Alumni Trip to Greece.
The 15-Day Grand Tour of Crete, Athens and Peloponnese.
Alumni Trip to Greece
Day 1: Arrival in Athens
You will arrive at the Athens International Airport Venizelos. We will meet you and you will be transferred by private coach and assistance to Hotel Herodion in Athens, located next to the Acropolis, in the Plaka area.
You can relax, go for a walk or shopping in the afternoon. There will be a welcome dinner in a restaurant opposite the Acropolis. This is your first overnight in Athens. (D)
Day 2: Athens’ sightseeing
After breakfast, there will be a morning walking sightseeing trip with your guide/lecturer to enjoy the striking contrast between breathtaking monuments of a glorious past and modern elegant structures.
You will visit the Acropolis, the crowning beauty and glory of Ancient Athens, with its many monuments atop its rocky base, including the awesome Parthenon, the Propylea, the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion, with its Porch of Maidens.
Lunch will be served in Plaka.
Then you will be driven to the Roman Temple of Olympic Zeus, the Panathinaikon Stadium that hosted the first modern Olympic Games in 1896 and the Tomb of the unknown Soldier in front of the Parliament House on Constitution Square. You will be able to admire governmental buildings and elegant structures of the 19th century.
You will be driven along Panepistimiou Avenue to see the Catholic Cathedral, the Academy, the University and the National Library. In contrast, you will conclude your tour with a visit to the new Acropolis museum, a marvel of architecture with a full exhibition of the glory of Ancient Athens. You will spend your second overnight in Athens. (B, L)
Day 3: Vravrona – Cape Sounion
In the morning there is a tour to Vravrona by private coach and guide where there used to be a sacred source dedicated to goddess Diana. You will visit the Museum and the surrounding area.
Lunch will be served at the small port of Porto Rafti and then you will continue to Cape Sounion.
You will visit the temple of Poseidon where King Aegean was gazing at the sea to see the boat coming from Crete where his son had been sent. In the afternoon you will proceed to Piraeus and embark the overnight ferry to Heraklion, Crete. You will spend your overnight onboard. (B, L)
Day 4: Herakleion
You will arrive in Heraklion at around 7 o’ clock in the morning and you will be transferred to the 4* Hotel Megaron. You will start the sightseeing tour by private coach with an archaeological guide to visit the Knossos Palace and the Archaeological Museum.
King Minos’ Palace was famous for its Labyrinth where his son , the Minotaur was living. Afterwards you will have lunch at a well-known Cretan tavern serving local specialties.
In the afternoon there will be an amazing 3 hours walking tour of the largest town of Crete with your guide visiting the Venetian and Ottoman Heraklion (or Iraklion), to discover its history and its finest hidden gems.
The tour includes ‘Kerasma’, a Cretan Traditional sweet. Pick Up -Drop Off on foot from your hotel. Our tour starts with a visit to the city and port of
Heraklion, the largest city and administrative capital of the island of Crete.
The Venetians improved the ditch of the city by building enormous fortifications, most of which are still in place, including a giant wall, in places, up to 40 m thick, with 7 bastions and the fortress of Koule Chandax.
This fortress was renamed Candia and became the seat of the Duke of Candia, and the Venetian administrative district of Crete known as “regno di Candia”.
Main sight seeings of the tour are the Lion’s square, the Venetian Loggia, the Cathedral of St Minas, the Church of St. Titus and the 25th August street which links the Marina and the Castle of Koules with the heart of the city and the main open air market.
The tour includes the Venetian Walls, the Venetian fountain of Morosini, the Venetian harbor, the Venetian arsenals, the Cathedral, the Church of St. Titus, the Church of St. Mark, the Venetian Loggia, impressive Ottoman buildings and monuments, the local food market, taverns, restaurants, cafes, shops and other places, according to your interests.
Relax during your first overnight in Heraklion. (B, L)
Day 5: Gortys – Phaistos- Mallia
Today there is a full day tour by private coach and guide, visiting Gortys, Phaistos and Mallia. The palace of Phaistos was built as the king’s winter palace and the retreat of the priesthood, around the same time as Knossos. But somehow you will sense a totally different “feel” to the place.
Mysterious and beautiful, the setting of Phaistos is spectacular, overlooking broader Phaistos, Gortys and Matala. There are daily tours from Heraklion port to the Plain of Messara and out to the sea, while the Psiloreitis massif rises to the north-west.
Phaistos was excavated by Italian archaeologists, and unlike Knossos has not undergone much reconstruction. However, you’ll see a similar layout of labyrinthine corridors and stairways, with a central court, as well, all on a smaller scale.
Many of the treasures in Heraklion Museum were unearthed in the area, for example the Boxer, Chieftain and Harvester vases but undoubtedly the most famous find is the Phaistos Disc.
This exquisite little clay disc, seven inches in diameter, has on each side a hieroglyphic inscription, as yet undeciphered, spiraling towards the centre.
Its 241 tiny figures include people, animals, birds, insects, ships and vases.
If the Phaistos Disc fascinates you, the visit to Gortys will intrigue you further which usually is in fact the first stop of this tour. The site of Gortys was a Roman city, established in 67 B.C. as the capital of Crete. It is where the first Dorian settlers set down their Code of Laws, some 1,700 characters carved on massive blocks of stone. These laws dealt with matters as divorce, mortgages and the treatment of slaves.
To round off the day nicely, a short drive will take you to Matala, where you can cool off with a swim, relax and enjoy lunch. Most of the taverns overlook the half-moon shaped bay, and you’ll notice some curious caves in the cliff-side. These were first hew out of the cliff by the Romans to use as catacombs, and subsequently inhabited by early Christians.
The Germans set up artillery positions there in World War II, then during the sixties they were occupied by hippies!
This day out delves further into the past, combining historic interest with the experience of this remarkably different, breathtaking scenic part of Crete. Lunch will be served en route.
At he end of the day, you will return to Heraklion to spend your second overnight there. (B, L)
Day 6: Chania
In the morning you will be driven to the beautiful and picturesque town of Chania for your walking tour of the city with your guide.
You will wander through a 100-year-old market selling local products. and see local artisans at work and try your own skills in their workshops. You will visit the Ottoman neighborhood and the Jewish quarter and explore corners not found in guidebooks and sip raki and snack on mezedes in one of the city’s historic neighborhoods.
Over the centuries, Chania’s story has been influenced by Romans, Byzantines, Arabs, Venetians, Ottomans, and Germans. Due to its strategic geographical position, the island of Crete has always had to struggle for independence but this ever-changing history makes for a fascinating story!
Discover what makes Crete’s cultural capital so magical, on this relaxed half-day walking tour of Chania. Take in the top sights, from the old town to the lesser-known Ottoman and Jewish quarters, and into the chic Halepa neighborhood.
Start your Chania tour at the Dimotiki agora ( municipal market in Greek), which stands between the old and new towns. Built between 1908 and 1913, the year that Crete was united with Greece, the agora features more than 70 shops selling mostly regional products. Explore the market and sample local delicacies while learning about the deliciously healthy Cretan diet.
Continue your walk into the old town, down narrow lanes and hidden back streets, and discover secret gardens, and Venetian and Ottoman monuments. Hear about empires, sailors, traders, lovers, heroes, and artists. Learn how this city has been a crossroads between the East and the West for centuries.
Next you’ll have the unique opportunity to see local artisans crafting their products and maybe even try your own skills! Visit the Jewish and Ottoman neighborhoods, and learn how life has changed over the years in this multicultural city.
Walk along the waterfront in one of Chania’s historic neighborhoods and sit down at a table of inviting mezedes (local dishes). Your Crete tour will either end here or the guide can take you back to the starting point. With so many suggestions and tips from your local guide, you’ll have plenty of choices of what to do next!
After dinner, you will spend your night in Chania. (B)
Day 7: Samaria gorge
Today there is a full day walking tour to Samaria Gorge. You will return to Chania in the evening. Lunch will be served en route.
With traditional villages and plenty of warm Mediterranean sunshine, the Samaria Gorge is the longest of its kind in Europe but it’s also a challenging and rewarding hike, considered by many to be among the toughest in Crete.
This adventurous 12-hours combination bus and hiking tour from Chania takes you deep into the gorge itself, where large boulders lie beneath soaring limestone cliffs.
You will follow a 10-miles (16-km) route though the Samaria Gorge and experience the best of the Crete countryside with a guide. You will visit the highlights of the Samaria Gorge hike from Chania
Trek through Europe’s longest gorge with a guide. You will admire panoramic views over the limestone cliffs and discover peaceful villages nestled along the gorge. You will tackle a challenging hiking tour that includes pick-up and drop-off at your Chania hotel.
Meet your guide at your Chania hotel between 4:30am and 5am. Then you will travel out of the city to the Samaria Gorge by air-conditioned coach to begin your 12-hours tour.
During your 10-miles (16-km) hike, you will follow rugged trails through the Samaria Gorge and you will marvel at the beautiful scenery you find. Then you will return by boat to Sougia and meet your coach for the return journey to your Chania hotel where you will spend the night. (B )
Day 8: Jeep “Safari”
Today there is a full day safari tour visiting the surrounding area. You will spend your third overnight in Chania.
Day 9: Chania
Full day tour of the Chania surrounding area. You will visit small villages and see how every day life was and still is in Crete. You will spend your forth overnight Chania.
Day 10: Optional day cruise to Santorini
At leisure. There is an optional one-day cruise to Santorini by high-speed ferry, leaving at 08:00, a 2 hours ride. You will visit Santorini, and the archaeological site of Akrotiri, the volcano and the beautiful white stoned houses on the rock.
You will return to Chania at around 19:00 and embark the overnight ferry to Piraeus, sailing at 21:00.
Day 11: Corinth – Mycenae – Nauplion
You will arrive in Piraeus at 07:00. You will meet the coach and your guide and you will start the 3- day classical coach tour. You will be driven to Corinth to see its ancient acropolis, the Acrocorinth and the Isthmus.
Afterwards you will go to Nemea where Hercules killed the last Greek lion, to admire the stadium. Then you will visit Mycenae to see the huge fortification walls and the tholos tombs. In the evening you will arrive in Nauplion where you will spend the night at Hotel Nauplia Palace.
Day 12: Epidaurus – Hydra
In the morning you will admire the marvelous Venetian fortifications of Nauplion and its picturesque cobbled streets and then you will continue your journey towards Epidaurus. You will visit the Theatre, famous for its acoustics.
Then you will cross over from Metochi by sea taxi to the island of artists’, Hydra, where lots of movies have been shot. You will visit the Maritime Museum and the Naval Academy and you will walk in the small streets to take pictures of very old houses of unique architecture or ride on a donkey as cars are not allowed on this picturesque island .
A very relaxing sleep during your overnight in Hydra at Bratsera or at Hydroussa Boutique hotel will follow this marvelous day. (B)
Day 13: Delphi
In the morning you will return by sea taxi to Metochi where your private coach will be waiting to drive you via Corinth to Delphi once called the belly-button of Earth.
You will visit Apollo’s temple that people from all over the ancient word were visiting to learn about their future by getting the oracle though Apollo’s priestess’s mouth and to drink water from the holly source .
You will spend your overnight in Delphi. (B)
Day 14: Ossios Lucas – Thermopylae- Athens
In the morning you will visit the museum and the site. Lunch will be served in Arachova. Then you will visit the monastery of Ossios Lucas and you will be driven back to Athens via Thermopylae to pay tribute to the 300 men from Sparta who died while defending Greece from the Persians. You will arrive in Athens in the afternoon.
Enjoy your fare well dinner at Mani -Mani restaurant and sleep well in the night at Hotel Herodion. (B, D)
After breakfast you will be transferred to the Athens International Airport for the home bound flight. Have a nice trip back home. End of the Alumni Trip to Greece. We are looking forward to seeing you on another tour of the Vikings Navita.
14 days/13 nights
Tips to guide and driver.
Beverages-soft drinks, bottled wine, beer and other alcoholic drinks.
Admissions fees to the sites and museum.
Items not mentioned.
All year round
Starting from $ per person
One tour escort free of charge in single occupancy.
(The rate of this alumni trip to Greece is based on 20 full paying persons plus 1 tour escort free.)
The alumni Trip to Greece “15-Day Grand Tour of Crete, Athens and the Peloponnese” is for groups only.
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Unique Greece Tour for Alumni