September 17 - 29, 2012
Academic Travel Abroad
- This trip involves
considerable walking. You should be in good physical condition to
enjoy this trip to the fullest.
No Longer Taking Reservations
Visitors to Greece often dash from one ancient site to another or shuttle
from island to island to see amazing treasures and glorious landscapes, but
miss out on the real Greece. There is another way! In a small group of no more than 16, see
glorious antiquities, dip into island life, and
discover the cultural threads that tie today’s Greek society to the ancient
Days are designed with a balance between guided outings to major sites and
time on your own. Through conversations with friendly locals, cooking and
language lessons, concerts, and leisurely meals in private homes, host Eleni
Zachariou will guide you through relaxed days filled with rich experiences. An
Athens native, acclaimed guide and expert on Byzantine and Classical Greece,
Eleni will share her Athens and also
welcome you to her charming second home set in olive groves on the beautiful
island of Aegina, an hour’s ferry ride from the city.
Sip rich coffee at corner cafés, browse antiques in hidden shops, and explore
small, gem-like museums: discover the hidden, authentic, Athens. By the time
you leave, you’ll be navigating the city like a native, with a deep
appreciation for this ancient (and modern!) Mediterranean culture.
Days 1 & 2 - Travel
Deeper to Athens and Meet the Zachariou’s
Depart the U.S. and arrive in Athens the following day. Check into your
charming, family-run hotel in a residential neighborhood in central Athens.
Tonight, join Eleni and your fellow travelers for aperitifs on the hotel’s
terrace overlooking the Acropolis.
Day 3 -
Athens: The Acropolis
Learn close up about one of Western civilization’s most recognizable sites,
the Acropolis! You’ll be surprised at the size of the massive Parthenon and the
subtlety of its design. From the Holy Rock, take in panoramic views over all
Athens. Back in your own neighborhood see how the exquisite sculptures from the
Acropolis—displayed in the spectacular new (2009) Acropolis Museum—offer
another perspective on ancient Athens.
Day 4 -
Athens: National Archaeological
Museum, Taverna lunch, a Walk through Antiquity, and Classical Music
The golden treasures of Mycenae and other priceless artifacts await during
a private visit to Greece’s National Archaeological Museum, where Eleni weaves
fascinating stories of their history. Later, the owner/chef of a local taverna
displays pans brimming with colorful dishes for diners to make their choices.
Learn the Greek names for popular dishes as you savor the specialties. Stroll
back to your hotel, walking right past Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Olympian
Zeus, and the Stadium where the first modern Olympics were held. Tonight hear
classical music at Athens’ world-class Concert Hall.
Day 5 -
Argolis: Corinth, Mycenae,
Travel into the countryside to the Argolis district to visit three
legendary sites. Cross the Corinth Canal and then stroll the marble streets of
10th century Corinth, once the richest port of ancient Greece. At
Mycenae, be amazed at the “cyclopean” walls made of stones so massive they were
deemed too large for humans to lift. Lovers of drama are thrilled by Epidaurus,
where the 15,000-seat theater’s acoustics are so amazing the sound of a match
struck at center stage can be heard by those seated in the back row!
Day 6 -
Marathon, Sunset at Cape
Sounion, and Ouzo at the Zachariou’s
Retrace the route of the first marathon. Legend has it that a runner
delivering the news of the Greek victory over the Persians in 490 BC, ran the
26 mile route, announced the news, and promptly expired. Then head toward Cape
Sounion for a spectacular view of the sun setting over the sea behind the famed
Temple of Poseidon. This evening meet local Athenians as you sip ouzo and share
meze at the home of Eleni’s son, Stelios.
Day 7 -
Athens: Greek Orthodox
Service and Markets Old and New
Incense and flickering candles fill
the air at the Metropolitan Cathedral of Athens on Sunday mornings.
Attend the ancient and complex Greek Orthodox service today, with Eleni there
to guide you through the rituals. Walk through the Agora, the ancient Athenian
marketplace, and along the narrow market streets of the Plaka, the oldest
corner of modern Athens. This evening, join a local expert for an introduction
to Greece’s financial situation followed by a lively session of Q&A.
Day 8 -
Aegina: Life in a Fishing
A quick ferry ride takes you to the island of Aegina for a two-day
interlude to experience Greek village life. Eleni lives here part-time, so you
are welcomed to the charming, rose-colored island hotel as a family guest,
rather than a tourist. See the stunning Temple of Aphaea, which predates the
Parthenon and has splendid views. Sample fresh Aegean seafood, visit a pottery
workshop, see how pistachios are cultivated at a local orchard, and soak up the
rhythms of a quiet afternoon at a local café.
9 - Aegina: School Visit, Markets, Cooking Class
Children are another fascinating window into Greek culture. Visit with
students today to see what they are learning, and find out whether they’re more
into pistachios or Hannah Montana. Stop at a pastry shop to sample flaky
baklava and then visit the local farmers and fish markets to choose ingredients
for a cooking class in Eleni’s kitchen. Learn to prepare savory taramosalata,
phyllo cheese triangles, minty meatballs, baked anchovies, and more—so you can
enjoy the tastes of Greece when you’re back home. Local friends join you for
lunch on the terrace before an afternoon ferry to Athens.
Day 10 -
Athens: Parliament, Benaki
This morning join Eleni’s son Stelios, a specialist in Modern Greek
History, for a fascinating talk on Greek-American relations over breakfast.
Then visit the Greek Parliament, housed in the gorgeous Old Royal Palace. Have
lunch on the rooftop terrace of the Benaki Museum, a former private mansion,
where you’ll see an elegant art collection illustrating the character of the
Greek world through a spectacular historical panorama.
Day 11 –
Create Your Day!
Today create your own experience in the city, on the sea, or out in the
countryside. Explore Delphi or another site you’ve always dreamed of visiting.
Discover a quiet beach, join a day cruise on the sparkling Aegean, or sample a
collection of art galleries in the city. We’ll be happy to arrange it for you.
Or, simply spend the day exploring a quiet corner of Athens, where you’re now
feeling so at home.
Day 12 -
Athens: Scavenger Hunt,
Monastery Walk, Farewell
Visit your favorite sites in Athens to search for clues during a scavenger
hunt, followed by a festive farewell lunch in the Plaka, featuring all the
foods that have captivated your palate. Join Eleni for a stroll on the garden
grounds of another Byzantine monastery, just 15 minutes from the center of
Athens, but a world away in its quiet atmosphere. Reflect on all that the
modern world has gained from Greece, and on all that you personally have gained
Day 13 -
Return to the U.S.
If you want more time in Greece (and who doesn’t?), stay on your own for a
few more days now that you’re comfortable in the culture and savvy about
getting around. Some popular destinations are Crete, the Cycladic Islands
(including Santorini and Mykonos), the monasteries of Meteora, and the island
of Rhodes near the Turkish coast. We are happy to help you design an itinerary
to make your dreams come true.
What Is Included
11 breakfasts; 2 dinners; 8 lunches; accommodations in carefully-selected
four-star hotels, based on double occupancy; all special visits and excursions
with expert guides; all transportation outlined in the itinerary; language
lessons; pre-trip notes and guidelines; service charges, taxes and basic
What Is Not Included
Airfare to and from your home; passport photos and fees; visa photos and
fees as required; meals other than specified; personal items such as wines,
liquors, a-la-carte orders, room service, and valet/laundry charges; expenses
incurred by Academic Travel Abroad in making individual travel arrangements in
conjunction with the tour; other items not specifically mentioned as included.
Accommodations and Meals
Your home in Athens is the Herodion, a
comfortable, family-run, four-star hotel that takes pride in its warm
hospitality. Located in a quiet residential neighborhood at the base of the
Acropolis, it is a short walk from the hotel to the Plaka, the new Acropolis
Museum, and the Acropolis subway station, allowing easy access to the rest of
Athens. The hotel’s lovely rooftop terrace offers stunning views up to the
Acropolis and features lounge chairs and two Jacuzzis for relaxing. By spending
nearly two weeks at the welcoming Heoridon, you will get to know the owners and
find your own favorite shops, cafes and markets in the hotel’s wonderful neighborhood.
On Aegina, we’ll stay in the Archontiko
a charming, small hotel housed in a brightly colored 18th-century stone
building that was home to the shipping minister of Greece when Aegina was its
capital. Simple, comfortable rooms with tile floors are centered on a tranquil
courtyard where breakfast featuring homemade pastries is served, while a roof
terrace provides lovely views of the town.
Breakfast is included daily at the hotels. Lunches during our days of
touring will introduce you to the fun of choosing your own meat or fish
straight from the kitchen, and dinners together will allow us to share our
experiences over the virtues of the Mediterranean diet—fresh vegetables,
grains, olives and olive oil, fish, yogurt, fruit, nuts, wines, and honey. For
other meals we’ll offer recommendations and suggestions, or you can enjoy
making your own wonderful discoveries.
If you have any questions e-mail: email@example.com or call (530) 752 - 4502
Download an online brochure here: Brochure not yet available