Greece: Mediterranean Antiquities

Mid October 2018 • 10 Days • Price TBA

Our exploration of the fabled land of Greece spans the chronology of Western Civilization, bringing to life the legends of Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey and giving context to Greek mythology and history.

Turkey Extension

Mid October 2018 • 5-6 Days • Price TBA

We are revising this itinerary to include an extension to Turkey! This portion of the tour would take travelers from Athens to Izmir, with walks and activities in Ephesus, Pergamum and Cappadocia.

Reserve your spot today with an Early Bird deposit. An Early Bird is a $50 fee that holds your spot during the planning stages of a trip, when we don’t have a set itinerary or dates. Early Birds are always refundable!

View Daily Itinerary

We start at King Minos’ Palace of Knossos on the Aegean island of Crete; absorb some of the world’s most stupendous vistas from the rim of Santorini’s sea-filled caldera; continue to Mycenae, where Agamemnon marshaled the Greek armies for the Trojan War; and finish in Athens, pinnacle of Classical Greece.

This is a draft itinerary. Revisions are currently being made, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available!

Including:

  • Airport to hotel group transfers on first and last day
  • 2 domestic flights in Greece
  • Ferry from Crete to Santorini
  • Superior tourist-class (3-star) or better hotel accommodations
  • All land travel as outlined
  • All breakfasts and dinners as listed (BD)
  • 5 walks as listed (IVV sanctions not yet obtained)
  • Fees for walking credit
  • WAI guide service throughout
  • Cultural & historical expertise of our local guide throughout
  • All tipping for local guides and coach drivers
  • This tour offers a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee

Activities & Visits to:

  • Palace of Knossos (Crete)
  • Ancient Corinth (Peloponnese)
  • Mycenae Archeological Site (Peloponnese)
  • Epidaurus Amphitheater (Peloponnese)
  • Acropolis, including the Parthenon (Athens)
  • National Archeological Museum (Athens)
  • More fun stops than we can list!

Adventure Pace

Tour Pace: 1 2 3 4 5
Walk Challenge: 1 2 3 4 5

Important Info

Group Size

25-30 travelers

Hotels

Strategically located Superior Tourist Class (3 star) hotels or better

Meals

Breakfasts included with a selection of dinners. Letters BD indicate which meals are included.

Airfare

Not Included. Travelers will be met at the airport in Athens.

Transportation

Included. We use full-size motorcoaches with a seating capacity of 45+ seats.

Traveler Age

Our travelers usually range from 50–75 years of age. All ages welcome!

Your Guides

WAI Guide Scott IsomScott Isom has had a passion for the outdoors ever since his childhood days spent exploring the waterfalls and outstanding hiking trails of the Columbia River Gorge with his family. That sense of adventure continues with his wife, Debbie and their three girls on the terrific trails of Mt. Rainier National Park and in other natural wonderlands of the Pacific Northwest. Scott will be leading Greece: Mediterranean Antiquities along with a WAI Assistant and support from a national guide.

Itinerary

This is a draft itinerary. Revisions are currently being made, and an updated itinerary with dates and pricing will be made available! 

Day 1: Arrive Athens, Greece (D)

Upon arrival into Athens, you will be met at the airport by a representative of WAI and transferred to our hotel in the heart of historic Athens. The first group activity will be a Get Acquainted dinner this evening where you’ll enjoy seeing old friends or getting acquainted with new traveling companions as you share your anticipation of the exciting days ahead exploring Greece: Mediterranean Antiquities!

Day 2: Athens - Rethymno, Crete (BD)

Lasithi, Birthplace of Zeus Walk – 10 km, rated 1

This morning, we fly over the island-studded, sapphire-colored Aegean Sea to the island of Crete. Upon arrival, we visit the Palace of Knossos, home of mythical King Minos, namesake for the advanced yet mysterious Minoan civilization which controlled much of the Mediterranean in the 3rd and 2nd millenniums before Christ. This afternoon’s walk takes us through the picturesque, rural valley of Lasithi, legendary birthplace of Zeus, master of the Greek pantheon.

Day 3: Activities from Rethymno (BD)

Imbros Gorge Walk – 8 km, rated 3+/4

We’ll explore a little-visited corner of Crete today on a walk through Imbros Gorge. One of the most enjoyable gorge walks in Crete offers the fascination of narrow, shaded canyons and rich vegetation with the bonus of an enchanting Cretan panorama overlooking the Mediterranean Sea at walk’s end. The scenic drive back to Rethymno provides us opportunities for a stop or two to sample the delights of small town Crete.

Day 4: Rethymno - Thira Town, Santorini (BD)

This morning, we board a ferry bound for the Cycladic Island of Santorini. In the 15th century B.C., a violent explosion believed to be eight times more powerful than the largest eruption in recorded history (Krakatoa) devastated most of the eastern Mediterranean. A layer of ash more than 200 feet thick was left behind, a tidal wave rocked the Mediterranean, and the gigantic crater was filled with seawater when part of the rim was blasted away. Our hotel for the next two nights is positioned near the eastern rim of the crater. We look forward to two days of exploration on this fabled Aegean Island.

Day 5: Activities from Thira Town (BD)

Santorini, Jewel of the Aegean Walk – 10 km, rated 3

This morning, we participate in an unforgettable walk along the caldera rim offering breathtaking and virtually continuous views out over the sea-filled shell of the volcano. Following lunch, we’ll board the bus and explore other parts of the island, perhaps stopping to sample some of the unique wines developed on this arid island jewel.

Day 6: Thira Town - Nafplio, Peloponnese (BD)

Following an early morning flight to Athens, we’ll enjoy a panoramic drive along the Bay of Salamis, site of the history-changing 480 B.C. naval battle between the Athenian navy and the Persians. After crossing the Corinth Canal, we’ll visit the ruins of ancient Corinth, recipient of one of the Apostle Paul’s many letters. After a day of travel through the beautifully varied scenery of the Peloponnese, we’ll arrive for a 2-night stay at our hotel in Nafplio.

Day 7: Activities from Nafplio (BD)

Mycenae Walk with Agamemnon – 10 km, rated 2+

Our morning walk showcases the beauty of the Peloponnese countryside – wildflowers, pastoral farm scenes, and the palpable aura of several millennia of history. The walk finishes at the ruins of Mycenae, home of the civilization immortalized by the Greek poet Homer in the Iliad. After lunch, we’ll explore these evocative cyclopean ruins, fertile ground on which to imagine life here in 1200 B.C., and the epic saga of the 1000 ships launched to battle Troy.

Day 8: Nafplio - Athens (BD)

Nafplio Seaside Walk – 10 km, rated 1+

Today’s walk follows a coastal trail to the seaside resort of Nafplio. En route back to Athens, our local guide will demonstrate the near-perfect acoustical engineering of the Classical Age of Greece at the outdoor amphitheater of Epidaurus. We finish the day in Athens in anticipation of tomorrow’s completion of our chronological journey through Greek history. Our hotel for the next two nights is near the Acropolis and the ancient shopping lanes of the Plaka district.

Day 9: Activities in Athens (BD)

First on our list this morning is a walking tour of the Acropolis, with its proud and stately Parthenon, 2500-year-old symbol of the Golden Age of Greece. After time for lunch and shopping in the Plaka, we visit the National Archeological Museum. Our guided tour of these fascinating artifacts provides a fitting review of the fascinating span of ancient history we’ve encountered together over the past 9 days.

Day 10: Return home from Athens (B)

An early morning transfer to the airport prepares us to bid farewell to Greece. We’ll return home, replete with the beauty and wonder of the Mediterranean and Ancient Greece!

More Details

How do I lock in my place on this Adventure?

Call or mail in your Early Bird ($50) to save your spot! A maximum of 30 travelers will be accepted on this Adventure.

First Time Traveler Savings

In appreciation for joining us for your first Walking Adventure, we offer new travelers a $400 credit on this international tour!

Group Travel Credit

Start a Group of 5 or more to receive a discount on this Adventure!

Check out more information on the Group Travel Program.

How is airfare arranged?

The official start and finish point for Greece is the airport in Athens. Airfare to and from the start and finish point is not included in the package price. More details about flight arrangements and travel agent contact information will be made available after this itinerary has been finalized.

What about the walks?

We generally walk at a pace of 2 to 3 miles per hour. In most cases, we are not “strolling.” We are walking at a relaxed but steady pace. Your experience will be significantly affected by your level of physical fitness. The success of the walks is therefore predicated upon walkers having this minimum level of fitness. If not walking regularly at home, we strongly recommend that you make a priority of “training” beforehand in order to both enjoy the trip and avoid medical issues due to overexertion. If you have questions about your ability to participate, please talk with our office at 1.800.779.0353.

We have adopted a walk difficulty rating system that is similar to one used by the American Volkssport Association (AVA), which contains a numeric indicator for trail incline and an alpha indicator for trail terrain. The explanation for this system is presented below.

INCLINE

1. Very small hills or very little stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: up to 200 feet.
2. Some moderate hills and stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 200-1000 feet.
3. Some significant hill or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 1000-2000 feet.
4. Lots of significant hills or stair climbing. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: 2000-3500 feet.
5. Many steep hills. Cumulative elevation gain from Starting Point: more than 3500 feet.

TERRAIN

A. Almost entirely on pavement.
B. A significant part of the route is on well-groomed trails with very few obstacles.
C. A significant part of the route is on somewhat difficult terrain (rocky / rooted paths or soft sand).
D. A significant part of the route is on very difficult terrain.
E. The majority of the route is on very difficult terrain.

What happens next?

We are currently developing the itinerary for this Adventure. Once the itinerary is released, we will accept registration deposits ($500) to save space.

If you have Early Birded with a refundable $50 deposit, your spot on the tour will be held for 2 weeks after the itinerary is published while you make a decision on whether or not you’d like to register. If you decide not to join us for this tour, your Early Bird can be refunded or transferred to another tour.

For now, envision yourself walking through spring wildflowers and nonstop island panoramas on Crete and the Peloponnese, and exploring the caldera rim at Santorini, then call and talk to one of our Adventure Consultants who can help you join us for a life-changing Walking Adventure in Greece!