- Explore the Acropolis in Athens on an evening tour learning about Ancient Greece
- Take to the waves on a sunset boat cruise around Paros
- Feast on fine local food, learning about Greek produce in Naxos
- Relax on the beach or potter around villages, exploring both Paros and Naxos
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Arrive in Athens and spend your first day taking a tour of the Acropolis with an expert guide, followed by a Grecian dinner at a rooftop restaurant with incredible views of the city. Continue on to Paros and learn about its intriguing ancient history while wandering through the ruins, relax on one of its many pristine beaches and see the island in its best light during a sunset boat cruise.
ARRIVAL IN ATHENS
Your Cyclades Islands adventure starts today as you head to the airport for your flight from London to Athens, which takes just under four hours. Upon arrival in Athens, hop on the train into the centre of the city and head to your hotel. Spend the remainder of the day settling in to your home for the next two nights and relaxing after your journey. Should you need any recommendations for a delicious first dinner, put our clued-up local Concierge to the test and ask them to suggest one of the best restaurants. For magnificent views across the city, there are a number of excellent rooftop restaurants.
DISCOVER ATHENS AND THE ACROPOLIS
After enjoying a leisurely breakfast at your hotel, make your way into the city centre to explore the Archaeological Museum of Athens. Built between 1866 and 1889, it houses most of the archaeological objects found in Greece. Discover the different Greek cultures and civilisations through various objects such as stone vases, bronzes, jewellery, mummies, small pottery figurines, ivory and glass objects, marble statuettes and funeral masks made with gold.
Come late afternoon, head to the Acropolis to meet your local tour guide for a private tour of one of the most important ancient sites in the Western world. The Acropolis has stood watch over Athens for nearly 3,200 years and is visible from almost anywhere in the city. A privately guided walking tour is the best way to discover the monument’s incredible history, which remains a universal symbol of the artistic architecture of the ancient Greeks. Weave your way through its impressive age-old statues, bucolic columns and temples, and imagine those who have trodden there before you. Your guide will also take you to its museum, which houses over 4,000 objects found on the ancient site. Ogle at newly discovered fragments from the Parthenon and its famous slopes, timing your exit with the setting of the sun over the historic city. As the sun sinks and the tour continues, the area takes on a honey hue and come nightfall, the whole monument stands brilliantly illuminated above Greece's capital.
Following the evening's history lesson, our local Concierge can book a table at another of the city’s top-tier restaurants, so you can replenish your energy levels with some delicious Grecian food and wine. They can also recommend some clubs and bars, should you wish to experience the Athenian nightlife.
It's an early start this morning, as you transfer back to Athens airport in time to catch your early morning flight to Paros, the next stop on your Cyclades Islands adventure. You'll be in the air for around 45 minutes, heading south east over the Aegean Sea towards the beautiful Cyclades Islands. Once you land it's time to collect your hire car and make your way to your hotel. When you have settled into your room, head out into the sun for your first day on the island - you have the rest of the day at your leisure.
A large, hilly and fertile island, Paros is peppered with the marks of many an ancient civilisation, from the Cretans and Minoans to the Macedonians and Romans, it is home to the treasures they left behind. You might want to explore the island's history or spend the day by the sea, lazing on the beach. The island's bustling capital, with its ancient ruins, is a wonderful place to while away an afternoon, as is the resort town of Naoussa and the charming rural villages that are dotted throughout the island. In Naoussa, you can dine at one of the fresh fish restaurants on the wharf. With wonderful walks on land and excellent windsurfing, kitesurfing and diving to be done in the water, there is plenty to keep you busy on this island.
BEACH DAY AND SUNSET BOAT CRUISE
Fuel up on a delicious breakfast, complete with lashings of golden Greek honey before hopping into your car. Head to one of the island’s pristine beaches, which will act as your classroom for the day. One option is to take a private windsurfing lesson on the beach, which will show you the basics before you take to the waves for your first attempt in the water. If windsurfing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other water-based activities that can be arranged, including diving, swimming and kitesurfing. Alternatively, you can while away a few hours on the beach, snoozing in the sun, or opt to explore the lovely town of Lefkes. The hilltop town clings to a natural amphitheatre, hidden in the hills beneath summits studded with old windmills. Wander through the town's pristine cobble-stoned alleyways past bright-blue doors and bright white walls. Nose around tiny shops, stopping to snap the views before hunger signals it's time for food. A local taverna is your best bet, (we can help with recommendations) serving up a feast of Greek food.
This evening features an extra special activity - a sunset boat cruise around the island. Hop aboard your boat at the port of Aliki, which will take you past small coves and golden-sand beaches. The boat will stop along the way for you to snorkel and you’ll head back to Paros in time to see the golden sun sinking beneath the horizon.
EXPLORE MORE ON PAROS
Today on your Cyclades Islands adventure you can explore more of the island. Use your hire car to visit hidden corners of the island, and our Concierge is on hand to recommend any last-minute plans. Visit Paros Park for beautiful views, hikes and crystal-clear waters.
NEXT UP, NAXOS
Pack up the car and head to Paros port to catch the ferry to Naxos, the next port of call on this Cyclades Islands adventure. The ferry crossing takes around two hours, heading east. Once you have docked you can transfer from Naxos ferry port to your hotel. The largest of the Cyclades, Naxos packs a punch – the island is home to pretty waterfront towns, Venetian mansions, mountain villages and isolated beaches – there is no shortage of things to do while staying on this jewel of the cerulean-blue Aegean. You have the rest of the day to spend as you wish, making the most of your hire car by exploring the area. End the day by stepping out onto the sun-baked cobbles, the air heavy with the scent of olive trees and humming to the sound of cicadas.
EXPLORING MORE ON NAXOS
Enjoy a leisurely start to the day, visiting the island’s picturesque beaches, charming towns and local tavernas. As the sun begins to sink in the sky, casting a golden glow over the sugar-cube houses of Naxos, it’s time to head out for an evening of food and history. A private food tasting and history tour awaits, as the table groans under the weight of the fresh produce of Naxos. The island’s high mountains (higher than others in the Cyclades) form rain clouds and more rainfall means the island is greener and more fertile than other islands in the Cyclades. The western side of the island is where the delicious Naxian potatoes are grown, while the mountainous areas yield olive oil in the winter months. Follow your expert guide through the narrow lanes of Naxos Town (or Chora), gathering fresh produce. You’ll sit down to sample local cheeses, wines and traditional dishes. The cheese and potatoes in particular are exported all over Greece. You will also be taken on a short tour of a Venetian-era castle - to learn about how the three centuries of Venetian rule on the island have shaped the culture and architecture you see today. Full up on delicious local specialties and wine, it’s time to head back to your hotel.
RELAXING ON NAXOS
Today you have the whole day to relax on this enchanting Greek isle. You might want a lazy morning followed by relaxed wandering - winding through the streets, exploring the hidden corners and stopping by the waterfront for a feast of Greek food. Naxos was the cultural centre of Classical Greece and the island is peppered with reminders of the island's historical past. You may wish to explore the ruins of bygone eras, with the island's Byzantine, Venetian and Frankish influences creating a mosaic of history to explore on your Cyclades Islands adventure. Home to the highest peak in the Cyclades, you could hike Mount Zeus, or explore the island's interior, finding the enchanting villages of Halki and Apiranthos. Or opt to simply chill on the beach. We can help with recommending restaurants and hidden beaches, so you can be sure you'll make the most of your last day on this Greek island idyll.
This morning it’s time for your last breakfast in Naxos, before packing up and hopping in your private transfer, to begin your journey home. You'll be catching a flight from Naxos to Athens, before boarding your four-hour flight back to London.
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