Santorini Greece Vacations
Arrive in Athens and let the dream begin. The arid hills outside of the city are lined with olive trees giving the air a gentle floral scent that drifts along the terrain. You can see the Acropolis rising above the Old City, the pillars of ancient temples whitewashed against the open sky like clouds. The modern city surrounds the majestic antiquity blending the proud past with the friendly present. Walk along the Plaka, beneath the Acropolis, where the ancient buildings of Athens continue to stand and act as residences. You can practically imagine the men touting their restaurants, dressed in togas, proselytization the flavors of their restaurants. The cobblestones give an echo to each step. The scent of roasted meats and drizzled olive oil beckons to you. The delicacies of Greece are at your command; for a rich and unforgettable taste of Athens, sit along the lively pedestrian street of Drakou with the sensational delights at Skoumbri. The seafood is fresh, from zesty calamari to a burst of umami with each bite of grilled bream. Let the city pass you by as you blend into the feeling of seclusion amidst the dreamlike history.
What’s Included: accommodation, transfer
Day 2: Private Thoughts of Antiquity
Delve into the majesty of history that sits within the enclosed spaces and out in the open air giving the entire city of Athens a museum-like quality. Your private tour begins within the walls of the new Acropolis Museum, where each room is bursting with statues and mosaics, busts and texts, filled with knowledge and ancient wonder taken from right where you’re standing, all wrapped inside the subtle musk of antiquity. The white marble stares out at you from stoic faces that represent the western world’s ideology of knowledge, steeped in the mythological quality that enshrouds ancient Athens. Out the window you can see the pillars of the Acropolis looming over the museum.
Follow your guide up the hillside, each step bringing you closer to the fantastic temples atop the plateau. Stand beneath the Propylaea, the official entryway to the courtyard. Walk beneath the pillars, the thick, large frames more imposing than you ever imagined. Step into the open air of the Acropolis where to the left stands the Erechtheion, the temple dedicated to both Athena and Poseidon. After they debated whom should be the god of Athens; they let the city decide, and now an olive tree grows next to the temple to commemorate Athena’s gift to the people.
On the right you will come toe to toe with the central image of Greek’s past, the Parthenon, dedicated to Athena, connecting you to Greece in the privacy of your imagination. Stroll around the commanding columns. The portico is elevated, the pediment offering displays of horses and men, woman and knowledge. In your mind you can feel the crowd dissipate, giving you a quiet moment to encircle one of the most famous structures in history, made to be perceived as perfect from every angle. Eventually the crowd returns around you, the history of the acropolis revealed, and you make your way down the hill, stopping at the Pnyx, a small, rocky hill that was used as a meeting place for Athens’s democratic assembly. End your tour in Syntagma Square at the base of the Parliament building where the patient faces of Greek statues return in the form of the palace guards. Every hour their silence is replaced by orders and marching, changing the guards with precision and choreographed movement, giving the end of your private tour another quality enchantment.
What’s Included: accommodation, transfer, tour
Day 3: The Mind on Mykonos
Indulge in the rich treats of breakfast where the enticing aroma of citrus lingers around the fresh squeezed orange juice. The velvety feta gives a sublime umami touch to the morning. After your meal you will whisper antio (goodbye) to Athens and open your arms with a bright Kalimera! (good morning) to Mykonos. A private transfer will have you situated and comfortable within your five-star accommodation, the glimmering sea displaying three shades of blue. The sand is pure white, embracing the gentle rush of water that runs along the shore. The hills of Mykonos roll and fade into the ocean, the sweet perfume of the sea mixing with the arid, and slightly citrusy, terrain.
Day 4: Meet the Sun(god)
The morning brings the inviting aroma of fresh Greek coffee, the sweet and rich flavor reminding you of the stunning sea outside your accommodation; as if you would need to be reminded. Mykonos is yours to explore, with plenty of secluded beaches to indulge in, luxurious restaurants to dine in, and tiny, cobblestone streets to get lost on. Even with so much to discover there is also a chance to visit the special, uninhabited island of Delos, the birthplace of Apollo.
A short boat ride along the cool winds of the water brings you to the remains of a once prominent and prosperous trading port. Mosaics decorate the floors with geometric shapes, colors bouncing off of the marble. Lion statues stand poised, guarding the Sacred Lake where Apollo and Artemis were born. The island once attracted pilgrims from all over Greece attempting to reach and pay homage to Apollo's sanctuary. A gentle breeze winds through the ruins. An almost perfect façade of pillars and portico stands tall above the strewn boulders, a remnant of the wealthy and almost forgotten past. Within the museum you can see the smooth marbled bodies of Artemis, gracefully hunting, her hair raised, her hand poised, along with the tapestries and frescos that once made the island shine.
Day 5: The Desirable Beauty of Mykonos
The whole of Mykonos is once again at your pleasure and leisure, dressed and set for your desire to visit its dreamy beaches or to meander its sensual streets. Whether you feel like strolling along the unique and secluded labyrinth of Mykonos Town or lounging on the beaches beneath the comforts of sunscreen and an umbrella, let loose and let yourself wander; there is no reason why you couldn’t try it all. Set along the shores of Paradise Beach, one of the most famous beaches in all of Mykonos, you can place your feet in the hot sand, sit beneath the cool shade of the umbrellas, and sip the ice cold drink prepared just for you. Dip your toes into the water and feel the refreshing chill against the beat of the sun. Relax on your personal lounge or watch people saunter by as you sit along the boardwalk. If you prefer more seclusion, you can enjoy the empty stretch of sand at Fokos, where the water drifts from turquoise to sea-foam, and back again, situated far from the vibrant bustle of the south shores.