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10-Night Valletta to Athens

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10-NIGHT

VALLETTA TO ATHENS

EMBRACE THE RUSH

As you go beach hopping across the Greek Isles, you’ll make a stop in the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ephesus, a city deemed one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Late departures from Syracuse, Kusadasi and Mykonos allow you the time and space to take in every exhilarating moment on this luxe-adventure journey.

10-Night Valletta to Athens

Jun 20, 2023 / 10 nights

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Jun 20       Depart: 6:00PM

Jun 21    Syracuse (Noto), Sicily, Italy   Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 11:00PM
Syracuse (Noto), Sicily, Italy

Syracuse holds many wonders for the venturesome traveler seeking something far from the ordinary. From archaeological parks to World War II battlefield remnants to the Plemmirio Nature Reserve, the vast and diverse environment contains any level of challenge for the explorer at heart.

The Sicilian city of Syracuse holds 2,700 years of history with influence from other cultures like Spanish, Greek, Norman, and Arabic. This amalgamation of cultural influences brings a unique flavor to the local cuisine, as it incorporates the likes of saffron, couscous, arancini, goose, and marsala wine. Such diverse options in food and drink make Syracuse a most delicious destination.

The capital of the Italian province of Syracuse is filled with countless treasures for you to explore, but it is also a gateway to various small villages that are perfect for a leisurely stroll through local history. Among the most notable is Noto, the “Baroque Capital of the world.

Stepping into Noto feels like traveling through time. The exquisite architecture will keep you in awe as you traipse through the village. Wandering the streets through its stunning buildings and constructs makes it feel like no time has passed at all.

This UNESCO-protected city holds all the charms of small-town living on the island of Sicily. From indulging in sweet gelato to catching a street musician put on an accordion show, the simple pleasures will make you want to stay in Noto forever.

Jun 22    At Sea   Arrive: 8:00AM OVERNIGHT
At Sea

Spend the day on the high seas pampering yourself at the spa or enjoying some time on deck. Mingle with your fellow explorers and swap stories of your exploits, making plans for new ones together once you get to shore

Jun 23    Zakynthos, Greece   Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 6:00PM
Zakynthos, Greece

Its natural wonders, from geological arches lining the coast to enticing caves among cerulean waters, create an unparalleled scene that must be appreciated in person. The island of Zakynthos, also known as Zante, is an unspoiled paradise along the Ionian Sea. It’s easy to spend a relaxing day getting some sun as you lay on silky white sands along the shore of water that goes from blue to bluer. For the traveling beach bum that likes to go shore hopping, Zakynthos is the perfect destination.

Along Navagio, also known as Shipwreck Beach, if you are looking for stories of adventure, you will not be disappointed. Following the paths along the cliffs above the beach will take your breath away as you look upon the unbelievable horizon.

The square in Zakynthos town comes alive at all hours, abuzz with activity throughout the day and into the night. Shops, cafes, and restaurants abound, making it the perfect place to grab a helping of spanakopita, spinach pie, while perusing the local wares and trinkets to take home. There is nothing like sitting at a café with a cup of brew in hand while a soothing sea breeze blows by.

Zante’s nightlife rivals that of more famous Greek islands Mykonos and Ios. Many establishments that operate as restaurants during the day convert into clubs with drinks and dancing at night. But you can always choose a quieter evening. A midnight stroll under the lights along the port’s walkway, inhaling sea salt, and listening for the lull of water lapping against the ships makes the perfect end to the day.

Jun 24    Positano, Italy    Depart: 6:00PM
Positano, Italy

The vertical town of Positano sits on a cliff along the renowned Amalfi Coast. Every adventurer agrees that a view of the horizon from atop the village is a sight to behold. The colors of the houses along the coast mixed with the majestic shades of a sunrise or sunset paint an unparalleled picture that must be seen in person to appreciate its full beauty.

As you wind your way through the village’s labyrinthine staircases and walkways, you may work up an appetite for a night of eating, drinking, and making merry with new friends. From steep steps that lead to a spectacular view to a plethora of restaurants and taverns, Positano is a feast for the eyes and the stomach.

While it may be a small town, Positano is anything but boring. Its nightlife offers hot spots like Buca di Bacco, a tavern transformed into a modern-day eatery that has been part of the village for generations. It is such a popular place for a night out it is frequented by the likes of celebrities. Dancing and high-energy vibes can be found at Music on the Rocks, a night club on cliff’s edge that takes its name literally.

Positano’s relaxing beach creates an inviting atmosphere for intimate chats with a shared bottle or two of rosé. This little city in Italy is the perfect place to bond and make lifelong friendships that will last beyond the expedition. Travelers looking for magic on their wanderings need not look any further than here.

Jun 24    Olympia (Katakolon), Greece   Arrive: 7:00AM Depart: 9:00PM
Olympia (Katakolon), Greece

Katakolon is a little seaside village on the western coast of Ilia and it’s exactly what you picture when you think what a Greek village should be. You can taste the day’s catch fresh from the fishermen’s nets at the gateway to Olympia. With a small population and plenty of shops and restaurants to peruse, it’s the perfect way for travelers to get an intimate look at Greek life.

The home of the first Olympic Games in 776 BCE, Olympia still holds wonder. As explorers wander onto the ruins the first thing that catches their eyes are the stone columns. Still standing where they were first lined up in ancient times, one cannot help but let their imagination run wild as they fantasize about running the first flame across the field.

Many are tempted to take their place in history when they catch sight of the pedestals where Olympic winners once stood to receive their spoils. But please, don’t stand on the victors’ columns. It will have to be enough to admire them or strike a triumphant pose next to one of the first place pedestals.

Fun fact: This is where the saying, “Don’t rest on your laurels,” came to be. Victors of the Olympic Games earned a wreath made of aromatic bay laurels as a symbol of their triumph. But these long-past victories were never meant to help them hold their social status long term.

Wander further into the ruins and find the remains of the Temple of Zeus. The platform is roped off for visitors, but just standing at its base is enough to inspire awe. Visitors can spend hours at the site and marvel at how all those constructs have managed to keep standing after all this time.

Jun 24    Amalfi (Ravello), Italy   Arrive: 8:00PM OVERNIGHT
Amalfi (Ravello), Italy

The small town of Amalfi lies amidst the famous coast, renowned for its exquisite beauty. From the roses of Villa Rufolo to the Mediterranean scenes from a bird’s-eye view, it’s easy to see how this little village gained a reputation as a picture-perfect destination. Its vantage point upon the cliffs, facing the deep blue of the Salerno Gulf in the Tyrrhenian Sea, makes it the ideal backdrop for that brag-worthy shot to show your friends, new and old.

Along the Amalfi Coast, life may give you lemons, but it is far from sour. The Path of Lemons, a relatively easy climb from Maiori to Minori, takes you through the famous groves. Delicious scents of citrus drift through the air as you pass through the trees cultivated by Amalfi families for generations. Here you can discover the source of Italy’s famed limoncello before you take a shot of the liqueur at a local restaurant.

As you wander through Amalfi’s grand architecture and historical constructs, you will find your way to Ravello. Known as the City of Music, travelers from all around the world come to the small Italian town for the Ravello Festival, a series of musical events with strong ties to composer Richard Wagner.

Ravello’s winding streets and staircases are perfect for travelers who prefer the wanderlust route of getting lost in a city. It’s a great way to stumble upon a local restaurant for authentic cuisine that cannot be found anywhere else. It is a truly immersive experience of life in small-town Italy.The small town of Amalfi lies amid the famous coast, renowned for its exquisite beauty. From the roses of Villa Rufolo to the Mediterranean scenes from a bird’s-eye view, it’s easy to see how this little village gained a reputation as a picture-perfect destination. Along the Amalfi Coast, life may give you lemons, but it is far from sour as the Path of Lemons takes you through the famous groves from where Italy’s famed limoncello derives.
As you wander through Amalfi’s grand architecture and historical constructs, you will find your way to Ravello. Ravello’s winding streets and staircases are perfect for travelers who prefer the wanderlust route of getting lost in a city.

Jun 25    At Sea   
At Sea

Spend the day on the high seas pampering yourself at the spa or enjoying some time on deck. Mingle with your fellow explorers and swap stories of your exploits, making plans for new ones together once you get to shore

Jun 26    Chania (Crete), Greece   Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 6:00PM
Chania (Crete), Greece

Chania exudes a rich culture, coming from every corner, crack, and cranny found throughout the city. In the summer, the municipal government hosts a series of music and theater performances. The best spots to catch one of these iconic shows is in Public Garden, the theatre at Eastern Trench, or Park of Peace and Friendship. Not far from Chania lies the small town of Souda, Crete’s second-largest port. On a verdant island nearby you find the Fortress of Souda, one of the strongest castles built in Crete by the Venetians, as well as the archaeological site of ancient Aptera.

Jun 27    Santorini, Greece   Arrive: 7:00AM Depart: 9:00PM
Santorini, Greece

When you think of the quintessential whitewashed houses of Greece with blue domes and windmills sprinkled throughout the landscape, it’s Santorini that comes to mind. This island of the Cyclades contains lush scenery, a quaint charm and cosmopolitan feel all at once.

Just 300 steps down from the northern city of Oia you will find Amoudi Bay, an exquisite vista of vibrant red cliffs and the caldera that demand you stop and take in the view. In the little village of the bay you will find the Greek island life thriving amid the local tavernas serving the catch of the day.

Discover one of the most prominent excavations of prehistoric settlements in the Aegean at the Akrotiri archaeological village. Ruins from the ancient city date back as far as 1700 BCE before it was buried by a volcanic eruption. But the first inhabitants date even further back to the Late Neolithic period (fourth millennium BCE).

For the wine lovers who are curious about the history and process of their favorite drink, the Koutsoyannopoulos Wine Museum is a must-visit. Nestled within a natural cave six meters underground, a tour of the museum and tasting of the vineyard’s Volcan wines is an experience like none other.

A visit to Santorini is not complete until you sample the local fare – fava me koukia. Mashed fava beans are prepped with lemon, parsley, dill and fennel for a delectable Greek dish popular among the islanders. Or opt for tomato gefthedes (tomato fritters) for another savory selection.

Jun 28    Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey   Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 11:00PM
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey

Making port in the coastal resort town of Kusadasi from the Aegean Sea, travelers are greeted by a castle on Pigeon Island surrounded by lush, green trees. The causeway along the route connects this lone island to the mainland of Kusadasi, where visitors will disembark to begin their exploration of Turkey.

Picture this: marble ruins of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World right before your eyes. Through the rubble you gaze upon the impressive Temple of Artemis. This is the experience of Ephesus, a UNESCO-listed, 4,000-year-old city located in Selcuk that is considered the best-preserved classical city of the eastern Mediterranean.

Countless historical sites and ruins abound in the region, from the Basilica of St. John to the House of the Virgin Mary. A visit to Ephesus makes it easy to step into the past and imagine life among the locals in times before. Nothing invokes that feeling more than the ruins of the Library of Celsus, an ancient Roman site where its namesake is buried in a crypt beneath it.

This archaeological zone still buzzes with activity, as archaeologists continue to dig through the ruins and discover its secrets. To walk among the excavations as scientists continue to unearth the site’s remnants makes it hard not to get swept up in the history.

Standing amid the ruins, beyond the excavations, stretching far and wide before your eyes is Ayasuluk Hill. Dotted with palm trees and other foliage, the site creates the perfect picture of the region’s mild climate, making it a vacation haven.

Jun 29    Mykonos (Delos), Greece   Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 11:00PM
Mykonos (Delos), Greece

Wandering is one of the best ways to enjoy the island of Mykonos. Its narrow, winding streets between the iconic architecture of whitewashed houses with blue domes create the archetypal image of modern-day Greece. These constructs serve picture-perfect opportunities at every glance with their colorful shutters, doors, and flowers.

Dotting the horizon up on the hill lie the renowned windmills of this island among the Cyclades. The sight of these windmills invokes a feeling of seeing into the past amidst a contemporary city, depicting the perfect harmony of past and present.

The aroma of an old bakery, which still uses a 15th century wood-burning stove, entices you with the delicious scents of Greek pastries and baked goods. It is not a visit to Mykonos without sampling the local favorite, loukoumádes, fried dough dripped in honey, and sometimes topped with sesame seeds.

Taking the ferry to Delos, you reach an uninhabited island in the Cyclades archipelago. It is dedicated solely as an archaeological site with ties to ancient Greek mythology as the birth site of the sun god Apollo. It is the only island in the world entirely comprised of ruins.

Although many stones lay strewn across the ground, there are still plenty of columns and partial constructs standing, defying the test of time. The stark white Doric temples against the deep blue backdrop of the Aegean create an image straight out of myth, making you a part of it.

Jun 30    Athens (Piraeus), Greece   Arrive: 8:00AM
Athens (Piraeus), Greece

Athens is still as iconic as ever. Winding pathways from ancient times transformed into modern-day roads and streets lead you to the monumental gateway of the Acropolis and other archaeological sites. It is a land soaked in history and mythology, but not stuck in the past.

As you wend through back alleys, passing the street art and getting serenaded by street musicians, you are never lost. You are simply taking a journey to an unknown destination. You may find yourself at the likes of the Church of Agioi at the southeast corner of the Holy Apostles Ancient Agora, a less-crowded historical site away from the flocks of tourists.

Try your hand at haggling with local vendors at the Plaka or Monastiraki flea market. There are so many handmade wares and trinkets to peruse and purchase. Keep an eye out for the more risqué souvenirs if you want a good laugh.

Aside from venturing through the cradle of Western Civilization, you can explore the port of Piraeus. It is the biggest port in Greece and one of the most important ports of the Mediterranean. Centuries of history have transformed this seaside town from a wartime fortress to a major shipping and transportation center.

10-Night Valletta to Athens

Jun 20, 2023

TO LEARN MORE, CALL OUR VOYAGE SPECIALISTS AT
1.844.44.ATLAS (28527)

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Exceptional culinary adventures with five included onboard dining options

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RELAX AND INDULGE:
Luxurious L’OCCITANE bath amenities, personalized in-room bar service and more in every accommodation

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