This 20-day tour begins in the capital of Greece, Athens, which is the heartland of Cycladic, Minoan, Mycenaean and classical Greek art, all of which are displayed throughout the city’s many museums. We will witness the massive scale of the famous Acropolis on the Parthenon first-hand.
A ferry-ride takes us to the island of Santorini, where the spectacular homes built along the cliff-sides are only one of the many endearing qualities of this island. Impressive legacies of ancient civilization are represented through archaeological treasures, such as the well-known marble Cycladic figurines. Experience the coastal splendour that is Crete, or the ancient allure of Rhodes as we venture throughout these islands.
Once we’ve had our fill of the majestic Aegean Sea, it’s off to Turkey, where a rich history is illustrated through the ancient castles scattered throughout the forested countryside. The current capital, Ankara, and the ancient capital of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires, Istanbul, are both sprawling metropolises that offer hours of exploration and shopping.
Seasonality and Weather
This tour is offered in spring, early summer, and fall, the most popular being spring and fall when temperatures are milder, crowds thinner, and airfares lower. Spring is popular for green landscapes and wildflowers; beachgoers prefer fall sea temperatures. The region has a Mediterranean climate with early springs, long hot and dry summers, and autumns that are bright and warm into mid-October. Showers are possible in spring, rare in summer, and possible in late fall.
Transport and Travel Conditions
Local ferries between mainland / islands can range from hydrofoils to large vehicular vessels (economy class). Greek ferry schedules tend to change without notice; some itinerary adjustments may be necessary at the discretion of your Tour Leader. Land transport by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on group size (see "Group Size"); some local buses and taxis. Turkish roads are very good and travelling is not arduous though we do have some full days. Scheduled flight Crete-Rhodes. Several walking tours on uneven surfaces.
Well-located, air- conditioned, mid-range hotels (3-4 star) throughout. Island hotels are smaller properties (3-4 story) that will likely not have elevators. All hotels have en suite bath, though most have shower only. Porter service is rarely available on the Greek islands (see 'inclusions'); you MUST be independent with your luggage, especially getting on / off ferries. Single rooms are limited and likely smaller than twins.
Staff and Support
Tour Leader throughout, local guide throughout, driver (s), local step-on local guides in various locales,
10-21 (plus Tour Leader)