2023 October 11 to 21
Prices listed are per person:
Shared Room: $7198
Private Room: $8698
“Classic Greece was exactly as advertised. The tour guide(s) was knowledgeable and the sites & museums were terrific! The selected accommodations were a bonus.” – Thom L., Washington D.C.
“Intensive, rich, and immersive.” – Marcell L., Los Angeles, CA
“The tour of Greece was a perfect mixture of history, culture, and cuisine. Our guides and accommodations were first-rate, and my traveling companions were the best!” – Dan K., Birmingham AL
“I was totally overwhelmed by the dining experience that I had on this trip. I was expecting the informative and spectacular touring, but the restaurants and the surprise Greek food cooking class were wonderful surprises. HE Travel made some excellent choices for me.” – Tony Adams, New York, NY
“HE Travel put all the right ingredients together that provided an experience that way exceeded my expectations. I will be reminiscing and traveling with my new friends for years to come.” – Tom T., Prairie Village, KS
“This trip allowed me to see things I only dreamed I would see!” – Michael Blatt, New York, NY
See the Parthenon, a paradigm of classic Greek architecture, which crowns the Acropolis in the heart of Athens.
Enjoy a seaside stroll in Nafplio, a lovely port in the Peloponnese.
Tour the sites of the ancient cities of Mycenae and Epidaurus.
Gaze at the Corinth Canal, one of the oldest man-made waterways in the world.
Visit Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games.
Walk in Apollo’s footsteps at the famous Temple of the Oracle at Delphi.
Savor the variety of flavors of Greek cuisine and wines during several special meals.
Classic Tour of Greece: A Walk through History
Ancient Greece presided over an age of incomparable human achievement. Great historians like Herodotus and Thucydides, great dramatists like Sophocles, Euripides, and Aeschylus, and the brilliant philosopher Socrates still shine like beacons of light in today’s search for knowledge and understanding of our world.
Democracy was embraced as an experiment that would set the foundation for governments to come. Amazing structures were built in Athens and other Hellenic city-states, many of which still stand to remind us of the genius and creativity of the early Greeks. It was an age of human discovery and achievement – an age that proudly bears the name classical. For almost two weeks we will experience the Golden Age of Greek Civilization first hand. Starting in Athens, we’ll visit the Parthenon, the iconic structure overlooking the city from the Acropolis, we’ll dine in traditional tavernas, and stroll through the lovely Plaka. From there our journey takes us west to historic Peloponnese sites such as Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, and Olympia. Our home base to start our exploration will be Nafplio, a charming city perfectly situated on a promontory overlooking the Argolic Gulf.
We will pause in our journey in a coastal town on the Mani Peninsula, where we can enjoy outdoor activities, or take a swim (weather permitting). Then after a night in Olympia, we head to Delphi, arguably one of the most stunning of all the temples extant in mainland Greece, staying in the hillside village of Arachova.
Get ready to step back in history to the Golden Age of Greek Culture and Civilization. For the next several days we will walk in the footsteps of great figures from history and mythology. We will climb up to the Parthenon, stroll through Olympia, search for the oracle of Delphi and enjoy a first-class gay travel Greece holiday. It’s not all history and ruins though. There will be plenty of delicious meals in traditional tavernas, seaside photo ops, and a chance to enjoy stunning Greek sunsets.
Day 1: Welcome to Greece
Upon arrival at Athens Airport, our driver will transfer you to our spacious hotel located near Plaka. The Plaka is the oldest part of the city and is distinguished by its narrow streets, winding lanes, and authentic churches, shops, and restaurants. We’ll dine together at a restaurant situated at the foot of the Acropolis, toasting the beginning of our journey with the famous Greek ouzo or perhaps another Greek favorite, homemade lemonade.
Day 2: Exploring Athens and the National Archaeological Museum
This morning, we meet our archaeologist guide for exploring the ancient city. We start with Athens’ great Acropolis, crowned by the Parthenon, the great temple of the virgin goddess Athena. After lunch at a Plaka taverna, we will visit the National Archaeological Museum. In the afternoon you can wander through the ancient Agora or tour the busy narrow lanes of Plaka.
Day 3: Nafplio & the Peloponnese
This morning we’ll leave Athens, crossing the ancient man-made Corinth Canal, to the Peloponnese region. Our first stop will be the archaeological site of Corinth. The Romans demolished Corinth in 146 BC, then built their provincial capital at the site. Corinth is well-known for the two letters of Saint Paul in the New Testament of the Bible.
After the visit to Corinth, we will continue to Nafplio, a lovely seaside town dominated by its massive medieval citadel, where we will spend the next two nights. This evening’s dinner will be at a traditional restaurant.
Day 4: Epidaurus-Mycenae
We will continue to visit the fascinating sights in the area: Epidaurus, with the best-preserved ancient Greek theater, and the mysterious ruins of Mycenae, the center of the world of the Iliad. We will be back at our hotel in Nafplio in the early afternoon. Enjoy your evening at leisure.
Day 5: Stop in Sparta, then on to Monemvasia
This morning we will head to the southern part of the Peloponnese. Our first stop will be in Sparta, once the dominant military power of ancient Greece after it defeated Athens. Although Sparta was defeated by Thebes in 371 BC, it lives on in legends (and as an American football mascot!). Modern Sparta is the capital of the Greek regional unit of Laconia and a center for growing citrus and olives.
We shall stop for lunch in the city’s main square, then continue our journey to the southernmost part of the Peloponnese, the fortified citadel of Monemvasia, our home for the next two days.
Day 6: Leisurely Exploration of Monemvasia
With its fortified walls, Monemvasia occupies a mystical setting, nestled at the base of a rocky cliff and overlooking the sea. The architecture of this “Gibraltar of the East” reflects past occupation by Byzantines, Crusaders, Venetians, and Turks. We will tour the citadel and climb up to Agia Sofia, considered the oldest Byzantine church in Greece.
Day 7: Olympia
This morning we drive back north to Olympia, the birthplace of the famous games. Carved into the side of a wooded slope with olive trees covering the surrounding landscape, there is magic in the air as you step onto the track where the Games were first held. Every Olympic year the Olympic torch is lit at this very site. Legend says Hercules initiated gymnastic and athletic training and events in this area near the shrines of Pela, Hera, and Zeus.
Day 8: Arachova
Our three-hour drive from Olympia to Arachova will begin as we cross the Gulf of Corinth from the Peloponnese back to mainland Greece. We will cross the Rion-Antirion Bridge, the world’s second-longest cable-stayed bridge. We will stop at the village of Nafpaktos, then pass vast groves of olive trees until we reach Galaxidi for lunch. Today’s destination is Arachova, a traditional village perched on Mount Parnassus. Dinner tonight will be at a well-established local tavern.
Day 9: Delphi
Today we tour the ancient sites of Delphi, the most important religious center of its time. Delphi was Apollo’s dwelling place and was home to the famous Oracle of Delphi. We will follow the Sacred Walk up to the Temple of Apollo, dating from the 4th Century BC. We will then see if the mystical voice of the oracle speaks to anyone in our group.
You will recognize the amphitheater of Delphi, which retains excellent acoustics. We will conclude our Delphi visit at the Museum. Among its many artifacts is the well-preserved bronze statue, The Charioteer, made in 478 BC. Dinner will be on your own back in Arachova.
Day 10: Return to Athens
Today we’ll return to Athens for our final day of touring. We’ll enjoy our farewell dinner together tonight.
Day 11: Departure or Begin Crete Extension
Our Greek holiday is complete. Transfers to the Athens Airport will be provided for those departing on this day. For those with more time, we urge you to stay for the optional Extension to Crete (see Extension Tab for Details).
Greek Classics Main Tour
Price Includes: Group transportation for all destinations within Greece; accommodations each night in accordance with the tour itinerary; breakfast each day, 3 lunches and 5 dinners; entrance fees for sightseeing; transfers from Athens airport to the hotel on the first day of the tour and from Athens hotel to the airport for those departing on the final day of tour; all hotel services charges, government taxes, porterage, and gratuities for included meals. Services of a knowledgeable HE Travel tour host (with a minimum number of participants); HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Not Included: Transportation to and from starting and ending points; meals not shown as included; personal items including alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls; gratuities for guides and HE Travel host. HE Travel will arrange for any required health tests, with travelers paying the provider directly.
$3198 Per Person in a Shared room
$3798 Per Person in a Private room (for solo travelers who wish to enjoy a private bedroom and bathroom)
Price Includes: Flight from Athens to Crete; airport transfers between Crete airport and hotel; accommodations for 3 nights; breakfast each day, 1 lunch and 2 dinners; entrance fees for included sightseeing as set forth in the itinerary; all hotel services charges, government taxes, porterage, and gratuities for drivers and included meals. HE Travel provides complimentary Medical & Evacuation Insurance for every US Resident on our group tours who does not have other coverage.
Not Included: Meals not shown as included; flight from Crete to your next destination; personal items including alcoholic beverages, snacks, laundry, and telephone calls; gratuities for guides and HE Travel tour director.
We strongly recommend the purchase of Trip Cancellation and Interruption insurance to protect your vacation investment in case of unforeseen circumstances such as flight delay, illness, or injury. Click Here to learn more about our Insurance partner.
Arrive early and join our Capitals of Central Europe or our Italy Unveiled Tour
Or join the Crete Post Tour: October 21 to 24, 2023
Day 11: Welcome to Heraklion, Crete
Today we will depart from the main group and head to the airport for our flight to Heraklion, Crete. Heraklion is a port city and the capital of Crete. We will get checked into our deluxe hotel overlooking Heraklion Harbor with the evening free to explore this unique historic city.
Day 12: Rethymno and Chania
Today we will visit two of the most iconic Cretan villages, Chania and Rethymno. We will see the blend of architectural features left by the many civilizations that have ruled this crossroads of the Mediterranean Sea. We will visit the lively market of Chania and then the Maritime Museum of Crete. We will explore Rethymno on foot to see an elementary school established in 1795 for girls of the Ottoman Empire and the Fortezza or Venetian castle. The evening will be at your leisure.
Day 13: Heraklion and the Knossos Palace
At the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, we will see artifacts unearthed in archaeological excavations. The museum visit will prepare us for our next stop: Knossos Palace, once the ceremonial and political center of the Minoan Civilization. The afternoon will be at your leisure. We shall reconvene to enjoy a gourmet dining experience during our last night together in Crete.
Day 14: Departure from Crete
Today we will provide a transfer for your departure out of Crete to connect with your international flights.
- What if I am traveling alone?
- Most of our trips draw more single travelers than couples. When couples do join us, it’s usually because they’re looking forward to interacting with a gay group; if they wanted a holiday by themselves, they wouldn’t have signed up to travel with us. Furthermore, the activities included with our trips serve as natural ice-breakers. Within a day, you’ll be traveling with friends. You don’t need to pay the single supplement if you’re traveling alone. We’ll be happy to match you with a roommate. Pay the single supplement only if you want a bedroom to yourself. For selected trips, including cruises, we will charge half the single supplement if you request a roommate but we can’t match you with someone.
- What is the physical activity level of this tour?
Physical Activity Level
This trip includes walking on uneven paths among the ruins including going up and down hills. Anyone who can comfortably navigate through historic sites and walk on city streets, dirt paths and sandy beaches will enjoy this trip.
- Where does the tour start and end?
- This tour starts and ends in Athens, Greece, with the Crete Extension starting with a flight from Athens and ending in Heraklion, Crete.
- Additional Questions
- For answers to your additional questions, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 305-294-8174