Your school-aged children can learn about Greek culture in a sun-filled and interactive style on this itinerary. You'll start off by creating comic books or learning some Greek language skills in Athens. Then head to the Mani Peninsula, full of beautiful beaches and stone villages to explore. Finish your trip in the famous olive region of Kalamata, with cooking lessons, archery, scenic hikes, and more.

Highlights

  • Create your own comics about mythological heroes
  • Learn essential Greek phrases in an interactive museum
  • Cycle along past sunset scenery on a beach bike ride
  • Take a cooking class amid olive trees on an eco-farm

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Athens & Treasure Hunt for Families Athens
Day 2 Athens Mythology Tour & Comics Workshop for Families  Athens
Day 3 Olympic Games Workout, National Garden & Greek Language Lesson for Kids Athens
Day 4 Athens to Mani Peninsula via Mystras & Family Mosaic Workshop Mani Peninsula
Day 5 Beaches & Boat Trip in Mani Peninsula Mani Peninsula
Day 6 Explore the Villages of Mani Mani Peninsula
Day 7 West Mani Beaches & Sunset Bike Tour Mani Peninsula
Day 8 Mani Peninsula to Kalamata, Treasure Hunt & Olive Oil Tasting Kalamata
Day 9 Beach Day with Family Art Workshop & Eco Tour Kalamata
Day 10 Palace of Nestor & Museum of Chora, Voidokilia Beach & Navarino Old Castle Kalamata
Day 11 Boat Trip to Proti Island & Cooking Class Kalamata
Day 12 Waterfalls & Archery at Polylimnio Kalamata
Day 13 Sea Kayaking in the Navarino Gulf, Pylos and Medieval Castles Kalamata
Day 14 Return to Athens & Depart  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Athens & Treasure Hunt for Families

Embark on a treasure hunt in Athens
Welcome to Greece!
 
Discover Athens in a fun and engaging way, with a family-friendly treasure hunt through the city. As you make your way around Athens, you'll learn all about its history, view significant landmarks and world-renowned sights, enjoy panoramic views, visit local shops, and savor drinks and snacks popular with local Athenians.
 
Become an Athenian for a day and follow the myth of Athena, the goddess of war, wisdom, and crafts, to solve a mystery and receive her reward. In the company of your specialized guide, you'll discover secret corners of the city and engage in various experiential activities and games, such as riddle-solving, clue-hunting, storytelling, and creative arts and crafts. While on the move, dive into the culture of Greece, interact with locals, visit shops, and sample Greek delicacies.

Day 2: Athens Mythology Tour & Comics Workshop for Families 

Look out over Athens from the Acropolis

Explore the Acropolis and Ancient Agora with your family, learning about Greek mythology and history while enjoying views of the city and kid-friendly activities.

After meeting your guide, you'll start your walk up to Acropolis Hill, the "Sacred Rock" that defines Athens. You'll visit all its popular monuments, including the Parthenon, Theater of Dionysus, Temple of Athena Nike, and Temple of Erechtheion. Listen to the legends of the Greek pantheon, such as the mighty Zeus, Athena (goddess of wisdom), Poseidon (god of the sea), Dionysus (god of wine and theater), and more. The stories will keep kids entertained and asking questions.

After enjoying Acropolis Hill and learning the city's secrets, you'll walk down to the ancient marketplace, the Agora. Socrates and Plato hosted many political and philosophical discussions on this plaza. At the end of the tour, enjoy a family activity inside the ancient Agora, using all your newfound knowledge about Greek gods, goddesses, and heroes.

Next up, you'll visit a library dedicated to comics and mythology where you'll listen to a professional storyteller bring Greek myths to life. Listen to several interesting fables, learning about important characters and heroes. Then, discover how an artist creates comic books by watching one work live and transform stories into comics. Explore the ropes, syntax, and grammar behind the skill, acquiring all the tools you need to become a creator yourself.
 
After plenty of demonstration, modeling, and help with drawing and writing, your kids will create their own comic book! They'll brainstorm characters and storylines, designing their own Greek mythology fable. Your expert guides will help them transfer their heroes and adventures from their minds to the pages. By the end, your kids will walk away with a comic book they created, plus an entirely new set of skills.

Day 3: Olympic Games Workout, National Garden & Greek Language Lesson for Kids

The Panathenaic Stadium
The Panathenaic Stadium

Get your blood pumping and try your luck as an Olympian at the very venue where the first modern Olympics took place in 1896. You’ll start your day at the Zappeion, a neoclassical building set just below the National Garden. Here, you’ll meet your trainer and learn how the Ancient Olympics impacted society for over a millennium.

The year 1896 marked the revival of the ancient Olympic Games, which occurred every four years starting in 776 BCE. You’ll stand in the very spot where the athletes stood and learn how they trained, what the games entailed, and how the competition evolved.

After learning about the games, you'll start your workout in a historic gym. Your trainer will teach you some classic techniques from the original Olympic events, including the discus and the javelin throw. You'll also practice more modern sports, such as the shot put, long jump, and relay race. 

All of your training will prepare you for your own competition—a race in the Panathenaic Stadium! This stadium is the only one in the world made entirely of marble. Following the hallowed track, you'll race around the arena before receiving your official certificate of participation.

Afterward, cool down with a walk in the National Garden. The garden was created by the first queen of Greece, Amalia, who loved trees and flowers. Walk amidst palm trees and the sounds of birds—mainly peacocks, as you will soon realize. Many noble citizens built their residences in this area in the early 19th century, and it now houses some of the best museums in Athens: the Byzantine Museum, the Museum of Cycladic Art, the Benaki Museum of Greek Culture, and the Theocharakis Foundation for the Fine Arts and Music

End your activities with a Greek language lesson that uses play to practice common words and sayings. From toddlers to children up to 12 years of age, the Hellenic Children’s Museum teaches kids Greek through interactive exhibits designed by experts.
 
By the end of the session, kids will know how to say “good morning” and introduce themselves. They'll work together with a teacher and fun props as they explore the museum's marketplace and practice important words and sayings that they can use in restaurants or at the store during the rest of the trip.

Day 4: Athens to Mani Peninsula via Mystras & Family Mosaic Workshop

The Despots Palace, Mystras
The Despots Palace in Mystras
Enjoy a scenic drive from Athens to the Mani Peninsula, which takes about three hours. After leaving Athens, you'll hug the Saronic Gulf coastline and pass through the Isthmus of Corinth, enjoying views of the sea.

Just before Corinth, you can stop to take photos of the impressive and narrow Corinth Canal. Built around 1890, the canal created new sea routes between the Saronic Gulf and the Gulf of Corinth. You can also view the ancient Diolkos, a paved road that once transported boats by land, at its western edge.
 
You'll also make a stop at the historic Mystras Castle, an imposing fortress that was once the capital of the Byzantine state. Erected in 1249 CE, the castle is the most important Byzantine monument in Greece, sprawling across a steep mountainside. You'll enjoy walking through this preserved archeological site led by a local expert guide.
 
Mystras is very atmospheric and photogenic, with three distinct zones representing different historical eras. You'll tour the Upper City (Ano Chora) and the Despot's Palaces, the Lower City (Kato Chora) and its Metropolis, and the Outer City (Exo Chora). Your guide will share important historical information and detail what daily life was like in the city.
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Cap it off with a mosaic workshop set at the base of Mt. Taygetos in the authentic Greek village of Xirokambi. Set in the garden of a traditional home and atelier, your family will explore your artistic side while learning about the region's mosaic history alongside a trained professional.

Day 5: Beaches & Boat Trip in Mani Peninsula

Out on the sea
Enjoy a relaxing private boat trip around the stunning Mani Peninsula on a traditional fishing boat. Relax on board while you gaze out into the sea and enjoy a few short stops along the way to swim, snorkel, and listen to stories of historical sites. You'll follow the Maniot coastline, passing rocky cliffs, sandy beaches, forested hills, and turquoise coves. Enjoy a memorable experience in the crystal-clear waters of Mani as you pass the Diros caves and Gerolimenas village. 
 
Spend the rest of the day on the beaches around Gytheio. Vathy is a sandy beach with blue, clean, warm waters, watersports, and a couple of traditional taverns. Selinitsa beach offers more bars and cafes, or head to the Dimitrios shipwreck on Valtaki beach alongside a beach bar and restaurant. 

Day 6: Explore the Villages of Mani

The Historic Town of Vathia
The historic town of Vathia
Discover the amazing villages and landscapes of the Mani Peninsula, starting with Areopoli, meaning the "City of Ares," named after the ancient Greek god of war. This town is the area's capital and features a large square with the statue of Petrobay’s Mavromichalis. Enjoy wandering through the charming stone alleys with preserved tower houses and churches and stop to visit the shops, taverns, and bars.

Continue to picturesque Oitylo, an ancient Greek city that formed part of Menelaus’ kingdom, according to Homer. Then, head to Limeni. Once a pirate cove and the old harbor of Areopoli, the town now hosts a wonderful seaside resort in its small fishing community. Pop into one of the restaurants or cafés for stunning sea views. Although there isn't a beach, stone steps lead directly into the crystal-clear waters.

If you like caves or need to escape the summer heat, consider a visit to the Caves of Diros and admire the unique and "natural underground cathedral," as it's described. There are three caves, but only one, Vlyhada, is open to the public. You'll take a guided punting boat and admire the impressive stalagmites and stalactites inside.

Next, head to the natural port of Gerolimenas. In ancient times, it was the most important port in the area, transporting goods to Pireaus and the island of Syros. Nowadays, it’s an authentic fishing village with delicious restaurants and a pebbled beach.

Another worthwhile stop is the traditional settlement of Vathia, full of characteristic tower houses. The village sits atop a high hill аbоve thе sea, its rοаds winding around it. From the top, you'll enjoy beautiful pаnοramic scenes οf thе entire villagе.

End your day in the southernmost point of mainland Greece at Cape Tainaron. The ancient Spartans built several temples in the area, the most important one being the Temple of Poseidon, honoring the god of the sea. Enjoy a stroll to the lighthouse at the end of the cape and savor the incredible sea views.

Day 7: West Mani Beaches & Sunset Bike Tour

Along the beach
Have a relaxing morning in West Mani, exploring beaches where the olive groves and cypress trees meet the sea. Pay a visit to Kardamyli, where the taverns and patisseries are hidden along paved streets next to the rocky coast. You have multiple beach options to explore, including Kalogria beach, an oasis amidst the wild Maniot landscape. The golden sand for sandcastles, shallow waters, and the rocks in the northern coast with numerous little crabs create an ideal scene for families with babies and younger children.
 
In the evening, enjoy an easy bike ride around a portion of the Mani Peninsula and watch one of the region's legendary sunsets. This tour is a great and active way for anyone, including families, to experience West Mani's famed natural beauty.

You'll start from the small town of Stoupa and peddle along a bike road. Make stops at three of the peninsula's traditional fishing villages, including Agios Nikolaos, Agios Dimitrios, and Trahila. As the sun starts to melt into the sea, stop at the sienna rocks of Mani's west coast at Pantazi Beach. Here you can watch the sunset and take a refreshing dip in the golden waves. As the sun turns the entire landscape into a warm glow, you'll head back to Stoupa.

Day 8: Mani Peninsula to Kalamata, Treasure Hunt & Olive Oil Tasting

Harvesting Olives
Harvesting olives
Enjoy a scenic drive from Mani Peninsula to Kalamata. You'll travel 50 miles (80 km), which takes about two hours. After leaving Kalamata, you'll drive along the Maniot Riviera and enjoy views of rocky landscapes, crystal-clear waters, traditional tower buildings and castles, fishing ports, charming villages, and several secluded beaches.
 
Today, learn the secrets behind Greece's liquid gold with a family excursion to Kalamata, famous for its olives and olive oil. You'll enjoy a fun, informative, and interactive olive oil tour, complete with games, storytelling, tastings, and a delicious lunch.

Start with a tour of the 13th-century castle of Androussa, where you'll complete an exciting treasure hunt. Learn about the history of the area and the significance of its olive products. Then, make your way to a sprawling olive grove to play games and discover the trees' history, tradition, and mythical stories. Before leaving the grove, your host will identify different tree varieties and show you how to "read" the history of Messenia on the trunks.

Your next stop is the center of Androussa, where you'll find a unique olive oil mill that's more than 100 years old. You'll meet the fifth-generation owner and learn how to extract the oil from the olive. You can visit the storage rooms and enjoy a lesson about extra virgin olive oil standardization processes.
 
Finish off your tour with a tasting. A certified olive oil taster will lead you through several extra virgin olive oil varieties and teach you how to recognize the defining elements. You'll pair your tasting with traditional regional snacks, including fresh produce, traditional meze (similar to appetizers or tapas), tzatziki, Kalamata olives, olive paste, lalagia (Greek donuts), pasto (smoked ham), and local cheeses.

Day 9: Beach Day with Family Art Workshop & Eco Tour

Romanos beach Messenia
Romanos beach
Relax with a leisurely beach day near the coastal town of Pilos (also known as Navarino). Today, you'll find plenty of options to enjoy the beautiful sandy shores in western Peloponnese. Many beaches in this region offer ideal spots for sunset and unspoiled nature home to sea turtles. You may even see baby turtles coming out from their nests for the long journey to the sea!
 
Mati beach offers a slew of family amenities, including two beach resorts with sunbeds, umbrellas, and cafes. Or head to the dunes of Romanos beach, where you'll find deeper waters and white sea lilies growing on the sands.
 
In the afternoon, explore your creative side and attend a family-friendly art workshop at an eco-farm. Set in the coastal village of Marathopoli, you'll learn how locals and artists live in harmony with nature. Start with a tour of the farm, strolling through its peaceful olive groves and vegetable garden to help inspire your creativity. Then, enjoy some free time to relax, unwind, and allow your children to play and meet the farm animals. The owners and farmers will share stories about agricultural life and history in Greece.  
 
After the tour, the kids will start their art workshop by viewing some handmade jewels and decorations from the farm's resident artist before they create their own art from materials collected from the sea. Meanwhile, parents can enjoy a 45-minute massage, a glass of wine, local fruits, and handmade snacks nearby.

Day 10: Palace of Nestor & Museum of Chora, Voidokilia Beach & Navarino Old Castle

Metamorphosis Sotiros Church in Nestor's Palace
Discover the beauty and history of Nestor's Palace, the best-preserved Mycenaean palace. As an influential site in Mycenaean times, Homer described the palace in both "The Odyssey" and "The Iliad." Your private guide will walk you through this impressive site within a larger settlement from the Late Helladic era. After your tour, visit the Museum of Chora, filled with findings from the Palace's excavations. Enjoy the extensive collection of artifacts from the area of Pylia, dating from Neolithic to Roman times.

Next, head to Voidokilia Beach, which you may recognize thanks to its famous crescent-shaped shoreline that has graced many magazine covers as one of the best places to visit in Greece. Its name signifies the belly of the ox, the same as Voufrada, as used by Homer. Its shores are sandy and shallow, offering the signature turquoise-hued water known to Greece within its Natura 2000 protected zone.
 
Make your way to the south hill of Voidokilia for an easy hiking excursion. The path ascends the dunes, continues through the amaranths to the Cave of Nestor, and then stretches to the top of the old medieval fortress, Paleokastro.

After visiting the castle, you can hike back down to Voidokilia. If you're up for a longer excursion, the path also descends to another beach called Stomio (or Bouka, according to the locals), on the other side of the hill. Here you'll find the closest point between the Gulf of Navarino and the island of Sfaktiria.

Day 11: Boat Trip to Proti Island & Cooking Class

Clear, Warm Waters of the Island - Photo from MAMAKITA
Clear waters of the island [Photo from MAMAKITA]
Discover the warm, crystal-clear waters of western Messenia, starting in the coastal town of Marathopoli. From the harbor, you'll enjoy a short cruise to Proti Island, whose name comes from the sea god Proteus, son of Poseidon. According to mythology, Proti Island resembles a crocodile, and when Proteus was angry, he'd transform into the beast and take the shape of the island!

The cruise is just ten short minutes. Along the way, your captain will share interesting stories about the island's history. Once onshore, enjoy relaxing on the beach, swimming, snorkeling, fishing, or sunbathing. The turquoise waters are clear and perfect for water sports.

Afterward, learn how to prepare a typical Messenian meal amidst a charming olive grove. You'll discover regional culinary traditions from a local chef and enjoy delicious Greek wine in a peaceful coastal village.

Start with a walking tour of the estate’s olive groves as the owner shares stories about the property, the olive trees, and the region's history and gastronomy. Next, learn about seasonal Messenian dishes and traditional delicacies during your cooking lesson, including the secrets that make the recipes so tasty. You'll make your own filo pastry, prepare seasonal salads, perfect regional appetizers, and cook a couple of main staples. After all your hard work, enjoy your feast with local drinks, wine, and a homemade dessert.

Day 12: Waterfalls & Archery at Polylimnio

Hike By Pools and Waterfalls - Photo from Explore Outdoor Activities
Swim under the waterfalls [Photo from Explore Outdoor Activities]
Experience the beauty of the Polylimnio Gorge waterfalls by hiking through the forest, swimming in the cascades, and learning archery skills. Polylimnio means "many lakes," which you'll pass as you make your way from one freshwater pool to another. Enjoy the aqua-blue water as you hike through the gorge, crossing small bridges and climbing up rocks.

You'll start in the village of Haravgi, where you'll meet your guide and receive a historical and geological introduction to the gorge. As you walk, enjoy the natural paradise around you, passing peaceful lakes and thundering waterfalls. To cool off from the hike, take a dip in one of the pools and swim under the cascade's spray.

At the end of this easy hike, enjoy a picnic lunch with traditional local delicacies. Before you head back, you can either relax in nature or learn archery skills. Your guide will help you assemble your bow and teach a few basic techniques.

Day 13: Sea Kayaking in the Navarino Gulf, Pylos and Medieval Castles

Kayaking with the Whole Family - Photo from MAMAKITA
Kayaking with the whole family [Photo from MAMAKITA]
Explore Navarino Bay's natural beauty by sea kayak, gliding through its calm, protected waters on an easy paddle around the bay.

To start, paddle along the harbor and admire the urban sites, such as the castle of Niokastro and the colorful building facades. The castle was the backdrop of a famous naval battle, the most decisive event during the Greek Revolution. Make your way toward Tsihli Baba, a monolithic islet with a large rock arch known as the Greek Azure Window. Enjoy paddling by impressive rock formations and sea caves. Then, take a break at a hidden cove with a deserted beach. As you relax, you may spot a few migrant birds, sea turtles, or seals. If the waters are clear, gaze down into the sea and try to spot some sunken ships from the famous Battle of Navarino.

After you've dried off, explore the medieval castles in the southern Peloponnese at your own pace and relax on sandy beaches along the way.

Start your exploration in Pylos. Niokastro (the New Castle), also known with its Venetian name Navarino, received the honorary name of Pylos in 1833 due to lack of evidence about the location of the ancient Kingdom of Nestor. Pylos expands around Niokastro, built by the Ottomans in 1573. Inside the very well-preserved castle, you can visit the new archeological Museum of Pylos hosted in the building of “General Nicolas Joseph Maison” and the Museum of Underwater Antiquities in the building of “Pasha”.
 
You can continue to Methoni, where the Venetian castle enters the sea to create a unique cape. Visit the castle or relax on Methoni Beach, which is is ideal for families with babies and toddlers because of its shallow and warm waters. Then drive further east to the hilltop castle of Koroni and its views of the Zagka and Memi beaches. Ιt is a “living” castle with houses and a church in its interior; and, thus, not an archeological site. Stroll around Koroni in the afternoon on the seaside pedestrian street full of taverns, coffee shops, pastry shops, and a playground below the castle.

Day 14: Return to Athens & Depart

The Acropolis over Athens

Head back to Athens to catch your international transfer. Wave goodbye to Greece as you head home or onto your next adventure.

Map

Map of Greek Culture & Adventure for Families: Athens & the Peloponnese - 14 Days
Map of Greek Culture & Adventure for Families: Athens & the Peloponnese - 14 Days