Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
Day 1 Arrive in Athens, Greece
Check into your hotel. Tonight, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.
Day 2 Athens
Sightseeing with a Local Guide features a visit to the PARTHENON's crowning beauty atop the ACROPOLIS, the Erechtheum with its Porch of Maidens, the beautifully preserved Theseum, Roman Temple of Zeus, Theater of Dionysus, and the Agora where Socrates taught. Vistas of the government buildings and elegant homes in the modern city provide a striking contrast to the remains of the glorious past. The rest of the day is at leisure, so maybe join one of our optional excursions.
Day 3 Athens–Delphi
On the way to Delphi, your Tour Director will tell you about Marathon, where 10,000 Athenians defeated more than twice that number of Persian invaders in 490 BC, and Thebes, setting of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex. Enjoy a guided tour of Delphi’s ancient SANCTUARY of the god Apollo in its dramatic setting on the slopes of Mount Parnassus, hear about the Oracle, and tour the excavations. Also visit the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM to admire the Charioteer, an extraordinary 5th-century BC bronze statue.
Day 4 Delphi–Meteora–Kalambaka
Today, drive north by way of Lamia and Trikala to the fantastic landscape of Meteora with its 24 rock-top monasteries. Visit one of the MONASTERIES and take in the incredible panoramic view.
Day 5 Kalambaka–Vergina–Thessalonika
Head north today via Veria for a visit to the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM of Vergina. In the museum, see some of the most impressive exhibits from the Macedonian period—colorful wall paintings and mosaics; the war shield and armor of King Phillip II, father of Alexander the Great; and the famous golden larnax and golden grave crown found in his sarcophagus. Later, drive to Thessalonika and enjoy an orientation drive with a stop at SAINT DEMETRIOS CHURCH, also see the Arch of Galerius and the upper city (Ano Poli).
Day 6 Thessalonika–Kavala–Philippi–Alexandroupolis
This morning, travel through the Macedonian plains and stop in Kavala, which was under Turkish rule between 1380 and 1913 and has retained its Oriental atmosphere. Next, stop in PHILIPPI, where included sightseeing with a Local Guide introduces you to this ancient Macedonian city. Later, reach Alexandroupolis, situated in northeastern Greece and home to beautiful landscapes and antiquities dating from the Paleolithic era to the time of the Roman conquests.
Day 7 Alexandroupoulis–Gallipoli, Turkey–Canakkale
Cross the border into Turkey and drive to Gallipoli on the European side of the Dardanelles. Visit the ANZAC CEMETERY and the site of the BATTLE OF GALLIPOLI, one of the most famous battles in World War I. Later, enjoy a short FERRY crossing to Asia Minor and overnight in Canakkale.
Day 8 Canakkale. Excursion to Troy
Take advantage of the included excursion to the ruins of legendary TROY with its 4,000 years of history. Join your Local Guide and take a walk back in time through one of the most famous archaeological sites in the world—a city immortalized throughout Greek mythology and in Homer’s epic Iliad as setting of the Trojan War. This afternoon, travel back to Canakkale, with time to explore on your own.
Day 9 Canakkale–Bursa–Ferry Crossing–Istanbul
This morning, drive along the shores of the Sea of Marmara, for a short stop in Bursa before boarding the FERRY to cross the Bay of Izmit to vibrant Istanbul, the cultural, economic, and historical heart of the country, where an optional dinner outing is available tonight.
Day 10 Istanbul
Markets, peddlers, and stalls selling almonds, pistachios, iced drinks, black coffee, and more—you’ll find this vigorous city irresistible! Included sightseeing with your Local Guide takes you to the ROMAN HIPPODROME and the BLUE MOSQUE. The view of the city at dusk, with its 600 mosques and the Bosporus, is unforgettable. Why not join an optional Historical Tour of Istanbul?
Day 11 Istanbul (Embarkation)
Morning at leisure before embarkation.
Day 12 Cruising: Kusadasi
Arrive in Kusadasi. An optional excursion is available to the fascinating Greek, Roman, and Byzantine excavations of Ephesus.
Day 13 Cruising: Santorini
This morning, call at Santorini (weather permitting), the “Black Pearl of the Aegean.” Join one of the optional shore excursions either to the volcano or up to the cliff-top village of Oia for one of the world’s most breathtaking panoramas.
Day 14 Cruising: Agios Nicholaos, Crete
Early arrival in Agios Nicholaos on Crete. A few miles away is Knossos, the center of the 3000 BC Minoan civilization, and an optional excursion can be booked. Plenty of time to enjoy the ship’s amenities.
Day 15 Cruising: Rhodes, Greece–Symi
Two ports of call today: first, the island of Rhodes. Explore the Old Town with its ramparts and palaces built by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades. An optional excursion is available to Lindos to see Athena’s fabulous temple, or, if sightseeing isn’t your thing, Rhodes’ sun-drenched public beaches and colorful shopping districts are within easy walking distance of the port. Next, Symi, located in the southern Dodecanese and renowned for its beautiful harbor.
Day 16 Cruising: Chios–Mykonos
The island of Chios is situated in the northeastern part of the Aegean and close to Asia Minor. Besides its fine beaches, Chios has many attractions and is famous for its Mastic tree. Next, discover the mountainous island of Mykonos with its characteristic windmills and dazzling white houses. Time to wander at whim through narrow paved streets lined with trendy boutiques and shady tavernas before returning on board.
Day 17 Lavrion (Disembarkation)
After breakfast on board, disembark at Lavrion and return to Athens in time for homebound flights leaving in the afternoon.