Athens - cradle of democracy and birthplace of philosophy. How much of ourselves we can trace back to ancient Greece is truly remarkable, but when visiting this magnificent city, its history is not the first thing you meet. That Athens is rife with history is an adjunct, a secondary to the plain fact that Greece is one of the most visually stunning countries to ever nestle against the pellucid blue of the Mediterranean.
Day 1: The Acropolis and Orientation
As busy as you're likely to have been packing, planning your trip, checking luggage and that lot, why not ease into your vacation with a laid-back morning tour of Athens, which highlights modern marvels with the wonders of the ancients. From there, on to Athens' crown jewel, the towering Acropolis. Alternatively, walking and/or biking are great ways to see the city, and a private walking tour with the option to be a bit more photographic is always a nice introduction to the city.
Day 2: Delphi
Cradled by Mount Parnassus, the modern, buslting town of Delphi is a UNESCO World Heritage site and original resting place of the Delphic oracle - the most important oracle in ancient Greece and a major site for the worship of Apollo. Explore the Temple of Apollo and other famous sites on a day trip from Athens, or venture further on a multi-day Delphi tour. Complement your experience of classical Greece with a half-day visit to Cape Sounion, where the picture-perfect Temple of Poseidon frames the beautiful Mediterranean sea.
Day 3: The Islands and Beyond
Athens' proximity to
the port of Piraeus makes it the perfect base for exploring the idyllic
islands of the Aegean, and, honestly, who could resist them? For
classic and popular Greek islands, sail no further than Santorini and
Mykonos, but if time is tight, consider a day cruise to the lovely
islands of Hydra, Poros and Aegina for a day of sailing, shopping,
swimming and other leisurely pursuits. Multi-day tours can take you
further afield to magical islands like Rhodes, inland on a wine-tasting
tour to ancient Corinth or a 4-Day tour of Epidaurus, Mycenae, Olympia,
Delphi and Meteora.