Mainland City Hopping in Greece (12 days)

This 12-day itinerary will take you across mainland Greece on a city hopping tour. This is a trip you can do all year-round to get a deeper knowledge of Greece’s culture, art, incredible museums, and great food! The tour includes two world-class European cities – Athens and Thessaloniki, as well as several smaller towns, such as Nafplio, Laconia, Olympia, Delphi, and Kalambaka. Enjoy in-depth city tours, and well-appointed accommodation along the way.

Daily Itinerary

Day 1

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Arrive: Athens, Greece

Accommodation: Hotel Grande Bretagne

Welcome to Greece!

Upon arrival in Athens you will be met as you deplane by your English-speaking ‘meet & greet’ assistant. You will be escorted with priority through customs/passport control and receive luggage porterage, all the way to your vehicle. Your English-speaking driver will transfer you to your hotel in Athens to rest and relax.

Day 2

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Athens: 

  • Athens Walking Discovery Tour

Accommodation: Hotel Grande Bretagne

Meals: B

Athens, Greece, Supplier Photo (Travel2Greece)

Today you will embark on a Athens Walking Discovery Tour. Your tour will begin at the new Acropolis Museum, where nearly 4,000 artifacts are on display providing a remarkable insight into the everyday life of the ancient Greeks. The museum is home to impressive collections of decorated pottery, sculptures and relics of a bygone age. There is also a magnificent view of the Acropolis from the museum’s terrace. You will then head up to the top of the Acropolis hill via the gates of Propylaea, the monumental entrance to the Acropolis and an iconic example of classical antiquity, where you will discover the magnificence of the Parthenon and learn about the effect it has had on modern history.

Finally, you will take a pleasant stroll through the narrow streets of Plaka, the city’s historical neighborhood and visit to the Parliament Building in Syntagma Square, where you can watch the ceremonial changing of the guards at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Day 3

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Athens:

  • Enjoy a day at leisure, with many optional activities available

Accommodation: Hotel Grande Bretagne

Meals: B

Athens, Greece, Supplier Photo (Travel2Greece)

Enjoy a day at leisure exploring the city’s possibilities. There is a wide range of activities we can offer: a walk to the food market and cooking class, a treasure hunt in the city or a wine tasting experience!

Day 4

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Transfer: Enjoy a coastal drive to the picturesque seaport city of Nafplio

En route:

  • Visit the the site of Ancient Corinth, a well-preserved archeological site with a number of interesting ruins

Accommodation: Hotel Grande Bretagne Nafplion

Meals: B

Enjoy a leisurely drive along the coastal road of the Saronic Gulf to the Corinth Canal for a perfect photo opportunity of this narrow waterway, before visiting the site of Ancient Corinth located at the northern base of the hill of Acrocorinth. The well-preserved archeological site has a number of interesting ruins, including the temples of Apollo and Octavia, the ruined theatre once used for gladiatorial contests and the Glauke Fountain. From here, you will proceed to the great Theater of Epidaurus. Built in 340 BC, the theatre is memorable for its beauty and its exceptional acoustics, and is still used today for dramatic theatrical performances and concerts.

Next, travel through the fertile plain of Argolis to the picturesque seaport city of Nafplio, where you will enjoy an overnight stay. The historical first capital of Greece maintains a charming traditional architectural style with a number of notable statues and impressive monuments around the main square. The ancient Venetian Palamadi fortress, nestled on the crest of a 216-metre high hill overlooking the Argolic Gulf and the surrounding countryside, provides a perfect photo opportunity.

Day 5

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Transfer: Drive to Lakonia

Lakonia:

  • Visit the medieval ruins of Mystras, known as the “Wonder of the Morea”
  • Visit the Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm, a progressive, biodynamic farm

Accommodation: Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm

Meals: B

Lakonia, Greece, Pixabay.com

Today you will drive to Laconia. Your second day of the tour starts with a visit to the medieval ruins of Mystras. Known as the “Wonder of the Morea”, it was built as an amphitheater in 1249 and enclosed the fortress. The town was abandoned in 1832, leaving behind only its ancient ruins on the slopes of Mt. Taygetos, near ancient Sparta. It overlooks the modern village of Mystras and includes a fortress, a palace, ruined monasteries, and in particular, a church that houses rare frescoes dating between 1348 and 1380. The notable archaeological site has also been named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tonight you will stay at Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm. This progressive, biodynamic farm is pioneering zero carbon dining at its five-room sprawling farm in the Laconia region of Greece, where it supports local producers and even lends land to bee farmers to increase their sustainability.

Day 6

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Transfer: Drive to Olympia

En route: 

  • Visit ancient stone towers, stunning beaches and breathtaking mountainous scenery along the coast of the Messinian Gulf

Accommodation: Hotel Europa Olympia

Meals: B

ruins, Olympia, Greece, Pixabay.com

You will then continue your cross-country journey through Messiniaki Mani, notable for its ancient stone towers, stunning beaches and breathtaking mountainous scenery along the coast of the Messinian Gulf, before proceeding to the sanctuary of Olympia on the Peloponnese peninsula, renowned for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times and the former site of the colossal statue of Zeus. Set amid idyllic countryside, Olympia is a perfect destination for your overnight stay in a local hotel.

Day 7

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Olympia:

  • Explore Ancient Olympia
  • Visit the Archaeological museum, one of the most important museums in Greece

Transfer: Drive to Delphi

Accommodation: Nafiska Itea Hotel

Meals: B

Delphi, Greece, Pixabay.com

Start your day exploring Ancient Olympia also known as the Altis. Many impressive buildings and monuments stand on the site of this ancient sanctuary, including the Temples of Hera and Zeus, the Echo Stoa, (a covered walkway), the Philippeion, (one of the numerous memorials) and the ancient stadium, where games were held between 776 BC and 393 AD, and from where the Olympic torch is still lit before it leaves for the country hosting today’s modern Olympic Games.

You will also visit the Archaeological museum, one of the most important museums in Greece and home to relics from excavations dating from prehistoric times. The impressive building boasts 12 exhibition rooms displaying priceless exhibits, including the marble statues of the temples of Zeus and Hermes, carved by the ancient Greek sculpture Praxiteles, ancient helmets, such as the one worn by Miltiades in the battle of Marathon and the bronze battering-ram, the only surviving one of its kind in antiquity.

Next, continue through the sweeping plains of Ilia and Achaia to reach the magnificent Rio–Antirrio Bridge. From here, you will pass by the picturesque towns of Nafpactos and Itea, before arriving for your overnight stay in Delphi, which according to Greek mythology, was once regarded by Zeus as the center of the world.

Day 8

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Delphi:

  • Explore Delphi, which according to Greek mythology was once regarded by Zeus as the center of the world
  • Visit the mountain town of Arachova, renowned for its peculiar architecture, cobbled uphill streets and colorful rugs and carpets

Transfer: Explore several towns en route to Kalambaka

Accommodation: Divani Meteora Hotel

Meals: B

Theatre, Delphi, Greece, Pixabay.com

Set off for Delphi which according to Greek mythology was once regarded by Zeus as the center of the world and visit the incredible archaeological site. Enjoy exploring some of the most prominent sites, including the ancient ruins of the Temple of Apollo, on the southern slopes of Parnassos mountain, and the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, site of the most famous ancient Greek oracle and home to one of the finest examples of ancient bronze statues, the Charioteer of Delphi and the sculpture of Agias, an Ancient Greek Athlete. Other interesting sites are the shrine of Apollo Pythios, the Treasury of the Athenians and the Castalian Spring, the most ancient sacred site at Delphi.

Then, move on for a brief visit to the mountain town of Arachova in the western part of Boeotia, enjoying the spectacular landscapes and views of the mountain ranges along the way. Arachova is renowned for its peculiar architecture, cobbled uphill streets and colorful rugs and carpets.

Continue through the towns of Itea, Amphissa, Trikala nestled on the slopes of Ziria’s plateau and the Thessalian plains before reaching Kalambaka, a town situated at the foot of the Meteora peaks where you will stay overnight.

Day 9

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Kalambaka: 

  • Visit the majestic monasteries perched high on the rock pillars of Meteora

Transfer: Drive to Thessaloniki, the country’s second largest town

Accommodation: Excelsior Hotel Thessaloniki

Meals: B

Meteora, Greece, Pixabay.com

What better way to start your day, than to visit the majestic monasteries perched high on the rock pillars of Meteora. Formed over 60 million years ago, only six of the twenty or more monasteries remain on these amazing rock formations, enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding countryside. They include the mid-14th century Monastery of Great Meteoron, the largest of the 6 and serving as the main museum, the Antonite Varlaam Monastery built approximately in 1541, and the Monasteries of Rousanou, St. Nicholas Anapausas and St. Stephan, all built in the 16th century.

Finally, make your way to Thessaloniki, the country’s second largest town.

Day 10

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Thessaloniki:

  • Enjoy a private-guided city tour of Thessaloniki

Accommodation: Excelsior Hotel Thessaloniki

Meals: B

Thessaloniki, Greece, Pixabay.com

Discover the multi-cultural city of Thessaloniki, its many historical sites, its buildings and their distinct architectural styles, numerous notable Ottoman and Byzantine monuments, its major shopping streets and the lively recreation areas throughout its several districts. These include Ladadika, known for its taverns, Kapani where the central market is located, Diagonios, Navarinou, Rotonta, Agia Sofia and Ippodromio, which are all situated round the city’s most central point, Aristotelous Square.

Founded in 315 BC, Thessaloniki is considered to be Greece’s cultural capital. It is renowned for its variety of festivals and events and is also considered the most popular destination for street photography in Greece.

During your private excursion, you will have the opportunity to visit a number of museums dealing with many different eras in history. Two of the city’s most famous include the Archaeological Museum of Thessaloniki and the Museum of Byzantine Culture. Visit the 34m-high landmark White Tower, once a prison and torture chamber in 1826, the 5th century Byzantine church of Agios Dimitrios, the Arch of Galerius and the Rotunda. Your intriguing city tour will also cover the city’s acropolis and many more marvellous Archaeological sites.

Day 11

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Thessaloniki:

  • Enjoy a day at leisure

Accommodation: Excelsior Hotel Thessaloniki

Meals: B

Thessaloniki, Greece, Pixabay.com

Enjoy a day at leisure in Thessaloniki. Explore the beautiful town; Thessaloniki is a vivid town with a great choice of restaurants, shops and nightlife!

Day 12

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Transfer: Fly back to Athens to catch your international flight home

Meals: B

ATHENS , Greece, Supplier Photo (Travel 2 Greece)

You will be met at the hotel lobby by your English-speaking driver for your transfer to the airport to catch your flight to Athens. Your flight from Thessaloniki to Athens is approx. 45 minutes. Upon arrival in Athens you will be met as you deplane by your English-speaking ‘meet & greet’ assistant. You will be escorted with priority through customs/passport control and receive luggage porterage, all the way to your departure flight.

Accommodation

Hotel Bretagne Athens Greece

Hotel Grande Bretagne – Athens

Steeped in history and located in the heart of Syntagma Square, the 5-star luxury Grande Bretagne hotel has retained much of the style and character of the original building constructed in 1874. Its prestigious location just a stone’s throw away from high-end shopping areas, notable museums and the business district, along within proximity to the Parliament and the original Olympic Stadium makes it an ideal choice for a city break where you can have maximum time for sightseeing. The Grande Bretagne is a majestic landmark hotel that offers spacious luxurious accommodation of a very high standard with classically furnished suites and rooms. The hotel also boasts a multi-awarded beauty and health spa, both rooftop and indoor pools, along with a 24-hour state-of-the-art business center and a fully-equipped fitness center. Guests also have a number of dining options as the Grande Bretagne is a showcase for exquisite regional and international cuisine.


Hotel Nafplion Greece

Hotel Grande Bretagne Nafplion 

Hotel Grande Bretagne is an inviting and relaxing hotel on the island of Nafplion. In the center of the old town of the island, its grand windows bathe guests in natural light when entering. Its atmosphere brings warmth with the use of wood throughout. Bringing an ease over the senses, its unique suites are decorated in a neo-classical style. A getaway from the normal routine of life, relax into the rich fabrics, antique-inspired furnishings and classical hues of every room. Quaint and relaxing, Grande Bretagne Nafplion ensures a pleasant escape during any Greek Island vacation.

 


Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm

The Eumelia Organic Agrotourism Farm and Guesthouse is situated in the Laconia region near the quaint town of Gouves, an area known for its array of archaeological sites, historical monuments, museums, and the Eileithyia sacred caves. Its ecological cottages and other hotel facilities are built in the traditional Greek farmhouse albeit contemporary style. Each of the 5 properties features a bedroom, a living room with a dining area, a fireplace and a fully equipped kitchen. They also boast their own private vegetable and herb garden and a spacious veranda with splendid views of the estate and surrounding mountains. There is also a 16th century stone cellar for storing food and wine barrels, which is also used for exclusive wine tasting experiences on the farm.


Hotel Europa Olympia

Built on a privileged spot overlooking Ancient Olympia, Europa Hotel offers an idyllic view of the Arcadian mountains and the paradisiacal valley, which lies between two rivers – the Alpheus and the Cladeus. The hotel’s warm aesthetics and inviting design bring a peaceful relaxation to your holidays in Olympia. Each room and suite exemplifies the balance of the area’s heritage with modern amenities leaving guests feeling a sense of home. For a time under the Greek sun, unwind by the pool while gazing at the surrounding gardens. An idyllic resting place above a divine valley of the ancients, Hotel Europa is the perfect destination for experiencing the past, today.


Nafiska Itea Hotel

Providing an ideal location in the heart of the shopping district of Itea, a quiet picturesque coastal town at the foot of the mount Parnassos, the Nafsika Palace Hotel is also only a short distance away from the sea and conveniently located for Delphi and its main attractions, as well as Galaxidi, a small harbor town surrounded by mountains. The 4 star hotel is within easy reach of the beaches at both Itea and Galaxidi and provides guests with a relaxing retreat after a day of sightseeing. The charismatic hotel’s spacious 85 guestrooms are designed in contemporary style with a touch of French elegance, varying in design and décor. They are tastefully refurbished with modern interiors and comfortable bedrooms in pastel shades and furnishings. They feature ample living space and splendid bathrooms and boast floor to ceiling windows, modern lighting, cozy armchairs, beautiful drapes, rich wall coverings, and patterned carpets. All the sumptuous accommodations are soundproofed and air-conditioned, and there are excellent banqueting facilities for special events.


Divani Meteora Hotel

Revel in sheer luxury at the fully renovated Divani Meteora Hotel surrounded by the magnificent rock formations of Meteora and the amazing dramatic landscape. The peaceful opulent oasis, located in the quaint village of Kalambaka is convenient for visiting other local villages, such as Kastraki, and also for taking many of the old monk’ trails that wind through the region and lead to the famous monasteries. All the Divani’s guestrooms and suites offer a blend of tranquility and elegance with a tasteful décor of muted shades against a cream background. They feature beautiful wooden floors, queen size beds, executive writing desks, spacious bathrooms with deep soaking bathtubs and exceptional views of the Meteora and its monastery-topped pinnacles. The palatial hotel also boasts picturesque gardens, a swimming pool, spa, fully-equipped fitness center and a first-class restaurant serving an excellent cuisine of local and international dishes, and 2 relaxing bars.


Excelsior Hotel Thessaloniki

The magnificent 5 star Excelsior Boutique Hotel in Thessaloniki stands right in the heart of the financial, business & commerce district, next to Aristotelous square. It dates back to 1924 and is one of the most prominent small luxury hotels in Europe. The grandiose historical landmark building boasts 34 beautifully appointed guestrooms and suites most of them with balconies offering a panoramic view of the town. There is also a splendid roof garden, a ritzy restaurant in an alternative culinary setting with a casual American diner atmosphere, a chic Mezzanine lounge and an APIVITA spa. All the stylish accommodations feature a unique combination of bold decor, rich textiles, and textures, handpicked designer furniture, queen size beds, original artworks by young upcoming artists, and wooden and tiled floors. They have exquisite marble bathrooms, private balconies with views of either the city or the courtyard, and a number of additional touches to the interiors to ensure that guests experience a warm and relaxing ambiance.

Mainland City Hopping in Greece (12 days)