Greece

My Big Fat Greek Vacation!

We’re going to explore Athens, get a taste of local life on the island of Naxos and bask in the beauty of Santorini’s world-famous sunset views. Our Santorini hotel is very centrally located in Fira, the main “downtown” area of the island with lots of restaurants, cafes, and bars. Not to mention, it is perfectly situated for awe-inspiring views of the Caldera and the brilliant blue Aegean waters. You’ll love hanging out in the hotel pool while sipping on a refreshing cocktail as you take it all in.

Day 1 : Athens Arrival

Welcome to Greece! Today you arrive in Athens and settle into your hotel in the city. You will have some free time to walk around and familiarize yourself with your new surroundings. Our hotel is situated in the famous Plaka district with lots of restaurants, cafes, and shops to keep you busy.

Included :

  • Activities : Arrival (At your own expense); Free time
  • Accommodation : Hotel

Day 2 : Athens

Athens is a city full of life and ancient history. You’ll see locals chatting over a cup of coffee (not for the weak of heart!) or an even stronger glass of ouzo on ice. Around every corner there’s a great view of some of the classic Greek architecture that is so well-known around the world. Athens is a lively and energetic city with something to do and see for everyone.

After breakfast at the hotel, our local guide will meet us in the lobby and we’ll hit the streets of Athens on a private tour to discover some of the city’s most famous sites including, but not limited to the world-renown Acropolis, an ancient creation that brings “harmony between material and spirit”. Wander between ancient creations, temples, statues and theaters that share the landscape with contemporary buildings and museums. You’ll have the rest of the afternoon at your leisure to grab a bite to eat for lunch and to explore the city on your own. In the evening, let’s get together and go for dinner and maybe a little dancing? Opa!

Included :

  • Activities : Athens guided tour; Free time
  • Meals : Breakfast
  • Accommodation : Hotel

Day 3 : Athens

Today we will have a light breakfast at the hotel and then head out for a delectable and mouth-watering food tour in the city. We’ll visit some of the foodie hot spots around Athens as we try ‘real’ Greek food including, but not limited to : Greek Kalamon olives, feta cheese, bougatsa, and much more! You’ll be drooling as you wander past produce stalls bursting with color, intoxicating spice shops, enticing sweets shops, and of course, the bustling central food market of Athens.

You will have the rest of the day at your leisure to explore the sights, sounds and smells of Athens. Take a stroll among contemporary buildings that lie adjacent to ancient temples and stylish shops sprinkled amidst traditional markets. Taste local delicacies in cozy taverns or cosmopolitan restaurants. Enjoy the nightlife and taste exquisite wines in charming wineries and bars that seem to spring from every corner of this vibrant city that never sleeps. Greece’s capital is chalked full of ancient edifices, bustling squares, delicious food and much more!

Included :

  • Activities : Private food tour; Free time
  • Meals : Breakfast, Lunch
  • Accommodation : Hotel

Day 4 : Naxos (Travel time approximately 3.5 hours)

This morning after breakfast, we leave for the island of Naxos to get a taste of local Greek island life. We’ll take a short ride in a private vehicle from the hotel to the main port of Athens to catch a ferry to this idyllic island, which is also said to be the childhood home of Zeus. On arrival in Naxos, you will get settled in to the hotel, which is located in Old Town. You’ll have the rest of the evening at your leisure to take a sunset promenade on the beach or hang out in one of the many outdoor cafes among the locals of Naxos.

Included :

  • Activities : Naxos transfer; Free time
  • Meals : Breakfast
  • Accommodation : Hotel

Day 5 : Naxos

In the morning, let’s head out to the open sea after breakfast for a private catamaran cruise around the island with stunning, panoramic views of the brilliant blue water and the quaint island of Naxos.

In the afternoon, you will have your choice in activity, which can be arranged by the local guide. Let yourself get lost in a slower pace of life on an island with exceptional beauty, traditional houses perched on cliffs, monasteries, Byzantine churches and a variety of cultural remnants from an eventful past. Many small villages dot the inland area of this island as well as very a interesting olive oil press museum that shows you how olive oil is produced. And, of course, you can try some as well!

Included :

  • Activities : Private catamaran cruise; Free time; Optional activities (At your own expense)
  • Meals : Breakfast
  • Accommodation : Hotel

Day 6 : Naxos

Today is your last full day in Naxos and you will have the day to discover this charming island at your own pace. Explore the greenest island in the Cyclades, either by car, scooter, bike or with a hike on the many walking trails around the island. Stroll through the picturesque alleys of the island, inhabited since the 4th century B.C. Excavations around the island bring to light ancient artifacts and buildings almost daily. Visit the Castro (old walled city), which on its elevated ground overlooking the harbor provides some of the quietest and most photogenic alleyways to be found in town. Don’t miss the famous landmark of Naxos, the Portara Gate. A massive 2,500-year-old marble doorway that leads to nowhere; the entrance to an unfinished temple that faces directly toward Delos, the god Apollo’s birthplace.

Included :

  • Activities : Free time; Optional activities (At your own expense)
  • Meals : Breakfast
  • Accommodation : Hotel

Day 7 : Santorini (Travel time approximately 2 hours)

Before departing to Santorini, we recommend enjoying your last morning on Naxos Island by visiting another long, lazy beach or another unique monument. Discover the gastronomic paradise of Naxos with local products and authentic Greek flavors in traditional taverns. In the afternoon, we will transfer to the port to catch our ferry to Santorini. As we get closer to the island, you’ll experience the slow approach of the volcanic cliffs of the crescent-shaped island of Santorini, encircled by the deep blue Aegean waters. Santorini is an island that came out of the remnants of a volcanic eruption and it will steal your heart at first glance with its white-washed houses perched on volcanic cliffs, beaches with white, red and black volcanic pebbles and sunsets tinted with all the hues of an artist’s palette. Get ready for some of the most amazing photo ops you’ve ever had as you step on what is believed to be the lost Atlantis.

Included :

  • Activities : Santorini transfer; Free time
  • Meals : Breakfast
  • Accommodation : Hotel

Day 8 : Santorini

Start your day off right with breakfast at the hotel, which offers breathtaking views of this enchanting island and its sizzling sandy beaches and dazzling sunsets. Santorini’s beauty can’t be done justice by photographs. Its brilliantly colored houses of unique architecture tumble down mountain slopes and vineyards and spill into the sea. Here you can walk along exotic, red and black sand beaches under the vibrant Greek sun and taste some of the world’s finest wines that are produced locally.

Our hotel is situated in Fira with plentiful shops, restaurants and cafes. One of the best things to do in Fira is walking among the white-washed buildings built right into the side of the cliff. It’s the perfect spot to relax and of course, great for pictures! Your guide will be on hand to point you in the right direction!

Included :

  • Activities : Free time; Optional activities (At your own expense)
  • Meals : Breakfast
  • Accommodation : Hotel

Day 9 : Santorini 

Make the most out of your last day on the famous island of Santorini. You can choose among a wide variety of activities such as visiting museums and churches, wine tasting at local wineries, scuba diving or snorkeling (though the waters will be chilly!) or whizzing around on a scooter as well as many unique shops and restaurants. Or just sit back, relax and enjoy the views, the gastronomy, the exotic beaches and the famous sunset.

Included :

  • Activities : Free time; Optional activities (At your own expense)
  • Meals : Breakfast
  • Accommodation : Hotel

Day 10 : Athens (Travel time approximately 5.5 hours)

Say goodbye to the paradise of Santorini as we transfer to Athens, which will be approximately 5.5 hours in the business class section of a high speed ferry. On arrival to Athens, we’ll transfer to our hotel and then you’ll have the rest of the day free to discover more of Athens or visit anything you may have missed in the beginning of the tour.

Included :

  • Activities : Athens transfer; Free time; Optional activities (At your own expense)
  • Meals : Breakfast
  • Accommodation : Hotel

Day 11 : Athens Departure

Depending on your flight time, you will have free time on your own in Athens before catching your flight.

Included :

  • Activities : Free time; Departure (At your own expense)
  • Meals : Breakfast

 

*Itinerary is subject to change.

11-Day Tour

$3,400 – Trip Cost (See below for inclusions and exclusions.)

$350 – Upgrade to a deluxe room in Naxos and Santorini for 6 nights. (Per person, based on double occupancy)
*Upgrades are on a first-come, first-served basis.

Santorini upgrade includes :

  • Private outdoor jacuzzi pool
  • Private balcony
  • View of Caldera from room

Naxos upgrade includes :

  • Larger square footage per room

I’m a single traveler. Will I be charged a single supplement?

Accommodation is on a twin share basis and, if you are traveling on your own, you will be sharing a room with another traveler of the same gender. If there is an odd number of group members and you have a room to yourself, you WILL be required to pay the single supplement.

If you decide at the booking stage, that you want a single room throughout the tour, you can buy the “single supplement”. The single supplement fee for this trip is $700. If you would like your own room, you can purchase the additional supplement at check-out.

If you would like both the single supplement and an upgraded room, please email us for pricing.

What is included :

  • 10 nights accommodation (Double occupancy, breakfast included)
  • Local guides
  • Private ground transportation in air-conditioned vehicles
  • 3 ferry transfers : Athens – Naxos; Naxos – Santorini; Santorini – Athens
  • Activities as noted in itinerary
  • All breakfasts, 1 lunch

What is not included :

  • Most dinners & lunches
  • Optional activities
  • Gratuities
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Souvenirs
  • International flight
  • Supplementary insurance

Many tour groups visit the islands on a cruise and therefore only to get experience the islands for a few hours. They miss out on getting to explore the islands in depth. On top of that, the cabins on the cruise ships are small and cruise-goers are stuck inside for several days. We have opted to visit the islands by ferry and stay for 3-4 days on each one, so that you can really get to experience all that each island has to offer. Additionally, the selected hotel in Santorini offers amazing Caldera views (volcanic cliff-side views) which many tour groups don’t get to experience because most Santorini hotels are fully booked over a year in advance. Also, most hotels only have 8-12 rooms and are very expensive. We have ensured that you get to experience the best that each island has to offer by arranging for you to stay in hotels in the best locations to give you the perfect Greek experience…Opa!

Group Size

Each of our groups have a maximum of 12 travelers plus a local guides in Athens, Naxos and Santorini. We try to price our trips very reasonably while taking into consideration the small group sizes as well as the elevated costs of accommodation in Santorini.

When tour group sizes increase to 15-30 travelers, the general ambiance of the trip is less authentic and travelers tend to be less able to integrate into a society. Large tour groups also generally have less authentic contact with the locals. The more people in a tour group, the more the group experiences their own culture rather than the one of the country they are visiting.

Small group sizes are beneficial because they tend to allow for easier transport and communication. They are more mobile and can be more easily integrated into a social scene in Greece. A small group traveler is also less likely to be treated as a tourist ready to be exploited for his/her money. Additionally, small groups are more flexible as travel plans can be more easily changed or altered en route. If the group discovers a special event or festival in Greece that they would like to attend, and this is not covered by the original tour itinerary, it is possible to change the itinerary. A small group size also means that travelers will receive more individual attention from their tour guide. As a small group, it is easier to come to an agreement and for the tour guide to alter the reservations.

Small groups are low impact in Greece because they don’t introduce a large number of foreigners to a local scene where they can have an adverse impact on the local society and other travelers. For example, a large tour group can take up all the seats on a local bus or book out an entire restaurant forcing locals and other travelers away from their preferences.

Optional Activities

While in each location (Athens, Naxos, and Santorini), you will have free time to participate in optional activities and excursions, which will be at your own expense and are not included in the trip cost. Before arrival in each place, you will receive a list of optional activities and excursions. Most of them can be arranged with short to little notice and the local guides will be able to help you make necessary arrangements. Optional activities include, but are not limited to : cooking class, scooter rental, wine tasting, hiking, bike rental, museums, snorkeling, and more!

Currency

Greece uses the Euro and other currencies will not be accepted for legal tender. The most convenient way to handle money is to use a debit card for withdrawals from an ATM and/or to bring US dollars to exchange.

If you need to buy Euros on arrival, you can exchange a small amount at the Athens airport. If exchanging at the airport, it’s usually best to exchange only a small amount and then seek a better deal elsewhere. It’s also worth mentioning that unless you’re really stuck, exchanging your cash at the hotel is probably a poor idea. Despite the convenience, rates are often unfavorable. *Please note that traveler’s checks are not advised and are no longer widely accepted.

Finding places to exchange currency in large cities in Greece will be easy enough. However, if you’re heading off to rural areas or the smaller islands, don’t assume that exchanging cash will be a simple affair. It’s best to have some Euros on you. It’s also worth noting that banks have extremely limited opening hours in Greece. Most will close by 2:30 PM Monday to Thursday, by 2:00 PM on a Friday and remain closed entirely all weekend.

If you’re traveling with foreign currency to exchange when you arrive in Greece, make sure your banknotes are clean and crisp. Exchange services tend to dislike taking damaged notes and may even refuse to exchange them for you.

Major card providers are accepted in larger cities and tourist areas in Greece. If you’re in more remote areas or shopping at smaller, local boutiques, you might find that credit cards are not as readily accepted. If in rural Greece, you may find that cash is the only acceptable form of payment. So it is a good idea to carry some just in case!

ATMs are common in towns and cities. As a general rule, using ATMs for cash withdrawal is one of the smartest ways to get cash. The exchange rates applied are usually fair and they’re convenient to use. However, do make sure you know what fees your home bank charges and watch the machine for the fees added by the ATM operator. If your bank adds a per transaction fee, for example, then taking out larger sums less frequently would be a more sensible way to reduce overall costs.

We suggest bringing or having access to anywhere from $800 – $1,000 while on the trip, either in cash or on your debit card. WE HIGHLY ADVISE BUDGETING MORE MONEY THAN YOU EXPECT TO SPEND IN CASE OF AN EMERGENCY.

Souvenirs

There are plenty of souvenirs to be found in Greece. There are countless souvenir shops in all the places we’ll be visiting, especially in Athens. You can spend hours browsing for that perfect souvenir. Local craft markets can be found as well. These creations will make a special gift for your loved ones – or yourself!

A good rule of thumb in responsible traveling is to buy locally. Keep in mind the source of the souvenirs. It is obvious that some are not from Greece at all, but clearly marked China or some other foreign country.

Communication

If you have a smart phone, it will likely work in Greece, but coverage may be spotty if not absent during ferry transfers. Be sure to check with your provider to get informed about data and call roaming while abroad. You also may consider contacting your service provider to learn about what kind of international plans they offer for calls, texts, and data.

Wifi 

In general, hotels, restaurants and other public places in just about any tourist area in Greece offer wifi. There are also Internet cafes in abundance in most cities and towns. Bear in mind that although it’s available, it’s not always as fast as you may be used to, especially on the islands.

What to Bring 

Temperatures in Greece in the month of May/June can vary depending on the region, but are generally starting to warm up, but can be warm to cool during the day and cold at night. The end of May has generally less rainfall and warm temperatures with average daily highs in the 70s ~ 80s°F throughout the day and with a strong possibility of cooler temperatures (around 60s°F) at night.

Below are a few things that we suggest bringing to make your trip more comfortable :

  • Comfortable walking shoes with good traction
  • Warm jacket
  • Bathing suit (The water will be chilly, so a warm cover-up for after swimming is recommended.)
  • Diarrhea/constipation medicine
  • Sunscreen (Biodegradable, if possible)
  • Sunglasses
  • Hat
  • Camera
  • First aid kit
  • Seasickness medication
Safety

Greece is a safe country in terms of crime, violent and non-violent. Those who get their belongings stolen or have had something bad happen to them usually have acted irresponsibly. In most cases of theft, drugs and alcohol are usually involved. If you steer clear of illegal and irresponsible behavior, your biggest worry will most likely will only be sunburn, so make sure to lather up each day!

Gun violence and armed robberies are not common in Greece.

U.S. State Department Travel to Greece

Water
The public drinking water in Greece is generally safe to drink, although it may have a slightly unpleasant taste in some locales near the sea. Most travelers to Greece prefer the bottled water which is readily available for a small fee at restaurants, hotels, cafes, food stores, and kiosks.

As in most countries we travel to, we encourage our travelers to be conscious of the world’s growing plastic waste problem. We suggest pooling money together with other travelers in the group to purchase larger bottles or jugs of water and refilling your own personal water bottles from there.

Another thing you can do to help the environment is to put purchased items in your day pack/backpack rather than using the plastic bag that the store provides you. Small things can add up to make a big difference!

Medical Facilities

The doctors in Greece are very well-trained and can offer quality care, so you will not have any problems getting proper medical treatment if needed.

Tipping

Tipping is not compulsory at most establishments in Greece as many dining and drinking establishments will add a 10% service fee to the bill. If you received exemplary service and would like to leave a tip, you can round up the bill. (i.e. If the bill is 42.68 euros, you can leave 45 euros.) If you do not receive good service, do not feel obligated to tip. It is not compulsory.

You are also welcome to tip your Athens day guide anywhere from 5 – 10 euros. If you feel like you received good service from your guide and he or she enhanced your trip, then you are welcome to tip more!

Below is a basic guide of who and how much to tip :

  • Bellhop : 1 EURO per piece of luggage.
  • Taxi : While not customary, it is acceptable to round up to the next Euro or more, especially if the service exceeded expectations. (i.e. If the fare is 4.50 Euros, give 5 Euros)
  • Hotel maid : 1 EURO a day daily or at the end of your stay in cash on the bedside table or bed.
  • Waiter : Rounding up the bill is acceptable unless it is already included in the bill.
  • Tour guide : 5 ~ 10 EUROS per day or more, especially if you feel that your trip was enhanced by the guide’s services.
Arrival

In your pre-departure notes, you will receive the name of the hotel in both the local language and English as well as pertinent phone numbers.

 

Visa :

Visitors from Australia, United Kingdom, Canada and the United States who are traveling to Greece for less than 90 days in each country DO NOT need a visa. Your passport must be valid for at least 6 months beyond your travel dates.

If you are not a citizen of one of the above-mentioned countries, please check with your nearest Greek embassy or consulate for information on visas and travel to Greece.

 

Flights :

Once you have booked your flights, please forward your flight information to us. You will be given the hotel name and address in both English and the local language prior to arrival to show the taxi driver. Your arrival and departure city is Athens.

 

*Please do not book any flights until you receive a confirmation from us which will be sent to you 24 ~ 48 hours after paying your deposit. 

 

PEAK Season : July to September – Temperatures are very high in peak season and there are crowds of foreigners and locals alike. Although this is a good time to go since the sea will be warm, the crowds can be relentless making it difficult to enjoy certain things.

SHOULDER Season : Mid-April to June – Shoulder season is right before peak season and is a great time to experience Greece as you won’t miss out on warm weather, but will experience less crowds. This is an excellent time to visit, especially the islands. The ocean water will be cold, but not completely unmanageable.

LOW Season : November to March – Low season is best described as progressively cold and rainy with an occasional day of nice weather. Crowds are minimal, but these months are not ideal for visiting the islands, especially if you hope to sunbathe on the beach or go swimming. Most hotels, shops and restaurants close during this time.

 

Athens – Plaka


Naxos – Old Town


Santorini – Fira

 

*Hotels subject to change.

We strongly recommend that you purchase trip/travel insurance for your trip. We work with Travelex, which offers travel protection plans to help protect you and your travel investment against the unexpected. Travel protection plans include coverage for Trip Cancellation, Trip Interruption, Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and more. Otherwise, you are welcome to shop around online for a provider and policy that best suits your needs.

For more information on the recommended plans or to enroll, click on the image below or contact Travelex Insurance Services at 800-228-9792. Globe Drifters’ reference location number is 09-0984.

 

Vaccinations :

Below is information from the CDC and its recommendations regarding vaccinations for travel to Greece.

CDC Greece

 

If you are interested in traveling to TURKEY as well, you are in luck! The Greece tour proceeds the Turkey tour, so you can easily combine the two tours into one epic trip of a lifetime!

Turkey tour dates : May 11 – 20, 2018

Greece tour dates : May 24 – June 3, 2018

There is a break of 3 days between the two tours. This will give you time to travel from Istanbul to Athens and for some R&R. If you sign up for both tours, we will give you $250 off each tour for a total savings of $500!

Please email us directly at : info@globe-drifters.com for more information.

 

Trip Date

MAY 24
JUNE 3, 2018
RESERVE YOUR SPOT
USD $3400

Price based on double occupancy. Single Supplement can be purchased for an additional $700. Room upgrade on Naxos & Santorini can be purchased for an additional $350 (per person).


    NO REVIEWS

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *