Combine learning Athens history with exploring the Cyclades Islands for a perfect combination of culture and beaches.

A classical Greece tour starts with Athens. In this ancient Greek city you will go to the Acropolis. Once at this rocky outcrop above the city, a must-visit building there is the famour Parthenon. Plan to spend an entire day there as any less would not do it justice.

The approach in Greece was to build a temple to house the sculptures. The ancient statues were make of bronze, marble, and chryselephantine – a mixture of ivory and gold on wood.

The Temple of Olympian Zeus is at the top of the list. Here you will see the 13 m (43 feet) seated father of the gods. What statues can you see in Athens in addition to Zeus? Check the marble Sacred Gate Louros that dates back to about 600 BC. Another is the Artemision Bronze.

Other must-visit places include Erechtheion, Temple of Ath, and the Arch of Hadria.

If the hussle and pace of Athens is overwhelming, sneak off to an outdoor cafe. There you can enjoy a cup of strong Greek coffee or a glass of wine. Relax, people-watch, soak up the ambience.

No classical Greece tour would be complete without visiting some Mediterrians Sea islandsSantorini and Mykonos being the two that readily spring to mind for an islands tour. A ferry trip between them takes about two and a half hours. Both islands also have airports with flights from Athens.

Once on Santorini — in the Aegean Sea southeast of the mainland — check Fira, the capital city. Or head north to the small village of Oia, known for its spectacular sunsets. Relax and watch the sun go down is a perfect way to end a day.

Legend has it that Mykanos was formed from the petrified bodies of giants. Hora, the capital city, spreads out to invite you to explore it by foot – town hall, castles, churches, pedestrian streets.

Between Athens and the islands you will find the balance that Greece offers.