Gals to Greece: with Gracie O’Connor and Madi Westbrooke13 Days • 5 Cities Gals to Greece: with Gracie O’Connor and Madi Westbrooke
Travel with Gracie O’Connor and Madi Westbrooke!
Get ready to toga like there’s no tomorrow in the place that started it all. Whether you’re looking for a little you-time, infinite beach time, or a whole lot of party time, the Greek Islands are perfect for your next adventure. Enjoy the fresh flavors and even fresher weather (Greece gets 300 days of sunshine each year) as you explore the Mediterranean with your fellow travelers. As you hop from island to island, you’ll encounter ancient history along the way, and experience a world of new things—including tan lines. So, kick back. Grab a tomato. And bask in the beauty of the Greek Islands.
What are the top highlights?
- Cruise the azure seas of the Aegean
- Hike to the top of Athens’ ancient and famous Acropolis
- Go off the beaten path in Crete
- Catch some rays at world-famous island beaches
- Snap a photo of the whitewashed (and blue-domed) buildings
- Enjoy epic, world-class nightlife in Ios
- Flood your Instagram with unreal vistas and Santorini sunsets
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private deluxe motorcoach
- Ferry transfer between islands
- 11 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
- Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Metro pass in Athens
- Entrance to select attractions
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Click **here **for examples of where you'll stay.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
Day 1: Overnight Flight to Athens
Board your overnight flight to Athens, the cradle of Western Civilization and one of the oldest cities in the world. Pro tip: if you’re looking to earn some bonus points with the locals upon arrival, make sure you refer to Greece by its real name: Hellas.
Day 2: Arrival in Athens
Welcome to Athens! This city is at least 5,000 years old, but hardly looks a day over 25 (when you look past the historic structures and ancient statues). What we’re trying to say is, Athens is a beautiful city filled with art, literature, history, and about a million Instagram-worthy spots. And it’s the first stop on your journey through the Greek Islands.
- Meet an EF representative at the airport
- Transfer to your accommodation and check in
- Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director
- Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive
- Get acquainted with Athens on a brief walk around the city with your Tour Director.
At the Welcome Mixer, you’ll meet your new friends over drinks and light appetizers. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!
Day 3: Explore Athens
The remains of some historically significant and crazy old structures still stand in this ancient citadel, including the Parthenon and the Temple of Athena Nike. So yeah, it’s kind of a big deal. The rest of the day is yours to explore Athens.
- Step back in time in the historic Acropolis of Athens with your local guide.
- See the Propylaea, the Theatre of Dionysus, and a bunch of other structures you’ll need your guide’s help to pronounce.
- Take in incredible panoramic views of Athens from the citadel’s hilltop vantage point, and understand why the ancient city’s name translates to “high city”.
Free Time Suggestions
Fill Up: Sample ouzo, the local anise-flavored aperitif, at an authentic Greek restaurant, locally known as a taverna.
Dig It: The National Archaeology Museum is considered one of the greatest museums in the world, with pieces ranging from Greek sculptures to Egyptian Antiquities. Mama Mia! That’s quite a collection.
After you’ve taken in the sites of ancient Athens, head to Piraeus Port to board your overnight ferry bound for Chania, Crete.
Day 4: Explore Seaside Chania
Chania is one of Crete’s most picturesque coastal cities, with a maze of narrow streets and family-owned shops. Take today to explore the area on your own.
- Spend the day in Old Port on your own.
- Admire the unique architecture of Chania, a mix of Venetian and Turkish styles
- Learn about Chania’s role in history and its Minoan, Ottoman, Venetian, Byzantine and Greek influences
In the evening, head back to the harbor for dinner along the water and a night out on the town. Many of Chania’s tavernas feature live music.
Free Time Suggestions
Get Crafty: Visit Tabakaria, the leather district, for well-priced, handmade leather goods
Beachy Keen: Lounge at the beach, enjoying the soft sand and sparkling water (round-trip transportation included).
Day 5: Beach Day on Falassarna
Join your Tour Director and head to Falassarna, a mile-long golden sand beach outside of Chania, or take a free day to explore.
- Drive to Falassarna, complete with amazing ocean and mountain vistas
- Rent an umbrella, grab a fruity drink and relax in style
Return to Chania in the evening for one last night before heading to Heraklion.
Day 6: Travel to Heraklion
Enjoy a scenic drive through olive groves and mountainous terrain from Chania to Heraklion. The Old Town is known for its massive stone fortifications, astounding Venetian and Turkish fountains and urban sophistication.
- Board your private coach en route to modern, urban Heraklion, capital of Crete
- Arrive and check in to your accommodation
- Get to know the area with your Tour Director
Free Time Suggestions
That's Bull: Visit the Palace of Knossos, the setting of the myth of the Minotaur, just three miles outside of Heraklion
Eat Up: Heraklion is home to one of Greece’s most thriving cafe and restaurant scenes
Stock Up: The best shopping in the Greek Islands is in Heraklion’s Old Port
Day 7: Transfer to Santorini
You’re headed to Santorini, one of the most iconic Greek Islands, complete with whitewashed and blue-domed buildings, romantic beaches, and endless sunshine. Think you know your adult grape juice? Join an optional Cliffside wine tasting excursion.
- Hop aboard a short ferry ride bound for Santorini
- Arrive and check in to your accommodation.
- Get to know the picturesque island that you’ll be calling home for the next two nights.
- Sprint to the nearest beach and enjoy a Santorini sunset.
Free Time Suggestions:
Sun Down: Oia is the traditional village in the northwestern end of Santorini and best known for its blue-domed churched, windmills and winding streets that pop up in everyone’s Instagram feeds. And for good reason. Head there before sunset for awe-inspiring sunset views and get ready to capture some likes…errr, photos.
Life's a Beach: Visit one of Santorini’s top beaches for an evening swim—from Perivolos to Kamari to Ammoudi Bay—there are tons to choose from and you literally can’t go wrong.
Cliffside Wine Tasting & Village Tour(extra cost)
Quaint villages, wine, and a breathtaking sunset—it doesn’t get more Greek than this (unless you add in some feta cheese and olive oil). A local guide will take you from village to village, to explore, shop, and take in stunning views of the beachscapes and caldera. Make a stop at the highest point in Santorini, Profitis Elias, and then it’s on to the wine tasting. Sample a variety of local wines at a cliffside winery before hopping on the bus to Oia. When you picture Santorini, chances are you're picturing the views from the village of Oia. It's a must-see for every visitor, and you get a direct ride there to drink in the best sunset in Greece. Don't forget to snap that perfect picture for your fans (AKA Instagram followers).
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 8: Free Day in Santorini
Keep the good times and island vibes rolling with a free day in Santorini, and take in all the romantic views and olives you can handle. Get your heart rate up with a hike from Fira to Oia, or curl up on a beach towel and work on your tan. Word of advice: don’t fall asleep with a gyro on your lap. It will result in a bizarre and hunger-inducing tan line.
- Head back to your favorite beach from yesterday, or go on the hunt for a new spot.
- Wind your way along the paths of Imerovigli. When it comes to sunsets, this village is known as the “balcony to the Aegean.”
- Enjoy dinner with a view at cliffside cafes and restaurants. Bonus points if your view includes the caldera.
Free Time Suggestions
Museum On: Get your history on at a few of the island’s museums. The Archaeological Museum of Thera and the Museum of Prehistoric Thera are home to well-preserved artifacts and fossils dating back to 17th century BC.
Skary Stories: Take a trail to Skaros Rock, an outcropping of rock that juts out over the Aegean Sea. This is the perfect place to get some scenic views (and sweaty palms, if you get too close to the edge).
Day 9: Set Sail for Ios
Next stop, Ios! This hilly island in the Cyclades is known for all-day parties, sandy beaches so soft they’ll have you ditching your shoes permanently, and nightlife that stretches into early morning. This is the place to party, relax, and repeat.
- Blow a farewell kiss to Santorini and board your ferry to Ios.
- Arrive and check in to your accommodations.
- Join your Tour Director on a walking tour of the area and get a feel for the island living.
- Spend the rest of the day exploring on your own, then get the party started with the island’s famous nightlife.
Free Time Suggestions
Beach It: Head to Mylopotas Beach, located near the island’s main village of Chora, for a day of sunbathing, or hit the water for windsurfing, snorkeling, and Marco Polo-ing. Prepare to get your socks knocked off—this is the most visited beach in Ios…not that you should be wearing socks at the beach anyways.
Take a Hike: Head into the cliff-top villages of Ios and catch a glimpse of the iconic windmills. Then, feel on top of the world after hiking up to Pyrgos, the island’s highest point, and take in some serious views.
Day 10: Explore Ios
Enjoy a free day to explore Ios on your own. By now, you probably already understand why the nightlife on this island is so famous, but Ios is more than just a party destination—it’s full of history, tradition, and activity. Spend the day wandering around island villages, going for a hike, or just relaxing under blue skies on one of the island’s pristine beaches. Bring a bottle of wine, a book, and your personal playlist—you’re in paradise.
- Make your way to the beach for more splashing, sunshine, and sand between your toes, and love that this is now part of your daily routine.
- Head to the harbor to devour fresh seafood and ocean views.
- Snap a picture at the Panayia Gremiotissa bell tower, one of the most photographed spots on the island.
- Dance the night away in the Greek Islands’ most famous party scene.
Free Time Suggestions
Don’t ruin it: Explore Paleokastro (translation: old castle) and discover the ancient ruins that have been standing on a cliff’s edge overlooking the Aegan Sea since 1397 AD.
Dig it: Ios is more than just a pretty face. Soak in some of the island’s ancient history at the Archeological Museum.
Day 11: Free Day in Ios
You can never have too much free time in paradise. Spend the day revisiting your favorite sunbathing spot, exploring new hiking paths, or snorkeling with some fish friends.
- Take a break from the nonstop parties on Manganari beach, a secluded spot perfect for a peaceful afternoon under the sun.
- Trek over to Skarkos Hill for a look at the island’s largest archaeological excavation site, and get a peek into ancient civilization.
- Stay out till the break of dawn (and then stay out a little longer) to end your last night in Ios the right way.
Free Time Suggestions
Shop ‘til you drop: Spend some time shopping in Chora, the island’s main village. This classic Greek village offers incredible views and has endless alleys and side streets to explore.
***Go Homer:***Pay homage to one of the greatest poet’s in Greek history during a hike in the northernmost part of the island to Homer’s Tomb. If you ever read Odyssey or Iliad in high school, you know who to thank.
Day 12: Return to Athens + Farewell Dinner
Athens felt neglected, so it’s a good thing you’re heading back to pay it another visit. End the trip with a bang in a city known for stunning views and world-class nightlife. By now, you’re an old pro when it comes to exploring Greece, so we’re giving you the day to adventure in Athens on your own before an included farewell dinner with the group.
- Take a ferry from Ios to Athens, and greet the ancient city like a really, really old friend.
- Revisit some favorite spots from day one in Athens, or go on a hunt to find new hidden gems.
- Check out some of the residential areas for an authentic look at life in Athens.
- Enjoy one last group dinner, and raise a glass to an epic trip.
Free Time Suggestions
Go Ancient: Step back in time in the historic Acropolis of Athens, and take in incredible panoramic views of Athens from the citadel’s hilltop vantage point.
Follow the Light: Flood-lit like a beacon towering over the city, Mount Lycabettus offers a spectacular view of the city. If you’ve been holding out on posting a scenic Instagram post, this is your moment.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
Day 13: Fly Home
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s, “See you later.” The only question is, where?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
1. Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
2. Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for a $30 fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.
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