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Greece's Ionian Islands:...

Greece’s Ionian Islands: Athens, Kefalonia & Corfu

12 days |  15 days with Nafplio & the Athens Riviera extension
12 days |  15 days with Nafplio & the Athens Riviera extension
Group size1530 travelers

4.3 out of 5 stars

Physical activity
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
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Lush landscapes and lesser-traveled destinations? This 12-day tour of the Ionian Islands delivers both (and a trip you won’t soon forget).

Visit the Ionian Islands, and you’ll find postcard Greek beaches. But look beyond those sandy shores, and you’ll see so much more: traces of British, French, Italian, and Turkish culture in the Old Town of Corfu; limestone mountains rolling across Kefalonia; and leaf-green scenery you wouldn’t get on the Cyclades. On this trip, you’ll visit three of the Ionians (and up to six if you take our excursions), experiencing life on some of the country’s most underappreciated islands. And be sure to add the extension to Nafplio and the Athenian Riviera. You’ll build a more complete and vibrant picture of Greece—one tinged with cerulean and emerald to complement those white-washed walls.

Your tour package includes

  • 10 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 10 breakfasts
  • 4 dinners with beer or wine
  • 1 wine tasting
  • 1 liqueur tasting
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Included highlights

  • Acropolis
  • Athens food tasting tour
  • Kefalonia’s Melissani Cave Lake
  • Olive oil tasting
  • Kefalonian olive oil & wine tasting
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Start planning today

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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Athens today.

Athens2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Athens
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to Greece! Land in Athens, Europe’s oldest capital city and “the cradle of Western civilization.” Meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers, transfer to your hotel, and relax for a while. Reconvene at a welcome dinner, served with your choice of beer or wine, and continue getting to know one another.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of the Acropolis & tasting tour
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting

Today, let a local guide introduce you to the ancient highlights and traditional flavors of this bustling city, home to the world’s first democracy.

  • See the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, and Erechtheion on a walking tour of the Acropolis, Athens’ ancient hilltop citadel and a UNESCO-recognized symbol of Greece.
  • Set off on a guided walking tour of the artsy Psyrri neighborhood, home to artisan shops and live rebetiko (Greece’s answer to the blues).
  • Continue on through Monastiraki, a historic neighborhood centered on a famous flea market. Navigate its packed streets, and see if you can spot any of its Greco-Roman ruins.
  • Stop to taste authentic Greek bites as you amble on, and get a feel for the pace of Athenian life.

Enjoy free time in Athens or add an excursion.

Mount Lycabettus Dinner

From $99 per person

Kefalonia3 nights
Day 4: Ferry to Kefalonia
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Travel across the Peloponnesian peninsula, stopping along the way to admire the Corinth Canal—a lockless, four-mile-long cut that links the Aegean and Ionian Seas. Then, continue on to Patras, Greece’s third-largest city, to board a ferry headed for the largest of the Ionian Islands: Kefalonia.

After settling into your hotel, sit down with your group for an included dinner, served with your choice of beer or wine.

Day 5: Melissani Lake, olive oil & wine tasting
Included meals: Breakfast, Tasting, Wine tasting

Spend a full day exploring Kefalonia, a mountainous isle dotted with fishing villages. See its natural beauty firsthand; sample delectable cuisine and locally made (and globally beloved) wines; and catch some of the vibes that have inspired writers and artists across millennia.

  • Drive across the island and admire dramatic coastal landscapes from a viewpoint above the white sands of Myrtos, a beach frequently touted as one of Greece’s best.
  • Head to the outskirts of Sami village and stop at Melissani Lake—an underground cave filled with water so clear, boats look like they’re hovering in the air. Board one with your group for a cruise, watching the sunlight that shoots down through an open ceiling dance and dazzle on the lake’s surface.
  • Stop by an olive oil mill and walk through the production process. See and smell each sensational step, then move on to a tasting of select oils paired with local products.
  • Sit down with a local guide for an expert-led tasting of typical island wines: varietals like citrusy, acidic robola; sweet, full-bodied mavrodaphne; and sugary, sun-dried muscat.
Day 6: Free day on Kefalonia
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy free time to explore Kefalonia on your own or add an excursion for a beach day unlike any you’ve taken before.

Zakynthos & Shipwreck Beach

From $105 per person

Lefkada Region1 night
Day 7: Ferry to Lefkada
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Board a ferry this morning and travel north to Lefkada, an Ionian island famous for its sheer cliffs, mountain villages and monasteries, and white-sand beaches. Disembark and enjoy a leisurely transfer to your hotel before sitting down for an included dinner in the evening, served with your choice of beer or wine.

Corfu3 nights
Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Nicopolis & ferry to Corfu
Included meal: Breakfast

Head back onto the mainland to Epirus, a historically isolated region squeezed between the Pindus Mountains and the sea. Once there, take a scenic drive along its pristine coast to the ancient city of Nicopolis. Founded in 29 B.C. by the first Roman emperor, Octavian, the “city of victory” served as capital of the province of Epirus Vetus. Ruins dot the area to this day: Take a guided tour of the archaeological site to learn about the wars, destruction, and earthquakes the city has endured over the ages, and understand why it’s been nominated for UNESCO recognition.

After finishing up in Nicopolis, board an afternoon ferry bound for the island of Corfu.

Day 9: Sightseeing tour of Corfu
Included meals: Breakfast, Liqueur tasting, Tasting

After spending the night in your hotel, begin your time in Corfu—a popular holiday spot renowned for its scenery and cuisine—with a guided sightseeing tour of its capital, Corfu Town.

  • See the city’s Italian influence, courtesy of the old Venetian Empire, on display at Spianada Square, arguably the most impressive plaza in all of Greece.
  • Enter the Holy Church of Saint Spyridon. Built in the 1580s and adorned with dozens of icons and gold-and-silver censers, this Greek Orthodox church houses the sacred relics of the island’s patron saint. (Fun fact: It also lays claim to the tallest bell tower in the Ionian Islands!)
  • Take a short drive to visit the Achilleion Palace, once the palatial summer residence of German Kaiser Wilhelm II and site of his diplomatic activity.
  • Stop for a tasting of marmalade, liqueur, and other kumquat products. Originally from China, this bright orange fruit is synonymous with the island of Corfu, and goods made from it have Protected Designation of Origin status in Greece.

Enjoy a free evening in Corfu (or add an excursion if you want something a little more lively).

Corfu Tavern Dinner

From $89 per person

Day 10: Free day on Corfu
Included meal: Breakfast

Enjoy a free day to explore Corfu at your leisure, or add a beachy excursion to check another pair of Ionian islands off your list.

Paxos & Antipaxos Boat Cruise

From $99 per person

Athens1 night
Day 11: Flight to Athens
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Ease into the day with a free morning in Corfu: Relax in your hotel, head to a local cafe for a spot of Greek coffee, or get in some last-minute exploring before flying to Athens this afternoon.

Then, celebrate your trip with your fellow group members over a farewell dinner, served with your choice of beer or wine.

Flight Home
Day 12: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or add a little romance to a lovely trip by extending your stay with visits to oceanside Nafplio and the Athens Riviera.

Extension to Nafplio & the Athens Riviera
After all that fun in the Ionian sun, this extension’s the perfect counterbalance. Begin in Mycenae, heart of a prehistoric powerhouse, before staying in Nafplio for two nights. Immerse yourself in the city’s unique mix of Greek, French, Venetian, and Ottoman cultures—and maybe take a dip in the waters of the Aegean, too. Fall in love with its seaside splendor, then wrap up your trip with one relaxing night on the Athenian Riviera. Still craving history? Don’t worry: We make a stop in old Epidaurus, home to a brilliantly preserved theater and one of the most important healing centers of antiquity.
Nafplio2 nights
Day 12: Nafplio via Mycenae
Included meal: Breakfast

Return to the Peloponnese and travel to Nafplio, a romantic seaside town with roots stretching back to Classical Greece. Pass by the Corinth Canal once again, then continue on to Mycenae, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was once one of the most important urban centers of Bronze Age Greece.

  • Explore Mycenae’s citadel, including its main entrance, the Lion Gate. Erected sometime near 1250 B.C. and distinguished by twin lionesses over its threshold, it’s the largest surviving prehistoric sculpture in the Aegean.
  • Visit another archaeological site of epic provenance: the Treasury of Atreus. Also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon, this beehive-shaped burial ground (or “tholos” in Greek) dates back over three millennia and is inextricably linked to the mythical Trojan War through the kings for which it’s named.
  • Visit the royal cemetery known as Grave Circle A, which supposedly holds the remains of Agamemnon and his followers—and where treasures like the golden Mask of Agamemnon were unearthed.

Continue on to Nafplio and join your Tour Director on a walk through its charming old town.

  • Roam through its bustling, taverna-lined squares and spot the imposing Palamidi, a Venetian fortress perched atop a hill over 700 feet above the city.
  • Learn about Nafplio’s history, including how it became the first capital of independent Greece in 1829.
Day 13: Free day in Nafplio
Included meal: Breakfast

Spend a free day in Nafplio or add an excursion to the Saronic island of Hydra, a haven for artists and others seeking peaceful retreat.

A Day on Hydra

From $109 per person

Athens Riviera1 night
Day 14: Athens Riviera via Epidaurus
Included meal: Breakfast

Head into the countryside for a guided tour of the Sanctuary of Asklepios, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the ancient Greek city of Epidaurus.

  • Learn about its history as a healing sanctuary dedicated to the Greek god of medicine, where people went in search of physical and spiritual healing.
  • Move on to the Ancient Theater of Epidaurus, one of the best-preserved Greek amphitheaters in the world and yet another UNESCO-recognized landmark.

Continue to your hotel in the Athens Riviera, then raise a glass and toast your trip with a farewell drink this evening.

Flight Home
Day 15: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the Athens airport for your flight home.

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4.3 out of 5 stars

Overall rating 4.3 out of 5

Based on 3 authentic traveler reviews
Sort by

    4 out of 5 stars

    Aqua waters
    6/22/24 by 4th-time traveler Gail

    Sites were amazing!

    5 out of 5 stars

    Ionian Jewels!
    5/18/24 by 3rd-time traveler Bridget

    What a fantastic trip and a great way to see some off the beaten path locations. The Ionian Islands were all gorgeous and unique, and far less crowded than elsewhere in Greece. You will still get beaches and blue waters, but in much more intimate settings. Kefalonia in particular was stunning. T...

    Read more +

    4 out of 5 stars

    My Experience
    5/18/24 by 1st-time traveler Thomas

    Our tour of Athens, Kefalonia, Lefkada and Corfu was absolutely great, there’s only a few things that I wish to write about in this review. First off, I’d like to say that our tour guide, Valiseos, was amazing. He went out of his way every day to make sure we were having the best trip we possibly co...

    Read more +
    Show more reviews

    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Wyndham Grand Athens
    Wyndham Grand Athens

    This elegant hotel is located in the Metaxourgeio neighborhood of Athens. Guests enjoy panoramic views of the Acropolis, a fitness center, and a rooft...

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    Kefalonia Bay Palace
    Kefalonia Bay Palace

    This seaside hotel is located on the edge of Agia Efimia on Kefalonia. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, on-site coffee house, and beautiful views. Nearb...

    Read more +
    Crystal Waters Lefkada
    Crystal Waters Lefkada

    This seaside hotel is located in Nikiana on Lefkada island. Guests enjoy the room decor, free-form outdoor pool, and two on-site restaurants. The hote...

    Read more +
    Corfu Holiday Palace
    Corfu Holiday Palace

    This seaside hotel is located in Corfu. Guests enjoy an outdoor pool, bowling alley, and spa. Nearby, you'll find the shores of the Ionian Sea, the Vl...

    Read more +
    Atheneaum Eridanus
    Atheneaum Eridanus

    This luxury hotel is located right in the heart of Athens. Guests enjoy a rooftop terrace, a fitness center, and free Wi-Fi. Nearby, you’ll find the M...

    Read more +
    Amalia Hotel Nafplio
    Amalia Hotel Nafplio

    This modern hotel is located in the town entrance of Nafplion. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, balconies, and air conditioning. Nearby, you’ll find Árgos, Ti...

    Read more +
    NLH Mati Seafront
    NLH Mati Seafront

    This beachfront hotel is located in the Mati neighborhood on the Athens Riviera. Guests enjoy the spa, outdoor pool with views of the Aegean Sea, and ...

    Read more +


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