Duration: 15 Days
You’ve seen photos of the ancient Athens Acropolis, dating back to the 5th century BC—now’s your chance to see it in person. You’ve watched the Olympics on TV—now is your chance to visit Olympia, legendary home of the first Olympic Games. You’ve dreamed of cruising in the Greek Islands—now’s your chance to sail into the deep-blue waters of the Aegean Sea and experience these islands yourself. All of this and more await you on this budget-minded Greece tour and cruise. Step back in time on your guided visits to many of Greece’s historic sites. In addition to the Athens Acropolis, visit the archaeological site of Mycenae, dating back to 1350 to 1200 BC; the amazingly well-preserved, 2,300-year-old open-air theatre in Epidaurus, which still seats 14,000 spectators; and the medieval Byzantine Citadel of Mystra, a castle founded in 1249. You’ll also visit the spectacular mountain landscape of Meteora with its 24 rock-top monasteries set in almost inaccessible sandstone peaks.
Spend the last days of your Greece holiday on a 4-night cruise on the Aegean Sea, cruising to some of the world’s most beautiful islands. Visit Mykonos, Greece’s most famous cosmopolitan island, with its seafront village, sandy beaches, and whitewashed houses. Explore Kusadasi, Turkey, where an included excursion takes you to the fascinating Roman, Greek, and Byzantine excavations of Ephesus. Visit Patmos, where St. John the Divine wrote the Revelation; and Rhodes, one of Europe’s largest medieval towns with ramparts and palaces built during the Crusades. Discover Heraklion, Crete, nestled picturesquely between two mountain ranges with archaeological treasures and spectacular scenery. Explore Santorini (weather permitting), a dormant volcano offering one of the world’s most breathtaking panoramas. Picturesque fishing villages, sparkling blue waters, and ancient sites offer the perfect mix for a holiday of a lifetime. Your spectacular Greek tour and cruise is truly an affordable dream holiday!
Adventure is knocking with everything you need for perfectly affordable touring. Cosmos includes hand-selected accommodations, guided sightseeing, and seamless transportation between destinations—with value-minded travel lovers in mind. Explore with expert Cosmos Tour Directors and Local Guides, complimentary headsets on tour and on shore excursions, private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi. Crown the experience with a three-day cruise and enhance your free time to explore like a local with your CosmosGO mobile app!
Please ask your Travel Consultant for cruise ship details. The ship scheduled to depart for the cruise portion of your holiday is the Celestyal Olympia, operated by Celestyal Cruises.
Rotation of ports of call may vary for congestion reasons at certain ports with or without prior notice.
Prices are based on inside cabin (category IB) - All air-conditioned cabins with private shower and toilet. Upgrades available.
Full entertainment program on board.
Included basic drink package: selection of non-alcoholic & alcoholic drinks.
Included select excursions as per detailed itinerary.
Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to start exploring the Greek capital with the help of your CosmosGO app. Later, meet your Local Host.
A day to relax and discover Athens at leisure. Our suggestion: join an optional day cruise to the islands of Aegina, Hydra, and Poros. In the evening, free time to enjoy the lively atmosphere of the tavernas and nightclubs in the old Plaka district with its narrow streets and sound of bouzouki music. (B)
Join the included guided tour of Athens, featuring the highlights of this ancient capital and a visit to the Acropolis. Cross the Corinth canal, a project conceived in ancient Greece but only completed in 1893, then head for the coast to the picturesque seaside town of Nauplia. Today’s Distance: 90 mi/ 145 km (B)
This morning, stop in Epidaurus, located in the hilly countryside dotted with pine trees and oleanders. In this magnificent setting, visit the ancient open-air theatre, which can still seat 14,000 spectators. Later, enjoy the included guided excursion to the archaeological site and museum of Mycenae, with the imposing ruins of the great city that dominated the eastern Mediterranean world from the 15th to the 12th century B.C. It played a vital role in the development of classical Greek culture and is linked to the Homeric epics, the Iliad and the Odyssey. Travel into the Peloponnese to Sparta, where history hangs between reality and legend. Today’s Distance: 126 mi/ 202 km (B,D)
Enjoy the included sightseeing of the medieval Byzantine citadel of Mystra, at one time known as the “Florence of the East.” Before arriving in Olympia, stop to visit an olive oil museum. Today’s Distance: 99 mi/ 160 km (B,D)
Explore Olympia, where the athletes of antiquity performed as a tribute to the king of deities, Zeus. Spend free time in this pretty town or learn more about the history of the Olympic Games on the optional sightseeing tour. Later, drive north to Patras, the capital of the Peloponnese and the west coast’s largest port. Continue crossing the spectacular Rion-Antirion bridge through the picturesque fishing villages along the south coast of the mainland to legendary Delphi. Today’s Distance: 134 mi/ 215 km (B)
Enjoy free time in town or the optional morning sightseeing of the archaeological site of Delphi, where the oracle of Apollo spoke. It was the site of the omphalos, the 'navel of the world’. Blending harmoniously with the superb landscape and charged with sacred meaning, Delphi in the 6th century B.C. was indeed the religious hub and symbol of unity of the ancient Greek world. On to Kalambaka. Today’s Distance: 143 mi/ 230 km (B,D)
Discover Meteora, a cluster of Christian-Orthodox monasteries perched in an unforgettable manner on a set of rising rock formations. They were originally built by hermit monks living in caves carved into the rocks. Your included visit is certainly the day’s highlight. Continue south to Athens. Today’s Distance: 224 mi/ 360 km (B)
Spend a full day at leisure to explore the unseen parts of the city or to visit a museum. Tonight, enjoy the optional Greek dinner. (B)
Early morning embarkation and afternoon cruising in the Aegean. Arrive this evening in Mykonos, a granite island and the most typical of the Cyclades. Its white and blue houses, windmills, and chapels seem to make the island’s light even more translucent. Spend some time visiting a taverna or just wandering around the town, enjoying its timeless beauty. (B,L,D)
Two ports of call await today. First, Kusadasi on the Turkish coast for an included morning excursion to the fascinating Greek, Roman, and Byzantine excavations of Ephesus. Next, discover the tiny Greek island of Patmos, where St. John the Divine wrote Revelation. The 11th-century monastery with its valuable manuscript collection is well worth a visit. (B,L,D)
Dock in Rhodes, largest of the Dodecanese Islands and site of the legendary Colossus of Rhodes, a 105-foot statue destroyed by an earthquake in 224 BC. Explore the sites in the historic Old City with its ramparts and palaces built by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades. Another possibility: join an included excursion to Lindos and the Citadel of the Knights. If sightseeing is not your preference, Rhodes’ sun-drenched beaches and vibrant shopping districts are within easy walking distance of the port. Depart from Rhodes around dinner time. (B,L,D)
Spend the morning in Heraklion on the island of Crete. A few miles away is Knossos, the hub of the 3000-BC Minoan civilization; an optional excursion can be booked. Next port of call (weather permitting) is Santorini, the “Black Pearl of the Aegean.” The optional shore excursion here takes you up to the cliff-top village of Oia for one of the world’s most breathtaking panoramas. (B,L,D)
Early morning docking at Athens’ port; disembark and drive to Athens. Time to relax, visit a museum, or to do some last-minute shopping. (B)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)