Mentor – The Organization

What does Mentor do?

• Stimulate students to study and experience Greece via interactive mentored travel.
• Provide Intriguing thematic educational routes throughout Greece, combined with thought-provoking workshops and seminars on Greece, led by experts in their fields. Together, these constitute Mentor’s educational programs.
• Provide credits for all educational programs but there is always the option to have creditless programs.
• Freeto customise.
• Offer faculty-led program, study abroad programs, summer school program, bespoke programs, and academic field trips.

How does it work?

• Browse through our programs.
• Determine your preferences (theme, duration, group size, workshops, seminars, cities/islands).
• Send us a request/enquiry form with your preferences and questions you may have.
• We will answer your questions and let you know what options are available according to your preferences.
• We will put together a bespoke package for you and provide a personalized offer.
• You confirm the reservation by paying the deposit.
• We will provide you with all the pre-departure information and materials.

Do you promote sustainable tourism?

The tourism industry has a massive impact on the environment. We would like to contribute towards a more sustainable future by providing a healthy balance between tourism and natural resources. We aim to reduce our environmental impact and contribute positively to heritage management.

If you would like to help us with our sustainable goals, please follow the responsible traveller guidelines: 
• Be considerate of the environment, people, and heritage around you
• Do not litter
• Recycle when possible
• Reduce (plastic) waste: bring your own bag, reusable water bottle and/or coffee cup
• Reduce energy consumption: unplug appliances
• Conserve water where possible
• Educate yourself about Greek society (read our Greek customs section) and enjoy as well as respect cultural differences
• Support the local economy; buy local products, souvenirs, and eat locally

Business hours/Office hours

We are available Monday through Friday from 10:00 to 18:00 EET
You can find us at:

Mentor
7 Mavromichali Street, GR-176 71 Athens, Greece
Int. Tel: +1 603 389 1582 GR Tel: +30 695 309 9909

Email: [email protected]

Can you organize any other type of programs rather than archaeological/cultural?

Yes, our programs are completely customisable! However, we always seek to combine travel with experiential learning.

Do you organize educational routes all over Greece?

Yes, our routes are organized all over Greece. Name the places you would like to go and we will create your route. If you are not sure, we can help you find the ideal places to visit.

Is it possible to request a custom program not presented on your website?

Yes, it is. We encourage you to let us know your preferences so we can provide you with your bespoke route.

When is the best time to travel?

We provide year-round trips, however, the best time to visit Greece is during Spring and Autumn months. We recommend travelling between March to July and September to November to have the best Greek experience. In these periods, Greece is very green, the weather is warm and it is less crowded, resulting in a more authentic and enjoyable experience.

Workshops & Seminars

What kind of workshops/seminars do you offer?

Our workshops and seminars are built on experiential learning to give new perspectives and provide you with unique life experiences. This is achieved together with highly qualified professionals with years of experience in their respective fields, including academics and artists.

Are the credits provided transferable?

The transferability of the credits is dependent on the collaborating university. We partner with the Hellenic American University, who provide US credits for our programs. The Hellenic American University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), with instructional sites in Nashua, New Hampshire, and Athens, Greece.

Academics

If you are an academic with teaching experience and would like to become a Mentor with us, then send us a message at [email protected]. Professors are encouraged to join their students during their guided travel, and if you feel you can contribute to the ‘out of classroom’ education, then we suggest you get in contact with us. We also provide faculty-led programs adjusted to your needs, so do not hesitate to contact us.

Bookings & Reservations

What does the booking process entail?

1. You send us a request/enquiry form.
2. We reply within a maximum of 10 working days with an offer.
3. If you accept the offer, then we will send you a written agreement in the form of a MoU (memorandum of understanding).
4. If you agree to the terms and conditions, then you sign and send back the MoU to us.
5. You transfer a deposit of 30% of the total price to our IBAN account which will be provided to you. The remaining 70% of the price can be sent up to 30 days before the scheduled trip.
6. An invoice will be sent to you via email once the MoU has been signed and returned, and the payment of 30% of the total price has been received. A hard copy can be provided upon request and received upon arrival in Greece.

NOTE: We can provide airline tickets upon special request and agreement.

How fast can you give me an offer?

We aim to send you a quote as fast as possible and will provide you with an offer within 10 working days.

How far in advance should I book?

We strongly recommend bookings request to be at least 6 months in advance, to ensure there are no problems with availability, since Greece can be very busy. Advanced booking gives us a better chance to reserve the very best choices for you.

Cancellation & Change Policy

Please contact us as soon as possible if you must change or cancel your travel plans. Cancellation and change requests must be submitted to us in writing via e-mail. We regret that we are unable to issue a full refund for cancellations. The cancellation fee generally depends on the length of notice, type of booking and refund policies of our local providers.

We need to be informed at least one month in advance regarding any changes you wish to make regarding the itinerary. Furthermore, changes are subject to availability. An administration fee will be charged for each day/night of the itinerary that is modified, in addition to any additional supplier costs incurred by the change(s) requested. This will vary depending on whether the changes are major or minor.

For cancellation of the entire group booking:

• More than eight weeks before scheduled arrival date: non-refundable deposit of 30% of the total price
• Eight to four weeks before scheduled arrival date: 50%
• Four to one weeks before scheduled arrival date: 75%
• Less than one week prior to arrival: no refund

Invoice

An invoice will be sent via email once the written agreement/MoU has been signed and returned, and the payment of 30% of the total price has been received. A hard copy can be provided upon request and received upon arrival in Greece. For further information, see the ‘payment’ section.

 

How do I know if my reservation has been confirmed?

Your reservation is confirmed once you have signed and sent back the written agreement/MoU and we have received the 30% deposit from you. You will then receive the invoice from us by email, confirming the reservation.

Liability

Mentor claims no responsibility for any loss, damage, accident, injury, sickness or schedule change due to weather, strike, natural disaster or any other cause beyond Mentor’s control. Mentor acts with integrity, and cannot be held responsible for any agent, hotel, coach operator, airline, guide, restaurant or any other person’s or company’s acts, defaults or delays.

Mentor reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries or departure times, should it be necessary (due to weather conditions, availability, scheduling conflicts, etc.). In the case of any changes to scheduled travel by cruise, ferry, bus or train, the passenger is responsible for additional costs incurred as a result of such changes (e.g., additional nights at a hotel, meals, transfers, etc.). We therefore advise all customers to have comprehensive travel insurance to meet all contingencies.

Our goal is to provide outstanding customer service, and in order to do so, we maintain strict quality monitoring. If for any reason, you are not satisfied with your package, we want to hear about it right away. If you are unable to do so at the time, you must notify Mentor in writing via email within 30 days of your return or else you may jeopardise your right to compensation.

All information on Mentor’s website is subject to change. Mentor reserves the right to alter and/or correct mistakes that may possibly appear on the website.

Payments

Where can the information about prices be found?

You can contact us via the request form or via email at [email protected] regarding the prices for the travel programs. We will give you a personal quote based on your programme selections. The prices may vary due to your preferences regarding the length of the programme and how many elements are included.

What is included in the price?

• 3 US credits provided by the Hellenic American University
• Accommodation in hand-picked and well-located superior class hotels
• Breakfast and one additional meal per day
• Professionals e.g. licensed guides, lecturers, and tour managers
• Entrance fees to museums and archaeological sites
• All land and sea transportation included in the itinerary of the specific programme
• Information material
• Local taxes
• Travel insurance*
• Transport to and from the airport in Greece

*Additional travel insurance may be required for US nationals.

What is not included?

• Airfares to and from Greece
• Anything that is not specified in the ‘what is included’ section

Payment Methods

A deposit of 30% of the total price is required as a confirmation to provide you with the invoice. The remaining 70%  can be paid up to one month before the scheduled trip. We accept payment by electronic bank transfer and PayPal.

Travel Documentation

What documents do I need to travel?

You will need to bring your passport and/or a valid ID card as well as a student ID card for possible discounts. If you are an EU national, you do not need to show your national ID card or passport when you are travelling from one border-free Schengen EU country to another. Even if you don’t need a passport for border checks within the Schengen area*, it is still always highly recommended to take a passport or ID card with you, so you can prove your identity if needed (if stopped by police, boarding a plane, etc.).

You need to bring a copy of your flight itinerary and travel insurance. At a minimum, your travel insurance should be comprehensive, providing cover against personal accident, death, medical expenses, emergency repatriation and personal liability. We also strongly recommend it covers cancellation, curtailment, loss of luggage and personal effects.

You are responsible for obtaining the correct visas for your travel to Greece, if necessary. Please click here to see if you require a visa.

* The border-free Schengen area includes: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Checklist:
– Passport and ID card
– Visa (if required)
– Travel insurance including emergency contact number and policy number
– Health insurance documents
– Flight tickets/e-tickets
– Mentor trip itinerary
– Photocopies of important documents
– Student card (for possible discounts)

Insurance

Travel insurance offers travellers coverage for unforeseen problems, from a cancelled flight to a serious illness. If an illness, accident, or other covered unforeseen circumstance forces a traveller to cancel or interrupt their travel plans, they face two potentially major financial losses—money invested in nonrefundable pre-payments and medical expenses that in many instances may not be covered by health insurance.

Mentor claims no responsibility for any loss, damage, accident, injury, sickness or schedule change due to weather, strike, natural disaster or any other cause beyond Mentor’s control. Mentor acts with integrity, and cannot be held responsible for any agent, hotel, coach operator, airline, guide, restaurant or any other person’s or company’s acts, defaults or delays.

Mentor reserves the right to alter routes, itineraries or departure times, should it be necessary. In the case of any changes to scheduled travel by cruise, ferry, bus or train, the passenger is responsible for additional costs incurred as a result of such changes (e.g., additional nights at a hotel, meals, transfers, etc.). We, therefore, advise all customers to have comprehensive travel insurance to meet all contingencies, on top of their health insurance.

Visa

A visa is not required for US citizens staying in Greece for less than a three month period. You are responsible for obtaining the correct visas for your travel to Greece, if necessary. Please click here to see if you require a visa.

General Traveller Information

Accommodation & Amenities


The type of accommodation is dependent on the group and their preferences. We highly recommend 4-5 star hotels that we can advise accordingly. Basic amenities are available (e.g. breakfast), but will vary depending on the accommodation. You will be informed in more detail about amenities once the accommodation has been confirmed.

What should I bring?

Trainers or walking shoes
Small backpack
Notepad and pen(s)
Reusable water bottle
Adaptors
Umbrella
Swimwear and beach towel
Sunglasses
Suncream
Passport and/or ID card
Visa (if applicable)
Copy of travel insurance
Health insurance documents
Photocopies of important documents
Flight tickets
Any prescription medication you may take
Mentor trip itinerary
Student card
Adaptors (Plug Type C & F)

Luggage requirements

Each airline has their own luggage requirements. We advise you to check these requirements carefully to avoid any inconveniences during your travel.

Transfer

We will define a starting/meeting point for the beginning of our route. Upon request, we can help find/organize airport transfer.

Privacy policy

Mentor and our affiliates respect our customers’ privacy. That is why it’s important to us that you understand how we will use the personal information you share with us to enable our services.

We know security and privacy are important to you and they are important to us as well. We make it one of our priorities to give you confidence that your information is safe and not accessible by third parties.

If you reserve an educational route with us, then we require your full name, passport/ID number, email address, and emergency contact information. This information is required purely for your benefit, to keep you informed and updated as well as to assist in case of emergency.

Greek Customs, Manners & Traditions

Greece has fascinating traditions and cultural practices stemming from ancient Greece carrying social and ritual significance with a wealth of diversity per region, community or island. Specific places, communities and holidays are indistinguishably connected to the pagan rites. Greek traditions are very much alive today through celebrations, rituals, music, dance, handicrafts and local produce.

Greek Celebrations

Name days: Greeks are generally named after saints and they celebrate the ‘name day’ of the saint that bears their name. The name day is a more important celebration than the birthday in Greece.

Carnival: Carnival consists of two weeks of feasting, beginning from the Meat Fare Sunday and ends with the first day of the Lent, called Clean Monday. Carnival involves costumes, parties and parades. The most famous Carnival Parade takes place in the city of Patra.

Clean Monday: Clean Monday is the equivalent of Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of 40 days of fasting before Easter. This is also the day to go and fly your kite in Greece.

Easter: Easter is considered the most important celebration in Greece. The Holy week, the week just before Easter is probably the most celebrated week. On Good Thursday or Good Saturday, eggs are dyed red to mark the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus and traditional buns are baked. Good Friday is the day of mourning where the tomb of Christ with its holy icon is decorated with white flowers and a local procession takes place. Holy Saturday is the night of resurrection where the priest sings the psalm of ‘Christos Anesti’ (Christ’s Resurrection) and lights the eternal flame offering the flame to light people’s candles. At midnight the church bells ring and fireworks go off. After midnight is when the Good Saturday dinner begins. Easter Sunday is a feast day and it is traditional for Greeks to roast a lamb on a spit.

Christmas: On Christmas Eve children sing carols, also known as kalanda and families keep their fires lit to avoid the annoying goblins (kalikantzari) from entering their houses. The goblins like to cause trouble and be nuisances. Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors and with Greece’s large shipping industry, ornate ships and sailing boats are often decorated instead of Christmas trees.

Epiphany: On Epiphany (6 January), young men on all the islands and coastal regions of the mainland dive into the cold sea to be the one who retrieves the cross thrown by the priest.

Independence Day: The Greek Independence Day is on the 25th of March to celebrate the independence from the Ottomans since 1821. This day is also a religious celebration dedicated to the Annunciation of Virgin Mary.

Oxi Day: Oxi day (Pronounced: Ohi) means ‘No’ day and is on the 28th of October. It is the day the Greek dictator Metaxas refused to let the Italians invade Greece during World War II. It is the celebration of the heroic OXI or NO. It is common to see Greek flags on balconies, while a parade takes place with the participation of school students and the army.

Greek Language

Greek is the official language of Greece and one of the 24 official languages of the European Union. The language widely used in the tourism sector is English, in which Greek people are often fluent or comfortable. Other languages such as German, French and Spanish may be more frequented on the islands and in areas of high tourism.


Opening hours of shops

Even though the opening hours of shops vary from region to region, in large cities they are usually as follows:
Downtown shops, department stores and supermarkets: 9am-9pm, except on Saturdays, when they close at 20:00.
Local shops: 9am-2.30pm & 5.30-8.30pm (Tuesday, Thursday, Friday) and 9am-3pm (Monday, Wednesday, Saturday)
Shops are usually closed on Sundays, except for local mini-markets, tobacco shops and street kiosks, some of which operate almost 24 hours a day, including Sundays, especially in tourist areas.

Mesimeri

‘Mesimeri’ means midday describing the time between 2-5pm. Mesimeri is the time to be quiet and take naps. There is even a law defining the quiet time between 3-5pm, varying slightly depending on the season. During these official quiet hours, you should avoid playing loud music or making a lot of noise. Often local shops are closed for mesimeri which is reflected in the opening hours (see above).

National celebrations and holidays

New Year’s Day: 1 January
Theophania/Epiphany: 6 January
Clean/Ash Monday, the 41st day before Orthodox Easter
Independence Day: 25 March
Orthodox Easter Sunday and Monday
Labour Day: 1 May
Assumption of the Virgin Mary: 15 August
Oxi Day: 28 October
Christmas holidays: 25 and 26 December

Smoking

Smoking is a very Greek social habit which will make it impossible to avoid. Legislation in Greece prohibits smoking in workplaces, transport stations, taxis and ferries, as well as in all enclosed public spaces. Smoking is also prohibited in large entertainment venues, such as restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs. The rules are leniently enforced resulting in many local cafes and bars allowing customers to smoke inside, so do not be surprised if you see this happening.

Weather

Greece is a country with long periods of sunshine throughout the year and is characterized by having a typical Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. Greece can be roughly divided into two seasons; the warm season and the winter season. The warm season is generally from April to mid-October, characterized by sunshine, high temperatures and some seasonal winds, especially found in the Aegean during August (known as meltemia). The winter season is from mid-October to March when the average temperatures range between 0-10°C (and below 0°C in northern regions).

ATMs and Cash

All ATMs accept foreign cards with no limit on the amount of money foreigners can withdraw. It is common in Greece to pay with cash so it is advisable to have cash handy for smaller shops, cafes or for kiosks that do not accept cards. Keep in mind that credit cards are accepted in most stores but may not be accepted in all restaurants or smaller cafes, shops and taverns.

Strikes and Delays

Strikes are common in Greece and are generally part of the lifestyle. Even though this may be frustrating, do not be surprised if your ferry, flight, bus, metro or train is cancelled. All strikes are announced in advance so alternative routes of travel can be planned. In general, the pace in Greece is slow, therefore things take time and delays are common. Greeks are known for being late and it is generally accepted.

Toilets

In Greece, the toilet and sewerage systems are not as advanced as in other countries. Therefore it is not the custom to throw toilet paper in the toilet. Instead, all bathrooms have bins/trash cans next to the toilet to put the toilet paper in and are emptied regularly. This may seem a bit strange to get used to but it is very normal in Greece and it must be respected that Greeks do this for valid reasons.

Food, Drink and Tipping

Service at restaurants is very fast and it is common for Greeks to order many small dishes and share their food. Taverns are usually open all day during the summer period. The Greeks usually eat lunch around 15:00 in the afternoon and start dinner from 21:00 in the evening until after midnight. It is safe to drink tap water in Greece and is normal for tap water to be served at cafes, bars, restaurants and taverns. On the islands, it is generally safer to drink bottled water. Excessive alcohol drinking is frowned upon by locals, especially when tourists cause commotion whilst under the influence.

Tipping is not compulsory and is not expected outside of cafes, taverns, restaurants or hotels. There are no general rules for tipping and you can leave as much as you like, but keep in mind that salaries are low in Greece and many employees may be dependent on tips.

Safety & Medical info

Emergency Information

112 Emergency
100 Police
171 Tourist Police
166 Ambulance
199 Fire Department
1016 SOS Doctor
14944 / 171 Pharmacies

Special needs & Accessibility

If you have any special needs, need assistance or someone in the group does, please let us know in advance so we can accommodate you or your group member to the best of our ability. We would like to give all of our customers the same level of experience and we will do our best to meet your individual needs.

Allergies and/or dietary information

Please advise us at the time of booking whether you have any allergies, medically recommended diets or other dietary requirements.

Embassies in Athens

For a full list of embassies in Athens, please click here.

Technical Difficulties

If you are experiencing any technical difficulties, please contact us at your earliest possible convenience to let us know what the problem is. You can live chat us, send us an email at [email protected], or give us a call on Int. Tel:  +1 603 389 1582 or GR Tel: +30 695 309 9909