Academic 14 days
Welcome to Athens! You will be met at the airport and transferred to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Start a walking tour in the morning through the center of Athens. In the afternoon you will meet the other members of the group who arrive later today. In the evening, a welcome dinner will follow at the Taverna “Thespis” (a rare place that feels like the good old days in the Plaka - Old Town). It is tucked away in a wonderful area of the Plaka, just below the Acropolis. Dine on traditional specialties! Overnight at your hotel.
Today, admire the architectural miracles of ancient Athens, as you follow your guide to the world-renowned Acropolis to see the Propylea, the Erectheum and the Parthenon. Visit Mars Hill, where Paul delivered his ingenious speech on the “Unknown God”. View the Agora, the ancient center of the economic and public life of the city where Paul preached to the sceptical Athenians. During the bus tour, you see Constitution Square with the House of Parliament and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, the Temple of Zeus, the Old Olympic Stadium and Neoclassical Buildings of Athens like the National University, the National Library and the Academy. The afternoon is free. Dinner and overnight in Athens.
You travel to scenic Delphi, one of the most beautiful places on the face of the earth, which in antiquity was believed to be the “navel” (omphalos) of the world. Walk on the Sacred Way to see the Athenian Treasury, the Temple of Apollo, where the priestess Pythia uttered ambiguous prophecies, and the Theater. Also visit the Museum with its splendid collection of ancient works of art including the Sphinx of the Naxians, the Silver Bull, the Column of the Dancers, the “Omphalos” and the pride of the museum, the 5 th century B.C. bronze “Charioteer”. Afterwards, you drive back to Athens for your farewell dinner in a traditional Greek restaurant enjoying Greek live music and dancing! Overnight at your hotel.
You will be transferred to the Athens International Airport for your flight to Heraklion. You will arrive in Heraklion and you will be transferred to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Crete is the largest and the most rugged of the Greek islands. It is also the home of the great Minoan Civilization and the mythological home of Zeus. After a short drive through the town of Heraklion, the tour will arrive at the Knossos excavations. Here, Sir Arthur Evans’ archaeological discoveries revealed a civilization dating back to 4000 B.C., when a great empire flourished on the island of Crete. Based on the wealth of artefacts that were found, Evans theorized that this was the site of the ancient Minoan Kingdom. These findings will be viewed in detail, as your guide will lead you on a journey of discovery to learn about the sophisticated culture that flourished thousands of years ago on this island. The Palace, decorated with frescoes and shields, houses the Hall of the Royal Guard, the Hall of the Double Axes, the King’s Chamber with the alabaster throne, the Queen’s Apartment, beautiful courtyards and shrines. Having visited this remarkable site your coaches will take you to the heart of Heraklion where you will be given some free time to explore its beauty, a combination of a modern city with the unique ambiance of a Greek island. Transfer back to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
This morning your day will start with a tour to Rethymnon. A fascinating walking tour through the narrow winding streets of Rethymnon, the old houses with their wooden covered balconies, the Venetian and the Turkish monuments. A walk-through time, this stroll will help you gain an understanding of how the city's multilayered history has unfolded, with visits to its most important sites such as the Loggia, the Fortezza and the Rimondi fountain. After free time in Rethymno you will drive to Chania. Our tour will begin with a walk around the old town of Chania. It used to be surrounded by the old Venetian fortifications, of which only the eastern and western parts have survived. Despite being heavily bombed in World War II, Chania's old quarters is Crete's most beautiful urban district, especially the crumbling Venetian harbour with its 15th century lighthouse. We will make our way through colourful neighbourhoods, learning about the traditional lifestyle in this town. Our walking tour will allow you to visit the most important sites (the Archaeological Museum, the Cathedral, the ‘leather lane’ and the Market Hall) but also plenty of exciting, hidden spots off the beaten track - spots that reflect the eclectic mix of influences that have given Chania its very unique atmosphere.
This morning you will enjoy a tour to Lato, Kera, Kritsa, Gournia and Mochlos. This tour offers a good taste of Crete’s culture and landscapes by taking you to archaeological sites, a mountain village, a Byzantine church and a coastal fishing resort. Our first stop will be at the ruins of the ancient Doric city of Lato, which are a few kilometres from Agios Nikolaos between two hills, offering an astonishing view over the Mirambello Bay. We will continue to the nearby 15th century church of Panagia Kera to admire its magnificent frescoes. We will then drive to the picturesque village of Kritsa, with its charming alleys and old houses. Driving towards the east, we will stop at the archaeological site of Gournia situated on a low hill, at the isthmus of Ierapetra. It is one of the most characteristic Minoan settlements and is called “Pompeii of Minoan Crete” because of its excellent state of preservation. Our tour will end at the small fishing village of Mochlos. Separated by a steep road, winding gently down from the National highway, it enjoys a perfect waterfront setting, with a number of simple tavernas and a small sandy beach. The view of the tiny islet opposite with its archaeological remains adds to the quiet appeal.
After breakfast, you will be transferred to Heraklion’s airport for your flight to Athens. Upon arrival you will meet your guide and bus and you will start your trip to Ancient Corinth. This is the once glorious city near the Isthmus, where Paul met Aquilla and Priscilla and spent a year and a half preaching the Gospel. You visit the Archaeological Museum, the Forum, the Temples and the famous Bema, where Paul stood before Gallio, accused by the Jews of Corinth. Drive to Nauplion and get acquainted with the lovely this town, the first capital of Greece. Stroll around the promenade and explore the narrow streets and Venetian squares of Nauplion. Back to Athens for dinner and overnight at your hotel.
You will be transferred to the Athens International Airport for your flight to Athens and then to the island of Rhodes! You will arrive in Rhodes airport and will be transferred to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Drive along the medieval walls to the summit of Mount Smith, the Acropolis of ancient Rhodes. From the tumbled massive pillars of the Temple of Athena, the view encompasses the nearby Temple of Apollo, the stadium of Diagoras and the port, once protected by the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Afterwards the bus will leave you at the main entrance of the Ancient city of Rhodes. Begin a guided walk of the old walled city to the Porte d’Amboise. It is a pleasure to stroll the street of the Knights with its medieval buildings, winding alleys, towers, turrets and emblazoned façades. You will then visit the impressive Grand Master’s Palace and have the chance to see the superb mosaics. Back to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
This morning drive along the picturesque south-eastern coastline, dotted with whitewashed villages, to Lindos, one of the most important of the three great cities of ancient times. See how this entire city is guarded by medieval walls which were constructed by the knights of St. John in the 13 th century. Within them stands the ancient Acropolis of Lindos, on the brink of a precipice 400 feet above the sea. From the Acropolis, marvel at the breathtaking views covering the great expanse of the Aegean Sea and St. Paul’s Bay, where the apostle cast anchor during his historic voyage to Ephesus. Proceed on foot uphill, to the great staircase leading from the Hellenistic Portico to the Acropolis and Temple of Athena. Should you wish to make your way up by mule, a fee must be paid to the local muleteer. After the guided tour of the Acropolis, enjoy some free time on your own in Lindos village before meeting up with your motor coach. Return back to Rhodes and your hotel for dinner and overnight.
This morning you will have a perfect opportunity to see the Island with its interesting landscape and numerous villages. You begin the tour with a drive along the West Coast of the Island bringing us to Mount Filerimos where you will visit the Acropolis of Ancient Ialyssos, Lady’s Monastery and the remains of Athena’s Temple. Passing via the village of Soroni you will visit the Ancient City of Kamiros, situated on a hillside dotted with gleaming white marble. It is here where centuries ago a brilliant civilization flourished. As you continue you will arrive in the village of Embona. Embona lays at the base of Mt. Attaviros the highest mountain on the island; Afterwards you will arrive to the Village of Siana where you will can visit the Byzantine church. Continuing our drive, we arrive at Monolithos, from where you can take photos of the famous Castle of Monolithos. The magnificent view that you can have from this point it is something amazing! Moving to the inner part of the island you will notice the lush vegetation; you will have a stop at the area called Profitis Ilias. Some free time for exploration before you leave for your next stop to Foundoukli village. You will have the chance to see St Nikolas church - built during the Byzantine time. Upon your return you will pass to the East Side of the island passing several villages before returning back to your hotel.
After breakfast you will be transferred to Rhodes’s airport for your flight to Athens and then the flight to your country. Fly back home full of wonderful memories from your journey.