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The Greek Islands:...

The Greek Islands: Crete & Santorini

10 days |  13 days with Delphi & the Athens Riviera extension
10 days |  13 days with Delphi & the Athens Riviera extension
Group size1528 travelers

4.5 out of 5 stars

Physical activity
OverviewItineraryDates & pricesReviewsTraveler photosHotels, flights & FAQ
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Get the full Greek experience: scrapbook scenery, fantastic food, and sweet, sweet sunshine.

No matter how you cut it, the Greek islands are a multifaceted paradise, and after admiring their gleaming highlights, you’ll be left craving more. Begin your tour in Athens, a city that needs no introduction, before journeying to Crete. Here, on the largest of Greece’s islands, you’ll marvel at the Venetian handiwork of charming Chania’s harbor; walk among vestiges of the Bronze Age Minoans in Heraklion; and discover the joys of Cretan cuisine through olive oil, wine, and other local delights. Then, you’ll head to Santorini—painted in those famous flashes of white and blue—for some seaside R & R. Go for a walk, a swim, or a sail, taking in its volcanic terrain from all angles. And if you’re interested in capping your trip with a mythical twist, add the extension to Delphi. (Maybe you’ll catch the oracle’s whispers riding the wind.)

Your tour package includes

  • 8 nights in handpicked hotels
  • 8 breakfasts
  • 1 lunch
  • 3 dinners with beer or wine
  • 4 sightseeing tours
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Included highlights

  • Temple of Zeus
  • Acropolis
  • Parthenon
  • Venetian port of Chania
  • Palace of Knossos
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Day-by-day itinerary

Print itinerary
Overnight Flight1 night
Day 1: Travel day

Board your overnight flight to Athens today.

Athens2 nights
Day 2: Arrival in Athens
Included meal: Welcome dinner

Welcome to Greece! Meet your Tour Director at the airport and transfer with them to your hotel, where you’ll get to know your fellow travelers over a welcome dinner served with your choice of beer or wine.

Day 3: Sightseeing tour of Athens
Included meal: Breakfast

Meet up with a local guide for an introduction to Greece’s bustling capital, home to the world’s first democracy and over 3,400 years of recorded history.

  • Pass by three points of interest: the Panathenaic Stadium, Syntagma Square, and the Arch of Hadrian. Now home to various local soccer teams, the Panathenaic Stadium, built entirely out of marble—the only such stadium in the world. Syntagma Square memorializes the signing of the first Greek constitution in 1844, following an armed rebellion against the rule of King Otto. Carved from marble and standing since the second century, the Arch of Hadrian is an iconic landmark of modern-day Athens.
  • View the ruins of the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Built less than a kilometer from the Acropolis, this structure dates back to the sixth century B.C. and, when intact, was the largest temple in Ancient Greece.
  • See the classically inspired Old Royal Palace, home of the Hellenic Parliament, and drive through Plaka—the historic “neighborhood of the gods” built in the shadow of the Acropolis.
  • Set off on a walking tour around the Acropolis of Athens, a millennia-old, UNESCO-listed citadel and the enduring image of Greece. First properly developed by the renowned politician Pericles, it now contains the ruins of the Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, and dozens of other archaeological sites.

Enjoy a free afternoon in Athens or add an excursion.

Greek Dance Lesson & Taverna Dinner

From $129 per person

Chania2 nights
Day 4: Flight to Chania
Included meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Fly to Chania, a coastal city on Crete’s northwestern shore that has passed between Greek, Venetian, and Ottoman hands through the centuries. After settling into your hotel, join your group in the evening for an included dinner, served with your choice of beer or wine.

Day 5: Sightseeing tour of Chania
Included meal: Breakfast

This morning, join a local guide on a walking tour of Chania’s Old Town, a historic quarter especially tinged by its Venetian heritage.

  • Step inside Trimartiri—a Greek Orthodox cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary—before visiting Etz Hayyim. The only synagogue on the island, this still-active place of worship is a symbol of the city’s age-old Jewish community.
  • Walk along the Old Venetian Port of Chania, a harbor that’s served the city since the mid-1300s. Catch a glimpse of its famous Egyptian lighthouse, and pass by the Yiali Tzami—a former Ottoman mosque, instantly recognizable by its main dome, that nowadays houses art exhibitions.

Please note: Etz Hayyim closes on Saturdays and Sundays

Enjoy a free afternoon in Chania or add an excursion.

Crete Olive Oil Tasting & Dinner

From $135 per person

Heraklion1 night
Day 6: Transfer to Heraklion & sightseeing tour
Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Board your bus and cruise past Crete’s olive-covered landscapes en route to Heraklion—an ancient port town that was once the hub of the Minoans, Europe’s first civilization. Disembark and enjoy an included lunch before setting off on a guided tour.

  • Visit the ruins of the Bronze Age palace of Knossos. Part administrative center, part place of worship, it held a special place at the heart of Minoan culture (and was where, according to the myth, King Minos imprisoned the Minotaur in the heart of a labyrinth).
  • See the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, home of the world’s preeminent collection of Minoan art and many artifacts taken from the excavation of Knossos and other dig sites around Crete.
Santorini2 nights
Day 7: Ferry to Santorini
Included meal: Breakfast

Board a ferry and chart a course across the Aegean Sea to Santorini, the crown jewel of the Cyclades islands. Built up by lava flows over thousands of years and irrevocably changed by a devastating eruption in 1,600 B.C., its rock-laden terrain and flooded caldera are a definitive example of the stark beauty of volcanic landscapes.

Upon arrival, enjoy free time to explore its cliffside villages, roam its rugged hills, or simply soak in its charming culture before settling into your accommodations.

Day 8: Sightseeing tour of Santorini
Included meal: Breakfast

Take in the sights of Santorini—a volcanic isle known for its black-sand beaches, cliff-lined shores, and stunning whitewashed architecture—on a guided tour.

  • Visit the prehistoric settlements that were unearthed during the archaeological excavations at Akrotiri.
  • Ride to the top of Mount Profitis Ilias for panoramic views of the whole island.
  • Stop in small, picturesque Pyrgos, a well-preserved medieval village that’s situated on the island’s highest point and is latticed with steep, cobblestone alleys.

Spend a free afternoon in Santorini or add an excursion.

Santorini Caldera Cruise & Dinner

From $205 per person

Athens1 night
Day 9: Flight to Athens
Included meals: Breakfast, Farewell dinner

Fly back to Athens, then celebrate your trip with your fellow group members over a farewell dinner, served with your choice of beer or wine.

Flight Home
Day 10: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home, or extend your stay a little longer. Mystical Delphi, legendary Marathon, the relaxing Athenian Riviera: You’d be in for three days well spent.

Extension to Delphi & the Athens Riviera
For a different perspective on Greek culture through the ages, stay on tour with us for a few more days. From the Byzantine churches of Arachova, set against the hypnotizing beauty of mythic Mount Parnassus, to the religious ruins of Delphi, you’ll tap into the country’s rich spiritual history. Then, dig into ancient military history in Marathon before drawing your journey to an end with a rejuvenating night on the Athens Riviera.
Delphi Region2 nights
Day 10: Delphi Region via Arachova
Included meal: Breakfast

Make your way to the Delphi region via Arachova, a picturesque resort town over 3,000 feet up the southern slope of Mount Parnassus. Stroll through its charming cobblestone streets, marveling at Byzantine-era churches and mountainous landscapes that demand a picture.

Then, continue on to your hotel in the Delphi region and enjoy free time for the rest of the day.

Day 11: Sightseeing tour of Delphi
Included meal: Breakfast

Head back to the slopes of Mount Parnassus and visit the Archaeological Site of Delphi. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it was once a sacred precinct, a spiritual focal point believed by the Ancient Greeks to be the “Navel of the Earth.”

  • Embark on a guided tour of the area, capped by a visit to the Temple of Apollo. Here, according to legend, the god Apollo prophecized to mortals through the voice of the oracle and high priestess, Pythia
  • Take time to explore the ancient treasures at the Delphi Museum, including the life-size bronze statue known as the Charioteer of Delphi

Spend a free afternoon in the Delphi region or add an excursion.

Hosios Loukas & the Gulf of Corinth

From $105 per person

Athens Riviera1 night
Day 12: Athens Riviera via Marathon
Included meal: Breakfast

As you travel to the Athens Riviera, take in even more historic landmarks with a visit to the town of Marathon

  • Learn about the Battle of Marathon. Waged on a nearby coastal plain in 490 BC, the clash marked a pivotal moment in the Greco-Persian Wars, when an outnumbered coalition of Athenians and Plataeans routed an invading Persian army.
  • Enter the Tumulus of the Plataeans, a large burial mound where the fallen Plataean soldiers were laid to rest.

Continue on to your hotel on the Athens Riviera, then raise a farewell drink to your trip in the evening.

Flight Home
Day 13: Departure
Included meal: Breakfast (excluding early morning departures)

Transfer to the airport for your flight home.

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4.5 out of 5 stars

Overall rating 4.5 out of 5

Based on 6 authentic traveler reviews
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    5 out of 5 stars

    Greece forever
    5/2/24 by 1st-time traveler Violet

    The whole experience was amazing. I loved everything about Greece from food to sightseeing, beautiful friends made ❤️ and our wonderful tour director Maria, who was so kind, patient, and full of knowledge. She is the best. We also had the opportunity of spending time with Ryan, who is also an E...

    Read more +

    5 out of 5 stars

    Review by Carole
    5/2/24 by 1st-time traveler Carole

    My husband Larry and I had a blast in Greece, Crete and Santorini. Maria our guide was patient, knowledgeable and very fun. Ryan, who also works for the tour company, fit in very well with all of the 50 and over tour group. The people on the tour were mostly friendly and compatible with each othe...

    Read more +
    EF Go Ahead Tours replied on 5/21/24

    Carole, we are so pleased to know you and your hus...

    Read more +

    5 out of 5 stars

    Greece is a blast 💙
    5/2/24 by 1st-time traveler Romeo

    It's a place to visit and see the ancient history of these wonderful places. Thanks to Maria, our tour director

    Show more reviews

    Traveler photos

    Hotels, flights & FAQ

    Here's the nitty-gritty—where you’ll stay, how you’ll get there, and what to know about your destination before you go.


    We handpick every hotel to strike the balance of comfort, location, and local charm. Specific accommodations will vary based on your departure date, but these are frequently used hotels for this tour and we're confident you'll be satisfied.
    Wyndham Grand Athens
    Wyndham Grand Athens

    This elegant hotel is located in the Metaxourgeio neighborhood of Athens. Guests enjoy panoramic views of the Acropolis, a fitness center, and a rooft...

    Read more +
    Kydon Hotel
    Kydon Hotel

    This comfortable hotel is centrally located in Chania. Guests enjoy free Wi-Fi, a restaurant, and a bar. Nearby, you’ll find the Agora (a covered mark...

    Read more +
    Galaxy Hotel Iraklio
    Galaxy Hotel Iraklio

    This luxe hotel is located in Heraklion on the island of Crete. Guests enjoy restaurants, the outdoor pool, and a spa. Nearby, you’ll find Lions Squar...

    Read more +
    Mar 'n' Mar Crown Hotel and Suites
    Mar 'n' Mar Crown Hotel and Suites

    This sophisticated hotel is located in Kamari, a seaside village on Santorini. Guests enjoy an outdoor pool, views of the Aegean Sea, and a spa lounge...

    Read more +
    Atheneaum Eridanus
    Atheneaum Eridanus

    This luxury hotel is located right in the heart of Athens. Guests enjoy a rooftop terrace, a fitness center, and free Wi-Fi. Nearby, you’ll find the M...

    Read more +
    Amalia Hotel Delphi
    Amalia Hotel Delphi

    This modern hotel is located at the foot of Mount Parnassus in Delphi. Guests enjoy the outdoor pool, beautiful views, and manicured gardens. Nearby, ...

    Read more +
    Dolce by Wyndham Athens Attica Riviera
    Dolce by Wyndham Athens Attica Riviera

    This seaside hotel is located east of Athens in the town of Brauron. Guests enjoy the private beach area, indoor and outdoor pools, and on-site coffee...

    Read more +


    Round-trip flights are one more thing we handle to make your journey as smooth as possible. Our team of travel experts will find the best flight itinerary for you at a competitive rate, thanks to our partnerships with top airlines.
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