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A terrific trip touring many of the important sites in Greece. Great tour director and driver. We were always one of the first groups to arrive at a site and always organized and on time.
Put the 'oh' in opa and embark on an unforgettable exploration of an ancient land of gods and goddesses, myths and legends. Your springboard to your spellbinding holiday is the vibrant capital of Athens, an effortless mix of ancient treasures and modern verve, which you will have an opportunity to explore after being transferred to your hotel. This evening, join your Travel Director and travel companions for a Welcome Reception, including a light meal and welcome drink.
Join your 'Local Specialist' for a guided morning sightseeing tour to the ancient complex that was once the 'Cradle of Western Civilisation'. Along our journey into antiquity, we'll have an opportunity to explore the Acropolis with its treasures. We'll admire the Parthenon, dedicated to the goddess Athena, the Royal Palace, Temple of Zeus and the Agora, once the haunt of Socrates and Plato. 'Dive Into Culture' and see remarkable displays of an ancient world during an included visit to the Acropolis Museum, and see Hadrian's Arch and the stadium where the first modern Olympics took place in 1896. The rest of the day is yours to enjoy on your own. Stroll through the Plaka, people watch in Syntagma Square or go in search of the city's tastiest souvlaki - the choice is yours.
We depart Athens this morning, crossing the mighty Corinth Canal to the wild Peloponnesian Peninsula. Arriving in Corinth, we join a 'Local Specialist' to explore an ancient city that several empires fought over throughout the centuries. We continue to Mycenae, a mighty kingdom of Ancient Greece, where we'll see the Beehive Tombs, (the Treasury of Atreus), the Lion Gate and the remains of Agamemnon's Royal Palace, in the company of a 'Local Specialist'. Later, we'll travel to Epidaurus to visit the ancient Theatre and view the Sanctuary of Asclepius, the God of Medicine, whose snake-entwined staff remains the symbol of medicine to this day. Arriving in the Venetian town of Nafplion later, we'll dine in our hotel this evening.
We traverse the Mountains of Arcadia to ancient Olympia, the site of the first Olympic Games held in 776 BC. This evening, we 'Connect With Locals' joining the Karambellas family on their olive and wine farm for a 'Be My Guest' dinner, some traditional dancing and characteristic Greek philoxenia.
We join a 'Local Specialist' this morning to delve into centuries of history. We'll visit the ancient Olympic site, the museum and the ruined remains of the Temples of Zeus and Hera. Leaving Olympia, we skirt the coastline north to Patras, crossing the Gulf of Corinth to mainland Greece before continuing to Delphi, our home for the night.
Tread in the footsteps of the ancient Greeks, who would descend on the sanctuary of Delphi to consult with the most important oracle in the classical world. Join your 'Local Specialist' and walk the Sacred Way to the 4th-century Temple of Apollo. View the statues immortalising the strength of the athletes who once competed in the Pythian Games, held in honour of Apollo and the Arts. A scenic afternoon drive brings us to Thermopylae, famous for the heroic defence by Leonidas and his brave Spartans against the invading Persians. We cross the lush Thessaly region, the 'bread basket of Greece', the travel over the Pourmaraki Pass towards Kalambaka.
The UNESCO World Heritage monasteries of Meteora are our first stop today. Join a 'Local Specialist' to visit two of the six Eastern Orthodox monasteries that cling impressively to immense, rounded rock towers overlooking the town. A scenic drive returns us to Athens, where we'll enjoy a rousing Farewell Dinner with our travel companions and reminisce over an incredible journey through Greece.
We leave the bustling city streets of Athens and cruise to Mykonos, where the Windmills of Kato Mili extend a warm evening welcome as they have to arriving seafarers for centuries. You'll have the evening free to explore the winding lanes of Chora, strolling past whitewashed cottages and tumbling cerise bougainvillea as you admire the pretty boutiques, then follow your nose to the best seafood in town. As the sun sets over Mykonos, there's no better place for cocktails than Little Venice.
Visit the Turkish shores of Kusadasi for a complimentary Shore Experience to ancient Ephesus. We continue to Patmos, the site where the Book of Revelation was written by St. John. Here, you could choose to see the Cave of the Apocalypse and St. John's Monastery as an Optional Experience.
Heraklion, Europe's oldest city, takes centre stage this morning as you explore Crete's ancient Minoan culture and heritage at the Palace of Knossos on your complimentary Shore Experience. Admire its bright wall paintings that were restored at the turn of the 20th century and explore centuries of history that predate Christ. Continue to Santorini, watching as this Cycladic island comes closer on the horizon, rising out of the Aegean with its distinctive cliff-top towns. You could consider an optional Shore Experience this afternoon, passing villages and vineyards bound for Oia with its white buildings and blue-domed churches which vie for the best views over the caldera.
This morning, disembark from your cruise ship and board a transfer to your hotel.
Transfers are provided to the airport for your return flight home. Conditions apply.
The cruise portion of your guided vacation will be operated by our award-winning partner company, Celestyal Cruises. With 30 years of experience, Celestyal Cruises is the preeminent cruise line for the Greek Islands and Turkey, and visits more Greek ports than any other cruise operator. On all of our cruises, you will enjoy authentic Greek hospitality, savor local flavors, and admire the diverse and beautiful landscapes of the eastern Mediterranean.
Click HERE to view a PDF of the ship's deck plan.
Price is per person and is based on two people twin share in a Premium (XC) Superior Outside 2-Berth Cabin. Single rooms are available at a supplement. Premier (XB) Superior 2-berth cabins and Superior (XA) Standard Outside 2-berth cabins are available at a lesser price; please inquire for full pricing details.
Please note that Celestyal Cruises reserves the right to change vessels at short notice for operational purposes.
Optional Experiences are subject to change. Your Travel Director will supply you with a final list of Optional Experiences available on your trip. Optional Experiences cannot be booked online; they can be purchased during your trip through your Travel Director.
Take a relaxing drive along the Apollo coast to the southernmost point of Attica and visit the splendid 5th century B.C. Temple of Poseidon. The area steeped in Classical Greek history is where King Aegeas threw himself from the rocky precipice, a 197 ft drop in to the sea below, thereby lending his name to the Aegean Sea. A unique opportunity to view of the temple high above the Aegean Sea! Do not forget your cameras to capture the moment. A real Greek fish-seafood dinner in one of the most popular fish-tavernas in the area, frequented by the local people. Sitting next to the sea savour delicious seafood starters, Greek salad, fish for the main course and local wine.
Adult Price: €81
Enjoy a lovely dining experience at a wonderful restaurant located in the lively area of Psiri. Dining is “meze style”, giving you the opportunity to taste many Greek cuisine dishes, which are served in the centre of the table. Also enjoy the local free-flowing wine! Afterwards see the Acropolis beautifully illuminated as you return to your hotel (Casual dress).
Adult Price: €50
Take a relaxing trip down to the southernmost tip of Mainland Greece to see the fifth century B.C Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. See if you can spot where Byron carved his initials on one of the temple’s sixteen columns. Marvel at the sheer rugged beauty of the coastline and the ancient temple perched above a 197-foot drop down to the Aegean Sea below. Stand above the site of the world’s first lighthouse, overlooking an area steeped in classical Greek history, ever since the tragic King Aegeas threw himself from the rocky precipice into the sea below, thereby giving his name to the Aegean Sea.
Adult Price: €40
The shore-experience with the coach and your local expert sets off from Chora. Next stop at the south, the leeward beach of Ornos, a picturesque fishing harbour which is a popular anchorage and then on to the small beach of Agia Anna and Kalafatis beach. During the trip back to Chora, you will visit the traditional village of Ano Mera and the monastery of Panagia Tourliani, founded in 1542. The pretty village square is perfect spot for a short break. Returning to Chora you will stop at Paraportiani. A few metres down you will meet the Mykonos Folklore Museum, which is housed in an old two-storied merchant baron’s house. You continue towards the “Little Venice” of Mykonos, Alefkandra, with its windmills and the almost otherworldly sunsets.
Adult Price: €67
Child Price: €44
We will spend our evening in the upmarket central neighbourhood of Kolonaki,located on the slope of Lycabettus hill. This old aristocratic Athenian district, abundant with high end boutiques, art galleries and trendy little cafes, is home to a unique gastronomy centre. Here you will be warmly welcomed and invited to taste and discover the the texture of the star ingredient in Greek diet, olive oil. After the tasting, savour authentic Greek recipes, prepared with the highest quality locally sourced ingredients.
Adult Price: €48
We visit Patmos a UNESCO “World Heritage Monument” and enjoy a panoramic guided tour of the island, a magical visit to the Grotto of the Apocalypse, where it is said St John the Apostle wrote the Book of Revelation. We reach the medieval town of Hora to enjoy a leisurely walk, marvel at the views of the Monastery of St John the Evangelist, and culminate our tour at Scala the port of Patmos where we enjoy a welcoming coffee, tea or refreshment.
Adult Price: €67
Child Price: €44
First you head up to Megalochori village, one of the most authentic and unspoiled villages of the island with its distinctive architecture and character. We will continue on to the east, in the background, you will have settlements like Kamari and Monolithos, while you will pass through Fira, the small traditional villages of Firostefani and Imerovigli with delicate architecture and beauties, to eventually arrive at the settlement of Oia. During the entire route, to the west you will have before your eyes the lace-like caldera, the little islands of Thirasia, Palea and Nea Kameni and an unsurpassable panoramic view. In Oia you will have plenty of time to stroll through the marble-paved alleys, to gaze at the adorably cute shops, to take pictures, to become acquainted with the characteristic buildings, carved into the rocks and the unusual captains’ manors, the settlement Ammoudi at the foot of the caldera, returning to the ship afterwards.
Adult Price: €74
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