2019 GREECE and the Island of SANTORINI

September 30 – Oct 9, 2019         

                 With a maximum of only 8 participants and PRIVATE VAN and DRIVER.

Includes breakfast and dinner daily, superior accommodations with private bath, featuring Athens, the Parthenon and the Acropolis, the Temple at Delphi, Olympia where the Games began in 776 BC, Mycenae where Western Civilization began, and flights to SANTORINI, possible site of ATLANTIS.  Entrances/services as noted.

Sept 30. Board our transatlantic flight.

Oct 1. Arrival Athens.  Relax and overnight before the tour begins.  

Oct 2. Arrival in Athens.  Across the Corinth Strait to MYCENAE, birthplace of Western Civilization, site of the palace of Agamemnon and Clytemnestra.  Mycenae was founded by the earliest Greek settlers on a mountaintop.  It was from here that the legendary Agamemnon lead his troops to war against Troy to rescue his nephew’s wife, the beautiful Helen of Troy.  This legend was re-told by Homer in the ILIAD, written nearly 3000 years ago.   Later, to the beautiful Aegean town of Nafplion. Nafplion was the first capital of a united Greece in the early 19th century and is today a lovely artist’s colony.  Overnight Nafplion.  

Oct 3.  West across the Peloponnese, through picturesque mountain villages, before arriving at OLYMPIA.  We will visit the site where the Olympics began in the year 776BC.  We’ll see the Temple of Zeus, the training grounds for the athletes, the monument to Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, and the original Olympic Stadium.  Later we will stroll the Olympic Museum and see the 2500 year old statue of Nike Athena and the incredible HERMES of Praxitiles. Overnight in Olympia.  

Oct 4. Northeast to DELPHI to visit the most important religious site of the ancient Greek world, the Temple of Apollo, where the Oracle sat and told the great and mighty what the future would bring.  Situated on a mountainside, the site still vibrates with energy even today. Legend has it that Apollo tossed two eagles into the sky and where they met and fell to Earth determined the center or “navel” of the Earth.  Control of this site by Athens assured her power and prominence in the ancient world.  Overnight in Delphi.

Oct 5.  Southeast to the Athens Airport for our flight to SANTORINI.  Arriving in the main city of Fira, we begin our adventure on this Mediterranean paradise, high on the lip of an ancient volcanic caldera.  Plato described a great island civilization that existed 1000 years before his time and that had been exterminated in an enormous volcanic explosion.  He called the island Atlantis and that is perhaps today Santorini.  All that is left is a knife edge top of a volcano.  Overnight Fira.

Oct 6. We explore Santorini today.  We will venture to the south part of the island to the ruins of Akrotiri, the town that was destroyed by the explosion.  The ruins are evocative of an advanced civilization that enjoyed hot and cold running water, schools, hospitals and city services.  Afterward we will walk along the nearby Red Beach and then return to Fira to visit the Akrotiri Archaeological Museum.  On display are the marvelous frescoes and pottery from this lost civilization.  Overnight Fira.

Oct 7. We fly back to Athens this morning and transfer to our centrally located hotel in the Plaka area, where the city of Ancient Athens once stood.  We will look down into Hadrian’s Library.  This was considered one of the greatest repositories of knowledge in the ancient world and was established by the Roman Emperor Hadrian.  Then we’ll stroll over to the ACROPOLIS ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM which sits directly below the Parthenon.  This remarkable structure celebrates the history and the glory of the ancient Greek civilization during the Golden Age and preserves many of the original marble pieces from the Parthenon and the Acropolis.  Later we will have dinner in the Plaka and enjoy the lighted Acropolis.  Overnight Athens.  

Oct 8. Today we visit the iconic ACROPOLIS and the incomparable PARTHENON.  In less than a decade this monumental complex was constructed; it was at that time that the entire basis of Western Civilization was established here in Athens.  Later we will explore the Monastiraki, the old Turkish bazaar area.  The Turks controlled this part of Greece for nearly 400 years, from the mid 1400s to the mid 1800s, and their culture is firmly stamped on this old world market.  Tonight we’ll dine at a traditional Greek Taverna deep in the heart of the Plaka.  Overnight Athens.  

Oct 9. Transfer to the airport to board our transatlantic flight back to the USA.

LAND PRICE per person sharing a room FROM Late deposit $4199, Early Deposit  $3899, Mike Ross Travel Returnee $3499.  Single supplement $499. Transatlantic air and taxes not included.    PAYMENTS. $1500 deposit with REGISTRATION FORM on website.  Balance due 98 days prior to departure. TERMS & CONDITIONS on website.  Call Mike at 517-782-6847, toll free 1-877-845-4763  or write to Mike@mikerosstravel.com