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Greece & Eastern MediterraneanRegional 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.
Experience the picturesque and lively town of Trikala, considered to have been the birth place of the “God of Medicine” Asclepius. Enjoy an orientation of the town; walk along the river side and the pedestrian streets in the company also of the locals out socializing for the evening. Afterwards Dine at a local restaurant Greek family style, and taste a variety of sumptious dishes all served in the middle of the table, accompanied by plenty of wine!
Adult Price: EUR 45.00
Enjoy a lovely dining experience at a wonderful restaurant located in the lively area of Psiri. Dining is “meze style”, giving you the opportunity to taste many Greek cuisine dishes, which are served in the centre of the table. Also enjoy the local free-flowing wine! Afterwards, see the Acropolis beautifully illuminated as you return to your hotel.
Adult Price: EUR 50.00
This is an evening excursion to a taverna in the centre of Athens. Excellent traditional Greek food in a lively atmosphere, entertained through dances and music from all parts of the country. Wine, beer and soft drinks are also included. Although the venue does have an official ending time, guests are more than welcome to stay on in the taverna, to join in with the local residents! (Casual dress)
Adult Price: EUR 55.00
Take a relaxing trip down to the southernmost tip of Mainland Greece to see the fifth century B.C Temple of Poseidon at Sounion. See if you can spot where Byron carved his initials on one of the temple’s sixteen columns. Marvel at the sheer rugged beauty of the coastline and the ancient temple perched above a 197-foot drop down to the Aegean Sea below. Stand above the site of the world’s first lighthouse, overlooking an area steeped in classical Greek history, ever since the tragic King Aegeas threw himself from the rocky precipice into the sea below, thereby giving his name to the Aegean Sea.
Adult Price: EUR 40.00
Departure. Ascend to the biblical Judean Hills through the Gate of the Valley. that was besieged during the War of Independence, 1948. Mount of Olives – where Jesus went on Palm Sunday to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem when he came from Jericho and Bethany. See the nice panorama of Jerusalem and the walls of the Old City. The Church of Gethsemane (Church of the All of the Nations) where Jesus was betrayed by Judas Iscariot and captured by the Romans and was later on sentenced by Pontius Pilate. Old City of Jerusalem, visiting the colorful market where the three religions coincide to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre where Jesus was crucified, anointed and buried – from here proceeding back to the market and the Via Dolorosa to the Wailing Wall in the Jewish Quarter, the most holy place to Jews where you can write a wish and insert it in the Wall. Then to Mount Zion, the room of the Last Supper where Jesus celebrated with is Disciples the Passover feast. Lunch break at Bethlehem. To Bethlehem, to the city of David and Jacob and to the Church of the Nativity, the place where Jesus was born and was visited by the three angels from the East. Return to Ashdod
Adult Price: EUR 115.00
We drive first to the Archaeological park of Curium. Curium was an important ancient city-kingdom founded by the Greeks in the 14th century BC. We will visit the Greco Roman Theatre and the House of Efstolios. The House of Efstolios originally was a private Roman villa that became a public recreation centre during the early Christian period. It consists of a complex of baths and a number of rooms with beautiful 5th century AD mosaic floors. After the visit we will continue driving to the vineyard area of Limassol. We will arrive to one of the most beautiful and traditional villages of the island, the village of Omodos. We will have free time for lunch break in the village. After lunch we will visit the Monastery of the Holy Cross at the village square and the medieval wine press. We will enjoy a wine tasting in one of the villagers’ wine cellar before we leave for Limassol. Before our arrival back to the port we will drive through the Limassol city.
Adult Price: EUR 74.00
Pafos is on the western coast of the island and is one of the most important archaeological regions of the island. The whole town is included in the official UNESCO list of cultural and natural treasures of the world heritage. We first drive to “Petra tou Romiou”, the place, where according to the Greek mythology, Aphrodite, the Goddess of beauty and love was born. Photo stop in this picturesque place. Next we visit the Tombs of the Kings. Spread over a vast area, these impressive underground tombs date back to the 4th century BC. They are carved out of solid rock while some are decorated with Doric pillars. High officials rather than Kings were buried here, but the magnificence of the tombs gave the locality its name. Our journey continues then to Kato Pafos. After the lunch break we will visit the Archaeological Park, where the House of Dionysos, the House of Aion and the House of Thysseus are. The mosaic floors of these noblemen’s villas dating back to the 3rd to the 5th century AD are considered among the finest in Eastern Mediterranean. Free time will be given at the fishing harbour.
Adult Price: EUR 74.00
First we drive to the centre of Limassol, where you will have the opportunity to walk with a local guide in the old city and see the medieval fort and Marina/Fishing harbour. The medieval Fort, built in the 14th century, is situated on the site of an earlier Byzantine Castle. It was here that, according to tradition, Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England in 1191, (a visit to the fort is not included in the program). You will then be given free time to stroll in the city. Next, we visit the Archaeological park of Curium. Curium was an important ancient city-kingdom founded by the Greeks in the 14th century BC. Finally we will visit the Greco-Roman Theatre and the House of Efstolios. The House of Efstolios originally was a private Roman villa that became a public recreation centre during the early Christian period. It consists of a complex of baths and a number of rooms with beautiful 5th century AD mosaic floors.
Adult Price: EUR 65.00
Santorini (Contemporary/Resort) - Greece
An elegant hotel 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.
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.
Kalambaka (Traditional) - Greece
Surrounded by the majestic, towering rocks known as Meteora, in the charming village of Kalambaka.
Located in Laspes Kastrakiou, Grand Meteora Hotel offers accommodation with views over the Meteora Rocks and is a short distance to Kastraki Village and Kalabaka Town.
This hotel is the most modern hotel in Meteora, but still retains its traditional roots. It offers unique comforts and splendid spaces of relaxation that characterize them the detail and the originality in the decorative assiduity.
Olympia (Traditional) - Greece
Built in the hill above Ancient Olympia, this hotel exhales good taste.
This is a unique place that combines the energy, the space, the serenity of Ancient Olympia, set in a green landscape filled with olive trees. From every corner of the white marbled spacious lobby, guests enjoy the endless green scenery along with the open air terrace of the lounge café.
Athens (Cruise) - 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.