Italy and Greek Vacations - Cosmos® Tours

Italy & Greece with Aegean Cruise (6485)

16 Day Tour from Rome to Athens

2016 Tour Details View 2017 Tour Details »

Discover two vibrant Mediterranean countries on one exciting vacation! Your adventure begins with two overnights in fabulous Rome, the “Eternal City.” Heading north, follow the coastline of the Tyrrhenian Sea to marvel at Pisa’s Leaning Tower. Then, spend two nights in Tuscany with Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance,” and join the included walking tour of the historical center with a Local Guide. In Verona, see Juliet’s famous balcony. In Venice, enjoy a canal boat ride to St. Mark’s Square to marvel at the elaborate architecture and soak in the unique atmosphere. In Ancona, board a ferry for an overnight cruise to Greece. Visit Olympia and the impressive Mycenae archaeological site, and cross the dramatic Corinth Canal. Stay in Athens, where the Acropolis is a highlight of the included sightseeing tour. Then, embark your ship and cruise among the spectacular Greek Isles, including stops in Mykonos; Kusadasi, Turkey; Patmos; Crete; and Santorini. Return to Athens for a final overnight and the conclusion of your vacation.
800.276.1241

 Destinations & Sightseeing

Individual headsets on land tour

Inside visits and special features:
Shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description including admission charges where applicable.

Sightseeing:
Visits to Pisa, Verona, Venice, Ravenna, Olympia, Corinth Canal

Guides:

Local Guides for city sightseeing in Rome, Florence, Mycenae, Athens; professional Tour Director while touring

NOTE:
Security cruise regulations require clients’ passport information at time of booking.

The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:

  • Acropolis Athens
  • Archaelogical Site of Olympia
  • Archaeological site of Mycenae
  • Historic Centre of Florence
  • Piazza del Duomo Pisa

Transportation:

Transportation:
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach; canal transfer boat in Venice; ferry Ancona-Patras in 2-berth cabins with private shower and toilet; in inside cabins with private shower and toilet; supplement for cabin upgrades are listed under Dates & Prices; all port taxes are not included

 Meals

 Meals & Itinerary

Buffet breakfasts daily; 7 dinners, including a dinner at a local restaurant in Florence and Nauplia

 Itinerary

Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.

Day 1 Arrive in Rome, Italy

Check into your hotel. The rest of the day is free for you to explore Italy’s ancient capital. This evening, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers.

Day 2 Rome

Included sightseeing with a Local Guide starts in St. Peter's Square, followed by a visit to the ROMAN FORUM and the mighty COLOSSEUM.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 3 Rome–Pisa–Florence Area

Vistas of undulating hills, austere rows of cypress trees, terraced vineyards, olive groves, and rural villages form the backdrop of your journey through beautiful Tuscany. Take a break in Pisa to see the SQUARE OF MIRACLES and the amazing Leaning Tower, then on to the Florence area. End the day by joining the optional Tuscan dinner in a typical restaurant.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 4 Florence

This Renaissance gem and city of the Medicis will keep you enthralled the entire day. Traffic is banned in part of the historic center so visitors can wander at leisure and admire the city’s timeless beauty in relative peace and quiet. Don’t miss out on the included walking tour with a Local Guide, which features most of the city highlights. You will see Piazza Santa Croce; beautiful Piazza Signoria; Palazzo Vecchio and its courtyard; Loggia dei Lanzi; and, to top it all, Piazza del Duomo and its cathedral with the Giotto Campanile, and the magnificent East Door of the Baptistry, known as the “Gate of Paradise.” Tonight, enjoy a special dinner at a local restaurant.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 5 Florence Area–Verona–Venice Area

An interesting journey today northwards for a first stop in enchanting Verona to see the legendary balcony from Romeo and Juliet. Just a few more miles eastwards to Venice.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 6 Venice

Venice is more like a marvelous film set than a real-life city, with its criss-crossing canals, gondolas and water buses, arched bridges, palaces, and quiet little piazzas. The included orientation starts with a BOAT RIDE to St. Mark's Square and is followed by time at leisure and a chance to watch Venetian GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects as they did centuries ago. Don’t miss out on the optional gondola trip, gliding along the picturesque canals with a local troubadour to serenade you.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 7 Venice Area–Ravenna–Ancona (Embarkation)–Overnight Ferry Crossing to Patras, Greece

Start the day by journeying across the flatlands of the Po Delta to medieval Ravenna. Next, reach Ancona on the shores of the Adriatic. This afternoon, embark on the FERRY for the crossing to Patras.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 8 Patras (Disembarkation)–Olympia

Plenty of time to enjoy all the ship’s facilities. Disembark this afternoon in Patras. Drive south into the Peloponnese for an overnight in Olympia.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 9 Olympia–Nauplia

Make the most of this morning by taking the optional tour of the sights of ancient Olympia, including the ruins of the Temple of Zeus. In the afternoon, enjoy the rugged scenery of the Peloponnese on the way to Nauplia via Tripolis. This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

Breakfast Breakfast
DinnerDinner

Day 10 Nauplia–Mycenae–Athens

Morning visit with a Local Guide to the impressive ruins of MYCENAE. Later, stop to view the CORINTH CANAL, which was built between 1881 and 1893. Tonight, why not join an optional Greek dinner?

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 11 Athens

Join the included sightseeing tour of Athens, featuring the highlights of the ancient capital and a visit to the ACROPOLIS. Explore the shops and museums or take a trip to the coast to swim. In the evening, enjoy the lively atmosphere of the tavernas and nightclubs in the old Plaka district with its narrow streets and sound of bouzouki music.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 12 Athens–Lavrion (Embarkation)–Mykonos

Board your cruise ship. Afternoon cruising in the Aegean on your way to Mykonos with its white houses, chapels, and thatched windmills. Late-evening departure for Kusadasi, Turkey.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 13 Kusadasi, Turkey

Two ports of call today. First, Kusadasi on the Turkish coast. An optional excursion is available to the fascinating Greek, Roman, and Byzantine excavations of Ephesus. Next, discover the tiny Greek island of Patmos, where St. John the Divine wrote the Book of Revelation. The 11th-centruy monastery with its valuable manuscript collection is well worth a visit.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 14 Heraklion–Santorini

First port of call today is Heraklion on Crete. A few miles away is Knossos, the center of the 3000 BC Minoan civilization, and an optional excursion can be booked. Afternoon call (weather permitting) at Santorini, the “Black Pearl of the Aegean.” The optional shore excursion here takes you up to the cliff-top village of Thera for one of the world’s most breathtaking panoramas.

Breakfast Breakfast
LunchLunch
DinnerDinner

Day 15 Lavrion, Greece (Disembarkation)–Athens

Early morning arrival at the famous port of Lavrion. After disembarkation, continue to Athens for an overnight.

Breakfast Breakfast

Day 16 Athens

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.

Breakfast Breakfast

 Tour Director

With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.

GIUSEPPE MOZZONI

Years of Experience: 10

There's sage travel advice that "When in Rome, do as the Romans do!" That's my goal...to help every traveler experience Italy through an Italian perspective. We'll get to the heart and soul of each town-the sights, sounds, and flavors that make each place so unique. You'll definitely come away with a better understanding of why we say, "Italians do it better!"

Tour Director - GIUSEPPE MOZZONI

 Accommodations

ROME Residence Parco Tirreno (ST)
FLORENCE AREA Meridiana (ST)
VENICE AREA Antony Palace (F) at Marcon or Holiday Inn (ST) at Marghera
OLYMPIA Olympia Palace (F)
NAUPLIA Rex (ST) or Victoria (ST)
ATHENS Acropolis Select (ST)

 Optional Excursions

The following list of optional excursions are examples only for this vacation. These optional excursions might or might not be offered. Whether it's a special dinner, a local show or a special behind-the-scenes glimpse into an historical site, optional excursions are a wonderful way to enrich your vacation even further. Plus, they give you flexibility. We include the must-see sites and experiences, and we also understand that people take interest in different activities and may want to craft a more personal vacation by hand-picking optional excursions that appeal to them.

Rome
Florence
Venice
Verona Area
Olympia
Athens
Mykonos
Izmir
Patmos
Greek Island Cruise

Rome

Treasures of Rome By Night & Dinner
Treasures of Rome By Night & Dinner

Treasures of Rome By Night & Dinner

An early evening tour will show you other aspects of Rome, perhaps not seen on the included sightseeing tour. Either before or after dinner you will have an orientation drive to probably include Castel Sant' Angelo, Palace of Justice, Mausoleum of Augustus, Aurelian walls, Villa Borghese, Via Veneto, Piazza Barberini and Via Nazionale. Dinner will be taken at one of the local restaurants and you can sample a delicious 3 course menu with dessert including local wine and mineral water plus coffee or tea. During the evening there will be music to add to the romantic Roman atmosphere.

Approximate value: €55 EUR per person

Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel
Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel

Vatican Museum & Sistine Chapel

On this fascinating excursion with a local guide you can stroll through the Vatican Museum and marvel at Michaelangelo's famous creation in the Sistine Chapel. The Vatican Museum houses over 2000 rooms and 9 miles of the most extensive collections of art in the world. The Museums are brilliantly decorated and brim over with treasures and history and the local guide will share with you the stories and secrets contained within the Museum's walls. In the Sistine Chapel you can marvel at Michaelangelo's masterpiece, which is perhaps the greatest example of art anywhere and certainly the largest contiguous body by one painter. There are also some lesser masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel which are also worth seeing. PLEASE NOTE: On December 8th the Jubilee will start in Rome. We have been informed that the passage linking the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter's Basilica may be closed. This means that during the optional Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel it may not be possible for the passengers to access the Basilica directly from the Sistine Chapel.

Approximate value: €60 EUR per person

Florence

Tuscan Gastronomy Experience
Tuscan Gastronomy Experience

Tuscan Gastronomy Experience

An insight into the food and wine tradition of Tuscany, land of gourmets. You will be taken to a centrally located restaurant where an expert will guide you through a wine tasting while you will have the chance to taste some of the most famous and typical Tuscan delicacies. Enjoy a tasting of 3 types of wine, with water and soft drinks for non-drinkers, and a buffet of hot and cold Tuscan dishes. Not to be missed!

Approximate value: €50 EUR per person

Uffizi Gallery
Uffizi Gallery

Uffizi Gallery

Don't miss the chance to visit what is believed to be the earliest museum in Europe. With a local guide you will be taken around the Uffizi Gallery, which is one of the most important art galleries in Italy displaying paintings from every age. The Uffizi Palace was built by Giorgio Vasari at the wishes of Duke Cosimo 1 de Medici as offices of the Medici government. It houses the most significant classical sculptures from the Medici collections and a big selection of Italian and European paintings from 13th to 18th centuries. Admire some classical works of art such as Botticelli's "Birth of Venus", Leonardo's "The Annunciation" and Michelangelo's "Tondo Doni". At the end of the visit with the local guide you will be free to remain in the museum on your own to look around further. Note that the Uffizi Gallery is closed on Mondays.

Approximate value: €35 EUR per person

Venice

Discover The Venetian Lagoon
Discover The Venetian Lagoon

Discover The Venetian Lagoon

Discover the Venetian lagoon on an afternoon excursion lasting approximately 3 hours. After sailing past the island of St. Giorgio, the public gardens, Sant'Elena, the Lido and Murano the boat takes you to the famous island of Burano. This is the most picturesque of Venetian islands of the lagoon and the pretty fishing village has its streets and canals lined by pastel colored houses. It is also famous for its lace-making industry. There will be time to look around Burano on your own before returning back to St. Mark's Square by boat.

Approximate value: €35 EUR per person

Gondola Serenade
Gondola Serenade

Gondola Serenade

One of the highlights of a trip to Europe and something not to be missed during your visit to Venice is a gondola serenade. The gondola ride either takes place in the morning or the afternoon and lasts approximately 30 minutes when during this time you can relax whilst cruising not only on the Grand Canal but also down many small canals to see Venice from the water. During the gondola ride a local musician will serenade you with the traditional romantic music of Italy. Note: the gondola is to be shared with other Cosmos guests (maximum 6 participants on each gondola). There will be one musician on board of one of the gondola boats in your fleet.

Approximate value: €40 EUR per person

Venetian Night Out & Dinner
Venetian Night Out & Dinner

Venetian Night Out & Dinner

As the title suggests, this is a real Venetian night out. Embark on a motorboat for a cruise along the impressive Giudecca Canal with the tour director pointing out the most important palaces, all built by the Venetian gentry between the 12th and 13th centuries. Upon disembarkation an evening stroll though some of the romantic narrow streets of this fascinating city to eventually reach one of the specially chosen local restaurants for your Venetian dinner. After a welcoming aperitif of the house you can sit down and enjoy a typical dinner with a choice of starters and main course followed by a delicious dessert. Included also is red or white wine plus mineral water and tea or coffee. After dinner you will be given some free time in St. Mark's Square, said to have been called the "drawing room of Europe" by Napoleon and which is one of the few great urban spaces in Europe where human voices prevail over the sounds of motorized traffic. A motorboat will then take you part of the way back to your hotel.

Approximate value: €70 EUR per person

Verona Area

Magic of Verona
Magic of Verona

Magic of Verona

Verona is one of the main tourist destinations in northern Italy due to its artistic heritage and shows and operas which are often held in the beautiful ancient amphitheater built by the Romans - the Arena. The city has been awarded World Heritage Site status because of its architecture and urban structure. On the sightseeing tour of this fascinating city the local guide will take you first on a panoramic drive with the coach to see the Scaliger Bridge and Castle, the Roman Gavi-arch, the Roman city gate, Roman bridge and theatre and various churches. Then disembark from the coach and proceed on foot through the historical city center to include sites such as Juliet's House, Romeo's house, Piazza "Erbe" and Piazza "Signori" and the Scaglier tombs and last, but not least, Piazza Bra with the beautiful Arena.

Approximate value: €22 EUR per person

Olympia

Archeological Site
Archeological Site

Archeological Site

The tour today begins with your tour director escorting your group from the hotel to the Archaeological site of Olympia where you will meet your local Greek guide at the entrance to the site. Considered today as being one of the most interesting and educational sites you will find throughout the Peloponnese, Olympia is mostly famous for being the venue of the Ancient Olympic Games and home to the Olympic flame. Today you will see the remains of a gymnasium, ancient temples, the stadium, housing structures, and just outside the site, the archaeological museum hosting findings from the ancient site and from other excavations in the surrounding areas with well labeled exhibits including the famous statue of Hermes of Praxiteles and Nike Paionios. The games held in Olympia, were actual athletic events with a religious element as they were dedicated to the god Zeus. The Temple of Zeus, located close to the stadium, was built in the 5th century BC by a local architect and made of limestone and marble. Historical records narrate that a giant statue of Zeus was found inside the temple made of ivory and gold. The site of Olympia also houses one of the oldest temples in Greece, The Temple of Hera. This was constructed in the 7th century BC and is the alter where the Olympic Flame is lit for todays modern Olympic games. As did the ancient Olympians, you can enter the Stadium through the archway and run on the ancient track stretching just over 200 meters.

Approximate value: €25 EUR per person

Athens

A Greek Evening
A Greek Evening

A Greek Evening

Situated on the Galatsi hill, this venue is a true taste of everything Greek beginning with the panoramic views of Athens for as far as the eye can see. An outside barbeque awaits your choice of souvlaki and while this is cooking, see the presentation of the traditional loom, wood fired oven and the water mill used for grinding flour. While you enjoy your souvlaki with olives, bread with olive oil and of course Greek ouzo, the Zafiro chef will provide a tutorial lesson of how to make some of the basic Greek dishes of mousaka, greek salad & tzatziki. The menu for tonight will include the traditional appetizers of spinach pie, feta cheese pie, stuffed vine leaves, beans in tomato sauce, meatballs, tzatziki and aubergine salad dips and Greek salad and the main course served is moussaka. This is accompanied with unlimited red or white wine. While enjoying your meal you will be entertained by the musicians and 6 Greek dancers in traditional costumes performing well known Greek dances such as Syrtaki and Hasapiko. Don't miss the opportunity to join in the circle dancing and maybe even break a plate!

Approximate value: €50 EUR per person

Mykonos

Mykonian Countryside
Mykonian Countryside

Mykonian Countryside

The excursion sets off from Chora. Next stop at the south, the leeward beach of Ornos, a picturesque fishing harbor 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 barons house. You continue towards the Little Venice of Mykonos, Alefkandra, with its windmills and the almost otherworldly sunsets.

Approximate value: €44 EUR per person

Mykonos Walking Tour and Mykonian Feast
Mykonos Walking Tour and Mykonian Feast

Mykonos Walking Tour and Mykonian Feast

This delightful excursion takes you on foot and up close to the wonders of Mykonos Towns, one of the worlds best-loved destinations. Start with a stroll along its narrow cobbled streets, past chic boutiques and white-washed churches and elegant cafes, until you arrive at Kastro, home of the famous Paraportiani Church. Next to Paraportiani is the Folklore Museum*, which is found in an old two-story captains house. While in Kastro, you will also visit the smaller chapels of Paraportiani. Later on, walk from Kastro to Alefkhandra and Windmills. Alefkhandra, also known as Little Venice, is a charming corner of Mykonos Town. The houses here, the homes of wealthy merchants and sea captains, were built on the sea in the 18th century, and their wooden balconies evoke the homes along the canals of Venice. From here you'll reach the windmills for a magnificent sunset and one of the best spots to take photos on this splendid island. Your stroll through the picturesque little streets of Chora will bring you to a local tavern, where you are welcome to savor the tastes, aromas and essence of genuine Greek spirit through Greek favorite flavors, drinks, music and dances. *In the event the Folklore Museum is closed, you will visit the Aegean Maritime Museum, which displays scale models of various rowing boats, sailing vessels and steam-powered ships from prehistory through the 20th century.

Approximate value: €39 EUR per person

Izmir

Ancient Ephesus
Ancient Ephesus

Ancient Ephesus

At Ancient Ephesus you find Immortal relics of the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian era. At the archaeological site you will be given a guided tour among the Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marble-paved main Street of Kouretes, the Baths of Scholastica, Trajan's Fountain, the Public Latrines, the Residences of the Patricians, the Prytaneum, the Temple of Hadrian. The Great Theatre, built in the 4th century B.C., could accommodate 24,000 spectators and it is famous even nowadays for its acoustics. The finds from the excavations, which have yet brought to light only 13% of ancient Ephesus, reside in the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus, in the city of Selcuk. Your day couldn't close in a better way than a beautiful walk through the Covered Bazaar in Kusadasi. Here, you will be able to ramble, bargain for jewellery, cosmetics or leather products at the little shops. During the excursion you will have the opportunity to do some shopping such as carpets, jewelry, leather and other souvenirs.

Approximate value: €68 EUR per person

Ephesus & The Terrace Houses
Ephesus & The Terrace Houses

Ephesus & The Terrace Houses

Passing with your tour guide through the Magnesian Gate you will wander, feeling awe in time and space, through the Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marble-paved main Street of Kouretes, the Baths of Scholastica, the Great Theatre, Trajan's Fountain, the Public Latrines, the Houses of the Patricians, the Prytaneum and the Temple of Hadrian. Opposite Hadrian's Temple, at the foot of the Bulbul hill and the covered part of the archaeological site, protected by the heat and natural elements lie the Houses of Koressus or Terrace Houses. Here lived the rich families of Ancient Ephesus and you will be surprised by the excellent state of preservation of these comfortable villas, especially their interior décor. The oldest unearthed houses date since the 1st century B.C. and were two-storied and built based on the city planning and they even had heating, and hot and cold water. The excursion comes to a close at Kusadasi with the colorful Covered Bazaar and the little shops that brimming with the jovial energy of bargaining. During the excursion you will have the opportunity to do some shopping such as carpets, jewelry, leather and other souvenirs.

Approximate value: €68 EUR per person

Ephesus & Virgin Mary's House
Ephesus & Virgin Mary's House

Ephesus & Virgin Mary's House

Before his crucifixion, Jesus entrusted the safety of the Virgin Mary to St. John the Evangelist. St. John moved Mary to Ephesus for safety. Virgin Mary lived here until the 101st year of her life. In 1957 the Vatican recognized the House of the Virgin Mary as the place where the Virgin spent the last years of her life and since then it is an important pilgrimage site for both Christians and Muslims. Next stop the city of Ancient Ephesus, the Ionian colony, which is one of the largest open-air archaeological museums in the world. Together with your tour guide, you will pass the Magnesian Gate. Traces of the Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian period are scattered everywhere: the Agora, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the marble-paved main Street of the Kouretes, the Thermal Baths of Scholastica, Trajan's Fountain, the Public Latrines, the Houses of the Patricians, the Prytaneum, Hadrian's Temple, the Great Theatre. The excursion is completed at the Covered Bazaar of Kusadasi with some free time for shopping and bargaining!During the excursion you will have the opportunity to do some shopping such as carpets, jewelry, leather and other souvenirs.

Approximate value: €68 EUR per person

Patmos

Patmos Countryside, Hora & Grotto
Patmos Countryside, Hora & Grotto

Patmos Countryside, Hora & Grotto

Thanks to its religious value but also for its particularities, in 1999 Patmos was proclaimed a World Heritage Monument by UNESCO. The panoramic excursion begins at the port of Scala heading towards the center of the island, to Chora. At the main town you will visit the Grotto of the Apocalypse and at the top of the castle behind the walls, you will see the Monastery of St. John the Evangelist, of Byzantine architecture. The silent windmills in Chora have witnessed important events on the island which attracts thousands of tourists for religious, and also recreational, tourism. The tour of the island continues towards more desolate landscapes, which are the trademark of the Dodecanese. Rocky hills, barren, dry soil, promontories which, like earthly tongues, delve into the sea, dozens of bays and coves, and an intricate coastline. After this enlightening excursion through the island, the tour will conclude at Scala, the port, where the atmospherical café Arion, the oldest and most picturesque of the area, will be waiting for you for coffee, refreshments or juice.

Approximate value: €63 EUR per person

St. John Monastery & Grotto
St. John Monastery & Grotto

St. John Monastery & Grotto

The picturesque alleyways wind upwards, towards the Monastery of St. John the Evangelist, founded in 1088 by St. Christodoulos. The visit will open the doors for you of the Monastery's yard, the place where the monks take their meals and the old bakery. Of exquisite beauty is the tour of the Byzantine Church of St. John, which is adorned with a wood-carved icon screen, important frescoes from several periods, with both mosaic and other icons. Next stop, the small museum which hosts religious treasures of inestimable value, like manuscripts, medieval textiles, sacerdotal vestments and others. Walking down the stairs, the religious energy that you will experience is soul touching. Behind the chapel of St. Anne lies the entrance to the Grotto of the Apocalypse. You will see the cross engraved by St. John the Evangelist, according to tradition, the triple fissure in the wall of the cave, from where St. John heard God dictating to him the Apocalypse. And also the spot where he lay down to sleep.

Approximate value: €63 EUR per person

Traditional Patmos Feast
Traditional Patmos Feast

Traditional Patmos Feast

Join us for an unforgettable feast served in a traditional Patmos taverna. Your friendly hosts are eager to feed you the traditional dishes of their island in one of the loveliest of the island's classic hillside villages. Board an air-conditioned bus in Skala for a scenic drive into the hills of Patmos. Patmos comprises three main, mountainous segments linked by two isthmuses at the center of the island. Although its infrastructure rivals that of its Dodecanese neighbors, Patmos still feels off the beaten path, esoteric, thanks to its unstudied natural beauty, its picture-perfect villages, its postcard-quality vistas and its sacred sites. In 2009, Forbes named the island one of the worlds most idyllic places to live: words such as dreamlike, homey and virginal are often used when describing this Aegean heaven. We'll drive through many of the island's picturesque villages, be sure to look down for stunning views of the Aegean. The scent of wildflowers greets you as you exit the bus for a short, scenic walk to the taverna, where our feast awaits. You'll have to decide where to look: at the incredible view toward the Aegean or at the taverns' tables, which seem to be overflowing with traditional Patmian delicacies. A local orchestra and dance troupe will perform for us while we tuck into this delicious, hearty meal. Welcome to the authentic heart of countryside Patmos. Kali Orexi!

Approximate value: €54 EUR per person

Greek Island Cruise

Akrotiri Village & Excavation
Akrotiri Village & Excavation

Akrotiri Village & Excavation

In prehistoric times, the people who inhabited what today is known as Santorini, called the island Strongyle ("round"). These people enjoyed a high standard of living; they built two-story houses, tilled the earth and were skilled artists, recognizing the beauty of color. Around 1650 B.C., a volcanic eruption caused the center of Strongyle to sink, leaving a caldera with high cliffs one of the worlds most dramatic geological sights. You will have the chance to visit the village of Akrotiri with its famous antiquities. There you will be taken back in time when you see these amazing ruins leaving you to imagine what life was like before the village was destroyed around 1650 B.C., by the eruption of the volcano of Thira.

Approximate value: €67 EUR per person

Cretan Countryside & Lifestyle
Cretan Countryside & Lifestyle

Cretan Countryside & Lifestyle

This rustic natural excursion is an ode to the Cretan countryside and its values. It is characteristic, that the island of Crete has the most traditional vineyards of the whole of Europe. Grapes have been cultivated here since the Minoan era, a tradition spanning 4,000 years! So undoubtedly the Cretans are hearty connoisseurs when it comes to wine. In fact, 70% of the production of Cretan wine comes from the Peza valley. This will also be the first stop of your excursion. Next follows Vathypetro, a small Minoan palace with exterior courtyards of ashlar masonry, with storage facilities and porticoes, which was discovered in 1949 by Spyros Marinatos. Passing through villages and vineyards, you reach Archanes, an important Minoan settlement, built at the foot of Mount Juktas. Here you will have the time to try the Cretan delicacies, taste the local wine and take in the local music at the areas central square, under the generous shade of the trees.

Approximate value: €67 EUR per person

Oia Village on the Caldera
Oia Village on the Caldera

Oia Village on the Caldera

First you head up to the monastery of Prophet Ilias, for a breath-taking view, deep inhalations of clean, pure, Cycladic air and memorial photos, so as to be the envy of all who didn't come along. The tour continues its passage towards the north. 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. After your curiosity has been sated of the area which is characterized as being of exceptional natural beauty, your return begins.

Approximate value: €67 EUR per person

Palace of Knossos
Palace of Knossos

Palace of Knossos

The ancient city of Knossos, with constant habitation from the Neolithic era until the 5th century A.D., is beyond doubt the land that gave birth to the first civilization of Europe, the Minoans. The first excavations were begun in 1878 by the Heraklion Minos Kalokairinos. A bit later (1900-1913 & 1922-1930) the excavations by the British Sir Arthur Evans were to complete the scientific research, bringing to light the Minoan palace in its entirety, which was, according to tradition, the residence of the wise King Minos. The palace of Knossos spreads around the large Central Court. You will reach the awe inspiring Throne Room, the fresco of the Prince of the Lilies, the imposing Grand Staircase, the Queen's Megaron in the east. Walking through the apartments of the Knossos palace and observing the finds even as passers-by, you will feel part of this cultural heritage.

Approximate value: €67 EUR per person

Santorini Sailing & Volcano
Santorini Sailing & Volcano

Santorini Sailing & Volcano

The little islands of Palea and Nea Kameni are of particular geological interest, since underneath them lightly slumbers an active volcano. From the cruise ship you will be transported easily within a few minutes by small boat to Nea Kameni which resembles a moon landscape! You will walk up to the verge of the crater, the heart of the volcano, a unique geological phenomenon which will overwhelm you with awe. In Nea Kameni nowadays there is gas-steam activity at the top of the crater, while its beaches are embraced by thermal springs. The next stop of this special excursion, is Palea (or Palia) Kameni with its therapeutical, warm waters. The sea temperature here is 5C higher than in the rest of the locations and the green-yellow water contains sulphur. After the trip to the volcano, you will have the chance to walk, take keepsake photos, to touch the magic and energy of Fira. Finishing your trip in the main town of Santorini, you will descend by funicular (the ticket is included in the fee of this excursion) to the Old Port to reach the cruise ship by small boat.

Approximate value: €63 EUR per person

Venetian City & Museum
Venetian City & Museum

Venetian City & Museum

Heraklion was founded in 824 and is an important homeland of many contributors to Literature and Art, some examples of which are the Nobel winning poet Odysseas Elytis, the Renaissance painter Domenikos Theotokopoulos (El Greco) and the writer Nikos Kazantzakis. Heraklion is also endowed with some wonderful edifices: the Koules fortress, the award winning Venetian structure of the Loggia, the Morosini Fountain, the Basilica of Saint Mark, the Church of Agios Titos, the medieval monastery of Saint Catherine, the Cathedral of Agios Mina, the Historical Museum of Crete and of course the Palace of Knossos are some exceptional examples. The tour will come to an end at the Archaeological Museum of the city. Through the exhibits of the Museum, the history of the Cretan culture will unfold and be visualized before you.

Approximate value: €63 EUR per person

 Know Before You Go

These Know Before You Go travel tips are designed with you in mind, with helpful hints to help you prepare for and enjoy your escorted vacation. They are your guide to getting ready and contain general information on travel documentation, customs, and the country/countries you will be visiting, including budgeting, transportation, climate, languages, and much more. With Globus, you benefit from our experience.



* The "Starting at" or listed price is based on the lowest price available to book. Price is per passenger based on double occupancy and does not include airfare; additional fees/charges are not included. If a price is crossed out, the new price includes a limited time promotional offer(s) – please review current promotions or deals for additional information. Some tours require intra-vacation flights (and in some cases intra-vacation segments must be purchased from Cosmos).

Top