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ATHENS/MYKONOS Family Vacation to Greece sample

Day 1: Thursday, May 30 Arrive Athens

Arrive in Athens today. Upon arrival, proceed through customs and meet your local host for a private transfer to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. The following are some suggestions: Ermou Street (off of Syntagma Square), a car-free outdoor walkway lined with Greek and European shops. Nearby is the Paddas building (Venizelov and Voukourestiou), an ancient building that's been gorgeously refurbished. Beyond Cartier and Dolce and Gabbana, favorites here include Folli Follie, a Greek chain of boutiques selling fabulously whimsical handbags, and Balli for Cuban cigars. It also hosts Attica, the Macy's of Greece and a good place to pick up any essentials you have forgotten to pack.

Wander the outskirts of The Plaka and browse in its antique shops (look for Karaeskaki Street) in an area called Psiri. Don't miss the antique-laden square, chock-full of dealers selling new, old and custom-designed furniture and tchotchkes by day. By late evening the old buildings have been refitted for restaurant and bouzouki-music-filled nights.

Food enthusiasts should check out the Central Market area. Primary fascinations include a sprawling food market, where the stalls of meat wrap around the outside (and if you've never seen a lamb with its head still on, or a rabbit with its head off but bobtail protruding, well, it'll make you a vegetarian in a heartbeat!). The market, which is huge, also features seafood, such as squid in all its glory, organic honey, small-batch olive oil and chickens (with heads and beaks still on). Fruits and vegetables are displayed by vendors in another building across the street. Beyond the food market are numerous places to shop for those in search of flea market type stuff – cheap T-shirts, etc. Siestas, beginning at 2 or 3 pm, are still fairly common here.

Shoppers should be aware that many shops (except for the most touristy) will open from 9:30 am to 2:30 pm, close for siesta, then re-open for a couple of hours at 5:30 pm (Times vary, of course). Designer olive oil and locally-made organic honey are wonderful gifts for friends and family at home, as is a bottle of ouzo, the licorice-flavored liquor that's a Greek treasure (at 92 proof, it's not for the faint of heart).

5-star hotel

Try a great location in the center of the Plaka, facing the Acropolis, this 5-star hotel offers personalized service, a beautiful rooftop pool and well-furnished rooms with a buffet breakfast included. Stay within walking distance of most of Athens' main attractions. Syntagma Square is less than a 5-minute walk away and the parliament and shopping districts are nearby. The spacious rooms come with air conditioning and satellite TV. Thoughtful touches also include bathrobes and slippers. Guests can start their day with Greek Breakfast provided in the dining area. Your hotel offers a rooftop with a lovely pool area and a restaurant serving Mediterranean cuisine. The restaurant's terrace looks directly to the Acropolis. Guests can also use the hotel's spa facilities, including an indoor pool and sauna.

Overnight: 2 Classic Double Rooms

Includes Breakfast

Day 2: Friday, May 31 Athens

Morning private tour of Athens and the Acropolis. Afternoon at leisure.

This morning, after an included breakfast, head out on a private tour of Athens with your driver and expert guide. The highlights of the day will be the Olympic Stadium, the changing of the guard in Syntagma Square, and an up-close look at the Acropolis.

You will also have your private guide along for a detailed tour of the Acropolis, the sacred rock of Athens whose ruins overlook the modern city. See the Parthenon, Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, and Erechtheion and learn how the site would’ve looked as an ancient citadel in the 5th century BC.

Return on your own to your hotel, which is within easy walking distance of the museum. Have the rest of the day to enjoy Athens at your own pace.

Some suggestions: For a fabulous view over the city, take a taxi to the Lycabettus Funicular, which leaves from Ploutarchou and Aristippou Streets in the Kolonaki neighborhood. At 745 ft, Lycabettus stands high above Athens, commanding a clear view across the Attica basin and the Aegean. Facing the viewing platform is Agios Georgios, the tiny white-stuccoed chapel of St. George. There is also a superb café, although prices match the altitude. To get there, hike up the path that starts at the end of Aristippou Street in Kolonaki and winds upwards. Or you can opt for the funicular. Upon return, wander the narrow streets of the upscale Kolonaki neighborhood which will yield bountiful finds. There are numerous luxury boutiques and shops here, and the best shopping results from simply wandering around the narrow neighborhood streets. Keep an eye out for utterly unique galleries and boutiques. The restaurants are also excellent in this neighborhood.

Of course, there are also many museums to visit including the National Archaeological Museum, the Benaki Museum and the Jewelry Museum.

Day 3: Saturday, June 1 Athens / Mykonos

Flight to Mykonos and private transfer to your hotel. Time at leisure.

Arriving in Mykonos, you will be greeted at the airport by our local representative for an included private transfer to your excellent hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure for relaxing or personal exploration if you wish.

Mykonos is part of the Cyclades, an island group in the Aegean Sea. This island is, with Santorini and Crete, among the most famous and popular Greek islands. It is especially famous for its cosmopolitan atmosphere, exciting nightlife that is often compared to Ibiza, picturesque Cycladic capital full of whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches, many luxury hotels, and its magnificent sandy beaches. Aside from the beaches, you can explore the towns of

Mykonos and its Folklore Museum. You can also sample the legendary nightlife tonight.

5 Star Resort & Spa

The luxurious and newly renovated hotel stands majestically on a private peninsula offering seductive and stunning sea views of the Aegean for unique privacy and relaxation. Aesthetically perfect premises, breathtaking nature, warm and kindhearted people with a tradition of excellence in service, dedicated to your well-being.

Your hotel is located between the famous beaches of Platys Yialos and Psarou Beach. A selection of Greek and Mediterranean restaurants are available on both beaches. From the beach of Platis Yialos, small taxi boats leave regularly and visit the nearby beaches such as Paranga, Paradise, Super Paradise, Agrari and Elia. The resort is located 2 miles from the city of Mykonos, the port just is 3 miles away and the International Airport is 3.5 miles away. Right in front of the hotel’s entrance is the bus stop to Mykonos Town with a daily frequent bus service up to the early morning hours.

Standard Sea View Rooms: Designed for optimal comfort and ultimate seclusion, our rooms and suites present the embodiment of high luxury. Innovatively designed with a minimalist concept, these accommodations offer sea views.

Overnight: 2 Standard Double Sea View Rooms

Included Meals: Breakfast

Day 4: Sunday, June 2 Mykonos

Half-day Group City and Island Tour. Enjoy an included morning tour of Mykonos town and the island, from 9:30am to 1:30pm. We start the City-and-Island tour by walking through the small and narrow streets of the Old Town of Mykonos, allowing many possibilities to take nice photos during the early morning, when the city is quiet. We will visit the labyrinth of the old town as well as the small port and the churches. We will also visit the famous wind-mills and find Petros the Pelican, the mascot of Mykonos.

After this we will explore the island by bus, visiting some of the most famous beaches as well as the inner landscape. We will meet local fishermen, preparing their boats as well as see many small private chapels and houses built in typical Cycladic style. At the second main village of Mykonos called Ano Mera, situated about 4 miles from town, the guests will visit the traditional square and the monastery of Panagia Tourliani, built in the 16th century.

The final stop is at Kalafatis Beach. Here you can enjoy refreshments (at an extra fee), at a coffee shop on the beach. Before returning to town we will stop at a vantage point which offers a fantastic view all over the town and neighboring islands. Note: Pickup / Drop off at your hotel lobby

Day 5: Monday, June 3 Mykonos

Day at leisure on Mykonos.

Have a full day at leisure to enjoy the beach and all the amenities of your fabulous resort. Additional recommended activities include a day trip to the island of Delos. Only a 45-minute boat ride away from Mykonos lies the Island of Delos, which was the center of the Cyclades and of the ancient world. The island of light, birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, home to the first multicultural civilization!

Day 6: Tuesday, June 4 Mykonos / Athens / Home

Private transfer to the airport for an included flight to Athens, connecting with your international flight home.

Credits:

Created with images by michelmondadori - "greece athens parthenon" • Puk Patrick - "Parthenon Temple at Athen, Greece" • caldeclara - "plaka greece athens" • pastel100 - "food plate greek salad" • Anestiev - "acropolis athens greece" • H Fall - "stairs" • andischatz - "mykonos greece alley" • Russ Widger - "mykonos church" • freephotosov - "mykonos town greece"

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