Cyclades Greek Island Hopper & Athens
Athens, Mykonos, Santorini & Crete plus Classical Greece optional extension
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No escort, freedom to explore at your own pace
|Departs||New York City (NYC); other gateways on request (flight schedule)|
|Highlights||Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Heraklion. Optional Classical Greece Extension|
|What to Expect||This leisurely-paced, independent tour requires minimal walking and is suitable for most levels of physical fitness. This tour does not include a tour guide or escort.|
Come with us to experience the magic of the Mediterranean on this amazing Greek Isles tour. Explore three of the best Greek Islands on this unique new vacation package. Unlike our ever-popular Greek cruises, this "island hopper" tour gives you several days to explore each island—a chance to really get to know and love them. This package is designed for the independent traveler, so you can choose to spend the days exploring the ancient secrets of the islands, or just bask on the sun-splashed Mediterranean beaches. Spend the evenings dining, dancing and enjoying the famous nightlife.
Visit beautiful Mykonos, with its white-washed houses and blue shutters studding the island, sparkling beaches and clear blue sea. Then sail to Santorini, with spectacular views of the sunken caldera and still-active volcano, black sand beaches, fabulous shopping alongside unspoiled villages. Next, you're off to Crete, the largest Greek island, where the ancient Minoan civilization flourished, and you can glimpse the remains of King Minos' Palace of Knossos. Top it off with two nights in ancient Athens, the city where past meets present, known as the birthplace of western civilization. Enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the Greek Isles, all at an incredible price.
Dates, Prices & Options
Departure Dates & Prices
Sorry, there are no currently available tour dates.
Options & Extensions
Flights & Departure Cities
Note: NYC departures will be from either JFK or EWR based upon availability when you make your reservation. Your flight itinerary showing which airport that you are departing from will be emailed to you in 24-48 hours.
Transfers: Transfers for this package are provided on a group basis only. For passengers deviating in any way from the group program, transfers are not provided. Individual, private transfers can be arranged at a supplement in price. Taxis and other forms of transportation are also available and may cost less than private transfers. If you wish to arrange private transfers, please request this service at the time of reservation.
Day 1: Depart USA. Your exciting journey to Greece begins this evening as you check in for your overnight flight.
Day 2: Athens. Arrive today in Athens, the birthplace of western civilization. You'll be met by our representative and then escorted to your hotel, centrally located near the famous Plaka (Old Town). Accommodations: Royal Olympic or similar.
Day 3: Athens. Enjoy a full day to explore Athens on your own. To make the most of your visit, our representatives will offer you some exclusive optional excursions to the city's highlights, including a half-day tour of Athens in the morning (€68) and a tour of Cape Sounion in the evening (€43). Breakfast provided.
Day 4: Athens & Mykonos. This morning, you'll be transferred to the port of Piraeus for your ferry to the gorgeous island of Mykonos. You'll be met and transferred to your hotel. The balance of the day is yours at leisure. Chic crowds flock to the island's beautiful beaches by day and to the trendy restaurants and discos each night. Accommodations: Mykonian Ambassador or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 5: Mykonos. You'll have two days to independently enjoy the island of Mykonos. Stroll through the town with its labyrinth of winding alleyways and whitewashed buildings, upscale shops and cafes. Grab a seaside table and unwind, sipping ouzo and watching the sunset while listening to traditional Greek music.
While on Mykonos, you may want to visit the small island of Delos, once the religious center of the Aegean and Cyclades. According to myth, on this island Latonna gave birth to Apollo, the Greek sun god, and Artemis, the huntress and goddess of marriage and fertility. Breakfast provided.
Day 6: Mykonos. Another day to relax and explore Mykonos. Breakfast provided.
Day 7: Mykonos & Santorini. This morning, you'll be transferred to the port of Mykonos for your ferry to the Island of Santorini. Upon arrival at the port of Thira, you will be met and transferred to your hotel on the cliff-side of Santorini, facing the famous Caldera. The balance of the day is yours at leisure. This striking island is a volcanic crater immersed in the sea. The island is famous for its breathtaking and rugged landscapes, whitewashed houses, open-air cafes and glittering boutiques which cling to steep cliffs, accessible by foot, cable car or mule. Your hotel is built into the cliff, with steps to reach rooms, public areas and swimming pool. Accommodations: Belvedere Hotel, Hotel Aressana Spa & Suites or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 8: Santorini. You will have two days to independently enjoy the island of Santorini. Visit the bustling town of Fira, or even the smaller villages of Firostefani, Imerovigli and Oia. While you're in Santorini, you may decide to take an optional boat cruise to Nea Kameni and visit the still active volcano. Enjoy the spectacular views as the sun sets behind the Caldera. Breakfast provided.
Day 9: Santorini. Another day to relax and explore Santorini. Breakfast provided.
Day 10: Santorini & Heraklion, Crete. Today, transfer to the port of Thira and board your ferry to Heraklion, Crete. Arrive in Heraklion, where you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. The balance of the day is yours at leisure.
Crete is home to the ruins of Knossos, the ceremonial and political center of the Minoan civilization, just five kilometers from Heraklion city center. The palace at Knossos was an intricate collection of over 1000 interlocking rooms, used as a religious and administrative center, as well as workshops for artisans and food processing. The ruins have been extensively excavated, and some, colorfully painted and restored. Accommodations: Aquila Atlantis Hotel or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 11: Heraklion. Enjoy two full days at leisure on the island of Crete. In Heraklion, the open air market is a must-see, where a boisterous crowd of local residents buys and sells everything from goats and sheep to huge cauldrons of fresh yogurt. Other points of interest here include the Archaeological Museum, one of the finest in Greece, housing exquisite findings from Knossos and other Minoan ruins, numerous Venetian fortresses, fountains and loggias scattered throughout the city and the Historical Museum of Crete, with its Byzantine and folklore collections. Breakfast provided.
Day 12: Heraklion. Another day to relax and explore Crete. Breakfast provided.
Day 13: Heraklion & Athens. Today, transfer to the airport to board your flight back to Athens. Upon arrival, collect your luggage and check into your airport hotel conveniently located just a short walk from the arrival & departure terminals. Accommodations: Sofitel Athens Airport or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 14: Athens/USA. This morning, return to the international departure terminal for check-in. Bid farewell to Greece as you board your flight back home. Your exciting journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.
Classical Greece Optional Extension
Why not take advantage of your already-included international airfare and visit the classical cities of Corinth, Mycenae, Olympia, and Delphi? Your extension includes superior hotels, most meals and guided touring of the most fascinating sites, including entrance fees to places visited.
Day 13: Heraklion & Athens. Today, transfer to the airport to board your flight back to Athens. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your centrally located hotel for overnight. Accommodations: Royal Olympic or similar. Breakfast provided.
Day 14: Athens, Mycenae & Olympia. Board your touring coach and begin a tour of the classical cities of Greece. Drive across the Corinth Canal, which connects the Ionian Sea with the Aegean, to the Peloponnesian Peninsula, where 4,000 years of history are more fully and comprehensibly illustrated than anywhere else in Europe. Here you will visit the famous theater of Epidaurus, the best preserved in Greece, which reached the height of its fame in the 5th & 4th centuries B.C. The acoustics are so perfect that even from the last of the 55 tiers, every word can be heard. Continue to the ruins of ancient Mycenae, which according to the poets was founded by Perseus and built with the aid of the mythological Cyclops. Drive on to Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games, for dinner and overnight. Accommodations: Hotel Amalia Olympia or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 15: Olympia, Nafpaktos & Delphi. This morning, tour the archaeological site and museum at Olympia, where the Olympic Games were conceived as a tribute to Hercules, son of Zeus. These games were the most important international event in the Hellenic world from 776 B.C. to 393 A.D. and continue today, with the lighting of the Olympic flame that is carried by runners throughout the world. Visit the Sanctuary of the Olympian Zeus and the Museum. This afternoon, drive via Patras to Rion, Antirion and picturesque Nafpaktos where, according to mythology, Hercules slew the Erymanthine boar. Stop to admire the view and the lovely circular Venetian harbor. Continue to Delphi for dinner and overnight. Accommodations: Hotel Amalia Delphi or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 16: Delphi & Kalambaka. After breakfast, explore the ancient site of Delphi, located on the slopes of the breathtaking Mount Parnassus. See the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios, the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the museum, which contains masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture including the famous bronze Charioteer. The site has been sacred since at least the Bronze Age. According to legend, the shrine was originally guarded by the she-dragon Pytho. She was killed by Apollo who then took over the oracle. In antiquity, Delphi was regarded as the center of the world. Later, depart for the small town of Kalambaka, built at the foot of the majestic gray rocks, at the point where the river Pinios leaves the Pindos Mountain. Accommodations: Hotel Amalia Kalambaka or similar. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 17: Meteora & Athens. This morning, visit the spectacular Meteora monasteries, perched upon the summits of some precipitous and isolated rocky pinnacles, which rise above the almost flat valley of the Pinios River, 9 km beyond Kalambaka. The monastic history of Meteora goes back to the 11th century AD, when the monks constructed inaccessible eagle's nests in the crannies of these rocks and today, four are still occupied. Later this afternoon, return to Athens, passing by Thermopylae, famous battleground from the Persian wars. Arrive in Athens and check in at your hotel. Accommodations: Royal Olympic. Breakfast provided.
Day 18: Athens/USA. Today you'll be escorted to the airport and bid farewell to Athens as you board your flight back home. Your exciting journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today. Breakfast provided.
I think Friendly Planet did an excellent job overall. We had a wonderful honeymoon trip and your service was a very good value. We thoroughly enjoyed the two optional boat trips we took: one in Paros and one in Santorini.
Things to Know
- Do I need a visa or any other documents? Please review the requirements about which documents you need before you travel.
- Should I get travel insurance? Protect your travel investment with our comprehensive policies.
- What's the fine print? Read the terms & conditions for this package.
- I'm traveling solo. Can you help me find a roommate? Yes, you can connect with other travelers to share a room and avoid single occupancy rates.
- Can I bring my kids? Are there any age restrictions? To book this package, you must be 18 or older. Your traveling companions must be 8 or older at the time of travel.
- Tips about traveling in Greece? Check our Fast Facts to learn about the best time to travel, what to wear, what to buy, currency conversion, tipping, weather, voltage & plugs, immunizations you should get, and more.