Iconic Greece and Italy
GREECE & ITALY
Time travel in Greece, Sicily and Italy, and experience places from myth and poetry. Explore the ruins of the Parthenon in Athens or the Ancient Theater in Sicily. Roam the Amalfi Coast and snorkel the turquoise waters of Italy, locales as old as time but as beautiful as ever.
ICONIC GREECE & ITALY
Sept 18, 2021 / 7 Nights
Starting FROM $4,599 per person
*Government Taxes and Fees are additional.FULL CATEGORY PRICING AND PRINTABLE PDF
Sep 18 Athens (Piraeus), Greece Depart: 6:00PM
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.
Sep 19 Corinth Canal Transit
Corinth Canal Transit
The canal’s final construction stands at 70 feet wide at sea level, 81 feet wide at its top level and 300 feet tall. Its narrow construction is too small for modern freight ships, but smaller expedition vessels can freely navigate it for an adventurous tour.
Sep 19 Delphi (Itea), Greece Arrive: 1:00PM Depart: 6:00PM
Delphi (Itea), Greece
Before heading into the legendary Delphi, you can dock in the charming coastal town of Itea. Feel free to explore Miami Beach (not to be confused with Florida’s), its prestigious Blue Flag beach. The expansive local fields of Amfissa olive trees create a lush, green landscape known as the “sea of olives.” The peak of Mount Parnassus in the distance adds to the sense of wonder in this picturesque scenery made for an impromptu photo shoot.
When you’re ready for some ruins, the Oracle at Delphi awaits. To explore the Sanctuary of Apollo and other ancient remnants, you must climb the slopes of the mountain on a path known as the Sacred Way. It is here you will gaze upon what’s called the navel of the world.
As you stand among the crumbling stones that make up the Athenian Treasury and ancient stadium, you cannot help but get swept back in time. There is a great sense of adventure that makes you feel like a certain iconic archaeologist as you step over stones the ancient Greeks once walked. Panoramic views behind the remaining structures create a richer picture of life before modern times. The surrounding environment creates a harmonious balance between nature and manmade marvels.
Delphi is a place where history and mythology become entangled, where one cannot exist without the other. Everything feels simpler. But that does not make it any less inspiring. It is a privilege to witness these ancient Greek ruins that have stood the test of time.
Sep 20 Olympia (Katakolon), Greece Arrive: 7:00AM Depart: 3:00PM
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.
Sep 21 Taormina (Etna, Sicily), Italy Arrive: 11:00AM Depart: 6:00PM
Taormina (Etna, Sicily), Italy
As you pull into port at Naxos in the Gulf of Catania, you are greeted by white, sandy beaches that call out to you to come and play. The port town acts as a gateway to the greater Taormina municipality that lies on the island of Sicily.
With settlement dating back to 734 BCE, Taormina holds a treasure trove of historical and artistic riches to explore. Whether it’s the Palazzo Corvaja or Duomo di San Nicola, the city’s ruins create an ancient atmosphere that entices the most venturesome travelers. You can feel the past come alive as you make your way through the old stone structures that have stood the test of time.
On bright, sunny days, as you wander the grounds of the Ancient Greek Theater, a construct built directly into the mountains, standing amid such ruins transports you back to ancient live theater. It’s easy to spend hours regarding the expansive view from up high. The surrounding peaks and slopes of Mount Etna are the perfect backdrop for a picture that is postcard ready.
Mount Etna provides an exhilarating environment for the traveler that wants more. Its various foothills and pathways make it the perfect site for hiking enthusiasts. But don’t worry; a cable car ride to the top of the mountain is also available for the more easy-going visitor. Gazing up at the smoky peaks of Europe’s tallest active volcano sends shivers down one’s spine as they marvel at a force of nature.
From beaches along the coast of the Ionian sea to craters atop an active volcano, the journey from Naxos on through Taormina holds a diverse landscape that will not leave any traveler wanting.
Sep 22 Paestum (Agropoli), Italy Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 6:00PM
Paestum (Agropoli), Italy
After navigating the Tyrrhenian Sea, you make port in the small town and commune of Agropoli. The promontory on which it stands has been occupied since Neolithic times, starting with the indigenous people of the land. Most of what remains of Agropoli’s historic past are monasteries and castles, ready for exploration and discovery.
As you make your way to Paestum, Italy, the three major Greek Doric temples that once paid tribute to different gods call out to your imagination. These ruins create a connection between Greece and Italy’s storied past, giving you a glimpse into what life must have been like for those ancient peoples.
Some argue the temples are for Hera, Athena, and Poseidon (Juno, Minerva, and Neptune for the Romans) while others say one of the structures is dedicated to the Greek goddess Demeter (Ceres to the Romans). Different sources make varying claims, but one thing they agree on is the absolute magnificence of these ruins.
The Paestum Museum offers travelers a glimpse at more artefacts and explanations of the ruins’ history. It gives context to the truly impressive preservation of such ancient remains as the temples still stand, ready for visitors to traverse their grounds.
Beyond the ancient ruins of Paestum lies a residential village near the excavations. It’s a quaint small town with a little square where the locals gather and walk through as they go about their daily lives. Just outside that you can see expansive fields abloom with roses, for which the town gained fame for in the past.
Sep 23 Ravello (Amalfi), Italy Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 5:00PM
Ravello (Amalfi), 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.
Sep 23 Positano, Italy Arrive: 6:00PM Depart: 11:45PM
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.
Sep 24 Naples/Pompeii, Italy Arrive: 8:00AM Depart: 6:00PM
The grand city of Naples immediately beckons with its vibrant waterfront filled with colorful houses. It is easy to understand the charm and allure it holds as soon as travelers’ ships and boats make port in the docks. The enchanting blue waters of the Bay of Naples mesmerize even the most experienced explorers.
Within the bay stands Megaride Island, home of the legendary Castel dell’Ovo. It is rumored that the poet Virgil housed a magical egg there – thus how the castle was named – that protects it, and the very city, from certain ruin.
From the San Gennaro Catacombs to the Basilica of Sant’Agrippino, the city is rich with religious history and stories. It is easy for wanderers to immerse themselves in layers of ancient and sacred grounds as they discover all the secrets the region holds.
For a haunting look into times past, make your way to Mount Vesuvius. Here you will find the surrounding ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum. A sense of reverence befalls the scene where a natural disaster ended life as the residents of the time knew it. You can find nine trails throughout the mountain to continue its exploration.
An unmapped jaunt through the city takes travelers through a cultural blend of architecture and art. From classic constructs to the bright facades of street art, Naples offers a feast for the eyes. Speaking of feasts, Neapolitans agree visitors should mosey on over to Via dei Tribunali, “Pizza Alley,” for the best slice with signature charred dough. The perfect end to a perfect day.
Sep 25 Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Arrive: 8:00AM
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
Civitavecchia acts as the main terminal for all cruises heading into Rome. From there a shuttle bus takes travelers to the Service Center of Largo della Pace where they can embark on their adventures through the Eternal City.
Rome lies at the heart of the Italian peninsula along the Tiber River, just 15 miles inland from the Tyrrhenian Sea. It maintains its position in the world as a powerful influence in religion, politics, and art, as it is well known as the site for intellectual and artistic achievements past.
From the iconic Roman Coliseum aboveground to the mysterious catacombs of the Capuchin Crypt below ground, the capital of Italy beckons the adventurous to discover its many secrets and stories. The ancient structures’ architecture alone is enough to captivate even the most veteran traveler.
With so many ruins and historic sites to marvel at, it’s easy to get lost in the country’s past and wonder at how it connects to the present and future. But the city holds a certain cosmopolitan feel as well. Countless rooftop bars make Rome a prime location for an evening sunset with new friends as you raise a glass of wine to adventure.
Make a stop at the Trevi Fountain to toss a coin and make a wish. Do as the Romans do. Whether you make your way through back alleys in search of the quintessential gelato shop or get lost in the Ostiense neighborhood for a look at colorful street art, a day spent in Rome is a treasure hunt.ly
Call your Travel Advisor or one of our adventure specialists at 1-844-44ATLAS (28527) for more information.
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