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Alps, Central & Eastern EuropeRegional Journey
Welcome to Vienna.
Leave Vienna airport for your hotel with transfers provided at 10:00, 13:00 or 15:30. Vienna is famous for its delicious coffee and pastries so why not stroll to a local cafe after checking in? At 17:30, join your Travel Director and travel companions for a Welcome Dinner served with wine at a local restaurant.
Stately Vienna and the Habsburgs.
Vienna owes much of its present-day charm to the long reign of the Habsburgs. Join your Local Expert for a private visit of Maria Theresa’s Schönbrunn Palace and its formal gardens. Then, take some great photos on a circuit of the famous Ring Road. This grand boulevard, built along the lines of the old city walls, showcases many of the capital’s architectural masterpieces, including the Opera House, magnificent Hofburg Imperial Residence, Austrian Parliament Building and Karlskirche.
Zagreb’s Twin Towns.
Head through Styria’s forested mountains, past Graz and over the Slovenian border to reach the 700-year-old university town of Maribor. Follow the Drava River through Croatia before heading for its capital, Zagreb, to explore with your Local Expert. Donji Grad, the Lower Town, is devoted to business, art and spacious parks, where streets are wide and airy and the layout is designed to give a sense of grandeur. See the Mimara Art Museum in Roosevelt Square and continue to Ban Josip Jelačić Square en route to the cathedral. Board the city's funicular to Gornji Grad, the medieval Upper Town. It's a network of little streets, stretching between the Kaptol and Gradec hills. View the former Presidential Palace, Stone Gate, St. Mark's Church and the Lotrščak Tower.
The Crystal Lakes of Plitvice.
Take this morning to relax and enjoy your hotel's facilities. In the afternoon depart for your next hotel, located inside the Plitvice Lakes National Park. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1979, this is Croatia’s first and largest national park of Croatia. While the park is predominately forests and grasslands, the true highlight are the interconnected lakes that cascade from one to another.
Plitvice Lakes, Ancient Trogir and Split.
With a Local Expert, explore the Plitvice Lakes, a scenic wonderland of 16 lakes flanked by thundering waterfalls and primeval forest. Enjoy a short cruise through the winding greenery and take in the natural beauty of this UNESCO World Heritage site. See Veliki Slap, the highest waterfall in the park and Tomićevo Pogledalo for views over the park. Travel along the coast and visit Trogir, founded by the Greeks more than 2300 years ago. and renowned for its beautiful cathedral and Renaissance Cipiko Palace. Continue to the historic port of Split.
Your Local Expert will lead you through the labyrinthine streets and arcaded squares. See St. Duje's, which was originally Diocletian's Mausoleum and the Temple of Jupiter, which today is a baptistery, as well as the Golden Gate. Venture into the basement rooms, thought to have housed the Emperor's slaves. Travel alongside sparkling deep blue seas and the rocky islands of the Dalmatian coast to Dubrovnik. For dinner, choose from a selection of hand-picked, local restaurants for your Dine-Around Evening.
Dubrovnik, Pearl of the Adriatic.
The walled town of Dubrovnik, was once described as 'paradise on earth,' according to George Bernard Shaw. Join a walking exploration of the city, guided by a Local Expert. Get a glimpse into local life, as you explore the stone-paved streets inside the 16th century bastions of the Old Town. Walk past Onofrio's Fountain, see the Old Jewish Quarter and the synagogue, and marvel at the grandeur of the cathedral and the Franciscan and Dominican monasteries. The remainder of your stay is yours to explore as you wish. Perhaps soak up the sun by your hotel's pool, relax at a cafe or embark on an optional cruise?
Scenic Drive to Kotor and Tirana.
Just over the border, visit the old town of Kotor. Admire the bay, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with its still azure waters lapping at the edge of the medieval towns, dotted between the surrounding mountains. Then travel through the spectacular scenery of Montenegro and Albania and continue to the fascinating capital of Tirana. Led by your Local Expert, explore this warmhearted and colourful city, and see the diverse relics that remain from its Ottoman, Italian and communist past.
Across to Corfu.
Journey across Albania to Greece where you set sail for the cobalt-blue waters of Corfu. Renowned since Odysseus for its untamed beauty and strategic position in the Mediterranean, Corfu remains an island where it is easy to escape the crowds and relax.
Relax in Corfu.
Enjoy a full day at leisure to relax and enjoy the beautiful island of Corfu. Perhaps explore the Old Town and admire the interesting mix of architectural styles, from Roman and Venetian to French and British, each resembling an era of the island’s interesting past before it was united with Greece. Alternatively, you may want to lay-back and unwind at one of the incredible beaches nearby, or board a cruise for stunning views around the island?
Delphi, Centre of the Ancient World.
Set off from your island paradise for Delphi, a spectacular cliff-side amphitheatre and worthy of its status as the centre of the ancient world. History and mythology run deep here, with finds of ritual artefacts that date back to 4,000 B.C and remains of a Mycenaean settlement. It is said that Delphi is the location where two eagles crossed paths, after they were released by Zeus from opposite end of the universe to find ‘the navel of the world.’
Delphi sightseeing and on to Athens.
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 then continue to the ancient city of Athens, the modern capital of Greece. In the evening, enjoy a hearty Celebration Dinner at a local restaurant in true Greek style, complete with wine and good cheer.
Cruise to Mykonos.
Board your cruise ship and set sail for the lovely island of Mykonos with its dazzling sugar cube houses and whitewashed windmills. Tonight, the maze of walkways, welcoming tavernas and nightlife are yours to explore. Late in the evening, your cruise sails across the Aegean to Turkey. 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. Your cruise includes a complimentary drinks package, featuring a selection of alcoholic, soft drinks and hot beverages.
Kusadasi to Patmos.
Today explore the Turkish port of Kusadasi and visit the ancient ruins of Ephesus. With your Local Expert, explore this Greco-Roman treasure, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In the afternoon, sail to the island of Patmos where St. John the Devine was exiled by the Emperor Domitian. Later, your cruise sets sail for the island of Crete.
Crete and Santorini.
In the morning, you dock at Heraklion in Crete, where you visit the site of the ruins of King Minos' Palace of Knossos with a Local Expert. Later, cruise beneath the sheer cliffs of Santorini. Explore the capital of Thira, with its clifftop restaurants and cafes, breathtaking views and amazing sunsets. In the evening you sail onto Athens.
Disembark from your cruise. Join a Local Expert for a morning of city sightseeing. Enjoy the glory of ancient Greece from the Acropolis with the Parthenon, 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. You will also see the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Arch of Hadrian. This afternoon is yours to explore at your own pace.
Your journey comes to an end with a transfer to Athens 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.
Vienna (Contemporary) - Austria
Set in the heart of Vienna and featuring contemporary decor, the award-winning Hilton Vienna hotel is one of Austria's premier hotels.
Zagreb (Traditional) - Croatia
Conveniently located in Zagreb's historic Old Town, the Sheraton Zagreb Hotel is perfectly situated for your stay. Spacious rooms are comfortable and traditionally-decorated, while the hotel's Piano Bar offers a trendy atmosphere, where you can enjoy a drink and reflect on your day of sightseeing.
Plitvice (Resort) - Croatia
Having only opened in July 2018, Hotel Lyra is a brand new hotel ideally located within the stunningly gorgeous Pltivice Lakes National Park. This boutique boutique property features contemporary design and furnishings throughout and will ensure a comfortable and luxurious stay in the heart of natural beauty.
Split (Traditional) - Croatia
The modern Hotel President Solin is conveniently located just a few minutes from the ancient city of Split and the famous Diocletian’s Palace.
Dubrovnik (Contemporary) - Croatia
Overlooking the sea in the beautiful Lapad Bay, the Kompas hotel was fully renovated in 2015 andis only a 2 minute walk to the beach and close to the popular promenade.
Tirana (Contemporary) - Albania
Just minutes from the city's geographical centre in Skanderbeg Square, The Plaza Tirana is conveniently located in true heart of the city. Trendy, modern interiors enrich a sense of state-of-the-art elegance, while plus, contemporary rooms will make for a comfortable stay.
Corfu (Historic) - Greece
Originally a 17th century nobleman's mansion, Cavalieri offers a rooftop terrace with uninterrupted views of Corfu Town and the fortress, stretching out to the sea and to the mountains of Albania.
Delphi (Traditional) - Greece
A hotel perfectly located within walking distance from the famous attractions of Delphi, the Archaeological Museum, the temple of Apollo and the Castalia Fountain.
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.
Olympia (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.