Greece

Athens & Cyclades Islands

This itinerary offers a wonderful combination of history, adventure and relaxation. You will have time explore Athens, soaking up the atmosphere of the pretty Plaka district and stepping in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks atop the Acropolis. You then head to the Cyclades Islands, with time on both Naxos and Amorgos (with an optional extension to Santorini if you like!). Here there’s plenty of time to relax, but you can also explore by boat, on foot, with two pedals, and by sea-kayak. The itinerary can be tailored to ensure that there is just the right blend of adventure and relaxation for your family.

Highlights

  Visit the Parthenon & Acropolis
  Delicious food tour in Athens
  Climb Mt Zas, birthplace of Zeus
  Boat trip to remote Naxos beaches
  Hiking, cycling and cookery
  Relax on pretty Amorgos Island
  Sea kayaking in Aegiali Bay

12 days from £1,500 pp

Plus international flights starting at £200

A 12-day itinerary for a family of four will start from around £5,500 including accommodation, car hire, and a wide range of activities. And from £8,000 to upgrade accommodation throughout.

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Athens & Cyclades Islands day-by-day itinerary

Day 1, Athens
Welcome to Greece! When you arrive at the airport in Athens you will be picked up and transferred to your hotel.


Day 2, Athens
Today you will have a morning guided walking tour of Athens. You will start at the Acropolis, the most famous and impressive of Athens’ ruins. This dramatic citadel is perched on a rocky outcrop overlooking the city and contains a number of remarkably preserved ancient structures, including the Parthenon. After time to explore, your guide will take you down off the hill into the maze of narrow streets that comprise Plaka village. This is the oldest part of Athens and a delightful place to wander with big bushes of pink bougainvillea spilling out over pavement cafes and souvenir shops. Continue on foot, weaving through the alleyways and taking in all of the most important Greek and Roman sites.

You can either have a free afternoon to further explore by yourselves or we can include a food tour. Greece’s cuisine is world-renowned and you will have the opportunity to sample some of the country’s most iconic dishes as well as less well-known delicacies. These may include little pastry parcels filled with feta, tasty skewers of marinated chicken doused in olive oil and gooey baklava, oozing sweetness.


Day 3 Athens – Naxos
This morning you will be transferred to the dock for the fast ferry to Naxos (3 hours). On arrival you will be transferred to your hotel.

Naxos is the largest island of the Cyclades and combines gorgeous beaches, pretty mountain villages, ancient ruins and beautiful rolling countryside of gentle hills covered in olive groves. The main town on the island is also called Naxos and is clustered around a medieval hilltop Venetian castle. There are meandering alleyways lined with whitewashed houses and quaint little squares with ancient churches. Throughout there are stunning views out over the sea.

The afternoon is free to relax on the beach or explore town depending on where you are staying.


Day 4, Naxos
Naxos is perhaps the greenest island in the Cyclades and at its centre is the peak of Mt Zas, standing at an impressive 1,004m. Today you will enjoy a guided hike up the mountain. It takes its name from the Greek God Zeus who is said to have spent his childhood here. The climb takes you along ancient paved paths through a beautiful and fertile landscape. The views from the top over the Aegean and the surrounding islands are breath-taking.

You will take a different route down the mountain, ending in the small village of Filoti where you can enjoy a delicious lunch at a local taverna on the square.


Day 5, Naxos
A wonderful day today as you head out to explore the remote southern bays and coves of Naxos by boat. You will stop at a secluded beach to swim in the beautifully clear waters and snorkel into a cave. Here you will find brightly coloured coral, plenty of fish and spiny sea urchins. Weather permitting, you will be able to continue to the nearby islands of either Iraklia or Koufonisia for lunch. Sail back to Naxos as the sun sets before returning to your hotel.

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Day 6, Naxos
Today you have a full free day to relax and enjoy the beach.


Day 7, Naxos
A full-day excursion today, but you can pick which appeals to your family.

Guided tour of Naxos Island
Accompanied by a guide and driver you will explore the island in detail. Your first stop is the ancient temple of Demetra, dating back more than 2,500 years and constructed of beautiful white Naxos marble. From here you will continue on to the remote fishing village of Apollonas which is home to the giant ‘Kouros’ statue which was half carved before being abandoned for reasons that remain unknown. You will stop for lunch in a family run taverna near Lyonas beach where you can also relax and have a swim.

In the afternoon, wander around the picturesque streets of Apiranthos, visit a beautiful ancient Byzantine church and round of your trip to a local distillery to sample the local raki and kafenio dessert.

Cycling tour of Naxos
Naxos is home to wonderfully varied scenery, the beaches giving way to rolling hills and mountains. Your cycling route (which can be tailored to suit the family) will take you along the coast and onto the Alyko Peninsula. This is a beautiful protected area of sand dunes backed by juniper forest and wild herb bushes. You will be able to stop along the way at a lovely beach for a swim.

(If you prefer, there are more challenging routes through the mountains).

Naxos village hike and cookery course
Your day starts with a transfer to the quaint village of Kinidaros. After exploring the village you will take a track that zig-zags downhill onto a riverside path. This leads you through the lush valley and past ruined watermills. Butterflies and birds flit across the river banks, which are lined with wildflowers, herbs, oleander and oak trees. You will pass through fragrant orange groves and visit a traditional olive mill before finishing in the village of Galini.

The tavern in Galini is renowned for its exceptional home-cooked food. You will accompany the larger-than-life chef into the garden to select organic ingredients before learning to cook some local delicacies….. then sit down to enjoy the fruits of your labours!


Day 8, Naxos – Amorgos
Today you will take the ferry to Amorgos (2hrs), one of the prettiest of the Cyclades and renowned for its beautiful beaches and crystal-clear waters. In fact, the water here is so clear that it was chosen by Luc Besson as the setting for his film ‘The Big Blue’.


Day 9, Amorgos
You have a free day to relax and enjoy the beautiful views and beach.


Day 10, Amorgos
Today we will include a full-day excursion. Again you can choose which most appeals to your family.

Snorkelling or Diving
The waters off the coast of Amorgos are some of the clearest in the Aegean, with incredible visibility. The underwater world is full of caverns of coral, sponges, starfish, scorpion fish and sea anemones. Those who are interested can try diving, with options for complete beginnings to enjoy a taster session through to more challenging dives for those with the appropriate certification.

Alternatively, you can head out by boat armed with snorkel, mask and flippers and enjoy what you can see from the surface.

Sea Kayaking
Aegiali bay is the prettiest in Amorgos and you will spend the day exploring by sea kayak. Discover peaceful coves and stop to swim off beautiful beaches. You will carry snorkelling equipment with you so that you can experience the wonderfully clear waters and get a glimpse of the underwater world.

Hiking along Amorgos ‘spine’
You will spend the day hiking along the spine of the island. Your route starts at an impossibly picturesque village, complete with bright bushes of bougainvillea, windmills and narrow alleyways. Your guide will take you from here along a trail to the Monastery of Hozoviotissa, built into the cliff face and with spectacular views over the sea. As you continue along the route, you will pass medieval ruins and deserted villages before ending up on the beach for a refreshing swim.


Day 11, Amorgos – Athens
This morning you will take the ferry back to Athens, arriving at around 3pm. On arrival, you will be transferred to your hotel for a final night.


Day 12, Athens
You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home.

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Call us and we will be happy to provide you with a free-of-charge no obligation itinerary and quotation designed for you.

01728 752751

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