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Athens & Islands - Greece Gay Tour

 

Greece - The True Experience

Gay Athens Tour

Athens & Islands
Greece Gay Tour

Athens, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, Delos, Naxos, and more!

11 Days From Athens to Mykonos, Greece

October 11 – 21, 2021

 

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Athens, Greece gay tourJoin our gay group foray into Greece! Starting out with some Athens highlights, including the Acropolis, we then explore the islands of Crete, Santorini, Mykonos, and Naxos. The Acropolis in Athens remains the quintessential landmark of Western civilization. Its beauty, history and size won’t fail to impress. And the complementary Acropolis Museum provides a close-up look at the treasures of the site.

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You may find the city of Athens itself a surprisingly cutting-edge capital. Beneath all its venerable monuments the city teems with a buzzing energy, creativity, galleries, boutiques, fashionable restaurants, and humble tavernas.

 

Crete gay tour

 

The mighty Bronze-Age Minoan people (Europe’s oldest civilization) had their capital at Knossos on Crete — Greece’s largest island. Having attained an impressively high level of civilization they ruled extensive parts of the Aegean before disappearing mysteriously some 3,000 years ago. The excavated Palace of Knossos is now one of the Mediterranean’s most important archeological sites.

We explore the charming town of Rethymno on Crete with its jumble of Venetian-era buildings sprinkled with exotic touches from the Ottoman period.

The rustic cuisine of Crete is renowned in Greece. Farm-fresh produce, aromatic herbs, straight-from-the-sea seafood, tangy cheese, excellent olive oil, and decent wines are all to be indulged.

Greece’s ancient winemaking tradition is being increasingly celebrated. A stop at a winery on Crete is a pleasant idyll.

 

Santorini gay tour

 

Epic clifftop sunsets are a hallmark of romantic, beautiful Santorini — an island shaped by an ancient volcanic eruption, this part of the sea being an immense flooded crater and thus the towering cliffs of the island.

A luxury catamaran excursion for several hours is a delightfully relaxing way to tour Santorini’s caldera and a good way to appreciate the island’s dramatic topography.

Mykonos is Greece’s hedonistic glamor island and a celebrity hideaway — a sort of “St. Tropez meets Ibiza.” While the high season hosts a party-hard collection of visitors our own visit is timed for a more “chill” period. Its main town is a gorgeous whitewashed warren of narrow bougainvillea-bedecked lanes with charming boutiques, cafes, and abundant restaurants.

The sacred island of Delos is the mythical birthplace of twins Apollo and Artemis. A shrine turned sacred treasury and commercial center, Ancient Delos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important archeological sites in Greece.

A cultural center of Classical Greece and, later, Byzantium, Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades islands. It boasts a gorgeous waterfront, Venetian-period mansions, pretty isolated beaches, the Cyclades’ highest peak (3,300 feet), and it’s more fertile and green than most of the other Cyclades.

 

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Athens & Islands - Greece Gay Tour Itinerary

Day 1 - Monday, October 11, 2021
Arrival in Athens, Greece
Athens Greece gay tourWith your own air arrangements you’ll arrive at the Athens airport and thenmake your way to our group hotel in the city center. There are a few options for getting into the city. If you would like a private meet & greetat the airport and transfer to the hotel we can set that up for you. (Please see the “Arrival & Departure Logistics” section.)

We’ll come together in the early evening and enjoy a welcome drink, get to know our fellow travelers, and have a trip briefing before heading out for our welcome dinner.

Please Note: If you would like us to arrange any pre-tour nights at the group hotel in Athens, please let us know. We will have only one complete day on the itinerary. Additionally, it would be helpful to arrive a day or two beforehand to shake off jet lag and/or to add a buffer in case of any travel hiccups.

Meals: Welcome Drink, Welcome Dinner
Overnight: in Athens

 

Day 2 - Tuesday, October 12, 2021
Athens
Athens gay tour - ParthenonAthens is known as the Cradle of Western Civilization - and for good reason. Our private guided tour today of the ancient sites of Athens will take in the world-famous Acropolis, the Acropolis Museum, and the Ancient Agora.

The Acropolis is considered the most important archeological site in the Western world, and its Parthenon is the crowning jewel. It is dedicated to Athena Parthenos, the goddess embodying the power of the city. It’s one of the largest Doric temples ever constructed in Greece and was completed in 438 BC.

The state-of-the-art Acropolis Museum displays surviving treasures with emphasis on the Acropolis as it was in the 5thcentury BC, the culmination of Greece’s artistic achievement. Glass floors expose underground ruins, and the Acropolis itself is visible through floor-to-ceiling windows.

Athens gay tour - PlakaBeginning in the 6th century BC, the Ancient Agora was the city’s commercial, political, and social hub. Socrates lectured here and St. Paul preached here as well. At one end of the Agora lies the best-preserved Doric temple in Greece, the Temple of Hephaistos, dedicated to the god of the forge.

Also on our Athens itinerary will be a walk through the Plaka district, Athens’ oldest neighborhood, lying in the shadow of the Acropolis and known for its village feel with narrow atmospheric lanes, shops, cafes, and restaurants.

We’ll leave some free time later in the day for you to follow your own interests as Athens has much to offer. Or you might prefer to just rest if jet lag is creeping up.

Dinner this evening is open, and there’s no shortage of good restaurants in Athensto choose from!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: in Athens

 

Day 3 - Wednesday, October 13, 2021
Flight to Crete / Knossos / Heraklion
Crete gay tour - KnossosA short morning flight (45 minutes) takes us to Crete - Greece’s largest island. Crete is a feast for the senses: wild natural beauty and thousands of years of culture, history, and flavorful cuisine. We’ll get immersed into this beauty of the Cretan landscapes, genuine Cretan hospitality, and the special way of life of the Cretan people.

Our first stop is the Palace of Knossos, the most important center of the Minoan civilization and one of the most popular archaeological sites in Greece. Knossos flourished during the Minoan period (2000-1350 BC) and was the most important socioeconomic and religious center of Crete. It was the work of archeologist Sir Arthur Evans that brought to life ruins and recreations of an immense palace, courtyards, private apartments, baths, and frescos.

We’ll enjoy our lunch in a traditional Cretan restaurant in the mountains of the Heraklion wine country near Knossos. Wine tasting of the different varieties produced in the region as well as raki (a fortified anise-flavored drink made from raisins and grapes) will be included.

We then reach the center of Heraklion, Crete’s largest city, where we’ll have a brief walking orientation before settling in to our hotel.

Dinner this evening will be a treat in one of Crete’s best restaurants housed in a Venetian-era villa and known for their slow-cooked dishes and ingredients from their own farm.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: in Heraklion

 

Day 4 - Thursday, October 14, 2021
Day Trip West of Heraklion
Crete gay tour - RethymnoThis will be a full day out. We come first to the village of Margarites, renowned for its long tradition in pottery making and local cuisine. We’ll stop in at a local pottery workshop to learn about the techniques of the area. A walk inside the village and a stop at a local cafe will follow.

Then it’s on to the historic Monastery of Arkadi, which dates back to the 16th century and is marked by the influence of the Renaissance. The monastery played an active role in the Cretan resistance of Ottoman (Turkish) rule during the Cretan revolt of 1866. After three days of battle the Cretans blew up barrels of gunpowder, choosing to sacrifice themselves rather than surrender. Thus the monastery became a national symbolin honor of the Cretan resistance and is one ofthe most important monuments on the island.

Our lunch will be in the picturesque and romantic old port town of Rethymno, which has a 15th-century Venetian-era fortress, old mosques and minarets, and alovely harbor. Rethymno is one of the best-preserved medieval cities in Greece. After lunch you’re free to explore the town. Wandering through a maze of lanesone finds Venetian fortifications mingling harmoniously with Orthodox and Catholic churches, mosques, and elegant mansions of Venetian architecture, all creating an alluring atmosphere.

After returning to Heraklion and a very full day you’re free for dinner on your own.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: in Heraklion

 

Day 5 - Friday, October 15, 2021
Day Trip East of Heraklion
Crete gay tour - SpinalongaToday we drive to the small town of Elounda, from where we’ll board a private boat for the short crossing to the beautiful island of Spinalonga, one of the most important historic sites of Crete. The island was turned into a fortress inthe middle of the 16th century and constitutes one of the best examples of Venetian defensive architecture. We’ll have a guided tour of the island, learning about its transformation into a leper colony at the start of the 20th century. (A cure was discovered in 1948 and the last person left the island in 1957.) Spinalonga has become known to many through Victoria Hislop’s 2005 bestselling novel, The Island.

We’ll then continue with our private boat excursion, exploring pretty bays with their turquoise waters. We disembark in the small town of Plaka and have our lunch at the best fish restaurant in the area while enjoying a lovely view of Spinalonga.

After lunch we’ll explore the picturesque town of Agios Nikolaos occupying an enviable location on hilly terrain overlooking a bay. We have time to stroll, absorbing its ambience, perhaps browsing some shops if you wish.

Back in Heraklion after this full-day outing, dinner is open this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: in Heraklion

 

Day 6 - Saturday, October 16, 2021
Ferry to Santorini / Akrotiri
Greece gay tour - SantoriniContinuing our journey through the Greek islands we’ll board a scheduled ferry this morning for the trip to beautiful Santorini (sailing time around 2 hours), the first of the Cyclades islands that we’ll see. The approach by water is impressive, sheer cliffs soaring above the turquoise sea. The sea here is an immense crater of a drowned volcano, the island of Santorini itself shaped by an ancient eruption.

Upon arrival we’ll head to the archeological site of Akrotiri where, in 1967, excavations uncovered a Minoan city buried deep in volcanic ash from the catastrophic eruption of 1613 BC. These ruins are housed within a protective structure with wooden walkways allowing visitors to pass through the ancient city. This was one of the most important settlements of the Aegean. Roads, drainage systems, and stashes of pottery are among the highlights here.

Our lunch venue is a “cave restaurant” by the sea that began operation originally to help feed the workers when the nearby Akrotiri site was being excavated. Almost everything served comes from their own farm on the island (or freshly caught seafood).

Santorini, Greece gay tourAfterwards we’ll drive to the other end of Santorini to have a visit of Oia, arguably the most stunning town in the Cyclades islands. Built on a steep slope of the caldera many of its structures are carved into the volcanic rock. {Please note: Oia is extremely popular and hence crowded. Hopefully that will be mitigated by the fact that we won’t be here during peak season.}

We finish the day by settling in to our delightful accommodation perched on one of the highest points along the rim of the island enjoying wonderful caldera views. For dinner this evening we’ll stroll to our highly acclaimed restaurant.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: in Santorini

 

Day 7 - Sunday, October 17, 2021
Caldera Cruise
Santorini Caldera gay cruiseThis morning we’ll embark on a wonderful way to appreciate Santorini’s dramatic topography–aboard a comfortable catamaran for a private cruise in the caldera. We set out from the marina in Vlychada and cruise by idyllic beaches, other islands, and hot springs. Santorini’s towns, composed of whitewashed Cycladic houses and strung high up along the edge of the cliffs, are quite an imposing sight when viewed fromsea. Lunch will be served aboard.

We should arrive back to our hotel in time to allow for “chill time” this afternoon to take in the views, enjoy a drink by the pool, and perhaps have a massage.

Dinner is open this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch aboard cruise
Overnight: in Santorini

 

Day 8 - Monday, October 18, 2021
Ferry to Mykonos / Organic Farm Visit
Mykonos Greece gay tourOn now to the last stage of our itinerary... A scheduled ferry will take us from Santorini to Mykonos island, which has been among the Mediterranean’s jet-set hot spots for some decades now. Its reputation is of a glamor island frequented by celebrities, gay men, cruise ships, and partying revelers. The timing of our stay, however, should find the island more low key.

Something most visitors won’t do is stop at an organic vineyard to learn about their winemaking tradition, the cultivation of other local products, and Mykonos’ customs and local life. Here we’ll have a wine tasting experience of a few varieties accompanied by a lunch of local food products.

We’ll then check in to our beautiful hotel, the last of our accommodations on our tour, where we have three nights.

Dinner will be on your own this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Winery Lunch
Overnight: in Mykonos

 

Day 9 - Tuesday, October 19, 2021
Day Trip to Delos / Mykonos Touring
Mykonos gay travelA short boatride takes us over to the diminutive island of Delos, the mythical birthplace of twins Apollo and Artemis. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of the most important archeological sites in Greece. At the height of its power during the Hellenistic era (323 BC –30 BC) the island was one of the three most important religious centers in Greece and a center of commerce. In fact, wealthy merchants from far-flung lands such as Syria and Egypt erected temples to their own homeland gods here, as witnessed at the Sanctuaries of the Foreign Gods, although Apollo remained the principal deity.

After our tour of Delos we’ll return to Mykonos to explore more of that island and to have lunch at a beachside restaurant. This will be followed by a walking tour in Hora (Mykonos town), after which you can enjoy some free time in town. It’s a maze of narrow lanes and whitewashed buildings overlooked by the town’s famous windmills. Hip boutiques, cafes, flower-adorned balconies, and churches all jostle with each other.

We’ll then check in to our beautiful hotel, the last of our accommodations on our tour, where we have three nights.

Dinner is open this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Overnight: in Mykonos

 

Day 10 - Wednesday, October 20, 2021
Day Trip to Syros or Naxos
Cyclades gay tourAt the time of publishing this itinerary we’re leaving this day open as our program will depend on the availability of scheduled ferries. (Ferry services are reduced in October.) One option will be a day trip to Syros, an endearing little island that happens to be the legal and administrative center of all the Cyclades islands. Some consider its capital, Ermoupoli, to be the Cyclades’ grandest town.

Another option will be a day trip to Naxos, the largest of the Cycladic islands. Its main town has a gorgeous waterfront and steep cobbled alleys below its hilltop castle and Venetian mansions. Outside the town the island has atmospheric mountain villages, ancient sites, and marble quarries. Naxos is more fertile and green than the rest of the Cyclades owing to the rain clouds formed by its mountains. (Mount Zeus, at 3300 feet, is the Cyclades’ highest peak.)

We’ll then check in to our beautiful hotel, the last of our accommodations on our tour, where we have three nights.

After returning to Mykonos we’ll enjoy our farewell dinner this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: in Mykonos

 

Day 11 - Thursday, October 21, 2021
Mykonos Departure
You’ll have captured many wonderful moments in Greece to bring back with you! You’re free to depart from Mykonos at any time to return to Athens, where you can make an onward connection.

Meals: Breakfast

 

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Tour Cost Includes

• 10 nights’ upscale accommodations in small, characterful 4-and 5-star hotels

• All breakfasts and lunches; four dinners

• Limited drinks with group meals

• Sightseeing as noted in the program with entrance fees to the sights mentioned

• Transportation using a combination of our own private comfortable coaches, scheduled public ferries, and private boat excursions

• Air ticket from Athens to Crete

• Local professional tour manager traveling with the group

Venture Out escort throughout the tour

 

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Not Included:

• International airfare

• Airport transfers at the beginning (Athens) and end (Mykonos) of the tour

• Six dinners

• Transportation from Mykonos to Athens at the end of the tour (can be air or ferry)

• Any extra hotel nights that may be needed or desired before or after the tour

• Expenses of a personal nature (laundry, phone calls, room service, etc.).

• Pre-trip expenses such as Travel Insurance, passports, etc.

 

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Accommodations

Please note that since we are publishing this itinerary more than a year in advance we are still evaluating hotel options available to us in some locations.

• Athens - 2 nights (with the possibility to add pre-tour nights)
• Crete - 3 nights
• Santorini - 2 nights
• Mykonos - 3 nights

All accommodations will be 4-or 5-star, relatively small hotels with character andcomfort. In Athens we’ll use a city center hotel within walking distance of many restaurants, shops, and sights. In Heraklion (Crete) we’ll be staying at a historic property at the port with nice views of the sea. In Santorini and Mykonos we’ll use delightful, relaxing properties with sea views.

 

Greece Santorini gay tour

 

Arrival and Departure Logistics

Airport codes:
• Athens - ATH
• Mykonos - JMK

Athens airport is located about 20 miles from the city center. Taxis are readily available. We can also arrange a private transfer for you. Please let us know if you’d like a quote for this.

At the end of the tour you will depart Mykonos with your own arrangements. This can be by air to Athens (about 45 minutes), where you would then make an onward connection. You could also take a ferry (2½-4½ hours) to Piraeus or Rafina, which are ports near Athens.

Another alternative is to investigate flight service from Mykonos into other European cities (e.g., Frankfurt, Zurich, London, Paris, etc.), from where you can connect to an onward flight.

 

Weather

The average high temperature in October is around 70-75 F, and the average low is around 60 F. The month of October receives about 2 inches of rain on average. The sea temperature will probably be too cool for most people.

 

Naxos Greece gay tour

 

Other Things to Know

About our tier pricing:
There are certain fixed costs involved with operating a trip of this nature regardless of the number of participants who have signed up. With a smaller number of group members, the fixed costs (per person) are higher. In order to cover those fixed costs for a smaller-sized group, we prefer to charge a bit extra in order to ensure that the trip can run rather than have to cancel a trip due to a low number of sign-ups.

Costs are based on double occupancy of a room. If you are traveling solo and wish to have your own room throughout the tour then the single supplement will apply. If you are traveling solo and wish to share a room, we will match you with a roommate if one is available. Should there be no one to pair you with, the single supplement fee will apply.

 

Currency Exchange Rates

Our costs to operate this tour are tied directly and entirely to the exchange rate between the Euroand the U.S. Dollar. Over the past several years the value of the dollar has fluctuated in quite a volatile manner against the Euro. We reserve the right to alter the trip pricing indicated here should there be a significant fluctuation in the exchange rate from the time this tour is published.

 

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Athens & Islands - Greece Gay Tour Prices

Tour Date Description
Per person
$ (USD)
Availability

Tour Only, Per Person, Double Occupancy.

$ 5,995

Tour Only, Per Person, Single Occupancy
(If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, we will match you with a roommate if one is available. Should there be no one to pair you with, the single supplement fee will apply.)

$ 7,290

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A small group surcharge of $200 per person will be added to a group size less than 14 travelers.

A small group surcharge of $400 per person will be added to a group size less than 12 travelers.

Initial deposit of $400 per person at time of reservation; second deposit equal to 20% of the base tour cost per person due 120 days prior to trip; final balance due 60 days prior to departure.

Payment card charges may apply.

 

Special Airfares

 

Fly to Athens with Aegean Airlines

 

 

 

Pre/Post Tour Hotels

 

Book accommodation at Otel.com

 

Book Athens, Greece hotels at Hotels.com

 

Mykonos, Greece hotels at Booking.com

 

Book Mykonos, Greece hotels at Hotelopia

 

 

 


Book Flights at Opodo

 

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