Splendors of Ancient GreeceJoin Susan Duval – Susan Duval Seminars, and other like-minded souls as you nourish mind, body and spirit on a magical journey to explore the Splendors of ancient Greece! The timeless legends of the Aegean Islands evoke the adventures of Homers heroes, while lively harbors and charming towns showcase today’s vibrant Greek culture. Here, dazzling white-washed villages and lively ports serve as a backdrop to classical archaeological sites that have continued to lure travelers and scholars since ancient times. The Acropolis, perched on a high hill in the center of Athens is stunning. The mystical mountains of Greece hold the mysteries of the Oracle at Delphi and many other extraordinary sites. The food is fabulous, the local folks friendly, Ancient Sacred Sites energetically powerful and the sunsets on Santorini are incredibly spectacular!
October 2-13, 2018
Day 1: Tues Oct. 2
Evening departure USA for Athens, Greece.
Day 2: Wed Oct. 3 Group Welcome Dinner
Athens, morning arrival and transfer to the hotel. Settle in, rest and enjoy lunch on your own.
In the afternoon we’ll enjoy a visit to Lycabettus Hill which offers an incredible panoramic view of Athens. From the hill you can see some monuments of ancient Athens, such as the Temple of Zeus and the Panathenaic Stadium. With the help of the telescope (which is on the hill) one can see up to Aegina island, if the sky is clear. We will end up in the famous Plaka area and enjoy a Welcome Dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 3: Thurs Oct 4 Meals: B,L,D
After a good night’s sleep and breakfast, we’ll take a morning tour of Athens, named after Athena - protector of female wisdom. Our tour will include the Royal Palace and the Panathenian Stadium, Temple of Zeus, and Hadrians Arch. The Acropolis reveals architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens, the Propylae, Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion and finally the "harmony between material and spirit, the Parthenon.
Day 4: Fri Oct 5 Meals: B,L,D
This morning we begin our scenic drive into the mountains to Delphi, passing through the cities of Thebes and Livadia. Delphi is breathtaking and was believed to be the “navel” (omphalos) of the world and where Apollo’s most important and famous oracle, Pythia, was located. Follow the Sacred Way up to Apollo’s Temple, where his oracle priestess delivered her oblique prophecies. Marvel at the beauty of the landscape and consider the never-ending search of mortal people for truth and the true meaning of life.
Today you can explore more of Delphi, one of the most spectacular mystical sites in the world where a seeress was suspended from a metal tripod over psychoactive vapours arising through an opening underneath her. Attendants deciphered the future from her inspired prophecy. Academe itself, the Western institution of higher learning, arose from a prophecy issued here.
Day 6: Sun Oct. 7 Meals: B,L,D
Check out of the hotel and enjoy the scenic drive back to Athens for lunch. Then transfer to the airport for our afternoon flight to Greece’s largest Aegean island – Crete, home of the ancient Minoan culture. Crete enchants and seduces the senses of everyone who visits with its wild natural beauty, majestic landscape, vivacious spirit, rich cultural history, world-famous cuisine and its warm, friendly people.
“The mystery of Crete runs deep. Whoever sets foot on this island senses a mysterious force coursing warmly and beneficently through their veins, sensing their soul beginning to grow” wrote Nikos Kazantzakis, Crete’s most celebrated author, in Report to Greco. We enjoy the next 3 nights at our lovely beach resort hotel.
Overnight: Aldemar Knossos Royal Beach Resort
Day 7: Mon Oct. 8 Meals: B,L,D
This morning we make a pilgrimage to the small convent at Paliani to ask for a blessing from the 1000 year old Sacred Myrtle Tree. Many spontaneous healings and miracles have been witnessed standing at this tree. Paliani Monastery is one of the oldest monasteries in Crete and this specific myrtle tree is considered sacred (Holy Myrtle) and is honored every year on September 24. Inside the trunk of the Holy Myrtle, is believed to be the icon of Panagia Mirtidiotissa (Virgin Mary of Myrtle).
According to the tradition, once the area was covered by forest and the villagers set fire to create farmlands. Suddenly, the voice of Virgin Mary was heard and the surprised villagers found the icon of the Virgin with branches of myrtle painted around her.
Day 8: Tues Oct. 9 Meals: B,L,D
This morning we visit Knossos, the most famous of the Minoan Palaces and a sacred ceremonial center. Knossos was undeniably the capital of Minoan Crete. It is grander, more complex, and more flamboyant than any of the other palaces known to us. Marvel at the advanced architecture and sacred art, the first flushing toilet and the world famous "dolphin fresco".
This afternoon we will visit the Dikteon Cave, one of the most important and famous of the 3,000 caves in Crete. According to legend, it is in the impressive Dikteon Cave, rich in stalagmites and stalactites that Rhea, daughter of the Earth Goddess Gaia, retreated to give birth to Zeus, the Supreme Ruler of the Gods.
Day 9: Wed Oct. 10 Meals: B,L
After breakfast we take the morning ferry to the most spectacular and beautiful of all the Greek islands, Santorini.
Upon arrival we check into the Daedalus Hotel, surrounded by fragrant gardens and palm trees and only a stone’s throw away from the central square of Fira. This relaxing hotel enjoys a peaceful location next to the renowned Caldera of Santorini, away from the hustle and bustle of the city center. Then enjoy a panoramic tour of the island of Santorini with a stop in Oia, which is where you can see the most stunning sunsets in all of Greece.
Free Day: Sleep in, rest and enjoy your last day on Santorini doing exactly as you please. The shopping is fantastic; the bus system to the southern tip of the island beaches is very user friendly so go exploring. Take a tour to Akrotiri, thought to be part of the Lost City of Atlantis, a boat ride to the Caldera or other tour options (additional cost) or just do nothing but rest. Late afternoon enjoy a Greek coffee as you watch a breath taking sunset from the cliffs of Santorini and enjoy dinner on your own at a local restaurant.
Day 11: Fri Oct. 12 Meals B, Group Farewell Dinner
After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight to Athens and check into the Royal Olympic Hotel. The afternoon is yours to enjoy some shopping in the Plaka area, only a 5 minute walk from the hotel. The Plaka is full of wonderful shops and restaurants where you can enjoy lunch and do some people watching.
Day 12: Sat. Oct. 13 B
Transfer to the airport to connect with your flight back to your home city.
Welcome Home from a Magical Journey to Greece.
All meals as listed in the itinerary
Lodging in 4+ star hotels or similar
Flight Athens to Crete
Flight Santorini to Athens
Ferry Crete to Santorini ====>
All site entrance fees as noted in the itinerary
Private bus, driver and guide
VAT taxes and all local taxes
International flight to Athens, Greece
Tips to guides, drivers and hotel staff
1 lunch and 2 dinners in Santorini
Beverages with meals / any alcoholic beverages
$3362 per person based on shared room (By check OR $3497 by credit card)
A registration form will be emailed to you, asking for passport information.
Copyright 2005 susan duval. All rights reserved.