Greece is situated in southeastern Europe, extending into the Mediterranean sea. In its borders are thousands of islands including Crete and the Cyclades group. The country is often considered the birthplace of western civilization, having had the first documented democracy and giving rise to philosophy. Due to its rich history, the country abounds with world heritage sites and countless archaeological finds. Greek people are very social and you will quickly learn that most social interactions occur will sipping frappés or at meals. You will find that a majority of Greeks speak at least some English. Consequently, knowing Greek is beneficial, it is not required for the trip.
Athens, the Greek capital, is located in the southern mainland. The capital is home to such sites as the Acropolis, both the 1896 and 2000 Olympic competitions, and countless ancient ruins. This is where you will begin your journey. You will have a couple days to navigate the city, learn how to use Greek public transportation, and get acclimated to the culture. After exploring Athens, you will through its seaport Piraeus.
While participating in the program, students will spend the majority of their time on the island of Crete. Crete is host to many natural wonders. Living arrangements will be south of Heraklion, one of Crete's two major cities, in Arolithos. Both Heraklion and Chania have a plethora of restaurants, amenities, and events to fulfill any citygoers desires. Things to do involve visiting Chrissi Island, hiking the Samaria Gorge, relaxing by world class beaches, visiting a palm forest, plus more. Historic sites include the Minoan Palace of Knossos, Chania's Venetian Port and the old city, and several monasteries.
Neighboring Islands and The Cyclades
Crete is a boat ride away from the Cyclades, an archipelago southeast of the Greek mainland. It is home to such islands as Santorini, Mykonos, and Tinos. Each offers its own flair. While Mykonos is the epitome of Greek night life, Tinos offers a more subdued cultural environment and is home to one of Greece's most famous churches, the Panayia Evanyelistria Cathedral. Santorini, the volcano turned island tourist destination has been visited by the past couple groups. The island offers ATVs for travel, taking about and hour and a half to go from one tip to the other. The islands offers breathtaking sunsets, beaches, iconic homes, and a jewel-like atmosphere by night.
The sites and experiences accessible on this trip make it the opportunity of a lifetime!