Day 1: Arrival Bastia, Corsica
Upon arrival, your driver will meet you and transfer to your hotel. Rest of day is independent.
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. We enjoy stops at the charming Miomo, Lavasina, and Erbalunga villages, and the Genoese Tower of Losse and quaint villages of PIno and Nonza.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Alghero is one of Sardinia’s most beautiful medieval cities, encircled by ancient walls. It is 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.
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.
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.
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.
Day 11: Fly to Malta
Arrive Valletta, capital of Malta (UNESCO Heritage Site). Transfer to hotel.
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.
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.
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, 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,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Day 22: Mazara del Vallo
We start with a walking tour of Piazza della Repubblica the city’s central piazza. Among the highlights is Cattedrale del Santissimo Salvatore (aka Basil Cathedral), an imposing sight with its glistening cluster of emerald-green, ceramic-tiled domes.
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.
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).
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.
Stromboli Island, Sicily
Day 26: Messina – Stromboli Volcano
Transfer from Messina to Milazzo Port and board the ferry with your guide for a one hour ride through the Tyrrhenian Sea to Lipari Island. Our guide will give a brief walking tour and explanation of the island, then enjoy some leisure time and lunch on your own, pay direct.
At approx. 1:30 pm return to the boat and cruise to Panarea Island, the smallest of the seven inhabited Aeolian Islands (UNESCO listed). Skirting Monte Rosa and Canneto Bay, we admire the bay of Cala Junco, renowned for its crystal clear waters above which lies the promontory of Capo Milazzese where the remains of a prehistoric village from the Bronze Age are still found today. Once at the port, you will go down into Panarea to visit the narrow streets of the island.
Return to the boat to continue to the island of Stromboli navigating along a micro-archipelago within the Aeolian archipelago, formed by the collapse of an ancient volcano into the sea. Along the way the boat is skirting the islets of Panarea: Dattilo, Lisca Bianca, Bottaro (where the phenomenon of boiling water occurs), Basiluzzo and Spinazzola.
Around 4.30 pm we will reach the port of Stromboli. Disembark and walk approx. 150 m (2 min walk on smooth sidewalk) with our guide to the hotel for check in. Afterwards a walking tour of the island. Leisure time to visit Piazza San Vincenzo and dinner on your own (pay direct).
At 630 or 7 pm board the boat (without your guide) passing from the islet of Strombolicchio, a volcanic neck testifying to the presence of an ancient caldera. The boat continues to Sciara del Fuoco, a deep black lava scar down the side of the volcano. Unforgettable sceneries will be seen during navigation to the Sciara del Fuoco. Admire the spectacle of nocturnal eruptions that illuminate the nights and the hearts of visitors. (excursion lasts 1.5 hrs).
Day 27: Stromboli – Taormina – Catania
We take ferry boat departing at 7:15am and arriving in Milazzo Port at 9:35am. On arrival, drive 1 hr 45 min to Catania. En-route, after about 50 min, 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.
We visit Teatro Antico do Taormina, Porta Messina (landmark stone doorway to the city), Porta Catania (arched entrance to the old city), Duomo di Taormina (medieval Catholic church), Palazzo Corvaia (10th century medieval palace), Chiesa Madonna della Rocca (historic chapel built into a rock with striking panoramas), Taormina Castle (historic landmark atop a mountain with sweeping views of the city and coastline).
We shall then venture into Piazza Duomo for lunch.
Continue 30 minutes to Catania.
Day 28: Catania: Excursion to Mount Etna
We enjoy a half day visit of Mt. Etna and lunch at a local farmhouse.
Larnaca Cyprus- North & South
Day 29: Arrival Larnaca- Drive to Limasol
Transfer to airport Dep Catania Alitalia 1722, 6 am, arr Rome 7:25 am, dep 9 am, arr ATH 11:55 am, dep 110, arr Larnaca 250 pm. (schedules subject to change).
Upon arrival, go through passport control and customs where our guide will escort you to a luxury a/c mini bus for the transfer to the hotel, approx. 45 minutes. During the transfer our guide will offer general information on Cyprus.
Upon arrival at the hotel in Limassol, you will be escorted to a private allocated area for our group, where we enjoy a welcome drink with a view of the Mediterranean Sea. As advanced registration has been arranged, there will be no need for you to queue to check in.
After a welcome drink, have some time to relax.
This evening, a special dinner at Karatello Restaurant. Karatello is located just behind the Medieval Castle of Limassol, inside the historical center of the city.
Day 30: Limasol
visit the ancient Kingdom of Kourion located on one of the most spectacular sites in the island, with extensive archaeological ruins including well-preserved mosaics. Its’ Greco-Roman amphitheatre, built in the second century BC, is famous for its vistas of the Mediterranean Sea. The kingdom is also renowned for its preserved mosaic floors in the House of Eustolios, the House of Achilles and the House of the Gladiators.
Next is a visit to the Sanctuary of Apollo Hylates, charmingly situated amongst woodlands just in the outskirts of Kourion.
Afterwards a 30 minute drive to Limassol center. Upon arrival lunch will be served in a local tavern.
Limassol, traces its history to the Middle Ages, and is named so being situated between (anamesa) the ancient Kingdom of Kourion and Amathus.
After lunch, we set off on our walking tour of the city starting from the most modern and recently built part of Limassol, the Marina. With its haute-couture boutiques, gourmet restaurants, stylish bars and luxury yachts parked nearby, Limassol Marina is the perfect starting point for a relaxed walk.
Our route will then lead us through the Old Port of Limassol and the promenade on the way to the beautiful Ayia Napa Church. The church is located in the heart of Limassol old town district. We will stroll around the city’s narrow streets exploring the historical center and its rich history.
Then onward to the medieval Castle of Limassol is where according to tradition, after conquering the island in 1192, King Richard the Lionheart of England married Princess Berengaria of Navarre in the castle’s small chapel.
Wrapped around the Limassol castle, the historic center combines beautiful old buildings in combination with modern architecture. It’s an area buzzing with cafes, bars and restaurants that are as popular with locals as with visitors, where visitors can bargain with the local shopkeepers for handicrafts and visit one of the town’s many coffee shops. The walk will be approx. 2.5 hours.
Drive back to the hotel in Limassol
Day 31: In the footsteps of Aphrodite – Exploring Paphos
Paphos is a leading cultural center of the Mediterranean and the whole town is on the UNESCO World Heritage list. Our first stop is Petra tou Romiou or Aphrodite’s Rock, the legendary birthplace of the goddess Aphrodite-Cypria. A spectacular beach with awe-inspiring views, this golden stretch of sandy coast is where the Greek goddess of love rose from wave and foam.
We then head to Kouklia, or Palaepaphos, one of the most celebrated pilgrimage centers of the ancient Greek world. Hosting the Sanctuary of Aphrodite, and once a city-kingdom of Cyprus, it dates back to the 12th century BC.
Our next stop is The Tombs of the Kings, an early Hellenistic monument dating from the 4th century BC. They are burial caves carved into the bedrock of the hill and decorated with Doric columns and capitals.
We continue to The Church of Panayia Chrysopolitissa, built in the 13th century over the ruins of the largest Early Byzantine basilica on the island. Within the compound one can see St. Paul's Pillar, where according to tradition; the saint was flogged before the Roman Governor Sergius Paulus converted to Christianity. The floor of the basilica was covered with colorful mosaics, some of which are still preserved today.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant in Paphos.
Then to the Harbor area where we will visit the Mosaics of Paphos.
Day 32: Omodos & Kalopanayiotis Villages
Today we travel to rural Cyprus, where hospitality is legendary. The village of Omodhos, once a property of Sir John De Brie, Prince of Galilee, is home to the Monastery of Stavros, ‘Holly Cross’ which stands in the stone-paved square. The monastery contains old icons, excellent wood carvings and other ecclesiastical objects of interest, as well as a small National Museum. Enjoy strolling around the village’s winding streets and mingle with the locals, browse small shops selling traditional Cypriot items such as crafts, lace and local delights.
In the afternoon drive to the hotel in Kalopanayiotis village, approx. 1 hour. The village is lovely and you can freely walk about browsing the small shops selling jams, nuts and other local products.
Day 33: Troodos – Kykkos – Pedoulas - Kalopanayiotis Village
We visit the monastery of Agios Ioannis Lampadistis, situated in a central area of the Troodos mountain range, in the valley of Marathasa. It is a complex of three churches: Agios Irakleidios, Ioannis Lambadistis and a Latin chapel- all under a single pitched roof. The church is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site. The icon of Lambadistis dates to 1543. The Latin Chapel contains the most complete series of Italo-Byzantine paintings in Cyprus.
Onward to Kykkos Monastery, the richest and most significant monastery on the island. Founded in 1100 and dedicated to the Virgin Mary, it possesses one of the three surviving icons ascribed to St. Luke. Its famous ecclesiastical museum houses icons and objects from the Byzantine era.
Not far from Kykkos we enjoy a short stroll to Throni, to visit the tomb of the late Archbishop Makarios III amidst the dense forest.
Our drive through picturesque villages continues to the village of Pedhoulas where lunch will be served at a local restaurant.
Afterwards, we visit the church of Archangel Michael in Pedoulas. The church is a listed UNESCO World Heritage Site and dates to 1474.
Day 34: Byzantine Churches in Troodos Mountains – Nicosia
The day begins with a visit to the church of Agios Nikolaos tis Stegis which stands completely painted with murals dating from the 11th to the 17th century and is considered one of the most interesting Byzantine churches on the island.
Next is a visit to the byzantine churches in the area of the valley of Solea including churches Panayia Podithou and Archangelos Michael, which are on the UNESCO list as cultural treasures of the World’s heritage.
Then a drive to Lagoudera village for a visit of Panagia tou Araka. The church is considered to be one of the most important late Byzantine period churches on the island.
We continue to the village of Nikitari to visit the church of Panagia tis Asinou. The Panagia Asinou church is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is a small church dedicated to the Virgin of Phorbia, with wall paintings dating from the 12th to the 17th century.
In the late afternoon drive to the hotel in Nicosia. Evening
Day 35: Nicosia: the medieval capital and Northern Cyprus
We start with a visit to Nicosia (Lefkosia), the medieval capital. Afterwards, we drive to Ledras checkpoint and walk across it to enter The Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus. We visit the Dervish Pasha Mansion, Mevlevi Tekke Museum, the Kyrenia Gate in the Nicosia walls, The Bedestan & Selimiye Mosque (from outside) and Büyük Han.
Now crossing back to the Republic of Cyprus enjoy lunch at a restaurant on Ledras Street or “Laiki Geitonia” a traditional neighborhood in the pedestrian area opposite D’Avila Bastion and the Eleftheria Square.
Afterwards, we walk to the Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist and its 18th century wall paintings depicting scenes from the Bible and the discovery of the tomb of St Barnabas in Salamis. Then walk 5-8 min to Famagusta Gate, in the Nicosia walls. We culminate the day with a short drive, 8 min, to visit the Archaeological Museum with a fascinating collection of Cypriot antiquities and treasures from the Neolithic age to the Early Byzantine period.
Day 36: Northern Cyprus - Discovering Bellapais & Kerynia
Crossing the border to the North at the Agios Dometios check point, the first stop is the Saint Hilarion Castle. We continue approx. 30 min drive to Bellapais Village and visit Bellapais Abbey which is a fine example of Gothic architecture of the Lusignan period. Set in the Pentadaxtilos mountain range, just ten minutes above Kyrenia, the beauty of Bellapais is legendary.
Onward to Kyrenia town centre. Visit the scenic harbor and the Kyrenia Castle which houses two interesting museums; the museum of Kyrenia and the ship wreck museum where one of the oldest known shipwrecks in the world is exhibited (4th c BC).
Day 37: Nicosia – Larnaca
Visit Choirokitia, the oldest Neolithic settlement in Cyprus. The site is one of the best preserved prehistoric sites of the eastern Mediterranean.
Our excursion continues to the city of Larnaca, built on the ruins of Kition, as the town used to be known, which was one of the several ancient city kingdoms of the island.
After a short city tour we visit the cathedral of St. Lazarus, the first bishop of Kition, originally built in 900 AD; the Tekke Mosque of Hala Sultan, an important place of pilgrimage for the island’s Muslims and the village of Kiti, which hosts the church of Angeloktistos with its magnificent mosaics dating to the early Christian period believed to be built by Angels.
Day 38: Discovering Ammochostos – Full Day Excursion to Northern Cyprus
Drive to Ammochostos (latin: Famagusta), once one of the most fortified ports of the Mediterranean enjoys a history spanning thousands of years.
We then cross the border in Strovilia and proceed to Salamis, the great city founded in the 11th century BC. The spectacular ruins include its magnificent amphitheatre, Roman baths, gymnasium and royal tombs known as the Necropolis of Salamis. Just inland from Famagusta one finds the church of St. Barnabas, the founder of the apostolic church in Cyprus in 45 AD.
We visit the old walled city of Famagusta and continue with visits to the Venetian Palace and St. Nicholas Cathedral (now Lala Mustafa Pasha Mosque).
Return to Larnaca.
Day 39: Fly to Heraklion
On arrival transfer to hotel to check in and immediately start sightseeing.
The tour includes visits to El Greco Museum in Fodele village, the archaeological museum in Heraklion and Knossos.
Day 40: Gortys – Festos – Rethymno
Drive to Gortys, an ancient Greek/Roman town where archaeologists found judicial laws pertaining to 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.
Day 41: 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. Visit the Archaeological Museum of Chania.
Day 42: Chania – Seven villages excursion
We will visit traditional villages, taste original Cretan delicacies, view the beautiful nature of Crete and be introduced to the traditions of the island.
Greece: Mainland Tour
Day 43: Fly to Athens & Tour
Transfer to airport for morning flight to Athens. At 12 noon we embark on The "Welcome to Athens" Orientation tour, a two hour walking tour of Plaka including Ancient Agora with a licensed guide.
Day 44: Athens Full day tour
Visit the Acropolis and Panoramic vehicle tour 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.
Day 45: 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.
Day 46: 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.
Day 47: 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).
Day 47: 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.
Day 48: 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.
Day 49: Depart
Transfer to airport for flight to Athens and remain at the airport for your flight home.