US Naval Academy 2018
Let our Greek-American family take you on an insider's experience through Authentic Greece. Soak up the culture, cuisine, and history of this legendary land while staying in some of the most beautiful locations on the planet.
May 19 - 29, 2018
$3,445 Per Person, Land Only
$875 Single Supplement
Santorini Island | May 29 - June 2
$2,095 Per Person
$1,245 Single Supplement
3 NIGHTS NAFPLIO | 3 NIGHTS HYDRA | 3 NIGHTS ATHENS
Marvel at the 2,400 year old Parthenon • Sample ancient wine varietals at a countryside family vineyard • Stay in a shipping magnate's former mansion on the car-free island of Hydra • Visit a mountainside nunnery on horseback for morning coffee with the nuns • Gaze at the golden death masks of Homeric kings • Dine seaside accompanied by folk musicians • Sit in the best preserved ancient Greek theater overlooking the breathtaking Peloponnese landscape • Shop in the artisan boutiques of the Venetian built port of Nafplio • Embrace the land that has been the soul and inspiration of Western Civilization for over 5,000 years
EXPLORE THE WORLD WITH US
Dear USNA Family,
We are excited to offer you this unique experience of travelling with the Sparks-Iliadis family of Sofia Travel on this Authentic Greece tour designed with you in mind. Who better to show us this beautiful land than Greek-Americans? The Sparks-Iliadis family goes above and beyond to ensure every detail meets your expectations. With over thirty years of experience, and with personal attention as their foundation, Sofia Travel offers this authentic Greece tour with in-depth historical context and genuine cultural encounters. It is our expectation that this trip will sell out quickly as it does with other Alumni Associations.
We hope to see you on this exceptional tour. Gather your classmates, company mates, friends, and/or family for this wonderful experience.
Explore the world with us….
Director, USNA Alumni Travel
11 DAY ITINERARY
Day 1 and 2 - Arrival
Depart USA, arrive Athens and transfer to Nafplio, Greece. Check in to our seaside hotel steps away from the historic main square of Nafplio, Greece’s first capital, and enjoy the stunning sea views from every room. After a welcome reception, we gather together for an authentic dinner at a local taverna. (D)
Day 3 - Nafplio | Epidavros
In the morning we begin with our welcome meeting and a cultural orientation to life in Greece. We then explore the picturesque town of Nafplio, including the square where Greece declared its independence from the Ottoman Empire, before exploring the expansive ruins of the Venetian-built Palamidi Fortress, high above Nafplio. We then continue to the ancient healing center of Epidavros as we learn about medicine in ancient Greece. We use the opportunity in the adjoining, magnificent theater of Epidavros, the best preserved from ancient Greece, to explore Greek drama and comedy in its original setting. In the evening, we gather by the harbor for a festive dinner accompanied by local musicians as we learn about Greek folk music and how to do traditional Greek dances. (B,L,D)
Day 4 - Mycenae | Peloponnesian Vineyard
Departing Nafplio, we visit the palace citadel of King Agamemnon, leader of the Trojan War, at Mycenae. We tour the Bronze Age site, including the underground cistern and beehive tomb of Clytemnestra. We then visit a counntryside, family-run vineyard for a tour of the complex, a sampling of the wines, and a sumptuous feast as we sit within the wine barrel room. Enjoy a free evening in Nafplio with time to shop in the designer boutiques and relax along the cafe lined harbor promenade. (B,L)
Day 5 - Nafplio | Hydra
After a free morning and afternoon in Nafplio, we set out on the blue waters of the Aegean Sea to the unforgettable island of Hydra. This small island—an important naval harbor in the 18th century—is unbelievably serene and full of charm. All motorized transportation is banned on the island, making the quaint harbor the perfect place to watch the sunset and enjoy a quintessentially Greek evening of fresh seafood, plentiful wine, and good company late into the evening. We check into our hotel—the former mansion of an 18th century shipping magnate—for three blissful nights. (B,D)
Day 6 - Hydra
In the morning we are introduced to beautiful Hydra as we learn about its impressive history. In the afternoon, take part in a reception at the National Merchant Marine Academy, the oldest operating Naval Academy in Greece, dating back to 1749, and tour the one-of-a-kind museum. In the late afternoon, take an optional horseback ride out of town to the Convent of Agios Matronas where you can meet the elderly nuns and marvel at the spectacular views of Hydra town and the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. (B,D)
Day 7 - Spetses
We take a day trip 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 lunch from their celebrated chef. In the afternoon, hire a carriage to take you along the seaside to the wonderfully quaint old harbor of Spetses for afternoon coffee amongst the locals and dinner waterside. Overnight Hydra. (B)
Day 8 - Athens
Departing Hydra, we arrive in the greatest city of both ancient and modern Greece: Athens. We check in to our hotel at the foot of the Acropolis with its fantastic rooftop bar with the city’s best views of the Parthenon. Our exploration of this city’s matchless heritage begins at the impressive Acropolis Museum, as we examine the world famous Parthenon Marbles up close. Heading to the Acropolis, we sit in the Theater of Dionysus, the very birthplace of drama and comedy, before ascending the Acropolis to stand in the shadow of the architecturally perfect Parthenon. In the evening we gather together for a festive dinner in the Plaka traditional marketplace district. (B,L,D)
Day 9 - Athens
In the morning, take an optional visit to the National Archaeological Museum, home to the world’s single greatest collection of ancient Greek antiquities in the world. We then visit the Changing of the Guard ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown soldier before lunch at a local favorite near the bustling center of Athens at Monastiraki Square. The afternoon and evening are free to continue exploring this cosmopolitan city. (B,L)
Day 10 - Athens | Cape Sounion
The morning is free to shop in the boutiques of the Plaka, tour one of Athens’ amazing museums, hike on the nearby Hill of the Muses, or simply enjoy a coffee at one of the myriad streetside cafes. In the afternoon, we head out to unforgettable Cape Sounion,where we enjoy a festive final dinner and closing meeting at a seaside taverna. We then visit the beautiful Temple of Poseidon, located on a promontory high above the Aegean Sea at the edge of mainland Greece, as we watch the stunning sunset over the distant waters of the Aegean Sea. (B,D)
Day 11 - Depart
Depart for stunning Santorini for an optional 4 day extension, or depart Greece as lifelong lovers of this legendary land!
OPTIONAL POST TOUR EXTENSION
Rightly considered one of the most beautiful places on the planet, the island of Santorini is the crown jewel of the legendary Greek islands. Enjoy three unforgettable nights in world famous town of Oia at your traditional cave house perched high on the rim of an ancient volcano with breathtaking views of the picturesque whitewashed chapels, and take a catamaran cruise over the crystal clear waters of the Aegean Sea.
- 5-star accommodations in a traditional cave house with caldera views
- Flights and airport transfers from Athens
- Catamaran cruise to a warm spring, a black beach, and through the caldera of the volcano with an onboard meal
- Daily breakfast spread delivered to your room balcony
RESERVE YOUR SPOT ON THIS TOUR
We'd love to travel with you!
If you'd like more information about this tour, please contact us or give us a call at (214) 493-3027.