Greek Island Wanderer (GW): 14-Nights

Price $3260 $3160 15 Days
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Greek Island Wanderer (GW): 14-Nights

$3260 $3160 per person


*Prices are per person in CAD dollars, land only, based on double occupancy. Price shown is the lead in rate for 2024 departures and discounted rate includes the member savings. 

Explore the gleaming waterfront harbours, beautiful coves and long sandy beaches of the Cyclades Islands. Travelling by ferry we visit the islands of Syros, Paros, Santorini and Naxos. Join us for exploratory walks or relax in beachside taverns enjoying the local cuisine. Syros is the capital of the Cyclades and whilst here we walk to the remarkable Church of Agios Stefanos, located in a cave at the seas edge. Santorini is probably the best known of the islands and is one of the most picturesque areas in the Aegean with its whitewashed churches and blue-domed roofs. It’s also of particular interest to those keen on the Lost Atlantis legend. Formerly a huge volcano, its centre disappeared in an enormous explosion around 1450 BC and now forms a lagoon.

What’s Included: Meals – Breakfast: 14, Transport – Bus/Ferry/Taxi, Accommodation – 14 nights standard hotel.

*MEMBER BENEFIT: Book your first Explore trip and save $100 CAD* per person based on double occupancy. *Terms & Conditions: to receive your discount quote promo code TRIPMERCH100 at time of booking. Only applicable to Explore trips of 8 days duration or longer booked via Trip Merchant by first time Explore travellers who are members of participating membership organizations resident in Canada and booking in CA$. Not applicable to polar or Galapagos cruises, or tailor-made trips. ** Other restrictions may apply.

Call for assistance: 1-800-481-9739 ext. 1
Mention Promo Code for Savings: TRIPMERCH100

Departure Dates

October 1, 8, 15
April 21
May 5, 12, 19, 26
June 2, 9, 16, 23
July 7, 21
September 1, 8, 15, 22, 29
October 6, 13
  • Destination
  • Arrival City
    Athens, Greece
  • Departure City
    Athens, Greece
  • Activity Level
    Moderate - Moderate pace tours are ideal if you want a holiday which combines exciting activities and experiences with plenty of time to relax and unwind. Typically you’ll be active and busy for part of the day but then also have time to rest and recharge your batteries.
  • Passenger Limit
    12-18: Maximum group size ranges from between 6 to 20 people, depending on the type of trip, the transport and accommodation used and activities included. We rarely have groups that are smaller than five or six people and the average is 12 people plus an Explore leader.
Join trip in Athens
Arrive in Athens and check-in to our hotel. Athens has been the capital of Greece for less than 200 years but it has grown rapidly in size. It is part of the Plain of Attica, an area of amazingly varied scenery, from high mountains covered by pine forests to a stunningly beautiful coastline with a myriad of harbours.
Accommodation: Oscar Hotel (or similar)
Meals Provided: None
Walking tour of Athens; chance to visit the Acropolis
This morning we take a walking orientation tour of Plaka with our Explore Leader to soak up the atmosphere of the old town. You may choose to stroll around the shops, try the freshly caught fish and seafood or listen to bouzouki music in an outdoor cafe. You'll notice the contrast between the modern capital and the old one - the well-heeled inhabitants of Kolonaki on the one hand and the vibrant Plaka old quarter on the other. The rest of the day is free for you to discover more of this historical and bustling city at your own pace. You might like to take a tour of the Acropolis and climb the winding path to the top of this sacred rock that has been used since Neolithic times. At the top you'll find the majestic ruins of the Athens of Pericles: the Propylaea (or marble entrance hall), the Parthenon (built by Ictinos 2500 years ago), the Temple of Athena Nike (the Wingless Victory) and - the monument most venerated by the ancient Athenians themselves the Erechtheion. Tradition relates that the gods Athena and Poseidon quarrelled here. The sea-god struck the rock with his trident, causing salt water to gush out, while Athena hit it with her spear and brought forth an olive tree. As olives were deemed to be more useful, the other gods let her take the city under her protection. Other attractions that you might like to visit this afternoon include the new Acropolis Museum, which is about 5-minutes walk from the main site, the National Archaeological Museum or the Olympic Stadium. For those that love to shop and like trying local food then the central market is a must with a huge variety of fruit, meat, fish and bread on sale amongst other things. You may like to walk up or take the funicular train to Likavitos which affords great views across the city below. As well as exploring on foot you could purchase a 24-hour ticket for the local trams and public transport to help you cover as much ground as possible.
Accommodation: Oscar Hotel (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Ferry to Syros; afternoon free to explore or walk to Stefanos Cave
We transfer from our hotel to Piraeus and board the ferry for Syros. The voyage takes about four hours. We disembark at Syros harbour and transfer to our hotel in Galissas. Syros is the capital of the Cyclades and covers an area of about 35 square miles. The island produces 'loukoumi', the Greek version of Turkish Delight. Ermoupouli, the capital, is situated on the east of the island and its port is a bustling centre for inter-island commerce. This afternoon you may like to join your Explore Leader for a three hour walk to Stefanos Cave. This is a moderate walk with several steep uphill sections and the terrain near to the cave is more challenging. The cave is home to the Roman Catholic Church of Agios Stefanos, which is built into the walls of the cave and located just above the sea waves below. It's a fascinating sight and well worth the walk to get there. If you're not joining the walk then this afternoon is free for you to relax on the long beach near to our hotel with shallow waters ideal for swimming or to explore the village of Galissas. The village is a peaceful spot set around a small and pretty harbour in a scenic agricultural area.
Accommodation:Hotel Francoise (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Chance to walk along the coast of Syros from Vari to Azolimnos
Today you may like to join an easy to moderate walk with your Explore Leader. You'll take a local bus to Vari and begin our walk for about one to one and half hours to Azolimnos. This will give you an excellent taste of the island's scenery. Once you arrive here you can either return by bus or stay a while to enjoy a swim and relaxation on the beach and lunch in a nearby tavern before then either taking the bus back to Galissas or walking back to Vari and taking the bus back from there. Later this afternoon you may choose to join a bus tour of the island to see more of the fantastic surrounding.
Accommodation:Hotel Francoise (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Option to enjoy a variety of coastal walks; catch the ferry to Paros
There's the opportunity to join a further coastal walk before we transfer to Ermoupoli this afternoon. You'll have free time to discover the island's capital before we board our ferry this evening to Paros. The journey is approximately one and half hours. On arrival we'll transfer to our hotel in Drios. Paros is one of the most attractive of all the Cycladic Islands, with an area of 64 square miles. Its capital is Paroikia, on the west coast. Dominating the interior is Mount Profitis Ilias (770 m) on the slopes of which are the famous marble quarries.
Accommodation:Anezina Village Hotel (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Opportunity to enjoy a walk along the Byzantine road
The island was the birthplace of the poet Archilochos, the inventor of Iambic verse. Among the many places of interest are the marble quarries, the picturesque fishing villages and a Venetian Fortress. Especially interesting is the church, Ekatontapiliani (Church of 100 Doors), about which a legend says that when the 100th door is discovered the Greeks will take back Constantinople (Istanbul). Today, you may choose to join your Explore Leader for a walk along one of the well preserved Byzantine paths that cross the island. This is an easy walk that takes around one to one half hours. We'll use the public bus to reach the trailhead at the traditional mountain village of Lefkes. This is a very popular walk and the path is lined with wild herbs such as thyme, sage and oregano so it's a sweet scented experience too. We'll finish our walk at Prodromos where there will be the chance to stop at a local cafe to enjoy homemade ice cream and baklava. Here in the side streets you'll usually find the locals playing a game chess or backgammon. From here we'll take the bus back to Drios or there may be the opportunity to stop in Piso Livadi for lunch or a further walk along the coast. Once back in Drios you can relax on the Golden Beach or you may like to join a cooking lesson of traditional Greek cuisine.
Accommodation: Anezina Village (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Free day in Paros to explore or perhaps visit Antiparos
You may choose today to take an excursion by boat to the nearby island of Antiparos. Whilst there, you can head for the southerly end of the island, to an interesting stalactite cavern. There is also the opportunity to explore the marine life of the area with local oceanographers who run diving and snorkelling trips. If you'd before to stay on Paros then there's also the chance to snorkel from the Golden Beach.
Accommodation: Anezina Village Hotel (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Ferry to Santorini; you may choose to partake in a wine tasting
This morning we transfer to Parikia to catch the ferry to the island of Santorini. The trip takes approximately three hours. On arrival we transfer to our hotel in the traditional village of Megalochori. Santorini (or Thira, as the island is also known) lies some 128 nautical miles southeast of Piraeus, is the most southerly of the Cycladic Islands. It's one of the most picturesque areas in the Aegean and the familiar images of whitewashed churches with bluedomed roofs adorn this beautiful landscape. It's also an area of particular interest to those keen on the Lost Atlantis legend. Formerly a huge volcano, its centre disappeared in an enormous explosion around 1450 BC and now forms a lagoon. The eruption overwhelmed the Minoan settlements at Akrotiri as well as those on Crete. This evening you can choose to join a local wine tasting at Gavalas Winery in Megalochori. The island is best known for its delicious white wines.
Accommodation: Hotel Nikolas (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Option to walk up an active volcano and cruise to Thirassia
Today is free for you to enjoy relaxing or exploring this beautiful island or you may like to join a cruise to an active volcano. For those who wish, there is the opportunity to take the dramatic path to the peak of the volcano and to stand in the centre of the Caldera. The climb takes around 2 hours and the ascent is steep in places. There'll also be the chance to enjoy a swim in the sea to warm springs. The last stop on the cruise is the tiny island of Thirassia. You'll have a couple of hours to relax in the bay here with views of the volcano out to sea. There's time for lunch here or to climb up through the hillside village and walk around the surrounding vineyards.
Accommodation: Hotel Nikolas (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Chance to walk from Fira to Oia
This morning you have the opportunity to join our Explore Leader for a coastal walk from Fira to Oia. This is a moderate walk and takes approximately four hours. It offers some great views along the way out to sea and of the surrounding countryside. This afternoon you may choose to visit the Museum of Ancient Thira, head for the Red Beach to swim and relax by the sea or visit the ancient Minoan site at Akrotiri.
Accommodation: Hotel Nikolas (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Opportunity to walk to the ruins of ancient Thira; ferry to Naxos
There will be an opportunity to walk to the ruins of the former capital of Thira from Perissa today. This interesting site dates back to 6th century BC. You can see the temple ruins here and also take in the spectacular sea views. The walk to Thira is moderate to challenging as it's quite a steep climb over an uneven path; it takes around one hour each way. Following our visit we'll walk back to the black sand beach at Perissa where you have the chance to swim and enjoy lunch before taking the public bus back to Megalochori. Later this afternoon we'll transfer to the port and take the ferry to Naxos. The crossing takes around two hours and we disembark at Naxos harbour and walk to our hotel in Naxos town. The island of Naxos is the largest and some would argue the most beautiful of the Cyclades. The god Dionysus is believed to have lived on the island and taught the inhabitants to cultivate wine. Indeed, Naxos white wine today has a very good reputation.
Accommodation: Naxos Holidays (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Free day in Naxos with the option to visit Delos and Mykonos
Over the years, Naxos Island has been subjugated by many nations including the Ottoman corsair, Heyreddin Barbarossa, in 1537. The interior is divided by fertile and well-watered valleys. There are many places of interest on the island, linked by a good road network. Naxos town is not architecturally recommended, but the Kastro, just above and behind the town, encloses an area of picturesque though decaying houses, Venetian in style and marked with coats of arms. Besides wine, the island also exports olive oil, corn, fruits of many kinds and marble which is comparable in quality to that of Paros. Today you may like to join our excursion to Delos and Mykonos. We depart by ferry to Delos, which takes approximately one and half hours. Delos is an entire island covered with ancient ruins and amongst the highlights are the Temple of Apollo, Terrace of Lions, 3rd century BC theatre, ancient town and Mount Kynthos (113 m). Following time here to explore we take the ferry on to Mykonos (takes around 30 minutes). This island is frequented by the rich and famous. Whilst here you can explore its winding streets with its boutique and exclusive shops and another highlight are the windmills. We then return to Naxos by ferry (takes around one and a half hours).
Accommodation: Naxos Holidays (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Opportunity to walk to the summit of Mount Zeus
Today there's the option to walk to the summit of Mount Zeus (1001 m), the highest peak on the Cyclades. Taking a taxi inland we shall walk for about one to two hours to reach the peak, which offers excellent views back over the island. This is a moderate to challenging walk and the path taken is good but gets rocky towards the summit, so walking boots or shoes with good ankle support are recommended. There's the chance of spotting griffon vultures along the way. After walking back down the mountain there is the option to continue walking to Filoti to have lunch here before returning to Naxos by public bus or to return to the hotel straightaway by taxi. If you aren't going on the Mount Zeus excursion then there are regular buses and taxis available for exploring nearby on your own steam. Good nearby beaches include Saint George, Saint Prokopios and Saint Anna.
Accommodation: Naxos Holidays (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Ferry back to Athens; evening at leisure
This morning we take the ferry via Paros back to Athens on the mainland. The journey takes approximately five and a half hours and takes us through the Cyclades Islands to Piraeus Harbour. On arrival we'll transfer to our hotel to enjoy our last evening in Greece's bustling capital.
Accommodation: Oscar Hotel (or similar)
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Trip ends in Athens
Our trip ends this morning after breakfast at our hotel in Athens.
Meals Provided: Breakfast
Call for assistance: 1-800-481-9739 ext. 1
Mention Promo Code for Savings: TRIPMERCH100

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