European Islands Tour

Corsica, Sardinia, Malta, Sicily, Crete, & Mainland Greece

European Islands of the Mediterranean Sea. The tours visit the important historic and archaeological sites, many of which are UNESCO World Heritage. Enjoy traditional old world charm in villages and sample regional cuisine and wines. The days will be full and fascinating.

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Discover the Scandola Nature Reserve and The Calanche de Piana.
  • Leisurely guided walk to see the wild horses in Sardinia’s Giara Natural Park.
  • The Megalithic Temples of Malta are among the most ancient religious sites on Earth.
  • Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, UNESCO World Heritage Site, the only known prehistoric underground temple in the world.
  • Visit ruins of the ancient city of Akragas in the Valley of Temples.
  • Embark on a guided tour of Selinunte, the largest archaeological site in Europe.
  • Explore the fantastic ruins of the palace complex in the ancient capital city of Knossos.
  • Visit the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, The Parthenon, the most important archaeological sites of ancient Greek civilization.

View A Detailed Itinerary:

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La Balagna, Calvi, France

  • 1
    Corsica
    Day 1: Arrival Bastia, Corsica

    Upon arrival, your driver will meet you and transfer to your hotel. Rest of day is independent.

  • 2
    Day 2: Tour to Cap Corse

    The regions beauty takes ones’ breath away with abundant jagged coastlines, mountains crashing into the sea, hidden coves, and spectacular beaches.
    Make stops at the charming Miomo, Lavasina, and Erbalunga villages, and the Genoese Tower of Losse and quaint villages of PIno and Nonza.

  • 3
    Day 3: Bastia- La Balagna – L'île Rousse - Calvi

    The Balagna region is known for its olive groves and its countless churches.
    Next is L'Île-Rousse, a pretty 18th-century town founded by the Corsican statesman and military leader Pasquale Paoli who fought against Genoese and French control of the island.
    Continue to Calvi for a visit to its citadel and voyage back to medieval Corsica.

  • 4
    Day 4: Gulf of Porto and the Scandola Nature Reserve – Ajaccio

    Discover the Scandola Nature Reserve and the Gulf of Porto, a natural wonder and UNESCO World Heritage site. Experience one of the last Mediterranean enclaves to provide shelter for endemic flora and birdlife such as ospreys and peregrine falcons.
    The Calanche de Piana evokes Norwegian fjords if they were found in warmer Mediterranean waters. It offers an outstanding landscape of pink granite rocks shaped over the centuries.

  • 5
    Day 5: Tour of Ajaccio

    Surrounded by a fantastic mountain range, Ajaccio is an elegant city. From the top of its citadel, it has preserved its bay which is one of the most beautiful in the world.
    We wander the narrow streets around the citadel; visit the Bonaparte House, the birthplace of Napoleon and now a national museum. Appreciate Italian Baroque art in the Fesch Museum. The musée Fesch is the central museum of fine arts in Ajaccio on Corsica.

  • 6
    Day 6: Full Day Tour en-route to Bonifacio

    Bonifacio is medieval city of more than a thousand years of history, a World Heritage UNESCO town, installed on a natural promontory overlooking the Bouches de Bonifacio.

  • 7
    Sardinia
    Day: 7 Bonifacio- Santa Theresa- Alghero

    Santa Theresa di Gallura is a small seaside village on the north coast of Sardinia, one of the most colorful and authentic. It is a historic town with medieval churches and Nuragic ruins scattered around the village.
    Arrival in Alghero, one of Sardinia’s most beautiful medieval cities, encircled by ancient walls, it’s known for its cobblestoned old center. Its’ Catalan Gothic buildings include the Cattedrale di Santa Maria, with an imposing bell tower, Palazzo Guillot and Chiesa di San Francesco, a 14th-century church.

  • 8
    Day 8: Alghero - Nuraghe Palmavera - Tharros-Oristano

    Depart at 8:30 am this morning to visit the beautiful Nuraghe Palmavera, dating the Nuraghic civilization, 1500 BC that built more than 10,000 of these monuments in Sardinia.

  • 9
    Day 9: Oristano - Su Nuraxi di Barumini - Giara Natural Park - Cagliari

    We also visit the nearby Casa Zapata, a noble Spanish mansion of the XVI century, built on the top of a nuraghe, is impressive for the excavation and the small Ethnographic Museum with a section dedicated to the "launeddas," the wind instrument typical of Sardinia.

  • 10
    Day 10: Cagliari: Explore Nora and visit the capital Cagliari

    Founded in the VIII century B. C: by the Phoenicians in a beautiful bay, Nora became an important town under the Romans.
    The capital Cagliari, the "City of Sun" takes its nickname from its mild and sunny climate. After a panoramic drive, with some photo stops at Basilica of Our Lady of Bonaria and Monte Urpinu, enjoy a walking tour of the historical district of Castello.

  • 11
    Malta
    Day 11: Fly to Malta

    Arrive Valletta, capital of Malta (UNESCO Heritage Site). Transfer to hotel.

  • 12
    Day 12: Full Day Tour: Valletta

    Visit St. John’s Cathedral, a historical gem which houses famous tapestries by the artist Caravaggio.
    Then the Grand Master’s Palace & Armory, National Museum of Archaeology followed by a visit to the Upper Barracca Gardens.

  • 13
    Day 13: Full Day Tour Senglea, Cospicua and Vittoriosa

    The Three Cities offer an intriguing insight into Malta and its history. Left largely unvisited, these cities are a slice of authentic life as well as a glimpse into Malta's maritime fortunes. The Three Cities can rightly claim to be the cradle of Maltese history, as Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicuahave provided a home and fortress to almost every people who settled on the Islands.
    Visit the Inquisitor’s Palace.

  • 14
    Day 14: Blue Grotto Caves, Marsaxlokk, Tarxien, The Hypogeum

    Visit Mnajdra (UNESCO World Heritage Site), a megalithic temple complex found in an isolated location on the southern coast.
    Visit the Ħaġar Qim megalithic complex.
    The Megalithic Temples of Malta are among the most ancient religious sites on Earth, described by the World Heritage Sites committee as "unique architectural masterpieces."
    Afterwards, continue to one of Malta’s natural wonders: the Blue Grotto. We take a boat to visit Blue Grotto, the largest cave and the Arch.
    Visit the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum of Paola, a subterranean structure dating to the Saflieni phase (3000-2500 BC) in Maltese prehistory,

  • 15
    Day 15: Gozo Island

    The island has been associated with Ogygia, home of the nymph Calypso in Homer's Odyssey.
    Visit the temples of Ggantija (Palace of the Giants), which consist of two megalithic temples surrounded by a massive common boundary wall, that date to 3600-3200 BC.

  • 16
    Day 16: Central Malta: Mosta, Mdina, Rabat & the Domus Romana, Dingli

    A full day tour of the central part of the island visiting Mdina the old capital city of the island, Rabat its suburb town and surrounding areas.

  • 17
    Sicily
    Day 17: Ferry to Pozzallo-Drive Ragusa- Siracusa

    Those continuing to Sicily, transfer to the port for the 1 hr 45 min ride to Pozzallo on the southern tip of Sicily. On arrival, we are met by our driver and drive approx. 40 minutes Ragusa, a hilltop city.

  • 18
    Day 18: Siracusa (Syracuse)

    Full day tour of the central Archaeological Park Neapolis comprises the Roman Amphitheater, the Teatro Greco and the Orecchio di Dionisio, a limestone cave shaped like a human ear. The Museo Archeologico Regionale Paolo Orsi exhibits terracotta artifacts, Roman portraits and Old Testament scenes carved into white marble.

  • 19
    Day 19: Piazza Armerina-Agrigento (Porto Empedocle)

    Piazza Armerina, splendid art city woven into the heart of Sicily, boasts a slew of monuments that tell of its glorious past. The Villa Romana del Casale, UNESCO World Heritage originally the property of a powerful Roman family, it dates back to the 4th Century A.D.

  • 20
    Day 20: Agrigento Full Day Tour

    Agrigento is a hilltop city on Sicily's southwest shore. Founded in 581 B.C. by Greek, Rhodium-Cretan colonists, it become Akragas the following century, and was one of the most resplendent centers in the Mediterranean.

  • 21
    Day 21: Selinunte-Mazara del Vallo

    Selinunte is the largest archaeological site in Europe. On a par with pretty much anything found in Greece itself, Selinunte has lain abandoned for nearly 2,500 years, its numerous temples, its acropolis and its agora in dignified ruins.

  • 22
    Day 22: Mazara del Vallo

    We start with a walking tour of Piazza della Repubblica the city’s central piazza.
    We shall tour Cattedrale del Santissimo Salvatore (aka Basil Cathedral), an imposing sight with its glistening cluster of emerald-green, ceramic-tiled domes. Originally dating to the 11th century, it was completely rebuilt in baroque style in the 17th century.

  • 23
    Day 23: Mazara del Vallo – Segesta-Palermo

    The Tempio di Segesta (Temple of Segesta) is perhaps the best-preserved Doric temple in the world, and the only freestanding limestone temple in Sicily.
    This afternoon, a walking tour starting from the heart of Palermo, the Politeama Square with its magnificent theater built in 1874. We’ll walk down via Ruggiero Settimo, an elegant street with shops that runs through the city to the Central Station.

  • 24
    Day 24: Palermo

    Full day tour of Palermo, capital of Sicily. We start with a visit to the Regional Archaeological Museum Antonio Salinas.
    We will then walk down, the oldest street in Palermo, dating to the Phoenicians, passing thru the historic Vucciria market (La Vucciria).

  • 25
    Day 25: Palermo – Cefalù – Messina

    Drive to Cefalù, a coastal city in northern Sicily. We visit its’ Norman cathedral, a 12th-century fortress-like structure with elaborate Byzantine mosaics and soaring twin towers.
    Messina is a harbor city in northeast Sicily, separated from mainland Italy by the Strait of Messina.

  • 26
    Day 26: Messina – Taormina – Catania

    We stop in Taormina, a hilltop town on the east coast of Sicily. It sits near Mount Etna, an active volcano with trails leading to the summit.
    Catania is located on the east coast of Sicily on the Ionian Sea and is the second largest city in Sicily.

  • 27
    Day 27: Catania: Excursion to Mount Etna

    We enjoy a half day visit of Mt. Etna, including round-trip funicular.
    Transfer to a local farmhouse for visit of vineyards followed by lunch with wine tasting.

  • 28
    Greece: Crete
    Day 28: Arrival Athens

    Those continuing to Greece, transfer to the airport for flight.
    Transfer to your hotel.

  • 29
    Day 29: Fly to Heraklion

    Visit El Greco museum in Fodele village, the archaeological museum in Heraklion and Knossos, the ancient capital of the great king Minos. Your guided tour will take you through the fantastic ruins of the ancient palace complex.
    Visit Skalani and Karteros traditional villages.

  • 30
    Day 30: Gortys – Festos – Rethymno

    Drive to Gortys, an ancient Greek/Roman town where archaeologists found judicial laws pertaining marriage, inheritance, adoption, divorce, etc. dating to 500 B.C. written in the Cretan Doric language.
    We drive westward to the beautiful town of Rethymno, one of the most historical and picturesque towns on Crete.

  • 31
    Day 31: Rethymno – Arkadi – Chania

    City tour of Rethymno and visit Rethymno fortress. Visit the historical Monastery of Arkadi. The Monastery is set in a spectacular scenic at the edge of a gorge and represents a symbol of freedom for the Cretans. Enjoy a city tour and visit the Archaeological Museum of Chania.

  • 32
    Day 32: Chania – Seven villages excursion

    You will visit traditional villages, taste original Cretan delicacies, view the beautiful nature of Crete and be introduced to the traditions of the island.

  • 33
    Greece: Mainland Tour
    Day 33: Fly to Athens & Tour

    Transfer to airport for flight to Athens. Full City Tour and embark on a half-day excursion to the majestic Temple of Poseidon. Immerse yourself in the blue waters of the Aegean Sea, watch the sunset from the majestic Temple of Poseidon, and enjoy an utterly beautiful site close to Athens.

  • 34
    Day 34: Athens Full day tour

    Visit the Acropolis, Ancient Agora, and Panoramic vehicle tour. Next, a panoramic tour of the city to admire other important landmarks, such as the Panathenaic Stadium (view from outside), the Temple of Zeus, Zappeion, the Athens Classical trilogy, the Parliament and Changing of the Guards, Syntagma Square, Licabettus Hill.

  • 35
    Day 35: Delphi

    Once believed to be the centre of the world and the site at which Apollo spoke through his oracle, Delphi is one of the most important archaeological sites of Greece. Visit Hosios Loukas an impressive historic walled monastery. It is one of the most important monuments of Middle Byzantine architecture and art, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • 36
    Day 36: Delphi - Meteora

    Visit to Agios Stefanos or Roussanou Monastery followed by a visit to the oldest standing monument of the area, the Byzantine church of Virgin Mary.

  • 37
    Day 37: Delphi - Monasteries of Meteora

    The Meteora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries and is second only to Mount Athos.
    Visit Trikala city, the Prefecture's capital is a beautiful city built on the location of ancient Trikki (according to mythology the nymph Trikki was the daughter of Pinios). Also, visit Asklipios, the most important doctor of antiquity, originated from here.

  • 38
    38: Meteora – Dion and Vergina – Thessaloniki

    Dion, in the northern foothills of Mount Olympus, was the most important sacred city of the Macedonians. Visit Thessaloniki, is the second-largest city in Greece and the capital of the region of Central Macedonia. Enjoy a guided tour of the museum and the royal tomb of King Phillip of Macedon, father of Alexander the Great.

  • 39
    Day 39: Thessaloniki Full Day Tour

    Founded in 315 BC by Cassander of Macedon, Thessaloniki's history spans some 2,300 years. An important metropolis by the Roman period, Thessaloniki was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire. Today the city is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments, including the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as several Roman, Ottoman and Sephardic Jewish structures.

  • 40
    Day 40: Depart

    Transfer to airport for flight to Athens and remain at the airport for your flight home.


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