- David’s Blog
I arrived in Athens for the first time in 1977. I was a travel rookie, never having ventured more than 400 miles from my Florida home. I remember waking up that first morning in the Plaka neighborhood to the sounds of the street. Looking down from my balcony, I found shopkeepers washing the sidewalks with buckets of water and old scraggly brooms chatting with one another in a language foreign to me. Old men were sitting at the café down the street with their first cup of coffee for the day. Dogs were wearily wandering around trying to find a morsel left from last night’s dinner and kittens were running to and fro engaged in a skillful game of hide-and-seek. I’ve always remembered that first morning in Europe and given the chance, try to allow it to “evolve” naturally wherever I visit.
My Best of Greece tour attempts to capture many of those “rookie moment” I experienced all those years ago. I’ve woven my favorite Greek destinations and into this itinerary. You’ll get a solid introduction to the culture, history, art, and architecture made famous by the Greeks. Athens, the Parthenon, Ancient Agora, and Roman-era ruins are essential and we’ll dedicate the better part of two days exploring this capital city. Shaking off the big city, we will spend the remainder of our time visiting relaxing beaches, pristine islands, ancient windswept sites of worship, fishing villages, and laid back towns. My Best of Greece tour provides the perfect mix of sightseeing, education, and relaxation. Your Adventure Starts Here!
Your Adventure Starts Here!
Delphi - 1 night
Olympia - 1 night
Mani Penninsula - 2 nights
Monemvasia - 2 night
Nafplio - 2 night
Athens - 2 nights
Santorini - 2 nights with optional extension
Optional Single Supplement: $695
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Exploring Europe – 4036 Hidden Acre Rd. – Middleburg, FL 32068 FAX 800-570-1351
DAY 1: Welcome to Greece! – Let’s plan to meet at the airport in Athens at 2:00 p.m. to head out on your adventure. We will head north to the barren slopes of Mount Parnassus to discover Delphi, the 2500-year-old home of fortune-telling oracles, temples of worship, and Olympic-like stadiums and theatres. Enjoy dinner together and an overnight stay in peaceful Delphi. Sleep 1 night near Delphi. Walking: Strenuous. Driving: 4 hours. Dinner.
DAY 2: The Gulf of Corinth and Peloponnese – We will leave the mountains of Delphi and cross over onto the Peloponnese Peninsula. We’ll enjoy a scenic cog railway journey through the Vouraikos River gorge. We will set up tonight near Mount Olympia. Sleep 1 night near Olympia. Walking: light. Driving: 5 hours. Dinner or lunch.
DAY 3: Olympia and Temple of Apollo – After breakfast, we will visit Olympia, site of the first Olympic games more than 2700 years ago. Then, enjoy the ride as we traverse some of the most rugged mountains in Greece enroute to the Temple of Apollo Epicurious. Here you’ll find a perfectly preserved temple constructed around 450 B.C., located in the middle of nowhere. After a look around the temple, we’ll continue to a seaside village on the Mani Peninsula. Sleep 2 nights on the Mani Peninsula. Walking: moderate. Driving: 5 hours. Dinner.
DAY 4: Seaside Village – You’ll have the entire day to shop, taste wine, hike, relax, sunbathe and live like a local. Walking: your choice. Driving: none.
DAY 5: Mani Peninsula and Monemvasia – We will do some driving today across the isolated Mani Peninsula enroute to Monemvasia. Located on the southeast coast of the Peloponnese, it is about as far as one can drive. Enjoy a peaceful evening and dinner on your own. Sleep 2 nights on mainland Monemvasia. Walking: light. Driving: 5 hours.
DAY 6: Old Town Monemvasia – After breakfast, we will cross the causeway that links the mainland with the rocky “ Mont Saint Michel-esque” island town. After a brief orientation, you’ll be free the remainder of the day to do some exploring on your own. The island is dotted with swimming spots, cafes and quiet walking paths. Walking: your choice. Driving: none.
DAY 7: Mycenae and Nafplio –The Mycenaeans lived in this part of the world from 1600-1200 B.C., more than 1000 years before the Parthenon was built! We will take a walk through this ancient fortified city seeing the Lion’s Gate, “cyclopean” walls, and huge domed tombs. Then, it’s onward to nearby Nafplio for a relaxing two days. Sleep 2 nights in Nafplio. Walking: moderate. Driving: 4 hours. Dinner.
DAY 8: Epidavros and Nafplio – We will drive to nearby Epidavros this morning for a look at Greece’s most well-preserved theater seating 15,000 + spectators. Returning to Nafplio, you’ll have the remainder of the day to poke around town, hike to the hilltop fortress or relax at a beach. Walking: moderate. Driving: 1.5 hours.
DAY 9: Hydra – Another scenic coastal drive will take us to the end of the peninsula and the boat to Hydra. After a short twenty-minute ride across the gulf, we will step onto traffic-free Hydra. Enjoy the afternoon and evening getting to know the little town and pick out a taverna for dinner on your own. Sleep 2 nights on Hydra. Walking: light. Driving: 2.5 hours. Boat: 20 minutes.
DAY 10: Hydra –No group plans means you can shop in the village, sit at the harbor with a drink and “people-watch”, take a donkey ride, hire a boat or bask in the sun at a nearby beach. Walking is up to you. No driving.
DAY 11: Athens – We will travel to Athens by land or sea depending on the weather and our itinerary. We will arrive at our Athens city-center hotel around midday. Join your Exploring Europe guide for an informative and scenic walk through the Plaka neighborhood and slopes of the sacred Parthenon hill. Sleep 2 nights in Athens. Walking: moderate. Driving: 3 hours.
DAY 12: Athens and the Acropolis –Enjoy a guided tour at the Acropolis learning about the importance of this old rock and its 2500 years of history. Later, walk through the new Acropolis Museum which has been custom designed to showcase the Acropolis’ rich collection of art. You’ll have the remainder of the afternoon and evening to explore the Agora, Forum, and medieval streets of the Plaka on your own. Later, we will meet for a grand farewell dinner to share our travel memories of Greece. No driving. Dinner.
DAY 13: Your tour ends after breakfast – Breakfast is included this morning at our hotel but there are no planned group activities. The Athens airport and cruise terminal are easily connected by taxi. Your Exploring Europe guide can help point you in the right direction.
This itinerary is subject to change.
OR Join our Santorini excursion - see the info tab below
OR Join our Santorini excursion
* The fare for the round trip Santorini flight is not included in the tour cost. Typically, it runs about $100 per flight. Once you decide to join us in Santorini we will book your flights and bill you for the actual cost.
DAY 13: Flying to Santorini – This morning we will transfer to the Athens Airport and take a short flight to the island of Santorini. Once in Santorini, we will set up in the picture-perfect village of Oia. Nothing to do here but bask in the sun and enjoy the views. Sleep 2 nights at a traditional 4-star Santorini resort. Walking: light. Driving: 1 hour. Flying: 1 hour.
DAY 14: Santorini – There are no planned activities today. Enjoy your free day on the island.
DAY 15: Santorini and Athens – Enjoy most of the day here on Santorini. Later, in the afternoon, we will fly back to the Athens Airport and stay nearby for the evening. Sleep 1 night near the Athens Airport. Driving: 1 hour. Flying: 1 hour.
DAY 16: Your tour ends after breakfast – The Athens airport is nearby and we wish you safe travels to your next destination!
$1358 + air
$550 - single supplement
|October 12-15, 2018||$1358 + air||Santorini Island|
|August 8-11, 2019||$1558 + air||Santorini Island|
|October 17-20, 2019||$1358 + air||Santorini Island|
Walking and Physical Activity: We have planned this trip to provide maximum tour experiences by foot, boat, and vehicle. The basic nature of Europe does require some degree of physical activity to get out and see the sights, especially in the countryside. To help you plan, we’ve included a daily projection of physical activity. Here is our key for our walking activity ratings:
Light – Walking done on level surfaces with some small hills and elevation gains. In most cases, the bus will drop-off and pick-up at nearby locations. Two miles or less of required walking during the day.
Moderate – Walking done on paved and gravel paths. To enjoy the full tour experience, some up and down hill walking is to be expected. Four to five miles of walking per day.
Strenuous – Walking done on rugged and rocky paths with some steps and stairs. Up to six miles of walking per day.
Your Choice – No matter what your walking ability, we will help you find alternative ways to enjoy and experience all Europe has to offer. To get the most out of our tours you should be able to operate at the light level everyday with spurts of moderate and strenuous.
Submit your review
BEST OF GREECE, October 2017 - I love traveling with David because it is always a great adventure! I have taken more than 20 trips with him! Being able to celebrate my retirement with my mom and my good friends was an amazing experience. Greece was a trip of a lifetime for me! Beautiful beyond description!
BEST OF GREECE, October 2017 - The Greece Tour was awesome. Very nice hotels, great food at small local restaurants, and downtime for relaxation. David and Charlotte listened to what we wanted and gave us opportunities to see the sites at our speed. They truly made sure we had a great vacation, not just another trip. In spite of the steps, the Esperas Santorini was my favorite part. Wow, what a beautiful view from all angles. Great hotel service and food. David knows how to find excellent restaurants and wine selections in every town. He goes the extra mile for you. Charlotte complements his planning with her knowledge of the area and good shopping skills. This was my seventh trip with David. He gives excellent information about the trip ahead of time along with information and schedule. I feel very comfortable and safe traveling with them. Each hotel was clean and comfortable, with beautiful views and in quiet areas. We ate at small restaurants which gave excellent service and delicious food.
BEST OF GREECE, June 2016 - Our McGuffin tour was the perfect trip. David provided us with amazing accommodations, dealt with all of the logistics (the least entertaining portion of any vacation), and allowed us to make slight changes to our itinerary to better suit our interests. We weren't disappointed with any portion of our trip, and are already trying to plan when the next one can be! Watching the sunset in Santorini during our evening catamaran cruise was the best moment.
BEST OF GREECE, June 2016 - This was the trip of a lifetime! We loved not having to worry about logistics but instead got to focus on soaking up every moment of Greece. We hiked to the fortress overlooking Napfilo and looked down over the old town to the right and the cliffs dropping into the clear blue-green sea to our left. Imaging all the people over hundreds of years seeing that same view was humbling. It took my breath away! David took us to the best restaurants! Good drinks, authenticity, ambiance...all amazing! The hotels were all beautiful and boutique style. We loved each one more than the one before! We'll be back on a David McGuffin tour as soon as possible!
Now that you’ve decided to join this tour, we are sure you’ll have some questions. Don’t worry, we are here to help you through each aspect of your tour from start to finish.
Join David as he shares impromptu moments from his travels in Greece. Watching these short 60 second segments are a great way to experience David’s travel style and adventures. Watch David’s Explore Greece!
David and his team have answered many travel related questions and they are all tucked away on his blog. But, no need to go there, just type in a keyword in the search box at the top or bottom of this page (it’s the gray rectangle with a small magnifying glass icon) and you will get results for your query.
David’s newest blog describes his personal adventures in Europe, timely information and travel hints.
We are happy to answer your travel questions and give advice and suggestions. firstname.lastname@example.org or 800-570-1351.