Senior Women's Travel

10 Favorite Things About Greece

  1. New Acropolis Museum finally open. A wonder!
  2. Sensational
    Sunsets
  3. Baklava from Karavan in Athens
  4. Whitewashed cliffside villages
  5. Picturesque harbors on all the islands
  6. The Acropolis, day or night
  7. Outdoor amphitheater performances
  8. Greek yogurt & honey for breakfast
  9. Taverna food: souvlaki and mezze
  10. Its friendly, hospitable people
 
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GLORIOUS GREECE

Athens and Santorini Plus One Day 3 Island Tour

Sept 13-20, 2016

Contemporary Athens can compete with any of the world’s capitals.  It is sophisticated, lively and stylish.  And the big bonus is the reality of the magnificence of the Acropolis that inspires wonder at the heritage of classical Greece.  Our tour includes Santorini, the most beautiful of all the Greek Islands, and a one-day cruise to three islands: Aegina, Poros, and Hydra.


Lovely Parthenon at night

WHAT'S SPECIAL ABOUT OUR TOUR:

...HOTELS: All 3 of our hotels:  The New Hotel in Athens;  The Aressana Hotel  in Santorini, the Y Hotel in Kifisia have great locations.

…The Aressana is just a few minutes walk to the center of Fira and its shops and restaurants and it is on level ground with no perilous steps to navigate. Reaching other hotels is a challenge. Weather permitting there is a beautiful pool area and spa treatments are available. I have stayed at the Aressana twice and loved the accommodations.

…The  New Hotel…modern design, near Syntagma Square, amazing is a word that comes up often in reviews

…Y Hotel recently remodeled and a short walk to Kifisia’s upscale boutiques and restaurants. I have stayed here twice and like the glimpse it gives me of an Athens suburb.

…IN SANTORINI, Akrotiri, a settlement covered in volcanic ash after volcanic eruption about 1500 bc, is open after years of being closed for renovation.

Our Itinerary:

Day 1
Arrive in Athens, transfer on your own to our hotel, just a short walk from Constitution Square. We can arrange for you to be picked up at the airport by a private limo service  (not included in tour price)

Day of arrival, we usually do not plan much to allow you to adjust to time change.

Late afternoon orientation walk around Athens center, and its fashionable Kolonaki neighborhood

Dinner at a typical taverna with view of the Acropolis.

Day 2
Full day tour of most important sights in Athens including the Acropolis, the Theatre of Dionysus, the first theatre in the world, the Prime Minister’s Mansion,
the colorful changing of the guard at the Parliament House and more.

Then a leisurely drive along the coast to the Temple of Poseidon with its imposing ruins and lunch facing the Aegean Sea.

Return to Athens and the Acropolis Museum, for a short visit.  The museum is open till 10pm if you want to linger.

Day 3
Early morning departure for one-day cruise to 3 islands: Aegina, Hydra, and Poros.

A Harbor On Paros

A Harbor Scene

The island of Aegina was a total surprise to me.  It’s a gem.  See the Temple of Afala, one of the best preserved temples of the 5th century BC.  It ranks in importance with the Parthenon and the Temple of Poseidon at Cape Sounion.  We also stop at the Byzantine monastery of Saint Nectarios, impressive and beautiful.  Aegina is also a center for pistachios; try delicious pistachio ice cream or buy a jar of honey with pistachios.

Hydra with its picturesque harbor, is what everyone expects a Greek island to look like. Wander away from the harbor and its excellent shops to see even more of Greek island architecture.

Poros, tiny and hilly, a brief stop, gives us another view of Greek island living.

There’s lunch on board, and you have your only chance to see a performance of Greek folk dancing.

Dinner not included

Day 4

Santorini has just been voted the third "best island" in Travel & Leisure's annual survey. It ranks right behind Bali and Great Barrier Reef. I have been to all 3 islands and I rank Santorini #1

Transfer to Piraeus and early 7:00 am departure for the beautiful island of Santorini, a four-hour high speed ferry ride.  Our hotel is right in the center of Fira, convenient to shopping and many restaurants, with stunning views of the sea. There’s a pool at the hotel and most important, it’s on level ground so we don’t have to navigate the scenic but treacherous hills to reach our hotel.

Explore Fira.

Dinner included in tour price at the rowdy, small, crowded tavern, Uncle Nickolai.

Day 5
Morning trip to Ia, a major town on Santorini. Its beauty and shops for browsing or buying make it a perfect 10.  

Afternoon free to relax by the pool, shop or cozy up to a beautiful bar with a fabulous view and a long cool drink

Day 6

Private tour Santorini sightseeing to include some or all  of the following: cable car, Museum of Prehistoric Fira with archaeological artifacts, wine tasting at a winery, black pebble beach at Perissa for lunch and the archaeological site of ancient Akrotiri,  known as the Greek Pompei. It is considered that the 40 buildings that have been uncovered are only a third of what has yet to be excavated.

Day 7
Depart for Piraeus around noon arriving about 5 pm and instead of returning to Athens, we overnight in the suburban town of Kifissia. It gives you a brief look at an upscale Greek suburb comparable to Southampton or La Jolla. Time to walk around the town before you have dinner.

Farewell group dinner

Day 8
Transfer to airport and your flight home.

 Note:  There may be changes to the itinerary due to guide availability.

 

Cost: $3875 includes 7 night hotel, single private room, no single supplement.  Breakfast each morning. 3 dinners
Round trip ferry to Santorini; private tour Athens and Cape Sounion; sightseeing Santorini;  entrance to Acropolis Museum,
3 island cruise includes lunch. Transport to and from ferry departure and arrival  on a shared basis. Also other taxis.

Not included: airfare to and from Greece, airport transfers, lunches, 4 dinners. Coffee stops, alcoholic beverages

 

A Harbor On Paros

Christina, my fun loving and travel obsessed Greek friend, lives in the fashionable suburb of Kifisia , just 20 kilomethers from Athens . She  travels the world with aplomb , is very savvy in every aspect of travel and is our unofficial go-to person on all things Greek.

We share her Acropolis Museum tips:

 “The new Acropolis museum is a MUST visit. If you have the time, visit the Museum twice, once during the day and once in the evening, when the museum is lit in a special way giving it a luminous beauty. When you leave the museum, take The paved street in front through Thission with all its renovated neo-classical Buildings. End up at the beginning of Pandrosou Street with ancient ruins on one Side and lots of small restaurants on the other.

I like to eat at  Kouti (the box )  Its menu is written in chidren’s books, the bread is brought to you in old tin boxes. It’s a fun place.”

Many thanks, Christina, we will follow your route on our visit to the Acropolis Museum. Christina also recommends the rooftop restaurant of the Electra Hotel where “you think you can raise your arm and touch the Acropolis.” A restaurant with a view of the Acropolis is one of my favorite memories of dining in Athens. There are many restaurants where you can dine and enjoy a fabulous view of the Acropolis. 

STEFANIA SANTORINI SECRETS: Stefania is my Greek friend who lives in New York City and has a small house on The beach at Ia not far from Fira, the largest town on Santorini.  She shared her favorite Santorini restaurants, only one is listed in the guide books. It’s Taverna Nikolas, small and always crowded with locals and tourists. No menu…the food Just keeps coming.