When I wrote about the fact I booked a four-day tour through Greece to see major historical sites, a few people commented they would love to hear how it went. Since I’m finally back at home in the land of reliable Wi-Fi, I wanted to share a basic rundown of our trip. First off, please know we booked our trip through Viator.com because I found a 10% off coupon. However, the trip I went on is the exact one you can book through Chase Ultimate Rewards. It’s with Chat tours, and it costs $538.77 per person, or 35,918 points if you have the Chase Sapphire Reserve or Chase Sapphire Preferred.
I know $538 or 35,918 points does sound extremely expensive. Really, you must consider what it included to see the real value. Not only does the basic fare include luxury transportation all over the countryside, but it included three nights in *really* nice hotels and breakfast and dinner each day (lunch was at our own expense). We also have a knowledgeable guide with us at each stop, which made our trip a lot more educational and meaningful.
On day one, our tour departed from the Amalia Hotel Athens near Syntagma Square. From there, we rode a few hours to Mycenae, ruins of an ancient civilization that existed far before what we think of as Ancient Greece. The ruins were interesting, but the view from the top of the compound were spectacular.
From there, we drove to the ancient theater called Epidaurus. I’m no history expert, by my theater major husband studied this site in college and absolutely loved seeing it in person. The acoustics, which we could try out ourselves, were outstanding and the seating was in near-perfect condition despite being designed in the 4th century B.C. That night we stayed in the beautiful town of Napflion, which is known for its mountain top fortress and beautiful ocean views.
Day two was my second-favorite, mostly because my husband is a huge fan of the Olympics – so huge that he becomes really annoying any time the games roll around. We visited Olympia early, strolling through the exact place where the first ancient Olympic games were held. The ruins were spectacular, but I was in shock and awe at the site’s museum. The ancient statues that were once part of the pediments of the Temple of Zeus were a sight to behold.
Seeing them was one of the best parts of our trip. Once we left Olympia, we drove to the Amalia Hotel in Delphi, where we stayed the night.
Day 3 was another one for the record books. After breakfast, we visited the ancient oracle of Delphi, which is one of the most important historical sites in Europe. The site itself was amazing, and relics in the museum dated back as far as 15th century B.C. Delphi is perched in the mountains also, which meant more spectacular views of Greece.
On our final day, we drove to see the ancient monasteries on top of the cliffs known as Meteora. The drive itself was worth the trip, but we also visited two of the monasteries in-person and went inside. The panoramic views were unreal. On the way, home we also stopped in the town of Thermopylae and at Kamena Voural hot springs. We saw the spot where the Spartans made their final stand against the Persian Army (the story that inspired countless movies, including “300”).
On a practical side, the tour itself was great. We stayed at Amalia brand hotels at each stop, and they were extremely nice and well-appointed. The coach was comfortable (it eve had wifi), and they gave us plenty of time to explore each of the sights on our own. Each of our meals (breakfast and lunch) were also either good or great, so no complaints there. Breakfast and dinner were both buffet-style, which was fine for us. There were always plenty of options, and we certainly didn’t go hungry!
Would I do a guided tour like this again? Absolutely. In fact, my husband and I are already trying to figure out when – and where – we’ll do one next. The best part is, we will likely use Chase Ultimate Rewards to book next time. That will help us avoid the out-of-pocket expense, and help free up more cash for other aspects of our trip.
Either way, $538 per person is a great deal when you consider everything the trip includes. With hotel stays, two meals a day, and entrance to the historical sites with our own guide, the trip was an excellent value.
Have you ever been to Greece? Where did you go?
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