London - Athens
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.
Athens has been continuously inhabited for over 3,000 years, a long history that has been influenced by many, and has itself influenced the world. We have a choice of tours; the first explores Classical Greece with a visit to the Acropolis. Commissioned by Pericles in the 5th century BC, the site is dominated by the Parthenon: a building that embodies the stunning achievements of the Athenian ‘Golden Age’, as well as many other architectural masterpieces. The second alternative excursion is to Illissia Mansion, home to the Byzantine and Christian Museum which holds the world's largest collection of icons, and then the Byzantine Monastery of Kaisariani with its fine frescoes and elegant gardens.
Mycenae - Nauplia
Mycenae was one of the greatest cities of the highly-developed Mycenaean civilisation, described by Homer as ‘rich in gold’. Legends say that Cyclops aided the construction of the citadel that stands guard over the city. Hear stories of great Greek victories and tragedies on a tour of a town that rivalled Troy, before we continue to Nauplia, where we stay in a hotel overnight.
Nauplia - Delphi
We take a drive to Osios Loukas, a World Heritage-listed Byzantine monastery with beautiful decorations and valuable relics, en route to Delphi. Rooted deep in ancient Greek myths, this sacred site to Mother Earth was guarded by a serpent which was killed by Apollo. A sanctuary to the god was created here and, between the 6th and 4th centuries BC, the Delphic Oracle sat within it, channelling the wisdom of Apollo to tell prophecies. It was also the site of the Pythian Games, the second most important after the Olympics. We stay in a hotel in Delphi tonight.
Day 5 - Corinth - Epidaurus - Piraeus
Ancient Corinth was a powerful city virtually impregnable to invasion but devastated by earthquakes. St Paul lived here for 18 months, converting a number of citizens to Christianity before he was tried at the Bema, still visible today. Walk through the remains of the Market Place and see the celebrated Fountain of Priene. We then visit Epidaurus, known throughout the Hellenic world for its unique medical facilities. Most of the ruins of Epidaurus have been reduced to their foundations, with the exception of the theatre. Enjoy a traditional Greek lunch before we continue to Piraeus to embark Aegean Odyssey (4T).
Day 6 - Hydra
Day at leisure. Hydra, is a true gem and is the only Greek island that is free of wheeled vehicles. Here donkeys not cars and scooters rule.
Day 7 - Santorini
Enjoy the wonderful scenes and visit the picturesque villages of Santorini, including Oia, a village famed for its whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches; and Akrotiri, an archaeological site that reveals an amazingly well-preserved city of houses, streets, squares and workshops that offer an insight into the culture that laid the foundation for Greek civilisation. We also see the old capital of Pyrgos and take lunch in a local tavern before concluding in Fira, the scenic capital where you have the option of remaining in town or returning to the ship by cable car.
Day 8 - Heraklion
The magnificent Minoan Palace of Knossos is best known as the birthplace of the fearsome Minotaur, who lurked in the palace’s labyrinth. The original palace was destroyed by an earthquake, and its grander replacement destroyed by a volcanic eruption, but this five-acre site has been fully excavated, with everything from the throne room to royal living quarters reconstructed with meticulous care. On our return to Heraklion, we visit the Heraklion Archaeological Museum, one of the best museums in the world for Minoan art.
Day 9 - Karpathos
Enjoy the dramatic scenery and wild mountains in Karpathos, a craggy island that has largely escaped commercialisation. Karpathos has many customs practised nowhere else in Greece, and women can still be seen wearing the island’s traditional, colourful clothes. It is believed that Prometheus and his Titans were born here.
Day 10 - Rhodes
Leave behind the port where the Colossus once stood and discover a stunning ensemble of Gothic architecture in Rhodes Town. Many structures date to the era of the Knights of St John. Visit the restored Grand Master’s Palace which served as a fortress and later, a summer residence of Mussolini. Or you may prefer to take an excursion to the Acropolis in Lindos. At the summit is the Doric Temple of Lindian Athena, an archaeological jewel with views over St Paul’s Bay, where the Apostle is said to have sought shelter.
Day 11 - Nisyros
Discover the treasures of beautiful Nisyros created, according to mythology, during the war between Gods and Giants. The long history has left faint traces of Minoan and Mycenaean cultures, many classical sculptures, Roman baths and byzantine churches, although standing in ruins today.
Day 12 - Delos - Mykonos
Discover the tiny, deserted isle of Delos, the religious centre of the Cyclades. Some of the richest archaeological treasure troves in Greece await as you leave the sacred harbour on your guided walking tour, including the spectacular Avenue of the Lions and the guardians of the sacred lake where Leto gave birth to the twin gods, Artemis and Apollo. The afternoon is then at leisure in Mykonos, a cosmopolitan island said to have been formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules. This charming, whitewashed resort also offers spots of historical interest.
Day 13 Piraeus - Athens - London
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.