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Ancient Lands Moderate 2014

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The Oldest Olympic StadiumRhodes Old TownOia Communities on Thira
The Oldest Olympic Stadium
Rhodes Old Town
Oia Communities on Thira
  • Duration: 8 Days
  • Rating: Read Reviews
  • Brochure: Europe & Britain 2014
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  • Style: Regional
  • Description: Historic Athens is the starting point for this journey into the culture of ancient lands, from the winding streets and hedonistic lifestyle of Mykonos to the pilgrims of Patmos and the buzzing Turkish port town of Kusadasi.
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Optionals

On every itinerary, we offer a range of optional excursions that allow you to further enhance your experience should you so choose. These are purchased when you are on your trip, via your Trafalgar Travel Director. Depending on the region visited these can be paid with cash or credit card.


A reduction of 25% of the cost of the Optional Excursions is offered to all children under the age of 16 years at the time of travel. Please Note: This discount to does not apply to North America optionals, as they are already discounted.

  • ATHENS

    • + Traditional Greek Taverna Meal With Entertainment 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! (N.B.:Casual dress)

    • + Ancient Corinth And Wine Tasting Take a relaxing trip westward along the scenic coast of the Saronic Gulf to the famous Corinth Canal with its magnificent views. After a short drive from the canal we arrive at the ancient town of Corinth spreading out at the foot of the huge rock of Acrocorinth. This is where St. Paul lived and preached for two years. Ancient Corinth was one of the richest cities due to her very significant geographic position, which assisted in developing trade. We are going to see the Doric temple of Apollo, the huge agora as well as the start of Lechaion road, which used to connect the agora with the port. We will also visit the ancient port of Kercheai where St. Paul disembarked. Then we will visit one of the most famous wineries of Nemea, one of the most popular vineyards in Greece. Here we are going to learn everything about the production of Greek red wine, and have the chance to taste some of the best wines of the region.

    • + Walking Tour And Dinner In Psiri This is an evening excursion including a stroll around the Acropolis on the finest pedestrian street in Athens centre and a memorable dinner in a restaurant located in the lively area of Psiri. Dining is “meze style”, giving you the opportunity to taste many modern Greek dishes. Psiri is within walking distance from the Plaka area.

    • + Delphi Full Day With Lunch With its site raised on the slopes of a high mountain terrace and dwarfed on either side by the great and ominous crags of Parnassus, it’s easy to see why the ancients believed Delphi to be the centre of the universe.  Confirmation of a divine presence was achieved through the discovery of a rock chasm that exudes strange vapours and reduced all visitors to frenzied, incoherent and undoubtedly prophetic mutterings, whilst consulting the Oracle! Visit the Sanctuary of Apollo, the Stadium and the Temple, as well as the museum of Delphi - home to over 10,000 artefacts, including the famous bronze Charioteer. In addition, you will also pass through the typical mountain Greek village of Arachova - famous for its cheese, matured in nearby caves, and for its flokati rugs.

  • PATMOS

    • + Scenic Island Tour An interesting scenic island tour has been designed for those passengers who prefer to discover the beauties of Patmos from the comfort of an air-conditioned motor coach. Start the tour from the port of Scala and drive to the central part of the island “Chora” which is the location of the Majestic Byzantine Monastery of St. John the Divine, built in 1088. Your sightseeing will first bring you to the Grotto of the Apocalypse, and then to the windmills of Chora, once upon a time the landmark of all Aegean Islands, from where you will enjoy a beautiful view and have the chance to take photos. Afterwards, continue around the island to see its landscape of outstanding natural beauty comprising of rocky hills, dozens of tongues of land reaching out into the sea, tranquil beaches and many picturesque inlets. Before arriving at the port, a stop of 10 minutes is made at the square at Kambos in the north part of island. The tour ends at the port of Scala to enjoy free time in the quaint and picturesque little town. A refreshment or a coffee will be offered at Arion Café, the oldest and most beautiful café of the town.

    • + Agriolivado Beach Transfer After disembarking the vessel join your coach and drive to one of the most beautiful, picturesque and clean family beach of the island, called “Agriolivado”, located at the northern part of the village of Skala. There you can enjoy swimming in crystal clear waters and relax on the sandy beach for approximately two hours. Rejoin your motor coach which will bring you back to the port of Skala, where you can either return to the vessel or enjoy a casual stroll around the picturesque port town Skala.

    • + St John s Monastery And Grotto Of The Apocalypse Depart from the port of Scala and enjoy a short drive to the village of Chora, where the monastery of St. John is built within the walls of a strong fortification. As you walk uphill towards the entrance of the monastery marvel at this magnificent structure, which was built 900 years ago. View the courtyard, the monks’ dining room and the old bakery before you visit the main church noted for  its outstanding frescoes and interior decoration. Next, visit the small museum where  priceless ecclesiastical treasures, books,  manuscripts,  mosaics, Icons, splendid medieval textiles,  vestments and jewelry are housed. Return to your motorcoach and continue  to the nearby Grotto of the Apocalypse  and the Monastery of the Apocalypse above it. Walk down the steps to  the Grotto of the Apocalypse. Here you will see the  niches in the wall that mark the pillow and ledge used as a desk by the author of the Book of the Revelation and the crack in the rock made by the voice of God honouring the Holy Trinity.Afterwards, drive back to the port of Scala and enjoy some free time in this quaint and picturesque town. (N.B.:Tour not suitable for passengers with walking difficulties).

  • KUSADASI

    • + Ancient Ephesus Drive through the colourful town of Kusadasi and along the coast to reach Ephesus, famous in antiquity for its Temple of Diana - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - and later the home of St. John. During the years of the Roman Empire, the Greek port of Ephesus became the greatest city in Asia Minor. Upon arrival at Ephesus follow your guide to enter the ancient site through the Magnesian Gate. Discover innumerable monuments including the Forum, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the Thermal Baths of Scolastika and the Great Theatre built in the Greek era and reconstructed in the Roman period, which is still noted for its remarkable acoustics. View the symbols all around and marvel at the fact that one is still able to read the inscriptions in the ancient Greek language. Walk back to your coach along the Arcadian Way, where once Mark Anthony and Cleopatra rode in procession. As you drive back to Kusadasi, on a hill above Selcuk, just outside Ephesus, view the Basilica of St. John, which was erected over his grave in the 6th century A.D. by Emperor Justinian. Before returning to the ship, enjoy free time in Kusadasi or get a cultural taste of Turkey by enjoying an exhibition of oriental carpets, jewellery or leather goods.

    • + Ephesus And The House Of The Virgin Mary Drive through the colourful town of Kusadasi to reach Mt. Koressos. Situated in a small valley, the humble chapel lies on the site of the little house where the Virgin Mary is believed to have spent her last days. Despite the many controversies, the Christian World still favours this belief and the site has been officially sanctioned by the Vatican for pilgrimage. Continue on to Ancient Ephesus accompanied by your guide and walk through the Magnesian Gate, the entrance to the ancient city of Ephesus. Your guided walking tour will take you through one of the most magnificent excavations in the world. See the Odeon (concert hall), the Fountain of Trajan, the steam-heated Baths of Scolastika, the Temple of Hadrian and the Latrians, the Library of Celsus and The Great Theatre, the largest one in antiquity with a capacity of 24000 seats where St. Paul preached. Walk back to the coach along the Arcadian Way, where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession. While driving back to Kusadasi and just outside Ephesus, view the Basilica of St. John, which was erected over his grave in the 6th century A.D. by Emperor Justinian. Before returning to the ship, enjoy free time in Kusadasi or get a cultural taste of Turkey by enjoying an exhibition of oriental carpets, jewellery or leather goods.

    • + Ancient Ephesus And The Terrace Houses Drive through the colourful town of Kusadasi and along the coast to reach Ephesus, famous in antiquity for its Temple of Diana - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - and later the home of St. John. During the years of the Roman Empire, the Greek port of Ephesus became the greatest city in Asia Minor. Upon arrival at Ephesus follow your guide to enter the ancient site through the Magnesian Gate. Discover innumerable monuments including the Forum, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the Thermal Baths of Scolastika and the Great Theatre built in the Greek Era and reconstructed in the Roman period, which is still noted for its remarkable acoustics. View the symbols all around and marvel at the fact that one is still able to read the inscriptions in the ancient Greek language. Walk back to your coach along the Arcadian Way, where once Mark Anthony and Cleopatra rode in procession. As you drive back to Kusadasi, on a hill above Selcuk, just outside Ephesus, view the Basilica of St. John, which was erected over his grave in the 6th century AD by Emperor Justinian. Ephesus terrace houses are located on the hill, opposite the Hadrian Temple. Also known as "the houses of the rich", these dwellings were inhabited by the wealthiest social class and they provide us with a stunning insight into Roman family live.

  • RHODES

    • + Rhodes And Lindos Combined Drive along the picturesque south-eastern coastline, dotted with white-washed villages, to Lindos, one of the most important of the three great cities of ancient times. See how this entire city is guarded by medieval walls which were constructed by the knights of St. John in the 13th century. Within them stands the ancient Acropolis of Lindos, on the brink of a precipice 400 feet above the sea. From the Acropolis, marvel at the breathtaking views covering the great expanse of the Aegean Sea and St. Paul’s Bay, where the apostle cast anchor during his historic voyage to Ephesus. Proceed on foot uphill, to the great staircase leading from the Hellenistic Portico to the Acropolis and Temple of Athena. Should you wish to make your way up by mule, a fee must be paid to the local muleteer. After the guided tour of the Acropolis, enjoy some free time on your own in Lindos village before meeting up with your motor coach. Return to Rhodes city and enjoy a panoramic drive through the new part of the city before continuing to Mount Smith to see the ruins of ancient Rhodes, the Temple of Apollo and Diagoras Stadium. Afterwards your motor coach will drop you off at Porte d’Amboise, the start of the walking tour through the medieval city of Rhodes. Follow your guide through the northern part where once lived the knights and their attendants. View the Palace of the Knights, continue your walk down Chevaliers Road to the Marine Gate and return back to the ship. A short visit to a ceramic factory is included. N.B.: Please note that the journey from Rhodes to Lindos is approx. 50 mins. Tour not suitable for passengers with walking difficulties.

    • + Old City And Philerimos Drive along the medieval walls to the summit of Mount Smith, the Acropolis of ancient Rhodes. From the tumbled massive pillars of the Temple of Athena, the view encompasses the nearby Temple of Apollo, the stadium of Diagoras and the port, once protected by the Colossus of Rhodes (one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world). The drive continues across the island to Philerimos. The summit of Philerimos was the site of Ialysos, one of the three ancient cities of Rhodes. Later sites include the restored Byzantine Church of Our Lady of Philerimos, a chapel with 15th century frescoes, and the ruined Castle of the Knights. After the visit and some free time, return to Rhodes and begin a guided walk of the old walled city to the Porte d'Amboise. It is a pleasure to stroll the street of the Knights with its medieval buildings, winding alleys, towers, turrets and emblazoned façades. You will then visit the impressive Grand Master's Palace and have the chance to see the superb mosaics. The pleasant walk passes through the Marine Gate before you return to the ship.

    • + Scuba Diving And Snorkelling A short coach journey will bring you to the port of Mandraki, where you will board a local scuba diving boat. The trip to Kalithea Beach (diving area) will take approximately 30 minutes and before you leave, everyone will undergo a small physical test. Once at Kalithea, our experienced instructors will help you with your first dive or direct you to the diving area.

    • + Historical Rhodes And Wine Tasting Situated in the wild foothills of Mount Atavyros, the atmospheric village of Emponas has been home to the Emery winery since the 1920s and is also famous for its folk dancing and festivals. On the north-western shore of Rhodes, close to the promontory of Agios Minas (the Ancient Mylantio) lies the third of the island's ancient cities - Kamiros. There we can visit the Doric Temple of Apollo, the Fountain House, the Agora and the Peribolos of the Altars, which contain dedications to various dieties. We will return to the ship for lunch to continue heading to the Old Town. Upon arrival, we will start our visit on foot, following our guide through the narrow, cobblestone streets and visit the Grand Master's palace, once the residence of the Grand Masters of the Knights of St John. The palace was built in the 14th century by the Knights of Rhodes who occupied Rhodes from 1309 to 1522. After the island was captured by the Ottoman empire, the palace was used as a fortress. The original palace was largely destroyed by an ammunition explosion in 1856. When the Kingdom of Italy occupied Rhodes in 1912, the Italians rebuilt the palace in a grandiose pseudo-medieval style as a holiday residence for Victor Emmanuel of Italy and later for Benito Mussolini, whose name can still be seen on a large plaque near the entrance. Walking in the sites can be on uneven gravel surfaces. Passengers may not be allowed to enter the site with big bags/rucksacks.

    • + Old City Walking Tour Departing from Rhodes Port on foot we arrive at the Old Town of Rhodes, following our Local Guide through the narrow, cobblestone streets. The famous street of the Knights leads to the Palace of the Grand Master, the most imposing building of medieval Rhodes with its unique architecture, built in the 14th century. Walking down the street of the Knights, one can admire the Hospital of the Knights which now houses the Archeological Museum. Walking in the sites can be on uneven gravel surfaces. Passengers may not be allowed to enter the site with big bags/rucksacks.

    • + Tsampika Beach Transfer Coach Transfer to the most beautiful beach of the island. Tsambika is famous for its sand dunes and crystal clear waters. Tsambika is a very well organized beach offering umbrellas, sunbeds, life guard, medical center, bars, etc.

  • SANTORINI

    • + Sailing And Volcano Enjoy a cruise (by motorboat) around the active crater of Nea Kameni islet. Sail along the strange formations of its volcanic shores, where black lava rocks and white pumice are combined beautifully with the red colour of lava. Take a walk to the top of the volcanic island where sulphur is spewed into the air by one of the craters. Enjoy this surreal landscape as your guide narrates the creation and history of the volcano and the last eruption leading to the destruction of the island of Santorini. The tidal wave created by the eruption was of such an immense magnitude, it destroyed the thriving city of Knossos on the island of Crete. As your caique enters the narrows of the two lava islets, Palea and Nea Kameni, the colour of the water changes from dark blue to sulphur green. In the distance, admire the breathtaking sight of Fira town with its white washed houses clinging precariously on the rim of the Caldera. Take time to swim in the warm waters heated by Hot Springs on the sea floor. Your excursion will end in Fira where your guide will show you the way to the cable car and you will make your own way back to the ship. N.B.: This tour is available from April to September and is subject to weather conditions. Please note the water at the hot springs is reddish brown in colour and may stain light coloured swimsuits.

    • + Jeep Safari Adventure Departing the ship by local tender we will head for Athinios port to meet our Local Guide and begin the Jeep Safari. Then we head for the "faros" (Greek for "lighthouse"), at Akrotiri, the most southern part of the island. After a quick photo stop we will leave the "faros" behind and move on to the next destination, Vlychada Beach. The village of Vlychada is where all the local fishing boats are moored. After a photo stop here we move on to the next destination, Perissa Beach. This beautiful beach with its black sand is a fantastic backdrop for the lively beach bars that can be seen all along the beach front. Here we will have the opportunity to stop and enjoy some refreshments in one of the many cafes or to walk around before getting back into the jeep to continue to the next stop, Profitis Elias. It is the highest point of the island and it offers the most amazing and dramatic panoramic view. Leaving Profitis Elias and heading down the mountain we will drive through Exo Gonia, a small sleepy village. Next stop for photos is Kamari beach. Once a fishing village, Kamari is now a hub of life and it has been discovered by tourists from all over the world. It now hosts many hotels and restaurants and of course, colourful shops. The last village we will visit will be Monolithos. This lovely place remains a little quieter and seems more sleepy that the previous beach of Kamari, but not less beautiful. The final stop on your safari tour will be Fira. Here we will leave the jeeps behind and follow our Local Guide up to the Metropolis Church of Fira and return to the ship by cable car.

    • + Excursion To Oia Village Driving along the road you'll have the unique opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the Aegean sea with the neighbouring islands. A unique sight is also the various layers of lava that one can see on the face of the rock, each layer being another phase of the activity of the volcano. Built on the Caldera rim, Oia Village is an excellent example of Cycladic architecture. Accompanied by your guide explore the village walking along the cobble-stone streets and the white-washed houses with blue shutters where one gets the impression that they are living in a beautiful travel poster. After Oia the bus will drive you up to Fira, where you will make your own way back to the ship.

  • HERAKLION

    • + A Taste Of Crete The tour begins from the Venetian lion-guarded port of Heraklion with a drive through the city to the famous wine producing area of Peza, south of Heraklion. The drive is through breathtaking landscape of countryside and vineyards as old as Minoan times. The first stop is a modern winery, where you will see the updated methods of wine making and sample some of the delicious Cretan wines. The drive continues through rural villages to the village of Archanes, the municipality in the area. On the way, a photo stop is made at Vathypetro to view one of the oldest farmhouses in Crete, dating to the Minoan period (16th century BC). The tour continues through the island’s hilly countryside where olive groves and vineyards existed from as far back as 4,000 years. Arriving at the village of Archanes, which is situated 10 km south of the Palace of Knossos, you will visit the quaint market town of Archanes characterised by many restored sandstone houses dating from the Turkish period. At a taverna in the village’s tree-shaded square, you will sample an assortment of Cretan snacks and locally produced wine, and have a chance to mingle with many of the locals themselves while listening to typical Greek music. You will have free time to browse before the return drive to the port of Heraklion and the ship.

    • + Palace Of Knossos Crete is the largest and the most rugged of the Greek islands. It is also the home of the great Minoan Civilization and the mythological home of Zeus. After a short drive through the town of Heraklion the tour will arrive at the Knossos excavations. Here, Sir Arthur Evan's archaeological discoveries revealed a civilization dating back to 4000 BC, when a great empire flourished on the island of Crete. Based on the wealth of artefacts that were found, Evans theorized that this was the site of the ancient Minoan Kingdom. These findings will be viewed in detail, as our guide will lead us on a journey of discovery to learn of the sophisticated culture that flourished thousands of years ago on this island. The Palace, decorated with frescoes and shields houses the Hall of the Royal Guard, the Hall of the Double Axes, the King's Chamber with the alabaster throne, the Queen's Apartment, beautiful courtyards and shrines. Having visited this remarkable site your coaches will take you back to the Venetian lion-guarded port of Heraklion to rejoin your ship. Walking in the archaeological site of Knossos will be on uneven gravel surfaces. Passengers may not be allowed to enter the site with big bags/rucksacks.

    • + City Tour And Museum Depart by bus from the port and have a city tour for approximately 45 minutes. Heraklion is the largest urban centre in Crete, the capital of the region and the economic centre of the island. The first European civilization, the Minoan civilization, flourished on this land 5,000 years ago. The city is also the commercial and scientific centre of the island. It has a strategic geopolitical position in the southeast basin of the Mediterranean Sea connecting three continents and many different cultures. Continue with a visit to the archaeological museum which contains the most important artifacts from the Minoan civilization. After you have free time for shopping in Heraklion centre.

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Notes
  • * For single travellers purchasing the twin-share option, please note that there is a no smoking policy in all shared rooms. Solo travel is not accepted on guided Family Experiences holidays unless travelling as part of a family group. 
  • ^Twin-share option not available for trips to South America., Costa Rica, Mexico, Alaska, Hawaii or for any holiday & cruise combination, or in Asia and Eastern Mediterranean except Highlights of Turkey (without cruise) & Best of Turkey.

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