Greece: Athens and the Islands
$4,395 + Airfare
Jun 26 – Jul 8
|Who can go on this trip?||
Students from around the world!
|Places we visit:||
Athens, Delphi, Nafplio, Paros, Santorini
|Optional group flight there:||
New York (JFK) to Athens
|Optional group flight back:||
Athens to New York (JFK)
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 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.
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!
On 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
- Visit the Pnyx, the birthplace of democracy, for fascinating panoramic views of the city
- Learn how to make the best Greek specialties during a private cooking class
- 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
- Windsurf, snorkel, scuba dive*, 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
- Walk along the volcanic crater between the towns in Santorini
- Take a private boat tour around Paros, stopping at hidden beaches along the way
- 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 Aegean Sea
*Scuba diving is optional
DAY 1: GROUP FLIGHT DEPARTS FROM NEW YORK (JFK)
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 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 and one of the sites of the original Olympic Games. 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 Nafflio 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!
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 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 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?
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 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: GROUP FLIGHT BACK TO THE USA
WHAT KIND OF TEEN TYPICALLY PARTICIPATES IN THIS PROGRAM? WHAT ARE THE REQUIREMENTS TO JOIN?
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.
This program is only for students who are currently in 9th and 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 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 program.
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 program 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 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 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 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?
Ground transportation, accommodations, all breakfasts and dinners, chaperones and guides, program-related activities and admissions, taxes and tips.
Not Included (not intended to be an exhaustive list): Airfare, visas and visa application fees, lunches, beverages other than filtered water at meals, activities and admissions not referenced in the itinerary or deemed not program related, such as movies, expenses incurred by the participant that are outside the program description, such as excess baggage fees and damage to hotels, expenses related to unforeseen circumstances, such as transportation strikes and natural disasters, as well as 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 program’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 program starts, and we get preferred group flight prices on programs 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 LEADS THE PROGRAM?
The Trip Director for every program 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 program 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. Programs 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 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?
Group size is important! A smaller group size provides unique opportunities that a large group cannot accommodate. Think of your favorite local restaurant; could it easily accommodate a group of 50 teens? Probably not! Our group sizes average between 14 to 21 students, which means that we are able to comfortably use local transport, enjoy local restaurants, and have a more authentic experience overall! A smaller group size also eliminates the likelihood of cliques, meaning that our groups all tend to bond as a cohesive unit. We guarantee that you’ll have enough people to meet some new best friends, but not so many that you feel like “just a number” or lost in a crowd.
How does this program connect to other programs?
This program can be connected to programs in Europe and North America. At the end of the program, your counselor will escort you to the airport 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 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.
As always, we are willing and able to accommodate vegetarians, vegans, gluten allergies, and other dietary restrictions.
How much free time do we get?
Our counselors are with the group almost always. Everyday we will break up into smaller groups to give our participants some choices and flexibility in their itinerary. At our accommodations, students will have a good amount of free time to enjoy the facilities but will not be able to leave the grounds without one of our staff members. Our time in Rome, Lefkada, Athens, Paros, Naxos, and Santorini will be fairly regimented to maximize the activities we can enjoy during our time, however there will be some free time to go shopping in certain areas of the cities and safe pedestrian areas. Additionally, a lifeguard certified counselor will be supervising the students any time that they are involved in water activities.
Do I need any vaccinations for this program?
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/. After you register, we will provide you with a list of vaccinations you should consider discussing with your child’s family doctor.
What kind of Visa do you need for this program?
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!