ATHENS, MYKONOS, EPHESUS, PATMOS, RHODES, CRETE, SANTORINI, DELPHI AND OLYMPIA
The Greeks have a word for a feeling that expresses joy, fun, passion and loving life: kefi. Our special women-only Greece land and island tour lets you fully embrace the spirit of this region, which gave birth to Western civilization, the Olympics and the healthful Mediterranean diet! You’ll not only experience all of the Greek classics—seeing the Acropolis and Parthenon, sailing the sparkling-blue Aegean Sea, and stopping at mythical islands like Mykonos, Crete, and Santorini. Along the way, you’ll enjoy special women-focused experiences which will allow you to learn more about the role of women in Greece’s history as well as the role of the Olympian goddesses on Greek myth and legend. Let’s raise a glass of ouzo to finding your kefi on this odyssey through spectacular Greece and the Greek Islands.
Looking for a roommate or to connect with other women before your trip? Join our smarTours Women-Only Facebook group! Visit the group here (https://www.facebook.com/groups/1145762302478350/) and click the + Join Group button!
For COVID-19 updates, please scroll down to our Before You Depart section.
Did you know that you can make this tour private? Find out about pricing and options for groups of 10 or more travelers.
- 1 night in Athens
- 4-night Greek Island Cruise (including Mykonos, Crete, Santorini and more)
- 1 night in Delphi
- 1 night in Olympia
- 2 nights in Athens
- 4-night Greek Island Cruise including: Mykonos, Ephesus, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete, and Santorini
- House of Virgin Mary (Ephesus)
- Parthenon (Athens)
- Acropolis (Athens)
Special Women-Only Departure Highlights:
- Lectures on the Olympian goddesses and the role of women in the history of Greece
- Visit to a farm to learn about how olive oil and wine is made
- Prepare and taste traditional Greek food during a cooking class
- Round-trip airfare from New York area
- Airfare taxes, fees & fuel surcharges
- Intra-Greece ground transportation and transfers by air-conditioned motorcoach
- Accommodation at first-class and deluxe hotels
- 4-night Celestyal Cruise (includes unlimited non-alcoholic and alcoholic drinks on board, gratuities for crew and port charges)
- 21 meals: 9 full buffet American breakfasts (B), 5 lunches (L) and 7 dinners (D)
- Comprehensive sightseeing tours in Athens, Olympia and Delphi
- Two included shore excursions and optional shore excursions available to purchase on board the cruise
- English-speaking guides (cruise escort and guide for land portion)
- Professional guides for included sightseeing tours
Find your special women-only tour experiences in bold in the itinerary below.
Day 1: Depart from the U.S.
Depart for an overnight flight to Greece. Your tour includes airfare from the U.S.
*Passengers who did not purchase flights will join the tour in Athens on Day 2.
Day 2: Arrive in Athens
Arrive today in Athens, the capital of Greece, where you’ll be met at the airport and escorted to your conveniently located hotel. This afternoon, meet our guide for a lecture on the female goddess of Greek mythology to gain a better understanding of Greek mythology and the Olympian goddesses. While most are well aware of the heroics of the ancient Greek gods, the goddesses are no less important in terms of popularity and symbolic significance. Just like the Olympian gods, most of the ancient Greek goddesses resided in the realms of the heavens above Mount Olympus though there were quite a few exceptions too. Goddesses had special powers and could control specific aspects of life from motherly Rhea who dared to trick her own husband to save her children to the queen of the gods, Hera, or the goddess of wisdom, Athena, who was much revered by both gods and mortals. The ancient Greek goddesses were as much of a divine force to be reckoned with as the gods were. Later enjoy a welcome dinner with your fellow travelers.
Athenian Callirhoe Hotel (or similar) | Dinner
Day 3: Embark on Greek Island Cruise/Mykonos
Sailing is the best way to see the idyllic Greek Islands, and today we’ll embark on four sun-kissed days and starry nights with the award-winning Celestyal Cruises! Refreshed with a sumptuous breakfast, we’ll journey to the port of Piraeus to board our ship and settle into the cruising lifestyle. Our first port of call is Mykonos, where iconic windmills and whitewashed homes harmonize with stylish restaurants and trendy clubs. You’ll have time to stroll through the town, explore shops and winding streets, and watch the local scene from a seaside taverna or café before heading back to the ship.
Celestyal Cruises | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 4: Greek Island Cruise/Kusadasi–Ephesus/Patmos
This morning, we dock in Kusadasi, Türkiye, a short drive from Ephesus. Considered the world’s best-preserved classical city and famous for its Temple of Artemis, Ephesus is one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. We’ll return in time for lunch on the ship as we sail to scenic Patmos, a significant Christian pilgrimage destination and UNESCO World Heritage Site. See optional tours for information about an excursion to St. John’s Monastery and the Grotto of the Apocalypse. Dinner is on the ship.
Celestyal Cruises | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 5: Greek Island Cruise/Rhodes
Today’s port of call is beautiful Rhodes, home to a large medieval city that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a fascinating web of Byzantine, Turkish and Latin ruins. We’ll visit picturesque Lindos, where whitewashed houses are clustered beneath a clifftop acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athena. Here we’ll see the powerful fortifications that still stand today, including the Citadel of the Knights, a rare combination of Greek setting and Gothic architecture! We’ll continue sailing later today.
Celestyal Cruises | Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day 6: Greek Island Cruise/Crete (Heraklion)/Santorini
Awaken to Crete, an island rich with history and culture. We’ll come ashore in the bustling capital Heraklion, where you can stroll the charming Lion’s Square, sample a bougatsa (local pastry) at a café or join an optional excursion to see the ruins of the Palace of Knossos.
Return to the ship in time for lunch, as we continue sailing to romantic and utterly breathtaking Santorini, set on a volcanic crater immersed in the sea. Santorini is actually a group of islands, and we’ll stop in Thira. You’ll fall in love with the whitewashed houses, narrow streets and outdoor cafes that line the steep cliffs, accessible by foot, cable car or mule. Consider an optional tour of the photogenic Oia Village. Return to the ship for a final night at sea. B/L/D Celestyal Cruises
Day 7: Disembark Cruise Ship/Athens/Delphi
We bid farewell to the wonderful crew of our Celestyal ship near Athens and take off for a three-day road trip to the classical cities of mainland Greece. We’ll pass through several ancient towns, including Thebes (home of King Oedipus), on our way to Delphi, set majestically on the slopes of Mt. Parnassus, for a guided excursion. We’ll marvel at the ruins of Sanctuary of Apollo, walk the marble Sacred Way and admire the fourth-century BC theater still in use today, as well as see the glorious “Charioteer of Delphi,” one of the best known and preserved examples of classical bronze statues. Later, a local expert will give a lecture for the role of women in the history of Greece and Athens. This evening, our group enjoys an included dinner.
Amalia Hotel (or similar) | Breakfast, Dinner
Day 8: Delphi/Nafpaktos/Olympia
Today we pass through the beautiful medieval town of Nafpaktos on our way to Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games. We’ll join a local expert to tour the archaeological site and museum at Olympia, where the games were conceived as a tribute to Hercules, son of Zeus. As an enduring link between the ancient games and today’s Olympics, the Olympic flame is still lit here in Olympia. We’ll view the impressive remains of the Gymnasium and the Temples of Hera and Zeus, as well as see the magnificent Hermes of Praxiteles, the most famous statue in the Olympia Museum. Continue with a visit to a local farm where you’ll learn about the techniques and technology used to collect grapes and make wine. After a technical and comprehensive lecture on the production of both olive oil and wine, you’ll enjoy the opportunity to taste the local wine and organically grown gourmet dishes. Later, our group will gather for an included dinner at the hotel.
Hotel Europa Ancient Olympia or similar | Breakfast, Dinner
Day 9: Olympia/Mycenae/Athens
On our way to Athens, we’ll visit the wonderfully preserved 2,300-year-old theater of Epidaurus. Our travels continue to ancient Mycenae, founded by Perseus and built with the help of the mythological Cyclops, or at least that’s what the poets say! We’ll see excavations that reveal the splendors vividly described by Homer. Sites include the Beehive Tombs, Treasury of Atreus, Lion Gate (Europe’s oldest known monument), remains of Agamemnon’s Royal Palace and the impressive fortifications of the Citadel. We’ll check-in at our city-center hotel later today.
Electra Palace Hotel or similar | Breakfast
Day 10: Athens
Our guided morning tour takes you to the famed Acropolis, a must-see UNESCO World Heritage site described as the “most striking and complete ancient Greek monumental complex still existing in our times.” We’ll see the stunning Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, the Erechtheum with its graceful Porch of Caryatids, and the ruins of the Temple of Zeus before descending the Acropolis for a panoramic drive past the Royal Palace, government buildings and elegant homes of modern Athens. Continue with a cooking class in a cozy local restaurant where you’ll cook traditional Greek food the way Greek mothers and grandmothers used to do. You’ll be encouraged to participate in the cooking process, you’ll have the opportunity to learn about Greek Mediterranean cuisine, and prepare and taste traditional Greek food. Enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore Athens on your own or consider an optional tour. Our hotel is located within easy walking distance of Plaka, Athen’s lively old town.
Royal Olympic Hotel or similar | Breakfast, Lunch
Day 11: Athens/U.S.
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the U.S. Your trip to spectacular Greece ends as you land later today.
*The tour will end for passengers who did not purchase flights on Day 11 in Athens.
We are working diligently to secure future tour dates and pricing for this itinerary. Please fill out the "Request a Future Date" form linked below and we will notify you once dates are available.
Optional Tours Customize your trip with these optional tours.
Enhance your trip with our recommended optional tours. Indicated optional tours are available to pre-book when you reserve your trip and can be added to your reservation up to final payment. This is the best option to guarantee your spot on your preferred optional tour! Optional tours require a minimum number of participants. Optional tours are non-refundable unless they do not operate.
Some optional tours can be purchased in-destination and may cost extra. The payment methods and currency information to purchase tours in-destination will be provided on final documentation.
St John’s Monastery & Grotto of the Apocalypse
- From approx. $77 Per Person
Tour the fortified Orthodox Monastery of St. John, which holds a beautiful chapel with 12th-century frescos. Halfway up the path to the monastery is the sacred grotto (cave), believed to be where St. John received his visions from Christ recorded in the Book of Revelation.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
Palace of Knossos
- From approx. $86 Per Person
Heraklion is the birthplace of the Minoan civilization, and this optional tour takes you to the colossal palace of Knossos. Its maze of 1,500 rooms is linked to King Minos and mythic characters such as the Minotaur and Labyrinth.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
- From approx. $86 Per Person
Driving along the road you will have the unique opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and the neighboring islands. A unique sight is the various layers of lava that can be seen on the face of the rock, each layer being another phase of the activity of the volcano. Built on the Caldera rim, Oia Village is an excellent example of Cycladic architecture. Explore the village walking along the cobble-stone streets and the white washed houses with blue shutters where one gets the impression that they are a beautiful travel poster. After Oia the bus will drive you up to Fira, where you will make your own way back to the ship.
AVAILABLE TO PRE-BOOK!
Cape Sounio Tour
Drive along the coastal road, passing by the wonderful beaches of Glyfada, Vouliagmeni & Varkiza, the Athenian Riviera, to the southernmost point of Attica, Cape Sounion, where the white marble pillars of the Temple of Poseidon stand. On the way, you have a splendid view of the Saronic Gulf and the little islands offshore. After visiting the Temple of Poseidon, you have time to walk at leisure on the rocky promontory of Sounion.
Athenian Callirhoe Hotel
This boutique hotel is located in the city center near cultural attractions and features a rooftop garden restaurant.
32, Kallirois Ave. & Petmeza, GR-117 43 Athens, GreeceWebsite
smarTours® is delighted to partner with Celestyal Cruises, a Greek-based, award-winning cruise company that prides itself on offering authentic experiences. Operating mid-sized vessels that are ideal for navigating the Aegean Sea and accessing Greek Island ports, Celestyal offers onboard dining, bars, entertainment and activities, beauty salon, swimming pool, fitness center and more. All-inclusive meals and drinks, cozy cabins and warm Greek hospitality will enhance your cruising experience.Website
Amalia Hotel Delphi
Located at the foot of Mount Parnassus, this 180-room hotel features panoramic views to the sea from room balconies and public areas.
1, Apollonos Street, Delphi, 33054, GreeceWebsite
Hotel Europa Ancient Olympia
1 Drouva Ancient, Archea Olimpia 270 65, GreeceWebsite
Departing the U.S.: For the safety of everyone in the group, smarTours has implemented COVID-19 travel requirements which apply to all tours regardless of destination. To learn more, click here.
Please note destination entry requirements are changing rapidly. smarTours will communicate entry requirements in your Tour Documents 10-14 days prior to departure. For up-to-date information, please click the links below.
- Entry requirements
- State Department Travel Advisory Updates (Greece, Turkey)
- Center for Disease Control Updates & Information (Greece, Turkey)
Flights from the U.S. and back are on the following schedules. Please make sure to allow sufficient time for clearing customs and immigration if you are planning a connecting flight. We recommend at least three-and-a-half hours. Please note that flight schedules are subject to change without prior notice.
2020: Aug. 8
|Emirates||New York (EWR)||11:55PM||9:30PM|
ADVANCE SEAT ASSIGNMENT
Our selected airlines do not assign seats in advance, and smarTours is not involved in seat assignments. Seat assignments can only be arranged at the airport upon check-in.
International flights to/from the U.S. are not included. Land-only travelers are responsible for arranging entry and exit flights, as well as their arrival and departure transfers. smarTours cannot be held responsible for any damage caused by air schedule changes and delays. Unused land services are non-refundable.
Main Tour: Land-only services start upon independent check-in at Athens hotel on Day 2 of the itinerary listed on the tour page. Land-only services end after breakfast at Athens hotel on Day 11 of the itinerary listed on the tour page.
PASSPORT AND VISA INFORMATION
You must possess a passport valid for at least 6 months after the date of travel. U.S. citizens do not require visas. Non-U.S. citizens should check with the respective consulates for current visa requirements to all their travel destinations. Please remember that it is your responsibility to obtain the necessary travel documents before the trip.
TICKETS AND FINAL DOCUMENTS
Your airline tickets along with final instructions and additional travel tips will be sent to you 7–10 days before the scheduled departure of your tour. Please make sure to advise us in case your address changes.
Immunizations are not currently required. However, you may wish to consult your personal physician or local public health authorities as to their suggestions.
Expect daytime high temperatures in the 60s in April and November; 70s in May and October and 80s in September. Evenings and early mornings may be cooler.
NON-INCLUDED MEALS AND SIGHTSEEING
The hotels used on this tour offer several dining choices, with the average cost for dinner (excluding drinks) in a casual restaurant about $20–$25 per person. Your hotel will accept credit cards for your non-included meals. Optional sightseeing tours and evening activities will be offered.
CREDIT CARDS AND LOCAL CURRENCY
Hotels and some stores accept major credit cards. However, for “street shopping” you will need local currency or U.S. Dollars. Your hotels will be able to exchange cash to local currency. It is recommended that you bring along cash in small denominations.
Each passenger may bring one piece of checked-in luggage (suitcase) max. 44 pounds, and one carry-on not exceeding 18”x10”x8”. We recommend that you do not overpack and that you take a variety of casual separates with climate and comfort in mind.