• Acropolis in Athens
  • Athens' National Archaeological Museum
  • Ancient Delphi
  • Seaside Kardamyli
  • Monemvasia
  • Dining on Fresh Seafood
  • Hydra Harbor

Tour Questions? Call 425-608-4217

Athens & the Heart of Greece in 14 Days Tour

Rick Steves' Athens & the Heart of Greece tour is an odyssey of time-travel thrills, from Athens' majestic Acropolis to the must-see ancient sites of Delphi, Olympia, Epidavros and Mycenae. With knowledge and a nudge from your Rick Steves guide, you'll walk among marble monuments where Plato pondered, splash in the turquoise Aegean where Odysseus sailed, gaze up at god-dwelling mountains, sample family-crafted olives and wines — and maybe learn to play backgammon at a whitewashed taverna on the island of Hydra. Join us for Athens & the Heart of Greece in 14 Days!

What's Included

  • A small, friendly group of 24-28 people — half the size of most tour groups
  • Full-time services of a professional Rick Steves guide and local experts who will make the fascinating history, art and culture of Greece come alive for you
  • All tours and admissions — at no extra cost — covering at least 17 group sightseeing events • Acropolis tour • Acropolis Museum tour • Ancient Agora entry • National Archaeological Museum tour • Ancient Delphi tour • Scenic Diakofto-Kalavryta Railway • Olive and olive oil tasting • Ancient Olympia tour • Mani Peninsula villages • Monemvasia orientation • Byzantine Mystras tour • Nafplio orientation • Wine tasting • Ancient Mycenae tour • Folk music evening • Theatre of Epidavros tour • Hydra orientation...and more
  • All group transportation from Athens to Athens
  • 13 nights accommodations in memorable, centrally-located hotels
  • All breakfasts and half your dinners
  • All tips for guides and driver
  • Free stuff, including Rick Steves' Greece: Athens & the Peloponnese guidebook, moneybelt and earplugs
  • Guaranteed tour price, locked in the moment you make your deposit
  • Optional single supplements — this tour has a limited number of private rooms for solo travelers for an additional fee
  • Tour alum discount of $50 for each tour you've taken prior to 2014
  • 50% discount on a consulting appointment with our in-house experts to assist with your pre- or post-tour travel plans
  • Flexibility should you need to transfer, or cancel/interrupt your tour
  • Fine print: You are responsible for the cost of your drinks and free-time sightseeing. See our Tour Conditions Agreement for important details regarding everything listed above

Itinerary

Daily Activity Key
  • Light = 2-4 miles of mostly level walking throughout the day.
  • Moderate = 2-6 miles walking throughout the day with some hills and stairs.
  • Strenuous = 2-8 miles walking throughout the day with lots of hills, stairs and uneven terrain.

Day 1: Welcome to Greece

At 6 p.m. we'll meet at our hotel near Athens' pedestrian-friendly Plaka neighborhood for a "Welcome to Athens" get-together. Then we'll get oriented to our neighborhood and walk to a nearby restaurant where we can get acquainted over dinner. Sleep in Athens (2 nights). No bus. Walking: light.

Day 2: Athens' Acropolis

This morning we'll hike to the top of Athens' legendary Acropolis, where we'll take a walking tour of its 2,500-year-old Golden Age temples, dominated by the dramatic Parthenon. We'll then work our way down and tour the sleek new Acropolis Museum, custom built to showcase the amazing Parthenon sculptures. Your afternoon and evening are free for exploring Athens' marketplaces – the ancient Agora and the modern Plaka's labyrinth of inviting streets, squares, shops and cafés. No bus. Walking: strenuous.

Day 3: Greek Treasures and Delphi

This morning we'll tour Athens' impressive National Archaeological Museum, home to amazingly-preserved masterpieces in marble, bronze and gold. Then we'll leave the city and drive into the rugged countryside. In a dramatic setting on the flanks of 8,000-foot Mt. Parnassus we'll enjoy the fresh air and tour the mystical ruins of Delphi. Here, 25 centuries ago, the celebrated oracle allowed mere mortals to converse with the gods. This evening we'll have dinner together and sleep in the town of Delphi (1 night). Bus: 4 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 4: Peloponnese Mountains

Today we'll cross over the Gulf of Corinth to the Peloponnese Peninsula, where we'll temporarily leave our bus for a steep, scenic cog railway ride past the waterfalls and caves lining the narrow Vouraikos Gorge. From the end of the line, our bus will take us to our destination high up in the Menalon Mountains, where we'll enjoy a picnic dinner together under the pine trees. Sleep in or near Dimitsana (1 night). Train: 1 hr. Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 5: Ancient Olympia

This morning's winding mountain drive will take us to Olympia, site of the world's first Olympics, over 2,700 years ago. There we'll take a vivid walking tour of Olympia's ancient athletic venues, temples and museum, followed by lunch together. This afternoon's drive will take us along sweeping views of the Ionian Sea to the relaxed seaside village of Kardamyli, where we'll sleep (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 6: Seaside Kardamyli

Kardamyli is an ideal place to enjoy a "vacation from your vacation." After some orientation by your guide, the day is all yours. You might hike along the ancient cobbled paths that wind their way through the nearby hills — or just relax on the beach — and end your day with a grilled seafood dinner and a view from the little taverna you've discovered. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 7: Mani Villages

We'll follow the coast to the isolated Mani Peninsula, home to generations-long clan wars, salt-of-the-earth villages and unique pyrgospita — tower houses. If Greece had a Tombstone and an O.K. Corral, here is where they'd be. After making a few off-the-beaten-path discoveries, we'll ride on to the dramatically-set medieval town of Monemvasia, where you'll be free for dinner. Sleep in mainland Monemvasia (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: light.

Day 8: Medieval Monemvasia

This morning we'll cross the causeway to tackle the massive rock that shoots straight up out of the blue-green Aegean Sea. After an orientation walk around Monemvasia's cozy little Lower Town, the rest of the day is free. You can wander more of the romantic walled town or take a swim in the Aegean. Those who want a workout can hike to the very top of the rock. You will be rewarded with sweeping Aegean views and a chance to explore the ruins of the Upper Town — a living museum of Byzantine, Ottoman and Venetian history. No bus. Walking: moderate.

Day 9: Byzantine Mystras

Today we'll head up into the heart of the Peloponnese, where we'll tour the haunting ruins of the fortress town of Mystras and its still-standing group of Byzantine churches. After stopping in nearby Sparta for lunch, we'll continue north to our destination: the delightful, fortress-topped harbor town of Nafplio. We'll enjoy a Greek wine and ouzo tasting, and sleep in Nafplio (2 nights). Bus: 5 hrs. Walking: strenuous.

Day 10: Mycenae and Nafplio

After breakfast we'll take a short drive to mysterious Mycenae, the fortified city founded by Perseus a thousand years before the Parthenon was built. We'll take a walking tour through the grand Lion Gate, along the "cyclopean" walls, and into a remarkably-domed tholos tomb. Then we'll return to Nafplio for a free afternoon to explore the colorful alleyways of the Old Town, ride a boat to the little castle island in the harbor, or hike up to enjoy a Venetian fortress view. We'll regroup for dinner together this evening. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: moderate.

Day 11: Ancient Epidavros

This morning we'll drive to nearby Epidavros. Once the most famous healing center in the Mediterranean, today's star attraction is its ancient theater, large enough to accommodate 15,000 togas. We'll learn about the roots of drama here, before hopping a boat to the idyllic traffic-free island of Hydra. Tonight we'll share dinner together at the town's oldest taverna — prepared by the family, not a menu in sight — and sleep on Hydra (2 nights). Boat: ½ hr. Bus: 2 hrs. Walking: moderate.

Day 12: Island of Hydra

Your entire day and evening are free to soak up the whitewashed architecture as you wander Hydra's narrow streets and harbor promenade. You might swim at a nearby beach, hire a boat for the day, hike across the island, or try to make friends with a donkey. No bus. Walking: light to strenuous (your choice).

Day 13: Return to Athens

This morning we'll take a ferry ride to Piraeus, where our bus will be waiting to take us back to our Athens hotel. Your afternoon is free to wander and shop through the Plaka, or explore other parts of this bustling city. Tonight we'll gaze at the floodlit Acropolis and enjoy a final dinner together, sharing travel memories and toasting new friends. Opa! Sleep in Athens (1 night). Boat: 2 hrs. Bus: 1 hr. Walking: light.

Day 14: Tour Over After Breakfast

You can easily catch a cab for the airport, or to nearby Piraeus where a fleet of ferries awaits to transport those with time to even more Greek destinations. Antio!

Itinerary specifics subject to change.

Activity Level

Our tours are physically active! It’s an essential part of the Rick Steves tour experience. On our Athens & the Heart of Greece in 14 Days tour — among other things — you'll need to happily...

  1. Carry/roll your luggage over uneven pavement (several blocks possible) and up stairways to reach your hotel; then up several flights of stairs to reach your room.
  2. Be on your feet, walking and standing for up to three hours, indoors and outdoors, in all weather conditions.
  3. Sleep with street noise and no (or weak) air conditioning.
  4. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  5. Walk up to the Acropolis (10 minutes of stairs to the base, then more stairs to the top).
  6. At the Ancient Delphi site, walk up and down a steep and slippery gravel-marble path.
  7. Travel on a bus without a toilet (rest stops every two hours).

Reviews

Angela

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fantastic! We could never have had this experience traveling on our own (even with Rick's guidebooks) or on another tour. The itinerary, the pace, the food were all wonderful -- but it was the overall approach to travel and the exceptional guide that made the real difference.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Hard to say. Walking into the beehive tomb at Mycenae was pretty impressive, but so was watching the sun rise over Monemvasia or set over the mountains at Delphi just as we walked into dinner at a restaurant with an awesome view. Watching Jorgas parallel park the bus was quite a "wow" moment, too."

Elaine

Houston, TX

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The group was fabulous, and, as the only single traveler, made a significant effort to ensure that I was included in their activities. The pace of the tour was fine: I was expecting something more hectic and physically taxing, but I had no trouble keeping up. Evidently, my pre-tour physical training paid off. I was somewhat disappointed on the focus on food during the tour. It astonished me that we spent so much of the tour talking cuisine about and eating fancy meals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing at the foot of the Areopagus thinking of St. Paul preaching the gospel of the the grace of God through Jesus Christ was thrilling. Walking through the nearby Agora and thinking that St. Paul had likely walked those very paths was fabulous."

Cindy

Seattle, WA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The Athens and the Heart of Greece tour could not have been better! Our guide David was so knowledgeable about both ancient and present day Greece that he brought the country to life. The trip was an outstanding mix of history and ancient sites, combined with lots of time in smaller villages in the mountains and along the sea, so that we could get a flavor of non touristy Greece, and also see Greece in an non touristy way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All of it! Really a well planned and executed trip. Great mix of ancient sites and modern life. I LOVED the trip around the Mani. Loved the hotel in Nafplio, and LOVED Monemvasia and the explorations around "the rock", both upper and lower."

Barry

New Port Richey, FL

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

great sites history food and wine

Favorite "WOW" moment

"the buffet dinner prepared by our hosts in nalfia--------- great selection and presentation"

James

Bethesda, MD

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a wonderful time with great weather [most of the time] and a terrific guide who led us full time. The food was outstanding and the hikes and guides embellished our visit. My wow moment was the meal of brook trout - super and unmatchable. In terms of the non-culinary experiences, we were surprised and dazzled by the statue of Hermes. It reminded us of the famous statue of David and sure enough the guide we had for the museum [in Olympia] pointed that out also.

Walter

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was great to have two different tours, the first week fast paced and the last week laid back. We arrived two days early so we had a chance to wander the circumference of the acropolis, syntagma square and a few other areas. It made things easier during the first two days of the tour. I was greatful for the extra time we had at Delphi to wander the upper part of the site even if it was raining. All the site guides where wonderful. The food was to die for. The weather the 2nd week was perfect.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In Monemvasia the walk up to the top of the rock was the high point of the trip. Looking down on the water and shoreline from the top was my unforgetable moment. It was great scrambling around on the rock trying to get the best view."

James

Los Altos, CA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Since 2002, I've driven through Western European countries on five separate trips and have come to rely heavily on the Rick Steves books. Last year, however, I found driving in Ireland stressful. Thus, I booked the Greek tour despite aversion to group travel (as exemplified by conventional tours described by my elderly in-laws in years past). Our bus driver (Giorgos) was awesome.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching the sun come up near the rock while having breakfast in the hotel at Monemvasia."

Stephen

Redmond, WA

Tour: 10/07/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our FIRST group tour of any kind and we loved it! David Willett is a gem. He is extremely knowledgeable about Greece: its people, culture, history, and social institutions. He understands the 'pace' needed for such a tour, and he takes every opportunity to be informative and helpful as we navigated the country.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite stop on the trip (there were several "Close Seconds") was our time in Momenvasia. Our hotel was welcoming and very clean and the history and beauty surrounding the site of this former medieval fortress was wonderful. We enjoyed the hike up to the fortress ruins on top and thoroughly enjoyed the food, people, shops, swimming, and surroundings of the little town. We took our own hike with several of our tour mates up into the hills way above the town and found spectacular views."

Dan

Everson WA, 98247

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was more in so many ways than I expected. This was the first tour I ever took and I was duly impressed. The places we stayed, the organized dinners and lunches, the local tour guides and especially our guide were all exceptional. Pair that with the great folks who were members of our tour and it makes for an unforgetable two weeks in a very unique part of the world. Kudos to the entire Rick Steve's organization!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"More than a wow moment....was the day to day wow of our guide Colin Clement. His obvious knowledge and enthusiasm of the history of Greece, his mastery of the language, his humor, his organizational skills and the ease with which he interacted with all members of our tour group as well as the locals, made this Greece adventure unforgetable. He very easily gave as much to the experience as Greece itself."

Ginny

Everson, WA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This experience just may make a traveling couple out of a non traveling couple. Since our travel experience and comfort levels were vastly different, we finally agreed to a Rick Steves tour. We had an energetic, enlightening, inspiring journey. It sounds a little corny, but every aspect was better than I hoped.

Deborah

Atlanta, GA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was the trip of a lifetime and we knew it. This was our first tour. We have followed Rick's books throughout Europe, but with Greece and the language barrier, we felt this was the way to go. The destinations, the pacing, the content, the food and the overall exposure to the country was amazing. People have given a great deal of thought to how to stage this tour and it showed. We saw things and had experiences that we never could have done on our own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I can't really give you one. This is a poor country in the grips of an economic free fall. Their sites are special and ancient, but one can't help seeing the pain behind the lives they lead. The local people we met were kind and very grateful to see that we were there, but one felt so badly to see the situation they find themselves in. They have gorgeous natural wonders and a storied past, but it is hard to see the sunshine shining through for their future."

Catherine

Lakewood, CO

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I cannot imagine a better trip. This was our first R.Steves tour. Colin is wonderful. I loved his sense of humor and willingness to share his vast knowledge. The amount of free time seemed just right. For the most part the meals he arranged were exceptional (one dinner in Athens seemed sub-par).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch in Sparta. We tried so many dishes and they were all fantastic. This inspired to learn to make a good moussaka when I get home."

Scott

Seattle, WA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything about a Rick Steves tour works great for me. The group is full of people who are similar to me so it is easy to travel and see sights together. Rick Steves tours make it easy to "show up and have a great time." You don't have to spend a lot of time with your nose in a tour book or searching the internet for info about what you will see or where you can shop or eat. Rick's tour guides highlight the sites and guide you to great dining and shopping.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing inside a tomb that that was 3,500 years old. The Kingdome in Seattle didn't even last as long as its 30 year mortgage!"

Barbara

Orland Park, IL

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Athens and the Heart of Greece exceeded my expectations! I learned so much, both about ancient Greece, its history and archeological sites, and about modern Greece and its current struggles. The ancient sites carried me back to a time I barely remember studying in school. I enjoyed learning how the sites had been used and changed over time. I loved the food - Greek salads, lamb, moussaka, kebabs, and of course, all the desserts. Exploring the small picturesque towns was a big hit!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many WOW moments - it's hard to choose only one! Touring the small family chapels in Kastanea, walking the narrow streets of Dimitsana, tasting Yanni's olives in Kardamyli are a few of my favorite WOW moments."

Carolyn

Yardley, PA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my third tour Rick. The first one made me want to sign up for the second and then the third. I am all ready looking forward to a new adventure. And why not, I had great expectations with the first but you managed to surpass them. I loved this tour. I went knowing the big sites but came away with wonderful memories and experiences of the little ones I never would have found on my own. It was a mix of a terrific guide, friendly tour members, great food and lots of laughter alone the way.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"WOW, I made it to the top of the Acropolis ! Standing at the bottom I was sure that wasn't going to happen. But, there I was, and what a view ! Every site we visited gave me more wows but, I won't ever forget the first."

Erica

Hudson, WI

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 3 of 5

Well organized, good pace, great guides local and Colin Clement, great group meals, and right amount of free time sprinkled into little gem locations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lunch at trout farm, night dinning view of acropolis, olive grower Yanni, and free time in Hydrea with epic hike."

Calvin

Naperville, IL

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found out that whatever I thought I knew about Greece I did not know. I learned a lot about the real Greece [INVALID] both ancient and modern [INVALID] from the tour and our local guides but mostly from our tour guide Colin Clement. He was superb! Then there is the food. Oh my gosh! The meals were incredible. It was like a theme with variations wherever we went. So many different ways to cook Dolmathes, so many recipes for Lamb . . . And, as usual, the group members were pleasant and interesting company.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many. Making it to the top of Momevasia. Talking with the docent at the mansion in Hydra. Dancing to the Balelaika in Nafplio. Eating fresh fish in Dimitsana. A leisurley seaside lunch in Kardamyli. All wow. Perhaps a subtle "wow" moment was returning to Athens and actually felling like we knew our way around -- and going back to Gods Restaurant for Spinach salad."

Ann Marie

Irvine, CA

Tour: 09/30/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was a wonderful tour, full of activities that were both interesting and fun. We had a great guide, Colin, whose professional approach and friendliness, were appreciated. Meals and accommodations were well above average. We had a skillful bus driver who was able to manipulate the winding roads of Greece. Overall, fantastic!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was being able to see in person all of the sites I had seen in books. It was incredible to actually be there!"

Gloria

Hurley, WI

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time and thoroughly enjoyed our tour of Greece. What a glorious two weeks of enjoying our guide, the group, learning in so many different ways, great food, comfortable travel and unique accommodations. Thanks for another wonderful tour!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many so it is hard to pick just one. I will always remember our stop in Kalavryta and the visit to the museum about the WWI massacre. That was a powerful venue and added an important dimension to my understanding of Greece today."

Karen

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was far beyond expectations! The guide was fantastic, the group fun and cohesive, the sites spectacular, and the food devine. What more is there?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Tholos tomb was my WOW - it was so big and so perfect that it's hard to believe."

Ray

Oak Ridge, NC

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David was a fantastic guide. He understood his members and was flexible in meeting our needs.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Getting our of Athens"

Carol

Oak Ridge, NC

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was so very much more than I expected. I did not like being in Athens, but once we left there - wow! It was one beautiful village after another. I have now taken 4 ETBD trips and this was by far the best. The scenery, the food, the people, the wine, the history - everything - wow.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is very hard to pick one, but I really enjoyed our day at Olympia. That was a really special treat."

Jim

Oakland, CA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour exceeded my expectations. First, the food had more variety, was fresh and better prepared than I anticipated. I think in large part due to David`s management of the menu even on our "free nights" where he put together group meals. Second, the history,i.e. ruins, mythology and museums were impressive as expected but the special on site guides enhanced the experience - they were knowledgeable, opinionated in the best way, and easy to look at, and the male guide had a good voice. See 16.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Actually had two. Of course to actually see and walk around the Parthenon goes beyond one`s expectations - it is a singular experience and sight. The fencing, construction and crowds did not diminish the spectacle. Then there was the hike up the hill in Monemvasia - just exhilarating. Felt like you actually accomplished something physical as well as sight seeing, leading to a well earned lunch."

Stephen

Bellingham, WA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I can't express how wonderful this tour was. Our tour leader and all the on site guides were exceptional. Our group was really great, a nice mix of ages and backgrounds and the weather was almost perfect. The people of Greece were more than welcoming and the food was varied by region and just plain great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many but I was wowed by the dress rehersal of the "Lighting of the Olympic Torch" that we saw in Olympia. Monemvasia took my breath away as we climbed to the upper village and swimming in the Aegean in Kardamyli."

Noel

Martinez, GA

Tour: 09/23/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My tour of Greece was exemplary. From the beginning to the end, the trip was characterized by meticulous preparation, unusual and rare experiences, and exceptionally talented leaders.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment from the tour was sitting high in the hills at Delphi with our magical/mystical/talented scholar. There was another dimension working in this experience that I I cannot exactly identify, but will always remember."

Richard

Longmont, CO

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful. It was obvious that the cities and towns that we stayed in and the sights we saw were carefully selected to give us a well rounded view of Greece. The museums and historic sights told much of ancient Greece - I expected that. But what surprised me was the second half of the tour and how those sights filled in later periods of history and how the small towns gave me a feeling for present day Greece.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My most WOW moment was the Acropolis and Parthenon, of course. But my second favorite wow moment (a distant second) was the Roman Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens. The remaining columns are really, really big. It was an "anything you can do we can do better" Temple: Rome's way of saying "Yes , Athens was a remarkable City-State but we are an Empire. But hey, nobody likes a show off."

Linda

Livermore, CA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fantastic trip--we learned so much about the history of Greece. At the same time we experienced so much of the country that surprised and thrilled us. Colin was a fabulous leader through our exploration of the history and culture of Greece. He is so knowledgeable and so passionate about the country that it is truly inspiring!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many great moments but as a life long runner the chance to run on the Olymic field where athletes had run for thousands of years brought chills!!! We were also awed by the antiquities in Delphi. Oh, and climbing Momenvasia was fabulous too! So many great moments!!!!"

James

Tempe, AZ

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

First RS tour, and it was great! Colin is a wonderful tour guide. He is very knowledgable, well organized, and patient. He shared his passion and love for Greece, and gave all of us a new appreciation for this country. Colin went way over and above what could be expected! The bus system worked flawlessly, and we had a great driver. The accommodations were excellent - some were more basic than others, but all were clean and comfortable. The operators were friendly and helpful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Being on the track at Olympia! Simply awe-inspiring!"

Dieter

Carmel, CA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Well organized tour, showing pertinent points of interest in Greece. Antiques and well known cultural monuments as well as heritage sights. Crossing the Peloponnese was a marvelous experience. Outstanding tour director. A well adjusted and disciplined tour group. Commendable accommodations. Great local food experiences. A memorable and joyful experience. The weather meant well for us. Sunshine all along.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"From the moment we saw the Acropolis early in the morning, to the last evening of the tour, where we had a marvelous dinner with the Acropolis illuminated as a backdrop, it was just one grand moment after another."

Dennis

Grand Rapids, MI

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour giude was excelient and very knowledgeable about the area covered. That was what made the trip very interesting and woth the experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Lake trout fish lunch. and Athens."

Mark

Racine, WI

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This is my 3rd RS tour and it might have been the best one. It exceeded my expectations. Colin was an outstanding guide. The sites were incredible. The food was excellent(I tried all kinds of things that I had never tried before). It was an excellent blend of organized activities and free time. We had a fun group of people. I now have a greater appreciation for the Greek people, culture, and the beginnings of western history.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"So many wow moments! The amazing acropolis, sprinting the length of the stadium at ancient Olympia, climbing to the top of the rock at Monemvasia with it's incredible views and exploring the lower and upper towns, eating Lola's frozen yogurt and gazing out at the sea in Kardamyli, the theater at Epidavros, our dinner at the local restaurant in Nafplio with Greek music and dancing, Hydra[INVALID]watching the sunsets and climbing Mt Eros, and our final dinner overlooking the acropolis with a great group."

Bev

Racine, WI

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was AWESOME!!!! I really didn't know what to expect and loved every minute of the trip. Colin, our guide, was incredible. The people, sites, lodging and food were all amazing. The balance of big city and small towns was nice. The local guides offered great insight and historic perspective on each location. The mix of group activities and free time was perfect. I was concerned about not knowing any Greek and was pleasantly surprised to find that 99% of the people spoke English.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"You're kidding...pick one? Every day brought a new and wonderful experience. Well, you have to start with the Acropolis, towering above Athens; Delphi and an encounter with the gods; Kardamyli...so quaint and beautiful I never wanted to leave; Olympia and sprinting the stadium length; Hydra's sunsets and climb to Mt Eros; everyone joining in on the hike to the top of Monvemvasia; dinner at the family restaurant in Nafplio. I could go on and on...."

Jennifer

Kirkland, WA

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Colin was outstanding and really made the trip. I did the trip to Greece with my Mom which was on her bucket list. The way the tour was organized made the trip extremely easy. I didn't have to think about really anything (transportation, hotels) which is exactly what I was looking for. Checking in and out of hotels was simple and are room numbers assigned prior to getting there made it a breeze. Colin made the trip memorable. He has amazing knowledge of history and made it so much fun.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many wonderful experiences. I loved the evening picnic in Delphi, having Greek coffee in one of the Mani villages, the hike in Monemvasia, the dinner in Nafplio with music and dancing. There were so many of these wow moments that made it a trip of a lifetime."

Daniel

Independence, OH

Tour: 09/16/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Colin is a great guide, everybody on the tour was respectful and well behaved.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The views from and of Monemvasia"

Samuel

Meadow Vista, CA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Absolutely Great! Our group was first rate with everyone being personable, interested, and a pleasure to be around. Our tour guide (David) was terrific. His knowledge of history, both ancient and modern, was outstanding and the talks he gave while we traveled on the bus were informative and led me to a much greater appreciation of Greece and it's current state.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to pick only one, but the Lion Gate and Mystras were definitely two of them."

Mike

Renton, WA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We enjoyed it all. We went to Athens early and did your city walk, plus quite a few museums. Then met the group and David. The group was a nice mix of people who were very enjoyable to travel with. David was outstanding, although he was an Australian, we didn't hold that against him. He really provided a lot of information with a great sense of humor and excellent choices for dinner. We have always had great trip leaders, but he is definitely one of your best. Don't tell him I said so.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"All the days were great, but Monemvasia and Hydra will always be special. The hike up to the upper city and wandering around the lower city were a great experience. Hydra provided time to wander and think about all we had seen and experience. Greece will always be one of our great memories ......."

Marge

Carlsbad, CA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We were fortunate enough to have a guide who had lived in Greece previously and had a strong bond with the country and the people. Everywhere we went on our itinerary, it felt as if we were being brought "home" to meet the family. We met friends and family at each location which made the experience feel much more intimate. We had a great group of tour mates that made the trip even more meaninful.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Here are two (of many): The night we were treated to live Greek music and dancing - the musicians and professional dancers were superb and it was so much fun when we were all invited to join in the dancing. Everyone seemed to just let loose and be in the moment. Opa! And, there was a beautiful, perfect day at the beach with our new friends in Kardamyli, soaking up the beauty of the crystal blue/green sea and the wonderful food at the seaside cafe - feeling so at peace."

Maria

Glendora, CA

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I had a great time in Greece! There is so much history, the people are so friendly and not speaking the language is no problem since most Greeks speak English. I love, love the food and September weather was perfect. No rain, not too hot or cold.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Visiting Olympia and walking the same steps that Alexander the Great walked was a WOW moment for me."

John

Saint Cloud, MN

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

For me, the total experience of the sights of Greece, the food of Greece, the people of Greece was wonderful. When combined with a Rick Steves tour and a very special guide, it was everything I hoped for.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It's almost impossible to pick one. But, I suppose it might be seeing the lighted Parthenon from just about everywhere we went in Athens."

Sherry

St Cloud, MN

Tour: 09/09/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Every site was amazing. The experience of actually walking on the very places where history was made cannot be duplicated. David, our tour leader, couldn't have been better. He was so personable and knowledgeable in every way, without giving the feeling that he was "taking" us around. His passion for Greece from the antiquities to the culture to the geology and botany was shared with enthusiasm and joy. This was my first R. Steves trip and I'll never choose another company. It was fantastic

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Probably the Acropolis was high on the list, but climbing Monemnestra's rock and the view from up there was amazing. I really can't say any part of this trip was anything but a WOW moment. It was all so different from place to place. The food, the people, the companionship of others on the trip. The whole experience was my "wow"."

Theresa

Osage, IA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We have traveled in western Europe on our own or with another couple and have had great experiences. We were rather proud of how we planned and navigated our travels. I was a little more hesitant about going to eastern Europe. After this trip I know that we could easily get around on our own in Greece, but I did not realize the value of having a tour guide who could add the extra information about the culture, people and history. Makes me wonder what I missed in my previous travels.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"In our history classes in school, we were taught about the dark ages. Until Colin mentioned it, I did not realize that eastern Europe did not go through dark ages. I was very impressed with the Olympic complex. I had no idea how large it was."

Wayne

Greer, SC

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was concerned that I might be disappointed after 2 tours in Italy, but I was pleasantly surprised. The antiquity, marvelous food and fabulous tour guide made this an experience my wife and I will never forget.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It was our pre-tour trip to Santorini(Sorry, Rick). However, Hydra was a close second."

Neil

Osage, IA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The blend of ancient history and modern Greek life was excellent.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The amphitheater at Epidavros."

Lucinda

Yorba Linda, CA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed this tour very much. The balance between structured time and free time was good and the places we visited most interesting. Colin was a superior guide and the reason the entire trip was outstanding rather than just very good.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It is very hard to pick one "wow" moment because there were so many. Each place we visited had its own charm and unique sights. Some things I especially enjoyed: learning from the local guides and Colin, opportunities to swim in the warm, crystal clear water, the island of Hydra (the atmosphere, sights and hotel were great!), the location of the farewell dinner."

Sharon

Greenville, SC

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I found it to be even more exciting and enjoyable than I ever imagined. Couldn't have asked for a better tour guide. He was extraordinary in all phases of the trip. Very attentive to the whole group and individually as well. The history of Ancient Greece was astounding; the beauty of all of the Peloponese was breathtaking. The restaurants chosen for our group provided wonderful authentic Greek food for us to experience.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, it is difficult to choose one. However, one that comes to mind is having dinner at a wonderful restaurant and being able to see the Acropolis in the distance from the window. It was so beautiful, especially when lit up in the evening!"

Edward

Bainbridge Isaland, WA

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Another " trip of a lifetime" my third Rick Steves tour, they just keep getting better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Sunset swim on Hydra, beautiful warm water, incredible setting."

Lawrence

Greenville, SC

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

All aspects of the tour exceeded my expectations. I believe I saw the "real" Greece not the touristy version one could get by staying on the paths well traveled. Tour group size (23) was perfect and all were great to be with. Our guide was exceptional.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Unfair question..... there were so many !! I would say however that seeing the lights shining on the Acropolis at night from certain vantage points on the streets of Athens was inspiring. It looked like a diamond sitting on the top of the city."

Ron

Lone Tree, CO

Tour: 09/02/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As many tour guides say, Athens is a see it and get out location. Great history , but did not want to stay long. From there the tour was all uphill. Every stop better than the last. Enjoyed the balance of history and village life. Guide was exceptional.. Highly knowledgeable and had an infectious desire to share his knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I loved the town of Monemvasia. Spectacular setting, Ancient town, Ruins, and occupied alike, along with seaside swimming and dining."

Michele

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/24/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Everything from our guide, our bus driver, the accommodations, the planned events, the other tour members, the flexability, the meals, the cultural experiences, the free time...just could not have been better. This was my first Rick Steves tour...I hope it won't be my last.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Interactions with the lovely Greek people - dancing in the streets of Athens, enjoying the food prepared especially for us at out of the way places, the olive and wine tastings, the shopkeepers, conversations with people on the street..."

Edward

Portland, OR

Tour: 06/24/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We loved this tour. It was a great experience and generated a great many fantastic memories. Our guide was half the tour. His knowledge of history, language, art, architecture, religion, culture and people - ancient and modern - stands out in our minds as a special bonus from going on this tour. We loved the itinerary, the pace, the varied locals, the sights and people. A tour experience does not get better than this. It very much exceeded our already very high expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Favorite Wow moment: The musicians and singers and dancers at the group dinner in Nafplio. We all had a wonderful time, first watching and then, all participating. It was the kind of experience you see in movies and travel promotions, but don't really expect to experience yourself. This was a great treat arranged by our tour guide, Colin. And a lot of fun!"

Angela

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/17/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Athens and the Heart of Greece was my favorite vacation ever. The guide, tour members and exciting destinations ensured an amazing time for my husband and our two kiddos, daughter age 8 and son age 10.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were too many "wow" moments to recall my favorite. Greece is just an amazing destination."

LeAnn

Vancouver, WA

Tour: 05/27/13

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Because I travel alone I was a bit anxious going in to the tour but that soon faded when I discovered that I was going to be with a great group of people! Being it was only my second RS tour I wasn't sure I could count on being with another fabulous bunch of travelers, but I was! I love the perfect combination of group and on-your-own time. And I certainly love the philosophy of back door travel and going to tiny towns like Limeni and Planitero where most tourists wouldn't ever wander.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I absolutely loved it all but probably when we arrived at the "Tomb of Agamemnon" and the Lion Gate at Mycenae. I had only seen those sites on the History channel and was quite excited to be seeing them in person!"

Weather

Greece / Athens

Greece Weather

Pre-Tour

We've put together some specific information on what you should know about this tour before you go. You'll also find more general information about "Getting Ready for Your Tour" on our Tour FAQ.

Sightseeing On Your Own

If you arrive in Athens before your tour begins, use Rick Steves' Greece: Athens & the Peloponnese guidebook to get oriented. Ride the public transportation, try out a few words of Greek, and get over your jet lag with lots of fresh air and exercise.

Here are a few suggestions for sightseeing in Athens that we do not do as a group: Goulandris Museum of Cycladic & Ancient Greek Art, Museum of Greek Folk Art, National Historical Museum, Benaki Museum, Temple of Olympian Zeus, National Gardens.

Transportation

Most tour members arrive a day or two before the tour begins — and those who don't, wish they had. This allows you ample time to get over jet lag and make the most of the first few days of the tour.

Athens is a hub for travel in southeastern Europe. For information about flying within Europe, ask your travel agent or check Rick's list of European budget airlines

Read Rick's train travel and rail pass tips and decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

For specific details about traveling in Greek Islands, please see our suggested list of websites:

Prior to your tour departure, you will receive detailed directions on how to get from the airport to your first tour hotel, as well as contact information for your first and last hotels in case you wish to book pre- or post-tour hotel accommodations.

If you need more information about additional European travel or for specific questions about your tour, contact the Tour Department at 425/608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

Trip Resources

Learn more about Greece: Check out a collection of Rick's TV shows, radio interviews and articles, plus find a list of recommended books and movies.

Packing

While it is important to pack light, we'd like you to consider including these items when packing for this tour. Greece is rocky and we recommend you bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes with soles offering good traction to help negotiate the paths and hills, and you may wish to pack a swimsuit and a lightweight microfiber towel.

For ideas on what to pack, check Rick's Packing List and our Women's Packing List.