Step into a postcard as you explore the best of Greece with TFT! This trip is designed just for participants in middle school and allows them to safely explore the beauty of Greece. Discover the stunning beaches, whitewashed homes, charming towns and centuries of rich history. Get lost in the ancient ruins of Athens, and marvel at the incredible views of the world-renowned Greek Islands on this incredible teen travel program.
On our summertime adventure, we will sail through crystal waters, relax on two island paradises, eat like Greek 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!
This incredible journey designed exclusively for middle school students will leave you with the travel bug forever!
During this program, you will…
- Climb the Acropolis for a close-up look at the Parthenon, one of the most spectacular ancient ruins in the world
- Learn how to make the best Greek specialties during a private cooking class
- 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
- Take a private boat tour around Santorini, stopping at hidden beaches along the way
- Visit the charming seaside city of Nafplio and climb to the top of a castle fortress overlooking the Aegean Sea
Don’t want the fun to stop? Most travelers choose to extend their stay as part of our Europe For Middle School: Greece, Italy & the Islands program!
DAY 1: DEPART FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
DAYS 2-3: ATHENS
Upon your arrival in Athens, you’ll be greeted at the airport by your Travel For Teens guides, who will accompany you for the duration of your journey. After getting settled into the hotel, we’ll have lunch and head to downtown Athens for a walking tour. See Constitution Square, wander the winding streets of the historical Plaka neighborhood, and explore the market district of Monastiraki. We’ll top off an exciting first day with your first taste of authentic Greek cuisine at one of our favorite local restaurants.
Then step back in time 2500 years to the height of ancient Greek civilization at the incredible Acropolis! First, we’ll visit the Acropolis Museum, rated one of the world’s top 10 museums. Then we’ll see this incredibly well-preserved monument ourselves. After lunch, students will have free time to explore Plaka and shop for souvenirs on Ermou Street. For dinner, try your hand at making your own Greek delicacies in our cooking class.
DAY 4: NAFPLIO
We’ll take a day trip out of Athens to the beautiful seaside city of Nafplio. En-route, stop at the Corinth Canal, a technological feat of engineering dating back to the time of Ancient Greece and only completed in the 19th century! We’ll have lunch in Nafplio, which was the first capital of Greece, before visiting a nearby beach for our first dip in the Mediterranean Sea.
DAY 5: PAROS
Today, we’ll depart Athens and do like the Greeks do: board a ferry to visit an island! The first island we’ll stay at on our journey is Paros, a beautiful island in the Mediterranean. Upon our arrival, we’ll have lunch, then head down to the beach for some relaxing and swimming! Watch the sunset over the sea as we enjoy dinner at one of the island’s most beautiful lookout spots.
DAY 6-8: SANTORINI
Then it’s time to explore the winding cobblestone streets of Paroikia for the last time before boarding the ferry to our next island: the famous Santorini. Upon our arrival, we’ll explore the town and relax before enjoying dinner.
Begin the day in the village of Oia, one of the most photographed places on the planet. Students will surely recognize its whitewashed buildings, blue domes, and antique windmills. We’ll spend the day strolling through the town and capturing its scenic beauty. This evening, watch the sunset from aboard our own private sunset cruise along the Santorini caldera. Swim in hot springs and take in the breathtaking Aegean views!
We’ll visit Santorini’s other picturesque village, Fira, and soak up Greek life as we explore its narrow alleyways and quaint shops. There will be time for swimming at the hotel pool this morning as well. In the afternoon, we’ll board the ferry to return to Athens, where we’ll have dinner.
DAY 9: ATHENS
On our final full day in Greece, we’ll begin the day with a scavenger hunt in the Agora, the birthplace of democracy in the heart of historic Athens. This afternoon, you’ll have free time to do some souvenir shopping in the hip neighborhood of Monastiraki or to visit any museums or sites you may have missed. To celebrate the end of an amazing journey, we’ll enjoy an upscale dinner dressed in our finest and reminisce on the memories we’ve made in Greece.
DAY 10: RETURN FLIGHT TO THE USA
Authenticity is engrained in everything we do. Eat, stay, and travel like a local.
Check out what past travelers have to say about TFT and discover why we are consistently awarded “Top Youth Travel Organization” year after year.
"As I entered my summer after graduating high school and before starting college, I wanted to do something that created lifelong memories and allowed me to explore a new part of the world I’d never been to; TFT’s Greece Island Hopping for Older Teens did just that. I was thankful that TFT offered a program specifically for kids finishing 11th and 12th grade, because I wanted to be surrounded by other people my age, with similar experiences and interests as me. This program was the perfect way for me to explore the gorgeous beaches of Paros and Naxos, and also immerse myself in the greek culture through sampling different foods, and speaking with locals. Greece has so many unique and historical sights to offer, and this trip gave me the chance to see it all; the famous Acropolis in Athens, the postcard-like blue domed buildings of Santorini, the ancient grecian island Delos, and more. I could not have asked for a better trip to send me off into the new chapter of my life!"
"This trip to Greece was my first time traveling with TFT and easily one of the best experiences of my entire life. I learned so much more about myself, traveling, and other cultures over those two weeks than I ever expected to. I did not know anyone on my trip before meeting up at the airport and ended the trip with best friends that I continue to talk to every single day (over three years later), and that I even coordinated TFT trips with the following summer. I hold so many special memories from this trip and could not recommend TFT and Greece more!"
"I wanted to say THANK YOU! I am so grateful that Ally had all of you there to help and take great care of her. She was so far from home and I appreciate that you all made her feel comfortable. It would not have been possible without the help of you and your thoughtful and caring team! Thank you again with the greatest appreciation!"
Frequently Asked Questions
What kind of teen typically participates in this program? What are the requirements to join?
Teens from all over the world join this program! Typically, our participants are culturally curious individuals who are excited to make new friends, experience something unique, and interested in stepping out of their comfort zones and expanding their horizons.
This program is exclusively for students who are currently in 7th or 8th grade and approximately 12 to 14 years old. Students living outside of the USA are welcome to join!
Where do we stay?
Our hotels are chosen specifically in safe areas and are well suited to facilitating group supervision. We stay in centrally located accommodations, usually within walking distance of the main attractions. 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 Paroikia in a beautiful hotel close to the port. On Santorini, we stay next to Fira in one of the most photogenic spots on the island with views overlooking the sea and rolling vineyards. 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 the program.
Do most travelers go on their own?
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 form along the way. When we travel by ourselves, we 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 friends on another TFT program the next summer!
If you are thinking about joining a TFT program by yourself but you are feeling unsure, please let us know! We have plenty of references from solo travelers who had great experiences and would be happy to chat with you about it.
Can I bring a friend?
Absolutely! We ask that if you do come with a friend, you and your friend(s) maintain openness to meeting new people and sharing this special experience with the entire group.
What do students like most about 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 laidback 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 sweets tasting at a local shop and a traditional cooking lesson in the culinary heart of Athens. Our Greece program is completely unique from anything you would find anywhere else!
What is included?
Tuition cost includes ground transportation; accommodation; chaperones and guides; program-related activities and admissions; taxes and tips; all breakfasts and dinners.
Not included in cost (this is not intended to be an exhaustive list): airfare; lunches; visas and visa application fees; personal and medical expenses; activities and admissions that are not program-related or referenced in the itinerary; beverages other than filtered water at meals; participant expenses that are outside of the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels; expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters.
How do the optional group flights work?
Upon registration, you will be contacted by our International Logistics Team to discuss the program’s flight details. There is no requirement to take the group flight, but there are several advantages to doing so. The group flight is usually chaperoned by a TFT staff member, and it also offers an opportunity for the students to get to know one another prior to the start of the program. Parents are responsible for coordinating transport to the departure airport – however, the logistics team will send out instructions detailing the exact meeting spot and airport point person. For additional information about flights, visit our dedicated flight page.
Who leads the program?
Our staff is a cut above the rest! We seek out two main characteristics in our counselors – extensive knowledge of and experience in our destinations, and a passion for working with teens. Our staff’s backgrounds include living abroad and working in summer camps or other educational settings. Team members are proven leaders and role models, who connect easily with others and form genuine friendships with each student – all while bringing each destination to life.
We celebrate diversity! Our staff represents 49 different nationalities, speak a combined total of 21 languages, and visited 142 countries. Additionally, 80% of our staff lived or worked abroad in their lives. With so many unique experiences to share, you are sure to gain a global perspective.
Our average minimum ratios are one staff member to every seven participants. Each program has one Trip Director with several support staff, depending on the group size. Directors must be at least 25 years old and have prior experience working with TFT.
What are the safety qualifications for our staff?
Our staff members undergo a rigorous hiring process. They receive the same background check as school educators, an extensive training process to go over all safety precautions and protocols, and are required to be certified in CPR and First Aid. We exclusively hire responsible, multi-talented individuals who are safety-minded and are as passionate about teen travel as we are.
What is the average group size?
We pride ourselves on small group sizes to create a more authentic and personalized experience. Our group sizes fall between 14 and 21 students – the perfect size to facilitate new friendships without feeling lost in a crowd! We believe smaller groups eliminate the likelihood of cliques, and allows for a well-rounded, healthy group dynamic.
How does this program connect to other programs?
Our program dates are designed specifically so that participants can opt to combine trips throughout the summer. When connecting to another program, your counselor will escort you to the airport on the last day of the program and assist you in meeting your next group at your new destination.
Families who sign up for more than one program will also receive a 15% discount on the lesser-priced program.
What is the food like on this program?
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.
Of course, we are always willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
Do we ever get time to go off on our own?
Our staff and teens are nearly always together, but we do provide the opportunity to break up into smaller groups to allow for flexibility and customization within the itinerary.
We offer free time in defined safe areas – for example, shopping in a market or exploring a museum. During these times, students remain in groups of at least two and are given no more than an hour. Of course, the counselors remain nearby and available. Additionally, a lifeguard-certified counselor supervises the campers any time they are involved in water activities.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
We recommend checking with your family doctor regarding vaccinations and medical advice for the destination you are visiting. For more information, please check the World Health Organization’s website. Upon registration, we provide a list of recommended vaccinations that can be discussed further with your doctor. For Specific questions pertaining to the COVID-19 vaccine, click here.
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.
When joining a TFT trip from outside of the US, please be sure to check your country’s 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!