Greece

Tasting a Drop of Heaven

Level

Easy

Duration

6 days

“It takes a lifetime to discover Greece, but it only takes an instant to fall in love with her.” (Henry Miller)

Indeed, it is difficult to visit Greece and not fall in love with the constantly changing scenery, the forests, the rocky mountains, the emerald, crystal-clear sea, the local cuisine and, above all, the friendliness of its people. Myths and legends blend with the remnants of the numerous historical eras and create a kaleidoscope that is not easily offered to the visitor but, instead, needs to be discovered, step-by-step, through the maze-like paths of the country.

In this trip, we move from big cities to small villages, connect with the land and the sea, and, in general, we get a strong taste of what it means to live in Greece like a local. We follow routes that are especially beloved by the Athenians throughout the year, enjoying, among other things, a ride with the cog train through a spectacular gorge, a visit to the Cave of Lakes, a hike in the mountains, an exploration of Nafplio (the first capital of the modern Greek state) and Athens (the current capital city), a boat tour around the island of Spetses, and an introduction to the ancient city of Mykines (the city of King Agamemnon, the Greek leader during the Troyan War).

Facts:

  • Level: Easy
  • Activities: trekking /cultural sightseeing/ caving / boating /swimming 

Our operation:

  • All Rahhalah’s ground handlers and guides are locally employed ensuring more authentic experience for travelers, as well as sensitivity and understanding of the local culture and environment
  • Our staff is highly experienced and has excellent knowledge, committed to provide exceptional service at all times.

Sustainability:

We run a low impact operation and we leave no traces behind, contributing to the efforts of protection of the local land, its people and culture.

We are committed to employing local people to the maximum extent possible. We pay our staff well and, just as important, we provide them with periodical training. In addition we emphasize on making extensive use of local products and enhance maximum economic benefits to the local communities.

As you all know 1% of our revenue go back to a local cause and Rahhalah directly takes care of that. This is our pay back promise.

DETAILED ITINERARY

Day 01: Arrival to Athens

You will be welcomed at the airport and driven to the hotel.

Optional: Relax by strolling in the nearby area, making a first acquaintance with Athens. Enjoy a coffee in one of the numerous coffee shops around the Acropolis Rock, or, like an Athenian, choose to rest in one of the several terraces overlooking the Parthenon, gazing at the historical center from above. At night, dining options can be offered for those interested to explore the culinary delights of the Greek capital, and you might even consider checking a screening in an open-air cinema: one of the most unique, memorable experiences locals and tourists enjoy alike.

Overnight Athens.

Day 02: Athens (B, L, D)

We set off, after breakfast, for our city exploration. We will follow alternative routes, avoiding the long queues in the archaeological sites and the museums. Instead, we will connect with the city like a veritable Athenian. We will start by visiting the three hills on the west side of the Acropolis, enjoying the pine-covered paths and great views of the Parthenon and Lycabettus Hill, while also passing by Pnyka: the actual place where democracy was born. We will continue by ambling among the various neighborhoods, getting to know the dense tapestry of the city. Thiseio and Monastiraki, along with the Flea market, are part of our route, and we will have lunch in an old tavern, dining on traditional Greek street food.

After lunch, members of the group can choose one of the following optional routes:

Option 1: Until 3:30pm, some may wish to visit the archaeological site of Acropolis or the Temple of Olympian Zeus and marvel at the architectural and artistic magnificence of these holy places (entrance tickets to the archaeological sites are not included)

Option 2: Other members of the group may wish to enjoy some free time, either rambling in the streets of the historical center of Athens or relaxing at the hotel.

Option 3: Finally, some members of the group may choose to continue a guided tour through the most commercial streets of the historical center, reaching Syntagma Square and the Parliament.

We all meet again in the afternoon, at around 6 pm, in order to visit Plaka neighborhood, passing by the numerous Ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman ruins, and the hidden gem of Anafiotika: the tiny island-like neighborhood under the Acropolis Rock.

At night, we will have dinner in one of the picturesque Plaka taverns, enjoying some Greek music and, hopefully, dancing!

Overnight Athens.

Day 03: Athens – Kalavryta – Vytina (B, L, D)

Schedule:

  • Athens-Diakopto (1.50 hours drive)
  • Cog train trip to Kalavryta (1hour)
  • Kalavryta orientation walk
  • Lunch
  • Visit local pasta and pastry lab (1 hour)
  • Kalavryta-Cave of the Lakes (25mins drive)
  • Visit the cave of Lakes (1.30 hour)
  • Vytina village (1 hour drive)
  • Optional short hike (1.5 hours) around Vytina village
  • Dinner

After breakfast in Athens, hop on your private mini-bus for a two-hour scenic drive across the northern side of the Peloponnese towards the seaside town of Diakopto. Train tickets in hand, we will take one of the most impressive train trips in the Balkans (60’ long). The route, which is dominated by the Vouraikos river gorge, offers breath-taking views in vertical waterfalls and spectacular landscapes.

Welcome to the stunning historic town of Kalavryta, perched on the slopes of Mt. Helmos in an area of exquisite natural beauty. We will stroll around the paved streets of the village and have lunch in one of our favourite taverns serving delicious local food.

After lunch, we will then take a private tour in a local pasta and pastry lab (the famous Greek preserves) and will have the opportunity to learn the processes firsthand by the experts.

Our multi-experiential trip continues further south from Kalavryta to the remarkable Cave of the Lakes. The cave is home to five species of bats and spectacular rock formations. Enjoy observing the crystal-clear subterranean pools and the thirteen stone basins formed by mineral deposits over the millennia.

Our trip today will end to the picturesque village of Vytina where, depending on the time we arrive, some members of the group may wish to join an optional short hike in the nearby area.

Overnight: Vytina village

Day 04: Vytina – Mykines – Naflpio ( B, L, D)

Schedule:

  • Vytina-Elati Hiking (2.30 hours)
  • Elati-Mykines archaeological site (2 hours drive)
  • Mykines archaeological site visit (1 hour)
  • Lunch in nearby tavern
  • Mykines-Nafplio (30’ drive)
  • Nafplio sightseeing/ beach time /optional water sports activities

Start your exploration with a guided hike in the fir forest of Mount Mainalo which is also part of the Mainalon trail: a NATURA preserved region of Greece. The hike ends in the beautiful village of Elati.

Hop on your mini bus for a two-hour drive to stunning ancient Mykines where myth and history are inextricably linked. According to Homer, Mykines was rich in gold and once ruled much of the Mediterranean world.

Last but not least, after a short drive, discover the first capital of Greece, Nafplion a charming seaside tiny town renowned for its elegant Venetian houses, neoclassical mansions and interesting museums. We will visit Nafplio highlights such as Palamidi fortress nestled on a 216 meters high hill and, of course, Bourtzi a fortress completed by the Venetians in 1473 on an islet west of the old town.

There are several beaches around Nafplio where you can unwind as you choose for the rest of the day relaxing or testing your skills in water sports.

Overnight: Nafplio

Day 05: Spetses island (B, L, D)

Shchedule:

  • Nafplio
  • Spetses (1.30 drive) & (5 minutes cross by boat)
  • Check in/Free time
  • Spetses approx. 5 hour private boat tour / fruit snack onboard.
  • Dinner

Start your day with a visit to Nafplio’s highlight: Palamidi fortress nestled on a 216 meters high hill (we will climb the 999 stairs that lead to its entrance).

After a short drive, we will be transferred by boat to Spetses, a beautiful island very close to Athens, favoured by yachtsmen and Athenian weekenders.

The island hosts both the Spetses Mini Marathon and Spetsathlon yearly events. In parallel, Spetses is renowned for its warm waters and sandy beaches, its excellent seafood cuisine and cosmopolitan night-life. Our day’s activities include a guided boat tour around the island with several stops for taking pictures and swimming in sandy beaches. We will also learn the basics of fishing and will, at the same time, try to apply our knowledge!

Overnight: Spetses

Day 06: Departure Athens ( B)

Transfer to the port of Piraeus by ferry (2-3hours depending on boat type) and then to Athens International Airport.

Recommended flight in late afternoon.

1550 EUR

per person based on a group of min 4. Double occupancy.

Trip Dates

1st September 2017

NOTES

  • This cost is based on Double Occupancy. Single Supplement Applies.
  • All services stipulated above are subject to availability at the time of booking / reservation. All prices are subject to change.

This includes:

Airport greeting, pick up and drop off

English speaking tour guide

Chief Initiator – Transformational Journeys Trip Leader –  Konstantina Sakellariou

All transportation as described in the itinerary. Vehicle: 9 seater Van or Mini bus according to group size. Professional English speaking driver.

Ferry from Spetses island to Piraeus port

Spetses island land transfers to/from hotel and to/from starting point of activities by Taxi or horse carriage.

Accommodation: 2 nights in Athens city hotel. 1 night in Vytina, 1 night in Naflplio, 1 night in Spetses island. Double occupancy

Meals as described

Traditional pasta lab visit in Kalavryta

Entrance tickets to Mykines, Palamidi, Bourzi, Cave of the Lakes & Odontotos cog train

1 guided hike in Vytina/Elati village (and an optional brief hike around Vytina village)

1 boat tour experience ‘The round of Spetses’

This excludes:

International flights

Visa fees

Travel Insurance

Single Supplement

High Season supplements

Personal gear

Meals not mentioned above

Beverages

Tips and gratuities

Personal expenses

Important:The itinerary and schedule are subject to change due to weather, road condition and operating conditions. In any case the guide has the RIGHT to change the program for the safety and convenience of the travelers.

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