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Crete and the Dodecanese

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Fly into: Athens Fly out of: Athens
Total Duration: 13 days

The southern islands of Crete and the Dodecanese are full of superlative experiences: a lost civilization, deep gorges, Crusader's castles, and isolated beaches. This itinerary will take you through all of them, beginning and ending in Athens.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
  • Archaeology
  • History
Days 1-2

1 Athens

A Classical Act

  • Explore the Acropolis, the great emblem of classical Greece that looms over the city
  • Follow in the footsteps of Socrates and Plato with a stroll through the ancient Agora
  • Visit Greece's oldest private museum, the Benaki Museum, which showcases everything from ancient sculpture to pistols owned by Lord Byron
  • Art and Culture
  • History
  • Archaeology
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Days 3-4
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2 Crete: Heraklion & Knossos

Greatest Minoan Treasures

  • Visit Heraklion, Crete's bustling capital, to see its renowned Archaeological Museum
  • See the Palace at Knossos, the most spectacular of the Minoan palaces and Crete's most popular attraction
  • Surround yourself in luxury at the Elounda peninsula, and take a boat ride to the mysterious island of Spinalonga
  • Archaeology
  • Natural Beauty
Discover Crete: Heraklion & Knossos »
Days 5-6
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Karel Gallas/shutterstock

3 Crete: Matala & Phaistos

More Minoan Treasures

  • In Phaistos you'll find one of the greatest Minoan palaces. Its copious ruins are richly evocative
  • Do like the Cretans do; make a pilgrimage to Arkadi Monastery, a shrine to heroes in the fight for independence from Turkey
  • Visit the charming Venetian quarter of Rethymnon, which is dominated by Fortressa Castle
  • Archaeology
  • Natural Beauty
Discover Crete: Matala & Phaistos »
Days 7-8
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4 Crete: Hania & Samaria Gorge

Gorges and Beaches

  • Explore the Venetian quarter of Hania and visit some of its best museums
  • A trek through the Samaria Gorge, which splits through cliffs, is unforgettable
  • Spend a day at the nearby beaches; those on the west coast are the finest and least crowded
  • Natural Beauty
  • Beaches
  • Museums
Discover Crete: Hania & Samaria Gorge »
Days 9-11
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Valeria Titova/iStockphoto

5 Rhodes

Monuments and Butterflies

  • Explore the well-preserved, walled Old Town, which has monuments built by the Knights of St. John
  • Take a 15 minute donkey ride up to the Acropolis of Lindos for sweeping views
  • The magical Valley of Butterflies lives up to its name; you'll see thousands of the creatures
  • Natural Beauty
  • Archaeology
  • History
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Days 12-13
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6 Symi

Unspoiled Beauty

  • See the lovely Monastery of Taxiarchis Michael Panormitis, dedicated to Symi's patron saint
  • Visit one of Symi's pristine beaches; you'll have to take a boat as practically none are accessible by car
  • Beaches
  • Archaeology
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