Wonders of the Aegean: Athens, Crete and Santorini (July 10-21, 2019)

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Screen Shot 2016-11-28 at 2.59.28 PM.png

Wonders of the Aegean: Athens, Crete and Santorini (July 10-21, 2019)

2,995.00

TOUR PRICE:  The price for this twelve day journey to Greece and the Greek Islands is $3199.00 per person based on double occupancy and excluding air taxes and fuel surcharges of $342.00.  Single rooms are available for a supplement of $999.00. Only four single rooms are available.

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Wonders of the Aegean: Athens, Crete and Santorini 2019

Picture yourself in the fashionable town of Oia on the beautiful island of Santorini sitting on a slightly breezy rooftop restaurant sipping a cocktail and listening to new age music while the sun softly sets on the colorful horizon.  Without equivocation, I can guarantee that this will be one of the most magical experiences of your life.  Centered in the heart of the Aegean, Santorini has been called one of the most romantic places on earth by Travel and Leisure Magazine--and for good reason!  The island was once a huge volcano that exploded around the year 1645 B.C., leaving an eight mile wide picturesque caldera embraced by a rim of cliffs composed of volcanic ash.  Perched along and on top of these cliffs are whitewashed, blue-domed buildings that comprise several of the towns of the island, including Oia, Fira and Firastefani.  These scenic settlements offer spectacular views and teem with life; tavernas, churches, quality shops and bars provide an exciting playground for lovers of nightlife.  Sun worshipers can find their way to the nearby black sand beach of Kamari to work on a tan befitting the Greek gods.  And for the history buff, a visit to the remains of the 3700 year-old town of Akrotiri will provide a stimulating glimpse into the life of ancient Cycladic culture.  In short, Santorini is one of those few places that you will remember and talk about for the rest of your life.  This ArawjoTours Aegean Wonders 2016 package provides you with the opportunity to spend three nights on this paradisiacal island.

  My family and I enjoying a rooftop sunset in Oia, Santorini

My family and I enjoying a rooftop sunset in Oia, Santorini

Santorini is just one of our three stops on this twelve day journey through the Aegean.  We will in fact begin our tour with three nights in Athens at the Divani Palace Acropolis Hotel which is located at the base of the famous Athenian citadel.  We will have a guided tour of the Acropolis and city, including visits to the Parthenon, Erechthuim, Constitution Square, Olympic Stadium and more.  You will also be provided with the opportunity to go on an optional full day excursion to Delphi, which was the ancient religious site of Classical Greece (or, alternatively, a half day tour to Cape Sounion to see the Temple of Poseidon).  In addition to these activities, you will have free time to visit the Plaka (the pedestrian dining and shopping zone around the Acropolis), the flea market and/or any one of a number of museums in the city.   There is also Mt. Lycabettus  which you can ascend by funicular in order to catch some fantastic views of the city. When you are in the archaeological heart of Athens, you will be impressed by the architectural accomplishments of the ancient Greeks.  The Parthenon itself is a triumph of aesthetic engineering.  You will quickly come to realize why the statesman Pericles once called Athens "the school of Hellas."

 The one and only magnificent PARTHENON on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

The one and only magnificent PARTHENON on the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.

Following our stay in Athens, we will fly to the marvelous island of Crete, where we will spend four nights near the well-preserved Venetian town of Chania. Crete is known for its cultural and environmental diversity--there are Greek, Roman, Turkish, Venetian and Native Cretan influences and the topography is green, mountainous and very fertile, unlike the dry and rocky landscape of many other Greek islands.  In addition to a half day tour of the old town of Chania, you will also have the opportunity to participate in an optional hike through the "Grand Canyon of Europe" known as Samaria Gorge (or, alternatively, the Imbros Gorge).  This is an eleven mile trek through some of the most beautiful natural scenery in all of Crete.  (Since the hike is quite rugged, only those who consider themselves physically fit should attempt the journey.)  On our arrival in Crete, we will travel outside of Heraklion to visit the famous 3500 year old Palace of Knossos, which was the center of Minoan power in the ancient world.  Considered to be the first European civilization, Knossos is one of the most important archaeological sites in the world.  In order to acquaint you with this civilization, I will be giving a series of slide presentations and lectures on Ancient Greece and Knossos before our departure.  Following our fascinating stay in Crete, we will then proceed by ferry to the island of Santorini (described above), where we will spend the last three nights of our tour.

  The Samaria Gorge, Crete.

The Samaria Gorge, Crete.

WONDERS OF THE AEGEAN TOUR FEATURES: The Wonders of the Aegean fully-escorted Greece package includes: Round trip trans-Atlantic air on Emirates Airlines from Newark to Athens; the services of a full-time licensed tour manager/guide from arrival to departure (George Spiridakis) all transfers to/from airports/ports and hotels inside Greece; three nights in the five star Divani Palace Acropolis Hotel with buffet breakfasts daily; a half day guided tour of Athens and the Parthenon; an optional half day tour to Cape Sounion; domestic air transportation from Athens to Heraklion, Crete; four nights near Chania in the four stars Cretan Dream Royal Hotel with buffet breakfasts daily; a half day guided tour of the Old Town of Chania; an optional full day excursion to the Imbros Gorge; a half day guided tour of the Palace of Knossos; high speed ferry transportation from Heraklion to the island of Santorini; three nights in the first class Santorini Palace Hotel (or similar) with buffet breakfasts daily; a half day guided tour of Akrotiri and the Fira Archaeological Museum; an optional full day volcano, caldera and Oia cruise on a private traditional boat; air transportation on Aegean Air from Santorini to Athens; a pre-departure lecture on Ancient Greece; and a pre-departure dinner and orientation.