The Nature of Greece - The Immortal Landscape: Peaks, Gorges, Caves, and Coast

Immerse yourself in the natural wonders of Greece, a land that has captivated mankind since the dawn of our species. From caves that Neolothic man once called home, to villages of ancient Greece, to medieval palaces towering over glittering shorelines against a backdrop of mountain peaks, discover for yourself why this place has been home to countless generations. Hike along mountain trails of Pelion & Zagori, gaze into the breathtaking depths of the Vikos Canyon, and dip your feet in the dazzling Ionian Sea, enjoying charms and scenery that have enchanted since the dawn of time.

Days 1/2/3

NEW YORK/ATHENS

Board your overnight flight to Athens. Upon arrival, you will be met by your guide and escorted to your hotel. Enjoy free time to settle in and relax or to set out and begin exploring the city. In the morning, set out on a guided tour of Athens, where you’ll tour major sites like the Temple of Zeus, the Acropolis and Parthenon with the benefit of a personal expert in tow. Wrap up your tour with a scenic walk through the Plaka, or old town, of Athens. Spend your free afternoon taking in the charming offerings of the shops, cafes, and restaurants on offer, stopping anywhere that catches your eye for local treats or a scrumptious Greek lunch. Return to the hotel in the evening to share your afternoon experiences with your fellow travelers over a welcome dinner.  ST. GEORGE LYCABETTUS.  (Meals Aloft; No Meals; B, Welcome D)

 

Days 4/5

THERMOPYLAE/VOLOS/MOUNT PELION VILLAGES

After breakfast, set off for the mountain of Pelion, home of Chiron the Centaur who was said to train and mentor the greatest of mythological heroes, including Jason, Achilles, Theseus, and Hercules. At the foot of this mountain sits Thermopylae, where you’ll visit the Leonidas Monument, which commemorates the battle in 480 B.C. between Leonidas’ 300 Spartans and Xerxes’ Persian Army. Drive through Volos to your hotel in Portaria Village. In the morning, visit some of the small villages of Pelion, each carving out its own charming identity between the towering mountains and the pristine beaches. Drive up to the peak of Pelion, and enjoy the spectacular views of the Aegean Sea. Tsagkarada village is considered one of the most beautiful of Pelion’s villages, and you’ll have time to enjoy a walk through the square, a chat with locals, or an indulgent cup of frappe coffee during your free afternoon. Enjoy a short stop in Milies, for dessert, en route back to your hotel. Overnights in Portaria village at DESPOTIKO HOTEL.  (B,D; B,L)

 

Days 6/7

TRIKALA/KALAMBAKA

Depart after breakfast to Kalambaka region. En route, visit the beautiful city of Trikala to sample some local delicacies. You’ll have time upon arrival in Kalambaka to stroll around the city and enjoy the sites, particularly the magnificent rock-top monasteries of Meteora, which dominate the horizon. Next day, explore Meteora, visiting some of the Orthodox monasteries perched atop the sandstone rock. Within the monasteries are portable icons, miniatures, ecclesiastical robes, utensils and crosses, all of them excellent examples of Byzantine and post-Byzantine art. You will also see rare editions and manuscripts. HOTEL GRAND METEORA.  (B,D; B)

 

Day 8

KALAMBAKA/TRUFFLE HUNTING/ZAGORI

Set out this morning on an authentic truffle hunt! Alongside specially trained truffle dogs, search for this rare and coveted culinary treasure. Of course, the highlight of such a venture is tasting the fruits of your labor. You’ll be treated to a truffle pasta dish in the forest. Afterward, visit the Mushroom Museum, which also includes a tasting of half a dozen different kinds of mushrooms, alongside wine pairings. Digest your morning with a scenic drive through the Zagori area, one of the most strictly protected nature enclaves in Greece. ARISTI MOUNTAIN RESORT & SPA.  (B,Truffle Tasting)

 

Days 9/10

ZAGORI/VIKOS-AOOS CANYON

Join a mountain expert on a discovery adventure of Zagori. Start in Vradeto, a village at over 4,000 feet altitude. Hike downhill along the famous Skala of Vradetou, a preserved cobbled path that was the only way to reach the village of Vradeto until only a few decades ago. You will use these historic steps to reach Kapesovo and see its two traditional stone bridges before tucking in with a traditional village dinner. The next morning, hike to Mikro Papigo, one of the best kept traditional stone villages in Greece. Delve into the Bistyries Caves, a colorful system of caverns once inhabited by Neolithic humans. Scale to Red Rock, one of the best vantage points over the Vikos Canyon and Voidomatis Springs. Return to Mikro Papigo for lunch and a trip to the Rogovos Pools, the perfect place to catch your breath after an active morning. In the afternoon, visit the Monastery of Spiliotissa alongside the Voidomatis River. Afterwards, you’ll have the option to raft on the gorgeous waters of this river, or to simply kick off your shoes and rest on the banks before dinner.  ARISTI MOUNTAIN RESORT & SPA. (B,L; B,D)

 

DAYS 11/12

ZAGORI/IOANNINA/IGOUMENITSA/CORFU

Today, you are headed for the beautiful Island of Corfu. On the way, visit Ioannina, a city by Lake Pamvotis and the islet of Ali Pasha. See the monastery of Agios Panteleimon and take a step back in time as you learn the captivating history of this area. Then, travel to Igoumenitsa to catch the local ferry to the island of Corfu. Spend your evening out in Corfu, an island of aristocratic heritage, where the Venetians, the English, the French, and Austrians have left their mark. Next morning, set sail toward the Ionian perfection of Corfu’s bays. Corfu Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, flanked by two Venetian fortresses, known for its remarkably preserved multicultural heritage and colorful history. Enjoy an orientation walk along the winding medieval boulevards, past the French arcade and the Palace of St. Michael and St. George before dinner in one of the Island’s many quality restaurants. DIVANI CORFU PALACE. (B,L; B,D)

 

DAYS 13/14

CORFU/ATHENS/USA

The morning at leisure till departure for a flight to Athens, where your afternoon is at leisure. In the evening, sit down for one last dinner with your fellow travelers. Next day, it’s time to bid Greece adio and return to the USA.  (B,D; B, Meals Aloft)

 

POST-EXTESION TO OLYMPIA, NAUPLION/MYCENAE/EPIDAURUS & HYDRA

 

Discover the mythical archaeological sites of Athens on the Peloponnese, starting in Olympia, once considered a domain of Zeus and the birthplace of the Olympic Games.  Enjoy winetasting in the acclaimed vineyards of Nemea. Explore the marble pavements, looming castles and remarkable homogeneous architecture of Nauplion, the most elegant town in the Peloponnese. Visit the Palace of Agamemnon, the Treasury of Atreus, and the tomb of Clytemnestra in Mycenae. View the ruins of Epidaurus, which include the foundations of the Temple of Asclepius, a sanctuary of Egyptian gods, a sports stadium, odeon, and bath complex. Revered for its remarkable acoustics, the ancient theater still hosts performances. End your fabulous discovery tour of Greece with a night on one of the most breathtaking Greek islands, Hydra. Take in the local flavor and explore by foot or donkey – no cars are allowed by law on the island.

Prices starting at $6,995. For further booking, date, and pricing info please contact info@classicescapes.

 

Does not include international or domestic flights. Prices are based on 10 or more travelers, and are subject to change.