Offering the perfect balance of outdoor activities and gourmet pursuits that provide insight into Greece's history and culture, the pleasures of Athens, Crete, and Santorini await. Begin in Athens and discover the city, kayak around Cape Sounio at sunset, and hike in Parnassos National Park. Then it's off to Crete to sample local cuisine and relax on the famous pink sand beach of Elafonissi before ending the adventure with several days on Santorini.

Highlights

  • Explore Athens on an exciting e-bike tour
  • Kayak to a unique view of Poseidon Temple at sunset
  • Learn about Cretan culinary traditions during a cooking class
  • Relax on the amazing pink sand of Elafonissi Beach 
  • Go on a gourmet tour around the wineries and farms of Santorini

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens & E-Bike Tour Athens
Day 2 Tour the Acropolis & Sea Kayak to Poseidon Temple Athens
Day 3 Hike the Corycian Cave in Delphi Athens
Day 4 Transfer to Chania & Sample Local Cuisine Chania
Day 5 Free Day in Chania Chania
Day 6 Day Trip to Elafonissi Beach  Chania
Day 7 Hike Samaria Gorge  Chania
Day 8 Travel to Santorini Santorini
Day 9 Take an Insider's Food & Wine Tour Santorini
Day 10 Sunset Caldera Hike from Fira to Oia Santorini
Day 11 Go on a Catamaran Cruise in the Caldera Lagoon Santorini
Day 12 Depart Athens   

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Athens & E-Bike Tour

Palm trees in the National Garden of Athens
Welcome to Greece! Your driver will meet you at the airport in Athens and take you to your hotel in the city center. This afternoon, you'll enjoy an e-bike tour around the city with a local guide. You'll start riding down the city's main pedestrian street near the Acropolis. As you continue pedaling through the city, you'll make several stops, taking a break in the historic neighborhood of Plaka. Stroll through the area's boutiques and grab a coffee before the tour takes you to the National Garden of Athens, the Presidential Mansion, and the Panathenaic Stadium, where the first modern Olympic Games took place. You'll end the tour outside the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch.
 
Have dinner in a local restaurant, then get some rest before more active adventures on day two. 

Day 2: Tour the Acropolis & Sea Kayak to Poseidon Temple 

The Parthenon
The Parthenon
Explore Athens' top attraction today on a guided walking tour of the Acropolis. You'll learn about the ancient Greek civilization that flourished here thousands of years ago as you walk around this UNESCO World Heritage Site, viewing the 5th-century BCE ruins of the rocky hilltop as your guide shares stories of the country's history, culture, and mythology. On this tour, you'll visit all the important monuments, starting with the Propylaea at the entrance and the Temple of Athena Nike next to it. At the iconic Parthenon, you'll learn more about Athena, Athens' patron goddess and the protector of the city. Keep walking to the sacred Temple of Erechtheion to find out more about Greece's cultural heritage. 
 
In the afternoon, your driver will transport you to Cape Sounio. Ride along the Athenian Riviera, enjoying views of the beautiful coastline along the journey. When you arrive at the cape, you'll be outfitted for a sea kayaking excursion. Depending on weather conditions, you’ll paddle to the island of Archi or one of several nearby beaches. Explore crystal-clear waters, towering cliffs, and hidden caves as you continue to the breathtaking Temple of Poseidon for a unique sea-level view. This 5th-century archaeological site is where Greeks worshiped Poseidon, the God of the Sea.
 
Take in a dazzling sunset before making your way down to a traditional restaurant right on the beach, then linger over a delicious seafood dinner. You'll head back to Athens for the night.

Day 3: Hike the Corycian Cave in Delphi

Hike the Corycian Cave in Delphi
 Corycian Cave in Delphi
Discover Parnassos National Park on today's private hiking tour! You'll hike along a beautiful path through a lush fir forest for about an hour to Corycian Cave, also known as Pan’s Cave.  The cave is connected to Delphi by an ancient footpath pilgrims use to follow in ancient times. 
 
After the hike, visit an olive oil producer. Your host will tell you about the family's history of five generations working in the industry. Then you'll taste the fruits of their labors: olives, extra virgin olive oil, and tapenade. Indulge in a traditional lunch experience in the olive grove overlooking the village of Chrisso and the Gulf of Corinth.
 
Then it’s off to Delphi, where you’ll marvel at the ruins of the Temple of Apollo and the Athenian Treasury on a private guided tour. You’ll have plenty of time to soak up the magical scenery before visiting the Delphi Museum, home to some fine examples of ancient Greek art, including the world-famous bronze statue of the Charioteer of Delphi
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Return to Athens for the evening. 

Day 4: Transfer to Chania & Sample Local Cuisine

Local Dinner in Chania
Dinner in Chania
Catch a quick flight from Athens to Chania. Welcome to Crete! Check into your hotel before heading to a local tavern for an authentic Cretan dinner to taste local delicacies in a relaxed environment. Try kalitsounia (hand pies made with spinach, herbs, and cheese) and dakos (bread topped with tomato, olive oil, oregano, and mizithra cheese). Sample kreatotourta (meat pie) and boureki (a Cretan specialty with cheese, zucchini, and potato). You'll also have the chance to try organic local wines. Then get some rest before exploring the island tomorrow!

Day 5: Free Day in Chania

Chania's Old Town Harbor
The harbor in Chania's Old Town
Chania is the second-largest city in Crete and one of the most scenic spots on the island. Discover this former Venetian city today, including its charming 14th-century harbor, narrow streets with winding alleys, and colorful architecture influenced by past Ottoman and Egyptian eras. While you're exploring the area, don't miss the elevated neighborhoods of Topanas, Splantzia, Kolombo, and Kasteli—great for panoramic harbor views, Cretan taverns, and architectural history. You can see the ruins of the Minoan city of Kydonia and the high walls of former Venetian moats integrated into the city.
 
Other highlights include the Municipal Market of Chania, the neighboring Municipal Garden, and the Botanical Parks and Gardens of Crete. Finish the day with sunset drinks on the rooftop at one of Chania's bars overlooking the town and harbor below.

Day 6: Day Trip to Elafonissi Beach  

A trail along Crete's coast

On the way to one of the most amazing pink sand beaches in the world—Elafonissi Beach—enjoy the beauty of Western Crete, with its dramatic panoramas, deep gorges, and sea caves. In the morning, your guide will collect you from your hotel and drive you through the beautiful Cretan countryside. You'll pass through small traditional villages and cross the Topolia Gorge. Make a quick stop at the cave of Agia Sofia and view its incredible stalactites and stalagmites. A small, picturesque chapel sits at its entrance.

Before reaching Elafonissi, stop at the Monastery of Panagia Chrisoskalitissa (Our Lady of the Golden Step), a hilltop Orthodox monastery with a stunning view of the Libyan Sea. When you finally arrive at Elafonissi, you will notice how the lagoon blends together with waters from the Mediterranean and the Libyan Sea. Relax on pale pink sands, and swim in shallow, clear waters. Finish the excursion with a seafood dinner in a locally run restaurant in the village of Elos.

Day 7: Hike Samaria Gorge  

Samaria Gorge
Samaria Gorge
Experience a full-day private guided hiking tour through Samaria Gorge, Europe's longest river gorge. Exploring one of the island's natural wonders, you'll enjoy incredible views of the rushing river, rocky mountain peaks, and Crete's scenic countryside. Along the way, your local expert guide will share information about the gorge and its local significance.

You'll start in the town of Omalos, where you'll get to know your hiking guide. Then start your trek at Omalos Plateau at an elevation of over 4,000 feet (1,250 meters). Take in views of the surrounding mountains and hills in the distance. Pass through the Iron Gates on your way to the bottom of the gorge. Eventually, you'll reach the shores of the Libyan Sea in the village of Agia Roumeli. Enjoy some free time to take a swim and have lunch. To return to Chania, you'll take the ferry to Sougia or Sfakia, where your driver awaits.
 
You'll have one last dinner on the island of Crete before moving on to Santorini tomorrow.

Day 8: Travel to Santorini

Approach to Oia
Colorful Oia
Today you'll transfer to Santorini. On arrival, you'll take in the island's central caldera — the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions in history — rising above you. The island's volcanic history has led to the formation of some of the most unique beaches in the Greek islands, along with the dramatic cliff views on the island's caldera side. Spend your day relaxing at the beach or strolling on one of Santorini’s scenic walking routes.
 
Visit Prophet Elias Monastery, the highest spot on the island. Walk around Megalochori, one of the most picturesque villages on the island. You could also go on a walking tour of the village of Emporio. Take a break for lunch before heading to Red Beach, one of the most scenic and interesting beaches on Santorini. In the afternoon, you'll have the chance to sample wines at a local winery nearby. At sunset, catch the views of the Blue Dome Church at Firostefani and the spectacular landscape below, or head to Akrotiri Lighthouse for unparalleled views of the sunset over the water.  For dinner, sample the island's signature cherry tomatoes and white eggplant, typically served as side dishes with fresh seafood. 

Day 9: Take an Insider's Food & Wine Tour

Produce from an organic farm on Santorini 
Take an adventurous journey around Santorini's gastronomic delights today. On a guided gourmet tour, you will visit a historic village, two wineries, and an organic farm. Along the way, you will learn about the island's ancient history of winemaking and agriculture.

You'll explore Megalochori, walking along distinctive stone pathways called kadounia. Away from the visiting masses, you will have a window into a typical islander's life. Stop into a family-run winery, where the wine production follows centuries-old traditions. Next, you'll see a cooking demonstration at an organic farm. In a series of traditional agricultural caves, you'll help select the ingredients: cherry tomatoes, eggplant, cucumber, prickly pears, zucchini, watermelon, and many other fruits and vegetables.
 
After a delicious lunch, the tour will end with a stop at another winery where you will learn more about Santorini's unique volcanic soil and how it impacts the island's distinctive wine. Gaze at the stunning view over Santorini's famed caldera as you relish the taste of island meze (appetizers), including a spread of local cheeses and oven-baked bread. Yia mas! (Cheers!)

Day 10: Sunset Caldera Hike from Fira to Oia

Hiking on Santorini
Today you will hike one of Greece's most impressive trails, walking along the rim of the island's famous volcanic caldera on a 5-hour guided trekking tour. This walk of approximately 6 miles (10 km) follows the edge of the volcano that once inspired the myth of Atlantis, the legendary civilization that became lost under the sea having fallen out of favor with the gods. As you hike this beautiful route, you will also get to learn about those who traveled the path before you, including ancient merchants, farmers, and sailors. 

Start the journey on the old mule path that connects Santorini's capital city of Fira to the coastal village of Oia. The path takes you past the village of Imerovigli, which features Cycladic-built homes, and the iconic Prophet Elias Monastery, offering picturesque views of the surrounding villages and skyline. You'll take a break here with your group for a picnic. Continue your hike down the path and enjoy the views of Thirasia island as you approach Oia. Enjoy views of the nearby villages and watch the sunset from the hilltop. 

Day 11: Catamaran Cruise in the Caldera Lagoon

Catamaran Cruise
Cruising around the island
The island's past volcanic eruptions shaped its unique terrain. You'll see the coastline from a new perspective today aboard a stylish catamaran. You'll get on the boat at the port of Vlychada. Visit several beaches, dip in the island's natural hot springs, and enjoy a traditional Greek barbecue onboard. There will be opportunities to swim and snorkel along the way, as well.
 
Return to your hotel in the evening to relax. Then go out for your last dinner of the trip and raise a glass to your adventures in Greece!

Day 12: Depart Athens

Sunrise over Athens
Today the trip comes to an end. Transfer back to Athens, then head to the airport to catch a flight out. Safe travels!

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