Step into a postcard as you explore the best of Greece with TFT! Greece is home to stunning beaches, whitewashed homes, charming towns and centuries of rich history. During this program 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 on this teen travel program.
Greek culture is brought to life with fun interactive activities like an afternoon cooking lesson, walks through historical villages, and an authentic Greek coffee lesson, 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!
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 and scuba dive* a 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 Paros, stopping at hidden beaches along the way
- Visit the mystical, mysterious Delphi, home to the Oracle that initiated the story of Oedipus
- Visit the charming seaside city of Nafplio and climb to the top of a castle fortress overlooking the Aegean Sea
*This is an optional excursion
DAY 1: DEPART FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
DAYS 2-4: ATHENS > DELPHI > NAFPLIO
Go back in time almost 4,000 years where Western civilization was born and the then-new ideas about philosophy, government, and democracy thrived. We will start off our travels with a picnic lunch in the gardens, strolling through some of the best neighborhoods in Athens, and finishing off our first evening with an incredible Greek feast in the heart of historical Athens. 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 and learn to cook Greek specialities while you’re there. Go off the beaten path to the charming Plaka district, beautifully lit up at night and lined with adorable cafes and restaurants. Visit the Pnyx to see where democracy was born, and to capture those paralleled views of the city at sunset.
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. This mysterious and spiritual place will undoubtedly leave a lasting impression on you.
Take an excursion out 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 Nafplio 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 5-8: 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!
We will also have a private boat tour of the hidden side of Paros. Out on the water we will visit gorgeous beaches, swim in the inviting water, and admire the towns along the seaside. 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 9-11: SANTORINI
Next stop is an island of dramatic red and black sand beaches, whitewashed homes 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 experience what makes Greece a truly unique summer destination. The pool of our hotel overlooks the sea, as do the terraces where we dine–what could be better?
DAY 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 capture the sunset from the Pnyx and enjoy a fancy final dinner at a traditional Greek taverna overlooking the Acropolis lit up at night.
DAY 13: RETURN FLIGHT TO THE USA
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 9th or 10th grade and approximately 14 to 16 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 and 2 minutes from the beach. On Santorini, we stay next to Fira in one of the most photogenic spots on the island, experiencing the local architecture and staying in our own personal caves, 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 coffee 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.
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!
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 were awarded top youth travel organization in 2017.
"I went on Greece: Athens and the Islands this past summer and had a BLAST! The scenery was gorgeous, the weather was beautiful, the activities were super fun, and everyone on the trip was so nice. I would 101% recommend this trip to anyone!"
"It was a wonderful trip for us and most importantly for our girls. They learned and explored and opened their minds and hearts to new experiences and a different way of life. The time spent traveling was invaluable. I am very grateful to you for the wonderful trip you planned for us and for the beautiful way you gave these new experiences to the girls."
"You were all great travelers and so interested in everything we saw and everyplace we went to. Greece was beautiful - the ancient to the new. And I loved the food. But my favorite thing was watching the students coming together as a community. There is nothing more I can say to sing the praises of the counselors. My memories of this Greece trip will be some of my fondest. Have a great rest of the summer."