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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 the island of Paros by boat and on foot, 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 explore amazing Athens and the whitewashed villages of the Cyclades.
Experience Greek culture through
hands-on activities with artists, dancers, chefs, and more.
Discover how the ancients lived while exploring the Acropolis in Athens and the marble quarries
Encounter the island's volcanic origins during a fun sailing adventure then ride a donkey up the cliffside from Santoríni’s harbor.
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 — Mycenae/Nafplio
Today begins with a visit to the archaeological museum to learn about Olympia's origins as a sanctuary honoring Zeus. After arriving in Nafplio and lunch, 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 up with a local archaeologist who will introduce us to the history of the ruins. Return to Nafplio for dinner together at a local restaurant. Amphytrion Hotel (B,D)
Day 6 — Epidaurus/Corinth/Athens/Paros
Rise early for a visit to The Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus, a World Heritage site harboring one of the most well-preserved ancient theaters in all of Greece renowned for its perfect architectural proportions and exemplary acoustics. After lunch, travel to the Athens airport stopping en route to see the Corinth Canal. Catch an afternoon flight to the island of Paros where we'll gather for dinner at a local taverna. Yira Hotel or Hotel Argonauta (B,D)
Day 7 — Paros
For centuries, Paros prospered from the export of its fine white marble, prized by sculptors and architects throughout the classical world. Travel to the island’s mountainous interior to visit Marithi, home to the ancient marble quarries that were the source for masterpieces like the “Venus de Milo.” Explore Lefkai, a lovely village with traditional architecture and see fishermen hauling their catch in seaside Naoussa. Later, roll up your sleeves at a local pottery studio for a hands on pottery activity. Kid's receive their own special souvenir. Yria Hotel or Hotel Argonauta (B,L)
Day 8 — 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. See what remains of the island’s violent origins as we arrive by ferry in Santoríni’s caldera and disembark below soaring cliffs. Upon arrival, head to 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. 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,L)
Day 9 — Santoríni
This morning, kids meet up with their pen pals and embark on a catamaran sailing adventure. Our Kid to Kid Connection takes place on the beach with swimming and games on the sand. After a picnic lunch, sail the waters of the caldera and return to Firá. After freshening up at the hotel, we'll head to our farewell dinner in the picturesque port of Ammoúdi. Santorini Palace Hotel (B,L,D)
Day 10 — Santoríni/Athens
After breakfast, fly back to Athens and connect with your return flight home. (B)
Prices are per person, double occupancy. For a single room, add $1,000.
International airfare to/from Athens and airfare within Greece are not included in the expedition cost. The group flight within Greece is $400 (subject to change).
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 pen pals and their families and delve into Greek history through a variety of kid-friendly games inspired by the ancient Olympics. 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.