- Ancient Olympia
An included full-day visit to see the weathered temples and historic ruins of the greatest Pan-Hellenic sanctuary.
- An icon of Zakynthos
Take a boat trip to the famous beached Panagiotis shipwreck and the crystal clear waters of Smugglers Cove.
- An epic island
Discover the lush green island of Ithaki, said to be the home of the mythical Odysseus…
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Ionian Island Escape
Greek Ionian Islandsfrom £1,599 per person 14 2 Including optional travel insurance or a price reduction of £54 if not required
- All Inclusive
A taste of Greece…
Uncover the timeless traditions of Greece with stays on the Ionian islands of Kefalonia and Zakynthos where you’ll experience Greek hospitality, taste delicious local food and soak up the sun on celebrated beaches. A relaxing four-night stay on the mainland provides the perfect opportunity to visit one of the country’s most iconic attractions, Olympia.
14 nights in hotels
42 meals: 14 breakfasts, 14 lunch and 14 dinners
- Optional travel insurance underwritten by Great Lakes Insurance SE, UK
- Return flights and transfers
- Saga tour manager
- Welcome drink reception
- Free bar 11 hours a day
- Porterage of luggage at hotels
- All transfers and ferry tickets
Excursions and visits
- Boat trip to Shipwreck Beach
- Island tour of Zakynthos
- Day trip to ancient Olympia
- Panoramic tour of Kefalonia
- Scenic boat trip to Ithaka
Day 1 UK-Zakynthos
Fly to Zakynthos, and check into the locally rated 4-star Alykanas Village, for a five-night all-inclusive stay.
The contemporary 216-room hotel is set on a sandy beach and offers superb views of the Ionian Sea. Facilities include a buffet restaurant, two outdoor pools, coffee shop and gym. The free bar is open 11 hours a day and serves local drinks. Enjoy dinner at the hotel and perhaps relax with an alfresco drink on the terraces surrounding the outdoor pool. D
Day 2 Zakynthos
Enjoy a day at leisure. Make the most of the picturesque and tranquil surroundings, and relax by the pool or on the beach. Perhaps join an optional olive oil and wine tasting excursion. B, L, D
Day 3 Zakynthos
Today, enjoy an included guided boat trip to the famous beached Panagiotis shipwreck and the crystal clear waters of Smugglers Cove.
Join your cruiser at the harbour of Zante and sail north, catching sight of the island’s lighthouse on the Cliffs of Keri and the turtle-shaped island of Skinari which still belongs to the Vatican. Continue past the Blue Caves before arriving in Smugglers Cove where you can enjoy a swim or stretch out in the sun. On the way home enjoy more swim stops before arriving back in Zante in the late afternoon. B, L, D
Day 4 Zakynthos
Enjoy a full-day island tour of Zakynthos. Visit the main town on the island, with its elegant square and bustling harbour, and explore the island’s mountainous interior. B, L, D
Day 5 Zakynthos
Spend the day at leisure.
Perhaps take a trip out to the Keri Lighthouse, perched 300 metres above the sea and providing the opportunity for breathtaking sunsets and a glimpse of the twin pinnacles of Myzithres. These rock formations take their name from Myzithra cheese because of their similar shape. You can also press into the interior and discover forested wilderness and traditional rural villages or visit the rugged west coast, where mighty limestone cliffs plunge into turquoise waters. B, L, D
Day 6 Zakynthos-Kyllini
Leave the hotel for the port, and take the public ferry to Kyllini where you will spend the next four nights on an all-inclusive board basis at the locally rated 4-star Grecotel Ilia Palms and Aqua Park.
The 80-room hotel is set within a 500 acre wooded estate leading onto a two kilometre stretch of sandy beach. Facilities at the hotel include a buffet-style restaurant, lobby bar and free Wi-Fi throughout, plus you can also make use of the numerous indoor and outdoor pools at the Grecotel Olympia Oasis and Aqua Park, 350 metres away. The free bar is open 11 hours a day and serves local drinks.
After settling in, enjoy dinner and a relaxing evening. B, L, D
Day 7 Kyllini
Enjoy a day at leisure.
You could pop down to the beach where the hotel runs its own watersports school that offers everything from windsurfing and pedal boats, to diving and aqua aerobics (all extra charge). Bikes are available to rent at the hotel and provide a great way to explore the local area or you could set out on a horseback ride. B, L, D
Day 8 Kyllini
Today, join an included full-day excursion to the ancient site of Olympia.
Your first stop will be at the Archaeological Museum of Olympia where a guided visit will reveal, among other fascinating ancient relics, the helmet that the Athenian general Miltiades dedicated to Zeus following his victory over the Persians in the battle of Marathon; a marble statue of Nike of Paionios dating from 421BC; and numerous sculptured ornaments from the Temple of Zeus. From here you’ll continue to the main site of Olympia, where the first ever Olympic games were held. Discover the weathered temples and historic ruins of the greatest Pan-Hellenic sanctuary. You'll see the remains of the temples of Hera and Zeus, which offer a glimpse at what these grand Doric temples once looked like during the 5th-century BC. Other noteworthy sites include the stadium entrance – and you'll see the remaining part of the vaulted ceiling which dates from the 3rd-century BC. The site is extensive, so be prepared for quite a lot of walking if you want to see everything.
The final visit of the day will be to the Botanical Gardens of Olympia, a relatively new installation designed to replicate the landscapes of times gone by.
Return to the hotel for dinner. B, L, D
Day 9 Kyllini
After a busy day of sightseeing yesterday you’ll enjoy spending today at leisure. B, L, D
Day 10 Kyllini-Kefalonia
Leave the hotel after breakfast, transfer to the port and board a ferry to the island of Kefalonia.
Check into the locally rated 5-star Apostolata Island Resort & Spa, for a five-night all-inclusive stay. The 166-room hotel is set on a hillside, offering panoramic views. It has two outdoor pools and a spa (treatments extra). Accommodation is arranged in nine buildings of two storeys, accessible by lifts. The hotel runs a complimentary shuttle bus to the sand-and-shingle beach and the town of Skala, four kilometres away, and to and from Poros, once a day. B, L, D
Day 11 Kefalonia
Today you’ll see more of the island during an included full-day panoramic tour that visits two picturesque port towns and the island’s capital Argostoli.
Head to the island’s east coast to explore the town of Sami with its pleasant promenade lined with shops, cafes and tavernas. You may recognise the scenery from the film adaptation of ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’.
Continue by coach to Asos, which is overlooked by a Venetian castle. You’ll have free time to look around before travelling to the capital, where the main square is lined with boutique shops and cafes. Perhaps take a stroll along the attractive waterfront promenade.
Return to your hotel in time for dinner. B, L, D
Day 12 Kefalonia
Enjoy a day at leisure.
One of the highlights of Kefalonia that is easily explored independently is the Cave of Melissani. Slide into the mouth of the cave in a piloted rowboat to discover two vast chambers, one of which has a vegetation rimmed opening to the sky, through which sunlight spills. If you visit at midday, when the sun is directly overhead the cave is filled with a magical blue light. It is easy to see why this magical place inspired myth – it is said that the nymph Melissanthi threw herself into the lake as her love for the god Pan was unrequited. As a result the dolphins, who were her companions and messengers, turned to stone and their forms can be seen in the cave’s stalactites. B, L, D
Day 13 Kefalonia
Today, enjoy an included full-day trip to the unspoiled island of Ithaki by boat, including lunch at a local restaurant.
The island is lush and green due to heavy winter rains and the beaches of this 19-kilometre square island are stunning. It was first inhabited in the 2nd Millennium BC and was the home of Homer’s hero Odysseus. The island is home to several ancient ruins and is popular for its great walks and hiking. Perhaps head to the island’s capital, Vathy, a quaint hamlet on a beautiful bay. The capital was entirely rebuilt after the 1953 earthquake devastated much of the island. B, L, D
Day 14 Kefalonia
Spend the final day of your holiday at leisure making the most of your hotel’s facilities, such as the pool and free bar or perhaps join an optional cruise. B, L, D
Day 15 Kefalonia-UK
After breakfast, travel to the airport for your return flight to the UK. B
Olive oil and wine tasting
Visit an olive factory to see how olive oil is made in Zakynthos during the winter before continuing to a winery for an insight into the production process of one of the most popular wines on the island. A highlight of your trip is sure to be a tasting of the produce at each setting.
Optional on 14 nights itinerary
Cruise along the mountainous coast from Sámi port to Fiskardo on Kefalonia’s northern coast, stopping at the port of Polis en route.
Fiskardo is an elegant village with a boutique-lined waterfront. The marina accommodates a traditional fishing fleet, as well as a fleet of luxury yachts during the summer. On arrival here, you will have time at leisure to explore the narrow streets independently.
You’ll have the opportunity to take a dip in the sea from the boat, so you may like to bring swimwear and a towel.
Optional on 14 nights itinerary
A reasonable level of fitness is needed on this tour: excursions may involve walking on uneven ground.
On day 6, holidays departing on May 4 and 11, 2020 stay at the Grecotel Olympia Oasis, and holidays departing on September 28 and October 5, 2020 stay at the Grecotel Casa Marron (both properties are locally rated 4-star and have similar facilities to the Grecotel Ilia Palms and Aqua Park).
Holidays departing on September 21, 28, and October 5, 2020 will return by ferry to Zakynthos on day 14, spending an additional night at the Alykanas Village before flying back to the UK from Zakythos airport on day 15.