discover & work in
discover & work in
Epic nature, dramatic ancient history, and delicious food show different ways you can enjoy the work-life balance on your 14-day Greece Workation Package in Athens and Crete. Mix adventure, discovery, history, and coastline while finding indescribable beauty around Greece’s capital city and largest island.
This is a sample itinerary to inspire a personalized trip designed with your travel specialist
Athens is a fascinating city that immerses visitors in equal parts of historical grace and contemporary grit. The spirited mixture of ancient life and modern culture provides an overview of the greater country cast in images of ruined temples, Neoclassical palaces, and cafes where locals celebrate life with delicious pastries and boisterous conversation.
When you land at the airport, you will meet your Workation representative before arriving at your pre-screened accommodation. You can find the amenities you need to enjoy a successful Workation in Greece before visiting the Koukaki neighborhood for an introductory taste of Athens. The popular district offers a great collection of cafes known for their cozy atmosphere among cobblestone streets, lively locals, and the sweet smells of fresh baklava.
Focus: When first arriving in Athens, you can do proactive breathing exercises to help you connect to the space and focus on being in new accommodations. Breathe in for six seconds, hold for four seconds, and breathe out for seven seconds. Do this three times.
Suggestion: If you want to settle easily into Athens, try a traditional walnut, cinnamon, nutmeg, and syrup cake known as karidopita.
Your first full day in Athens will take you to the famous Acropolis, visiting the remarkable ruins scattered across what was once the ancient city. Visiting with a guide gives you more context to the ruins and a better sense of why each element is important, as well as opening your eyes to hidden concepts or histories you may not know exist.
Once on the top of Acropolis Hill, you can find the sun shining against the marbled surface. Temples decorate the plateau, including the world-renowned Parthenon. The view creates a panorama of the greater Athens area but your main focus can be set on the pillars and metopes bringing the temple of Athena to life. The Doric design was originally meant to look the same size when seen from any angle and continues to inspire visitors with the 17 columns and decorative panels depicting olympian gods fighting giants.
Focus: Look at the stories on the Parthenon. What do the stories tell you? How does it relate to the greater history of Greece and Western Civilization? What stories would you tell?
Suggestion: After your tour, walk through the ancient neighborhood of the Plaka and enjoy the atmosphere.
Greece is much more than just Athens and a full day exploring the Athenian Riviera will demonstrate the beauty and culture of the coastline shaped by historical and contemporary life. You can drive the coastline and enjoy views of private beaches, public sands, and hidden coves. Stop at your leisure during the season to find restaurants serving fresh fish with lemon juice or relax on a lounge chair with a delicious cocktail that creates Greece vibes. Reach Poseidon’s Temple near sunset to find the staggering marble pillars standing tall along the cliffside. The sunset reflects against the water and marble making it feel like you’re surrounded by color.
Focus: When you reach Poseidon’s Temple, turn your phone off and pay attention to the sunset. Enjoy the moment, count the colors, circle the ruins, and don’t turn your phone on until you leave for Athens.
Suggestion: If you’re visiting in season, stop at Megalo Kavouri for a fun experience
You will start your work week and put in place a ritual that will help you focus on your work. Traveling and working can be challenging but a ritual will make it easier to start and stop work by mixing routine and intention. When the workday is complete, having a ritual to bring you out of focus gives you a better work-life balance.
Visit the Acropolis Museum after work for a different perspective of ancient Greece, Athens, and where art and history converge. The fantastic exhibits lead upward to a panoramic window looking out to the Parthenon above. As you circle the artifacts and ephemera of the ancient Western World, you can find the Parthenon’s west frieze depicting a horse pulling powerfully against the reins, resisting with swelling veins.
Focus: Before you visit the museum, make a list of the things you want to see. Check off the list during your visit and write down things you may have seen that caught your eye.
Suggestion: For a great snack, visit the museum cafe that has an award-winning view of the Acropolis.
You will have the opportunity to practice your ritual again. The important details about the ritual or rituals you place are up to you and how well you understand your work personality. At the end of the day, your Workation representative will take you to the airport for your flight to Heraklion on Crete.
Continue to the city of Chania where the colorful facades of the Venetian harbor wrap around the water. Enjoy the quiet beauty and charm of your accommodations pre-screened for the amenities you need to succeed while on Crete. You can walk around the narrow cobblestone lanes, smell the grilling meat, and the lively sounds of locals and boutique shops with glimpses of the light tower at the end of the harbor.
Focus: Sit on a bench near the water in the Old Harbor and enjoy the sounds. What do you hear? How is it like or unlike Athens? Can you imagine what it would have sounded like centuries ago?
Suggestion: Enjoy the island’s introduction by trying pastitcio, similar to a Greek-style lasagna.
Once again you will put to use your ritual to help you ease in and out of work finding it much easier to start the day even when in a new place. After work, you can set your intention to disconnect to create the best work-life balance and explore greater Chania.
You have the afternoon to visit the city and can visit Firkas Fortress, which was built in the 17th century overlooking the water. The strong walls and turrets still create a striking image against the edges of the Venetian homes. The significant history of the fortress adds to the luster of the island and cityscape transferring from the Venetians to the Turks and finally the Greeks. From the top, you can enjoy a fantastic view of the harbor including the dome of the Giali Tzamisi mosque.
Focus: Enjoy a quiet moment with sunset over the harbor. Turn your phone off until the sun has completely gone.
Suggestion: For a great breakfast in Crete, you can try a bougatsa. The traditional pastry is made with phyllo dough and stuffed with different fillings including cheese.
By now, you have learned the secrets to diving into work and getting your projects done in time to enjoy exploring more of Greece. After work, you can disconnect from life back home to discover the celebrated flavors of Cretan food with a cooking class.
Your chef is not just a cook but a guide through the history, traditions, and culture of Crete and greater Greece demonstrated with hands-on instruction. You can find ingredients like eggplant, tomatoes, and garlic with the smell of mint and fresh herbs filling the kitchen. You can learn how to make typical dishes like stamnagathi, local greens often cooked with olive oil staka me ayega, which consists of cream and eggs.
Focus: Enjoy using your senses during the cooking class to see, hear, taste, smell, and feel every ingredient. What stands out the most?
Suggestion: Take home the recipes you make so you can show them off to friends, family, or revisit your Workation every time you make a dish.
Celebrate finishing your first week of Workation with a hike through the Samaria Gorge. Known for its sharp switchbacks and steep cliffs dropping nearly 5,000 feet, the approximately 10-mile hike has some of the best views in all of Greece.
Follow the trail descending to the gorge’s floor with the promise of a black-sand beach waiting at the end. You can find the smell of pine trees and wet rocks as you listen to the creek passing nearby. Deserted farmhouses, lazy goats, and a narrow passageway where 1,000-foot-tall cliffs are separated by nearly nine feet eventually give way to the warm, crystal-clear waters of the Lybian Sea.
Focus: Look for the unique rock formations at Agia Roumeli and watch for passing dolphins in the water.
Suggestion: Enjoy the night with dinner out after taking the ferry back to Chania.
A full day to enjoy Chania and the surroundings gives you plenty of time to visit the boutique shops, walk the seaside, and even spend time visiting a nearby beach before an olive oil tasting experience.
Visit villages and learn the art and history of olive oil that intertwines with the culture of the island. The oil is often referred to as liquid gold as much for its color as its demand. Meet with a local producer on their estate by first walking through the grove. The smell of the trees and soft texture of the leaves can immerse you in the space as you learn about the cultivation process. The historic estate may contrast the modern factory that produces incredible amounts of olive oil each year. Your guide will pour a number of olive oils for you to taste with different ages and characteristics. You can find bitterness, butteriness, and even fruity notes with each different sample.
Focus: When you close your eyes during a tasting, you enhance your ability to taste and smell. Focus on the different characteristics and make notes of the ones you like, and why.
Suggestion: Don’t be afraid to ask questions, including what food to pair with olive oils, which can be as fickle as wines.
You will dive back into work today and use your ritual to get you started. After work, you can say bye to Chania when your Workation representative takes you from the old Venetian Harbor to Crete’s capital city, Heraklion.
Take time to get acquainted with your pre-screened accommodations before visiting Old Town and the shops lining 1886 Street. Nearly 1,000 shops line the marbled streets with vendors showcasing jewelry, linens, and opening to cafe tables topped with baklava or Greek coffee. You can walk the aisles or sit at a table and enjoy the view of passing locals looking for their next treasure.
Focus: Pay attention to the physical sensations around you. How is Heraklion different from Chania? How is it different from home? What are five things specific to Crete?
Suggestion: The shops in Old Town sell more than just trinkets and you can find local spices that create the flavors you have enjoyed since arriving in Greece.
After work, you can visit Knossos Palace, the largest Minoan palace on Crete. Tour the grounds with a guide for a better understanding of the archeological and anthropological importance of the ruins that continue to conjure images of minotaurs.
Knossos Palace dates back to around the 16th century BCE and consists of many structures facing a courtyard. When walking along the pathways, it is easy to search for signs of the labyrinth and the minotaur made famous by the myth of Theseus. Instead of the maze, you can find elaborate replica frescoes depicting large bulls and Minoan men leaping over bulls with elaborate precision.
Focus: Practice active viewing by carefully looking at an image, explaining what you observe, and listening to what other people are seeing. Can you interpret what you see?
Suggestion: The remaining frescoes are on display in the Heraklion Archeological Museum.
A Crete wine tour is an exceptional invitation to fascinating flavors that showcase the history and culture of the island, as well as its connection to greater Greece and wider Mediterranean. Wine is an essential part of the island’s traditions and after work, you can enjoy learning about how the island soil impacts the grapes’ personalities.
Visit with a local wine producer to walk through the vineyards smelling of saccharine and estates that hold marvelous views over the countryside. You can learn about native grapes that offer defining flavors like plum or vanilla, one brought back from the brink of extinction and one used only in Heraklion production. When you taste a wine made with pluto, you can find aromas of melon and pineapple but also elements of herbs for a more earthy connection.
Focus: Make a checklist of the personalities and characteristics of the wines you like most. Use it as a reference moving forward.
Suggestion: Ask about the native grapes and how you can find more opportunities to try native wines, which can help sustainable practices, as well as flavor differentiation.
You can celebrate the start of your weekend and your final full day in Crete by disconnecting from work and visiting traditional villages that demonstrate the combination of ancient customs and modern life.
You can start at the village of Xorio, which is located near Heraklion. The typical Cretan village has cobblestone streets and demonstrates how life moves at a slower but intoxicating pace. Slower but more intentional, each moment in Xorio can feel profound as you find sheep grazing on the countryside near the edge of the homes, locally produced honeys and cheeses filling the shops, and grapevines meandering away from a nearby vineyard. The village is a great place to sit, visit with locals and sample the local raki often infused with herbs.
Focus: Turn off your phone when in the village and enjoy being present. Pay attention to the sounds and aromas. How are they different from Heraklion?
Suggestion: A village is one of the best times to sample the bread, or pies often made in a wood oven.
On your final morning on Crete, you can move at a slow pace taking your time with a Greek coffee and pastry or visit the ocean break near the harbor for one more view of Old Town and Heraklion’s faster-paced streets. Your Workation representative will meet you and take you to the airport with plenty of time to make your flight. Think about extending your Workation with more time in Greece or in a nearby country like Croatia or Italy to further enjoy the work-life balance you’ve been able to establish.
Focus: Make a list of your top five favorite experiences in Greece. What are they and why?
Suggestion: Expect a layover in Athens before continuing to another location, especially if flying back to North America.
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