Photos: Glorious Greece

loading photos...
  1. Pillars of worship

    Construction on the Temple of Olympian Zeus in Athens began in 515 B.C., and was completed 700 years later by Emperor Hadrian in 131 A.D. There were originally 104 Corinthian columns, but only 16 remain standing now. (Julian Finney / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Sandy escapes

    Millions of visitors enjoy sunny days on Anthens' beaches each summer, with warm weather seeming to last longer into fall. Many beaches have a small entry fee that helps pay for keeping the beaches clean. (Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. Stunning sight

    An Orthodox bell tower overlooks the port town of Fira on the Greek island of Santorini. With a view to one of the most stunning sunsets in the Mediterranean, Santorini is one of Greece's most popular tourist destinations. (Sakis Mitrolidis / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. Ancient attraction

    The Parthenon, a temple dedicated to the Greek goddess Athena and perhaps the most famous surviving building from ancient Greece, sits at the top of the Acropolis and overlooks Athens. Construction on the temple began in 447 B.C. and completed in 438 B.C. Today, the temple attracts millions of visitors a year. (Aris Messinis / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Taste of the city

    The Agora on Athinas Street, otherwise known as the Athens Central Market in Athens, is a great place to buy affordable, fresh food. The market is open Monday through Saturday, and everything from meat to fish to vegetables to herbs is available. (Julian Finney / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. The modern face

    Concrete buildings typifying Athen's urban sprawl are visible from the Acropolis. The city, which has expanded geographically throughout the 20th century, has had severe problems with urban pollution that have improved in recent years. (Sean Gallup / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Holy refuge

    Monks and hermits have found refuge in the monasteries at Meteora in Athens for more than 1,000 years. The gigantic rock formations in central Greece, which still puzzle scientists as to how they came to be formed, are visited today by thousands of tourists. The Holy Meteora have been maintained and protected as a monument of humanity by UNESCO. (Milos Bicanski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. A look at the past

    Visitors view the old winch system that used to bring people and supplies to the monsteries inside the Monastery of Agia Triada at Meteora. The monastery, which is perched atop a pinnacle and is accessible by taking 140 steep steps, may look familiar because it was featured in the James Bond film "For Your Eyes Only." The two monks who still reside there often show visitors around. (Milos Bicanski / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Art through the ages

    Frescoes by 16th century Cretan painter Theophanes the Monk have survived over the years and can be seen inside the Monastery of Agios Nikolaos Anapafsas at Meteora. (Aris Messinis / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. A sea of tourists

    Tourists stand before a seawater tank containing sea life of the Mediterranean Sea at the Cretaquarium in the city of Irakleion on the island of Crete in southern Greece. This tourist destination, which opened in December 2005, works as a modern-day research, educational and entertainment facility. The aquarium was developed to hold 32 tanks containing around 2,5000 organisms from 200 species. (Aris Messinis / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Climbing the ranks

    The Athens Olympic Stadium was built in 1982 and hosted the European Championships in Athletics that year. The city won the honor of hosting the 2004 Summer Olympics, and after an extensive renovation on the stadium, including a roof redesign, the building reopened just in time to host the opening ceremony on Aug. 13. Today, the venue hosts everything from major sporting events to concerts. (Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. Birthplace of the Games

    In the 8th century B.C., the first Olympic festival was organized in Olympia (tradition dates the first games to 776 B.C.). Ruins of the ancient stadium are still evident at the site, though a fire in August 2007 ravaged the area and scorched the museum that housed some of Greece's great archeaological collections. Still, the Olympic flame of the modern-day games are lit by the reflection of sunlight in a parabolic mirror at the stadium. (Petros Giannakouris / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. House of antiquities

    The statue of Sleeping Maenad, which dates back to the time of Emperor Hadrian (117-138 A.D.) can be seen at the Greek National Archaeological Museum in Athens. The statue presumably adorned a luxury residence and was found to the south of the Athenian Acropolis. It is just one of the many important artifacts from various archaeological locations around the country from prehistory to late antiquity. (John Kolesidis / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Supporting ladies

    Tourists admire the six caryatids of the Erechtheion temple on the Acropolis Hill in Athens. Caryatids are female figures that serve as supporting columns that hold up roofs. Renovation works to restore them were underway for 30 years and finally ended in November 2008. The entire temple was dedicated to Athena Polias and Poseidon Erechtheus when it was built between 421 B.C. and 407 B.C. The caryatids are on a porch on the north side called "Porch of the Maidens." (Aris Messinis / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Frozen in time

    The Lesvos Petrified Forest on the Greek Aegean island of Lesvos is a UNESCO heritage site. The Petrified Forest numbers around 70 trees of various sizes that are ancestors of today's pines and cypresses, and were fossilized when the area was covered in volcanic lava around 20 million years ago. (Aris Messinis / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Healing waters

    Bathers relax in the waters of the hot Loutraki spring near the town of Aridea in northern Greece. Curative tourism is among a series of new products that Greek authorities want to highlight in a bid to diversify the country's usual recipe of sea and sun. (Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Home of the gods

    A hiker climbs Mount Olympus, the legendary home of the ancient Greek gods in central Greece. The mountain is the country's highest, standing at 9,570 feet. (Louisa Gouliamaki / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Rich draw

    The Hozoviotissa Monastery on the Amorgos island, built in the 11th century on the side of the Prophetes Elias Mountain at 300 meters above sea level, is reportedly dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Having for decades relied on its archaeological wealth to draw tourism, Greece now seeks to exploit an equally rich religious tradition to entice visitors from fellow Orthodox countries. (AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  1. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  2. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  3. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

  4. Editor's note:
    This image contains graphic content that some viewers may find disturbing.

    Click to view the image, or use the buttons above to navigate away.

updated 5/4/2009 11:22:15 AM ET 2009-05-04T15:22:15

The deal
The Greek Islands are among the world's most popular tourist destinations and it's easy to see why. Praised since the days of Homer, this legendary archipelago draws millions of visitors every summer for its fine beaches, picture-perfect whitewashed villages, and glamorous nightlife. For anyone in search of a no-hassle Greek Islands vacation, an island-hopping package is the best way to go. Our trusted sponsor, EuropeanDestinations.com, is currently offering five fabulous itineraries to Santorini, Paros, Mykonos, and more, with airfare included, for as little as $834.

Athens and Santorini 6-Night Combo by Air from $834
Best known for the stunning cliff-top villages of Thira and Oia, Santorini is one of the more beautiful and romantic islands in the Aegean. The island gained its current crescent-shaped form after a massive volcanic eruption blew out the island’s center around 3,600 years ago —creating a caldera that was rapidly engulfed by the deep blue sea. Now you can enjoy three nights on this breathtaking island and three more nights in ancient Athens for travel this summer. This six-night package includes round-trip international airfare, the flight from Athens to Santorini, and your choice of hotels from just $834.

Athens, Mykonos and Santorini 6-Night Getaway from $850
This six-night air-inclusive package provides a budget-friendly opportunity to unwind in the romantic Cyclades, and also get a taste of the glory of ancient Greece with some time in Athens. Spend a few days in the capital city exploring the Parthenon and the renowned National Archeological Museum, then head to Mykonos for a trendy beach and nightlife scene second to none. Round out your trip with two nights on beautiful Santorini, one of the world’s most picturesque volcanic islands. Starting at just $850, the offer includes round-trip flight from the U.S., ferry transportation, breakfast, and your choice of hotels.

Athens, Mykonos, and Istanbul 6-Night Trio by Air from $861
This unique package covers three remarkable Mediterranean destinations on one low-priced six-night tour. Your trip begins in Athens with several days to explore the city’s narrow winding streets, traditional cafes and shops, and ancient Acropolis. Next, you’ll board a flight to lively Mykonos, celebrated nightlife capital of the Greek Islands, and then round out your tour with two nights in Istanbul, Turkey’s ancient yet nowadays hip city that straddles both Europe and Asia. Priced at $861 per person, this package covers two nights’ hotel per destination, international airfare and local flights between cities, and breakfast daily.

Athens, Mykonos, Paros, Santorini, and Crete 10-Night Getaway from $1,139
Visit four gorgeous Aegean Islands and Athens with this affordable ten-night island-hopper package. The exciting itinerary begins with two nights in Athens, then ferries you over to three Cyclades stunners: Mykonos, Paros, and Santorini. Your adventure concludes with a stay on the fascinating Greek Island of Crete where you can explore the famous Minoan Palaces Knossos and Phaistos, and savor a glass of cold raki, a powerful Cretan sprit distilled from crushed grape skins. Starting at just $1,139, the vacation includes round-trip international airfare between the U.S. and Athens, two nights’ hotel in each destination, plus all local flights and ferries.

Rome, Cairo, Athens and Crete 8-Night Escape from $1,323
This 8-night package lets you explore four ancient locales in one exciting action-packed itinerary. Start off your trip in the Eternal City of Rome, where you’ll have several days to explore the ruins and lively cafes within Italy’s bustling capital. Your next destination is Cairo, home to the world-renowned Egyptian Antiquities Museum, the mystical sphinx, and the Great Pyramids of Giza.

From there, you’ll head straight to Athens, with several days on your own to explore the city’s magnificent marble temples and laid-back tavernas, and, finally, to Crete where your tour concludes. Package highlights include two nights’ hotel in each destination, round-trip international airfare and all flights between cities, and breakfast daily. Rates start at just $1,323 per person.

The dollars
Based on double occupancy. Taxes and fees are additional.

The catch
Sunscreen not included.

* Since publishing time, the lead price for the Athens and Santorini deal has changed. The new price is $834.

ShermansTravel is a guide to top travel deals and destinations. Sign up for Sherman's Top 25 e-newsletter which features the best editor-screened deals from hundreds of travel providers and is delivered to over 4 million subscribers, free, each week. ShermansTravel also publishes trip ideas and travel features to inspire, guide, and go.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments