WANDERWOMAN® GREEK MUSE TOUR FALL 2017
Greek Muse Tour – Peloponnese & Islands of Lesvos & Hydra
Women-only vacation! We’ve named this tour for the Muses, who in ancient Greek mythology are the goddesses of the inspiration of arts. The natural beauty of the Greek countryside, traditional culture, and expressions of art from ancient to modern times will be sure to stir your inner muse as we travel through Greece! So, don’t forget to bring your camera, sketch pad and/or journal. Explore the island of Lesvos (home to the tenth muse) with its mountain villages and quaint harbors. Learn Greek dancing and traditional Greek cooking. Tour archaeological sites of the Peloponnese including the doric Temple of Apollo, leader of the muses, and discover the artistic marvels of the ancient Greeks. Travel to the small island of Hydra, sometimes referred to as “the artist’s muse,” where you can relax; hike; and explore the island’s unique history. Fall is one of the best times to visit Greece; the weather is pleasant and the sun casts a warm gentle glow, as local culture is reawakening after the hot summer months.
September 25-October 4, 2017
Early booking price: $3299* Valid thru April 30th
Per person based on double occupancy
Single Supplement: $585
Optional post-tour 2-night Athens extension and/or combine with Fall Island Hopping Tour for an additional savings of $200 per person.
MUSE TOUR ITINERARY
Breakfast=B, Lunch=L, Dinner=D
ATHENS: Our meeting place is Athens International Airport (ATH) at 11:00 am on September 25, 2017. We will travel by minibus to the port and take a ferry (2 hours) to the island of Hydra. If you are unable to arrive by this time, please plan to arrive in Athens one day in advance. Before booking your flights please send your proposed itinerary to us. Cost for an additional night at our hotel in Athens is $180-$265. Other options provided on request.
Hydra, Saronic Island: 3 nights
Day 1: Arrive on the small island of Hydra, known as the artists’ muse. There are no motor vehicles on the island; donkeys carry goods and supplies, and the luggage of visitors to their hotels. The narrow alleyways that make up the main town are adorned with colorful bougainvillea and brightly painted doors. The Island is known for its art galleries and quiet life-style making it the perfect place to unwind and recover from your flight. On the first evening enjoy a welcome dinner of local specialties and an opportunity to get acquainted with fellowtravelers. (D)
Day 2: We will begin our exploration of this quaint island with visits to the Museum and Archives of Hydra and the Lazaros Koundouriotis Mansion. Both tell the fascinating history of Hydra and exhibit the works of modern Greek artists. Afternoon at leisure to explore or relax. (B)
Day 3: Enjoy a morning hike and visit one of the island’s beaches or take an optional excursion to the neighboring island of Spetses. Evening at leisure. (B)
Naflio (Nafplion), Peloponnese: 2 nights-Corinth, Epidaurus, Mycenae
Day 4: Morning water taxi from Hydra to the Peloponnese (20 minutes). We will tour the archaeological site of Epidaurus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the ancient Greek and Roman periods the site was renown as a center of healing. The theatre at Epidaurus epitomizes Greek artistic expression. This architectural masterpiece beautifully integrates perfection of portions with acoustics. From the top bench of the theatre it is possible to hear a coin drop on the floor of the orchestra below. Next we continue to the town of Nafplio, the first capital of modern Greece, situated on the Argolic Gulf in the northeast Peloponnese. Our traditional-styled hotel is located in the charming old town, which is one of the best-preserved 19th century towns in all of Greece. (B, L)
Day 5: With Nafplio as our base, we’ll tour the surrounding area including the UNESCO World Heritage Site of ancient Mycenae. This ancient Greek city according to Homeric epic was “rich in gold” and ruled by King Agamemnon, who led the Greeks in the Trojan War for the return of his brother’s wife the beautiful Helen of Troy. It was in Mycenae that Heinrich Schliemann discovered the famed gold “Mask of Agamemnon.” Visit the legendary Lion Gate and Treasury of Atreus, which date to the 13th century B.C.E. Afternoon walking tour of Nafplio. (B)
Day 6: We will travel by minibus with our guide and tour the ancient site of Corinth with its 6th century B.C.E. temple of Apollo. Known as the leader of the muses, Apollo was venerated as the god sunlight, the healing arts, music, poetry, and science. Next we will cross the famous Corinthian Canal (short stop to take pictures) and travel along the Bay of Salamis on our way to Athens airport.
Molyvos, Mytilini (Lesvos): 4 nights
Day 6 continued: From Athens we fly to the island of Mytilini, also known as Lesvos. This eastern Aegean island is perhaps best know for the 6th century BCE poetess Sappho, whom Plato referred to as the tenth Muse. The island has inspired many poets, writers, and painters and continues to do so. Lesvos is the third largest of the Greek islands. It is lush, green, and rich in agriculture. Unlike some of the more visited islands of Greece, Lesvos is not solely dependent on tourism, and thus has been able to maintain a rich traditional culture.
The quaint harborside town of Molyvos will be our base for exploring the island. Our hotel is situated on the water’s edge with balconies overlooking a small harbor lined with colorful fishing boats. (B, L, D)
Day 7: After breakfast embark on a Jeep Safari exploring traditional seaside towns and mountain villages with our local guides. Visit a monastery, a thermal beach, an olive oil museum, and women’s cooperative. Enjoy a family-style lunch at a local family-run taverna. (B, L)
Day 8: Enjoy a day at leisure – optional morning hike to visit a nearby beach with ancient thermal baths and treatments, such as massages can be arranged. In the evening learn Greek dancing at a traditional taverna. (B, D)
Day 9: Today you will discover the art of Greek cooking with our local cooking teacher, Helen, at her outdoor kitchen. Pick fresh herbs and learn secrets to making healthy traditional dishes in a fun, hands-on cooking class, which culminates with a delicious celebratory meal of the foods prepared and local wine. (B, L)
Day 10: After an early breakfast, travel by minibus to the airport for our flight to Athens. We will arrive back in Athens in time for international flights departing at 11 am or later. (B)
Combine the Muse Tour with our early October Island Hopping Trip for extra savings of $200 per person! Those continuing onto Athens will transfer by minibus to our 5-star hotel in the heart of Athens beneath the Acropolis.
We hope you are able to join us!
Live, Laugh & Travel!
WHAT TO EXPECT
This small group tour for women is limited to 6-10 participants allowing you to experince Greece through local culture, small traditional-style family-owned hotels, and wonderful local restaurants. As with all of our WanderWoman® tours the pace of the itinerary is leisurely with ample time to relax or to explore the uniqueness of each island. Our travel groups are NOT motorcoach tours, although occasionally we use minibuses for locally guided tours that are included in the itineraries. This itinerary involves walking tours ranging from 1 to 4 hours on uneven terrain and climbing stairs, some of the hotels do not have elevators. Thus this tour is not suitable for those with limited mobility. In addition to included sightseeing extra tours can be arranged locally. A knowledgeable WanderWoman® group escort will accompany the tour group to attend to details and ensure you a stress-free vacation. So whether you are a first time traveler or a seasoned veteran we invite you to join us on our fall getaway to beautiful Greece!
NOTE: The inhabitants of island of Lesvos, as you may know, have gained world attention for their humanitarian aid to refugees fleeing the horrors of war in Syria. While the flow on refugees to Lesvos has essentially been stopped, there are still occasional rafts arriving on the island. Refugees who make it to Lesvos are met by the coast guard and transported to a refugee camp located near the capital city of Mytilini. By simply vacationing on the island you are supporting Greek businesses and individuals, who despite their financial crisis, have feed, clothed and sheltered women, children and men who have been forced to leave their homes. On past tours visiting Lesvos during this humanitarian crisis, we brought clothes and other needed supplies–this is optional.
GETTING TO GREECE
Although airfare to Greece is NOT included we will gladly help with making your flight arrangements. The group will meet at Athens International Airport, from where we fly to the island of Mytilini (Lesvos). The tour concludes with a transfer to Athens Airport, in time for afternoon flights home. We can assist you with any pre or post tour arrangements in Greece and beyond.
The tour price includes privately guided tours with official Greek tourist board guides of the archaeological sites of ancient Corinth, ancient Epidaurus, and Mycenae and admission fees. Other locally guided activities include a jeep safari exploring coastal & mountain villages, a Greek cooking class and Greek dancing on Lesvos. Walking tour of Nafplio. On the island of Hydra two museum tours by local experts are included. Optional activites include hiking and boat excursions.
This WanderWoman® tour is escorted by Erja Lipponen, owner & founder of Eurynome Journeys, who will attend to details to assure you a hassle-free vacation. Erja has traveled to Greece numerous times over the past 32 years, both leading groups and alone, and is looking forward to sharing some of her favorite places in Greece with you and discovering new favorites. On days that are “at leisure,” Erja will be available to arrange activities, recommend restaurants, and lead optional hikes/walks. On evening that dinner is not included a meeting time will be set of those wishing to get together for the evening meal. Visit our “About Us” page to learn more about our small group tours and about Erja.
The accommodations on this tour are in simple, traditional, Greek-style hotels and inns. We avoid the typical big-group-tour oriented hotels and stay at smaller quaint properties with local ambiance. Each hotel is within walking distance to restaurants, shops, and points of interest – giving you freedom to explore right out the door! The rooms are decorated in traditional-style. Each room is different, but all rooms have private baths, direct dial telephones, and TVs. Some of the hotels do not have elevators and are located on pedrstian streets (there are no cars on Hydra); you must be comfortable walking and be able to climb stairs.
Price is based on double occupancy for reservations received by April 30, 2017. After this date add $100 per person.
Single supplement for a private room: $585
Price includes: 9 nights accommodations in Greece; domestic transportation within Greece including ferry, minibus, and taxis, and domestic Greek flights. Also included are breakfast daily, 4 lunches & 3 healthy Mediterranean-style dinners (drinks and alcoholic beverages are not included, other than water and breakfast beverages and wine where noted above).
OPTIONAL POST-TOUR: 2-night Athens Extension
Early booking price per person sharing: $699
Single Supplement: $235
Morning transfer from Piraeus port to Athens. Two nights at our centrally located 5-star boutique hotel with spa and a roof-top swimming pool within walking distnace to the Acropolis and other points of interest. Discover the history and beauty of this ancient city on a full day walking tour including the Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, the Ancient Agora, the Plaka area with its numerous monuments, and the metro stations of Athens. Transfer to airport in time for afternoon flights home. Included meals: two breakfasts, one gourmet dinner, and one traditional Greek lunch. This Athens excursion can be combined with either the Greek Muse tour or the fall Greek Island Hopping Tour.
To reserve your space call or email Eurynome Journeys for an application form and terms and conditions. We will hold your space for up to two weeks at which time a $800 deposit per person is due. Add $100 to deposit for Athens option. Within 90 days of departure payment in full is due.Travel insurance should be purchase within 14 days of your first payment.
This is an active vacation involving walking and climbing stairs and thus requires a certain degree of physical fitness. This tour is NOT suitable for those with limited mobility. All group activities are NON-SMOKING.
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