loading spinner
Greece

The Best of Greece: Island Hopping in the Aegean

Program No. 20916RJ
Discover ancient relics, iconic architecture, inspired art and enduring traditions as you voyage throughout the timeless islands of Greece — a haven of antiquity.
Length
15 days
Rating (4.94)
Activity Level
Starts at
4,299
Flights start at
1,100

Your well-being is our #1 priority

To make your experience as safe as possible, we require all participants to be fully vaccinated. See our Safety Roadmap

Enroll with Confidence

We want your Road Scholar learning adventure to be something to look forward to—not worry about. Learn more

Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
airfare
Need airfare?
Our airfare tool can help. Check it out
climate
Plan ahead.
What kind of weather can you expect? Take a look!
itinerary
Please Note:
The itinerary for this program is different on certain dates.
Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 30 - May 14, 2023
Starting at
4,299
May 4 - May 18, 2023
Starting at
4,299
May 7 - May 21, 2023
Starting at
4,299
May 11 - May 25, 2023
Starting at
4,349
May 14 - May 28, 2023
Starting at
4,949
May 18 - Jun 1, 2023
Starting at
4,399
May 21 - Jun 4, 2023
Starting at
4,399
May 25 - Jun 8, 2023
Starting at
4,399
May 28 - Jun 11, 2023
Starting at
4,949
Jun 1 - Jun 15, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Jun 4 - Jun 18, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Jun 8 - Jun 22, 2023
Starting at
4,549
Sep 3 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
4,849
Sep 7 - Sep 21, 2023
Starting at
4,849
Sep 15 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
5,149
Itinerary Note

Friends of KT Whitehead

Sep 21 - Oct 5, 2023
Starting at
4,449
Sep 25 - Oct 9, 2023
Starting at
4,449
Sep 28 - Oct 12, 2023
Starting at
4,449
Oct 1 - Oct 15, 2023
Starting at
4,299
Oct 5 - Oct 19, 2023
Starting at
4,299
Oct 8 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
4,299
Oct 12 - Oct 26, 2023
Starting at
4,299
Oct 15 - Oct 29, 2023
Starting at
4,299
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 30 - May 14, 2023
Starting at
5,079
May 4 - May 18, 2023
Starting at
5,079
May 7 - May 21, 2023
Starting at
5,079
May 11 - May 25, 2023
Starting at
5,179
May 14 - May 28, 2023
Starting at
6,149
May 18 - Jun 1, 2023
Starting at
5,269
May 21 - Jun 4, 2023
Starting at
5,269
May 25 - Jun 8, 2023
Starting at
5,269
May 28 - Jun 11, 2023
Starting at
6,149
Jun 1 - Jun 15, 2023
Starting at
5,539
Jun 4 - Jun 18, 2023
Starting at
5,539
Jun 8 - Jun 22, 2023
Starting at
5,539
Sep 3 - Sep 17, 2023
Starting at
6,029
Sep 7 - Sep 21, 2023
Starting at
6,029
Sep 15 - Sep 29, 2023
Starting at
6,499
Itinerary Note

Friends of KT Whitehead

Sep 21 - Oct 5, 2023
Starting at
5,339
Sep 25 - Oct 9, 2023
Starting at
5,339
Sep 28 - Oct 12, 2023
Starting at
5,339
Oct 1 - Oct 15, 2023
Starting at
5,079
Oct 5 - Oct 19, 2023
Starting at
5,079
Oct 8 - Oct 22, 2023
Starting at
5,079
Oct 12 - Oct 26, 2023
Starting at
5,079
Oct 15 - Oct 29, 2023
Starting at
5,079

At a Glance

In the Cyclades Islands, discover where mild Aegean breezes refresh communities built among the remains of ancient civilizations and waves lap at the shores of fishing villages where traditional ways of life survive unchanged for centuries. From grand architecture to captivating archaeological sites, learn how the story of Greek civilization is the story of its islands.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Walking uphill and downhill, up to two miles per day, on uneven terrain, cobblestone and marble streets that may be slippery. Steep stairs without railings and standing for four hours per day with breaks at museum/historic sites. Participants must carry their luggage on and off the ships.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Climb the Acropolis in Athens to the Parthenon and explore the National Archaeological Museum.
  • Come ashore on the islands of Mykonos, Delos, Paros and Santorini to learn about their role in Greek civilization and conjure the ancient Minoan civilization on the island of Crete.
  • Participate in traditional music and dance and taste ouzo, a time-honored drink among Greeks.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
The Parthenon
by Mary Beard
A lively tale of the construction, significance and uses of the 2,500-year-old architectural marvel.
Travels With Epicurus
by Daniel Klein
Daniel Klein's witty meditation on the ancients, life in the Greek Islands, his favorite philosophers -- and growing old gracefully -- is also a delightful romp through the Aegean, primarily set on Hydra.
The Greek Myths, Complete Edition
by Robert Graves
A new edition of Graves' classic collection with a cover by comic book artist Ross MacDonald. This expert retelling by Graves, a poet, memoirist and the author of I, Claudius (ITL429), still remains the seminal modern translation of the mythologies of Ancient Greece.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece
by Robert Morkot
This pictorial survey of Greek antiquity, recording its culture and expansion, features dozens of full-color maps.
Ancient Greece: Art, Architecture, and History
by Marina Belozerskaya, Kenneth Lapatin
This lively illustrated guide covers the architecture, painting and sculpture of Ancient Greece from the third millennium to the end of the Hellenistic period. With 282 color and 28 black-and-white illustrations.
Greece, A Traveler's Literary Companion
by Artemis Leontis (Editor)
In this terrific anthology, 24 modern Greek writers offer a flavor of their nation, its culture and people, beautiful landscapes and rich history.
Greek, A Language Map
by Kristine K. Kershul
This durable, foldout card gives easy phonetic pronunciation for several hundred of the most commonly needed words and phrases.
The Most Beautiful Villages of Greece
by Mark Ottaway
Organized geographically, this handsome oversize picture book is an illustrated portrait of Greece with hundreds of color photographs accompanying lively essays.
The World of the Ancient Greeks
by John Camp, Elizabeth Fisher
Featuring hundreds of illustrations and invitingly short chapters on topics from the first Greeks to the Heroic Age and classical Athens. With modern color photographs of great Greek cities from Athens and Delphi to Knossos, Ephesus, Pergamum and Priene.
It's All Greek to Me
by Charlotte Higgins
With timelines, a who's who, charts and maps, this handy little primer is a thoroughly entertaining introduction to everything Greek, from poetry and drama to philosophy, history and culture.
Corelli's Mandolin
by Louis De Bernieres
This lyrical novel captures the humanity, quirks and loves of village life in the Greek islands. A satire of war, this charming and richly-colored novel is set on Cephalonia during the Italian occupation in the 1940s.
Homer the Classic
by Gregory Nagy
Harvard classics scholar Nagy considers how Homer’s poetry was greeted in its own day and in the centuries immediately following the great bard.
Eyewitness Guide Greek Islands
by Eyewitness Guides
Color photography, excellent local maps and an island-by-island synopsis of attractions make this book the one to carry with you. Includes a chapter on Athens.
Greece Map
by Michelin
A colorful shaded map of Greece, the Greek Islands and the western coast of Turkey (including Istanbul) at a scale of 1:800,000.
The King Must Die
by Mary Renault
The first in Mary Renault's trilogy of well-researched page-turners features the tale of Theseus, slayer of the Minotaur and the king of Athens. Known for her exhaustive research, Renault is an acknowledged master of historical fiction.
A Traveller's History of Greece
by Timothy Boatswain, Colin Nicolson
A nicely written survey from prehistory through the 1990s: wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed.
The Colossus of Maroussi
by Henry Miller
Miller captures the spirit and warmth of the resilient Greek people in this inspired tale of a wartime journey from Athens to Crete, Corfu and Delphi with his friend Lawrence Durrell.
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter
by Thomas Cahill
Cahill brings to life ancient Greek society and civilization through the lives and words of politicians, playwrights, a poet, a philosopher and an artist in this eloquent and absorbing tribute.
The Complete World of Greek Mythology
by Richard Buxton
With hundreds of color illustrations, site plans, genealogies and maps, this handsome, encyclopedic reference illuminates the world of the Greek gods.
Greece, Land of Light
by Nicholas Gage, Barry Brukoff
Brukoff's dramatic color photographs are paired with incisive commentary by award-winning author Nicholas Gage for this striking portrait of the people, land and history of Greece and the islands.
Print All
Map details are not available for this location.
View Map
Expand All
15 days
14 nights
30 meals
13 B 8 L 9 D
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Athens
D
Acropolis Select

Activity note: Check-in available from 2:00 PM.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, enjoy a festive Welcome Dinner. Unless otherwise noted, dinners on this program are typically a three-course set menu. Please note that water is included in the program cost at all meals.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Acropolis, Plaka, Acropolis Museum
Athens
B,L
Acropolis Select

Activity note: Walking about 2 miles including uphill along a winding trail with many well-worn steps to reach the Acropolis, no handrails; uneven, slippery 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: In the hotel dining room, our breakfast buffet offers a daily selection of breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee, tea and water.

Morning: Begin your exploration of Athens with a visit to its signature site – the Acropolis. Led by your Group Leader, climb the rocky summit to explore some of the most iconic monuments of ancient Athens. The Acropolis’ focal point is the Parthenon, built in honor of the city’s patroness Athena and completed in 432 B.C. Learn how ancient peoples transformed this site into a manifestation of Greek advancement in culture and the arts, and how this legacy lingers to the present. After our visit, we will descend from the Acropolis site and enjoy a lovely walk through the lively old quarter of Plaka on our way to lunch.

Lunch: At a local taverna.

Afternoon: Enjoy a visit to the Acropolis Museum. This museum holds the exquisite finds from the archeological site of the Acropolis, and lies over ruins of Roman and early Byzantine Athens. Your Group Leader will provide commentary on some of the most notable pieces of the museum, before providing you with some time to explore the exhibitions on your own. After our visit, we will return to the hotel, where you will have some time to freshen up and relax in your rooms. We will then gather once again before dinner, where we will take part in a lecture by a university professor from Athens.

Dinner: On your own. This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to independently explore local fare. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Ferry Ride to Mykonos, Mykonos Town
Mykonos
B,L,D
Myconian K Hotels

Activity note: Ferry ride from Piraeus to Mykonos is approximately 5 hours and 45 minutes. Today’s activities will include up to 2 hours of walking. Due to ferry scheduling there may be slight changes to the itinerary.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: We will check out of the hotel and transfer to the port of Piraeus to board a ferry to Mykonos. On the way to Mykonos, enjoy a fantastic view at a distance of the 5th century B.C. Temple of Poseidon which continues to guard all maritime routes from Athens to the islands of the Aegean. Shortly after, you will enter the world of the Cyclades, where islands such as Kea, Kythnos and Tinos will emerge from the blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Approach the stunning port of Syros, and then continue onto cosmopolitan Mykonos.

Lunch: At a local taverna.

Afternoon: Begin your exploration of the Cyclades with a lecture titled “The Cyclades in the Aegean World”. This presentation will focus on the history and architecture of the region, with some time focused on depicting what modern daily life looks like. After, we will take a wonderful walk through the picturesque white washed alleys of Mykonos Town. Awe in the many private chapels of the town, monuments to the local people’s strong Orthodox faith, before ending our walk on one of the most magnificent religious architectural ensembles of the island, Paraportiani Church.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Delos, Free Time
Mykonos
B,L
Myconian K Hotels

Activity note: Ferry ride from Mykonos to Delos is approximately 30 minutes each way. Today's activities will include up to 3 hours of walking on uneven terrain. Due to ferry scheduling there may be slight changes to the itinerary.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Depart by boat in the morning towards sacred Delos. This small island located in the center of the Aegean is one of the most important mythological, historical and archeological sites in all of Greece. Considered the birth place of Apollo and Artemis, it was a holy sanctuary and cult center during ancient times. This, in addition to its key position in the Aegean Sea, made Delos a perfect reprieve for sailors, and attracted many rich merchants interested in building their villas near the sanctuaries of their gods. During an expert-led excursion, explore the ruins of ancient Delos and learn more about this important commercial and religious crossroad in the Eastern Mediterranean. After, we will board a ferry once again and return to Mykonos.

Lunch: At a local taverna.

Afternoon: Free Time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most in Mykonos. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Ferry Ride to Paros, Parikia
Paros
B,L,D
Hotel Aegeon

Activity note: Ferry ride from Mykonos to Paros is approximately 45 minutes. Today’s activities will include up to 2 hours of walking and some stairs. Due to ferry scheduling there may be slight changes to the itinerary.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Check out of the hotel and transfer to the port of Mykonos to board a ferry to the island of Paros.

Lunch: At a local taverna.

Afternoon: We will continue our Cycladic experience with a pleasant walk through Parikia, the capital of Paros and one of the most attractive towns in the Cyclades. During this walk we will visit the church of Panagia Ekatontapiliani, an important pilgrimage site in the Orthodox world that was founded in the 4th century A.D. by the mother of Constantine the Great, Saint Helen. Our stroll will take us through narrow streets decorated with beautiful bougainvilleas until we reach a typical island taverna, where we will be greeted with a sip of ouzo – a dry, anise-flavored aperitif that is a symbol of Greek culture.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Lefkes, Naoussa, Free Time
Paros
B,L
Hotel Aegeon

Activity note: Walking for 2 hours on uneven terrain on sloping and inclined paths. Several ascends and descends.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: We will drive to the traditional mountain village of Lefkes, the capital of Paros during the Middle Ages. This beautiful town is decorated in whitewash houses and windmills, traditional Venetian architecture, as well as charming cafés and tavernas along narrow cobblestone streets. On our way to Lefkes, we will stop at Paros’ marble quarry, a major source of the island’s wealth and an inspiration for many sculptural masterpieces. After our visit to Lefkes, we will depart by coach to the quaint fishing village of Naoussa.

Lunch: At a local taverna. This meal will include a cooking demonstration.

Afternoon: We will return to our hotel, where we will enjoy a lecture on the ancient traditions of food and wine in the Aegean. The rest of the afternoon will be at leisure for you to explore independently.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Ferry Ride to Santorini, Fira, Oia
Santorini
B,L,D
Daedalus Hotel

Activity note: Ferry ride from Paros to Santorini is approximately 3 hours and 30 minutes. Today’s activities will include up to 2 hours of walking and some stairs. Due to ferry scheduling there may be slight changes to the itinerary.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: We will check out of our hotel and board a ferry to the island of Santorini. Also known as “Thera”, this quintessential Greek isle received its distinctive crescent shape after an ancient volcanic explosion.

Lunch: Depending on ferry schedules, lunch will be a boxed lunch or take place onboard the ferry.

Afternoon: Set out on a walking field trip of Fira, the island’s vivid capital. We will then take a scenic drive north to the most picturesque village of Santorini, Oia. Known worldwide for its iconic blue dome houses, Oia offers unique architectural complexes, elegant art galleries, fashion shops, cozy cafes, and gourmet restaurants.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Akrotiri, Wine Tasting, Greek Music and Dancing
Santorini
B,D
Daedalus Hotel

Activity note: Walking for 3 hours, some stairs.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: We will begin our day with a field trip to the excavations of Akrotiri. Sometimes called the “Pompeii of the Aegean”, this Minoan city was destroyed and buried in ash during a volcanic eruption sometime in the 16th century B.C. Today’s remains are surprisingly well preserved, and include a series of three and four story buildings, houses supplied with a fresh water and drainage system, and many wonderful frescoes. After our visit to the archeological site, we will continue onto the Prehistoric Museum of Thera to view some of the most important finds from Akrotiri.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: We will make our way to the cliffs of Santorini, where one of the best-known wineries of the island is located. Wine has been produced in this region since ancient times, and became renown during the Middle Ages as a result of Venetian influence and trade in the island. Enjoy an opportunity to taste some of the finest types of Santorini wine, followed by some local meze (appetizers).

Dinner: Celebrations in Greece center around food, song and family. Enjoy a lively evening with dinner, local music and folk dancing.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Pyrgos, Kamari, Ferry Ride to Heraklion
Heraklion
B,D
Lato Boutique Hotel

Activity note: Ferry ride from Santorini to Heraklion/Crete: 1 hour, 35 minutes. 1 hour, 15 minutes of steep walking on uneven terrain, and many stairs with no handrails. Due to ferry scheduling there may be slight changes to the itinerary.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: We will begin our day with a field trip to the traditional village of Pyrgos. Led by your Group Leader, take a walking excursion of the town while discussing the issues surrounding vanishing village life in the Greek islands. After some time to explore on your own, we will transfer to Kamari in the southeast side of Santorini, where we will enjoy the beachside and have an opportunity to swim in the pristine waters.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: We will depart by coach to Athinios port, where we will board our ferry for Heraklion, Crete. Upon arrival, we will transfer to our new hotel and take some time to relax and settle into our rooms. Before dinner, we will meet at the panoramic rooftop of the hotel, where your Group Leader will give an interesting lecture about history and traditions in Crete. Be introduced to the incredible and fragrant world of the herbs of Crete.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Knossos, Free Time, Cooking Show
Heraklion
B,L
Lato Boutique Hotel

Activity note: Walking and standing for 2 hours, some stairs without railings.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Discover Crete’s best-known archeological site, Knossos. The palace of Knossos was once the ceremonial and political center of the Minoan civilization, but was abandoned in the Late Bronze Age (1,380 – 1,100 B.C.) for unknown reasons. Its location and confusing architectural design have made many believe this is the legendary home of King Minos and the site of the famed labyrinth in which he placed his son, the Minotaur. After our visit, we will gain a contemporary vision of traditional island life with an excursion to the village of Myrtia.

Lunch: Enjoy a delicious lunch at a family-run taverna, where all produce is grown in the family’s local garden. This meal will include a cooking demonstration of several recipes.

Afternoon: We will return to Heraklion, where you will have free time to explore independently. Your Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. After returning to the hotel and before dinner, we will meet up once again to listen to a presentation by a local expert on the flora and fauna of the island of Crete.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Gortyna, Phaistos, Vori
Heraklion
B,L,D
Lato Boutique Hotel

Activity note: Walking and standing for 3 hours on uneven terrain, many stairs without railings.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: This morning we will board a motorcoach and set out to explore the remains of two ancient Minoan cities. We will first visit the ancient city of Gortyna, once one of the most important cities in Crete, which holds a history of more than 6,000 years. This site is believed to be the birthplace of European civilization, as legend holds that it is where Zeus’ kidnapped and had an affair with princess Europa – the namesake of the continent. From this affair, Europa would give birth to the three Minoan kings of Crete: Minos, Rhadamathys, and Sarpedon. Besides its link to mythology, Gortyna is also famous for its “Gortyn Code”, discovered in the 19th century, which is the oldest and most complete example of ancient Greek law. After this visit, we will make our way to the archeological site of Phaistos, the second largest city of Minoan Crete. Built high atop a hill, this city provides a fantastic view of the Lasithi mountains in the east of the island and the small villages of the south. Just as Knossos is believed to be the home of legendary King Minos, Phaistos is believed to be the home of ancient King Rhadamathys.

Lunch: We will hop on a motorcoach to the picturesque town of Matala, where we will have lunch at a local taverna.

Afternoon: We will make our way to Vori and explore the Vori Ethnological Museum. This museum perfectly weaves the customs and traditions of the island of Crete, celebrating daily life on the island through exhibits that showcase food, architecture, and art. After, led by your Group Leader, enjoy a walk through the town of Vori and encounter the remains of old Venetian houses. There may be an opportunity to swim this afternoon, so be sure to bring your bathing suits.

Dinner: In the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Rethymnon, Chania, Ferry Ride to Piraeus-Athens
At Sea
B,D
FB Elyros

Activity note: Ferry ride from Heraklion/Crete to Piraeus is approximately 9 hours (overnight ferry). Today’s activities will include up to 3 hours of walking. Due to ferry scheduling there may be slight changes to the itinerary.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Begin your day with a visit to the old town of Rethymnon, one of the few preserved Renaissance cities in all of Greece. See the stunning architecture of this area, which bears a strong Venetian and Ottoman influence and style.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: We will then head towards Chania, a charming port on Crete’s western coast. Enjoy a walking excursion of Chania’s old neighborhood, including a 16th century Venetian church, the local market, and the old ship harbor with a beautiful lighthouse. Before dinner, enjoy some time to explore Chania independently.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: We will head to the port and board the overnight ferry that will take us to Piraeus-Athens.

DAY
14
National Archeological Museum, Free Time
Athens
B,D
Acropolis Select

Activity note: Walking and standing for 2 hours, some stairs without railings.

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: We will transfer from the Piraeus port to the National Archeological Museum. This museum holds the richest collection of artifacts from Greek antiquity in the world, showcasing over 20,000 pieces from multiple archeological sites in the country.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, enjoy a Farewell Dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
15
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.