Friday 15 to Monday 18 October 2021
Accommodation in a great 5* hotel
Direct flights Brussels Airlines
Ask anyone to mention Europe’s historically most important city for democracy and surely most people will say Athens, Greece. We all know it from the history books, but have you actually walked up the Acropolis yourself? Have you seen the Parthenon up close, while listening to an expert who tells you all about this UNESCO World Heritage Site and cradle of democracy. For 2500 years this magnificent ancient citadel has been of great historic and architectural significance, and a symbol for Athens, Greece, and Western civilisation. Expat Club organises a 4-day trip to this city of 4 million people to dive into 2,5 millennia of Greek history, and to discover the many exciting parts of this vibrant city, including the port city Pireas. A local expert guide will show our group around and provide us with the necessary background information, so the city’s history and ruins will come alive.
This trip is fully confirmed in terms of dates, flights, hotel and program. The only thing still missing is the final confirmation of the Belgian and Greek governments that travel between the countries is allowed again. Expat Club is keen on adding Athens to the list of destinations and travel there with a group of fun people (25-30 people), so we do everything to realize this trip. If you are interested, we would love to hear that. You can now pre-reserve a spot for free and without obligations. We will then inform you whenever we have more information available and open up the trip for actual reservation. If you are a member and logged in, simply click on the RSVP button. If you are not a member, you can register first and follow these stops, or simply submit your name and email address on this page (and answer the questions). Membership is not required for any of our trips because we only offer this online option for those who want to connect more with others.
What is the trip fee?
The fee is €1249, based on 2 people sharing a room, and virtually all-in. Early-birds available.
What is included in the trip fee?
We have a smartly designed schedule that allows us to see as much as possible without having the feeling that you have to run. We just want to avoid unnecessarily losing time by planning things well beforehand, including lunches and dinners, so you won’t have to think what to do next. A worry-free trip that includes the following items:
- Direct flights to/from Athens with Brussels Airlines
- All taxes and fees
- 1 checked luggage of 23kg
- 1 onboard luggage of 8kg
- 1 onboard private item (e.g. small bag)
- Private airport transfers
- 3 nights in 5* hotels in the centre of Athens
- (we have slightly cheaper options in a 3* hotel)
- 3x buffet breakfast
- Dinner on Friday
- Lunch on Saturday
- Dinner on Saturday
- Lunch on Sunday
- Dinner on Sunday
- Private local transportation
- Full day guided tour in Athens on Saturday
- Full day guided tour in Athens on Sunday
- Visit to all major tourist hotspots
- All entrance fees for group visits
- A great group of international people
- A lifetime expat memory
Who can join us?
Expat Club is known for welcoming a wide variety of international people on its trips. This creates a special open-minded, safe and friendly environment in which everyone feels comfortable.
- Members & non-members
- Expats & (international) Belgians
- All ages, including children
- Visiting friends and family
- Singles / couples / retirees / friends / colleagues / families
Expat Club and families
Expat Club welcomes everyone, including families with children. However, due to the extended guided tours and the academic nature of this trip it is not meant for young children (we recommend at least 10-12 years old). Contact us if you are interested so we can ensure you get the right rooms and a family/child discount. These discounts are valid on the early-bird and regular trip fees (no further discounts apply, including pre-reservation discounts).
What is the group size?
For this trip we accept about 25-30 people.
As with all Expat Club trips we carefully think about the entire program to arrange a smooth trip for everyone. This includes the chosen flights, the location of our hotel, pre-reserved entrance times, organised lunches and dinners, good local transportation etc. Still, unforeseen things can happen that may influence our program, such as traffic and road blocks, unexpected closed destinations etc. We always do our best to come up with the best possible alternative in collaboration with local guides, bus drivers, hotel and welcoming restaurants and museums. The below program is a first outline, but gives a good indication of what you can expect in combination with the next session on the destinations we visit. The program will be updated as soon as we can confirm this trip.
Friday 15 October
09h45 – Meeting at Brussels Airport (Starbucks main terminal)
11h45 – Departure on SN 3245 to Athens
15h55 – Arrival at Athens Airport
16h30 – Transfer to city
17h30 – Check-in Radisson Blu Park Hotel*****
18h30 – Welcome drink
19h30 – Dinner
Note: there may be an alternative very late evening flight if you prefer
Saturday 16 October
07h30 – Breakfast
09h00 – Start full day guided tour – Part I
– National Archaelogical Museum
– Neoclassical Masterpieces
– Lunch at Lycabettus Hill (incredible view!)
– Syntagma Square, Parliament & Changing of Guards
– National Garden
– Panathenaic Stadium
– Temple of Zeus
– Alexander the Great Statue
– Hadrian’s Arch
17h30 – End guided tour
20h00 – Dinner in Pireas
22h30 – Return to hotel
Sunday 17 October
07h30 – Breakfast
09h30 – Start full day guided tour – Part II
– Philopappou – Hill & Site
– Acropolis Museum
– Plaka, Anafiotika
– Tower of the winds & Roman Market
– Hadrian’s Library
– Monastiraki Square
18h00 – Drinks & dinner Monastiraki Square
20h30 – Return to hotel
Monday 18 October
07h30 – Breakfast
09h45 – Check-out hotel
10h00 – Start half-day guided tour – Part III (by bus)
– Scenic coastal drive along Athens Riviera
– Temple of Athena Sounias
– Temple of Poseidon
– Time at seaside
11h30 – Departure to Athens Airport
15h00 – Check-in Athens Airport
16h45 – Departure on SN 3246 to Brussels
19h05 – Arrival Brussels
If you follow the entire program, and join us on the proposed morning flight, you will have almost three days to explore Athens. With a Friday evening, two full days on Saturday and Sunday, and a Monday morning and part of the afternoon, there should be more than enough time to dive into the history of the city and to see all major sights and neighbourhoods. And to enjoy the amazingly good Greek food of course!
Athens, the city
If there is one city to which the word ancient applies, then it is definitely Athens. The largest and capital city of Greece has a history that goes back 3,5 millennia, whereas humans settled in the area between 5 and 9 millennia before that. The Athens that we know from our schoolbooks is of course the powerful city-state of arts and philosophy, the city of Plato and Aristotle, cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy.
Our guide Onoufrios
To fully understand the city that we are going to visit, we have approached one of the top guides in Athens. Please meet with Ονούφριος Ντοβλέτης, or simply Onoufrios Dovletis. Let’s get to know him a bit better already! Onoufrios is an Official Tour Guide licensed by the Greek Ministry of Tourism. His name comes from Ancient Egyptian and means ‘he who is always good’ (let’s hope he can live up to that). A native Greek, he was born in 1985 in Thessaloniki, Macedonia, Northern Greece. Athens has been his home since 1995, and what better place to study History and Archaeology, right?
As a student, he used to study in the site of the Agora and take part in excavations in Plaka. His interest in languages also led him to extensive Translation Studies (Athens) with a Master’s in Translation (Italy). He loves etymology so during his tours you will see that it is ‘all Grεεk‘ to you! He has a great passion for the arts so he has taken Writing and Acting classes (Athens, London, New York). He has acted in the theatre in Athens and New York, and in films in Greece and the UK. So he definitely knows a lot about cinema! In 2018, he published his first poetry collection titled Ένας νέος δίχως νέα (A young man with no news).
The Acropolis, a UNESCO site, has always been the fortress and most important religious centre of ancient Athens, the absolute symbol of the grandeur of the Greek civilization and its achievements. The buildings included inside the Acropolis are: the Parthenon, the Erechthion, the Odeon of Herodes (Herodion), the Temple of Athena Nike, the Propylea, the Theatre of Dionysus.
Acropolis The Acropolis of Athens and its monuments are universal symbols of the classical spirit and civilization and form the greatest architectural and artistic complex bequeathed by Greek Antiquity to the world. In the second half of the fifth century bc, Athens, following the victory against the Persians and the establishment of democracy, took a leading position amongst the other city-states of the ancient world. In the age that followed, as thought and art flourished, an exceptional group of artists put into effect the ambitious plans of Athenian statesman Pericles and, under the inspired guidance of the sculptor Pheidias, transformed the rocky hill into a unique monument of thought and the arts. The most important monuments were built during that time: the Parthenon, built by Ictinus, the Erechtheon, the Propylaea, the monumental entrance to the Acropolis, designed by Mnesicles and the small temple Athena Nike. (source: UNESCO website)
The most impressive museum in Greece and one of the top museums in the world, the Acropolis Museum houses the classical masterpieces from the Acropolis combining an excavation that is always visible right under your feet.
The Agora, known as the ‘birthplace of Democracy’, is where you can see the parliament of the Athenian Democracy, the best-preserved temple in Greece and the place where Socrates taught and was executed in the 5th century BC.
Mount Lycabettus, also known as Lycabettos, Lykabettos or Lykavittos, is a Cretaceouslimestone hill. At 300 meters (908 feet) above sea level, its summit is the highest point in Athens and pine trees cover its base. The name also refers to the residential neighbourhood immediately below the east of the hill. (source: Wikipedia)
Major sights in Athens
Some of the city’s most beautiful neoclassical buildings are here, such as the Academy, the University, the National Library etc. The intricate changing of the guards wearing skirts and shoes made of wood and leather takes place all year long, every hour, in front of the first palace of modern Greece, which now houses the Parliament.
Also known as the ‘Olympic Stadium’, it was built in the place of the ancient stadium and it hosted the first modern Olympic Games. We can see it from the hill band of course also enter it.
Temple of Zeus
Once the biggest building in Athens 1,900 years ago, the temple of the king of the Gods originally had over 100 Corinthian columns.
Other Athens museums
The National Archaeological Museum
With over 11,000 exhibits, Greece’s biggest museum provides a panorama of the Greek civilization from the beginnings of Prehistory to Late Antiquity.
A pleasant break from the city bustle, the garden was created by the first King and Queen of Greece, at a time when watering it meant cutting the water supply for the rest of the city…
This is the old town of Athens right by the Acropolis, full of taverns, cafés, and wonderful ancient and neoclassical buildings. Anafiotika is part of it but it stands out for its island look.
Built right above the ancient city and a metro station, this is practically the heart of Athens right by the old town, where there are dozens of shops for clothes, shoes and souvenirs (‘flea market’), restaurants and cafés. Definitely the place to be!
For your comfort, convenience, and safety, we will be staying in a great 5* hotel in the centre of Athens. Facing the Pedion Areos Park, the Radisson Blu Park Hotel Athens***** is located just 4 minutes walking to the Archaeological Museum of Athens as well a Metro Station with frequent and convenient connections to various parts of the city, including the Monastiraki Square area (2 stops), the Acropolis (3 stops) and Pireas (9 stops). In other words, a perfect location for our Athens discovery trip.
The hotel has spacious modern and nicely decorated rooms, including a private bathroom. From the rooftop pool we will have a great view over the Acropolis and Lycabettus Hill. Also a fitness centre, a sauna and a hammam are available free of charge for our group. Needless to say that we start the day with a very nice buffet breakfast!
As alternative we have a few rooms in the Museum Hotel*** that is just a few minutes walking. We can offer this to those who would like to share a room with another traveler, either as two friends sharing, or 2 solo travelers sharing. The discount per person is €65 on the trip price. If we can offer single rooms the surcharge (discount for hotel + surcharge single room) is €55. We only have limited rooms available, so it’s first come first serve. We do, however, recommend staying with the group in the Radisson since we will always start and finish our programs there.
Choose your room
Having a good room is the basis for a great trip. Therefore we want to make sure you get the best type of room available. In this hotel you can choose from the following rooms.
- Single room – 1 large bed for 1 person (surcharge applies)
- Double room – 1 large bed for 2 persons (a couple or parent/child)
- Twin room – 2 single beds for 2 persons (two friends sharing a room)
- Twin room – 2 single beds for 2 persons (two solo travellers sharing a room)
- Triple/family rooms – at request
Room sharing for solo travellers
If you travel alone, you can share a “twin room” with 2 single beds (only females shared rooms, male room upon request). We introduce you to the other travellers who also want to share a room. This means you don’t have to search for a friend who wants to join. We also do not assign you to a room, but you choose who you want to share the room with. You can select this room sharing option during the reservation processs. It is a perfect way to lower your costs and to meet another friendly expat.
We will fly direct to Athens with Brussels Airlines. Due to limited flights and code-sharing with Agean Airlines, we can only travel as a group on Friday morning and come back on Monday (normally we would choose Thursday to Sunday, but that’s not possible).
- Friday 15 October: SN 3245 – Brussels 11h45 > Athens 15h55
- Monday 18 October: SN 3246 – Athens 16h45 > Brussels 19h05
Although the weather is still great in Athens in October and you might travel lightly, we have decided to already include a 20kg suitcase for everyone both ways. So just pack whatever you would like, or keep your suitcase empty to save space and kilograms for the many souvenirs you would like to take back.
- The trip will be carried out by Brussels Airlines
- The trip is carefully planned. Still, all timings are indicative and may change if required by circumstances.
- The trip is sold as a package. You cannot go with your own transportation or arrange your own accommodation. If there are specific things that you do not want in the package, please let us know.
- You are personally responsible for getting good cancellation and/or travel insurance that covers you for unforeseen emergencies and medical expenses before or during the trip.
- You are personally responsible for using the hotel room in an appropriate way. Any missing or broken items will be billed after the trip.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for unforeseen delays that influence the program (e.g. missed guided tours), neither can Expat Club be held liable for weather-related cancellations or any other unforeseen events that influence the course of the trip, including, but not limited to technical problems with the coach, strikes, weather etc.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for personal injuries during the trip, such as, but not limited to, things that happen during the guided tours. Joining this trip is safe but still at your own risk.
- If you do not find a room partner on your own, we will find one for you (male/male, female/female). During the outbound trip we will connect you with others in the same position. If you decide to take a single room during the trip, then you will have to fully pay for it yourself.
- If you book a double / twin room and your travel partner cancels, you will have to pay the single room supplement or share a room with another person (if available).