Greece cultural tours, activity and special interest holidays

The Traveller (020 7269 2770;
Several group tours on scheduled dates to Greece, led by high-quality
lecturers, plus tailored trips and city breaks (Athens four days, £625 per
person) available on a tailor-made basis. New for 2011 is a two-week tour
called “With the Persians to Marathon”, marking the 2,500th
anniversary of the Persians’ invasion of Greece, tracing their route from
Delphi to Marathon, departing August 31, at £3,465 per person.

Westminster Classic Tours (020 8286 7842;
Offers Lesbos and Chios for the first time in 2011 with a new tour called “The
Northern Isles”. This takes place aboard a traditional gulet and
is led by Peter Jones, former Professor of Classics at Newcastle University,
with lectures by Andrew Hobson, Classics tutor at Magdalen College,
departing in late August, at £3,250 full board.

Larger groups – by coach or cruise

Archers Direct (0871 423 8638;
Offers a combined land-based “Greek Odyssey” tour with a week
cruising around the Greek islands and Turkish coast or Israel, Egypt and
Crete. There are virtually identical tours offered by affiliated company Cosmos
(0871 423 8636;

Insight Vacations (01475 741203;
Cruises of discovery and classical tours including seven-night “Glories
of Greece” from £950.

(0800 018 3883;
A Greek-owned cruise line, operating out of Piraeus (Athens) with good-value
options ranging from a three-night tour of the Aegean to a 10-night cruise
around the Greek Islands and through the Corinth Canal.

Milestones (0845 678 5656;
An island-hopping tour (based in Mykonos and Santorini) and others combining
Greece and Turkey.

Page Moy (0870 833 4012;
Eleven of its tours include Greece (some combined with neighbouring
countries). Ten-day “Treasures of Ancient Greece” starts at
£1,229. Six tours in or including Greece are also offered by its sister
company, Travelsphere (0870 240 2426;

Saga (0800 096 0074;
Tours, plus some stay-put hotel holidays. New for 2011 is 14-night “Taste
of the Greek Islands”, visiting Santorini, Paros, Mykonos, Naxos and
Delos. Prices start at £974 per person including flights and some meals. For
the over-fifties.

Voyages Jules Verne (0845 166 7035;
Nine-day voyage around the Cyclades on MS Galileo from £1,275, and an
11-night tour of ancient sites from £1,695.


Food and wine

Arblaster Clarke Wine Tours (01730 263111;
Has a new tour “Wines of Greece” visiting leading estates near
Athens and in the Peloponnese. Also combining visits to archaeological sites
at Olympia, Mycenae, Mistras and Monemvasia. £1,899 including flights, half
board, guide and tastings.

On the Menu (0870 899 8844;
Small village of Askeli on the island of Poros is the base for traditional
cookery courses at £1,330, with most meals. Flights extra.


Skyros Holidays (01983 865566;
Yoga, writing, wellbeing, music and arts courses at Atsitsa Bay.

Photography and Painting

Authentic Adventures (01453 823328;
Has added painting and walking to its photography course for 2011. These run
over the same September week, from £1,259 per person (walking) with full
board accommodation and five days of activities.


Friendship Travel (0871 200 2035;
Upmarket hotels and house party holidays on Paros, Rhodes and Mykonos.

Solo’s (0844 371 8860;
has increased its range of group holidays and has introduced the islands of
Crete and Evia, plus the west-coast resort of Parga for 2011. Accommodation
is in the three-star seafront Parga Beach Hotel, with prices starting at
£749 per week, half board, with flights, transfers and single use of a
double room.

Daydreams (01884 849200;
Private gulets or “house-party” style holidays for singles
(and couples) in small groups personally escorted by owner, Jenny Day.
Mostly Turkey, but also itineraries between Kos and Samos in the Dodecanese.

Nature tours

ACE (01223 835055;
Mid-April departure on its annual “Birds, Flowers and Minoans”
tour to Crete at £1,850 per person, with flights.

Limosa (01692 580623;
Long-established, single-centre birding holidays to Lesbos.

Ornitholidays (01794 519445;
Kos in May for bee-eaters and buntings, £1,499 per person in groups of up to
14. Also spring and autumn in Lesbos.

Naturetrek (01962 733051;
Continues with its existing programme to Greece with eight-day tours to
Crete in April and October, starting at £1,095. Also spring in Cyprus,
butterflies in southern Greece, autumn plants of the Peloponnese and a
10-day spring bird migration trip to Lesbos in April at £1,395. Tours
include half board, transport and flights.

The Travelling Naturalist (01305 267994;
Tours to Crete, Lesbos, Macedonia and the west coast in spring and early

Sunbird (01767 262522;
Lesbos only in late April at £1,270 plus flights.



Our selection

ATG Oxford (01865 315678;
Guided walking breaks to Crete, the Mani, and the Cyclades with
accommodation on Naxos and Santorini, departing April and September, at
£2,595 per person.

Headwater (01606 720199;
A seven-night, independent coastal walk in Crete costs from £919 per person,
departing in May, September and October, including flights, most meals and
written directions.

Inntravel (01653 617000;
Offers “Coast and Mountains” in Crete or the coastlines of Samos,
also island-hopping in the Dodecanese and a tour of the Peloponnese.

Pure Crete (0845 070 1571;
Offers five days of gentle walking over a week in April, May or October from
£730 per person with flights and transfers.

Other options

Exodus (0845 863 9600;
Continues to offer its eight-day holiday “Mountains and Villages of Evia”
from £869.

Explore (0844 499 0901;
Has four active Greek tours, including hiking in the Cyclades and a new
eight-day “Corfu Trail to the North” at £741 per person with
flights and guide.

HF Holidays (0845 470 7558;
Has expanded its programme with two additional walking holidays including
The Greek Cyclades, a seven-night holiday of guided walking and sightseeing
in Naxos from £789, half board. Also a seven-night “Discover Birds”
break on the island of Lesbos in April and September costs £889 per person
with flights, half-board hotel accommodation and guided birdwatching

KE Adventure Travel (01768 773966;
Is introducing an eight-day Crete Family Adventure in May and October
half-terms starting at £895 per person, plus flights, in addition to its
two, week-long trekking trips to Mount Olympus and White Mountains of Crete
(from £845).

Ramblers Holidays (01707 331133;
Combines walking and birdwatching on a new holiday in Lesbos to spot herons,
little bitterns, flamingo, storks and ibis. Prices start at £1,075 per
person. Also new is “Wild Crete”, a week taking in the Samaria
Gorge, Gingelas mountains and remote villages. From £799 per person. Both
tours include half board, flights, transfers and tour leader.

Sherpa Expeditions (020 8577 2717;
Self-guided inn-to-inn walks in Crete and Zagoria or escorted walks in the
Pindos Peak and Mount Olympus.

Walks Worldwide (01524 242000;
Ten or 15-day self-guided trail in Corfu from £535 per person, flights

World Walks (01242 254353;
Self-guided itineraries in Amorgós, Tinos, Avia and Crete. Option of a
guided walk on Naxos at £695 per person for a minimum of five people,
excluding flights and meals.

Other activities

Explore (0844 499 0901;
Five guided cultural tours, including an eight-day caique cruise around the
Aegean at £799 with flights, b b and three lunches, and a
two-week trip to the Peloponnese at £1,295 with flights and b b.

Real Holidays (020 7359 3938;
Cycling holidays on mainland Greece.

Ride World Wide (01837 82544;
Can arrange riding itineraries in the Pelion Peninsula for families or small
groups, staying in a small fishing village of Katigiorgis from £925 per
person, per week, including riding, guides, equipment, all meals and
Athens-Skiathos transfers. International flights are extra.

On the Water

Sailing and Flotillas

Our selection

Sailing Holidays (020 8459 8787;
Long-established company offering flotilla holidays in the Saronic and
Ionian Islands on one or two-week itineraries. Groups typically consist of
around 30 people and Beneteau, Bavaria and Jaguar yachts sleep from three to
10. New for 2011, flotillas will be exploring the Gulf of Amvrakia – the
only company to be operating in this quiet, unspoilt area.

Sunvil Sailing (020 8758 4780;
Yachting holidays on Lefkas, staying either on board or on land.
Learn-to-sail weeks start at £783 per person, sharing a cabin, with flights.
Flotilla, bareboat charter, villa-flotilla packages and day boat hire also

Travelux (01580 765000;
prices start at £1,189 per week for a three-berth yacht in the Ionian
Islands, with optional skipper fees of £850 if required. Villas also
available with nearby moorings for a land-based sailing holiday.

Other options

Nautilus Yachting (01732 867445;
Flotilla itineraries in the Saronic Gulf, Ionian, and Sporades with a new
two-week itinerary in the southern Ionian – also bareboat sailing in the
Cyclades and Dodecanese.

Neilson Adventures (01273 668982;
Features an eight-day Greek Islands Sailing Adventure from £689 (excluding
flights) aboard a skippered 50ft sailing yacht, starting in Kos and sailing
across the Aegean to Santorini, stopping at beaches, small harbours and
visiting archaeological sites.

Setsail (01787 310445;
Not offering flotilla holidays in 2011, but can provide bareboating from
Kalamaki and Laviron, near Athens, or from Skiathos, Lefkas and Corfu.

Sunsail (0844 463 6578;
Can arrange bareboat charters or one to two-week flotilla holidays in the
Ionian and Sporades.

Sunscape Yachting (01737 300805;
Organises flotillas through local agents in Poros, Lefkas and Skiathos.

  • For a general overview on what’s available, contact specialist cruise and
    boating agent, Seafarer (0800 496 4670;
    Bareboat or skippered charters are available through The Moorings
    (0844 463 6386;
    who have bases at Athens, Kos and Lefkas with a new 39ft catamaran
    available for 2011. Also Top Yacht (01243 520950;
    offers bareboat, skippered or crewed in some of the top sailing areas.

Beach Clubs

Our selection

Neilson (0845 070 3460;
Has “beachclubs” in Vassiliki and Porto Heli and four higher-end “Beachplus
Clubs” at Sivota, Halkidiki, Lemnos and Lesbos. The Lemnos centre is
being refurbished for summer. Packages cost from £399 including flights and

Wildwind Holidays (0844 499 2898;
On Vassiliki Bay, Lefkas where a week’s stay starts at £649 in May including
flights, beachfront accommodation and sailing. The centre also offers a
healthy options programme of yoga, pilates, cycling, walking and massage,
plus RYA tuition and clubs for children aged 7-17 years.

Other options

Club Med (0845 367 6767;
Offers children’s clubs and childcare at two mainland resorts – Gregolimano
and Athenia.

Club Vass (0844 463 0197;
Runs Club Vassiliki on Lefkas primarily as a windsurfing centre with other
watersports and mountain biking also available.

Mark Warner (0871 703 3887;
Offers two beach resorts – San Agostino on the Gulf of Messenia and Lakitira
in Kos. Available for 2011 is the five-star Hotel Helona, newly built next
to Lakitira with access to its watersport and childcare facilities.

Peligoni Club (0208 740 3001;
Watersports on the north coast of Zakynthos, popular with well-heeled
families in peak season. Its professionals week is aimed at active singles
and couples, and has been extended to a fortnight in June.

Sportif (01273 844919;
Seven windsurfing centres in Kos, Crete, Rhodes, Samos and Karpathos – with
good options for families as well as beginners.

Sunsail (0844 463 6578;
Runs Club Vounaki on the mainland, at the foot of the Arkanika Mountains,
where a peak season week costs from £1,499 per person, half board.

Swim Trek (01273 739713;
offers tours including a seven-day island-hopping holiday based on Naxos in
the Cyclades from £680.

1 thought on “Greece cultural tours, activity and special interest holidays

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

fifteen + thirteen =

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.