Glorious Greece

Detailed Itinerary

Day One.   Athens

Welcome to Athens, the mesmerizing birthplace of democracy and a vibrant cultural hub. Our arrival time (and energy level) will dictate how active our day will be today. It is a flexible day with ample possibilities in this wonderful city of Athens. High on our recommended list is the National Archeological Museum, which is the preeminent museum in all of Greece. Or we may wish to wander the vibrant streets of Plaka. Here on narrow cobblestone streets line with tiny shops, we can enjoy observing Greek life from a sidewalk café or family run taverna. In the evening, you are free to experience the vibrant nightlife of Athens or perhaps attend a performance at the world renowned Odeon of Herodes Atticus Theater.

Hotel: Electra Hotel Athens


Day Two.   Athens

Today we will visit The Acropolis! Anytime you catch sight of it in Athens, the Acropolis steals every bit of your attention. What we admire today (together with the artifacts in the neighboring Acropolis Museum) is the work of the greatest craftsmen and engineers of Classical times. Civilizations and conquerors have come and gone, sometimes adding to what Athenians today call the Sacred Rock and sometimes destroying its monuments. And there it still stands, shining as brightly as ever. We will enjoy a two-hour private guided tour of this UNESCO World Heritage Site In the afternoon, we will have a 4-hour walking food tour of Athens with our local tour leader. We will taste a selection of Greek specialties, including koulóuria (sesame bread rings) and loukoumades (Greek donuts). Try a traditionally brewed Greek coffee. We will visit specialty food stores and sample local produce wine and organic olive oil. Be prepared for delicious foods and flavors!

Hotel: Electra Hotel Athens

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch (Food Tour)


Day Three.  Athens – Thessaloniki

“There is a homeland for everyone, while there is Thessaloniki.” (Niκ. Houmnos, 14thc. Byzantine dignitary and a Scholar). Following breakfast, we will fly (1 hr.) from Athens to Thessaloniki, the co-capital of Greece. Athens may get the headlines, but for food, shopping and architectural styles, Thessaloniki punches well above its weight. Thessaloniki is a year-round destination with a youthful energy all of its own – and there’s always something to do and see! It is well known for its amazing and varied street food, pastries and late-night eats, but it also has incredible fine dining. This evening we will enjoy a Dinner by the Sea at one of the most authentic restaurants overlooking Thermaikos Bay. We will take a night walk following dinner on the longest esplanade in the Balkans to give you a feeling of the local customs and mingle with the local Salonikios (residents of Thessaloniki).

Hotel: Mediterranean Palace

Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner


Day Four.  Thessaloniki

Today we will enjoy our Thessaloniki City Secrets Tour. We will visit the thriving food and culture spots that reflect the pulse of this. The central hub of the city is Aristotelous Square which offers a view of the sea and dozens of cafes. Nearby is the longest seafront promenade in Southern Europe. Along the waterfront, there are what locals call 12 thematic parks that cover the needs of young and old. There are gardens to relax at, small lakes and waterfalls, places to take pets to get some exercise, as well as basketball and tennis courts. We will visit two special markets of Thessaloniki. The Kapani Market is an important link to the Roman past. It’s a historic open-air market which hosts a whole array of shops from fish and meat to vegetables, fruits, drinks, olives, sweets, nuts, spices, outdoor shops selling lingerie, flowers, clothes and shoes and restaurants. The Modiano is the city’s largest indoor market. The architect Eli Modiano designed the market, which opened in 1930, and has carried his name ever since. The building resembles some Parisian markets. The market boasts produce, cheese, meat and fish shops, mainly at its street-side areas. Inside, there are both traditional and new tavernas, restaurants and bars.

Lodging: Mediterranean Palace

Meals Included: Breakfast


Day Five.  Thessaloniki – Nymfaio

Today we will depart Thessaloniki in our private, air-conditioned deluxe vehicle with our own driver and our local expert. Driving through the city, you will get a feel of its 3000 years of existence. Thessaloniki was named after Alexander the Great’s sister and Greeks fondly refer to it as the “City of Love”. After approximately an hour we will arrive at Vergina, a UNESCO World Heritage site where the Royal Burial Chamber of Philip II, Alexander the Great’s father is located. It is one of the most impressive museums one will get to visit in Greece and not many people know a lot about it. Our professional guide, leading the tour, was a student of the archaeologist who actually unearthed the tomb and he will take us on an enchanting trip back in time to explore the splendor of the Macedonian Dynasty. Just a stone’s throw away, is Ktima Kir- Yianni, where we’ll have the opportunity to taste some of the best wine labels in Greece and tour the winery to find out the secrets of the patriarch of winemaking in Greece. (Wine tasting included) After the unique and delightful experience at Ktima Kir-Yianni, it’s time to drive (1.5 hr.) to the final destination of the day’s journey, Nymfaio Village, the Dwelling Place of the Nymphs, which is truly an authentic Greek village. We will spend the night at La Moara, but first we will have dinner at one of the most unique restaurants in Greece in the middle of nowhere!

Hotel: La Moara

Meals Included: Breakfast, Wine Tasting


Day Six.  Nymfaio

Our locally sourced Greek breakfast will include traditional pies and homemade confits. We will then walk to visit the Arcturos Bear Sanctuary. The sight of rescued brown bears in forested enclosures is a rare and rewarding experience. These bears were saved from poor captive conditions and can spend their remaining years in a natural and safe environment. Our arrival and return to the Sanctuary will be on foot, walking through a pleasant beech forest. It is an easy 20-minute walk through a quiet and treasured area of untouched Greece. On the way back, we will visit Saint Nickolas Church where our guide will explain the culture and history of Nymfaio Village. In the afternoon, we will enjoy a truffle hunt in a nearby forest! Northern Greece is where the best quality truffles and mushrooms are found. We will follow a known truffle path with our licensed truffle hunter and his trained dogs. We will learn how best to cook this heavenly delicacy. Our last stop of the day will be a visit to the Domaine Karanika, which is famous for producing one of the best sparkling wines (not included) in Europe. We will learn the story of the couple who turned the tide in Greek winemaking. And then we will finish the day with a delicious Greek Barbecue at the Domaine Karanika.

Hotel: La Moara

Meals Included: Breakfast, Truffle Lunch, Barbecue Dinner


Day Seven.  Nymfaio – Ioannina

Today we travel to the city of Ioannina, a 2.5 hour drive. Once we arrive and check into our hotel, the remainder of the day is free. Ioannina is paradise! Set on the western shore of the lovely Lake Pamvotis, Ioannina is one of northern Greece’s most atmospheric cities, as well as one of its more cultured and wealthy urban centers. Historically, it was famous throughout the Ottoman Empire for its silver artisans. At sunset, the lake turns silver, and the impressive mountains behind turn lilac. Ioannina is a beautiful place in every season.

Hotel: Grand Serai Congress & Spa

Meals Included: Breakfast, Welcome Dinner


Day Eight.  Ioannina – Aristi

After a delicious traditional breakfast with local produce we set off to explore Ioannina and its splendor. The Castle of Ioannina, which is the oldest in Greece, was first constructed as part of the fortification project by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian. It later became Ali Pasha’s headquarters and the biggest administrative centre of Greece during the Ottoman rule. Built during the 15th century on the Island of Ioannina, the hospitable Monastery of Saint Pantaleon. The reputation of Ioannina’s silversmiths has for centuries travelled beyond Greece’s borders. The items they made were so unique, so exquisitely crafted, that they went down in history as being among Europe’s finest. We will learn of the history of silversmithing at the Silversmithing Museum. For dinner, we’ll be joining our friends of the local Epirus Gastronomy Club for an authentic food and wine experience, an afternoon cooking workshop at the club will reveal the secrets of centuries old traditions. This will be an early dinner for us and afterwards, we will drive to check into the Aristi Mountain Resort.

Hotel: Aristi Mountain Resort Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast


Day Nine.  Aristi – Zagorochoria

After a bountiful breakfast, we will drive to the stunning Zagorochoria (choria = villages – Zagori villages) area for a fascinating hike to the Voidomatis Springs in one of the most stunning gorges in Europe. Our hike starts at the traditional village of Papigo and finishes at Vikos. We will hike in the heart of the beautiful National Park of Vikos-Aoos – our destination is the Voidomatis Spring. En route, we will have exceptional panoramic views of the upper Voidomatis Gorge, the renowned “Astraka Towers,” and the picturesque Papigo villages. As soon as we reach the springs, we will have the chance to visit an ancient Monastery and perhaps dip in the crystal clear waters of the Voidomatis River, should you be so inspired. From Vikos, we can take in stunning views over the deepest canyon in Europe, according to the Guinness Book of Records. This is a hike of 2-3 hours of incredible beauty which we will adapt to the abilities of our group.

Hotel: Aristi Mountain Resort Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast


Day Ten.  Aristi – Kerkyra (Corfu)

Welcome to Kerkyra (Corfu)! Corfu is an island in the Ionian Sea famed for its cosmopolitan Old Town, spectacular sandy beaches, and beautiful landscapes. Corfu has a rich history that weaves a bewildering number of influences with the Venetians, English, French and Russians all flourishing here and leaving their mark on the island. Following breakfast we will drive (2 hrs.) with our driver and guide to the port of Igouenitsa. We may have time for a coffee before our ferry departs for the 1.5 hr ride to the island. The ferry is comfortable and well-stocked with drinks and snacks. Upon arrival we will drive to our lodging, the Grecotel Corfu Imperial. This five star resort is located off the beaten path about a 30-minute drive north of Corfu city, just steps from nightlife and shopping.

Hotel: Grecotel Corfu Imperial

Meals included: Breakfast


Day Eleven. Corfu

Today we will discover the unique heritage of this beautiful island with an Olive Oil Experience followed by a private tour in Corfu town. We will drive south about 45 minutes to the 15th century Governor’s Olive Mill, the birthplace of the award winning Governor Olive Oil. This will be an unforgettable Olive Oil experience! Corfu’s food influences are often Venetian, but the taste is unmistakably Greek. The olive oil, honey and wine you enjoy on Corfu will most likely be local. Even the beer could be. We will have the chance to admire the Old Fortress, the Church of St. Spyridon, the Town Hall and The Liston, which design is based on the Rue de Rivoli in Paris. In the afternoon, we will return to our hotel to enjoy time at the beach before our Farewell Dinner

Hotel: Grecotel Corfu Imperial

Meals included: Breakfast, Farewell Dinner


Day Twelve.  Corfu. Tour Ends

Following breakfast, we check-out of the Grecotel Corfu Imperial and depart for Corfu Airport for our flight(s) home. Bon Voyage!

Meals included: Breakfast


What’s Included

(Almost everything once you’re there!)

  • 11 nights in traditional mansions/manors/boutique hotels.
  • Breakfast, some midday breaks and 5 dinners.
  • Private VIP Transfer with a dedicated driver from Thessaloniki to Corfu.
  • A dedicated trip leader from Thessaloniki onwards.
  • Transportation from the airports to the hotels and back.
  • All Entrance Fees to sites of interest that we visit.
  • Entrance to places closed to the public
  • Insider access to unique experiences
  • All taxes

What’s Not Included

  • Domestic flights: Athens to Thessaloniki (less than $100 in 2024) Corfu to Athens (less than $100 in 2024)
  • Travel/Medical/Trip Cancellation Insurance
  • Extra beverages or alcoholic drinks during meals
  • Other expenses of a personal nature
  • Gratuities

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