Greek Wonders of the Aegean Sea
Day 1 London - Athens, Greece
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home for your journey to London Heathrow or Gatwick Airport and a scheduled leading airline flight to Athens. On arrival, you will be met by Voyages to Antiquity representatives and transferred to your hotel.
Day 2 Athens
This morning awake in the vibrant city of Athens and join an exciting excursion to the finest expression of Classical Greece - the Acropolis - commissioned by Pericles during the 5th century BC. The temple complex consists of architectural masterpieces including the monumental Propylaia gateway; the temple of Erechtheion renowned for its beautiful Carayatid Porch; and the Temple of Athena Nike. A highlight is the spectacular Theatre of Dionysos which hosted performances of works by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides. Then, visit the wonderful 226,000-square-foot Acropolis Museum, an extraordinary insight into Greek history.
Day 3 Athens - Delphi
After breakfast we drive to Delphi, stopping en route at the spectacular monastery of Osios Loukas. The fine example of 11th century Byzantine architecture has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Marvel at the beautiful relics, altar, gold and silver plates, pretty frescoes and mosaics. Continue to Delphi, where we check in to our hotel, with an afternoon for sightseeing before dinner this evening.
Day 4 Delphi - Corinth - Piraeus
Today we discover the very essence of ancient Greece on a visit to Ancient Corinth. The city is surrounded by fertile plains with beautiful natural springs and was founded in the 6th century BC by Periander, however following devastating earthquakes and many invasions, this once rich and extremely powerful city was reduced to ruins. The modern-day remains of the city illustrate Corinth’s prominent position in Greek, Hellenistic and Roman times, such as the magnificent Temple of Apollo which still stands on seven of its original columns; the remains of the Market Place; and the exquisite Fountain of Priene. This afternoon we embark Aegean Odyssey (4T), with time to settle in before dinner.
Day 5 Tinos
Visit the beautiful, sleepy island of Tinos this morning for a leisurely exploration of its natural beauty and villages that reside in beautiful hidden bays, stunning hillsides and picturesque mountains. Return to our ship early afternoon to cruise towards Volos.
Day 6 Volos
One of the most remarkable sights found in all of Greece is the astonishing collection of Byzantine monasteries built on top of the rock pillars of Meteora. These incredible towers soar over a thousand feet above sea level and are crowned with monasteries built by anchorite monks from the 11th century onwards. Although many have fallen into disrepair, those remaining are astounding with beautifully-intricate Byzantine frescoes; six monasteries are inhabited and two are nunneries. We visit the oldest, Agio Stephanos, and climb 150 steps to the Varlaam Monastery where we are rewarded with unforgettable views of the breathtaking Pindus mountain range. We complete the day with a scenic drive through the unearthly landscape; an experience that will be etched in your memory for eternity.
Day 7 Thessalonica
You have a choice of two excursions today. On the first you’ll visit the fascinating Byzantine Museum, home to a mesmerising array of art representing not only Byzantine culture but also politics, social structures, theology and everyday life. Then visit the historic 5th century basilica of Agios Dimitrios; despite a destructive fire in 1917, the church was rebuilt and hosts fine Greek mosaics. Alternatively, visit Ancient Dion, founded in the 5th century BC and located at the foot of the highest mountain in Greece, the mighty Mount Olympus. See the Roman and Hellenistic theatres and an ancient Roman baths complex, as well as enjoying a tour of the impressive museums exhibiting artefacts, jewellery, statues and vases from the Villa of Dionysos.
Day 8 Thessalonica - Mount Athos
Early this morning we depart from Thessalonica to cruise to Kavala, passing the UNESCO-listed ‘Holy Mountain’ of Mount Athos, inhabited by around 1,400 monks and forbidden to women and children.
Day 9 Kavala
The beautiful seaport of Kavala thrives with the essence of adventure. It was once the ancient port of Philippi, founded by Philip of Macedonia in 356 BC. Upon our arrival, we have a tour of the main archaeological site of Philippi to see the extensive ruins, which include a large Roman forum, sacred gates, baths, wrestling rings and even a public latrine with marble seats. On your return to the ship, stop at the stream where St Paul's first European convert, a merchant-woman named Lydia, was christened along with the rest of her household. The site is marked by a Greek Orthodox basilica.
Day 10 Samothraki
The morning is at leisure to explore the island of Samothraki, home to Mount Saos, the highest mountain on the Aegean Islands. Perhaps visit the ancient city, Palaeopoli, where extensive remains exist of its ancient walls. The island is also home to the temple complex known as the Sanctuary of the Great Gods.
Day 11 Chios
One of Greece’s larger islands, Chios, is our port of call today. Disembark to enjoy a day leisurely exploring this island rich in history dating back to the Neolithic. Roam the main town, its vibrant market, beautiful parks and delightful cafés; visit the picturesque harbour; discover the numerous fascinating medieval villages; or discover the historic 11th century monastery of Nea Moni.
Day 12 Patmos
Arriving in Patmos this morning, join an excursion focussing on the life of St John. Begin with a short drive to the grotto where St John once lived which has now been constructed into a wonderful chapel with a stone orifice thought to have been used as a pillow by the saint. Continue to the 12th century village of Chora for a walking tour through the historic Monastery of St John, a castle-like structure founded in the 10th century, with a courtyard decorated with detailed pebbled floors and pretty archways. While here you will also have time to tour the old treasury to gaze upon the glistening collection of crowns, chalices and crucifixes. Ship to shore tender service.
Day 13 Piraeus - Athens - London
We disembark in Piraeus and transfer to Athens Airport for a scheduled leading airline flight to London Heathrow or Gatwick Airport. Upon arrival you will be met and guided to your Titan vehicle, for the journey home.