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Grecian Fables

Duration 15 days

Destinations visited :
  • Greece
    ,
  • Turkey
    ,

Journey across the Aegean Sea during this 15-day guided tour of Greece and Turkey. In Athens, a Local Expert will share the history of the Temple of Olympian Zeus and several other sites, including the Acropolis and the Temple of Athena Nike. Cruise to Istanbul, explore the spice market and travel along the bosphorus, before arriving in Cannakale. Sail to Thessaloniki, Greece’s largest city, and Volos. Gaze at the sheer cliffs of Santorini from the village of Oia perched atop the caldera rim — and later, take in the most beautiful sunset you’ll ever see.

Take a look at your day-by-day itinerary or contact us on 0207 620 8952 to find out more.

DAY 1

Welcome to Athens.
Your complimentary, private transfer takes you to your local departure airport. An Insight host will meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel, where there is time to settle in and relax. At 19:00, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception, get to know your fellow travellers over a delightful evening of dinner and wine.
Hotel: Divani Caravel Hotel/Crowne Plaza Athens City Center, Athens.
Meal: Dinner with Wine

DAY 2

Athens, City of Gods.
Your exploration reveals the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Arch of Hadrian. Next, your Local Expert takes you to the Parthenon, built atop the Acropolis. See the Temple of Athena Nike, also known as the Temple of the Wingless Victory, and the six stone-carved caryatids that make up the Porch of the Maidens on the Erechtheion. Continue to Thermopylae, famous as the mountain pass where King Leonidas led his Spartan army, along with fellow Greek soldiers, into battle against the Persians in 480 B. C. See the memorial dedicated to Leonidas and his courageous Spartans, then on to your hotel in Kalambaka for dinner.
Hotel: Divani Meteora Hotel/Grand Meteora Hotel/Meteora Hotel, Kalambaka.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 3

The pinnacles of Meteora.
With your Local Expert, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora, meaning ‘in the air. ‘ The massive pinnacles of smooth rock are ancient, yet could also be the setting for a futuristic science-fiction tale. Visit one of the monasteries, that adds to the strange and beautiful landscape and enjoy stunning views over the Peneios Valley. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Why not explore with a leisurely walk on the nature trails? Alternatively, you may wish to visit the Natural History Museum.
Hotel: Divani Meteora Hotel/Grand Meteora Hotel/Meteora Hotel, Kalambaka.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 4

The Sacred Way and onto Olympia.
Travel south, stopping at the foothills of Mount Parnassus. Ascend the Sacred Way of Delphi with your Local Expert. Pass the Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians and Polygonal Wall with its interlocking stones still perfectly intact after thousands of years. You’ll approach the Temple of Apollo, where for 14 centuries the mysterious Oracle of Delphi breathed her enigmatic ‘words,’ rumoured to have successfully predicted events related to the Argonauts expedition and the Trojan War. Your travels continue to Olympia where dinner is served in your hotel.
Hotel: Arty Grand Hotel/Amalia Hotel Olympia.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 5

Ancient Olympia.
It’s all in the name. Ancient Olympia is the site where the Ancient Olympic Games began in 776 B. C. in dedication to the god Zeus. See the Temple of Zeus, the athletes gymnasium and the stadium of Olympia. The starting and finishing markers for the sprint track are still marked by stones and there is time to capture your own memory with a photo at the starting line. In the evening, join a local chef for an entertaining cooking demonstration, followed by a dinner of authentic Greek flavours.
Hotel: Arty Grand Hotel/Amalia Hotel Olympia.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 6

Mycenae and Nafplio.
Visit the ruined city of Mycenae with a Local Expert. Walk through the Lion Gate, visit the royal beehive-tombs and see the giant Cyclopean stones used to build the city walls. Later, meet the artisans and view beautiful works of art at a family-run pottery studio. Travel to the elegant town of Nafplio, known for its beautiful architecture, colour shops and cafes. Your journey continues following the shores of the Saronic Gulf to pass the Corinth Canal dividing the Peloponnesse and mainland Greece, and arriving in Athens. In the evening, enjoy a hearty Celebration Dinner in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.
Hotel: Divani Caravel Hotel/Crowne Plaza Athens City Center, Athens.
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner with Wine

DAY 7

Cruising to Mykonos.
The morning is at your leisure. Late afternoon, board your cruise ship and set sail for the lovely island of Mykonos. While cruising, enjoy an exquisite variety of Mediterranean dishes as well as flavours, aromas and spices from around the world. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served on-board daily. Your cruise includes a complimentary drinks package featuring a selection of alcoholic and soft-drinks, and hot beverages.
Hotel: MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
Meal: Breakfast,Dinner

DAY 8

Mykonos.
The full days is yours to relax and explore Mykonos, with its dazzling sugar cube houses and whitewashed windmills. Tonight, the maze of walkways, welcoming tavernas and nightlife are yours to discover.
Hotel: MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
Meal: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

DAY 9

Milos.
After a pleasant morning cruising the blue waters of the Aegean, arrive in Milos where you enjoy plenty of time to venture through this gorgeous island, with its crystal waters and white cliffs. Later in the evening, you set sail for Santorini.
Hotel: MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
Meal: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

DAY 10

Santorini.
Wake up in Santorini with a full morning at leisure to relax. Gaze at the sheer cliffs of Santorini and dazzling panorama. Explore the capital of Thira, with its clifftop restaurants and cafés, breathtaking views and amazing sunsets. Later, join a Local Expert for a visit of the Cycladic village of Oia, one of the most authentic and unspoiled villages of the island.
Hotel: MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
Meal: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

DAY 11

Santorini.
Enjoy another full free day to relax, enjoy your vessel’s facilities or explore more of what Santorini has to offer.
Hotel: MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
Meal: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

DAY 12

Cruise to Crete.
Sail to Crete, home to the birthplace of Zeus according to the Greek mythology. There is time at leisure to explore the capital, Heraklion, site of King Minos’ Palace of Knossos with a Local Expert.
Hotel: MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
Meal: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

DAY 13

Kusadasi.
This morning explore the Turkish port of Kusadasi and explore the ancient ruins of Ephesus with a Local Expert. In the evening, sail back to Athens.
Hotel: MV Celestyal Crystal (or similar).
Meal: Breakfast,Lunch,Dinner

DAY 14

Athens.
Disembark in the morning and transfer to your hotel where you are at leisure. Relax, shop or bargain in the local market.
Hotel: Divani Caravel Hotel/Crowne Plaza Athens City Center, Athens.
Meal: Breakfast

DAY 15

Depart Athens.
Bid farewell to Athens. Your journey ends with a transfer to the airport. On arrival at your home airport, your driver will greet and escort you to your waiting car for your private transfer home.
Meal: Breakfast

Authentic Dining

  • Olympia: Join a local chef and savour the regional specialties in a fun, exciting introduction to Greek cooking.
  • Athens: Toast the culmination of your journey in true Greek tradition at a lively Celebration Dinner with wine.
  • Cruising: While cruising, enjoy an exquisite variety of Mediterranean dishes as well as flavours, aromas and spices from around the world. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served on board daily. Your cruise includes a complimentary drinks package, featuring a selection of alcoholic, soft drinks and hot beverages.
  • Dining Summary: 14 Breakfasts (B), 7 Lunches (L), 10 Dinners (D) and 2 Dinners with Wine (DW), all with tea or coffee. Your cruise includes a complimentary drinks package featuring a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, and hot beverages.

Insight Experiences

  • Mycenae: Meet the artisans of a family-run pottery studio and learn about their unique traditional methods.
  • Oia: With you Local Expert, explore this village of Santorini during your included shore excursion.
  • Ephesus: Travel from Kusadasi to reach this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Led by your Local Expert, enjoy your time exploring the famed excavated site of this Greco-Roman treasure.

Stay in Style

  • Athens: An elegant hotel fantastic access to the key highlights of Athens. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, offers luxury and style in the heart of the historical city of Athens.
  • Kalambaka: Located in Laspes Kastrakiou, Grand Meteora Hotel offers accommodation with views over the Meteora Rocks and is a short distance to Kastraki Village and Kalabaka Town.
  • Kalambaka: This hotel is the most modern hotel in Meteora, but still retains its traditional roots. It offers unique comforts and splendid spaces of relaxation that characterize them the detail and the originality in the decorative assiduity.
  • Olympia: This is a unique place that combines the energy, the space, the serenity of Ancient Olympia, set in a green landscape filled with olive trees. From every corner of the white marbled spacious lobby, guests enjoy the endless green scenery along with the open air terrace of the lounge café.
  • Olympia: Built in the hill above Ancient Olympia, this hotel exhales good taste.

Top Rated Highlights

  • Athens: Ascend the Acropolis with a Local Expert to admire the Parthenon, built in 5th century B.C. Steps away you’ll see the Temple of Athena Nike, also known as the Temple of the Wingless Victory, and the six stone-carved caryatids that make up the Porch of the Maidens on the Erechtheion.
  • Athens: See the Arch of Hadrian, erected in honour of the Roman Emperor and used as a divider between the ancient city and the new Roman district, along with the remaining columns of the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
  • Thermopylae: See the Leonidas Monument dedicated to the brave warrior and his 300 Spartans.
  • Kalambaka: Your Travel Director will provide an orientation of this town situated at the base of the extraordinary Meteora rocks.
  • Meteora: With a Local Expert, visit one of the remarkable centuries-old monasteries of Meteora, teetering on towers of rock and arguably the most spectacular place to visit in Greece.
  • Delphi: With your Local Expert, walk to The Sacred Way once lined with offertory temples. See the reconstructed Athenian Treasury and pass the superb Polygonal Wall to reach the Temple of Apollo, where the people would seek divine wisdom from the mysterious Oracle.
  • Olympia: The stadium of Olympia hosted the ancient Olympic Games and the Heraia, the women’s games in honour of Hera. See the Temple of Zeus, athlete’s gymnasium and the stone marker where the sprint began.
  • Mycenae: Walk through the Lion Gate past the royal beehive-tombs where Schliemann uncovered golden treasure, while hearing tales of Agamemnon from your Local Expert.
  • Corinth Channel: Cross the amazing rock-cut channel dividing the Peloponnese from mainland Greece.
  • Nafplio: Join your Travel Director in an orientation of this beautiful seaport town and see why it is named one of Greece’s prettiest spots.
  • Mediterranean Fables Cruising: Visit the Greek Islands of Crete, Mykonos, Santorini, Milos. Explore the Turkish port of Kusadasi.

Included Insight Services

  • Our highly-skilled Travel Director will ensure your journey is seamless, serving as your expert guide, consummate organiser, and friend overseas. In Athens, your knowledgeable local Insight host will ensure your time in this city is seamless.
  • Enjoy the comfort of Insight’s luxury, air-conditioned, 40-seat coach with onboard washroom. Alternate vehicles without onboard washroom or 40 seats may be used on occasion.
  • On departures with 8 or more guests, personal radio headsets give you the freedom to wander during visits to famous highlights, without missing any of your Local Expert’s fascinating commentary.
  • We carry your bags for you and promptly deliver them to your hotel door.
  • Hotel and restaurant tips are included – you’ll never have to worry about how much to give, nor search for foreign currency. We also include all taxes and porterage charges at hotels.
  • Stay connected with friends and family with our complimentary coach and hotel Wi-Fi (where available).
  • From time to time, your Travel Director will enchant you with an Insight Flourish, which is a local specialty representing the destination.
  • 7 nights aboard your mid-size cruise ship featuring air-conditioned cabins with private facilities, outdoor pool, fitness centre, beauty salon, casino, bars & restaurants.
  • You will enjoy the services of a Cruise Director, while on board, and all port taxes and crew gratuities are included.
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily onboard your ship and we provide a complimentary drinks package, featuring a selection of alcoholic, soft drinks and hot beverages.
  • Transfers are included between Insight hotels and cruise port. Complimentary transfers from/to Athens Airport are available on arrival and departure days, or with additional accommodation booked through Insight Vacations.
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Grecian Fables

Journey across the Aegean Sea during this 15-day guided tour of Greece and Turkey. In Athens, a Local Expert will share the history of the Temple of Olympian Zeus and several other sites, including the Acropolis and the Temple of Athena Nike. Cruise to Istanbul, explore the spice market and travel along the bosphorus, before arriving in Cannakale. Sail to Thessaloniki, Greece’s largest city, and Volos. Gaze at the sheer cliffs of Santorini from the village of Oia perched atop the caldera rim — and later, take in the most beautiful sunset you’ll ever see.