In 2020, we will offer three Greece options.
Option 1: Photography & Video Workshop on Crete with Greg & Mark Hemmings May 23 - 30, 2020.
Tour Cost from Chania, Crete: $ 3,495 CAD based on twin share. $ 500 Single Supplement. Tour cost:
Option 2: The Aegean Dreams package has been a signature holiday for our land partners for over 15 years. It offers the best of the Greek islands and Athens. Mykonos, Santorini & Crete are 3 of the most popular yet distinctly different islands, offering you an incredible experience that is both memorable and uniquely Greek. The package is also fully customizable in the sense that if you have additional islands you want to visit we can extend or expand upon this already incredible package to include even more highlights of Greece. (OT)
Departures are daily from April to October
Tour Cost from Athens: $ 2,310 USD/ $ 2,775 CAD during low season. High Season surcharge applies
Option 3: Mamma Mia Sept. 7 - 18, 2020 Explores the Plaka and Monstakki for shopping and food, spends time in and around the remote and spectacular islands of Skiathos and Skopelos with many of the locations from the Mamma Mia film. End with time in historic Athens.
Tour cost from Athens: $ 2,699 CAD based on twin share from Athens
Option 2: Crete Photography Workshop May 23 - 30, 2020
Past clients on the Greece photo workshop have learned so much from Greg and Mark. Please read more about them...
May 23: Arrive in Crete (D)
Arrive at Chania Airport and meet your pre-arranged shuttle to Rethymno Town. Get checked in and make yourself at home! The rest of your group will be arriving at different times today, so today is a free day to get settled in and enjoy the restful atmosphere. The real fun of the tour starts tomorrow! In the evening our group will get together for an informal cocktail hour to get to know each other and to get a quick briefing on the adventure to come. We will all have an evening Greek meal together which is always fun.
May 24: Crete – Workshops (B,D)
Meet your group this morning and kick off your Photography and Videography Tour with Mark and Greg, and our Kefi representative – John! Mark and Greg will meet with the group to discuss how we can help you the most to reach your goals. Some participants will want to be focused more on photography and others will be interested in shooting and producing a film. There is a great opportunity for all participants to learn both, and to go back and forth!
Mark’s first photography lesson is a group photo walk around our new second home. Greg will spend time with the film group explaining the basics of filmmaking, and will start the production with a planning session, and then initial filming when the group is ready.
May 25: Crete – Safari Tour (B,D)
Our guide today will meet us at our hotel to kick off today’s tour! Get your cameras ready as we get a breathtaking view of the Prasses Gorge. Look for resident wildlife, including the impressive vultures that live in the gorge. From here we continue to the Potamon Dam and see the small church built by the lake as a reminder of the importance of religion on the island.
Pass through typical villages, such as Karines and Spili and learn about the local customs and habits. Savor an authentic raki produced in the village along with other specialties at a traditional tavern overlooking the Libyan Sea. Swim in the crystal clear waters of Preveli and explore the palm forest.
We will then make our way to the Kourtaliotiko Gorge. We end the day with a panoramic view of Rethymno before being dropped off at our hotel.
Through the whole tour today, Mark and Greg will be available to give spontaneous learning moments in photo and video. The film group will be producing a storyline as the group travels to these iconic Crete locations. Mark will be constantly showcasing “best practices” to photograph scenics, landscapes, wildlife, and nature photography while on today’s adventure.
May 26: Crete – Workshops (B,D)
Today is another day to learn the tricks of the trade from two of the best. I am sure you have already noticed how beautiful the area is, but did you know Rethymno is home to one of the largest sand beaches in Crete? You don’t have to worry about dangerous animals here, as its said that there are no harmful animals in Crete. Who can you thank for this? Well, legend has it that Hercules executed all the dangerous animals in honor of his father Zeus.
This is a home base day. It’s a great time to go off on your own and explore, shop, or hang out with Mark and Greg for one on one instruction. The film team will be starting to organize the film in the edit suite as well as film some new pick up shots. Mark will be available to help each person today on an individual basis, setting 1/2 hour blocks to offer individual lessons to each one of you. The topics can be photography, photo editing, software such as Lightroom, Photoshop, mobile apps etc.
May 27: Crete – Workshops (B,D)
You have been on the Island of Crete for a few days now and must have noticed the abundance of olive oil to be found. Although you may think you have tasted a lot of it, I doubt you can compare to an average Cretan . . . the average non-Cretan consumes 1 liter of olive oil per year. And the average Cretan? Up to 30 liters!
Today Mark will be doing an early morning photo shoot for those who want to attend, and then he will be doing a lesson on composition. Greg will be in full production mode with the filmmaking group. As always we will merge as a full group during our wonderful Greek dinner!
May 28: Crete – Island Tour (B,D)
Today is another day of adventure! Start your trip with a bus ride along the north coast of Crete towards the east end of the island. Visit the attractive and lively town of Agios Nikolaos and spend some free time at the lake, port or the town’s shops and bars.
From there, take the bus to the seaside village of Elounda. Board a boat and travel to Spinalonga or Kalydon. While there, walk the winding alleys and see the traces of the islands Venetian and Turkish history. Pass rustic houses and the ancient Venetian fortress, then learn about Spinalonga’s past as the last leper colony in Europe.
Enjoy two hours of free time in the seaside village of Elounda. Take the chance to have a refreshing swim in the sea or enjoy the local cuisine at one of the traditional taverns. In the evening we will take the bus back to your hotel in Rethymno.
During the day Mark and Greg will be doing on-site and photography/videography lessons and practical photo and video shoots with each person.
May 29: Crete – Editing Day (B,D)
This is your last full day of vacation, so we will make it count by having an editing day! Mark will help you make your photos perfect, and Greg’s team will be finalizing their film’s “rough-cut”. This evening we will gather to screen the rough cut of the film that is produced, and Mark will do a slideshow with the best photos of the trip!
May 30: Crete – Home (B)
Depart home according to your flight schedules.
Option 1: Aegean Dreams Itinerary
Day 1. Arrival Mykonos
Welcome to Greece! Upon your arrival at Mykonos airport you will be greeted in the public area of the arrivals hall and transferred to your select Mykonos hotel. The remainder of the day is to be spent at your leisure.
Day 2. Mykonos
Spend today recovering from your flight on the beach or wandering the architecturally inspiring white-washed town of Chora. Mykonos has some of the finest and cleanest beaches in the Mediterranean. It is also one of the best places to have a meal in an idyllic taverna on the beach with your feet in the sand. Overnight in Mykonos.
Day 3. Mykonos
Today is another magnificent day to take in the sights and sounds of Mykonos and its surroundings. The ancient island of Delos, located a short boat ride from the main town of Chora, was the home to the Athenian navy and an important trading post. Today, you can walk through the well-preserved mansions and streets, transporting yourself to another time and place. Ensure that you spend at least one evening in the main town of Chora, walking through its numerous pedestrian only alleys and streets, taking in the most cosmopolitan vacation destination in Greece. Overnight in Mykonos.
Day 4. Mykonos – Ferry – Santorini
After spending the morning relaxing in Mykonos you will be transferred from your select hotel to the port of Mykonos where you will board your ferry to the magical island of Santorini. After a 3 hour ferry ride you will arrive at one of the most unique destinations in all of Europe. You will be greeted at the port and assisted to your select Santorini hotel. The remainder of your day is to be spent at your leisure. Overnight in Santorini.
Day 5. Santorini
Your first full day in Santorini will be sure to leave you with a lifetime of incredible memories and photographs. One of the best ways to take in Santorini is to walk the pedestrian only footpath that clings to the edge of the cliff-tops of the island. The path joins the villages of Fira, Firostefani, Imerovigli and continues over 10 kilometres to the the artist colony of Oia at the edge of the island. Enjoy a dinner in one of the seafront fish tavernas at Ammoudi, one of the finest places to view the world famous sunsets of Santorini. Overnight in Santorini.
Day 6. Santorini
Though Santorini is a relatively small island it is full of wonderful surprises. The artist colony and village of Oia is one of the quaintest settlements of the island. Here you will find some of the finest art and crafts in Greece along with fabulous quality restaurants and cliff-top lounges. If you are interested in heading to the beach, Santorini has famous black and red sand beaches that are easily accessible by taxi or local bus. Of course, we strongly encourage you to grab a chair on your balcony and soak in the views and colours of this incredibly unique volcanic holiday paradise
Day 7. Santorini – Ferry – Crete
After spending today enjoying your last day on Santorini you will be transferred to the Santorini ferry terminal where you will board your fast ferry to Crete, the largest island in Greece. Upon your arrival in Crete you will be greeted at the port and assisted to your select Heraklion hotel. Overnight in Heraklion.
Day 8. Crete – Car Rental Pick-up – Rethymnon
After breakfast today you will be greeted and transferred to Heraklion airport where you will pick up your car rental. The ancient city of Knossos located less than 20 kilometres from the airport, would be a perfect introduction to Crete. Home to the Minoan civilization that flourished more than 4000 years ago, Knossos is one of Greece's most cherished and important archaeological sites. After your visit to Knossos, you might choose to drive a few kilometres to the mountain village of Archanes, famous for being one of Greece's best preserved traditional villages, for a spot of lunch. Make your way approximately 90 minutes to the Venetian port town of Rethymnon, which you will call home for the next 3 days. Overnight in Rethymnon.
Day 9. Crete (Rethymnon)
One suggested option for today's itinerary would be to drive approximately 70 minutes to the wonderful, medieval port town of Chania. Home to one of the most charming ports in Greece, Chania's old town is pedestrian only and begs to be discovered on foot. An afternoon drive into the hills south west of Chania will allow you to discover mountain villages rarely visited by today's beach seeking tourist. Afternoon return to Rethymnon for your overnight.
Day 10. Crete (Rethymnon)
Spend today at your leisure or you could opt to take a full day hike down the Samaria Gorge, known as being the longest gorge in Europe. Another option would be to drive south and experience the beautiful and rarely visited seaside towns and beaches of southern Crete. Overnight in Rethymnon.
Day 11. Crete (Rethymnon) – Heraklion - Athens
After spending your morning in Rethymnon you will drive to Heraklion airport after lunch and board your afternoon flight to Athens. Upon arrival in Athens you will be greeted in the public area of the arrivals hall and transferred to your select hotel. The remainder of the day is to be spent at your leisure exploring Athens at night. Overnight in Athens.
Day 12. Athens
Day in Athens to visit the two most important attractions of the city. The Acropolis of Athens is one of the most famous archaeological sites in all of Greece. The new Acropolis Museum is the home to the masterpieces of the Acropolis, where they are displayed in stunning surroundings bathed in natural light.
The tour begins inside the Syntagma metro station where you will visit the metro Museum with very interesting archaeological artifacts from the daily life of Ancient Athens that came to light during the construction of the metro. You will then continue on to the House of the Greek Parliament, the Monument to the Unknown Soldier and watch the changing of the guard. Your tour continues towards the National Gardens and on to the beautiful neoclassical Zappeion Hall, in front of which tower the surviving columns of the Temple of Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch, both of which you will have the opportunity to visit. From there you enter the famous Plaka district where you see the statue of Melina Merkouri.
After your tour of the Acropolis site, you will have approximately 45-minutes to descend towards the New Acropolis Museum. You will have ample time to take personal photographs from many vantage points on and around the Acropolis prior to reaching the Acropolis Museum. Its unique design has incorporated the excavations which are visible under stunning glass floors. The Acropolis masterpieces are marked out and given the prominence they deserve through ideal interior atmospheric conditions, natural lighting. Additionally, there is easy visitor access, panoramic views and excellent layout of the exhibition areas. The museum exhibits about 4,000 artifacts.
Day 13. Athens at leisure
Spend your last day in Greece enjoying one of Europe's most underrated cities. You can visit the Monastiraki open air market, explore the National Archaeological Museum or simply wander the streets of Athens looking for last minute purchases to provide you with wonderful memories of Greece's capital city. For your last dinner in Greece we recommend you find a table at one of the many incredible tavernas in the Plaka district and enjoy a delicious meal. Overnight in Athens.
Day 14. Athens departure
After breakfast this morning (time permitting) you will be greeted in the lobby of your hotel and transferred to Athens airport where you will board your flight home, full of a new appreciation for one of Europe's most enchanting countries.
Option 3: Mamma Mia Sept. 7 - 18
Sept. 7: Arrive in Athens
After a long flight, drop your bags off at our conveniently located hotel and explore the Plaka and Monstakki for shopping and food.
We will meet at 6:00 pm on the hotel rooftop patio to get acquainted and walk to our first group meal. Time for the fun to begin!
Sept. 8: Athens to Skiathos (B)
Wake up and welcome to your first full day in Greece!
Meet the group this morning and make your way to the airport, for your short flight to Skiathos! Once you arrive in Skiathos, head to your beautiful accomodations with awesome views over the town of Skiathos and the Aegean Sea.
Sept. 9: Skiathos (B)
After a long few days of travelling, today we are going to take it easy and explore Skiathos town at your own leisure – or not. The beautiful Megali Ammos beach is very close by. If you are feeling adventurous, rent an ATV and go exploring the island (you will need to get an international license from CAA before you leave if you plan to take advantage of this!).
At 6:00 pm we will meet at our accommodations and walk down to the waterfront for a group meal and share the days adventures with each other.
Sept. 10: Skiathos – Boat Cruise (B)
Now that you are all well rested, it’s time to get out there and have some fun. We’ll board a traditional yacht in the harbour with our Captain Konstantinos and his crew for a private cruise around the island. We will be visiting both public and private beaches and coves. As an added bonus, Konstantinos is a chef and will prepare an awesome meal on board the boat for lunch.
We’ll return to port and the end of the day is for you to rest, shop, or head for a late supper.
Sept. 11: Skiathos (B)
Because you are now totally in love with Skiathos, we’re giving you one last day to explore the town, the island, or just relax. Take advantage of this last chance in paradise. Good news though, another paradise is just around the corner!
Sept. 12: Skiathos to Skopelos (B)
Board the ferry in Skaithos harbour for the brief (1 hour) ferry ride to the neighbouring island of Skopelos – home to many of the scenes from the film Mamma Mia. Our ferry ride actually takes us right by the church made so famous in the movie.
Once the ferry arrives, we can actually walk over to the hotel, it is so close!
Check into the hotel and drink in the view of the town and harbour from your balcony or pool deck. Or if you like, walk across the street and dip your feet in the water at the beach.
Take the rest of the day to relax and explore the town. See how many Mamma Mia scene locations you can find.
At 6:00 we’ll meet at the hotel and walk to a local restaurant for a group dinner looking over the harbour to the town. Be aware, the owner may not let you order as he prides himself on offering you a large variety of local fare.
Sept. 13: Skopelos (B)
Today is a free day to explore Skopelos.
If you want, today, we have organized a bus to bring us to the church of Agios Ioannis Kastri, made famous for the wedding in the Mamma Mia movie. To avoid crowds, we will leave early since the roads are narrow, steep and there is very little parking at the site.
Sept. 14: Skopelos – Boat Cruise (B)
It’s been too long since we’ve seen Konstantinos and his crew so it’s time to get them back. They’ll pick us up in the harbour for another cruise featuring all the famous beaches on Skopelos and feeding us another feast on the traditional yacht.
Relax that evening and find your own secret restaurant.
Sept. 15: Skopelos (B)
It’s our last day in this 2nd island paradise. It’s optional, but we highly recommend you rent a car or ATV (again, you need to get an international license before you leave Canada). You can cruise the island to revisit locations you saw/stopped at during your cruise (we can recommend some spots) or you can head back to the main town for some last-minute sightseeing and shopping.
Sept. 16: Skopelos – Skiathos – Athens (B)
Well it is sad to say goodbye to these islands, but we do get to take off from a seriously short runway in Skiathos after ferrying over from Skopelos. Hope we don’t hit the people standing on the beach at the end of the runway!
When we arrive in Athens, we will be picked up by our trusty driver and returned to the hotel to decompress after some truly great days out on the islands.
The remainder of the day/evening is your to explore Athens.
Sept. 17: Athens (B)
This is your last day to experience the history, culture, food, drinks, shopping, and incredible fun that is Greece. Pack in as much as you can but don’t forget to meet us on the rooftop terrace at 6:00 pm for our final walk to a group meal. They’ll be lots to talk about and many laughs to be had. And if we’re lucky, maybe even some dancing!
Sept. 18: Athens to Home (B)
Depart according to your flight times (arranged on your own).