trip!! AWESOME tour director, Michael!! A trip I will never forget! Can't wait to use go-ahead tours again in the future!! I will treasure this trip always!!

review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo review photo
1 / 7

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 5/15/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: FL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 4 / 5

Athens and the Greek Isles

We enjoyed the tour very much. Great tour directors. Breakfasts were wonderful. Excellent itinerary.

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/17/2015

Number of Past Tours: 1

From: IL

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Better than Advertised!

This tour was better than advertised. The pace was great-getting a lot into a few days-without feeling like we were running from place to place. The ratio between "tour time" and free time was perfect, and was in fact, one reason we chose Go Ahead. Our tour director, Roberto, was full of knowledge and was very fun. He did his best to accommodate all needs and was handy to help us plan some of our free time, offering suggestions about what to see, how to get there and what to eat. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone. Thanks Roberto and Go Ahead Tours!

5 / 5

5 / 5

Traveled On: 7/17/2015

Number of Past Tours: 2

From: NE

Tour Director: 5 / 5

Tour Value: 5 / 5

Amazing Tour!

The Greek Islands tour was amazing. It's hard to put into words the wonders we saw, the amount of fun we had, and the things we did. Roberto was a great tour director! He added many personalized touches to our experience. We are already thinking of our next adventure. Maybe Spain, again with Roberto?

Show More Reviews