20441
Greece
The Jewels of the Cyclades
Enjoy lectures and expert insight on the ancient wonders of the Aegean, learning about volcanic islands, picturesque villages, sacred monuments and the myths of classical Greece.
Program No. 20441RJ
Length
12 days
Starts at
5,295
Special Offer
Flights start at
FREE
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12 days
11 nights
28 meals
10 B 8 L 10 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Flight
In Flight
DAY
2
Orientation and Welcome Dinner
Athens
D
Athens Plaza Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check in from 2:00 p.m. If your flight arrives in the morning, your hotel room may not be ready for check-in until later in the day. The hotel is on the main square with numerous opportunities to eating/exploring.

Afternoon: After checking in to the hotel and getting your room, take some time to freshen up and relax before our Orientation session. Orientation: 6:00 p.m. We will meet in the lobby where the Group Leader will take us to our meeting room, greet everyone, and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Our Group Leader, a local expert, will also serve as our Study Leader, giving lectures and leading field trips. Land transportation will be via motorcoach unless specified otherwise. Weather conditions in the Aegean Sea can change rapidly, with the possibility that the ship’s captain may have to alter our itinerary to avoid high seas for the safety of all aboard. Sailing and docking schedules will depend on port and weather conditions and may vary from what has been planned. At some locations, tenders may be used to go ashore; ship’s staff will be available to provide assistance. In addition to lectures and field trips exclusively for our Road Scholar group, you are invited to take advantage of the many activities and events aboard ship that are separate from the Road Scholar program. Periods in the daily schedule designated as “Free Time” and “At Leisure” indicate when you can choose to do what you like and make your experience as personally meaningful, rewarding, and memorable as possible according to your preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll enjoy a meal served family style to sample Greek cuisine; wine, coffee, mineral water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Acropolis
Athens
B,L,D
Athens Plaza Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking about 2 miles including uphill along a winding trail with many well-worn steps to reach the Acropolis, no handrails; uneven and rocky at the top; standing up to 2 hours. At the Acropolis Museum, walking and standing for more than an hour. Popular sites may be crowded at certain periods.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet includes hot and cold items plus milk, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll begin our exploration of Athens and Greece with a field trip to its most iconic site, the Acropolis, and begin our climb to the top where we’ll see a number of temples, the most famous of which is the Parthenon, dedicated to the city's patroness, the goddess Athena. We’ll also visit the new Acropolis Museum, completed in 2007, down the hill. Its impressive galleries exhibit items from the permanent collection from great works of sculptural art to objects of everyday life.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we'll have a family style meal with dishes shared at the table plus wine or beer, coffee, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At the hotel, we’ll have a plated meal with coffee, tea, water; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Delphi Field Trip, Temple of Apollo
Athens
B,D
Athens Plaza Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. The drive to/from Delphi is about 111 miles (179km), approximately 2 hours depending on traffic; rest stops included. Walking up to 2 miles; inclined terrain, uneven ground, stairs with no railings, standing in museum.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: Upon arriving in Delphi, we’ll walk along the Sacred Way to visit the treasuries, the place of offerings, the Grand Temple of Apollo, and the theater. Our field trip will continue with a visit to the Delphi Archaeological Museum housing priceless artifacts. Delphi was considered the center of the world for the Ancient Greeks and home to the Oracle of Apollo. Delphi was home to the Pythian Games, one of the four Pan-Hellenic Games including the Olympic Games at Athens. The influence of the Oracle of Delphi reached across the Greek Empire and nearby kingdoms.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Afternoon: Returning to Athens, the remainder of the afternoon is free.

Dinner: Hotel plated meal.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
5
National Archaeological Museum, Embark M/S Galileo
Athens
B,L,D
Galileo

Activity note: Pack passport and any medications in hand luggage today. Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 1 mile, standing in museum.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: We will check out of the hotel and transfer our luggage to the motorcoach, then depart on a field trip to the National Archaeological Museum of Athens. One of the world’s great museums, it is the largest in Greece with the finest collection of Greek artifacts anywhere — more than 11,000 exhibited pieces. The museum traces the development of human creativity and civilization from pre-history to Late Antiquity. We will explore with an expert to see an impressive array of archaeological and artistic treasures.

Lunch: At a local restaurant, we’ll have a plated lunch with wine and water included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: We’ll transfer to Marina Zea and board the M/S Galileo, our classic motor sailer. After completing embarkation procedures and getting your cabin, take some time to freshen up. We’ll then gather for a welcome drink meet members of the crew and our fellow passengers. We will join in the ship’s safety drill when announced before sailing. Our first port is the picturesque island of Poros, where we’ll have a brief stop and explore the area of town near the port with our Group Leader. The ship will then sail to Poliegos where we will arrive in the morning.

Dinner: Aboard ship, dinners will be eaten in the open seating dining room. Most will be buffets, with choices of salads, vegetarian, and meat or seafood entrees, dessert, and coffee, tea, and water. The first and last dinners on board will include a glass of wine, with other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. On some evenings, we’ll have music or movies. On others, we’ll relax and marvel at the night sky as we continue our voyage.

DAY
6
Poliegos, Folegandros
Poliegos
B,L,D
Galileo

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles, up/down steeply inclined, uneven, cobbled streets. Swimming at a beach

Breakfast: Aboard ship, the breakfast buffet will include a variety of hot and cold items such as eggs, fruit, meats, yogurt, cereals, juice, coffee, tea, water.

Morning: We’ll stop at the small, uninhabited island of Poliegos, notable for its attractive beaches, and go swimming before returning to the ship.

Lunch: Aboard ship, we’ll have a traditional barbecue lunch.

Afternoon: Later in the afternoon, we’ll arrive at the steep, rocky island of Folegandros, only about 12 square miles (32 square km) but bursting with beauty and charm, truly a hidden gem. We’ll disembark and explore the picturesque Upper Town, walking along its winding streets amid whitewashed houses.

Dinner: At a traditional Greek taverna in Folegandros.

Evening: At leisure. The ship will overnight in Folegandros.

DAY
7
Santorini
Santorini
B,L,D
Galileo

Activity note: Going ashore in Santorini may require the use of a tender, requiring climbing in/out of it; assistance provided as needed. Walking up to 2 miles; uneven, cobblestone streets; standing in archaeological site.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll disembark in Santorini to explore its capital, Fira, perched on the edge of the volcanic caldera. Led by an expert, we’ll have a short walk through town and visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thera that exhibits artifacts from archaeological excavations at the ancient village of Akrotiri on the southern side of the Island. Akrotiri was covered during the volcanic eruption c. 1627 BCE that preserved many objects including wall paintings and numerous objects of everyday life.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We’ll drive through the village of Pyrgos on the northern coast to Oia, the most picturesque village on Santorini. We’ll explore the village with a local expert and take in the amazing views over the caldera. We’ll also have some free time before our return drive to Fira and reboarding the ship.

Dinner: Aboard ship. The ship will overnight in Santorini.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Antiparos-Paros
Antiparos
B,L,D
Galileo

Activity note: Getting on/off a motorcoach. Walking up to 2 miles; uneven cobblestone streets. Swimming from the ship.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ve arrived in the enchanting bay of Antiparos, a small island in the heart of the Cyclades just a nautical mile from Paros. We’ll have an opportunity to go swimming in the bay from the ship.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: After arriving in Paros in the Parikia port, we’ll set out on a field trip and take the inland road to the characteristic mountain village of Lefkes. Off the beaten tourist track, it retains its distinctive mix of old Venetian architecture – from the days when Venice ruled the seas – and typically Greek whitewashed houses. We’ll walk through the town square. Next, we’ll ride to the picturesque fishing village of Naoussa and its quaint, tiny port. Led by an expert, we’ll walk along its narrow streets to see whitewashed houses, the colorful harbor, and many churches. On the way back to Parikia, we’ll visit the fascinating Byzantine Church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani, one of the greatest early Christian monuments in Greece. The original church was established in the 4th century CE and dedicated to Saint Helena, mother of the Emperor Constantine. We’ll return to the ship with time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. We’ll enjoy a Greek night with music and dancing. The ship will overnight in Paros.

DAY
9
Delos, Mykonos
Mykonos
B,L,D
Galileo

Activity note: Disembarking in Delos requires a tender. Walking up to 2 miles; varied terrain.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We expect to reach the sacred island of Delos early morning. Delos was one of the best known Sanctuaries of Apollo, God of the Sun, music and poetry. During our field trip, we’ll have an onsite lecture and explore the amazing remains here including the Marble Lions, the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Temple of Isis and impressive mosaics. We’ll also have some free time for personal independent exploration before returning to the ship, then sail the short distance to Mykonos.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity to see and do what interests you most on Mykonos. It has been inhabited since at least the 5th millennium BCE and had a prominent place in Greek mythology. It was named for the island’s legendary first ruler, said to be the grandson of Apollo. It has also been the most famous of the Greek islands since the 1930s when it became a favorite vacation spot for the era’s artistic, rich, and famous, attracted by the exceptional natural beauty and landscapes filled with the traditional architecture of white-washed houses, churches, windmills, and picturesque harbor that have changed little. After World War II, it became even more popular and developed a reputation as the most cosmopolitan place in Greece. You might like to go for a walk along the harbor and wander along the narrow, cobblestone lanes.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. The ship will overnight in Mykonos.

DAY
10
Syros
Syros
B,L,D
Galileo

Activity note: Walking up to 2 miles; potentially slick, marble streets.

Breakfast: Breakfast aboard the ship.

Morning: The South Aegean region of Greece encompasses the Cyclades and Dodecanese groups of islands. The town of Ermoupoli on Syros is the regional capita. After arriving, we’ll set out on a walking field trip to see the wonderful architecture of old mansions, marble paved streets, grandiose marble squares, imposing churches, monuments, statues, and well preserved neoclassical buildings. As the first city in what was called the “new Greece” following the revolution of 1821, Ermoupoli (Hermoupolis) became a leading port, center of economic development, and cultural capital. Eleftherios Venizelos, a leader of the Greek national liberation movement and later Prime Minister, said Greece was reborn here.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will walk to visit magnificent Miaouli Square, one of the most beautiful in Greece, named for Admiral Andreas Miaouli, a hero of the Greek War of Independence. Its most prominent feature is the imposing Town Hall, designed by the famous Bavarian architect Ernst Ziller. Construction began in 1876 and was completed in 1898. The square has become the heart of the island’s social life. We’ll also walk to visit the nearby Theater Apollon (Apollo) on Vardaki Square, a living symbol of the island’s cultural richness. Some sources say it was designed by Italian architect Pietro Sampo while others say French architect Chabeau. Regardless, it was inspired by leading 19th century opera houses of Italy including La Scala of Milan and opened in 1864.

Dinner: Aboard ship.

Evening: At leisure. The ship will overnight in Syros.

DAY
11
Kythnos
Athens
B,L,D
Galileo

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: Arriving at the island of Kythnos, we’ll have an opportunity to swim in Kolones bay.

Lunch: Aboard ship.

Afternoon: We sail back to Marina Zea in Athens via Cape Sounion, home to the temple of Poseidon, that we can see from the ship.

Dinner: Aboard ship, we’ll gather for our farewell dinner together and share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for disembarkation and departure in the morning. The ship will dock in Athens for the night.

DAY
12
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Disembarkation by approximately 8:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Aboard ship.

Morning: We’ll complete disembarkation procedures and transfer to the airport. This concludes our program. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!