Christmas in Tuscany
- 20 Dec
- 20 Dec
Half Board (+1)
Take a step back in time with us on this awe-inspiring 7-night group holiday to Athens and Thessaloniki whilst soaking up the atmosphere of Christmas in Greece. We’ll discover the ancient highlights of Athens on a guided tour where we’ll take in panoramic views of the Acropolis, learn the city’s rich history, and visit the magnificent Temple of Zeus. Before we visit Thessaloniki, we’ll travel through central Greece, taking in the Meteora region, known for its immense pillar-like rock formations. The second half of our Christmas getaway will be based in Thessaloniki, where we’ll have ample time to discover the city’s seafront boulevard, White Tower, and Statue of Alexander the Great. From Thessaloniki, we’ll take guided trips to several sites that were historically important to Alexander the Great including Pella, his birthplace; Vergina, and the final resting place of his father. Experience the festive season like never before and enjoy this remarkable holiday in Greece.
We have arrived! We meet our local representative and transfer to our hotel.
Let’s enjoy the rest of the day at leisure; settle in, relax, and get to know our surroundings, take a stroll and soak up the local atmosphere.
Let’s discover Athens on a half day guided excursion. Step back in time and uncover the awe-inspiring Acropolis of Athens, an ancient citadel perched on a hilltop overlooking the city. This iconic settlement is home to the Parthenon, a beautiful Doric temple, and the Erechtheion, a temple dedicated to Athena and Poseidon. Remember to wear comfortable and sturdy shoes for walking around the Acropolis, not much has changed over the years and it still can be a bit rocky!
Experience more as we uncover the Panathinaikos Stadium (from the outside), host to the first modern Olympic Games and the only stadium in the world that is built entirely of marble!
Fall in love with Athens; explore the Plaka district, a historic area known as the "Neighbourhood of the Gods". Experience the local lifestyle, starting off with a good strong Greek coffee or aperitif in one of the cafes, then savour some culinary delights at a traditional tavern.
Revel in the festive atmosphere; take a leisurely stroll to Syntagma Square to see the House of Parliament and experience the hourly changing of the guards (get there early to have the best viewing spot).
During the tour, our expert local guide can offer recommendations for more places we can see and visit, during our free time in Athens.
After our day of discovery, this evening we sit back, relax and enjoy our Christmas Eve dinner.
(Christmas is celebrated on the 24th of December).
Please note pending on the year and date of departure, Christmas dinner will either be in Athens or Thessaloniki.
After breakfast, we depart early on a full day of adventure as we make our way to Thessaloniki. En-route we discover the region of Meteora fondly known as the "Garden of Rocks “. On arrival we enjoy a visit to one of the monasteries (entrance is included) with their wonderful frescoes and impressive views. Today there are six surviving monasteries from the twenty-four original in this region; the monasteries became the centre of Orthodox faith during the late Byzantine and Ottoman periods.
Numerous visitors flock to see the unique scenery and the site that became famous, from the James Bond 007 movie in 1981 "For Your Eyes Only"; you might also recognise the rock formations from "The Game of Thrones" series, as a back drop for Eyrie of Vale, of the House of Arryn.
This dramatic site is now a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1989, and a national treasure for Greece.
In the afternoon, we continue our journey to Thessaloniki arriving late in the evening, just in time for dinner and an early night after our journey.
Dinner is included every night of our stay in Thessaloniki.
Uncover Thessaloniki on a half day guided excursion, starting in the historical centre of the city. We drive pass the seafront boulevard, the White Tower, and the statue of Alexander the Great, also passing through the Aristotelis University campus area. Experience more as we take in the magnificent views of the city; an excellent opportunity for an Insta shot! From the old city, we descend to the church of St. Dimitrios, patron saint of Thessaloniki, passing Egnatia street, the Rotonda monument, the Arch of Galerius and St. Sophia before returning to our hotel.
The afternoon is at leisure to further explore the city that is considered to be “Greece’s cultural capital”.With over 3,000 years of history there is plenty to discover; monuments and traditions dating back to the Roman, Byzantine, Ottoman and Jewish civilisations. Many of the churches are included in UNESCO's World Heritage list
A time to relax and unwind after a few busy days of exploring.
Take an easy-going walk and discover Thessaloniki; admire the decorated city streets and enjoy the day at leisure.
Let’s get ready for another adventure as we set off on a full day excursion to Pella and Aigai (Vergina).
First stop, we uncover Pella, the birthplace of Alexander the Great. The archaeological site of Pella is one of the most important political and economic cultural centres of Greece. We admire the mosaic floors of houses dating back to the 4th century BC and part of the Agora, one of the biggest public areas of the ancient Greek world.
Continuing from Pella, we explore Aigai (modern Vergina), the famous museum site where the tomb of King Philip II, father of Alexander the Great is located. This is the second most important archaeological discovery of the 20th century, after the Tomb of King Tutankhamun in Egypt. There will be a short visit to the small theatre where Philip was killed before we return to our hotel.
Today we say a fond farewell to Thessaloniki and depart for Athens. En-route we visit another treasure in Greece’s history, Dion. Set at the foothills of Mt. Olympus, “the mountain of the gods of Greek mythology”, one of the biggest archaeological parks in Greece surrounds this sacred city of the Macedonians. We enjoy some time in this splendid place before returning to Athens
We arrive in Athens in the evening (approximately 7:30pm). Let’s enjoy a last night to immerse ourselves in the wonderful sights and atmosphere of this remarkable city !
We transfer from our hotel to Athens Airport for the return flight, with guide assistance.
You will be met on arrival at your destination airport and transferred to your accommodation. You will be accompanied on all included excursions by your Travel Department guide. Your expert local guide is also available to give you tips and advice on any aspect of your holiday.
Please visit our visa page for information on requirements for each country's entry requirements
We have local representatives in all of our destinations who are available 24/7 as well as an emergency contact number for our offices in Ireland should you ever need it.