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The Leader in Small Groups on the Road Less Traveled
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2017 Northern Greece, Albania & Macedonia: Ancient Lands of Alexander the Great

84% Traveler Excellence Rating Read reviews

18 Days from only $4595 including international airfare

Thessaloniki • Meteora • Zagoria • Gjirokaster • Tirana • Ohrid • Skopje

Courtesy Small World Productions
Classical Europe: Ancient Greece and Rome

Travel expert Rudy Maxa takes you back to where western civilization all began in ancient Greece and Rome.

Courtesy Small World Productions
Greek Islands

Join travel expert Rudy Maxa to discover sundrenched villages and natural wonders along Greece's Cyclades islands.

Courtesy of David Conover & Paul Villanova
Travelogue: Santorini & Delos, Greece 1954

See Greece in 1954 in this vintage 16mm film footage—from donkeys to hillside towns and ruins.

Courtesy Paul Kurti
Out of Sight

Meet four Albanian children and discover how, despite living in poverty, they have big dreams for the future.

Courtesy Ervin Habazaj
Gjirokaster and Libohove, Albania

Soar above Gjirokaster for a unique perspective on the Albanian hillside town's Ottoman-era historic structures.

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18 DAYS
$256/DAY
including international airfare
17 DAYS FROM $3695 Land Adventure Only
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Eleni Maria Nikolaidou

Born
Surrey, UK
Resides
Thessaloniki, Greece
Languages
Greek and English
Hobbies & Interests
Hiking, rock climbing, skiing, and scuba diving.
With us since
2016

I was born in the UK to an English mother and Greek father but moved to Greece at a very young age. As a child, my dual nationality originally made me feel as though I didn’t belong in either place, but I later realized that I was lucky to belong to both and get the best of both worlds. Apart from being able to speak two languages fluently it also gave me the ability to see things from different perspectives and made me more accepting of diversity.

I’ve always been fascinated by the history and archaeology of my country. Even as a child, I would make my family take trips around Greece to visit archaeological sites. This fascination quickly turned into a passion that led me to study history and archaeology at the University of Thessaloniki, my hometown. I later went on to complete a masters in Museum Studies in London, being interested in the stories that can be told through the remains of the past. My goal at the time was to become a curator and work at a big London museum. However, the financial crisis brought me back to Greece where I had to help out with the family business. At first I felt like I was giving up on my own dreams, but it actually turned out to be one of the best things that ever happened to me.

Returning home gave me the chance to travel, rediscover my own country, and fall madly in love with it. There are so many things that make my country unique: the weather, the food, the music, the diverse landscapes, incredible natural beauty, and rich culture and history. Greece really does have it all. But what I love most are the people. Despite the difficulties Greeks are experiencing with the current financial and socio-political crisis, they remain open and friendly. There has been a huge movement of solidarity among Greeks, toward strangers, and toward all the refugees that arrived in the country last year. It has been inspiring to see how resilient and generous the Greek spirit is.

After I returned home, a friend of mine suggested I get certified as a guide since I loved sharing the stories of my country’s past and present so much. Shortly after, I heard O.A.T. was looking for Trip Leaders. Even after only working for O.A.T. for a few months, I already had many memorable experiences from my trips. From evening strolls on the promenade of Thessaloniki and watching the sun set behind Mt Olympus, to dancing traditional Greek dances under the magnificent rocks of Meteora, I couldn’t have found a more perfect job.

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