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The Westcoast Connection Blog

Life Changing Experiences

Exploring Ancient Ruins & Pristine Beaches in Greece

Greece is absolutely gorgeous and the trip members have continued to bond over various activities. Everyone was looking forward to our guided tour of the Acropolis, the most famous site in the country’s capital. As we walked the grounds, we were amazed by the ancient structures and stunning panoramic views of the city. Then the group continued to the museum, where we saw additional remains of the Parthenon. 

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The next day marked our departure to the islands. First stop, Naxos! It was great being able to walk down to the beach, grab delicious gyros and relax in the sun. We swam in the ocean and played soccer and beach paddleball. Later on, the group walked along the boardwalk and shared great conversation with one another over a tasty dinner.

The following day was a major highlight of the trip, as we went scuba diving! It was the first time for many trip members, but the instructors provided us with a thorough tutorial and made sure each individual felt comfortable before starting the dive. Everything went smoothly and it totally left us craving more! “It was surreal seeing the fish approach you!” said Max D.

To continue our cultural experience, the group attended a local cooking class where we learned how to make authentic tzatziki, stuffed vegetables, fried dough balls, and more! After the feast, we played a game that quickly turned into an impromptu Greek dancing session. Everyone was holding hands, clapping, laughing and grooving to the Greek tunes! Alexis commented how much she enjoyed the dancing because it was a fabulous way to bring everyone together. In the afternoon, we went on a bike tour of the island, which gave us the opportunity to see different areas of the countryside. We also stopped for a break at a pristine sandy beach that boasted incredible ocean views. That night after dinner, we went to the local karaoke restaurant to belt out some of our favorite tunes. Hallie R. and Olivia G. performed a crowd-pleasing rendition of Africa by Toto, which got the whole group singing along!

trip 66 blog 3 photo 2 greece naxos

The next day we continued on to Santorini via ferry. The staff organized a photo scavenger hunt for the journey that yielded some hilariously creative pictures. It was amazing to see some trip members break out of their comfort zones to perform the tasks, such as recreating a scene from Titanic or performing the macarena.

Santorini was simply beautiful. With the golden sunsets and countless white houses sprinkled along the cliff tops, what’s not to love? The following day we took a boat resembling a pirate ship to climb a volcano, swim in the hot springs and covered ourselves in the mineral-infused mud. On our last full day in Santorini, we visited the ancient city of Akrotiri, built in 1600 BC, and saw how well preserved it remained from the volcanic explosion in that era. It actually surpasses Pompeii as the oldest preserved human civilization by about two thousand years! Afterwards, we went to a black sand beach to try out different water activities. We had the option of sea kayaking, paddle boarding, snorkeling, or a combination of the three! The evening was spent watching the sunset atop a castle in Oìa – a perfect end to our time on the islands.

We are so grateful for all the experiences we have shared together and it’s clear how close the group has become by the amount of pictures being taken to commemorate all the new friendships and memories!

The Westcoast Blogger

Are you interested in exploring ruins and pristine beaches? Read more about our incredible Greece trips here!