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Greece & TurkeyRegional Journey
Welcome to Athens.
An Insight host will meet you at the airport and take you to the hotel, where there is time to settle in and relax. At 19:00, join your Travel Director for a Welcome Reception, get to know your fellow travellers over a delightful evening of dinner and wine.
Athens, City of Gods.
Your exploration reveals the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Arch of Hadrian. Next, your Local Expert takes you to the Parthenon, built atop the Acropolis. See the Temple of Athena Nike, also known as the Temple of the Wingless Victory, and the six stone-carved caryatids that make up the Porch of the Maidens on the Erechtheion. Continue to Thermopylae, famous as the mountain pass where King Leonidas led his Spartan army, along with fellow Greek soldiers, into battle against the Persians in 480 B.C. See the memorial dedicated to Leonidas and his courageous Spartans, then on to your hotel in Kalambaka for dinner.
The pinnacles of Meteora.
With your Local Expert, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Meteora, meaning 'in the air.' The massive pinnacles of smooth rock are ancient, yet could also be the setting for a futuristic science-fiction tale. Visit one of the monasteries, that adds to the strange and beautiful landscape and enjoy stunning views over the Peneios Valley. The rest of the day is at your leisure. Why not explore with a leisurely walk on the nature trails? Alternatively, you may wish to visit the Natural History Museum.
The Sacred Way and onto Olympia.
Travel south, stopping at the foothills of Mount Parnassus. Ascend the Sacred Way of Delphi with your Local Expert. Pass the Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians and Polygonal Wall with its interlocking stones still perfectly intact after thousands of years. You'll approach the Temple of Apollo, where for 14 centuries the mysterious Oracle of Delphi breathed her enigmatic ‘words,' rumoured to have successfully predicted events related to the Argonauts expedition and the Trojan War. Your travels continue to Olympia where dinner is served in your hotel.
It's all in the name. Ancient Olympia is the site where the Ancient Olympic Games began in 776 B.C. in dedication to the god Zeus. See the Temple of Zeus, the athletes gymnasium and the stadium of Olympia. The starting and finishing markers for the sprint track are still marked by stones and there is time to capture your own memory with a photo at the starting line. In the evening, join a local chef for an entertaining cooking demonstration, followed by a dinner of authentic Greek flavours.
Mycenae and Nafplio.
Visit the ruined city of Mycenae with a Local Expert. Walk through the Lion Gate, visit the royal beehive-tombs and see the giant Cyclopean stones used to build the city walls. Later, meet the artisans and view beautiful works of art at a family-run pottery studio. Travel to the elegant town of Nafplio, known for its beautiful architecture, colour shops and cafes. Your journey continues following the shores of the Saronic Gulf to pass the Corinth Canal dividing the Peloponnesse and mainland Greece, and arriving in Athens. In the evening, enjoy a hearty Celebration Dinner in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.
Getting ready to sail.
This afternoon, board your home for the majority of the trip, MV Celestyal Crystal. Settle into your stateroom cabin as tonight you set sail for Egypt.
Sailing to Egypt.
Today you continue cruising the Mediterranean as you make your way to Egypt. Make the most of your time relaxing on-board in the cruises spa and lounges. While cruising, enjoy an exquisite variety of Mediterranean dishes as well as flavours, aromas and spices from around the world. Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served onboard daily. Vegetarian options are available for those who require them. Your cruise includes a complimentary drinks package featuring a selection of alcoholic and soft drinks, and hot beverages.
Alexandria and Port Said.
Today you’ll arrive in Alexandria where you have the choice to unwind or venture out and explore Cairo on an included full day experience. Marvel at the remains of the ancient world when you visit the ancient Pyramids of Giza, the mighty Sphinx and National Archaeological Museum. Once the day is complete you’ll meet the ship in Port Said before setting sail for Israel.
On to Ashdod.
Enjoy a relaxed start this morning before the cruise sails from Israel to Cyprus. Why not make the most of the time on-shore and join and Optional Experience to Jerusalem or for those looking for some extra activities why not try one of the yoga or dance classes on offer?
Adventures on Cyprus.
Indulge in another free day relaxing. Enjoy your vessel's facilities, including its comfortable staterooms, elegant restaurants, bars and lounges. A spa and fitness rooms are available for guests looking to pamper themselves, or for those looking to explore, why not head out and see more of what Cyprus has to offer?
Myth and Legend of Rhodes.
Upon arrival at Rhodes, chosen by the Crusaders as their fortified headquarters, the day is yours to explore at your own pace. Take part in the included guided experience and walk the streets of the old town surrounded by medieval walls and explore the ancient buildings. In the evening, your cruise continues to Kusadasi.
On to Kusadasi.
Arrive in Kusadasi and embark on a half-day tour of Ephesus. This ancient Greek city and UNESCO World Heritage site was founded by the Carian and Lelegs in the 10th century BC and is a must-see during your time here. End the day with a delicious meal onboard your ship.
Disembark in Athens.
You’ll end your trip in Athens where you’ll enjoy a final night in your beautiful hotel.
It’s time to say goodbye to your fellow travellers. Your trip comes to an end with a transfer to Athens International Airport.
Most Insight trips already include a host of bonus highlights and comprehensive sightseeing. There may also be an exciting array of Optional Experiences which will turn an already amazing experience into the trip of a lifetime! These are entirely optional and can be booked through your Travel Director/Local Representative at the commencement of your trip. Please note, many Optional Experiences are operated by independent third party suppliers, not Insight Vacations.
Prices and availability of Optional Experiences are subject to change.
Kalambaka (Traditional) - Greece
Surrounded by the majestic, towering rocks known as Meteora, in the charming village of Kalambaka.
Olympia (Traditional) - Greece
Built in the hill above Ancient Olympia, this hotel exhales good taste.
Athens (Traditional) - Greece
An elegant hotel with fantastic access to the key highlights of Athens. A member of the Leading Hotels of the World, offers luxury and style in the heart of the historical city of Athens.
Athens (Cruise Overnight) - Greece
Celestyal Cruise ships operating in the Eastern Mediterranean typically embody local style and are smaller than many ocean-going vessels – which is also reflected in cabin size. However, these ships are well-suited to the Greek islands, allowing easier access to the ports of call. All mid-size cruise ships feature air-conditioned cabins with private facilities, outdoor pool, fitness centre, beauty salon, casino, bars & restaurants.
Athens (Traditional) - Greece
Crowne Plaza Athens City Centre is located in the central Athens suburb of Ilissia, named after the hidden historic river that still flows below the main road. Your traditional, yet comfortable room offers all modern amenities to ensure you stay, whether short or long, is most enjoyable.