Tour: 6661 - 2013 (6661) - 2013 / 2015


Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be available. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

Availability is subject to sufficient participation, weather conditions, seasonal suitability, days of operation, group interests, and general feasibility for your vacation. The approximate value listed gives you a good, general idea of what you can expect to pay but may vary once you are on your vacation. Some information provided might be in a foreign currency; to get an estimated price, use a currency converter for exchange rate information (pricing may vary at the time of booking).

A Taste of Athens Situated on the Galatsi hill, this venue is a true taste of everything Greek beginning with the panoramic views of Athens for as far as the eye can see. An outside barbeque awaits your choice of souvlaki and while this is cooking, see the presentation of the traditional loom, wood fired oven and the water mill used for grinding flour. While you enjoy your souvlaki with olives, bread with olive oil and of course Greek ouzo, the Zafiro chef will provide a tutorial lesson of how to make some of the basic Greek dishes of mousaka, greek salad & tzatziki. The menu for tonight will include the traditional appetizers of spinach pie, feta cheese pie, stuffed vine leaves, beans in tomato sauce, meatballs, tzatziki and aubergine salad dips and Greek salad and the main course served is moussaka. This is accompanied with unlimited red or white wine. While enjoying your meal you will be entertained by the musicians and 6 Greek dancers in traditional costumes performing well known Greek dances such as Syrtaki and Hasapiko. Don't miss the opportunity to join in the circle dancing and maybe even break a plate!

Approximate value: €50 EUR per person

Acropolis Museum Today you have the opportunity to be taken on a guided tour of the newly built and internationally renowned Acropolis museum. Constructed in 2007 and designed by a Swiss architect Bernard Tschumi in co-operation with a Greek architect Michalis Fotiadis, the museum covers 25,000 sq. meters with 14,000 sq. meters of exhibition space. This was a long awaited vision of the Athenians to successfully support, conserve, safely house, and display the thousands of artifacts currently associated with the Acropolis and ancient Athens. Free time is allowed for walking or shopping in the Plaka district of Athens before entering the museum.

Approximate value: €30 EUR per person

Aegean Cruise An early departure from the hotel with your Tour Director at approximately 7:15am, and drive to the designated port for embarkation on today's cruise of the Saronic Gulf. Departing at 8:00 am, begin sailing towards the island of Hydra, located approximately 37 nautical miles from the southern mainland. You will notice that donkeys are used for transportation on this small island as cars, by law, are prohibited. On Hydra you will stay approximately 1 hour and 30 minutes allowing for a walk around the shops along the quay or a swim in the Aegean Sea. Departing Hydra, en-route to the island of Poros, a Greek style buffet lunch is served with many of the local traditional foods including Greek salad, stuffed vine leaves, fish roe salad, beans, beetroot, tzatziki, local cheeses, and main courses with fish, beef, pork, chicken or vegetables are served. Estimated time of return to the port after todays cruise is approximately 7:30pm.

Approximate value: €90 EUR per person

By Night Escorted by your Tour Director, depart from your hotel and make your way along the harbour front until you reach the port of the Caique boats. Here you will be welcomed on-board by the Captain and taken to the island of Bourtzi which is located approximately 450m from shore. You will have time to explore the Bourtzi Fortress, built to provide protection to the town of Nafplio mainly against pirates. After the Greek War of Independence of 1821, where the fortress was active in defending the town against the Turks, the next few unsettled decades saw the fortress occasionally housing government officials in need of a secure and protected enviroment. In 1865 the fortress became the permanent residence for the town's executioners, and finally from 1930 - 1970 The Bourtzi Fortress was used as a Hotel. After approximately 30 minutes to explore the small island of Bourtzi, return to the port with the local Caique and after a short 5 minute walk to a nearby Taverna, you can enjoy a traditional 3 course meal listening to the bouzouki player entertain with traditional Greek tunes. The meal starts with "Gemista" which is an oven baked tomato, stuffed with rice, onion, garlic, and a combination of herbs. For the main course you can choose between oven baked lamb on the bone or chicken breasts served with potatoes cooked with olive oil and oregano, accompanied by a traditional greek salad with tomatoes, cucumber, onion, feta cheese and olives. Finally for desert a traditional baked semolina dish called "Ravani" is served with ice cream. You will also enjoy the local red or white barrel wine or soft drinks. After your meal allow for some free time to leisurely walk amongst the narrow "Venetian" streets enjoying the tall houses, decorative squares and colourful shops. Estimated time of return to your hotel is approximately 10:00pm.

Approximate value: €35 EUR per person

Delphi Archeological Site The sightseeing tour today begins with your Tour Director escorting you to the entrance of the Archaelogical site of Delphi where you will meet and continue with a local guide. Located on top of a hill overlooking a valley blanketed with olive trees, Delphi is among the most popular ancient sites in Greece. During the 8th century B.C. Delphi became internationally known as the "naval" or center of the earth, considered to be the holiest of all holy sites. The reason being the powers of Pythia, the priestess and Oracle of Delphi. The Oracle could supposedly tell the future. Sitting on a tripod inhaling ethylene gases in a state of hypnotic trance and muttering words incomprehensible to mere mortals, holy priests were needed to interpret her visions into a common language and deliver the prophecy to whoever was requesting it. For this reason no major decision was made without consulting the Oracle of Delphi first. While visiting Delphi you will see the Temple of Apollo which housed the oracle, the various treasuries holding the offerings made to the god Apollo and the Oracle, the stoa of the Athenians where trophies were displayed from their sea battles, the ancient theatre, the grand alter, the "Naval of the Earth" stone, the marketplace, statues, ceramics and many artifacts from excavations at Delphi. You will also have time to visit the archaelogical museum close to the site and finally, walking downhill, to see the Sanctuary of Athena Pronea consisting of several altars, temples, two treasuries and the Tholos, a round construction rather unusual for the ancient Greek architecture.

Approximate value: €25 EUR per person

Dinner Outing in Delphi Enjoy this typically Greek dinner outing in this very nice restaurant with wonderful views of the valley with the olive trees. Taste delicious appetizers while you are given a presentation of the wine industry and production in Greece. Later enjoy a Greek style three-course meal with free flowing wine.

Approximate value: €35 EUR per person

Olympia Archeological Site The tour today begins with your tour director escorting your group from the hotel to the Archaeological site of Olympia where you will meet your local Greek guide at the entrance to the site. Considered today as being one of the most interesting and educational sites you will find throughout the Peloponnese, Olympia is mostly famous for being the venue of the Ancient Olympic Games and home to the Olympic flame. Today you will see the remains of a gymnasium, ancient temples, the stadium, housing structures, and just outside the site, the archaeological museum hosting findings from the ancient site and from other excavations in the surrounding areas with well labeled exhibits including the famous statue of Hermes of Praxiteles and Nike Paionios. The games held in Olympia, were actual athletic events with a religious element as they were dedicated to the god Zeus. The Temple of Zeus, located close to the stadium, was built in the 5th century BC by a local architect and made of limestone and marble. Historical records narrate that a giant statue of Zeus was found inside the temple made of ivory and gold. The site of Olympia also houses one of the oldest temples in Greece, The Temple of Hera. This was constructed in the 7th century BC and is the alter where the Olympic Flame is lit for today's modern Olympic games. As did the ancient Olympians, you can enter the Stadium through the archway and run on the ancient track stretching just over 200 meters.

Approximate value: €25 EUR per person

Mykonian Countryside The excursion sets off from Chora. Next stop at the south, the leeward beach of Ornos, a picturesque fishing harbour which is a popular anchorage and then on to the small beach of Agia Anna and Kalafatis beach.

Approximate value: €41 EUR per person

Mykonos Walking Tour and Mykonian Feast This delightful excursion takes you on foot and up close to the wonders of Mykonos Towns, one of the world's best-loved destinations. Start with a stroll along its narrow cobbled streets, past chic boutiques and white-washed churches and elegant cafes, until you arrive at Kastro, home of the famous Paraportiani Church. Next to Paraportiani is the Folklore Museum*, which is found in an old two-story captain's house. While in Kastro, you will also visit the smaller chapels of Paraportiani.

Approximate value: €36 EUR per person

Ancient Ephesus At Ancient Ephesus you find Immortal relics of the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian era. At the archaeological site you will be given a guided tour among the Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marble-paved main Street of Kouretes, the Baths of Scholastica, Trajan's Fountain, the Public Latrines, the Residences of the Patricians, the Prytaneum, the Temple of Hadrian...The Great Theatre, built in the 4th century B.C., could accommodate 24,000 spectators and it is famous even nowadays for its acoustics. The finds from the excavations, which have yet brought to light only 13% of ancient Ephesus, reside in the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus, in the city of Selcuk. During the excursion you will have the opportunity to do some shopping such as carpets, jewelry, leather and other souvenirs.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per person

Ephesus & The Terrace Houses Passing with your tour guide through the Magnesian Gate you will wander, feeling awe in time and space, through the Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marble-paved main Street of Kouretes, the Baths of Scholastica, the Great Theatre, Trajan's Fountain, the Public Latrines, the Houses of the Patricians, the Prytaneum and the Temple of Hadrian. Opposite Hadrian's Temple, at the foot of the Bulbul hill and the covered part of the archaeological site, protected by the heat and natural elements lie the Houses of Koressus or Terrace Houses. Here lived the rich families of Ancient Ephesus and you will be surprised by the excellent state of preservation of these comfortable villas, especially their interior decor. The oldest unearthed houses date since the 1st century B.C. and were two-storied and built based on the city planning and they even had "heating", and hot and cold water. The excursion comes to a close at Kusadasi with the colorful Covered Bazaar and the little shops that brimming with the jovial energy of bargaining. During the excursion you will have the opportunity to do some shopping such as carpets, jewelry, leather and other souvenirs.

Approximate value: €65 EUR per person

Ephesus & Virgin Mary's House Before his crucifixion, Jesus entrusted the safety of the Virgin Mary to St. John the Evangelist. St.John moved Mary to Ephesus for safety. Virgin Mary lived here until the 101st year of her life. In 1957 the Vatican recognized the "House of the Virgin Mary" as the place where the Virgin spent the last years of her life and since then it is an important pilgrimage site for both Christians and Muslims. Next stop the city of Ancient Ephesus, the Ionian colony, which is one of the largest open-air archaeological museums in the world. Together with your tour guide, you will pass the Magnesian Gate. Traces of the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian period are scattered everywhere: the Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marble-paved main Street of the Kouretes, the Thermal Baths of Scholastica, Trajan's Fountain, the Public Latrines, the Houses of the Patricians, the Prytaneum, Hadrian's Temple, the Great Theatre. The excursion is completed at the Covered Bazaar of Kusadasi with some free time for shopping and...bargaining! During the excursion you will have the opportunity to do some shopping such as carpets, jewelry, leather and other souvenirs.

Approximate value: €65 EUR per person

Scenic Island Tour Thanks to its religious value but also for its particularities, in 1999 Patmos was proclaimed a "World Heritage Monument" by UNESCO. The panoramic excursion begins at the port of Scala heading towards the centre of the island, to Chora. At the main town you will visit the Grotto of the Apocalypse and at the top of the "castle" behind the walls, you will see the Monastery of St. John the Evangelist, of Byzantine architecture. The silent windmills in Chora have witnessed important events on the island which attracts thousands of tourists for religious, and also recreational, tourism. The tour of the island continues towards more desolate landscapes, which are the trademark of the Dodecanese. Rocky hills, barren, dry soil, promontories which, like earthly tongues, delve into the sea, dozens of bays and coves, and an intricate coastline. After this enlightening excursion through the island, the tour will conclude at Scala, the port, where the atmospherical cafe "Arion", the oldest and most picturesque of the area, will be waiting for you for coffee, refreshments or juice.

Approximate value: €47 EUR per person

St. John Monastery & Grotto The picturesque alleyways wind upwards, towards the Monastery of St. John the Evangelist, founded in 1088 by St. Christodoulos. The visit will open the doors for you of the Monastery's yard, the place where the monks take their meals and the old bakery. Of exquisite beauty is the tour of the Byzantine Church of St. John, which is adorned with a wood-carved icon screen, important frescoes from several periods, with both mosaic and other icons. Next stop, the small museum which hosts religious treasures of inestimable value, like manuscripts, medieval textiles, sacerdotal vestments and others. Walking down the stairs, the religious energy that you will experience is soul touching. Behind the chapel of St. Anne lies the entrance to the Grotto of the Apocalypse. You will see the cross engraved by St. John the Evangelist, according to tradition, the triple fissure in the wall of the cave, from where St. John heard God dictating to him the Apocalypse. And also the spot where he lay down to sleep.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

Traditional Patmos Feast Join us for an unforgettable feast served in a traditional Patmos taverna. Your friendly hosts are eager to feed you the traditional dishes of their island in one of the loveliest of the island's classic hillside villages.

Approximate value: €49 EUR per person

Old City & Philerimos The Acropolis of ancient Rhodes stands proudly on the hill of St. Stephanos, also called Monte Smith. You will wander through the ruins of the Hellenistic Temple of Apollo, with its amazing columns. Further below, the restored Ancient Stadium of Diagoras once hosted games in honour of the sun god Helios. The next destination is Philerimos, to the northwest, one of the great touristic attractions of the island. The hill of Philerimos, above the homonymous bay, once "hosted" ancient Ialyssos, one of the three Rhodian cities that participated in the Trojan War. Stone steps surrounded by cypresses lead to the Gothic Monastery of Our Lady of Philerimos, dedicated to the Virgin Mary (the Life Giving Source). In the area you will also visit the Byzantine Church of St. George Hostos, with rare frescoes from the 14th-15th century which depict knights. Here also resides the "Golgotha", a path of 12 copper reliefs which depict the Passion of Christ. Back to the city of Rhodes where you will stroll through the Street of the Knights, all the way up to the Palace of the Grand Master.

Approximate value: €59 EUR per person

Old City Walking Tour Walking along the paved Street of the Knights, one of the best preserved medieval arteries, you will come across residences of people of several different historic nationalities, who once belonged to the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem. Before you reach the Palace of the Grand Master, you will bide for a while around the area of Bourgos and the Mosque of Suleiman the Magnificent, erected in 1808, the Turkish Baths, the Hospital of the Knights in Museum Square the Church of Our Lady of the Castle, which has guarded the place since the 11th century A.D. The pinnacle of this tour in the Medieval City of Rhodes is Castello. The Palace of the Grand Master is a magnificent, endless edifice, the most important sight of the Old Town.

Approximate value: €33 EUR per person

Rhodes & Lindos Lindos is situated 55 km (40 miles) from the city of Rhodes and "bears" above it the Acropolis of Lindos, with the ancient Temple of Athena, built in 300 B.C. Here and there you will come across the captains' mansions, built between the 16th and 18th century. In the centre of the village lives and breathes the Church of the Virgin Mary (Panagia) of Lindos, with frescoes from the 15th century. Ascend to the Acropolis of Lindos. Here lies the Temple of Athena, of Doric order, which was erected on the location of an older monument. The ancient city-state of Lindos was for many centuries the most important on the island. It reached its heyday in the 6th century B.C. At the old city of Rhodes you will go through D'Amboise Gate to walk on the Street of the Knights. Along this street you will find the residences of the Knights, separated according to Order, which bear until today their corresponding crests.

Approximate value: €59 EUR per person

A Taste Of Crete This rustic natural excursion is an ode to the Cretan countryside and its values. It is characteristic, that the island of Crete has the most traditional vineyards of the whole of Europe. Grapes have been cultivated here since the Minoan era, a tradition spanning 4,000 years! So undoubtedly the Cretans are hearty connoisseurs when it comes to wine. In fact, 70% of the production of Cretan wine comes from the "Peza" valley. This will also be the first stop of your excursion. Next follows Vathypetro, a small Minoan palace with exterior courtyards of ashlar masonry, with storage facilities and porticoes, which was discovered in 1949 by Spyros Marinatos. Passing through villages and vineyards, you reach Archanes, an important Minoan settlement, built at the foot of Mount Juktas. Here you will have the time to try the Cretan delicacies, taste the local wine and take in the local music at the area's central square, under the generous shade of the trees.

Approximate value: €53 EUR per person

City Tour & Museum Heraklion was founded in 824 and is an important homeland of many contributors to Literature and Art, some examples of which are the Nobel winning poet Odysseas Elytis, the Renaissance painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) and the writer Nikos Kazantzakis. Heraklion is also endowed with some wonderful edifices: the "Koules" fortress, the award winning Venetian structure of the Loggia, the Morosini Fountain, the Basilica of Saint Mark, the Church of Agios Titos, the medieval monastery of Saint Catherine, the Cathedral of Agios Mina, the Historical Museum of Crete and of course the Palace of Knossos are some exceptional examples. The tour will come to an end at the Archaeological Museum of the city. Through the exhibits of the Museum, the history of the Cretan culture will unfold and be visualized before you.

Approximate value: €53 EUR per person

Palace Of Knossos The ancient city of Knossos, with constant habitation from the Neolithic era until the 5th century A.D., is beyond doubt the land that "gave birth" to the first civilization of Europe, the Minoans. The first excavations were begun in 1878 by the Heraklian Minos Kalokairinos. A bit later (1900-1913 & 1922-1930) the excavations by the British Sir Arthur Evans were to complete the scientific research, bringing to light the Minoan palace in its entirety, which was, according to tradition, the residence of the wise King Minos. The palace of Knossos spreads around the large Central Court. You will reach the awe inspiring Throne Room, the fresco of the "Prince of the Lilies", the imposing Grand Staircase, the Queen's Megaron in the east. Walking through the apartments of the Knossos palace and observing the finds even as passers-by, you will feel part of this cultural heritage.

Approximate value: €53 EUR per person

Akrotiri Village & Excavation In prehistoric times, the people who inhabited what today is known as Santorini, called the island Strongyle ("round"). These people enjoyed a high standard of living; they built two-story houses, tilled the earth and were skilled artists, recognizing the beauty of color. Around 1650 B.C., a volcanic eruption caused the centre of Strongyle to sink, leaving a caldera with high cliffs - one of the world's most dramatic geological sights. You will have the chance to visit the village of Akrotiri with its famous antiquities. There you will be taken back in time when you see these amazing ruins leaving you to imagine what life was like before the village was destroyed around 1650 B.C., by the eruption of the volcano of Thira.

Approximate value: €57 EUR per person

Oia Village First you head up to the monastery of Prophet Ilias, for a breath-taking view, deep inhalations of clean, pure, Cycladic air and memorial photos, so as to be the envy of all who didn't come along. The tour continues its passage towards the north. To the east, in the background, you will have settlements like Kamari and Monolithos, while you will pass through Fira, the small traditional villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli with delicate architecture and beauties, to eventually arrive at the settlement of Oia. During the entire route, to the west you will have before your eyes the lace-like caldera, the little islands of Thirasia, Palea and Nea Kameni and an unsurpassable panoramic view. In Oia you will have plenty of time to stroll through the marble-paved alleys, to gaze at the adorably cute shops, to take pictures, to become acquainted with the characteristic buildings, carved into the rocks and the unusual captains' manors, the settlement Ammoudi at the foot of the caldera...After your curiosity has been sated of the area which is characterized as being of "exceptional natural beauty", your return begins.

Approximate value: €57 EUR per person

Santorini Sailing & Volcano The little islands of Palea and Nea Kameni are of particular geological interest, since underneath them lightly slumbers an active volcano. From the cruise ship you will be transported easily within a few minutes by small boat to Nea Kameni which resembles a moon landscape! You will walk up to the verge of the crater, the heart of the volcano, a unique geological phenomenon which will overwhelm you with awe. In Nea Kameni nowadays there is gas-steam activity at the top of the crater, while its beaches are embraced by thermal springs. The next stop of this special excursion, is Palea (or Palia) Kameni with its therapeutical, warm waters. The sea temperature here is 5C higher than in the rest of the locations and the green-yellow water contains sulphur. After the trip to the volcano, you will have the chance to walk, take keepsake photos, to touch the magic and energy of Fira. Finishing your trip in the main town of Santorini, you will descend by funicular (the ticket is included in the fee of this excursion) to the Old Port to reach the cruise ship by small boat.

Approximate value: €57 EUR per person

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