Greece Alive Travel Tours
Fulfill Your Dream of Greece on an enriching, small-Group tour to the Land of the Minoans
Ancient Greece Alive!
An Exquisite, Expert-Led Tour of Athens, Crete and Santorini
September 2- 11, 2024!
Embark on a Minoan odyssey with us…
An enchanting, culture, cuisine and history-focused 10-day journey through Greece’s most dreamy destinations: Magnificent Athens, Magical Crete and Spectacular Santorini.
Monday, September 2 – Wed, September 11, 2024
$5960 USD PP Twin $1745 USD Single Supplement Very Limited Spaces
This deluxe, fully immersive small group tour will be led by ancient civilizations experts and storytellers Laura Ranieri Roy and Francois Roy, along with top local Greek guides.
Culinary adventures, local culture immersions, breathtaking natural scenery, mountain vistas, azure seas, luxury accommodation, special museums, and, of course, all the most fascinating historical sites await. We have so many unique and enriched adventures in store during this exclusive culture and history trip of a lifetime.
- Wander the landmarks of historic Athens, Crete and Santorini
- Be vibrantly led by Laura Ranieri Roy and Francois Roy
- Special dining and culinary experiences – picturesque tavernas, wine tastings – and a private cooking lesson by a top Cretan chef in the fabled white mountains
- Visit the Minoan palaces of Knossos, Phaistos and Akrotiri
- Special experiences and unexpected surprises
- Stay at a handpicked selection of premium accommodations.
- Athens, ancient yet modern: From its majestic Acropolis and bustling markets to its world class museums, you’ll be immersed in the dynamism of the city – including special dining experiences, lectures, walking tours, Acropolis museum – and spectacular new fine arts museum
- Chania, Crete – a Venetian jewel: stay three nights in a deluxe harbour side hotel – and wander the cobbled streets of this stunning Venetian harbour town… considered the prettiest on Crete
- Private cooking class in Crete’s White Mountains: Savour the delicious freshness of Cretan cuisine and inspire your inner chef during a private cooking class led by Crete’s top chef Kiria Koula in a beautiful mountain village setting….
- Minoan palaces of Knossos & Phaistos: Explore the home of the legendary Minotaur and labyrinth and visit stunning Phaistos, the second greatest Minoan city
- Spectacular Santorini – the diamond of the Aegean: Enjoy luxury cliffside accommodation with swimming pools literally hanging over the famous caldera, swoon at breathtaking views, tastings at a top Santorini winery, spectacular dining… and a beautiful cruise to explore the volcano.
- Private tour of Akrotiri, the “Lost City of Atlantis”: The great Minoan city of Akrotiri was frozen in time by a massive volcanic explosion and covered in ash like Pompeii. Experience the wonders of this phenomenal and sprawling archaeological site where three story houses are still standing.
- Luxury hotels in Athens, Crete and Santorini
- Lively talks, exotic dining experiences – and once-in-a-lifetime adventures
Click on each day to expand the box and learn more about what we’ll do on that day of the trip.
Day 01 – September 2nd, 2024
Arrival in Athens
- Upon arrival at Athens airport, you will meet the Airport Assistant at Baggage Reclaim Area. He will be holding a sign with your name so you can recognize him.
- Meet your driver at the arrivals gate, who will drive you to your hotel.
- Check in at your Hotel Electra Palace 5*
- The rest of the day will be free at your leisure to discover the wonderful contemporary Metropolis of Athens.
- Afternoon at 7pm, meet at Electra Palace Roof Garden Restaurant with great Acropolis View for Welcome Dinner and Drinks.
Overnight at Hotel Electra Palace 5*
Athens is the capital and largest city of Greece which dominates the Attica region with its recorded history spanning over 3,400 years and its earliest human presence starting somewhere between the 11th and 7th millennium BC.
Classical Athens was a powerful city-state that emerged in conjunction with the seagoing development of the port of Piraeus, which had been a distinct city prior to its 5th century BC incorporation with Athens. A center for the arts, learning and philosophy, home of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum, it is widely referred to as the cradle of western civilization and the birthplace of democracy, largely because of its cultural and political impact on the European continent and the Romans. In modern times, Athens is a large cosmopolitan metropolis and central to economic, financial, industrial, maritime, political, and cultural life in Greece.
Day 02 – September 3rd, 2024
Private Walking Tour to Acropolis & the NEW Acropolis Museum
(5hrs Guided Tour & Lunch)
- After breakfast at your hotel, at approx. 7.45am, meet your guide at hotel’s entrance and start your city tour in Athens.
- This tour gives you an opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city.
- Your expert guide will take you to see the see the Prime Minister’s residence (ex. Royal Palace) guarded by the Euzones in their colorful uniform, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Hadrian’s Arch, the Parliament and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, and the Constitution Square (Syntagma).
- On the Acropolis visit the Architectural Masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally “the harmony between material and spirit”, the monument that “puts order in the mind”, the Parthenon. Skip-the-line tickets & whispers are included.
- Continue and visit the place where at last the statues found their home and admire the wonders of the classical era: The new Acropolis museum. Skip-the-line tickets & whispers are included.
- After your guided tour to Acropolis Museum, your guide will show you to restaurant for lunch.
- Lunch at Dionysos Zonar’s Restaurant – one of the oldest and most popular restaurants in Greece facing the Acropolis hill.
- Walk back to the hotel on your own or go shopping at Ermou Street
- Afternoon free at leisure.
- Overnight at Hotel Electra Palace 5*
Day 03 – September 4th, 2024
Athens Private City Tour by bus to National Gardens, Kolonaki Neighborhood, Lycabettus Hill & Plaka Neighborhood
(7-8hrs Guided Tour & Lunch)
- After breakfast at your hotel, at approx. 7.45am, meet your driver and guide at hotel’s entrance and start your city tour in Athens.
- Depart the hotel by bus and stop for walking through the National Garden passing various archeological sites (Roman mosaics
- The bus will then drop you to Kolonaki neighborhood for a small walking tour until you reach the cable car to Lycabettus Hill (approx. walking time 15-20 minutes)
- Ascend Lycabettus Hill by Cable Car for fabulous views across the city.
- After your guided tour at Lycabettus Hill, your driver will drop you to Plaka Traditional Neighborhood, where you will continue to walking tour with your guide
- Walking tour of Plaka finishing with Sandal maker of Athens (Melissinos)
- After your guided tour to Plaka Neighborhood, your guide will show you to restaurant for lunch.
- Lunch at Zorbas Traditional Restaurant – situated in the heart of Plaka (ancient town of Athens – in the neighborhood of the ancient Gods) and in the region Anafiotika.
- Remaining of the afternoon and evening at your leisure.
- Overnight at Hotel Electra Palace 5*
Day 04 – September 5th, 2024
Arrival in Crete – Chania
Evening Walking Tour to Venetian Harbor, Jewish quarter and ancient Cretan Agora & Dinner
(3hrs Guided tour)
- After breakfast at your hotel, meet up with the driver at the Hotel’s entrance, who will drive you to Athens International Airport to depart for Chania.
- Upon arrival at Chania’s International Airport, you will meet your driver at the arrivals gate, who will drive you to your hotel.
- Check in at your hotel – Porto Veneciano 4*
In the evening approx. 4pm, meet with your guide at the hotel’s entrance to start your walking tour.
- Your walking tour of Chania Old Town begins in the Venetian Harbour whose multicoloured buildings and collection of waterfront tavernas, cafes and bars create a special atmosphere at any time of day.
- Continue your walking tour to the Jewish quarter of Chania is found behind the harbour and is demarcated by Zampeliou, Portou and Halidon streets. Prominent Jewish families concentrated on Kondilaki Street, which is also the location of the Kehal Hayyim, the sole surviving synagogue on Crete.
- Final stop – The Municipal Market of Chania is commonly known as the “Agora”. It was built between 1909 and 1913 and modelled on the covered market of Marseilles. It was built on the site of a bastion of the Venetian fortification wall. This was dismantled to fill in the moat and created a space to build the market on. It is still an active market and houses shops selling vegetables, fish, meat, herbs and spices, Cretan products such as cheeses, olives, raki and more.
- Dinner at Arismari Local Cretan Restaurant located at the old Chania harbor
- Overnight at Hotel Porto Veneciano 4*
Day 05 – September 6th, 2024
Full Day Tour by bus: Chania Rethymno – Vamos Village – Chania
(8hrs Guided tour, Cooking Class & Lunch)
- After your breakfast meet your driver and guide at the Hotel’s entrance.
- Leave Chania and reach Vamos traditional village.
Guests prepare local recipes of stuffed vine leaves, rye bread ntakos, yogurt with garlic tzatziki and cheese pies sarikopites. You will get the respective recipes and you will taste the cooked food.
- This interactive activity is taking place in a unique traditional pre-fabricated Cretan Village. As a family-run business it is implemented with great passion and love for Cretan tradition. Today’s goal is to introduce to visitors the Cretan tradition, the customs and habits of the region, the architecture and the values of Cretan people. The guests escape from present and travel back to the past as they have the chance to stroll to its narrow streets and inspect the old time life & professions.
- After the lovely lunch we will visit the beautiful Venetian harbor village of Rethymno, one of the most picturesque places in Greece. Wander the beautiful port and explore its cobblestone pathways.
- At the end return to hotel and enjoy the rest of your night.
- Overnight at Hotel Porto Veneciano 4*
Day 06 - September 7th, 2024
Full Day Tour: Chania – Phaistos Palace –Knossos Palace – Heraklion
(8hrs Guided tour)
- Early breakfast and checkout 7.00-7:30am
- Meet up with the driver and guide to depart for Heraklion.
- On your way to Heraklion , you will stop for a Guided visit to Phaistos Palace with your guide.
- Phaistos was one of the most important palatial centres of Minoan civilization, and the most wealthy and powerful city in Southern Crete. It was inhabited from the Neolithic period until the foundation and development of the Minoan palaces.
- After your guided tour, transfer to Heraklion.
- Check in at Hotel Galaxy 5*
- Free time for lunch
- At approx. 4pm meet your driver at your hotel to head to Knossos Palace for a guided tour.
- The site was a major center of the Minoan civilization and is known for its association with the Greek myth of Theseus and the minotaur. It is located on the outskirts of Heraklion.
- Brief stop at the archaeological museum of Knossos.
- Transfer back to Heraklion for dinner
- Dinner at Ligo Krasi Ligo Thalassa – Fish restaurant
- Over night at Hotel Galaxy 5*
Day 07 – September 8th , 2024
Heraklion to Santorini
Early afternoon tour , Traditional Villages: Firostefani, Megalochori , Fira town
- Early breakfast at your hotel and transfer to Heraklion Port for your fast ferry to Santorini.
- Fast ferry Heraklion – Santorini 8:00-9:50AM.
- Meet your driver at arrivals gate in Santorini port and
- Transfer to your Hotel
- Check in to your Hotels Secret View 5* in Oia
- Free leisure day at Oia Village and lunch at your own: Oia is the most visited village in Santorini and the second largest after Fira, the island’s capital town. Oia lies in the northern part of the caldera, 12 km away from Fira. The village is situated above an impressive cliff overlooking the volcano and the island of Thirassia.
- At 4:00pm meet your guide and local assistant and head to Firostefani
- Next stop Megalochori village : When you visit Megalochoiri, you’ll be experiencing the heart of Santorini – an old traditional village of white churches, pirate hideaways, stunning hotels, wonderful Aegean sea views, and narrow streets and alleys. A true hidden gem
- After Megalochori , walking tour to Thira city center.
- Early dinner at your own in Fira Center.
- Return transfer to your Hotel
- Overnight at Hotel Secret View 5* in Oia
Day 08 – September 9th, 2024
Full Day All Time Classic Santorini to Akrotiri Excavations, Red Beach, Wine tasting & Lunch, Black Beach, Pyrgos, Profet Elias Monastery, Sunset cocktail
(7-8hrs Guided tour, Wine tasting, Lunch)
- After breakfast meet your driver and guide at approx. 8.30- 9.00am at your hotel’s entrance.
- Visit and experience the great eruption, one of the biggest events of the prehistoric Mediterranean! You are guided to the prehistoric town that inspired the Lost Atlantis myth. This town was buried under the volcanic ash after the huge volcano eruption of 1612 BC that destroy the Minoan civilization.
- A beach like no other, the Red Beach: a scenery reminding Mars on earth, right by the sea.
- Enjoy your journey to the world of Santorinian wine with one more tasting of seductive local wine varieties. The wine varieties guide you to the unique micro-climate of Santorini and its mark on the island’s most famous product. The 4 exquisite local wines of this tasting come perfectly paired with a 4-course lunch.
- After this, you take a refreshing break in your day by the black beach of Santorini.
- Pyrgos, the oldest village on the island built on a hill with panoramic views of Santorini, comes next! Postcard-inspiring neighborhoods, with whitewashed houses and colorful flowers carry you away in past decades, while you enjoy views of the entire island.
- Your next stop is Prophet Elias, the highest point of Santorini with spectacular, panoramic views of the only habitable Caldera in the world and its surroundings, just the perfect location for pictures.
- The best end to the excursion you could wish for: breathtaking Sunset views upon drinking a cocktail inspired from Santorini.
- Overnight at Hotel Secret View 5* in Oia
Day 09 – September 10th, 2024
Morning 3hours Cruise by Traditional Boat with Volcano visit Sunset Cheers & Dine
(7-8hrs Guided tour, Wine tasting, Farewell Dinner & Drinks)
- After breakfast at your hotel, meet your driver & guide at hotel’s entrance
- After only 15 minutes cruise, we’ll be arriving at the Volcano Bay, where we’ll be docking for about 1 hour and 30 minutes, during which, if you want, you can follow the path to the top where active craters are.
- Next, we’ll be moving to the island of Palea Kameni for the hot springs, the famous mud baths, which were formed as result of volcanic eruptions.
- In the small bay of Agios Nikolaos the water temperature ranges from 30 to 35 degrees Celsius, as it mixes continuously with the normal sea currents. The boat will be staying here about 30 minutes to allow you a healthy bath. After the bath, you will return to the starting point.
- Return to your hotel have lunch on your own or relax.
- Get ready for your evening activity.
- Your tour starts with a picturesque journey to the past, with whitewashed and stone buildings and vivid colors! You will walk among the traditional mansions of Megalochori Village, exploring it’s Cycladic alleys and you will admire the local architecture of the past.
- Your journey to the world of Santorinian wine goes on as you delve into the secrets of wine making in a one-of-a-kind “labyrinth” wine museum. Taste local wines and learn about one of Santorini’s signature products – it all takes place in a unique, underground cave (8 meters under the earth surface!)
- The last, memorable touch to your tour: a dinner at an Ocean Fusion restaurant with mesmerizing Caldera views accompanied with ultimate Cocktail.
- Overnight at Hotel Secret View 5* in Oia
Day 10 – September 11th, 2024
Elounda Plaka – Dikteon Cave – Heraklion – Santorini
- Departure from Santorini and Greece After last breakfast in your hotel, prepare for check out. Meet your driver at your hotel’s entrance and transfer to Santorini International Airport for your homebound flight via Athens.
Your Tour Guides:
Greek guide: Aristotle Koskinos
A Greek Archaeologist, history teacher and 5-star rated Greece tourist guide, Aristotle is a sought-after guide known for his charm, wealth of knowledge and ability to make ancient history leap to life.
He studied classical archaeology at the University of Ioannina, Greece, specializing in the study of roof-tiles and architectural terracottas. He’s also worked on various excavations conducted by the Greek Ministry of Culture. Aristotle is also an accomplished history narrator, and is a regular participant (by invitation of the National Archaeological Museum and the Greek Narration Festival) in their yearly history narration events.
Canadian guide: Laura Ranieri Roy
A leader and creator of enriching tours to Egypt since 2011, Laura is excited to channel her knowledge and passion for Greece in a heart-racing, 2-week journey. Laura personally handcrafted a unique itinerary to ensure all the historic, culinary and natural highlights are experienced in a memorable way. She knows Greece well through four trips, including one as a TV travel host and writer, presenting a half-hour travel show on Greece’s history and beauty. In fact – Greece was her first love – before Egypt!
Laura a Master’s degree in Near & Middle Eastern Civilizations from the University of Toronto, and has excavated at the ancient Greek site of Apollonia in Bulgaria, and in Egypt at Amarna and South Asasif (Luxor).She also received a scholarship in Latin and Greek (Classical Studies) from the University of Toronto.
She lectures on ancient Egypt and ancient civilizations, and has taught across North America at museums, historical societies, and academic conferences. She is a popular speaker amongst “Later Life Learning” Networks: Ryerson University’s Life Institute, LLIR at York University/Glendon College (from Fall 2021) and Innis College University of Toronto (from Jan 2022). She has been an Egyptian history Specialist Partner for the Toronto District School Board (Canada’s largest school board).
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