• Acropolis in Athens
  • Athens' National Archaeological Museum
  • Ancient Delphi
  • Seaside Kardamyli
  • greece-monemvasia
    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 2015
  • 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 dinner from a wood-fired oven. Sleep in or near Lagkadia (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 one of the town's oldest tavernas 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

Breakfast is provided, but there are no group activities today. 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. Travel on a bus without a toilet (rest stops every two hours).
  5. After orientation and transportation lessons, be able to navigate towns and cities on your own.
  6. Walk up to the Acropolis (10 minutes of stairs to the base, then more stairs to the top).
  7. At the Ancient Delphi site, walk up and down a steep and slippery gravel-marble path.

Reviews

Betsy

Strongsville, OH

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our second Rick Steves tour experience and we were very pleased we chose Athens and the Heart of Greece. It proved to be the perfect blend of structure, history, ancient sites, natural splendor and free time. The itinerary was paced beautifully to keep us moving without feeling rushed. We loved our guide Anastasia and our charming bus driver George. The local guides were also outstanding. The group itself was made up of courteous and fun people. We were comfortable and happy!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many! Arriving at our seaside location in Kardamyli and looking out from our hotel balcony to the panorama of the charming old town, gardens and the coastline made me feel like the luckiest person in the world. Little did I know that the next two hotels would give me the same thrill. There were food moments (the delicious food and romantic ambiance at the rooftop eatery called Veranda in Hydra), fun moments (running across the finish line at Olympus), and of course the museums."

Marie

New Orleans, LA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Very satisfied with the entire tour. It was a good balance of planned activities and free time.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Loved the coastal areas and swimming in the Mediterranean."

Joseph

Edmonds, WA

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Really interesting to see things that had been mostly abstractions from from high school text books. Seeing Athens and Delphi obviously special, but the other more remote areas proved interesting and provided a insight into what the ordinary ancient Greek life was like

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing the Acropolis, which was at night, and just walking around the area with the local sidewalk entertainment and all the other tourists"

Glenn

Miami, FL

Tour: 06/23/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Enjoyed every moment.....Great guide....great driver Hotels were wonderful..... People on the tour were GREAT....everyone got on well together

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on MARS hill was a wow The Parthenon was a wonder to behold The city of Olympia was amazing to see The island of Hydra was just like being in a movie."

Jim

San Jose, CA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My experience of Greece on this tour was more than I hoped for. My money was well spent. The primary factor that pulled it all together was our tour guide, David Willett. We saw important factors of ancient and modern Greece through David's guidance, coaching, parenting, and entertainment. We felt plugged in to the many picturesque scenes we toured or ate in together. I have a new appreciation for the Acropolis, the Agora, Delphi, Olympia, etc.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many high points, I especially liked walking the entrance of the Treasury of Atreus, and running the track at Olympia."

Terence

North York, ON

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

I learned a lot about ancient Greece.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Jumping off the cave at Hydra... Costa zig-zagging through those hair pin turns..."

Brennan

Pearl River, LA

Tour: 06/16/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was thoroughly satisfied with my trip to Greece. We were constantly met by outstanding views and knowledgable tour guides. The time was never heavily focused on history over leisure or cuisine. This balance helped to keep my entire family entertained. I would not have changed a single aspect of the trip.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The mountain side view at dinner in Delphi goes down as my favorite "wow" moment. The tranquility and simplicity of the evening was beautiful."

Lisa

Buckeye, AZ

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' Tour and I had high expectations...which were exceeded at every turn! From the advance tour prep emails to the online podcasts, I felt very well prepared and better yet, excited about what was to come! The hotels were fantastic, the agenda was full of interesting and yet not too "touristy" locations, and the camaraderie that developed along the way made each day fun! Our family will definitely be taking another Rick Steves' Tour very soon!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My "wow" moment was how much I learned and actually took in while touring. I have traveled extensively around Europe on my own and now realize I probably "missed some really cool stuff" by not having the guides and destinations Rick recommends! This was an "Experience" and not just a Tour!"

William

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves tour and we had a great time. The hotels and food were much better than expected. I was surprised by how easy it was to travel with 23 other people.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I have two "wow" moments. The first is tour of Mystras with George, the local guide. The second is the experience of setting into the culture and enjoying life like a "local"."

Valerie

Nashua, NH

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Although I have used Rick Steve's guidebooks for other travels, have watched the PBS television shows, and have attended his travel talk in Boston, this was my very first tour. It he tour was a perfect mix of guidance, as well as freedom, to learn and experience a foreign culture. had very high expectations, which were exceeded! I hope to enjoy another tour next year.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Everyday I felt like I was living a picture postcard!!!"

Ed

Houston, TX

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

After 6 other RS tours, the Greece tour was the most relaxing. The first week was filled with the ruins and museums of Athens, Delphi, and Olympia and the world class local guides that I have come to expect from an RS tour. The second week was visiting seaside villages along the Peloponnese Peninsula and enjoying the carefree, relaxing pace of a cafe on the water. Throw in a most excellent guide in Colin, a wonderful tour group, and the history and culture of Greece; AWESOME!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The island of Hydra is simply amazing with plenty of opportunities to hike the cliffs for excellent views and a seaside promenade of covered cafes allowing for people watching and an awesome cappuccino. It was extremely relaxing, and quite remarkably, my 'wow' moment."

Linda

Beaverton, OR

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I was really impressed. We loved the country, but the extra information provided by the tour experience added even more enjoyment. Being hearing impaired, I was really impressed with the system used with the exceptional guides in the museums and sites. I could have the voice right in my hearing aids. The new friends we made were all great people. We could always join one, or more of, them if we came across them during our free time. Colin was always doing special added things if someone asked.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"No wow moment as much as everything was wow, I loved the little towns, the spectacular scenery, the amazing things that were so very ancient, only read about before. The wonderful Greek people are so friendly and outgoing."

Barbara

Warragul,

Tour: 06/02/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I enjoyed everything about the tour, the mix of fellow travellers, the combination of structured time and free time, and the balance of shared and independent meals. The hotels were far better than expected, and the guides, both on the bus and at sites and museums were fantastic. The variety of experiences was really enormous, due to both the overall design of the tour and Colin's local networks and relationships.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"It would be easier to describe a favourite 'wow' moment from each day! I think it might have been George singing parts of the Orthodox service in the beautiful chapels at Mystras. I have wanted to see the Lion Gate at Mycenae for a long time, so that was special for me, but the way George's commentary and singing enhanced the experience of seeing the frescos was unique."

James

Irvine, CA

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The guide was excellent. His knowledge of history, food, plants was outstanding. Great sense of humor. He planned voluntary outings for our free time that were fun and interesting.

Scott

Scarborough, ON

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was better than I expected it would be, not that I thought it would be bad, or anything). The value and convenience of not having to tip and pay for tour extra's was a good thing. The rooms were great and all the hotels clean and friendly staff. Of course, our guide Davis was among the best. I felt I met the 'real' Greeks via David, and some on my own using my own incentives, but David's experience and knowledge of the area and the locals in each town made it an experience unmatchable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I would say the food and places we ate were 'Wow' moments. The settings of the restaurants, by the water, or a small village, the great bread, local veggies, all fresh. The seafood was swimming only recently before it landed on our plates."

William

Evanston, IL

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

From the moment we first considered this tour, we felt well informed and cared for. This was our first Rick Steeves tour, and we are already I in the process of choosing next year's adventure. I also must add that as a same-sex married couple, we always felt comfortable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not knowing the country of Greece at all, I was wowed by the beauty of the mountains and the views of the sea."

Emery

Evanston, IL

Tour: 05/26/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a small, fun group that bonded almost immediately. The quality of the tours at museums as well as our full-time guide were excellent. David went out of his way to make sure our needs we're being met.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The incredible beauty of Greece. I came to that realization in the mountains. I didn't know Greecec was was that stunning."

Roger

Gold River, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Exceeded my high expectations. Great combination of classical sights, outstanding tour guide, and fun group of sociable fellow tour members. The weather was very comfortable starting mid May. The Greek guides at each site were very informative and easy to understand. Our guide, Colin, especially made the history come to life in his frequent talks on each era of Greek history from the Mycenaeans to the current period, and variety of the culture. Great memories!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Too many to just list one: 1. The citadel at Mycenae, including Tholos Tomb, 2. the Acropolis in Athens, 3. The picturesque Monemvasia Lower Town. 4. The National Archaeological Museum which houses the National treasury of art and artifacts from every era. The Museum itself deserves a return visit to Greece, and finally, 5. The Mountains, Gorges, windy roads, and hidden towns and villages with delightful friendly people."

Robert

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first Rick Steves tour and i enjoyed it thoroughly. The best thing about the tour was the guide, Mr. Colin Clement. My travel is through the window of history and this tour took me to places that resonated in rich history. It was a stressful tour in that it involved a lot of climbing, but the end of the climb was always worth it.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Parthenon and accompanying view from the acropolis of Athens"

Al

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

As usual the strengths of your tours is the outstanding guides. Colin Clement proved to be among the best as he is exceptionally well versed in Greek history, mythology and current affairs. He also possesses a wonderful personality with a great sense of humor. The hotels were well situated in every city, town or village and quite comfortable. It was good to have a full size bus for only 24 travelers but, like the airlines, a little cramped for leg room. I absolutely loved the Peloponnese!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monemvasia was spectacular and worth a trip by itself. Beautiful setting and architecture."

Susan

Seattle, WA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We originally had planned to do this tour on our own, but after examining the route and realizing how invaluable expert guides would be for a quality experience, we decided to sign up for the tour. We were not disappointed. The tour was amazing: filled with stunning scenery and villages, superb lectures, intriguing frescos, and delightful fellow travelers. Some of the spots in the Mani region were at bit more challenging than expected and wish I had brought a walking stick.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing above the theatre at Delphi and surveying the countryside at sundown or surveying the sea and distant mountains when relaxing by sipping a rose' on small bistro patio in Monemvasia, finally being in the presence of "The Charioteer" at Delphi, and strolling the cobbled lanes, avoiding donkeys, on Hydra."

Steven

Tampa, FL

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great tour leader, travel group, itinerary. Very well done

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many- perhaps settling into the Hotel Leto on Hydra after such a busy schedule just to take it all in."

Tim

Austin, TX

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was fantastic! In 14 days we covered the highlights of Greece from Ancient to Modern; from the big city (Athens) to the back roads, small towns, mountains, seas and islands of the Peloponnese. Our tour guide, Colin, was a wealth of knowledge and a wonderful leader and travel companion. The local tour guides at each major site helped bring history to life. While the tour pace was upbeat, it has a nice blend of group activities, free time to explore on your own, and relaxing respites.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The island of Hydra. It's beauty, simplicity, friendly people along with the burrows, harbor, boats, beaches, and sunsets was amazing. "Wow" moment was walking the coast, swimming in the sea, then finishing the evening with a beautiful dinner of roasted octopus watching the sunset."

Kathryn

Portland, OR

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 4 of 5

Found Greece to be harder than I thought it would be. Very helpful that you gave us ratings for walking difficulty. Greece asks you to climb! While I was physically ready, there were some demanding days. So many cities in Europe are lovely places. Athens is not. I was not prepared for the amount of graffiti everywhere and found it sad. Once we had more information on the country, its current financial state, etc, it made it easier to simply "be" there and enjoy the experience and the locals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Standing on top of the Acropolis. Knew what it was, saw photos in books, etc. but to be there and realize just what era of history and what it meant to western civilization was very humbling. And the new museum just made it better to understand the structure and history. A great addition to being in Athens."

Patrice

Gold River, CA

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our Greek tour far exceeded my expectations! We spent five months studying Rick's book and DVDs, along with several other DVDs and library books on Greek history, so we were pretty well versed on what to expect. But the sheer beauty of the landscape in real life was astonishing, and Colin Clement's excellent presentations, information, and sense of humor took it over the top! Our group was wonderful, as well, helping to make our total Greek experience one of our most memorable travel adventures.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite wow moment was when I climbed to the top of the Acropolis and saw the ruins in real life! It was quite a climb up, and then to see what I've only seen in books come to life in the beautiful morning light was an extremely "wow" moment!"

Billy

New Braunfels, TX

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I have only been on two tours, and they have both been great.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"crossing to Hydra in a squall"

Bonnie

New Braunfels, TX

Tour: 05/19/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had taken a Smithsonian tour of Turkey two years ago and were convinced that your tour and guide could not possibly measure up to that experience. We were wrong. Colin and the careful planning evident in the whole tour were superior and surpassed our highest hopes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were so many, this is hard to answer. If I were pressed to name just one, it might be glancing over during our last supper to see the Parthenon, which meant so much more to me after our two-week experience and a deepened appreciation of Greece and fondness for our fellow travelers."

Bertrand

Groton, CT

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Far beyond my expectations! This was my first Rick Steves tour and I must say: I am extremely impressed by the whole experience. The organization and the preparation were fine but, above all, the leader of this exploration: David Willett has proven to be just the perfect catalyst for a travel of discoveries and understanding. He is a great facilitator, extremely knowledgable, and attentive to the group as well as individual needs. His equanimity was remarkable.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many of "wow" moments: Sunset on Monemvasia Visit of the chapel in Kastania with the group huddled around David explaining the frescos. Vouraikos Gorge and visit of the Kalavryta museum The stadium at Olympia The treasury of Atreus The view from Palamidi Fortress on the islands and the beautiful mountains of the Peloponese. The Artemision Jockey"

Louis

Normandy Park, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was our second with Rick Steves - and another winner. An enthusiastic and knowledgable guide was in large part responsible for it being so enjoyable. David knows his history. He presented the country and its people with passion and respect.He also took care of our group, handling all the small details that cropped up with ease and good humor.He knew all the cities and towns well enough to suggest good places to eat, to shop, or just browse. We were never disappointed.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Viewing the Parthenon with all the nightlights blazing was one of those rare travel moments,truly a stop and shake-your-head experience. The sitting itself is a wonder, and the sheer enormity of the structure boggles imagination. Also, the view of Athens from Mars Hill was beautiful. And another wowwwwwer."

Patricia

Steilacoom, WA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Fabulous tour, fabulous guide, fabulous new friends. Oh, and we loved the country, too. We chose this tour because people we met on our Italian tour raved about this one. Now we know why, and we agree. It's a wonderful introduction to an under-considered country. In his programs and guidebook, Rick Steves talks about the famous Greek hospitality and it's evident every where you go.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Watching our Mystras guide, George, corral a boisterous middle school field trip and encourage them to decipher a fresco for all of us. With a few masterful questions, he opened their appreciation for the chapel as well as ours. It epitomized the RS experience, as other tours whizzed by ticking off the sites oblivious to what they were missing."

Kimberly

Grand Ledge, MI

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour of Athens and Greece was everything and more than I thought it would be. The actual itinerary differs slightly from the itinerary on the web site which caused a bit of confusion, it might be a good idea to refresh the web site and tour book with the most recent itinerary. I was also disappointed that Rick Steves does not offer a Greek language book like for other languages. Also, the map included with the Athens tour book was disappoiting.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The "Wow" moment of the tour for me was to learn more detail about the more recent history of Greece and its' struggles throughout history. It was interesting to see how the country has evolved from the ancient cities and countries we know and hear about to all the other struggles it has under gone through the current economic crisis."

Paul

Santa Clara, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a great tour, with a truly outstanding guide. David showed an exceptional commitment to making the tour enjoyable for everyone, and a deep knowledge and enthusiasm for Greece. Greece's "problems" turned out to be a total non-issue. The tour was very well balanced between historical sites, and laid back restful stops. The tour was the most physically demanding I have been on. There were many paths with slippery steps and random rocks. Most sites are on heights or mountains.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The site at Delphi. The mountain side landscape was overwhelming in the evening."

Danny

Columbus, GA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was well-planned from beginning to end. The group members "clicked" from the beginning and strong friendships were developed. The tour guides were extremely knowledgeable and welcomed questions from the group. Overall, this was the best land tour that I have taken!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite "wow" moment was walking through the arches at Olympia onto the 776 B.C. stadia and standing on the start line. I have been a runner for many years and standing there, imagining what it would have been like back then, was a definite "wow" moment."

Sara

Columbus, GA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves' tour. We were hooked from the start. A great balance of planned and free time. Excellent guides. Well organized. Greece was wonderful - the people are so nice. Even more beautiful and interesting than I expected. Excellent itinerary. Wonderful restaurants. What more could you want! We had been told that we would enjoy the group as well as the trip. As I organized my photos, I realized I had so many more pictures of our new friends than from past trips/tours.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Monemvasia. You see what looks like a huge rock off the shore. When you walk through the gate - you won't believe what is waiting."

Sylvia

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The tour was wonderful,our Aussie Tour guide was fabulous,he is friendly witty,caring and above all very well verse with the history of GREECE.so much so that I am now hook on GREEK Methology.I was really satisfied with the tour& will recommend it to all my friends here in VANCOUVER B.C. DAVID is an excellent tour guide

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My favorite"wow" moment was our stay in HYDRA ,seeing those donkey doing the job of porters is so amazing."

Jan

San Diego, CA

Tour: 05/12/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Loved seeing all the places that have been major players in history and literature over the centuries. So much more meaningful when you're standing in the midst of so much history instead of sitting in a classroom struggling to stay awake. Also loved having several Greek "myths" dispelled, such as my impression that the country is comprised of whitewashed buildings with blue domes (hey, it's 70% mountainous, whaddya know!) and that hummus is a Greek dish.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"One, only one? Ergh. Cannot pick. The subtle points probably made the biggest impact, including the botanical walk in Kardamyli. And then there was that unknown dessert we bought at the bakery in Monemvasia; it turned out to be filled with chocolate mousse...."

Roger

Damascus, OR

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

David is an excellent guide. He is very knowledgeable about all facets of Greece, cultural, history, present day, mores, people. He also has a very entertaining and warming personality. I would highly recommend him as Tour Guide, and someone a person would like to have as a friend. The country itself, Greece, is a beautiful piece of Earth, certainly worth experiencing. I don't believe I have seen an Ocean or Sea with water clearer than that around Hydra, absolutely gorgeous. Eighth Tour.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Not a "good wow" moment during the tour, but the death and carnage wrought on the people in the village of Kalaryrta during the WWII was a reminder of the of the quote by Edmund Burke: "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing". I am glad it was included in the tour. The good "wow" was Hydra. Spectular."

Patty

Anacortes, WA

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our tour of Greece was all we had hoped and much more! We thoroughly enjoyed our tour guide, David. He was so knowledgeable on every possible topic, and at the same time so in tune with all members of the group. The itinerary was well thought out and gave us a wonderful overview of Greece -- both ancient and modern. We were especially captivated with Nafplio and Hydra, although every location had its appeals.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Seeing things like the Acropolis and Delphi -- and realizing how ancient they were, was totally amazing and very moving."

Barry

Senoia, GA

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

The total Greece tour experience was1st class. All the hotels were centrally located, great rooms, very clean, great breakfasts and had customer service that could not be beat. David, the tour guide, was fun, knowledgeable and always available to answer questions and to help with arrangements that any tour member needed. The local guides were good too. We ate at some of the most fantastic restaurants everywhere we went. The tour participants on all Rick Steve's tours are fantastic. How?

Favorite "WOW" moment

"History is my wife and my passion so we saw so many great location ruins. I think the acropolis and all the related sights in Athens were my wow moment! So many well preserved moments of history..."

Margaret

Locust Grove, GA

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour of any kind and it was wonderful. Our guide, David, was a wealth of knowledge, and kept us informed and interested the entire trip. He also made sure there were group options for dining and activities whenever we had down time if we were interested in participating. He did a great job of drawing the group together and creating lasting memories. The food was delicious and we loved the opportunities David provided for trying new and delicious dishes.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When we were in the moutains I took a run one afternoon after we arrived at our hotel. The town was basically in a cloud and when I got 1/2 down the mountain I was under it and found myself running on a deserted road with incredible views in every direction. It was a totally peaceful and beautiful run, full of vibrant colors and amazing views."

Mike

Shell Beach, CA

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Great experience, hotels, meals, bus and guide. I would recommend this tour to everybody.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Enjoyed the hiking about the island of Hydra. Seeing the Acropolis up close."

Robert

No Vancouver, BC

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our first Rick Steves tour. An amazing experience, with great sites, great people, great food, and fabulous guides. Tour leader was extraordinary - has likely spoilt us for all tour guides to come.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Can't pick one. Entering the Acropolis? Tour of Icons at Monevassia? Olympia site in full bloom? Wandering on Hydra? Watching David dance at local Taverna? (and yes, I have video!!) Several meals (wayyyyy too many to mention!!)"

Christine

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've traveled extensively on our own, using the Rick Steves' guides for years. This year we decided to try our first tour. I was very pleased by the good times, amazing sights, knowledge gained, organization, delicious food, friendly travel companions, and an amazing tour guide, David who conveyed his love for Greece on a daily basis.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The Acropolis and the Parthenon are definitely the "wow" moment of a trip to Greece, something I had always read about and wanted to see firsthand, but another "wow" moment was our stay in Hydra with the beautiful blue water, the buildings going up the narrow lanes and up into the hillside, the donkeys click clacking along as they delivered luggage and produce, the quiet streets with no cars or motorbikes, the delicious food, and the friendliness of the people."

Mona

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Our overall experience exceeded our expectations. This was our first organized tour after a lifetime of world traveling.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"At our Welcome Meeting we were asked what we wanted from our tour of Greece. I naively responded that I wanted to expand my love of Greek mythology and visit ancient sites. My "wow" moment was when I realized there is so much to know and love about Greece - the history, culture, food, politics, and most importantly the Greek people. My love of Greek mythology was a merely a segue into the world of Greece."

James

Sunnyvale, CA

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We've used RS tour books extensively in our past travels through Europe, but this was our first time taking a RS tour. And while the books have proven to be great resources in our past travels, the guided tour with David elevated our travel experience to a whole new level. Single most important factor in making this an incredible experience was David, our tour leader. We can now say without reservation that this tour far exceeded all our expectations.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"As expected, Greece is rich with human history, philosophy, culture, with layers of civilizations, art and architecture. But what I was not expecting was the natural beauty of Greece: the diversity of terrain, landscape and the abundance of wildflowers in the countryside."

Leslie

Shell Beach, CA

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

It was an excellent tour! David, our overall guide was enthusiastic, very knowledgeable about not only ancient Greek history but all the way up to the present also. It was evident he greatly loved sharing Greece with us. Even on our free days he invited us to join him on a walk or to eat at a favorite local restaurant- enhancing our trip beyond all of the scheduled events. All of the local guides were excellent- enthusiastic, very knowledgeable, all with a good sense of humor.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"How much we owe to Greek history for the development of western culture. It was really brought home to me during this trip. Wanted to write more above- so will continue here :0)- Greece itself was amazing. The people were friendly and kind. The tour hit all of the highlights in a well organized manner. The massive amount of organization that has to go in to such a well orchestrated tour was greatly appreciated!"

Richard

Huntington Beach, CA

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first tour (ever) though we have traveled Europe many times on our own. Any anxieties we had were resolved when we met David and our fellow tour members the first evening. I think any future tour on our part will be difficult to match the excellence, efficiency, breadth of knowledge and interest, professionalism, empathy, humane nature, and competence of David. He is beyond first-rate. If he were to lead a tour of the moon we would seriously consider going!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The national archeological museum in Athens is so full of real treasures that everything else we saw had to vie for second place. The bronzes, gold work, statues, and pediments were outstanding and our expert guide Faye Georgiou was terrific (vast knowledge and wonderful dry sense of humor). We really regretted having to leave the museum."

Dennis

San Carlos, CA

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

We had a fabulous time on our tour of Greece. The tour group meshed together very well. Our tour guide, David, was outstanding. Our bus driver, George, did an outstanding job on the narrow and twisty roads of Greece. The food in Greece is marvelous. Wherever we went, the food was fresh and delicious, not fancy and complicated.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many wow moments during the two weeks. However, when a shopkeeper's face lit up when I greeted or thanked him in Greek was very special. Also, walking down the quiet main street in Langardia in the evening with the fog low to the ground, I greeted with "kali spera" an older Greek gentleman walking in the opposite direction. His response was a familiar "spera"."

Dolph

Locust Grove, GA

Tour: 04/21/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was my first tour experience and it exceeded my expectations. David was an outstanding guide with a love of Greece and it's people. His broad knowledge of all things Greek and his accommodating nature provided a wonderful experience. I loved traveling and socializing with the group. It was nice not to worry about getting from place to place .Our bus driver ,George, did all the hard work. I ended this trip learning far more about Greece than I would have learned on my own.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"When in Kardamyli my wife and I hiked to Petrovouni and picnicked. The vistas overlooking the little town and the mediterranean were spectacular. The weather was perfect. Later that day we took a swim in the chilly water and laid out on the rocky beach. That evening we learned about olives and shared another Greek meal."

Susan

Hansville, WA

Tour: 03/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I consider this trip my best of the four Rick Steves tours I've taken. Greece is an area that really interests me and the trip melded well history-wise with two earlier Steves' trips to Turkey. I am so glad I took the earliest tour as the wildflowers and blooming trees were at their peak and high mountains still snow-capped. I had never realized Greece was so mountainous. The heat of later tours would really be an issue for me being used to the cooler climate of western WA.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Many. I loved looking down on the valley floor covered with olive trees and snowy peaks in the background as we left Delphi town on the winding highway early in the morning with the Corinthian Gulf in the distance. The view from the top of Monemvasia was breath-taking. Final night's dinner at the foot of the Acropolis and the illuminated Parthenon were terrific. And the Acropolis Museum was a highlight, great displays in an architecturally wonderful interesting bldg."

Dennis

Roseville, CA

Tour: 03/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour (this being out fifth Rick Steves tour) was close to our favorite (the Adriatic tour being our favorite).

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The visit to Hydra was without doubt the "wow" moment (followed by Monemvasia and Kardamyli)."

Nancy

Roseville, CA

Tour: 03/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A fabulous all encompassing look at Greece, from Athens to quaint, remote mountain villages and the idyllic island of Hydra. This tour hit all my bucket list dreams and destinations!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"Two favorite wow moments were: 1. Visiting the quaint and unique upper town of Monemvasia and hiking to the top for a group shot at the Citadel. 2. Visiting the Greek island of Hydra and seeing the mule trains in action. Wow!! Who knew that two villages in Greece didn't use vehicles? It was so incredibly peaceful, just hearing the roosters crowing, cats howling and donkeys braying!"

Judy

St George, UT

Tour: 03/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

A really good mix of fun activities, history and some wonderful down time to go on walks and get much needed exercise. Could not have been better.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"The wonderful spring wildflowers and my walks through them. Kardamyli was my favorite place and walk. Just being in Greece in the spring was wow enough for me. Hydra was also very special and so was Monemvasia. Loved Delphi too."

Judith

Austin, TX

Tour: 03/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There isn't just one "wow" moment in Greece. There were daily "wow" views and sites. I continuously was awed by the sites--that such ancient structures were built at all and that parts of them have managed to survive for thousands of years."

Richard

Branchburg, NJ

Tour: 03/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

I really love the "back door" approach of this tour. I came away feeling I experienced genuine Greece. I feel I learned so much about Greek history, and gained an appreciation for its culture and its people. Colin's passion for Greece has inspired me to go further and take a course in Greek history in order to deep my knowledge.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"I feel this trip had a number of "wow" moments. I would say my favorite one was our day in Monemvasia. As the guide book states it was like experiencing a "living museum". Most of us climbed to the upper town and a group picture was taken on top of a great viewing point of the lower town."

Catherine

Branchburg, NJ

Tour: 03/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was a very exciting tour, with a great guide, a great group of people, wonderful accommodations and a bus driver who made me feel safe and secure. Bravo Rick Steves!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"There were many such moments, but one that sticks in my mind right now was seeing our room in Nafplio at the Marianna Pension. It was cut out of the side of a rocky hill, and designed using the rocks as an integral part of the room's design. I was very impressed to learn that the brothers who own the facility built it themselves."

Lynn

Aurora, CO

Tour: 03/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

Wonderful. Did not think there would be 2 weeks worth of things to see and do in Greece. Easily there are two more.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"This is split between A Hydra: very nice with no cars and two days right at the end of the trip. B The Antikythera Mechanism. Being a techno geek and computer nerd this was fascinating to see up close. At least for me."

Joseph

Vancouver, BC

Tour: 03/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

My wife and I have not taken any bus tours before this one. Only the one day hop on hop off type of tours. We did not know what to expect. This trip was far beyond anything we could have planned on our own. From the tour guide to the choice of venues, hotels and restaurants was all first class.

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We had several WOW moments but I guess our 2 day stay in IDRA was the best. To find out that the island has no motor vehicles on it except an ambulance and garbage & water truck was great to hear and experience. It was just what we need after being on the road travelling for almost 2 weeks."

Judith

St Louis, MO

Tour: 03/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This tour was so much more that I expected, and I had high expectations. The ability to go to small villages and see the real Greece made it such a personal experience. Greek mythology was brought to life. Our guide Colin, the other tour members, the local Greek people and of course the landscape made this a perfect trip. Thank you for putting it all together!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"My wow moment was before the tour officially started. I arrived a day early and went for a walk and behold there it was, the Parthenon. Seeing it for the first time gave me goose bumps! Everyday was a "wow". It was like being on a treasure hunt, and finding something fabulous everyday and everywhere."

Dennis

Mulino, OR

Tour: 03/24/14

Overall rating: rating 5 of 5

This was our first Rick Steves Tour. It exceeded all of our expectations. I have used his guide books, and DVD's and wondered if a guided tour of Greece would be worth the expense. The answer is a resounding "yes"! We visited many of the sites common to many travelers, but, with the skillful pre visit preparation of our guide Colin, the use of local experts, and the "whisper systems" they employed, the experience was maximized. Then we were taken "off the beaten path". What a delight!

Favorite "WOW" moment

"We traveled in the Spring. Wildflowers everywhere. Sunshine and temperate weather. Snowcapped mountains and vibrant orange groves. Pleasant family run hotels, and taverns, offering menu's with family recipes. Great yogurt and honey. Feta cheese in Greek salads served family style. Our small group of 25 from all over the U.S., many were alumni travelers, easy to get to know and caring. Hydra stands out, as a place you hope will never join the 21st century, a place to which you'd like to return."

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."

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"

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."

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.

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!"

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."

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"

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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"

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."

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."

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...."

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."

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."

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."

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!"

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!!!!"

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"."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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."

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.

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.

Transportation

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.

Many 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 to decide if your travel plans merit a rail pass.

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

If you have additional European travel or tour questions, contact the Tour Department at 425-608-4217 or email tour@ricksteves.com.

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.

Packing

Greece is rocky and we recommend you bring a pair of comfortable walking shoes with soles offering good traction, and you may wish to pack a swimsuit, waterproof sandals and a lightweight microfiber towel.

For more advice on what (and what not!) to pack, see Rick’s packing tips.