Greece is a magical place. It is the land of mythology and legends, the land where art, culture, architecture and humanity converge. Visiting Greece can be a wonderfully massive history lesson, an opportunity to sail the beautiful seas, visit fascinating islands, enjoy the culture, or relax in solitude. Many come to visit the mainland and view the historical sites they have learned about in school. Greece history provides the origins of the civilized world and still fascinates today. Others come to explore the many islands which are home to stories from ancient civilization and myth. Exploring Greece in luxury is one of the dreams of many who have enjoyed the mythology of the Gods. Here are five offerings of luxury experiences in Greece.
1. Luxury Mediterranean Cruise
Silversea is a fleet of small, intimate, luxury ships which sail to all seven of the Earth’s continents and over 800 destinations. The accommodations are lavish, the service unparalleled. The ships are small enough to sail into the narrow waterways which lead into the cities’ hearts, or simply tie up at piers, while other larger vessels must anchor further off shore. The fleet and company are renowned for their excellence.
The Luxury Mediterranean Cruise begins and ends in the port of Piraeus, Athens, Greece, but it includes visits to Turkey and Israel to provide the full story of the rich histories of the Mediterranean cultures. Highlights include visiting the Tomb of the Kings, the Western Wall, the Church of the Nativity, the Dead Sea, the Sea of Galilee, a theater from the reign of Marcus Aurelius and beautiful Santorini island. Shore excursions are categorized as Free Included, Small Group for in-depth adventures, and Private for those who wish to customize their itineraries with the hire of a private car and chauffeur. There are twenty-four excursions offered throughout the cruise at the ports of call. These include Agios Nikolaos, Crete; Antalya, Turkey; Alanya, Turkey; Santorini, Greece; and Athens, Greece. Six of the shore excursions are free.
Silver Suites offer 541 square feet with a veranda, located on Deck 5/6. The all-inclusive package for this suite is US$ 15, 950 per guest. The Owner’s Suite, Grand Suite, and Royal Suite are on Waitlist Fares for the October 24, 2016 departure date.
All suites include butler services, a private teak veranda, airfare and transfers from US and Canadian gateways, before the cruise hotel lodgings, gourmet cuisine in several dining venues, beverages throughout the ship and in-suite including selected wines, premium spirits, soft drinks, specialty coffees and tailored mini-bar in each suite. Live music and production shows provide entertainment, while a ratio of almost one crew member per guest ensures comfort. Destination consultants and enrichment lecturers, complimentary transportation into town, included gratuities, free Wi-Fi and open seating dining options fill out the robust amenities.
2. A Greek Odyssey
Scott Dunn is the Conde’ Nast Readers’ Awards 2015 “Favorite Specialist Tour Operator”. The company specializes in customized vacation experiences, utilizing a vast portfolio of properties and services. Attention to every detail is their trademark. They also offer a wide range of specialist vacations tailored to meet the interests of many hobbyists, sports enthusiasts and fine dining experts.
A Greek Odyssey Itinerary
Fly to Athens
Southernmost Tip of Mainland Greece
Five Nights: Stay overnight at Cape Sounio; a peaceful contemporary hotel in a secluded location. Have a massage in the Elixir Spa and sunbathe by the pool or swim from the private sand beach of the Aegean Sea. It offers views of the Temple of Poseidon, buffet and a la carte dining options, a small on site kid’s club and easy one-hour access drive time to Athens. Optional excursions include cycling the Costa Navarino and local villages, take a guided hike on the hidden Messinia trails to the Polylimnio Waterfalls, or enjoy a day of olive harvesting.
Island of Mykonos
Four Nights: Stay at Mykonos Blu; an amazingly furnished haven with bay views, enjoy fitness and spa amenities, dine at either of two gastronomic restaurants on site. Excursions selected could include a photographic tour of the islands famous sites with an experienced local photographer as guide, learning how to cook with a private class after exploring the local market, or taking a private wine tour of the Mykonos Vioma vineyard to enjoy wine tasting and traditional Mykonos foods and wine making techniques. Horseback riding along the shore with a beach fire picnic is also popular.
Island of Santorini
Five Nights: Relax into the luxurious and exclusive Grace Santorini boutique hotel. It is located high upon the cliffs of the volcanic island. It is located in serene Imerovigli with caldera and sea views. Options for special excursion could include a sunset champagne reception on the shoreline, taking a two hour private guided tour of the archaeological site at Akrotiri, or cruising along the coast in a private catamaran or luxury motor yacht while enjoying delicacies prepared along the way.
Return to Athens.
Prices per person during the high season start at about $2283 USD, based on two people sharing bed and breakfast for seven nights including private transfers. These are guide prices which do not include private guiding excursions.
3. Athens Exclusive
AFEA Travel and Congress Services has provided travel experiences for over 30 years. The company has been based in Athens since 1977 and also has offices location throughout Thessaloniki. It is an established leader in customized business and luxury travel services.
Athens Exclusive Itinerary
Day 1. Arrive in Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world. Take a guided “First Scents” walking tour of Plaka, the Neighborhood of the Gods. Enjoy a dinner with local traditional recipes in Thissio. View the Ifestos Temple and the Acropolis from a roof-top bar.
Day 2. Explores the downtown area in a private tour. Walk along the south side of the Acropolis to pass the Theatre of Dionysus where the works of Aristophanes, Aeschylus, Euripides and Sophocles were performed. See the Parthenon and the Acropolis Museum. Stroll Syntagma Square and Kolonaki to taste the best city flavors. End the day with a Michelin star awarded restaurant dinner.
Day 3. Travel to Astir Beach in Vouliagmeni. This Attica beach is luxurious with turquoise waters, smooth sand, top notch facilities and blue flag cleanliness certification. Lunch at a fresh fish restaurant in an exclusive area of the south coast. Relax for the afternoon.
Day 4. Visit the Palace of Troy, the Ilious Melahtron Msueum of Athens. Explore the 40,000 items in the Benaki Museum collection. Dine one the second floor to enjoy the panoramic view of the National Gardens, Lucabettus Hill and the Acropolis. Choose from a concert, opera or theater performance the evening.
Day 4. Visit the Ilias Lalaounis Jewellery Museum to see the fabulous art if Jewelry. Visit the museum shop for high end souvenirs. Stop for a luxury spa treatment at the GB Spa in the Hotel Grande Bretagne. Enjoy lunch at an Athens bistro.
At the end of your vacation, enjoy private transportation to Athens Airport. Included in this exclusive tour are:
• Four-night accommodation at the Hotel Grande Bretagne
• Private touring with your own limo and driver
• Transfer from and to the airport
• Fine meals as included in the itinerary
• All costs of day program chosen and according to season
• Dates are flexible and customized according to private schedules
Prices are based on individual itinerary requests in addition to the proposed schedule, and available upon request.
4. Tailor Made Best of Greece 2016
Abercrombie and Kent offer this luxury private 13-day journey starting from $8,745. The journey provides for expert local guides and an itinerary that allows for customization and add on excursions for an extra fee. The schedule is up to the traveler, but includes 2 to 3 days in Athens to see the Parthenon and the Acropolis, the Temple of Poseidon, and the district of Plaka. The Electra Palace Athens is the lodging for this leg of the journey. The next leg includes a flight from Athens airport to Crete to transfer to the Blue Palace resort. Stops in Kritsa and the Panagia Kera church, the Minoan settlement and the site of Gornia are planned. The fourth leg includes a transfer to the port and a ferry trip to the archipelago of Santorini. The Vedema Resort is the base for this island stay. The final leg features a ferry ride to Mykonos to stay at the Petasos Beach Resort & Spa. Visits to local windmills, the Maritime Museum and the Archaeological Museum are planned. The following day departs Mykonos to transfer to the airport for homebound flights.
Abercrombie & Kent recommend adding their Athens private journey as an extension for those wishing a longer journey. Athens is a 4-day private journey which includes an in depth visit to the iconic spots of Athens. When combined with the longer journey, the private driver will deliver guests to alternate sites as requested. Hotel Grande Bretagne is the site of the Athens accommodations. Prices start at $2,595 per person.
5. Mykonos Staffed Seafront Villa
For approximately 14,000 – 36,050 € per week, depending on the date, a luxurious Greek island hideaway is the perfect way to enjoy everything that Greece has to offer while still avoiding the tourist crowds. The islands are connected by many ferry boats which travel to and from the islands and the mainland. It is also possible to charter private yacht service to cruise the islands, with the villa as home base. For the seasoned traveler, this version of a Greek holiday is one of the most popular.
Mykonos is part of the Cyclades island group in the Mediterranean. The island is cosmopolitan in nature. The villa itself is located in the St. Lazaros area about 3 kilometers from town. It features views of the Aegean Sea and sunsets over Delos island. It will accommodate 12 guests and 1 staff member. There is a main building and separate areas for guests. There is an infinity swimming pool and dining area adjacent. The gardens are filled with olive and lemon groves. The larger property is staffed by an English speaking couple, who provide housekeeping services, cooking and driving. Paradizo.com vacation rentals is the company offering this exceptional luxury villa.