Classic Greece & Santorini tour

Classic Greece & Santorini tour

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tourhub | Encounters Travel | Classic Greece & Santorini tour | 245
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10 Days
From

$1900

$1848

Classic Greece & Santorini tour

10 Days Starting and ending in Athens, Greece

Visiting: Athens, Archaeological site of Mycenae, Nafplion, Olympia, Delphi, Meteora, Thermopylae, Thera

Tour operator:

Encounters Travel

Tour code:

245

Recommended For:

Singles

Guide Type:

Fully Guided

Group size:

4 - 50

Physical rating:

Low

Age range:

Over 9s

Special diets catered:

Request dietary needs

Tour operated in:
English
Interests:

Art, Cultural, History

Activities:

Sightseeing, Swimming

From:
$1900
$1848 (USD) The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52
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Tour Overview

This 10-day Greece tour balances some of Greece's most impressive and fascinating ancient sites around Athens, Olympia and Delphi with the spectacular monasteries at Meteora and one of the Mediterranean's most beautiful and interesting islands, Santorini. We start with a tour of Athens itself, taking in the ancient sites of the Acropolis and some of modern Athens below as well. Next we head west towards Mycenea with several stops and some scenic coastal scenery along the way. Our guide will provide explanations about Greek history and mythology, relating them to the places you're visiting. Its an amazing feeling seeing the actual places where heroes and heroines from mythology played out their stories. Our next stop is the lovely Mediterranean village of Nafplion which nestles at the foot of a cliff overlooked by the ramparts of the Palamidi Fortress. Next we head to Olympia, birthplace of the Olympics and more ancient sites, before we tour the temples and ruins at Delphi on the way. Our final major stop in mainland Greece is then to see the amazing cliiftop monasteries and breathtaking scenery of Meteora, before we head back to Athens. We take to the ferry next and sail into the Aegean Sea to the volcanic island of Santorini. The island was created in its present form by a huge volcanic eruption over 3,500 years ago that created a large crater which is now filled by the sea forming a huge bay surrounded by steep cliffs and coloured lava pebble beaches. The island is full of small villages with narrow winding alleys and whitewashed buildings that are fascinating to hike through. There are also hot springs, wineries and the remaining active volcano itself to discover. We have a couple of days here to relax and explore the island before returning to Athens to finish our tour. This is a small-group tour that runs throughout the year, staying in comfortable hotels at around the 4-star level. We can also arrange the tour privately if you would prefer not to join a group.

Highlights

  • Acropolis & Parthenon in Athens

  • UNESCO World Heritage site of Mycenae

  • Nafplion & Palamidi fortress

  • Birth place of the Olympic Games at Olympia

  • Temple of Apollo at Delphi

  • Clifftop monasteries at Meteora

  • Beaches of Santorini

Itinerary

Expand All
Day 1 : Arrive In Athens, Transfer To Hotel
Location: Athens
Accommodation Name: Athens hotel
Meals Included: No Meals

Upon arrival into Athens airport (ATH), you'll be met in the airport by one of our representatives who will then transfer you to your hotel. The rest of the day is then free for you to settle in, relax after your flight, and have a look around the area independently before meeting the group and starting the first sightseeing tours tomorrow morning.

Day 2 : Athens, City Tour
Location: Athens
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Athens Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Our tour of Athens starts this morning at the Panathenaikon (Kallimarmaro) Stadium where we'll learn about the first Olympic Games of the modern era which were held here in 1896. Continuing on we make several other stops to see more of ancient and modern Athens, including the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian's Arch, the Parliament building, memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, the National Library, and Constitution Square (Syntagma). In the afternoon we head to one of the most important and famous ancient sites in the world, the Acropolis, which sits on top of a rocky hill overlooking the city, providing great views. You'll see the temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian's Arch, which formed a symbolic entrance to the city. You'll also tour the Temple of Nike, the most famous of Greek relics, the Parthenon, and see the original home of the marble sculptures removed by Lord Elgin that are now held in the British Museum in London. While at the Acropolis you'll also visit the impressive museum, the towering entrance of Propylaea, the Erechtheion, and the Temple of the Athene Nike.

Day 3 : Olympia Via Mycenae, Palamidi Fortress & Napflion
Location: Archaeological site of Mycenae, Nafplion, Olympia
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Nafplion hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

We leave Athens early this morning and cross the Corinth Canal en-route to the UNESCO WOrld Heritage Site of Mycenae. Here we'll see the home of mythical Agamemnon, the Lions gate, royal tombs and the Cyclopean walls. After touring these sites with our guide we head on to Nafplion which was the first capital of Greece in the region of Argolis. The picturesque town here nestles at the foot of a cliff with the mighty ramparts of the Palamidi Fortress towering above. We'll spend the night here and you can head into town in the evening to eat and explore the twisting streets, sophisticated atmosphere, see the numerous Venetian and Turkish buildings, and enjoy the views.

Day 4 : Olympia, Drive To Delphi
Location: Olympia, Delphi
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Delphi hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

We leave Nafplion early this morning and head to Olympia. This is the birthplace of the Olympic Games, which are thought to have begun here in 776 BC as part of a religious festival in honour of the king of the gods, Zeus. We'll visit the archaeological site of Ancient Olympia and learn more about the games' history, taking in the Temple of Zeus and Hera, the Stadium, the altar of the Olympic flame, and the museum which hosts an impressive statue of Hermes of Praxiteles.
Later in the afternoon we leave Olympia and head north over the Rio-Antirio Bridge to Delphi.

Day 5 : Tour Of Delphi, Then Through Central Greece To Kalambaka
Location: Delphi
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Kalambaka hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Delphi was once considered the centre of the ancient world and we'll tour a range of sites here including the remains of the Temple of Apollo which are remarkably well preserved. We also take in the Temple of Athena, the Oracle of Delphi and the Castalian Spring before you can explore the Archaeological Museum of Delphi which hosts some of ancient Greece's best remaining masterpieces such as Eniochos the bronze Charioteer.

Later we head further inland through some beautiful villages and towns of Central Greece, seeing some of the traditional local architecture, before arriving at the small picturesque city of Kalambaka which nestles at the foot of the mountains of Meteora.

Day 6 : Clifftop Monasteries Of Meteora. Return To Athens
Location: Meteora, Thermopylae, Athens
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Athens hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

This morning's tour is truly spectacular, as we explore the unique landscape and rock formations of Meteora. There are towering cliffs here with ancient Christian monasteries built perched on the tops. We will visit some of the monasteries and also enjoy the amazing views to them across the valleys and marvel at how they must have been built.

We'll then return to Athens, passing Trikala, Lamia and Thermopylae, taking a short stop on the way to see Leonida's Monument. Finally we return back to Athens in the early evening. This is the last night of our Classic Greece tour, while this tour continues on to Santorini tomorrow.

Day 7 : Ferry To Santorini
Location: Thera
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Santorini hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

We pick you up from your hotel early this morning and transfer you to the port where you'll board the ferry and head out into the Aegean Sea and the Cyclades islands. Our normal ferry departure is the Blue Star line departing at 07.25 and arriving in Santorini at 14.50 though these times are subject to change.
On arrival in the breathtaking island of Santorini we get our first view of the huge underwater caldera (crater) and surrounding cliffs that were created by a huge volcanic eruption in the 16th century. The two main towns of the island, Fira and Oia cling to these cliffs with their whitewashed, cubist style houses overlooking the bay and beaches made up of black, red and white lava pebbles. Its a spectacular setting and after transferring you from the port to your hotel, the rest of the day is free for you to relax and start exploring. Our local representative will give you a briefing on the island's geography, what you can see and do independently, and what optional activities are available.

Day 8 : Santorini, Free Day
Location: Thera
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Santorini hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Your day is free today, and you can start to explore the island in more depth. There are a range of popular boat trips available to take you around the crater. These include options to hike up to the active volcano, swim in the warm thermal waters of the hot springs, take a therapeutic mud bath, stop at Red Beach and White Beach to swim and snorkel, visit Thirassia and explore its villages. You can also eat lunch or dinner on board, and watch the sunset below Oia on some trips. Other half and full day tours available include winery tours (Santorini has some great wine), cooking classes, and visits to ancient Akrotiri where you can see the ruins of the village left behind after the volcanic eruptions that made the island uninhabitable.There are also many different beaches around the island you can visit, and taking a hike around and between the villages on the edge of the caldera is a great experience. You can walk from 2 to 5 or more hours, and explore tiny winding alleys through different villages higher up or lower on the cliffs. You'll meet great views around almost every corner and finishing in Oia to enjoy a drink and the sunset is a particular highlight. Rental cars are also available if you'd like to explore further afield.

If you would like to extend the tour by adding more days on Santorini, or to finish the tour early here and stay on independently, please contact us for details.

Day 9 : Santorini, Return To Athens
Location: Thera
Accommodation: Hotel
Accommodation Name: Athens hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

We pick you up early from your hotel today and transfer to the port to board the ferry for your journey back to Athens. Our normal ferry is the Blue Star line departing at 06.10 and arriving in Athens at 11.15 though times are subject to change.
On arrival in Athens we transfer you to your hotel and you then have the whole afternoon free for some final sightseeing, souvenir shopping, and a last taste of Greek food and wine before you depart tomorrow.

Day 10 : Athens, Transfer To Airport
Location: Thera
Accommodation Name: N/A
Meals Included: Breakfast

Your tour ends after breakfast today and your time is free until we transfer you back to the airport for your departure flight. Extra nights in the hotel in Athens are available on request.

What's Included

  • Accommodation
    4*

  • All accommodation as stated in the itinerary in approx. 4-star level hotels & boutique guesthouses

  • All transport and transfers

  • Greek island ferry crossings as per itinerary

  • Port-hotel-port transfers on Greek islands

  • 24-hour airport arrival & departure transfer service

  • Services of a professional local tour guide for mainland tours

  • Services of a local tour leader on the islands

  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary

  • Tipping kitty

What's Not Included

  • International flights (available on request)

  • Visa fees

  • Travel insurance (compulsory, available on request)

  • Entrance fees to sites visited (allow approx. EUR 23)

  • Hotel residence tax

  • Drinks, snacks and other personal expenses (e.g. laundry)

  • Tips for guide & driver

  • Optional tours

Mode of Transport

A/C car/minibus
Ferry

Accommodation

4-star hotels

Check out our Q&As

  • What is the tipping policy?

    Tipping is common practice in Greece, though not as extensive as in nearby Turkey. For basic restaurants, taxis and local markets, leave the loose change. For more up-market restaurants we suggest 5% to 10% of your bill. We include a 'tipping kitty' in your tour price which your tour guide/leader will use to tip a wide range of people along the way to help ensure the smooth running of the tour. This does not include your tour guide/leader, driver(s) or transfer staff though. Drivers: You may have a range of private drivers on your trip. For those you see for at least several days and who are more involved with the group, a tip of around EUR 1-2 per person per day is generally appropriate. Tour guide/tour leader: If you think you tour guide and/or tour leader has worked hard and provided a good service then s/he will appreciate a tip of a few Euros. How much you tip is subject to your satisfaction with their service and your personal budget. You should not feel pressured to tip any particular amount. As a guideline, we can suggest that for good service, a tip of EUR 3-5 per day for local tour guides or local tour leaders would be fine.

  • Are vaccinations required for this tour?

    You should ensure you are fully insured for medical emergencies including emergency evacuation and repatriation. UK travellers visiting other European Union countries including Greece should also carry the European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) as it entitles travellers to reduced cost, sometimes free, medical treatment in most European countries. Recommended vaccinations and other health protection measures vary according to the country you are visiting and where you are travelling from. We recommend you contact your GP/medical practitioner or a travel clinic for current information on vaccinations needed for your destination. You should ensure that you are up to date with vaccines and boosters recommended for your normal life at home, including for example, vaccines required for occupational risk of exposure, lifestyle risks and underlying medical conditions. No additional courses or boosters are normally recommended for Greece though you could conside Tetanus and Tick-borne Encephalitis. More information is available here: Greece Malaria map - there is low to no risk of malaria in Greece, none in tourist areas. Yellow fever certificates are not required.

  • Do you require a visa for this holiday?

    Visa arrangements are the responsibility of the traveller, and requirements are subject to change by the local authorities. Some foreign nationals require a visa to enter Greece, though many do not (including UK, EUR, US, CA, AU, NZ, SA).

  • What currencies are required for this tour?

    The currency in Greece is the Euro (EUR). 1 Euro = 100 Euro cents. Banknotes: 5, 10, 20, 50, 100, 200. Euros Coins: 1, 2, 5, 10, 20, 50 Euro Cents and 1, 2. Credit Cards and Travellers Cheques are widely accepted in major cities and tourist resorts. ATMs are also accessible at all our destinations and generally offer the best exchange rate. A mixture of debit, credit cards and cash are the best forms of currency. You should split this up and keep some separately as a backup in case you lose your main money/cards. It is difficult for us to specify the amount of money that you will spend per day, however, as a general rule EUR 25 to 50 per day can provide you with additional meals, tipping, snacks & drinks. Should you wish to purchase many souvenirs or other luxuries, of which there is a diverse range, you will have to budget for these.

  • What is the maximum group size?

    Our Greece Shoestring tours are 'seat in coach' type trips, shared with other operators and run with a maximum of 50 travellers, and a minimum of 4 (average around 15-25).

  • Is travel insurance compulsory?

    Yes! Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our tours and needs to cover personal accident & liability, medical expenses and repatriation, travel delay & abandonment. We also strongly recommend that you take out cover against cancellation and lost/stolen baggage. Personal medical insurance does not normally provide sufficient cover and is generally not suitable for travel on our tours. You will not be able to join your tour if you have not provided us with details of your insurance or if you arrive without cover in place (no refunds will be due in this event).

  • What happens if I need to change my holiday date once I’ve booked?

    You are always able to change your travel date. However, some charges may apply depending on how long before your departure you make the change. Our flexible booking conditions and reduced charges will apply if you are changing date because of a Covid-19 reason or because your government is advising against travel to your destination. Please check our detailed booking conditions for full details.

  • When is my balance payment due?

    For all tours departing in 2020 and 2021, balance due dates are reduced to 28 days. For 2022 departures onwards they will revert back to our standard conditions (60 days).

  • Do you operate a “single share” option and how does it work?

    On most of our group tours, solo travellers may choose to form a temporary 'tour bubble' and share a room with another traveller of the same sex in the group. If a room share is not available then a single room supplement may be payable, with the costs for these kept as low as possible. We have also removed compulsory single supplements from many of our tours, and are reducing the cost by 50% on s

  • How long can I keep my booking as a 'Credit on File'?

    New bookings need to be made within 1 year of your original departure date, with travel started within 2 years of your original departure date.

  • Can I transfer my booking to someone else?

    Yes, if you don't want to, or can't travel, you can transfer your booking and existing payments to other family members or friends. We are waiving our normal fees for doing this for all departures up to the end of 2022. This applies to bookings you may have moved to a Credit on File as well as those setup on a particular date. Note - not all payments may be transferrable.

Reviews from Travellers on this Tour

Coachman16  

Best of Italy and Greece review

October 2019

We just returned from our Oct 6 - Oct 20 Encounter Tours Best of Italy and Greece. What a FANTASTIC experience! Every aspect of the trip was exceptional. The hotels were all as advertised, 4 Star and centrally located. The transportation was always on time, in a nice vehicle and with a pleasant driver. The food at each breakfast was plentiful, full of choices and very tasty. All tours were “Skip the Line” so we never had to wait. The groups were very small and the tour guides were very polite, knowledgeable and spoke excellent English (our language). We were allowed to make trip modifications at very nominal cost. For example, our trips to Florence and Venice were on a fast train instead of a bus. We flew to Greece from Venice rather than take the ferry. Chevy was always available. I had a few questions and he responded within a few hours and answered our questions perfectly. We will definitely consider working with Encounter Tours and Chevy again. We expected a glitch or two over the 2 weeks, but experienced a 100% perfect experience. Thanks for everything and memories we will never forget.

Cristina Diniz  

Recommended trip

October 2017

Love them! Very professional and caring service.

Posted on Tripadvisor
Marijo Wilson  

Recommended trip

February 2018

Best trip I have ever been on. I have traveled with many tour companies but none compare to the itinerary, information, and professionalism of this company.

Posted on Tripadvisor

Dates & Availability

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Saturday - Monday

Mar 02, 2024 - Mar 11, 2024
$1900 $1848 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

Saturday - Monday

Mar 09, 2024 - Mar 18, 2024
$1900 $1848 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

Saturday - Monday

Mar 16, 2024 - Mar 25, 2024
$1900 $1848 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

Saturday - Monday

Mar 23, 2024 - Apr 01, 2024
$1900 $1848 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

Saturday - Monday

Mar 30, 2024 - Apr 08, 2024
$1900 $1848 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $52 (USD)

Saturday - Monday

Apr 06, 2024 - Apr 15, 2024
$2115 $2057 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $58 (USD)

Saturday - Monday

Apr 13, 2024 - Apr 22, 2024
$2115 $2057 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $58 (USD)

Saturday - Monday

Apr 20, 2024 - Apr 29, 2024
$2115 $2057 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $58 (USD)

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May 11, 2024 - May 20, 2024
$2190 $2130 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $60 (USD)

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May 18, 2024 - May 27, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $60 (USD)

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May 25, 2024 - Jun 03, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $60 (USD)

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Saturday - Monday

Jun 01, 2024 - Jun 10, 2024
$2285 $2222 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Jun 08, 2024 - Jun 17, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Jun 15, 2024 - Jun 24, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Jun 22, 2024 - Jul 01, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Jun 29, 2024 - Jul 08, 2024
$2285 $2222 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Jul 06, 2024 - Jul 15, 2024
$2285 $2222 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Jul 13, 2024 - Jul 22, 2024
$2285 $2222 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Jul 20, 2024 - Jul 29, 2024
$2285 $2222 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Jul 27, 2024 - Aug 05, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Aug 03, 2024 - Aug 12, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Aug 10, 2024 - Aug 19, 2024
$2285 $2222 (USD)

The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Aug 17, 2024 - Aug 26, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Aug 24, 2024 - Sep 02, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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Aug 31, 2024 - Sep 09, 2024
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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

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The Big ADVENTURE Sale: $63 (USD)

Book with Confidence

  • Transfer as credit to Future Tours

    Encounters Travel allows you to transfer existing payments to a future tour to avoid cancellation fees if you can't travel and inform encounters travel, 60 days before departure.

  • Low Deposit

    Encounters Travel requires a minimum deposit of 150 GBP per person or the full booking value, whichever is less, with the final balance not due until 60 days before departure.

  • Cancellation Policy

    We don't charge a cancellation fee, here is a summary of encounters travel charges.

    Up to 61 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of deposit.

    At 60 days before tour starts: Forfeit 35% of booking price.

    At 41 days before tour starts: Forfeit 70% of booking price.

    At 27 days before tour starts: Forfeit 90% of booking price.

    At 14 days before tour starts: Forfeit 100% of booking price.

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