Mainland Greece and Islands Trip Notes
Ancient ruins, fascinating history, breath-taking scenery, and picturesque beaches await on this 15-day adventure through the top highlights of mainland Greece and the Islands. Lose yourself in mazes of white-washed streets in Mykonos before taking in the iconic sunsets of Santorini. Delve deep into ancient Greece at must-see destinations for history lovers from Athens, Olympia, Delphi, and more! End your Greek adventure wandering the otherworldly landscapes and floating monasteries of Meteora. Experience the very best of Greece, from food, culture, history, and scenery on this unforgettable adventure!
Duration : 15 Days
Destination : Greece
Start/Ends in : Athens / Athens
Group Size :15-25 People
Age Req. : 18+
Trip Theme : Discovery, Overland
Hotels : 4 & 3 Star
Departs : May to October
Why you will love this tour
- * Hit the top highlights of Greece’s mainland and islands on this 15-day adventure uncovering the breathtaking landscapes, best of island-hopping, and ancient wonders.
- * Stay in hand-picked and stylish 4 and 3-star hotels with fast ferry transfers and breakfasts included.
- * Start your adventure in Athen and explore the iconic sites and ancient legends of Greece from The Temple of Zeus, the Parthenon and Acropolis.
- * Begin your Greek Island hopping adventure in Mykonos. Explore the quaint white-washed streets and iconic windmills, check out the vibrant beach bars and sample the tasty seafood.
- * Experience one of the most iconic and beautiful sunsets in Santorini, exploring the idyllic beaches and taking in the breathtaking views.
- * Tick partying in the Greek Islands off your bucket list as we head towards the party Island of Ios to spend our days relaxing by the beach before having fun nights out with your new travel mates.
- * Delve deep into the history and culture of ancient cities Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus.
- Soak up the mythology and incredible sights of Olympia such as the original Olympic Site, Temple of Hera, and Zeus.
- Explore the ancient home of Oracle of Delphi before heading to the otherworldly landscapes and floating monasteries of Meteora and completing your journey with a scenic drive back to Athens.
The group welcome meeting with your guide and other travelers is held around 18:30 at the hotel lobby on Day 1 of your tour unless otherwise notified.
The meeting point for the Mainland Greece and Islands tour is:
The President Hotel – ATHENS
Address : Leof. Kifisias 43, Athina 115 23, Greece
Phone : +30 21 0698 9000
Emergency Number: +44 (0) 208 099 75 36
Making Your Own Way to the Starting Point
The hotel is 700 meters away from Panormou Metro Station. If you are making your way from Athens Airport (ATH), you can use metro line 3 (Blue) to get to Panarmou station (11th station). One-way metro ticket for one person is €10, for two persons €18, and for three persons €24. The trip from the Airport to Panormou metro station takes around 30 min. The metro departs from the airport every 30 min. between 06:00 and 23:30. You can also use airport taxis. The cost is approximately €38 during the day (05:00-24:00) and €54 at night.
The finishing point for the Mainland Greece and Islands tour is:
The President Hotel – ATHENS
Address : Leof. Kifisias 43, Athina 115 23, Greece
Phone : +30 21 0698 9000
Emergency Number: +44 (0) 208 099 75 36
Kalambaka: Kalambaka is a town and the seat of the Municipality of Meteora in the Trikala regional unit, part of Thessaly in Greece.
Athens: You will fall in love with the perfect combination of culture, history, and the dynamic contemporary life in one of the oldest cities in the world.
Meteora: Meteora is hands-down one of the most impressive regions in Greece! Located in the north, it is home to abysmal cliffs crowned with ageless monasteries.
Mykonos: Greece’s most famous with blue flag beaches, whitewashed streets, and vibrant nightlife. You won’t want to leave the ‘The Island of the Winds’!
Santorini: The most beautiful sunset in the world… This volcanic island has unique scenery with its multi-colored cliffs and beaches.
Ios: The perfect place for sea, sun & party! Don’t forget to visit the tomb of the famous Greek poet, Homer, before you get lost in the night.
Please note that the itinerary may be subject to small changes depending on the conditions during the tour. Alternative accommodation of similar standards may be used depending on the group size and hotel availability.
Inclusions & Exclusions
The tour price covers the following services:
Accomodation : 4 & 3 star hotels
Meals : 7 breakfasts
Air-conditioned, modern coach or mini-bus.
Guide : Services of experienced Travel Talk local guides licensed by the Ministry of Tourism
Sightseeing : Athens, Corinth, Delphi, Epidavros, Kalambaka, Meteora, Mycenae, Nafplion, Olympia, Patras, Thermopylae
What is NOT included in the tour price?
- Any flights not mentioned above
- Travel insurance
- Meals not stated above
- Items of a personal nature
- Tips & gestures
- Entrance fees to the sights and museums
- Optional activities
- Other services not stated in the itinerary
Hotels & Accommodation
Please note that the hotels are subject to change depending on the group size and availability. Hotels of similar standards will be used where available in case of a change.
Solo travellers will be roomed with another solo traveller of the same gender in a twin or triple room or can upgrade to a solo room by paying the single supplement. You may choose the solo room option when booking online or contact us to arrange a private room. Solo rooms are not available on gullets. Your tour leader will allocate rooms upon arrival at the starting hotel in accordance with the rooming lists, last minute changes may not be guaranteed.
PRESIDENT HOTEL – ATHENS – 4 Star
Located in the center of Athens and 500 meters from Panormou Metro Station, President Hotel offers comfortable accommodation and a beautiful rooftop terrace with a swimming pool.
GRAND METEORA HOTEL – KALAMBAKA – 4 Star
The hotel is located at the foot of Meteora, in the heart of the Thessaly plain. It is the most imposing and impressive accommodation in the area, next to the picturesque village of Kastraki.
AMALIA HOTEL DELPHI – DELPHI – 4 Star
Amalia Hotel Delphi has an exquisite location at the foot of mount Parnassus. The hotel offers panoramic views of the green valley and all the way to the sea, the town of Itea, and the town of Galaxidi.
AMALIA HOTEL NAFPLION – NAFPLIO – 4 Star
The hotel is situated right at the entrance of Nafplion town, 2,5 km from its center. It was built with respect to the town’s culture and architecture. It has 170 rooms.
AMALIA HOTEL OLYMPIA – OLYPIA – 4 Star
Amalia Hotel Olympia is built in a unique location that combines the energy, the aura, and the serenity of Ancient Olympia, in a beautiful green landscape filled with olive trees.
FAR OUT HOTEL & SPA – IOS – 3 Star
Set against the mountains with stunning views over Mylopotas Beach and the crystal waters of the Aegean Sea, Far Out Hotel & Spa is the perfect retreat for the body and the soul.
GIANNOULAKI HOTEL – MYKONOS – 4 Star
Giannoulaki Hotel is a 4-star hotel located in the peaceful area of Glastros, near Mykonos Town (Chora). The hotel is situated in a wonderful spot offering a spectacular view of the Aegean Sea.
NEW HAROULA HOTEL – SANTORINI – 3 Star
New Haroula hotel is located in the center of Fira, the capital of Santorini. The hotel offers an outdoor pool in the rooms and a balcony overlooking the pool or the bougainvillea garden.
Please note that entrance fees to sights and optional activities are not included in the tour price. Optional activities are not operated by Travel Talk and may require a certain number of attendees to run. Your guide will be happy to inform you further about the available optional activities at the start of your tour. Optional activities are also listed under each day in your tour itinerary.
Please note that optional activities are not operated by Travel Talk.
Quad Biking — 35 EUR
Delos Island Tour — 50 EUR
Volcano Tour — 20 EUR
Speed Boat Trip — 42 EUR
Greece’s currency is the Euro (EUR / €) and credit or debit cards are accepted across all major Islands. However, on the smaller Islanders cash remains king! While every traveller’s spending habits may differ slightly, we have estimated the average daily expenses to help with budgeting for your next trip. Here you will find the average cost for a meal or drink and advice for best practice in tipping.
Lunch at restaurant — US$ 10-15
Dinner at restaurant — US$ 15-20
Sandwich at a stall — US$ 3-5
Crepes — US$ 1-2
Bottle of water — US$ 0.6
Coffee — US$ 3-4
Tea — US$ 1-2
Bottle of beer — US$ 4-6
Tipping is not compulsory in Greece but is appreciated for good service. In up-market restaurants we suggest adding a ~5-10% tip to your bill for good service. Meanwhile, tipping porters or taxi drivers by a Euro or two is also recommended. Your Guide and Driver would also appreciate tipping as a sign of gratitude at the end of your tour.
Whether you prefer to shop at markets, boutiques or retail malls – Greece has it all! This popular tourist destination provides travellers with an abundance of options for purchasing timeless souvenirs to reminisce on their trip. While traditionally haggling was once commonplace across Greece, tourism has now brought standardisation to pricing, meaning shoppers can score themselves beautiful Greek handicrafts without the tiresome back and forth of bargaining.
The Kompoloi, or worry beads, are a staple in Greek tradition, made from a strong of resin beads tied together with string so they can be turned through your fingers as you ponder life. They make for a fantastic souvenir for friends or family as they’re sold all over the country and provide a slice of ancient Greek culture.
The Evil Eye Talisman, called Mati in Greek, is integral to Greek culture and folklore. The Mati eye is considered to protect its user and their family from evil spirits and jealousy. You’ll find it all over the country from souvenir stands to jewellery stores. Prices for a glass Mati charm start at approximately 3 USD.
Popular since the 14th century when Greek monks began to drink the potent substance, Ouzo is an Aniseflavoured, local liquor which can be purchased all over Greece for very cheap! A 7cl bottle of good quality Ouzo starts at about 15 USD.
Essential Information: Greece
Passport & Visas
Greece is part of the European Union and Schengen area, and European citizens do not require a tourist visa. Citizens of the following countries do not require a tourist visa if staying for less than three months: USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Japan.
Passport validity entry requirements change per nationality. Passport validity entry requirements: The validity of the passport or travel document must be longer than
the duration of stay. We generally recommend to have a passport or travel document that is valid for at least 6 months’ from your travel date.
This information is provided only as a guidance, we strongly advise that you check with the consulate or embassy as this information can change at any time and with little notice. It is your responsibility to make sure that all the required travel documents are ready when travelling.
We are closely monitoring the latest travel updates to Greece, and following the advice of the UK Foreign Office. For the latest travel advice from UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), please visit: https://www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice/greece
We recommend all travellers to check their Government National Travel Advisory prior to their departure:
Australia – https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/
Canada – https://travel.gc.ca/
New Zealand – https://www.safetravel.govt.nz/
All passengers travelling with Travel Talk are required to have personal travel insurance before participating in any of our tours. Your guide will collect your travel insurance details on the first day of your trip. It is your responsibility to make sure you have an adequate and suitable travel insurance for you in place, you may read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/travel-insurance
Health & Safety
The health and safety of our passengers, staff and communities visited is of utmost priority. As we monitor and comply with the official advice from the UK Foreign Office, as well as World Health Organization and government authorities regularly, we have implemented several policies and precautions on our tours for your wellbeing. You may find our Safe Travels Protocols at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels
Travel Talk Adventures has received the Safe Travels stamp by the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC), which allows travellers to recognise companies around the world that have adopted health and hygiene global standardised protocols – so consumers canexperience ‘Safe Travels’.
Please make sure to regularly check your Government’s travel advice before travelling and be well-informed of any requirements. Your tour guide will also notify you of the regulations and protocols to follow throughout your trip with us.
Please note that if any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary or possess a potential risk to themselves and/or the rest of the group, we reserve the right to remove them from all or part of a trip.
Please consult with your doctor for the latest medical travel information and any vaccinations you may need. We recommend that you bring any personal medical requirements and medications with you as these may be difficult to obtain while on tour.
Greece is well known for its mild Mediterranean climate with two distinct seasons: hot and dry from April to September or mild and wet from October to March. The summer months of July and August are considered the best and busiest time to visit with temperatures sitting comfortably around the mid to high 30s during the day and rarely ever dropping below 20°C in the evenings. During these months, the days are usually cooled by prevailing north winds, especially on the islands. By late October, ferry services to the islands begin to cut back as facilities close for the winter. These cooler months make for a pleasant time to explore mainland Greece and the capital.
Check out our weather guide for the best time to visit Greece.
Greece’s currency is the Euro (EUR / €) and credit or debit cards are accepted across all major Islands. We recommend to carry some cash for small purchases from simple vendors and shops. We recommend you do not exchange bulk sums of money at the airport, as the exchange rates are usually more favourable in the major cities. Your tour leader will be happy to help if you need any assistance.
Please remember that everyone has different spending habits, some prefer to spend more on souvenirs, some on experiences and others on a night out! Make sure to budget your trip to your spending habits for shopping, drinking, and tipping.
Tipping is not compulsory, but is commonplace, with locals and tourists alike tipping good service. We recommend tipping ~10% of the total bill when dining in a restaurant, if a service fee has not already been applied. However, simply rounding up the fare in a Taxi for convenience is acceptable and appreciated also. Your guide and driver would also appreciate this kind of traditional gratitude at the end of your tour.
Eating & Drinking
While most eat to live, the Greek live to eat! Eating out in Greece is an experience in itself as the tavernas, restaurants and bars come to life with atmosphere after dark. The food in Greece favours simplicity and fresh local produce and eating in a restaurant or taverna is still largely affordable for both locals and tourists, alike. Greeks generally eat quite late in the evening, rarely venturing out before 9.00pm. From the remote villages to famed Greek islands and bustling metropolis of Athens, the variety of dishes and delicacies of the Mediterranean will satisfy even the most demanding traveller’s taste buds. We completely understand that searching for unique and authentic dishes can often be overwhelming if you are not a local, so here is a few must-try dishes to get you started in Greece. For more, check out our Greek food guide.
Tzatziki: Few sauces are as classic or iconic as this. Tzatziki consists of thick strained yogurt, garlic, olive oil and fresh dill and is served with almost any meal.
Gyros: Greek’s answer to fast, cheap, and tasty food! Gyros consists of meat that is roasted vertically on a turn spit that is known as a Gyro. The slices of gyro are then placed inside a pita with various salads including onions, lettuce, tomatoes, and potato chips. Finished with tzadziki, of course.
Moussaka: The popular Greek Moussaka is served in almost all tavernas and consists of layered eggplant, spiced and minced meat and creamy béchamel sauce.
Grilled Octopus: The Greek Islands are arguably the best place in the world to try char grilled Octopus.
Kalamarakia Tiganita: More commonly known as fried calamari, this snackable seafood delicacy is deepfried rings of squid served hot with a slice of lemon. Perfect for a Santorini sunset snack!
Kokkinisto: A rich stew of beef, pork or chicken cooked with red wine and tomatoes.
Souvlaki: A very popular Greek dish that translates to ‘meat-on-a-skewer’, Souvlaki is seasoned, spit-roasted meat, generally pork or chicken, served with tzatziki sauce.
Spanikopita: Otherwise known as Greek spinach pie, this Greek starter consists of feta cheese, butter, olive oil and layered pastry, baked until golden crispy!
Choriatiki: Commonly known as the Greek Salad, this side dish is a must for almost every Greek meal. The salad consists of tomatoes, olives, cucumber, and feta with dressing of vinegar, salt, pepper and olive oil served on the side.
Amygdalota: A gluten-free almond cookie that is wildly popular across Greece and often served with a warm cup of Greek coffee.
Loukoumades: Bite-sized of fried doughnut with a Greek twist. These golden puffs are doused in syrup or honey and sprinkled in cinnamon, sugar, walnuts, or chocolate.
The anise-flavoured aperitif known as ouzo is the national alcoholic beverage of Greece. But be warned, it’s a quite strong liqueur made famous amongst travellers for its lingering hangover! Ouzo is usually mixed with water and served chilled or over ice. There are many kinds of beer in Greece but if you are looking for a local flavour – try Mythos, Alpha or Fix!
Essentials to Bring & Internet
-Face mask/cover and hand sanitiser enough for your personal use throughout the trip – See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/
-Travel Documents: Passport, Visa (if required), flight or transport ticket (and photocopies)
-Travel Talk Tour Voucher (printed or digital)Travel Insurance Policy (and photocopy)
-Personal medical kit and medicine
-Money (cash, credit card, travellers’ cheques)
-Reusable water bottle
-Ear plugs and eye mask
-Sun protection – hat, sunglasses, sunscreen
-Comfortable, closed walking shoes
-Wind/water proof jacket
-Warm clothes, hat, and gloves for cold weather
-Sandals, swimwear, shorts for warm weather
Internet access is common in hotels, cafes and restaurants across Greece and the Greek Islands. Many internet cafes can be found in the cities as well. If your current Mobile SIM provider is from the EU or UK, it may be possible that you can use your data roaming free of charge in Greece. Please consult your mobile provider to find out more. Alternatively, purchasing a Greek SIM card for the duration of your tour may be a cost-effective option. Your guide will be happy to advise on this.
Culture, Religion and Etiquette
The Greek culture remains heavily influenced by its ancient past. Greeks are particularly proud of their culture, speaking of their nation with intense passion and sense of belonging. Greece is held to be the cradle of Western civilisation, the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, literature, drama, historiography,
and the Olympic Games. Since ancient times, the Greek have lived by the expression of ‘Kefi’ meaning life is meant to be lived to its fullest. Kefi is a way of life and is seen as the ‘Spirit of Greece’ because despite the hardships the country has faced overtime, the locals actively seek happiness and positivity in daily life through small moments such as a shared meal or through music and dance. It is for this reason that family, music, food, religion and traditions are essential cornerstones to the Greek culture. The Greeks are a friendly, proud and curious people who know how to enjoy life.
Religion plays an important role in the understanding of daily culture. 98% of the Greeks are Christian Orthodox. Greece is one of the few countries with such a big proportion of Orthodox Christians and you can spot a charming church in almost every plot of land or island. The Church plays a vital role in everyday life and attending weddings, baptisms, and funerals is vitally important, even for people who would not normally attend church, such as the younger people. While Greece is quite modern with its views on casual clothing and it is recommended to wear light, summer clothing; it’s important to remember that churches and monasteries will require you to cover your shoulders and legs when visiting. Travel Talk recommends bringing a set of clothing with you appropriate for such occasions and encourages female travellers to have a scarf to wear around shoulders or waist at religious sites.
We have many solo travellers joining our tours. Solo travellers will be roomed with another traveller of the same gender. If you would like a private solo room, please contact us. You may see out solo travels page for more details.
Rules to Follow
We are committed to ensuring a safe and enjoyable experience for everyone. We do not tolerate any form of violence (physical or verbal), bullying or harassment involving customers, partners, Travel Talk staff or locals. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a passenger are forbidden.
We will not tolerate any illegal activity, including but not limited to: use and possession of illegal drugs, trespassing, and disrupting public order. If you consume alcohol, please ensure that you drink responsibly and follow the local laws and regulations.
You must follow the advice of your tour leader and local officials regarding health and safety measures. We operate all tours under Safe Travels protocols for the wellbeing of our passengers, staff and communities visited. Please ensure that you have read the https://www.traveltalktours.com/safe-travels/ and are fully prepared for your trip.
If someone is acting inappropriately regarding these matters, please notify your tour leader immediately or contact us on the emergency contact number provided below.
Your tour leader has the right to remove from the group anyone not abiding by these rules, with no right of compensation or refund. See more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/booking-terms/
Please remember that our travellers come from different parts of the world and will have various needs and preferences. Be understanding and patient with your fellow travellers, and always strive to be on time.
We believe that travel is a force for good and show our support through various initiatives and charity organizations, as well as keeping the principals of responsible and sustainable travel at the core of our ethos. These values are engrained in our business culture and the design of our trips just the same. Together with you, we strive to make a positive impact on local people and economies, respecting the local culture, environment, social fabric and customs; encouraging respectful and meaningful cross-cultural exchange. Read more at https://www.traveltalktours.com/responsible-travel/