This amazing tour through the cradle of Western Civilization brings the distant past and vibrant present into sharp focus. Between the must-see historical sights of Athens and Delphi, the rugged plateaus of the fabled Samariá Gorge, personal encounters in isolated Cretan villages, and the breezy sway of Santorini at sundown, you won’t have a moment to waste. Witness Greece – in all her timeless glory – with other educators on this exciting GEEO program.
Arrive in Athens at any time. On Day 1, there are no planned activities until your Group Meeting that evening around 6:00 p.m. or 7:00 p.m., so check into the hotel – check-in time is approximately 3:00 p.m. – and enjoy the city. Check the notice boards or ask at reception for the exact time and location of the group meeting. After the meeting, you might like to take the option of heading out for a meal in a nearby local restaurant to further get to know your tour leader and traveling companions.
Please make every effort to arrive on time for this important welcome meeting. If you are delayed and will arrive late, please inform us. Your tour leader will then leave you a message at the front desk informing you of where and when to meet up.
Please note: All GEEO trips to Europe use public transportation. This means you will need to have luggage you can easily carry with you up and down stairs, on and off trains and buses, etc.
Athens is the capital of Greece, a city of culture, science and commerce. From the colorful markets to the ancient monuments and the hustle and bustle of Plateia Syntagmatos (Constitution Square), Athens is rich with history and had a profound impact on the development of Western civilization. Named after the goddess of wisdom Athena, Athens encompasses eight hills within its borders. The most prominent of these, the Acropolis, stands as the ultimate architectural and artistic expression of the ancient Athenian spirit. Athens is a growing city, engulfing its neighboring suburbs all the way to Piraeus, the city’s port and gateway to the Greek isles.
Today, we enjoy a brief walk with the tour leader, who will give you some tips on finding things like supermarkets, main squares, and ATMs. For more specific or in-depth information, an official guided tour is recommended. You will then have rest of the day free to explore on your own. Chances are other people in the group will want to see the same places as you, so typically the group will break off into smaller sub-groups to explore Athens.
See our optional activities list further down on this page for our suggestions on what to see in Athens, although you will have to come in at least a day before our trips starts to see them all.
Today, we travel by train north to Kalambaka, our base for exploring the spectacular “hanging” monasteries of Meteora, perched atop pinnacles of rock.
Approximate travel time: 3-4 hrs by train
Today, we have a full day to discover the secrets of this mysterious and astonishing place. Learn about the monasteries’ history from the monks themselves as you discover their rich heritage. We will take a bus up to see several monasteries in the area situated at over 2,000 feet above sea level, on a precipitous rock pinnacle.
Your afternoon is free to choose which of the other monasteries to visit or perhaps to take a hike around the scenic local area.
Please keep in mind that most of the monasteries require men and women to cover their knees and shoulders. Most provide clothing that can be borrowed, but they aren’t washed often.
An early departure by bus from Meteora takes us through spectacular mountain scenery, through the region of Thessalia and south around the foot of the imposing and mythical Mount Parnassos, to arrive at Delphi, a small town perched at the edge of a cliff with fantastic views of the valley below.
Visit the ancient city of Delphi, at the base of Mount Parnassos. The UNESCO World Heritage Site includes ancient buildings like treasuries, a stadium, a gymnasium, an altar, hippodrome, and the Temple of Apollo. The Temple of Apollo dates back to the 4th century BC. Over the years, war and earthquakes have destroyed the site, but the ruins still standing today offer fantastic insight into the lives of the ancient Greeks.
Afterwards, we spend the evening exploring the charming little town or relaxing in a small café enjoying the views of the nearby valley.
Approximate travel time: 5-6 hrs by private vehicle
We travel to Náfplio, often described as one of the country’s prettiest towns, this morning. Lose yourself in the narrow pedestrian streets of the old town and explore the many sights, sounds, and smells it has to offer. Don’t miss the climb up to the Acronáfplia and Palamidi Fortresses, whose proud Venetian ramparts dominate Náfplio’s skyline. The views from the top of Acronáfplia are phenomenal, looking back over the bay to Argos and out into the Saronic Gulf.
Approximate travel time: 5 hrs by private vehicle
Today, you have a free day to enjoy Náfplio and the surrounding region. There is a wealth of ancient sights within easy reach of Náfplio if you’re looking for some more culture to round out your experience. You might consider a guided tour of Epidavros (roughly 6 EUR), which is highly regarded as one of the most renowned of Greek ancient sights, housing a huge, well-preserved theater famous for its incredible acoustics, as well as the remains of an important medical sanctuary.
Also close by, opt to visit famous Mycenae (roughly 8 EUR), a UNESCO World Heritage Site and archaeological site with spectacular ruins and a treasury. Once a major settlement of Greek civilization, Mycenae was occupied during the Neolithic period around 4000 BC and is linked to the mythology in Homer’s epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey.
You could also visit Tiryns (roughly 6 EUR), a lesser-known Mycenean site, hidden in the suburbs of Náfplio. Along with Mycenae, Tiryns is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site and was first excavated in 1831 by German archaeologists.
In the early evening we will travel to Athens and then board an overnight ferry to Crete in 4-berth mixed gender cabins.
Approximate travel time: 3 hrs by private vehicle (Náfplio to Athens); 8 hrs by overnight sleeper ferry (Athens to Crete)
We arrive in Crete in the early morning. You have the rest of the day to enjoy – for example – relaxing at one of the many harbor-side cafés or wandering the streets of the old town with its fascinating blend of ancient and modern, Turkish and Venetian architecture, reflecting the diverse history of the island.
Crete is Greece’s largest island, filled with stunning scenery and friendly people. Although most tourists only see the major towns on the north coast, we will be visiting some of the smaller towns of the Southwestern coast and interior, where our walks take place. Crete has an interesting and full history, beginning with the Minoan culture, which flourished from about 2800 BC and suddenly disappeared around 1450 BC. Crete then passed through the hands of the Romans, Genoese, and Venetians before the Turks finally conquered it in 1670. It became a British protectorate in 1898 after much social and civil unrest, and was finally united with mainland Greece in 1913.
We take a 3 hour bus ride followed by a 30 minute boat ride with our luggage to Agia Roumeli, a fishing village at the end of the famous Samaria Gorge hike. The group will then hike into the Gorge and you can go as far in as you like, just don’t go in too far as you will need to hike back to Agia Roumeli afterwards.
Samaria Gorge is well known in Europe as a unique geological formation. It is the deepest and narrowest gorge on the continent. At one point, its width is less than 8 feet and the height of the stone walls exceeds 2000 feet at many points. The natural beauty of the area overrides any feeling of exhaustion during the walk.
Agia Roumeli is a small settlement at the exit point of the Samaria gorge. The village is built on the ancient site of Tarra, mentioned by many ancient writers as a small but independent-minded town. It used to mint its own coins, on one side depicting the Cretan mountain goat and an arrow, and on the other side a bee. Agia Roumeli is very remote, connected with neighboring towns and villages only by sea or footpaths.
Approximate travel time: 3 hrs by local bus, 30 minutes by boat
The seaside village of Loutro is situated at the end of Cape Mouri, where the ancient city of Finix once stood. The village was named after the baths (Loutra) found in the area, from which water was directed to nearby Anopoli. Loutro also served as the port of ancient Anopoli. Later, it became the winter time port of the town of Sfakia, due to the fact that the enclosed bay and the small island in its entrance create a natural harbor where ships can be safe even in the worst weather conditions. Loutro is completely inaccessible by major roads, with sea and mountain paths being the only transportation routes.
These mountains rearing straight up from the sea, deep wooded gorges, ravines and valleys have been the site of many heroic deeds, ancient civilizations, and constant intrigue for thousands of years. Today, the village of Loutro is a magnet for tourists, especially for other Cretans who escape the crowded and noisy northern regions of Crete, for peace, fun, and relaxation. Loutro is their secret holiday hideaway not yet discovered by the average tourist.
The majestic scenery, crystal clear Mediterranean water, friendly people and peaceful atmosphere all make Loutro an ideal place to relax after all the distance we have covered. Enjoy a cooking class and lunch with a local family who will share with you the secrets of home cooked Cretan cuisine.
You can also rent a kayak (roughly 10 EUR) and head out on the clear, blue-green waters along the coast of Loutro.
Approximate travel time: 30 mins by ferry
Today is a free day for you to continue exploring the area. Perhaps, you might enjoy a swim or partaking of a tasty seafood meal at a secluded restaurant.
For those that haven’t gotten their fill of hiking, head out into the Aradena Gorge to experience more of this gorgeous landscape. One of the most popular walks in western Crete, the main route from Marmara near Loutro, to the Aradena village takes about 3 hours to complete. The path is rocky in places and steep, with incredible views of the landscape and local fauna. Keep a look out for the griffin vultures flying above, but don’t worry they’re not waiting for you to keel over, their nests are just nearby.
The capital of Crete, Iraklio, is the fourth largest city in Greece. The bustling port town used to be the slave-trade capital of the Mediterranean when the Arabs were in control of the region.
Enjoy an included visit to Knossos, known to be the largest archaeological site of the Bronze Age on Crete. Knossos was a major city ruled by King Minos and is believed to be the oldest city in all of Europe. Explore the ancient palace and surrounding city, re-discovered in the 1900’s by the English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans.
Approximate travel time: 30 mins by ferry; 3.5 hrs by local bus
Today, we travel by ferry to beautiful Santorini. Known as “Thira” in Greek, Santorini is the southernmost island of the Cyclades and is regarded by some as the most beautiful of the Greek Islands. Formed by a violent volcanic eruption, the ring-shaped island has a stunning caldera lined with high cliffs – easy to appreciate when arriving by boat.
The shape of the crater ring has constantly changed over the last 3,000 years with several parts of the crater wall collapsing into the sea. Remarkably, the island has always been resettled due to the rich volcanic soil’s fertile properties. The wines, tomatoes, and cucumbers from this island are extremely flavorful due to the soil composition and low rainfall. Visitors can make their way from sea level to the crater rim either by bus, gondola, or even a donkey ride. Fira, the main town, sits perched on the edge of the caldera with breathtaking views of multi-colored cliffs, sugar-cube architecture, and great shopping!
There is a sunset dinner cruise available that will allow you to soak in the views of Santorini from the water and toast to another beautiful day in paradise.
Approximate travel time: 2 hrs by ferry
Today is another free day to explore this magnificent island. You might opt to go on a half-day volcano tour, do some shopping, relax on the beach, or make your way to the crater’s rim to take in a stunning view of the island and its surroundings.
Today, you may depart Santorini at any time.
Want more adventure? Book two or more GEEO trips in the same year and receive a discount! GEEO will give you 10% off of the lesser value program(s) (up to 3 programs).
If you don’t see a program that interests you that pairs with this trip, but still would like to extend your time abroad, let us know. We will work with you to find a non-teacher trip from our tour operator’s much larger catalog. Even better, if you are an educator, we can still offer you a discounted price on the trip you choose!
Visit our recommended reading page to see the list of books GEEO recommends reading before your program (this is not required reading). We also have lesson plans and Pinterest boards that may be useful for you as you learn about your destination and prepare to bring lessons back to your classroom.
It is very important for you to visit our Terms and Conditions page before signing up for this program.
All cancellations must be submitted to GEEO in written form by emailing your request for cancellation to email@example.com. If you do not receive a confirmation that we have received your written cancellation request, please call us at 1-877-600-0105. Verbal cancellation requests will not be honored.
All GEEO/G Adventures group trips are accompanied by one of G Adventure’s group leaders, which they refer to as Chief Experience Officers (CEO). The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. They will provide information on the places you are traveling through, offer suggestions for things to do and see, recommend great local eating venues, and introduce you to our local friends. Our itineraries often have plenty of free time to explore on your own.
While not being guides in the traditional sense, you can expect them to have a broad general knowledge of the countries visited on the trip, including historical, cultural, religious and social aspects. We also use local guides where we think more specific knowledge will add to the enjoyment of the places we are visiting – we think it’s the best of both worlds.
This trip includes light walking and hiking that is suitable for most fitness levels. In the cities, you can split apart from the group to go your own pace. It is very hot in Greece during the summer, so make sure you stay hydrated.
Half of the people that travel with GEEO are traveling by themselves, so please don’t worry if you have no one who can join you on your trip. Our pricing is based on double occupancy or, in other words, two people to a room. You never have to pay for a single room unless you want one. GEEO can find you a roommate of the same gender. Most of our trips have a “My Own Room” option, also known as a “Single Supplement,” which is an extra fee that will allow you to have a room to yourself. If you want to room alone, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. To see the price for the “My Own Room” option, please click here where you can look up your trip in the extra services spreadsheet.
Day 1 is an arrival day and no activities have been planned. Upon arrival to the city on Day 1, or earlier if you have booked pre-accommodation with us, please make your way to the joining hotel. Check-in time will be in the afternoon. Once you arrive at the hotel, look for a note at reception from your tour leader. This note will give the details of your Welcome Meeting on Day 1, usually between 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., at which you will get a chance to meet your tour leader and other travelers, as well as learn more about how the tour will run. If you don’t see a note, please ask reception for details!
If you miss the Welcome Meeting, your tour leader will leave a note at reception for you with any information you may need and with instructions for the next morning.
When you arrive at the airport, you can either take a taxi or use public transportation.
A taxi from the airport to the hotel will cost around €30-€40 EUR.
It is easy to get into the city from Athens International Airport by Metro. You will receive your trip vouchers about 30 days before departure, once you have completed your Good To Go check-in. Your vouchers will have the name of our start hotel. You can look up public transport directions on Google Maps.
Should you need to contact G Adventures during a situation of dire need, it is best to first call their local G Adventures office. If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, so they may return your call and assist you as soon as possible.
EMERGENCY CONTACT NUMBERS
G Adventures UK office (manned UK 8:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m.)
+44 (0) 2072439878
If you are unable for any reason to contact the local office, please call the numbers listed below, which will connect you directly with the 24-hour Sales team, who will happily assist you.
Toll-free, from calls within North America only: 1 888 800 4100
Calls from within UK: 0844 272 0000
Outside North America and the UK: +1 416 260 0999
For absolute emergencies after office hours please contact +44 7817 262559
If for any reason you do not receive an immediate answer, please leave a detailed message and contact information, and your call will be returned as soon as possible.
Please read this article on GEEO’s blog for our staff’s suggestions on the best gear to pack for your upcoming travels. You must be prepared to carry your own bags and be comfortable carrying them up and down stairs, on and off transportation, and to hotels. As a rule, we try not to have to walk more than 15-20 minutes with your bags, which is why we recommend keeping the weight of your bags between 22-30 lb. Most travelers carry a backpack or rolling bag of small to medium size. No XXL bags please! A daypack is also essential for carrying everyday items. Space is limited on transportation, so there is a limit of one main piece of luggage per person plus a daypack per person.
Laundry facilities are sometimes offered by the hotels. You can also use a local laundromat if need be.
All GEEO trips require that the participant have a valid passport. Please see our general FAQ for information on obtaining a passport. As with all of our trips, we try to provide the most accurate information we can, but governments sometimes change visa rules. It is your responsibility to double check the information we provide below by searching here.
Americans do not need a visa for travel in Greece. Non-American participants should check with their government to find out if they need a visa.
Greece is in the Eurozone and the unit of the currency is the Euro (EUR). As currency exchange rates fluctuate, we ask that you refer to the following website for daily exchange rates: www.xe.com. ATMs are also widely available that distribute the local currency, and this is what we recommend as your primary source of cash while traveling. Please make sure you bring at least $200 USD in cash as emergency money just in case you have trouble with the ATMs or lose your bank card. Major credit cards are accepted in most shops but they may charge a 2-4% transaction fee. Visa and MasterCard are useful for cash advances in an emergency situation. Please note that, if you are carrying U.S. Dollars, they should be in good condition (i.e., not torn, wrinkled, or marked on in any way) and printed recently.
It is customary in Europe to leave a small tip for service providers, such as waiters, if you are pleased with the service (€1-2 EUR for snacks or 10% of a meal bill). Tipping is an expected – though not compulsory – component of your tour program and an expression of satisfaction with the persons who have assisted you on your tour. Although it may not be customary to you, it is of considerable significance to the people who will take care of you during your travels.
Also, at the end of each trip, if you felt your G Adventures Tour Leader did an outstanding job, tipping is appreciated. The amount is entirely a personal preference. As a budgeting guideline, $35-$45 USD per person per week can be used.
You do not need any vaccinations to travel on this program.
We often find the best prices for purchasing flights is 60 days before departure, but of course this varies greatly from route to route and year to year. You must wait until this trip is confirmed with the minimum number of required participants before you book your flights. Typically, we reach the minimum number needed at least 90 days before departure. GEEO and G Adventures bear no responsibility for any flights purchased before the trip is confirmed. You can find out whether this trip has been confirmed here.
Your trip begins in Athens and ends in Santorini. Please double check our itinerary for the date by which you must arrive in Athens. You can arrive at any time of the day you choose, but you may want to arrive in Athens several days early if you have never been before, as there is a lot to see. You can depart from Santorini any time on the final day of the trip.
This itinerary only includes a day in Athens. We recommend arriving a day or two early to see the major sights of Athens. We include one and a half days in Santorini, which is enough time to see the major sights. It is one of the most beautiful places in the world, so if you want to relax, spend some time on the beach, and explore more of the Island, staying an extra day or two would be worthwhile.
There are two components to provide external power to your device: adapters and transformers. The adapter is the plug, adapting the prongs on a standard U.S. two to three-pronged power cord to match the prongs required by the local outlets. The transformer changes the local voltage to that required by your device.
Greece uses a European-style two circular prong plug. Their voltage is 220-240 Volts. U.S. outlets are 120V. Most new devices (phones and laptops) can handle the different voltage rates, but some devices only work on the U.S. standard of 120V. Check your device to see what voltage range it handles. Most transformer blocks will have an “Input” line that defines its voltage capacity. For example, “Input: 100-240V” means that it will work on voltages from 100V to 240V. If your transformer can’t handle the different voltage, you’ll need to purchase a voltage converter. You can find world regional voltage converters power packs at various vendors.
Before you decide on traveling with GEEO, it is important that you read all of the information about the program you are considering. Remember, our programs are quite adventurous.
Hopefully this is the kind of adventure you are interested in!
While it is our intention to adhere to the routes described on our website, there is a certain amount of flexibility built into the itinerary and on occasion it may be necessary, or desirable, to make alterations. The itinerary is brief, as we never know exactly where our journey will take us. Due to our style of travel and the regions we visit, travel can be unpredictable. The information on our website is a general guide to the tour and region, and any mention of specific destinations or wildlife is by no means a guarantee that they will be visited or encountered. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary due to local circumstances.
“Take hiking poles…they were useful in Meteora, Delphi, the gorge hike, the Loutro to Lykos hike, and the Santorini hike to the ruins of Thira.”
“If you ask for water at a meal in Greece or Crete, ask for tap water. Otherwise you pay for a bottle. Not a big deal, but we were initially surprised.”
“There is a dress code for monasteries. If women take a big scarf, they can use it as a wrap.”
“Nothing other than that it was very hot most of the trip (90+ F). Sunscreen and a hat were a must. And it didn’t cool down much in the evenings.”
“Money was easy to get at ATMs. I felt safe. Food was good. It is a hot and dry climate. People need to drink plenty of water.”
“Do not flush toilet paper. Instead throw it out in the little garbage can they have in each bathroom.”
“I had emailed GEEO before the trip to ask the best way to exchange money, and got the response that I could just use my debit card in any ATM (airport, etc), and it would automatically withdraw as euros. True. But what I didn’t know, that would have saved me significant money, is that the ATM will ask you if you want to accept its exchange rate, and make it seem like you have no choice, and the exchange rate is awful. But you can actually click NO, it will not exit you out of the machine, it will just say that your bank will later determine the exchange rate. THAT’S WHAT YOU WANT. DO NOT ACCEPT THE REALLY BAD EXCHANGE RATES FROM THE ATM MACHINE!”
Greece is hot and dry in the summer, with temperatures typically in the 80’s and 90’s F.
Please keep in mind that this trip offers some free time to pursue activities that interest you. Make sure you look over all of the optional activities and note these additional costs when deciding whether you can afford this program. The prices below are in U.S. Dollars and are rough estimates for budgeting your trip.
See our price in the top right corner
Roughly $1,000-$1,700 USD
If you require assistance in booking your international airfare, we would be happy to help you.
Please note: It is mandatory for all of our travelers to have Emergency Medical insurance that covers both emergency evacuation and repatriation to the sum of $200,000 USD. We also strongly recommend purchasing cancellation insurance as well.
We recommend $70-$80 USD for your G Adventures tour leader. Budget another $30 for tipping local guides and drivers.
Make sure you budget for these types of expenses
$10 for metro or $50 for taxi. The Metro in Athens is very nice and easy to handle.
Variable. At your personal discretion.
$100 USD (Suggested donation)
This is only for non-educator guests traveling with an educator on a GEEO trip. Educators and retired educators should not make this donation.
Most optional activities are booked and paid for locally in the local currency. You do not have to decide in advance for which activities you would like to sign up. The prices listed are based on the latest information we have received from our participants and G Adventures. They are not guaranteed to be accurate. Please feel free to use them as a guide for budgeting your trip.
Acropolis and Parthenon: 20 EUR per person
Discover the most famous of Athens’ eight hills: the Acropolis, the ultimate architectural and artistic expression of the ancient Athenian spirit. Visit the Parthenon, built for the Goddess Athena in 447 BC. This Greek temple, despite the gradual state of ruin and damage sustained over time, still symbolizes the key ideals of harmony and balance that defined the Classical style of Greek architecture.
Roman Agora: 2 EUR per person
Take a stroll through the former marketplace for old Athens. The Roman Agora was built in the first century BC.
National Archaeological Museum: 10 EUR per person
Take a tour of the National Archaeological Museum, home to some of the most important artifacts from ancient Greece. In the collection are various sculptures, vases, as well as metal works. The museum is considered one of the most impressive museums in the world.
Syntagma (Constitution) Square: Free
Most of Athens important sights and interesting neighborhoods border this central square. The square was built in the early 19th century in front of the Old Royal Palace of King Otto of Greece. Walk around to admire the architecture, stop at a café and people watch, or watch the ceremonial changing of the guards called Evzones.
Acropolis Museum: 5 EUR per person
Visit the Acropolis Museum to see some of the artifacts and artworks discovered during excavations of the Acropolis. With over 25,000 square meters (82,020 ft), the museum is as interesting architecturally as the collection is historically. The museum is built over an archaeological dig site, and there is an impressive view of the Acropolis from the third floor.
Sunset bus tour, with pick up from Megalo Meteora and including a local guide: 25 EUR per person
Roussanou Convent: 3 EUR
Walk to Hidden Monasteries: 10 EUR
Byzantine Church: 3 EUR
Guided hiking through Meteora Hills: 35 EUR
Bus tour, including a local tour guide, a visit to 3 monasteries, and exploring a Paleolithic cave: 25 EUR per person; 3 EUR each per monastery and Paleolithic cave
Hike to Korkyrian Cave on Mount Parnassos: 30 EUR per cab to hike start point; 4-hr hike back to Delphi
Visit to Itea: 2 EUR each way
Visit to historic Galaxidhi: 6 EUR each way
Boat to Bourtzi (castle in sea): 5 EUR return ticket
War Museum: 3 EUR per person
Archaeology Museum: 3 EUR per person
Folklore Museum: 3 EUR per person
Guided tour of the Kolomboloi (Worry Bead) Museum: Free for teachers and students; 2 EUR per person for all others
Bus to Mycenae site: 4 EUR each way
Maritime Museum: 3 EUR per person
Architecture Museum: 3 EUR per person
Glass bottom boat tour: 10 EUR per person for a 2-hr trip
Boat trip with snorkeling over a sunken WWII German plane: 20 EUR per person for a 3-hr trip
Traditional Hammam experience: from 19 EUR; prices vary depending on which treatment
Sea kayaking: 20-30 EUR per day or 5-10 EUR per hour
Powerboat hire: 70 EUR per day
Trip to Akrotiri, the “Pompei of Greece”: 6 EUR per person plus taxi
Caldera boat trips: 15 EUR per person
Jet ski safari: 180 EUR per jet ski; 90 mins