Known as the “Cradle of Western Civilization,” Athens, the Peloponnese, and small islands of the Aegean deliver an enticing blend of history, diverse cultural influences, stunning natural beauty, and archaeological gems. Spend a night in Athens at the venerable Hotel Grande Bretagne on Syntagma Square before embarking the Sea Cloud in Piraeus for a seven-night private charter. We will of course visit Delos, mythological birthplace of Apollo and a major religious center. The isles of Naxos, Milos, and Hydra offer long sunny days, brilliant cerulean waters, and hidden gems waiting to be discovered. Visits to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mystra and the beautiful and historic town of Nafplio on the Peloponnese Peninsula round out the program.
- Pricing from
- Trip Type
- Group Travel Tour, International Ocean & Sea Voyages
- Departure Dates
Aug 4, 2021 - Aug 13, 2021
HOTEL GRANDE BRETAGNE, ATHENS
Optional Pre-Tour Extension in Athens
Spend two full days exploring the highlights of Athens including the Acropolis (and its most famous structure, the Parthenon); the Agora, a political and social center of ancient Athens; three of the city’s remarkable museums; and the charming, historical Plaka district. Further details and pricing will be sent to confirmed participants.
John Meffert, consultant on Heritage Conservation Services, has a long tradition with the National Trust. He has served as the Director for our Southern Office from and was the director of the Preservation Society of Charleston, the oldest nonprofit organization in the United States, responsible for preserving the historic resources of Charleston, S.C. John has delighted many study tour groups with his lectures and insights on preservation, and receives rave reviews as study leader.
Complete Terms and Conditions including Statement of Responsibility will be made available to you after registration. A signed “Terms & Conditions, Release from Liability, Assumption of Risk and Binding Arbitration Clause” is required from each applicant prior to participation on the tour.
CANCELLATIONS & REFUNDS
Upon payment of the per person deposit, all reservations are subject to the cancellation provisions set forth below and by which the passenger agrees to be bound. Cancellations shall not be in effect until they are received in writing and confirmed by the National Trust for Historic Preservation. Final payments will be due at 120 days prior to departure, the final payment is 100% refundable, as well as the deposit, until 95 days prior to the tour departure, if reserved by January 31, 2021. Refundable deposit only applies to NEW bookings.
Trip cancellation insurance is strongly recommended. NOTE: Neither the National Trust for Historic Preservation nor Criterion Travel, the tour operator, accepts liability for any airline cancellation penalties incurred with the purchase of non-refundable tickets.
Overnight flight to Athens, Greece.
Arrive and transfer to your hotel located on Athens’ famous Syntagma Square. Gather for an evening welcome orientation and reception.
Visit the Goulandris Museum of Cycladic Art in Athens, featuring art and artifacts from one of the three earliest Aegean cultures, dating from c. 3300 to 100 B.C. in preparation for our calls at the Cyclades islands of Delos and Naxos. Following a sumptuous lunch of traditional Greek cuisine, drive to the port of Piraeus and board the elegant Sea Cloud. Enjoy a Captain’s welcome reception and dinner while cruising to Delos.
Explore the World Heritage Site of Delos, thought to be the mythological birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, two powerful Greek gods. A sacred place for millennia, this uninhabited island is now an archaeological park whose riches are uncovered during a walking tour through the excavated ruins, including the famed Terrace of the Lions and the House of Dionysus. Return to the Sea Cloud for a relaxed afternoon of swimming, and the thrilling experience of cruising under sail.
Call on the island of Naxos, Queen of the Cyclades, boasting lush green valleys, stunning seascapes, ancient treasures, and authentic villages perched high on mountain tops. Choose to head into the mountains or stay close to the coast during optional morning excursions. Amble through Apeiranthos, the crown jewel of Naxos, a stunning mountainous village with stone-built houses, beautiful squares and narrow alleys paved with marble; and marvel at the Kouros of Apollonas, the giant and ancient statue of Dionysus lying unfinished in one of Greece’s oldest quarries. Or take in the views from the huge Venetian castle in Chora, the island’s capital, that once protected the city from attackers before enjoying a guided walking tour of Naxos’s charming old town with lovely bays and beaches enticing a swim or snorkel in the crystal clear water. Return to the ship for lunch, followed by an afternoon of sailing between islands.
Experience the island of Milos, where Venus de Milo was unearthed in the 19th century, and where volcanic activity has created a unique and stunning landscape of distinctive rock formations and pristine beaches. Visit beautiful fishing villages and walk the streets of Plaka, the picturesque old capital with its typical dazzling-white houses, overlooked by a mighty castle which offers a superb view over Adamos Bay and the surrounding islands. Spend the afternoon at sea cruising toward the shoreline of the Peloponnese Peninsula.
Sail this morning into the sheltered natural harbor of Gytheon in the southern Peloponnese, first settled by Minoan and Phoenician traders. Then travel overland to explore the World Heritage Site of Mystras, a deserted Byzantine city of gold-andstone palaces, churches, and monasteries on the slopes of Mt. Taygetos near ancient Sparta, that today is considered one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece. Return to the ship for an afternoon of sailing.
Take in the impressive ruins of Mycenae, once a major center of Bronze Age civilization known for its imposing structures and gold treasures, including the reputed mask of Agamemnon, regarded as mere legend until its ruins were discovered in the 1870s by Heinrich Schliemann. At the World Heritage Site of Epidaurus, see the asclepeion (healing temple) and experience the marvelous acoustics in the enormous 4th-century theater. Remain in port to soak up the lovely and lively atmosphere of the charming seaport town of Nafplio in the evening.
Stop at the Saronic island of Hydra, a quiet island with no cars, to see where Athenians go for respite from the city. Walk the cobbled streets of Hydra Town restored and preserved exactly as it was in the 1800s with its Venetian style architecture. Return to the ship and enjoy a final afternoon of sailing as the ship returns to Athens. Gather this evening for the Captain’s farewell reception and dinner while enjoying sensational views of Cape Sounion, including the ruins of the Temple of Poseidon.
Piraeus / Home
Disembark for flights home
Everything you need to know about the tour
Save this information for later by downloading the full tour brochure.
Be prepared with the National Trust Travel Plan
Since 1973, USI Affinity Travel Insurance Services has served travelers just like you, to help protect their travel plans