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SELF DRIVE TOUR TO THE IONIAN ISLANDS

10 Days / 9 Nights
Free Cancellation

Athens, Olympia, Nafplio, Zakynthos(Zante), Kefallinia (Kefalonia ) and Delphi

Map Itinerary Download PDF
From USD 926.67 USD 834.01

Daily throughout the year. In the winter the route from Kefalonia to Lefkada will take place via Astakos.

Book Now! All our programs in up to 12 installments without interest

What is included in this package

  • 3-night accommodation in Athens.
  • 1-night accommodation in Nafplio.
  • 1-night accommodation in Olympia.
  • 1-night accommodation in Zakynthos.
  • 1-night accommodation in Kefalonia.
  • 1-night accommodation in Lefkada.
  • 1-night accommodation in Delphi.
  • Guided evening walking tour through Monastiraki, Plaka and Anafiotika.
  • Car rental as per itinerary.
  • CDW insurance, excess amount Eur 750.00
  • Unlimited kilometres
  • 24-hour Roadside Assistance.
  • Ferry tickets with numbered seats Kyllini - Zakynthos - Kefalonia - Lefkada (including the cost of the car).
  • All transfers as per description.
  • 24/7 Emergency Phone Assistance
  • Daily breakfast

Not included & Optionals

  • Gratuities (optional) and Personal expenses.
  • Optional (Athens Sightseeing)
  • Fuel and tolls
  • GPS, snow chains, child seat and additional driver upon request.
  • Add extra nights in Athens, Nafplio, Olympia and Delphi by clicking on "Customize your Program" or in step 1 of your reservation. Where applicable, any additional nights will also entail additional days of car rental.
  • Find out the answer to your most frequently asked questions, including hospitality by category here.
  • 10% discount for groups of more than 10 travelers

What do I need to rent a vehicle?

Find out more about the car rental requirements in Greece by clicking here

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Package Tour Itinerary: Self Drive Tour To The Ionian Islands

ATHENS - CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION
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ATHENS - CRADLE OF CIVILIZATION

After your arrival in the mythical city of Athens, the transfer to your hotel will be conducted in one of our private vehicles. A member of our English speaking team will meet you at your hotel, help you with the check-in, inform you of all the details of your trip, introduce you to the city and its everyday way of life and answer any questions you may have. The rest of the day will be free for you to relax and enjoy Athens at your own pace.

Greca Tip: Extend your stay by adding more nights during Step 1 of 3 of your booking!

DAY AT LEISURE  AND ATHENS BY NIGHT
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DAY AT LEISURE AND ATHENS BY NIGHT

This will be a free day in Athens, where, after a delicious breakfast, you will have the chance to visit some of the famous attractions and places of interest in the city. Alternatively, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll in the city center and make your own discoveries as you go along.

In the evening you will join a guided walking tour through the most stunning districts of Athens, such as Anafiotika, Thisio, Monastiraki and Plaka.

Greca Tip: Enjoy a tasty souvlaki in one of the taverns in and around Monasteraki Square.

FROM ATHENS TO CORINTH, MYCENAE AND NAFPLIO
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FROM ATHENS TO CORINTH, MYCENAE AND NAFPLIO

After an nutritious breakfast, you will pick up your rental car and drive to the region of Argolis.

Just outside Athens, at a distance of about 11 kilometres from the city, we suggest a visit to the Daphne Monastery. This monastery is considered the oldest Byzantine monastery of its type in Greece and its frescoes and mosaics are masterpieces of the golden era of Byzantine art. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage in 1990.

On your way to Nafplio you can stop at the Corinth Canal, a great engineering feat first designed in 630 BC by Periander, a tyrant that ruled Corinth and considered one of the seven sages of Ancient Greece. This 6-kilometre-long channel was built to connect the Ionian Sea with the Saronic Gulf, thus saving valuable sailing time for the seafaring vessels. Its construction lasted a long time and was completed by the French in 1893.

About half an hour’s driving later you will reach Mycenae, one of the most important archaeological sites of Ancient Greece. Here you can visit the Lion's Gate and the Treasure of Atreus. This last structure is generally believed to be a royal tomb and more precisely the Tomb of Agamemnon.

You will end a full day of cultural adventure in the comfort of your hotel in Nafplio, a charming Venetian city.

Total distance: 148 km

Greca Tip: Enjoy a leisurely walk around the Old Town and sip your drink at the port taking in the amazing view of Bourtzi – always lit up at night.

FROM NAFPLIO TO THE ANCIENT OLYMPIA
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FROM NAFPLIO TO THE ANCIENT OLYMPIA

After a delicious breakfast, you will have time to discover Nafplio in the morning. There you can get in touch with the locals by visiting an olive oil mill and tasting the famous and appetizing Greek olives.

After leaving Nafplio, you will drive through the picturesque mountains of Arcadia towards the ancient Olympia.

On the route, you can make a detour to Kalavryta, a city with magnificent views and its steep slopes, river springs and pine forests.  At a distance of about 17 kilometers from Kalavryta, you will come across the Cave of the Lakes. The cave extends for 2 kilometers underground and has 15 lakes inside. The combination of the colors and waterfalls together make an impressive spectacle.

Alternatively, you can drive to Diakofto and from there catch the train known as "Odontotos" towards Kalavryta. This train rises to a hight of 750 meters above sea level and crosses the entire Vouraikos gorge. The views are splendid, with lush forests, waterfalls, and tunnels carved into the rocks. This is the tour of such striking beauty, that you should not miss out on the chance of taking it. 

After these two compulsory stops, you will arrive at the destination of the day, Olympia. There, you will visit the site of the former Olympic stadium, where the first Games were held (776a.C). The importance of the Olympic games was such that all Greek cities ceased hostilities and participated on a large scale.

Olympia was also the most important sanctuary of the Ancient Greeks, a place to worship Zeus, the king and father of all  gods.  Here also stood his gold and ivory statue, a gigantic sculpture made by Fidias himself and one of the seven wonders of the ancient world.

Total distance: 157 km

Greca Tip: Relax and make the most of your hotel's amenities or hike through the beautiful surrounding countryside.

FROM OLYMPIA TO ZAKYNTHOS
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FROM OLYMPIA TO ZAKYNTHOS

Today, after a delicious breakfast, you will leave the Peloponnese region to discover the islands of the Ionian Sea. These islands differ from those of the Aegean Sea for being covered with forests and fertile valleys, mountainous areas, olive groves and vineyards. 

First you will drive to the Port of Kyllini, from which the ferry will depart. You will have a trip of just over an hour to reach the island of Zakynthos where you will rest. 

This island is known for the shipwreck beach or "Navagio Beach". This postcard-only summarizes a thousand adjectives that describe the hidden Greek beauties located in the Ionian Sea region. The island was inhabited by Achaeans until the Athenians took it in the 5th century BC. Later they were succeeded by Spartans, Macedonians, Romans and Byzantines. The Venetians ruled over it from 1484 to 1797, and the island finally joined Greece in 1864. 

It is recommended to visit the Keri caves or the Marine National Park where you can find the Caretta Caretta turtles.

Total distance: 125 km. 

Greca Tip: If we have more days, we suggest adding nights here and going on the PIRATE BOAT CRUISE IN ZAKYNTHOS, visiting Navagio Beach, Keri Caves and Oasis Beach!

 

FROM ZAKYNTHOS TO KEFALONIA, THE WONDERS CONTINUE!
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FROM ZAKYNTHOS TO KEFALONIA, THE WONDERS CONTINUE!

After a tasty breakfast, and as you become more and more familiar with the Greek way of life, you will head towards Agios Nikolaos Port to continue on to your next destination, Kefalonia. The ferryboat will bring you to the port of Pessada.

The island of Kefalonia, "Kefallinia" in English (a name which comes from Céfalo, that according to Greek Mythology, was the lord of the island) is one of the most famous of the Ionian Archipelago.

Do not miss the chance to visit the must see attractions of Kefalonia Island: The Cave of Drogkaráti and The Cave-Lake of Melissani.

Drogarati Cave, located nearly 200 feet below the surface, was discovered 300 years ago when an earthquake exposed the entrance.  This spectacular cavern features stunning rock formations, while the acoustics in its magnificent hall, called "Sala of Apotheosis", are so perfect that the cave is used for concerts and other shows.  

Lake Melissani was a Mykenean sanctuary honouring the god Pan.  A manmade tunnel leads to the water's edge where you will board a small rowboat for a scenic cruise around this majestic cavern. Take in the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds you as shafts of sunlight filter from above, enhancing the vibrant aquamarine colors of the glistening lake, where, according to legend, the nymph Melisaní drowned when she was spurned by Pan. (In Greek Mythology, a nymph is a minor feminine deity typically associated with springs, streams, mountains, sea or groves).

After making the most of the fascinating beauty of the island, it is time to have a well-deserved rest.

In the evening we suggest a nice walk on the pedestrian streets or the coastal road of Argostoli, the main city on the island.

Greca Tip: If you have more days at your disposal, we suggest adding extra nights here to embark on a barbecue cruise from Argostoli, visiting XI Beach, Vardiani and more!

FROM KEFALONIA TO LEFKADA, THE TREASURE OF THE IONIAN SEA
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FROM KEFALONIA TO LEFKADA, THE TREASURE OF THE IONIAN SEA

After an exquisite breakfast, you will drive to the Port of Fiskardo to take the ferry to Lefkada.

You will disembark at the Port of Nidri, where the best resorts of the island can be found. From there, small boats depart to the nearby islands such as Chelonaki, Madouri, Meganisi and the famous island of Skorpios, which once was a private property of the magnate Onasis.

Here in Lefkada, we suggest visiting the most incredible beaches of the Ionian Sea. On one hand, Porto Katsiki, the most popular beach on the island, is located at the foot of a cliff.  In this way the green of the mountain contrasts with the turquoise waters of the sea. Another spot that you should not miss is Egremni beach, with the stunning blue and turquoise waters of the sea. At the moment this beach is inaccessible by land, so it can only be reached by boat.

At night, we suggest taking a walk along Nidri's seafront.

Greca Tip: If you have more days at your disposal, we suggest adding extra nights here to discover the most unmissable beaches on the island (Egremni, Porto Katsiki, and Agiofili) enjoying a mini cruise!

FROM LEFKADA TO THE DELPHIC ORACLE
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FROM LEFKADA TO THE DELPHIC ORACLE

After a delicious breakfast, you will leave the Ionian islands by crossing the bridge that connects Lefkada and Preveza and will continue your way to Delphi.

We suggest a brief stop at Nafpaktos. This site is known because it was the scene of the Naval battle of Lepanto, where Miguel de Cervantes took part. There, you can visit the Old Port and the Castle of Nafpaktos with incredible views of the Gulf of Corinth.

Driving on you will arrive at Galaxidi, a picturesque fishing village with beautiful beaches where surely you can take a short relaxing break.

Finally you will arrive at Delphi, the center or navel of the ancient world and host to the renowned Oracle of Delphi (consulted by kings and pilgrims alike).  The site was declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site in 1987 and continues to be a great pole of attraction up to the present.

When all your questions to the Oracle of Delphi have been answered, you will enjoy a well-deserved rest at your hotel! In the evening we suggest visiting the neighboring and picturesque town of Arachova.

Total distance:290 km

Greca Tip: In Nafpaktos you can visit a women's cooperative and buy pasta, spoon sweets and jams from local fruits. Also, do not forget the region's most popular product, virgin olive oil.

FROM DELPHI TO ATTICA, THE RETURN
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FROM DELPHI TO ATTICA, THE RETURN

After a delicious Greek breakfast, you will start your journey back to Athens

You will drive along the slopes of Mount Parnassos rising to 2457 meters height and you will make a short stop in Arachova, a popular winter resort full of taverns and handicraft shops. 

Further down the road you can visit the town of Levadeia, which, in ancient times, flourished and grew in importance as a consequence of its possessing the celebrated oracle of Trophonius, found in a cave.

Back in Athens, you will return your rental car to the station and your adventure through Greece at our own pace will have come full circle. Now it is time to have a well-deserved rest with the memories of all the places you have seen and the people you have met still fresh in your mind.

Total distance: 186 km

Greca Tip: In the village of Arachova you can shop for local products, such as the traditional woven carpets, honey and the local formaela cheese.

FAREWELL GREECE!
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FAREWELL GREECE!

At the agreed time, our driver will transfer you to Athens Airport to board your international flight back home or to your next destination.  You will check in your luggage and benefit from the tax return resulting from any last minute "tax free" shopping for family and friends.

Undoubtedly, and after spending a few fantastic days with Greca, we hope to see you again soon to create new and extraordinary moments that will be lovingly etched in your memory.

Have a nice trip! Or as Greeks say: "Kalo taksidi!"

Greca Tip: As a going away gift you can choose from a wide range of brightly colored flokati rugs, handmade sandals, embroidered covers and Greek honey or olive oil.

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