Greece: Athens and the Islands
$4,395 + Airfare
Jun 25 – Jul 7
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
Athens, Delphi, Nafplio, Paros, Santorini
|Optional group flight there:||
Newark to Athens
|Optional group flight back:||
Athens to Newark
Step into a postcard as you explore the best of Greece with TFT! Greece is home to stunning beaches, white washed houses, charming towns and centuries of rich history. During this trip we will get to experience everything Greece has to offer! Get lost in the ancient ruins of Athens, and marvel at the incredible views of the world-renowned Greek islands.
Greek culture is brought to life with fun interactive activities like an afternoon cooking lesson, learning the art of Greek dancing (Opa!), an authentic Greek coffee tasting, and plenty of opportunities to interact with the hospitable Greek locals who are so passionate about their beloved country.
On our summertime adventure through some of Greece’s most popular destinations, we will snorkel through crystal waters, relax on two island paradises, eat like gods, and explore the ancient culture that is at the heart of Western Civilization. Prepare to fall in love with the culture, people, history, cuisine, and pure beauty of Greece!
On this trip you will:
- Climb the Acropolis for a close-up look at the Parthenon, one of the most spectacular ancient ruins in the world
- Hike Mt. Lykavittos for fascinating panoramic views of the city below
- Learn how to make the best Greek specialties during a private cooking class at a local family’s home
- Visit a famous sandal maker for a pair of custom handmade leather sandals in Athens
- Stroll the marble streets of the historical Plaka district in Athens
- Enjoy meals on rooftop terraces overlooking incredible views
- Learn the art of Greek dancing from a cheerful yia yia at her family owned restaurant
- Windsurf, snorkel, scuba dive (optional) and swim at some of the most beautiful beaches in Europe
- Marvel at the white buildings and blue domes that line the charming islands of Paros and Santorini
- See the world famous sunsets from the best vantage point of Santorini
- Hike along the volcanic crater between the towns in Santorini
- Take a private boat tour around the caldera of a volcano, stopping to swim in a crystal blue sea
- Ride donkeys up the cliffside of Santorini
- Soak up the sun on the famous red and black sand beaches of Santorini
- Visit the mystical, mysterious Delphi, home to the Oracle that initiated the story of Oedipus and one of the sites of the original Olympic Games
- Visit the charming seaside city of Nafplio and climb to the top of a castle fortress overlooking the ocean
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM NEWARK, NJ
DAYS 2-4: ATHENS, DELPHI, NAFPLIO
Go back in time almost 4,000 years where Western civilization was born and new ideas about philosophy, government, and democracy thrived. We will start our trip off with a Greek coffee tasting to shake off the jet lag, strolling through some of the best neighborhoods in Athens, and finishing off our first evening with an incredible Greek feast overlooking the city of Athens from a lovely rooftop terrace. The next few days will be filled with culture and history. Stand atop the magnificent Acropolis and imagine ancient Greek life as you marvel at the architectural wonder of the Parthenon. Return to the modern city and wander among the lively markets full of fresh food and authentic handmade goods. Go off the beaten path to the charming Plaka district, beautifully lit up at night and lined with adorable cafes and restaurants. Hike to the top of Mt. Lykavittos for unparalleled views of the city at sunset and learn to cook Greek specialities at the beautiful home of a renowned chef.
Many other incredible sites await us outside the city of Athens. Visit the mystical Delphi, home to the Oracle that initiated the story of Oedipus and one of the sites of the original Olympic Games. This mysterious and spiritual place will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on you.
Take a trip to Nafplio, the small Venetian town that was the first capital of Greece. Stop at the famous Corinthian Canal and explore a fortress that was built in the 19th century with stunning views of the coast. We will wander the winding cobblestone streets of Napflio that are reminiscent of the Venetian occupation. You will feel like you have been transported to Italy for a day! The rest of our time in Nafplio will be spent soaking up the sun at a gorgeous beach.
DAYS 5-7: PAROS
Leaving Athens, we will travel the way the Greeks do–cruising by ferry over the turquoise Mediterranean waters. Our next destination is Paros, an island famous in ancient times for its immaculate white marble and for having sided in battle with the Persians against the Greeks! We’ll get a tour of the island, where we’ll learn about traditional island life, past and present, with our afternoon saved for sun, sea. There will be plenty of fun activities on offer including, windsurfing, beach volleyball and snorkeling. We will also hike the historical Byzantine road for some amazing views of the Cycladic island landscape, pass through beautiful white-washed villages, and end the walk in a fortified village! Our evenings in Paros will be spent enjoying the vibrant island sunsets, feasting on delicious dinners at local restaurants and shopping and strolling the white washed streets.
DAYS 8-11: SANTORINI
Next stop is an island of dramatic red and black sand beaches, whitewashed houses and cobblestone alleyways. This is one of the world’s premier luxury travel destinations and the most spectacular of all the Greek islands. You’ll recognize the postcard-perfect town of Oia, famous for its blue domes and whitewashed houses, and even have the option of taking a scuba-diving class! We will wander the island’s quaint streets, soak up the sun, enjoy the laidback island lifestyle, eat fresh local cuisine and dance the night away at a fun club (optional)!
The pool of our hotel overlooks the sea, as do the terraces where we dine. We’ll spend a day on a private boat cruising around the caldera of a volcano. Out on the water we will visit gorgeous beaches, swim in the inviting water, and admire the towns perched on the cliffside from the sea. After our boat tour we will head back up to town in style and the same way the locals do, by riding donkeys!
During our time in Santorini we will also enjoy a traditional Greek dance lesson from a Yia Yia at her family’s restaurant. Opa!
DAYS 11-12: ATHENS
We’ll return to Athens for one last goodbye, and catch some sights we may have missed the first time around. Visit the Ancient Agora which was the first central square in Athens, the birth of government and democracy in ancient times. Pick up a pair of custom made leather sandals from a famous sandal maker, get in any last minute shopping and savor your last Greek gyro! To finish our incredible Greek journey, we’ll enjoy a fancy final dinner at a traditional Greek taverna overlooking the Acropolis lit up at night.
Who can go on this trip? What kind of teen typically goes on this trip?
We have teens join this program from all over the world! They are typically culturally curious teens who are excited about making new friends, stepping out of their comfort zone, expanding their horizons, and trying something new.
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are specifically chosen to be in safe areas and well-suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. This means we do not use large, impersonal chain hotels on the outskirts of cities. We prefer to select smaller, family run hotels where we establish personal relationships with the owners.
In Athens we stay at a great hotel only a five minute walk in the center of Athens near Syntagma. Travelers average between 2-4 per room. On Paros we stay in the capital of Parokia in a beautiful hotel close to the port and 2 minutes from the beach. On Santorini, we stay in the capital of Fira in Villas looking out on the ocean. On the islands, both of our hotels have pools.
For safety reasons, we do not publish the names of the accommodations we use. We do not feel it is safe to publish the name of a hotel where a group of teenagers is staying abroad. After registering, participants and parents are given access to our secure parent website where you will be able to see the names of all of the accommodations for a trip.
Do most travelers go by themselves?
Yes, in fact over 75% of students who travel with us choose to come independently. This encourages teens to step further outside their comfort zone and make new friends. We believe that one of the most rewarding and exciting elements of travel is the new friendships that are formed along the way. If you travel by yourself, you are bound to make new friends from all over the country and even the world. The best part is, you can travel again with your new BFFs on another TFT trip the next summer!
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We just ask that if you come with a friend, you and your friend(s) are still open to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What do students generally like most on this program?
Students love that they are able to explore the hottest destinations in Greece, while also discovering some lesser known gems. Paros tends to be a favorite, everyone loves its laid back island vibe and gorgeous beaches.
Teens also love that they are able to discover the culture and history of Greece while exploring Athens and contrast their experiences in the city with the charm of the Greek islands.
What is unique about this program?
We have strong local connections in Greece and offer exclusive activities like a Greek coffee tasting at a local shop, a traditional cooking lesson at a family’s home and a Greek dance lesson with a local Yia Yia. Our Greece program is completely unique from anything you would find anywhere else!
What is included?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, trip related activities, trip related activity admissions, taxes and tips.
Not Included: (not intended to be an exhaustive list) Airfare, rail passes, lunches, visas & visa application fees, beverages other than tap water, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not trip related such as movies, clubs and the like, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the trip description such as damage to hotels, excess baggage fees and the like, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances such as transportation strikes, natural disasters and the like, personal and medical expenses.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss this trip’s flight details. You are not required to take the group flight, although there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is chaperoned by TFT staff, it offers an opportunity for the students to get to know each other before the trip starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on trips that have group contracts (ask for details). Parents are responsible for arranging for participants to get to the group flight airport. Travel For Teens staff are at the airport, greet arriving participants, and help them get to where the rest of the group has assembled. For more information about Flights, visit our Flights page.
Who are the counselors on the trip?
The Trip Director for every trip is a seasoned teen travel professional with extensive TFT experience. Trip Directors often live or have lived and worked in the destination country. Extensive knowledge of the language and culture of the destination is crucial. Our Senior Counselors are experienced, responsible and fun-loving individuals who our participants can share experiences with and look to for guidance and support. At Travel for Teens we pride ourselves on our rigorous staff application process and the professionalism of our full time and summer staff.
It is the job of the counselors to keep the trip fun and exciting, the learning and the laughter in good balance, and to oversee the safety of the participants. Minimum ratios are on average one staff member to every seven participants. Trips may also include one or two Junior Counselors, who are college students with a history of TFT travel, and one or more Counselors in Training (CIT’s) with limited responsibility. CIT’s are not counted in staff-participant ratios.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
All of our staff members attend a week long training session every May to prepare for the upcoming summer and go over safety precautions and protocols. Likewise, every counselor is CPR/First Aid certified and Trip Directors are Lifeguard certified. All staff undergo a rigorous interview process and thorough background check.
What is the average group size?
At Travel for Teens, our trips typically fall into 3 different size categories.
Small: 7-14 students where 14 is the maximum.
Medium: Average is between 14-21 students with 21 as the maximum.
Large: Trips 21-35 students. These are our largest trips.
Typically Greece: Athens and the Islands falls into the medium range, but trip sizes differ from year to year.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Most of our Europe programs are designed specifically so that participants can combine them with other trips. If you are connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the trip and help you get to your next destination where you will meet up with your new counselors and group.
What is the food like on this trip?
In a word – Delicious! At TFT, we believe food should be an integral part of the travel experience and always make an effort to eat at authentic establishments when we can. What better way to immerse yourself in the culture of a place than by sampling the local delicacies, and we encourage students to do so whenever possible! Just as we stay away from Americanized hotel chains, we try to avoid restaurants with menus that cater only to tourists because every good traveler knows the best food is found wherever the locals are eating!
In Greece, we will enjoy class Greek cuisine, including the original Greek salad with mouth-watering tomatoes and locally made feta, famous grilled meats and fresh seafood, and world-renowned baklava. The secret to Greek food is the fresh, simple ingredients, and you’ll begin to understand why this is the secret to one of the best diets in the world: the Mediterranean diet!
We also love to have picnics al fresco, and do this whenever possible, which is a great way to taste some local food while sitting out in the fresh air taking in the sights and sounds of our surroundings.
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do I need any vaccinations for this trip?
We recommend that you check with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the areas you will be visiting. For more information, please check out the World Health Organization’s website www.who.int/en/.
How much free time do we get?
Our counselors are with the group nearly always. Everyday we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. We do offer some free time to do some shopping, for example, in defined areas that we are very familiar with. If participants are ever shopping by themselves within these defined areas they go in groups and for no more than an hour. On this trip, the group will have some free time to explore some of the safe pedestrian areas of Athens, Paros, and Santorini. A counselor will always be nearby when participants have free time in each city. We will have the chance to go clubbing on this trip in Santorini, where our counselors will be present at all times.
What kind of Visa do you need for this trip?
Any US citizen that enters Europe is automatically granted a free 90-day tourist visa. If you are coming from somewhere outside the US, please be sure to check your country specific visa requirements.
Do I need to speak the language?
No, our skilled staff members will help you get around and even teach you a few fun phrases!
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