Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Athens! Ancient history meets Greek mythology meets pasta on this 15-day trip through Italy and Greece. Travel back in time to where Western Civilization began on the Acropolis of Athens, and then nerd out on all things Zeus in Olympia and Delphi. Once in Italy, get a full serving of Roman ruins with a side (or full plate) of spaghetti, and have your own personal Renaissance in the breathtaking city of Florence.
What are the top highlights?
- Celebrate New Year’s in Athens
- Hike to the top of Athens’ ancient and famous Acropolis
- Feel at peace from 1,000 feet up at the Meteora monasteries
- Visit Delphi, the center of the world according to the Greek God, Zeus
- Explore ancient Rome, the Vatican and Sistine Chapel
- Step into the Renaissance in Florence
- Indulge in Italian food and wine while taking in the Tuscan countryside
Your trip includes
- Round-trip flights & airport transfers
- Multilingual Tour Director & local guides
- Private deluxe motorcoach
- 13 nights in hand-picked accommodations
- Welcome Mixer with appetizers & drinks
- Daily breakfast & three-course Farewell Dinner
- Metro passes in Rome and Athens
- Skip-the-line entrances to the Colosseum, Vatican and Acropolis
You’ll stay at accommodations hand-picked by our team of local experts, in rooms only for EF Ultimate Break travelers. Each property is located in a safe, convenient area. You’ll receive your exact accommodations 30 days before your trip departs.
Click here for examples of where you'll stay.
Admit it, booking flights is the worst. Here's why you should let us do it for you:
- Flight costs are included in your monthly payment plan, so you can pay over time
- Airport transfers are included, so we’ll be waiting, sign in hand
- Flights are booked with major airlines
- 24/7 support no matter what time zone you’re in
- One checked bag included on most flights
- Option to make changes to your trip up to 99 days before departure
Booking with a friend? Let us know and we’ll do our best to make sure you’re on the same flight. Still want to book your own flights? That’s cool, simply select ‘No flights included’ instead of your departure city in the ‘Flights from’ dropdown.
Day 1: Overnight Flight
Board your overnight flight to Athens, the cradle of Western Civilization and home to some of the greatest monuments of the ancient world. Also gyros. Don’t forget about the gyros.
Day 2: Arrive in Athens
Welcome to Athens! 2,500 years ago, it was kind of a happening place, and still is today—with fewer people in togas walking around. It’s a vibrant metropolis, and a perfect jumping-off point for your journey through the Greece. When the sun goes down, expect to see people socializing in the streets. It’s how they roll.
- Meet an EF representative at the airport.
- Transfer to your accommodations and check in.
- Receive the latest schedule from your Tour Director.
- Meet your fellow travelers as they arrive.
In the evening, it's time for your Welcome Mixer. Enjoy appetizers and drinks with your new friends and travelers. Afterwards, you’re free to take the party elsewhere!
Day 3: Tour Athens + Celebrate New Year’s Eve in Athens
Today, take a VIP tour of Athens with a local guide. You’ll climb high above the city to what’s left of ancient Athens, also known as the Acropolis. It’s here where you’ll find the remnants of 2,500 year-old buildings and sculptures, which is quite impressive when you consider things built today last about 3,498 years less than that. Most of what you see was planned and executed by Pericles, who was named, “the first citizen of Athens.” Today, there are a few more citizens in Athens—around 660,000—who can thank him for this energetic and bustling city.
- Enjoy the incredible ancient ruins of the Acropolis with a local guide.
- Pay your respects to the patron goddess of the city (and her namesake sneakers) at the Temple of Athena Nike.
- Find yourself speechless in the presence of the Parthenon—at nearly 2,500 years old, it is undoubtedly one of the most iconic and storied structures in the world.
- Count down to New Year’s in style—with dinner, drinks, and a toast at midnight. Then, keep the party going as late as you want.
Free Time Suggestions:
Psiri: Think of Psiri as the Brooklyn of Athens: impossibly hip, and filled with opportunities to dance, drink, or just hang out.
Loukoumades: Sample a food that sounds better with each word: a deep fried donut covered in honey and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Day 4: Free Day in Athens
Happy New Year! You probably had a big night last night, so wake up slow and take on the city at your own pace. Food, shopping, more sightseeing, more food—the choice is yours.
Free Time Suggestions:
Gyros: Go on the prowl for the beloved national sandwich of Greece, consisting of thin sliced meat, tomatoes, lettuce, tzatziki, onions and fries stuffed in a warm pita. Are you salivating yet?
Monastiraki Flea Market: Ah, the last day of vacation. The perfect time to remember you promised everyone back home souvenirs. Not to fear, Monastiraki Flea Market has you covered.
Day 5: Travel to Nafplio Region via Mycenae and Epidarus
It’s time to leave the big city life behind and head west to Peloponnesus, a peninsula so beautiful, it will make you wonder why everyone isn’t following you there. You’re going to the region of Nafplio, but on your way, you’ll stop for tours of Mycenae and Epidarus.
- Hop on the bus with your new friends—you’re going on a road trip!
- Stop in Epidarus, and visit an outdoor theater recognized for such impeccable acoustics, people can practically hear your thoughts.
- Follow a guide through Mycenae, known for the Bronze Age Lion Gate, the original entrance to the city, and wonder why your city can’t have a cool entrance like that.
- Pinch yourself (not too hard) as you arrive in Nafplio, a picture-perfect seaside town where you’ll spend the rest of the day.
- Visit the castle of Palamidi, located on the crest of a hill overlooking the city and the Argolic Gulf.
Day 6: Travel to Olympia
Head to Olympia, the ancient site of the Olympics. Before it became a weeks-long international competition sponsored by soft drink and insurance companies, the Olympic games began as a way to honor Zeus. (Did he even lift, bro?) Olympia today is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and there is a lot to see and appreciate. From the views of the idyllic countryside, to the remains of countless temples and ancient buildings, this might just turn out to be the best ancient city experience you’ve ever had.
- Arrive in Olympia, surrounded by the remains of the ancient city from nearly 4,000 years ago.
- Tour the site with a local guide who may or may not challenge you to a foot race to get in the Olympic spirit.
- Admire the (literally) sculpted abs of Greek and Roman gods in the Archeological Museum.
- Stand in what’s left of the very first Olympic stadium, and wave to your imaginary fans in the imaginary stands.
Day 7: Travel to Delphi
Your journey continues to Delphi. According to Greek mythology, Zeus sent two eagles to discover the center of the world, and they landed in Delphi. Today, it is a fascinating look into the past, and a great excuse to up your Greek mythology trivia game. Beginning in the 6th century BC, Delphi began hosting the Pythian Games, similar to the Olympic Games, but with more emphasis on art and dance (i.e. more feelings).
- Hop aboard a bus towards Delphi.
- Visit the Sanctuary of Apollo, once the most important sacred site in Greece and home to the Oracle AKA the guy with all the answers.
- Lay your eyes upon The Omphalos of Delphi, a big marble stone and symbol of Apollo that Zeus apparently threw from the sky.
- Gawk at Mount Parnassus, the limestone mountain towering 8,000 feet over the city, which was home to the mythological winged horse, Pegasus.
Day 8: Travel to Kalabaka
Head to the town of Kalabaka, located directly underneath the massive Meteora, a rock formation that’s a delight to the eyes due to its steep, jagged peaks that stand more than 1,000 feet high. The city has a modern feel, since it burned down during WWII and was rebuilt in the 1940s. However, there is evidence that an ancient Greek settlement was here as far back as the 20th century…BC.
Free Time Suggestions:
Wander through town: Check out the quaint neighborhoods in town, passing by churches, shops, and places to eat homemade sausage, pies, and a local specialty called spatoula AKA Greek pudding.
Shop for souvenirs: Grab yourself a gift for the folks back home—hand-made wooden objects and religious icons are very popular. Spatoula is not quite as popular—pudding doesn’t travel well.
Day 9: Explore the Meteora Monasteries
Now is the time for this big show. The Meteora monasteries. On top of some of those limestone rocks you’ve been admiring, are functioning monasteries (with what one can only assume is questionable cell service). The nuns and monks that reside on Meteora have chosen to spend their time praying and contemplating life, and you get to see what it’s all about. Get ready to feel the greatest sense of harmony and relaxation of the trip, while simultaneously overcoming that fear of heights.
- Drive, walk, and constantly wipe the sweat from your palms as you make your way to the tops of the giant rocks for breathtaking views of the Greek landscape.
- Meet the nuns and monks of some of the most isolated monasteries in the world.
- Clear your head, feel the fresh mountain air, and imagine removing yourself from society to live up here.
- Feel like James Bond, minus the whole fighting off bad guys part—the 1981 movie "For Your Eyes Only" was filmed here.
Day 10: Travel to Athens + Fly to Rome
You’ve got a big travel day ahead. First, it’s back to where this adventure started, in Athens. And then you’ll hop on a plane and make your way to Rome, Italy’s capital city that is bursting at the seams with energy. Locals fill the streets, day and night, usually doing something that involves eating or drinking.
- Travel by bus to Athens
- Board your flight, bound for Rome, and prep your taste buds for all the Italian cuisine that’s coming your way.
- Arrive in Rome and settle in for the night.
Day 11: Tour Rome + Optional Catacombs of Rome
They say all roads lead to Rome, but once you’re there you quickly realize that all roads actually lead to restaurants. Take the morning to satisfy your cravings and sip some espresso, then see perhaps the most staggeringly important building you can possibly see in Europe: the Roman Colosseum.
- Tour the city with a local guide who will show you why Rome is one of the most legendary cities in Europe.
- Experience the heart of ancient Rome with a visit to the Forum, once a hub of activity for the city.
- See the ruins of several Roman temples, including the Temple of the Vestal Virgins.
Roman Catacombs & St. Paul's Basilica(extra cost)
Rome isn’t all spaghetti and Sistine Chapels. It’s also got a bit of a spooky side, and you get to see it firsthand. Travel several stories underground to the labyrinth of catacombs built by early Christians as a burial ground for peasants and popes alike. Some of the original nearly 2,000-year-old wall paintings and inscriptions remain, preserved in the eerie and sometimes chilly environment. You’ll also have a chance to tour the stunning St. Paul’s Basilica Outside the Walls. A basilica has stood on these grounds since at least 324 AD, and they say St. Paul himself is buried there—a fact further corroborated by bone fragments and an engraved stone tomb carbon-dated to Biblical times.
Day 12: Free Day in Rome + Optional Visit to the Vatican
Today you get to explore centuries worth of culinary perfection, unbelievable architecture, and local fashion on your own. And let it be said, Rome looks goooood for being 2,000 years old. (It must moisturize.) Shop, eat, drink, and talk like an Italian (with your hands) during your free day. Embrace the culture and indulge in carbs during your last day in the Eternal City.
Free Time Suggestions:
Piazza Navona: Head over to Piazza Navona, one of Rome’s best-known public squares. Fountains, street performers, shops, restaurants, and so much more. Hangout, sip coffee, and embrace the atmosphere of this outdoor hub.
Trevi Fountain: Rumor has it, if turn your back to the Trevi Fountain and toss a coin over your shoulder, it guarantees you’ll return to the Eternal City. Throw in a second coin, and you’ll not only come back, but also find love. (Significant other not guaranteed by EF Ultimate Break.)
A Visit to the Vatican(extra cost)
Cross off another country with a visit to the Pope’s house: Vatican City. Take a guided tour of the Vatican Museum and get your Intro to Art History up close and personal. Make like Michelangelo and crane your neck in the Sistine Chapel to get a glimpse of the single most famous painting of two fingers touching ever made. Let the neck craning continue as you tour St. Peter’s Basilica and gawk at its iconic dome.
Day 13: Travel to Florence via Orvieto
Travel to Florence via Orvieto. Goodbye bustling city, hello Tuscan countryside. Florence was king during the Renaissance, and it still holds on to that artsy, fashionable, cultural vibe today.
- Board your private coach, bound for Florence.
- Stop in Orvieto, a quaint Italian hill town perched atop a rock cliff.
- Marvel at the artistry of the facade of Orvieto’s stunning cathedral, built in 1290 (no, that’s not a typo—it’s really that old).
- Arrive in Florence and begin exploring.
Day 14: Tour Florence + Optional Tuscan Wine Tasting
You’ve got a full day in Florence, the compact capital of the Tuscany region known for its quaint, cobblestone streets and impressive artwork from Renaissance geniuses like Michelangelo and Donatello. Join a local guide as you walk to some of the most famous sights in the city while taking mental notes of the best smelling restaurants you pass for later. After all, it is Italy, and food is kind of a big deal.
- Take note of the Piazza della Signoria, home of the Uffizi Gallery and the world’s most famous nude man, Michelangelo’s David.
- March your way across Ponte Vecchio, a medieval stone bridge with shops built along it (formerly butchers, now jewelers and souvenir shops).
- Visit the final resting place of some of the most illustrious Italians such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli at the Basilica di Santa Croce.
Free Time Suggestions:
Pitti Palace: Pitti Palace once housed the dukes of Tuscany and their extensive art collections, these days the dukes are gone but the art remains. Be sure to check out the statues in Boboli
Vivoli Gelateria: Would it really be a trip to Italy without gelato? The answer is no. Vivoli Gelateria is the local institution to go to for this frozen treat.
Share some last laughs (and maybe shed a few tears) at an included farewell dinner with the group.
Tuscan Wine Tasting(extra cost)
Note: Availability is subject to your tour’s departure date for specific trips.
Some of the world’s best wines come from Tuscany, and now you get to sample the local product at a scenic winery. Who knows, you might even become a connoisseur. Next head to the town of San Gimignano, aptly known as the “City of Beautiful Towers.” The small medieval walled city is not only a UNESCO World Heritage Site, it’s also home to Gelateria di Piazza, named one of Lonely Planet’s top 10 best food hot spots in the world. That’s some tasty gelato.
Why wait? Save money by booking this optional excursion before your trip departs.
Day 15: Fly Home
Translation: Goodbye, friends. Your next destination awaits—home. Before you head to the airport, enjoy your last few moments together. Take one more group photo. Grab that final drink. (Fine, maybe a couple of drinks.) But this isn’t goodbye. It’s “See you later.” The only question is, where?
EXTEND YOUR TRIP 2 WAYS
Double the fun
A lot of our trips line up back to back! Give us a call—we can help you add another and save big while you're at it.
Go ahead or stay behind
Extending your trip is easy! During checkout, you'll have the option to fly to (or from) the gateway of your choice for an additional fee. We'll adjust your flights accordingly, but you'll be responsible to take care of your transportation, hotels, and other logistics outside of tour.
Note: Depending on your desired gateways, additional fees may apply.