From science and medicine to art and democracy, the achievements of the ancient Greeks have shaped the foundations of Western civilization. Encounter this living legacy firsthand on a journey from the magnificent monuments of Athens to the enchanting villages of the Cyclades. Discover the mythology of ancient temples and ruins once buried in volcanic ash, and experience the pageantry and excitement of participating in your own Olympic themed activities. Explore history and beauty of the island of Santorini on foot and by boat, and sail beneath the soaring cliffs of Santoríni’s crater. Along the way, take part in a variety of fun activities designed to immerse your family in the colors, flavors, and traditions of Greek culture.
Delve into the history, mythology, and masterpieces of ancient Greece as we journey to amazing Athens, the mythical sites of the Peloponnese, and the whitewashed villages of Santorini.
Experience Greek culture through hands-on activities with dancers, chefs, and more.
Discover how the ancients lived while exploring the archaeological sites of the Acropolis, Mycenae, Delphi, and Akrotiri.
Participate in Olympic-themed activities in Athens, and go sailing on a catamaran in Santorini.
Itinerary - 10 Days
Day 1 — Athens
Arrive Athens after overnight flight and transfer to our hotel in the heart of the city. After time to settle in, join your traveling companions for a guided storytelling walk. This evening, gather for a welcome dinner at a charming taverna. Athens Hilton Hotel (D)
Day 2 — Athens
Spend the day exploring Athens, considered the birthplace of Western civilization and a place where democracy, philosophy, science and the arts flourished in ancient times. Tour the hilltop Acropolis, crowned by the legendary Parthenon and visit the new Acropolis Museum. This afternoon, visit the Athens Olympic Stadium where the first modern Olympics took place and participate in Olympic themed activities. Athens Hilton Hotel (B,L)
Day 3 — Delphi
Travel to Delphi, an ancient archaeological site perched dramatically on the slopes of Mount Parnassos. Take in amazing views over the mountains and the turquoise sea as you explore the ruins, including the Temple of Apollo, the oldest gymnasium in Greece and other well-preserved theaters and altars. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant before visiting the Archaeological Museum of Delphi, a treasure trove of ancient artifacts unearthed from the Delphi ruins. Amalia Delphi Hotel (B,L)
Day 4 — Olympia
Drive to Olympia via the Rion/Antirion Bridge and spend an unforgettable day exploring the ruins that mark the birthplace of the Olympic Games. Held here every four years for twelve centuries beginning in 776 BCE, these ancient games drew athletes from rival Greek city-states to compete during a sacred time of truce. Discover Olympia’s UNESCO World Heritage-listed archaeological site, including temples, athletic facilities, and the Olympic Stadium. This evening, enjoy a hands on cooking class in a private home followed by a traditional Greek dancing lesson. Europa Hotel (B,L,D)
Day 5 — Olympia/Nafplio
Explore Olympia's ruins, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the original site of the Olympic games. Travel to the seaport town of Nafplio and venture down its narrow lanes past traditional medieval architecture. Tonight, gather for dinner together at a local restaurant. Amphytrion Hotel (B,D)
Day 6 — Nafplio/ Epidaurus
Head to the Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, a World Heritage site, and take in its theater’s impressive proportions and acoustics. Later, visit the hilltop fortress-castle called Palamidi. Amphytrion Hotel (B,D)
Day 7 — Nafplio/Athens/Santoríni
Journey to the ancient fortified city of Mycenae, the center of the powerful Mycenaean civilization that flourished in the second millennium BCE. Described by the poet Homer as a city “rich in gold”, Mycenae was home to Agamemnon—the mythical king who conquered Troy. Enter the citadel through the grand Lion Gate and meet with a local archaeologist who will introduce us to the history of the ruins. En route to Athens, stop to view the Corinth Canal. Catch an afternoon flight to the island of Santorini. Explore Fira, famous for its whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches built into the hillsides. After settling into our hotel in Firá, set out to explore the town’s mazelike streets. This evening, enjoy a spectacular sunset and dinner on your own. Santorini Palace Hotel (B,D)
Day 8 — Santoríni
Visit a pottery studio to learn the art ofmaking ceramics by hand. Later, join local Greekchildren for a private sailing adventure with a sunset dinner on board. Santorini Palace Hotel (B,D)
Day 9 — Santoríni
In the second millennium BCE, massive volcanic eruptions on Santoríni collapsed the island into a fractured caldera possibly contributing to the collapse of Minoan civilization on nearby Crete. Today visit Akrotiri, which was buried by volcanic ash sometime between 1625 and 1450 BCE. Tour this Minoan Bronze Age settlement and learn about the ongoing archaeological work there. Learn about ongoing archeological work at Akrotiri, a Minoan Bronze Age settlement buried by ash. This evening, gather for a farewell dinner. Santorini Palace Hotel (B,D)
Day 10 — Santoríni/Athens
After breakfast, fly back to Athens and connect with your return flight home. (B)
Travelers should be in good health and comfortable walking or standing for extended periods of time. Daily activities may include city walking tours, visits to sites, game drives on bumpy roads, or easy hikes.
Click here for a description of all activity levels.
About this Expedition
We tap into National Geographic’s vast network to design unique travel experiences for the whole family, filled with hands-on activities and memorable moments. A special aspect of this expedition is the Kid-to-Kid Connection, where kids will meet their new Greek friends and their families and delve into Greek history through a variety of kid-friendly games. They will take part in track & field themed events and learn about the origins of this legendary sporting competition.
Our dynamic Expedition Leaders enrich each experience with their insights, knowledge, and energy, and a Young Explorer Leader joins every group to facilitate fun activities that help kids get the most out of the places we go. As we travel, we’ll also meet up with fascinating people doing meaningful work in the field.