Enchanting Greek Islands Tour
The Greek islands are famous worldwide for their stunning beauty and unforgettable charm. Most group travelers, however, get only a quick taste of the Greek islands, as they are whisked in and out in droves according to their cruise ship’s departure schedule. This tour gives you the relaxed, authentic Greek island experience as we explore three exotic locales unlike anywhere else on the planet.
INCLUDED IN YOUR TOUR
- Five Star Hotel Accommodations
- Flights and Transportation
- Meals and drinks at local restaurants
- Comprehensive guiding by the Sparks
- Culture, history and language lessons
- Site entrances
- Authentic experiences with native Greeks
- Attentive support in the States and while abroad
- Taxes and Tips
THREE unique ISLANDs
Chania, located on the island of Crete, is a city unlike any other. It’s unique blend of cultures—from its 5,000 year old Minoan roots to its Venetian fortifications to its Ottoman baths—make it instantly appealing, yet it is a destination still to be introduced to most American travelers. From its picture-perfect Venetian port to the winding alleyways of the Turkish quarter, Chania is a feast for the eyes and a perfect way to begin exploring the Greek islands. Amidst millennia of history, Chania still boasts a vibrant modern culture that celebrates the rugged Cretan spirit while embracing the cosmopolitan spirit of Europe. Our hotel, located in the historical city center, is perfectly situated in easy walking distance of the beautiful harbor and all the sites.
Day 1 & 2 – Depart USA, Arrive Chania
We are transferred to our hotel located in the historic city center. In the evening, we gather together for a welcome reception and meet and greet before enjoying dinner out at a nearby, seaside taverna. (D)
Day 3 – Chania Guided Tour
Founded by the ancient Minoan people, Chania has a one-of-a-kind history, and our walking tour today takes us to the main sites from the city’s 5,000 year history. Our day begins with a stroll along the old Venetian harbor, then to the archaeological museum, where we see remnants of Europe’s very first civilization. We then tour the main Greek Orthodox cathedral of town, as we are introduced to this ancient form of Christianity. Walking through the traditional leather market, we arrive at the bustling modern agora with its exotic collection of foods and goods. Returning to the harbor, we see a modern, full sized replica of an ancient Minoan boat before walking past the Venetian arsenals to the Yiali mosque. In the evening, we gather together for a festive meal by the waterside. (B,D)
Day 4 – Samaria Gorge
For those interested, an optional excursion takes us to the unforgettable Samaria Gorge, the second largest gorge in Europe. Entirely downhill, this thirteen kilometer hike passes through beautiful scenery, past abandoned stone villages, and alongside the famous Kri Kri mountain goats. At the “Gates”, the rock walls of the gorge narrow spectacularly to only four meters wide and 300 meters tall. Exiting the national park, we arrive at the seaside town of Agia Roumeli for a chance to enjoy a meal or swim in the sea before catching a ferry back to the main road. For those not inclined to the hike, the day is at leisure to explore Chania, enjoy an authentic Turkish bath, or visit a nearby beach. (B)
Day 5 –Countryside Winery
In the afternoon, we head to the foothills of the White Mountains to visit the countryside vineyard of the Manousakis family. Amongst this wonderfully picturesque setting we enjoy the pleasures of the Cretan countryside, from tart country cheeses to freshly pressed olive oil. We sample the organic wines and enjoy a full lunch is this relaxed environment. In the evening, we gather together at a pier café to watch the sun setting over the Aegean Sea. (B,L)
Hydra is like a dream. From the elegant charm of the neoclassical buildings lining its picture-perfect harbor to the peaceful ambiance that permeates the island, your stay in this idyllic town will stay with you for a lifetime. Wake up to the clap of mules hauling goods through the whitewashed streets (all forms of motorized transportation are banned on the island) and take a catamaran ride to the beautiful old port of Spetses on this relaxing three night visit to one of the most beautiful hidden corners of the globe.
Day 6 – Arrive Hydra
Traveling through Athens, we arrive in the port of Hydra by boat and are immediately struck by the picturesque setting. We are greeted by the mule drivers who load up our luggage in carts as we take a shortwalk to our hotel, situated within the 200 year old former mansion of a shipping magnate. In the evening, we gather together for a festive dinner in the beautiful surroundings. (B,D)
Day 7 – Hydra
The day is free to enjoy the peaceful elegance of Hydra. In the morningtake an optional horseback ride out of town to the Convent of Agios Matronas where you can enjoy your morning coffee with the nuns and a spectacular view of Hydra town and the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. In the afternoon, visit the Naval Museum, which attests to Hydra’s years as one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean, or take a boat ride to a nearby, secluded beach. (B)
Day 8 – Day trip to Spetses
In the morning we board a catamaran and sail across the Aegean Sea to the beautiful island of Spetses. Arriving in the port, we visit the jewel of Spetses, the grandiose Posidonion Grand Hotel. We sit on the waterside veranda where European dignitaries have dined for over a century and enjoy a modern Greek-fusion Sunday brunch from their celebrated chef. In the afternoon, hire a carriage to take you along the harbor to the wonderfully quaint old harbor of Spetses for afternoon coffee amongst the locals and dinner waterside. Overnight Hydra. (B,L)
Mykonos is rightly considered one of the planet’s premier destinations. It’s main town is an enchanting collection of white washed buildings, blue domed chapels, and winding alleyways, while its cosmopolitan nature make it a treasure trove of world-class restaurants, boutiques, and art galleries. Its popularity aside, Mykonos retains the simple charm and relaxed elegance of the Greek people. From a fresh seafood lunch on an uninhabited island to a countryside vineyard, we dig beyond the surface of Mykonos to conclude our tour on a perfect note.
Day 9 - Arrive Mykonos
Departing Hydra, we head to Mykonos, world famous for its whitewashed town and exquisite beaches. We check in to our elegantly designed resort and enjoy dinner on the terrace as we watch the sun set over the Aegean. (B,D)
Day 10 - Traditional Farm
Today we are oriented to the main town of Mykonos and its main sites, including the old windmills, Little Venice, main harbor, and the Church of Paraportiani. In the evening we head out to a countryside, family run, organic farm and vineyard for a night of live traditional music, homemade wine, and fresh island cuisine. (B,D)
Day 11 – Mykonos
The day is at leisure to explore cosmopolitan Mykonos, relax on a beautiful beach, or shop at the world class boutiques. (B)
Day 12 - Rhenia
In the afternoon we board a traditional Mykonian fishing boat for an unforgettable journey to the uninhabited island of Rhenia. We join the third generation Mykonian fisherman Panagiotis Faroupos, whose family was the first to bring livestock to the barren island of Rhenia in the 1800s. After sailing along the picturesque coast, we are taken to Panagiotis’ traditional home, complete with ancient Greek pottery he found on the sea floor. In this truly remarkable location, we enjoy a celebratory feast of fresh seafood caught by our captain as we conclude our time on the Greek islands. (B,D)
Day 13 – Depart
Depart Greece relaxed, refreshed, and invigorated with the life giving spirit of the Greeks. (B)
INTERESTED IN JOINING US ON THE ISLANDS?
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