Day 01Friday, Dec 27, 2019
- Arrival in Athens – Plaka neighborhood (D)
Upon your arrival, you will be welcomed by the trip leader and be transferred to your hotel. In the afternoon, you will head to Plaka, one of the oldest neighborhoods of Athens and ramble around the picturesque alleys, observing the kaleidoscopic co-existence of the Ancient Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman, and modern Greek eras. It is an excellent opportunity to hone your photographic skills, experimenting with colors, angles, and meanings. You will finish the day in the oldest Plaka tavern to dine on traditional local delicacies while singing and dancing – the Greek way.
Day 02Saturday, Dec 28, 2019
- Acropolis Hill – Parthenon – Acropolis Museum – Evening performance (B, L, D)
After breakfast, you will explore the area around the Acropolis Hill and the Parthenon. You will hear the stories and myths of Ancient Athens, either sipping hot coffee in one of the picturesque cafes of the old neighborhood or walking on the hills that surround the monuments. You will finish at the Acropolis Museum for lunch facing the ancient ruins and then, there will be time for you to explore the halls of the Museum – rated as one of the best thematic museums of the world. If you wish, you can also go up the Acropolis Hill itself. In the evening, you will head to the Christmas Theater for a performance of “Nutcracker” by the Bolshoi Ballet Academy. Nutcracker is closely connected in Europe with the Christmasy spirit and no festive season is considered complete without dancing to its familiar tunes.
Day 03Sunday, Dec 29, 2019
- Modern neighborhoods of Athens – National Garden – Home-cooked dinner at local house (B, L, D)
Today you will enjoy the modern part of Athens. You will pass by the central Syntagma Square, explore the famous Athenian Trilogy, walk around the neighborhoods that are legendary for their graffiti, and monitor the Athenians as they proceed with their last New-Year shopping. Prepare to go in and out of cozy cafes decorated for the season, sit by steamy windows for people-watching, taste local delicacies, and be part of the festive ambience of the capital with all the unexpected surprises the city will have for you. After lunch, you will explore the National Garden of Athens which is considered to be a 19th-century monument, famous not only for its design and botanical wealth but, mostly, for its historical importance and the antiquities hidden in its most secret corners. In the afternoon, you will head towards the parental house of the trip leader for a brief cooking class on “melomakarona” and “kourabiedes” (the traditional sweets of the season) followed by a delicious, home-cooked dinner.
Day 04Monday, Dec 30, 2019
- Treasure Hunt in Athens – Niarhos Foundation area – Evening performance (B, L, D)
In the morning, you will engage in a Festive-Season-inspired treasure hunt game throughout the neighborhoods of Athens. With the help of a map, the internet, and the information you will have learnt during the previous days, you will find the hidden clues and win the prize at the end. Then, you will visit the Niarhos Foundation, a beloved area for all Athenians, that turns into a fairytale land full of music and colors during Christmas and New Year. The day will end with an evening performance (TBD, as not all performances of the season have been announced yet).
Day 05Monday, Dec 31, 2019
- Free time – Cooking class – New Year Eve celebration (B, L, D)
You will enjoy the morning at your own pace, with ample time for shopping. Early in the afternoon, you will head to the house of the trip leader for a cooking class, preparing for the New Year Eve celebration. In the evening, you will feast at your creations, exchange gifts (Secret Santa), play games and sing songs, and, if you wish to stay up until midnight, you will welcome the New Year with the traditional cutting of the “vasilopita”, looking for the coin that will bring you luck in the months to come.
Day 06Tuesday, Jan 1, 2019
- Departure (B)
This is your last day in Athens, so after breakfast, you will be transferred to the airport for your departure flights.