- Seek the ancient oracle at Delphi
- Tour the clifftop monasteries of Meteora
- Sample culinary specialties in Thessaloniki
- Experience rustic life in Zagori's stone villages
|Day 1||Arrive in Athens & Explore Ancient Monuments||Athens|
|Day 2||Botanical Garden Mythology Tour for Kids||Athens|
|Day 3||Athens to Delphi & Kids' Activities on Mt. Parnassos||Delphi|
|Day 4||Delphi Tour & Painting for Kids, Explore Galaxidi||Delphi|
|Day 5||Delphi to Meteora||Meteora|
|Day 6||Meteora Tour||Meteora|
|Day 7||Meteora to Thessaloniki & Mythology Tour in Mt. Olympus Foothills||Thessaloniki|
|Day 8||Food & Culture Tour in Thessaloniki||Thessaloniki|
|Day 9||Beach Day at Chalkidiki||Thessaloniki|
|Day 10||Thessaloniki to Zagori & Experience Rustic Zagori Life||Zagori|
|Day 11||Family Hike in Zagori & Rafting the Voidomatis River||Zagori|
|Day 12||Cooking Workshop in Zagori||Zagori|
|Day 13||Natural Beauty of Aigialeia||Corinth|
|Day 14||Depart Athens|
Day 1: Arrive in Athens & Explore Ancient Monuments
Start outside the perimeter of the Temple of Olympian Zeus to admire the views and walk to the nearby Arch of Hadrian, which is entirely built with Pentelic marble without cement or mortar. The Parthenon and many other notable structures in Athens contain this same material. The arch is completely symmetrical, sitting at nearly 60 feet tall (18 m), 44 feet wide (13.5 m), and 7.5 feet deep (2.3 m).
Following the Dionysiou Areopagitou (pedestrianized) street, you'll admire the Ancient Theater of Dionysus, the birthplace of Greek tragedy and the oldest theater in the world. Then you will cross the Herodes Atticus Roman amphitheater, known locally as the Herodion.
Your next stop is the Parthenon, built in the 5th century BCE atop the Acropolis (pro tip: the Parthenon is the building, the Acropolis is the hill). Atop the Acropolis, you can also visit the Temple of Athena Nike, the Propylaia, and the Erechtheion. This monument is the most accurate representation of Athens' splendor, power, and wealth during the Golden Age of Perikles.
Located to the northwest of the Acropolis, you can visit the Ancient Agora, the heart of ancient Athens. This was once the focus of political, commercial, administrative, and social activity, the religious and cultural center, and the seat of justice. Nearby you'll find the Roman Agora, the famed market of Caesar and Augustus built between 19-11 BCE. Inside the Roman Agora, you can visit the Tower of the Winds. The famous astronomer Andronikos of Kyrrhos designed this tall, octagonal building. It features an elaborate water clock on the inside, a sundial on the outside, and a weather vane on the top. You'll find the personifications of eight winds carved on the sides of the building, hence its nickname.
Lastly, visit the ruins of Kerameikos, Ancient Athens' largest cemetery with many tombs. The area gets its name from the Greek word keramos, which means pottery. Before it was a cemetery, there were numerous pottery workshops at this site.
Day 2: Botanical Garden Mythology Tour for Kids
At the largest botanical garden in the southeastern Mediterranean, you'll be surrounded by over 4,000 species and subspecies of plants. As you stroll through the greenery, learn about the relationship between humans, nature, and plants. According to Ancient Greek legends, gods, goddesses, and nymphs play with our imagination and travel around us in nature.
Day 3: Athens to Delphi & Kids' Activities on Mt. Parnassos
After Livadia, the road becomes narrow, winding through the hills and mountains. Before reaching Delphi, another potential stopping point is Arachova. This charming mountain village with stone-built houses and paved streets sits under Mt. Parnassos, home to Greece's largest ski resort and more.
You'll walk along a circular path smooth enough to accommodate strollers. Along the way, your kiddos can peer into the entrance of the underground Eptastomos Cave. Deep inside sits the southernmost glacier in Europe, but the Ancient Greeks considered it one of the entrances to the underworld.
Take a stop to enjoy a picnic with traditional delicacies while you get to know your guides. Discuss local traditions, try your hand at archery, or play and climb on the trees. You'll find two main tree species in this area: the Cephalonian Fir and the juniper tree.
On the way back, keep an eye out for little black squirrels hiding in pine trees and golden eagles soaring through the sky. The Ancient Greeks believed that Mt. Parnassos was the home of beautiful dancing forest nymphs that were the daughters of Gaia, also known as "Mother Earth."
Day 4: Delphi Tour & Painting for Kids, Explore Galaxidi
Day 5: Delphi to Meteora
Over the course of the drive, you'll traverse the hilly Domokos mountain range. This area is known for its creamy white cheese called katiki. You can stop at most towns for a quick snack or take the cheese with you (remember to keep it cool along the way). Another potential stopping point is Trikala, considered the most ecologically and sustainably advanced city in Greece. A stroll in its picturesque old town of Varousi is worth the time.
Day 6: Meteora Tour
Home to some of the oldest monasteries in Greece, Meteora rises out of imposing rock formations created 60 million years ago. Enjoy a guided tour of ninth-century monastic life that has been nearly unaffected by modern times. You'll visit all six monasteries and enter two or three of them (depending on which are open and conditions that day). Along the way, your guide will continue to share historical information, local knowledge, and insider specifics. They'll offer plenty of photo stops and a few short walking excursions for the best views and hidden vistas.
Day 7: Meteora to Thessaloniki & Mythology Tour in Mt. Olympus Foothills
Along the way, you'll stop to explore Mt. Olympus and its surrounding monuments. Discover Greek mythologies and stories of Alexander the Great on this private history tour from Dion to Litochoro. You'll start with a visit to the village of Dion, set at the foot of the mountain, where archeologists have unearthed ruins from an ancient Macedonian civilization.
As you explore this archeological site, you'll hear stories of King Philip II and his son Alexander the Great, plus many other historical figures. View rare artifacts and visit sanctuaries of Olympic Gods and ancient Greek and Roman theaters.
Day 8: Food & Culture Tour in Thessaloniki
You'll start your day with a traditional Greek coffee and a sweet pastry called bougatsa, a typical breakfast for any local city dweller. Then, you'll walk around Thessaloniki, making several short stops to try different delicacies and learn the history and culture of Greek cuisine. Get a behind-the-scenes look at bakeries, grills, restaurants, cafes, and food shops. Along the way, you'll enjoy a total of four drinks and 14 bites of sweet and savory specialties.
Before ending your tour, stop at the city's lively open market. Here, you'll discover local culture and unique traditional flavors. Chat with the farmers and artisans, and buy some foodie souvenirs to take home.
Thessaloniki is also home to multiple museums. Around the city port, you'll find the Museum of Photography, the State Museum of Contemporary Art, and the Thessaloniki Film Museum. In the city center, head to the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki, the Museum of Byzantine Culture, or the War Museum depending on your family's interests.
Day 9: Beach Day at Chalkidiki
Mostly protected from winds, the beaches of Chalkidiki feature shallow, turquoise waters. For the best experience, drive along the eastern side of the "second leg" (as the locals call it). You'll have plenty of options for beaches with perfect swimming conditions and beautiful surroundings. The Vourvourou, Armenistis, and Kavourotrypes beaches are all excellent choices.
Continue clockwise and make your next stop at Porto Koufo, an oddly shaped bay that creates what looks like an enclosed sea. Although not ideal for a swim, it's the perfect spot for lunch, with some of the best fish taverns in Chalkidiki.
On your way back to Thessaloniki, stop at Nikiti and take home the delicious revani (sweet cake with orange and rose flavors) accompanied by their special ice cream called dondurma.
Day 10: Thessaloniki to Zagori, A Taste of Zagori Rustic Life
In Zagori, life is simple and slow-paced. To start, you'll learn to weave on a traditional loom and make a natural tincture to dye wool, as the locals still do. Then, discover the process of felt and create your own keepsakes, such as a little cushion or decorative frame.
Next, you'll meet the cottage's chickens and collect the day’s eggs to make a traditional Zagori pie. Your guide will need your help making bread for the day, so you'll test your skills kneading the dough and watching it bake in the oven. After all your hard work, you'll enjoy a fresh meal in the peaceful garden.
Day 11: Family Hike in Zagori & Rafting the Voidomatis River
This circular hike starts in the town of Kipi, home to some of the most impressive stone bridges of the area. Many originate in the 17th and 18th centuries and feature the name of whoever paid for the construction. Upon reaching the village of Koukouli, you'll visit the Lazaridis Museum and observe an expansive collection of the rare flora found in Vikos Gorge.
As you head back to Kipi, follow the old stone path of Koukouli, also known as the "Koukouli Steps." Opt for a stop at the 16th-century Monastery of Pagia Spiliotissa for some extra exploring. The views are worth your time, as the structure sits atop a rock overlooking the Voidomatis River.
Day 12: Cooking Workshop in Zagori
As you and your personal chef prepare a full three-course meal, you'll learn the conventional techniques and secrets behind the kitchen's inherited recipes. Discover Zagorian culinary traditions that make this rich-tasting cuisine famous all across the country before you enjoy your well-deserved meal with a glass of local wine (for parents only) and mountain views.
Day 13: Natural Beauty of Aigialeia
An alternative to the railway is driving to Mt. Helmos, allowing you to lose yourself amongst endless alpine forests and creeks. This drive is ideal for hot summer days but can be done any time of year with the right equipment. Stop to enjoy an easy trek to the waterfalls near Mesorougi village, whose waters flow down from Ydata Stygos, the spring where Achilles became immortal.
Whether you chose a railway adventure or a hiking excursion, you can end the day with a visit to a highly awarded olive farm in the village of Akrata. Relax in the shade of olive trees and absorb the amazing views of the Gulf of Corinth. You can even adopt an olive tree and receive its olive oil at home.
Day 14: Return to Athens & Depart
Wave goodbye to Greece as you catch your flight home or onto your next adventure.