Mediterranean Trail plus 3 day Greek Island Cruise
Welcome to Roma! Check-in to your hotel & tonight meet your Contiki Team. Start the adventure right & get to know your group over an Italian feast.
Get into the thriving atmosphere of this living timeline as your Tour Manager shows you the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Piazza Venezia and Piazza Navona. Honour tradition at the Trevi Fountain and throw a coin in the fountain’s waters (it’s meant to improve your chances of returning to Rome!). Then make the most of our Local Guide’s inside knowledge and uncover the remains of an ancient empire with a fantastic optional tour of the Roman Forum and Colosseum. Then check-out the smallest country in the world and home to the Pope, the Vatican City. In your free time, live the local lifestyle by indulging in a long lunch on a paved piazza or knock back a shot of espresso at the bar, like the Romans do. Before you hit the shops, let your Tour Manager point you in the right direction with some tips on the best buys. Later dive into Rome’s night action with your buddies and start your travels off with a night to remember.
Rome to Sorrento
This morning there’s included entry and our Local Guide to show you St Peter’s Basilica and Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. Take off into the city and absorb the atmosphere, as vespas flash past timeworn monuments that are surrounded by fountains, pizzerias, cafes and bars. Head past Naples, home of the pizza, and catch a glimpse of Mt Vesuvius. Plunge into Pompeii’s well-preserved past in an interesting optional excursion and retrace ancient history with our expert Local Guide. Next up: the knock-out location of Sorrento. Set on sheer slopes, Sorrento doles up sweeping views over the Bay of Naples. Tonight there’s an optional dinner, where you’ll feast on traditional Mediterranean fare, complete with views of Mt Vesuvius from the cliff-top terrace.
This morning, it’s a boat ride to the main marina of the island of Capri, famous for its stunning caves and surrounding rock formations. Get out on the water of the Bay of Naples in an optional cruise around Capri in our very own traditional wooden motorboat. See the world-famous Green and White Grottos and choose to get up closer to the world-famous Blue Grotto, with its intense blue glow, on a separate boat ride into the cave. With plenty of swim stops on the cruise around the island, cool off in the Mediterranean and then use your free time to explore even more of the island. Soak up the views and head off with some friends into the cute, white-washed villages where you can try out the region’s sweet lemon liqueur, limoncello. If you have time, explore Sorrento’s web of narrow streets or the Villa Communale Park, which has stunning views of Mt. Vesuvius.
Sorrento to Corfu
Then there’s time to chill out on the coach, crossing through the rugged landscapes of southern Italy, before boarding the overnight ferry to Greece. Check out the amazing 360 degree views from the deck!
Corfu is all that’s great about Greek island living. You’ll immediately find yourself on “local time”, browsing the markets of the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Old Town and bargaining with the laid-back locals. Jump on board the Caique Tour optional with a bunch friends for a fun day out on the water. It will give you another angle on idyllic Corfu. Work up an appetite swimming in the secluded spots and then feast on a lunch of olives, salad, cheeses, fresh bread and dips – prepared with ingredients from the Captain's back yard. Corfu also gives you the chance to dive into action with a selection of water sports, like parasailing, banana-boating and waterskiing. Otherwise hire a car for a deeper look into Corfu and venture across the island to explore some beautiful, remote beaches.
Corfu to Athens
From Corfu, head to the mainland and travel to the impressive, man-made Corinth Canal. Athens is next, a city crammed with myth and ancient wonders, and busy with modern, urban soul.
This morning take a step back in time in Europe’s oldest city to the birthplace of democracy. Get the run down on the Parthenon and the Acropolis from our Local Guide, as you wander around the marble columns perched above the city sprawl. Then we check out the first modern Olympic Stadium from the 1896 Games. Spend the day exploring mythical Athens, a city crammed with ancient wonders yet busy with modern, urban soul. Wrap up the day on the shady slopes beneath the Acropolis and jump start your trip with an optional dinner in the rustic district of Plaka, where traditional tavernas spill out onto the pavements. Finish up with a night out in Athens’ up-and-coming district of Psiri, buzzing with trendy bars and clubs.
Athens to Kusadasi via Mykonos
Today, board a typical Greek ship to Mykonos and take advantage of the amazing views across the Aegean, full of rocky islands. Mykonos is famous for its blissful beaches and party culture. No matter what you’re after, chances are this island has got it! You’ll soon understand why this happening hub draws people from all walks of life, from jetsetters to backpackers. In your free time, head into Mykonos town and wander through the maze of tiny streets lined by whitewashed, cube-shaped houses. Maybe grab a table for lunch in the village and feast on fresh local specialties, like olives, feta and tzatziki dip. Chill for the afternoon with friends on the island’s world famous beaches and cool off in the azure waters. Wrap up the day with a drink at one of Mykonos’ hip bars and watch the sun go down. But don’t stop there, toast the start of the cruise back on board and hit the ship’s nightclub with the group
Cruising to Patmos via Kusadasi
In the morning, wake up to the Turkish port town of Kusadasi. Rummage through the Grand Bazaar and go local bargaining for leather goods, jewellery or local crafts. Otherwise hook up with the group and our Local Guide for an optional excursion to ancient Ephesus, a stunningly preserved city that Mark Antony and Cleopatra once visited. Our next port of call is Patmos, with its sacred spots and wild countryside. Get the background from your Rep on why this island attracts both pilgrims and holiday makers. Explore the monasteries, traditional settlements and country churches. Get into the spirit of the island with an optional excursion that takes you to Patmos’ UNESCO World Heritage sites: the 11th century Monastery of the Apocalypse and to the Grotto of St. John – the hilltop cave where John the Apostle lived for many years.
Cruising to Santorini via Crete
Today we start the day off with a visit to the biggest of the Greek Islands, Crete. Choose an optional excursion to the Palace of Knossos where our Local Guide will tell you the story of this 4000 year old mythical Minoan Palace, where the minotaur (half-man/half-bull) was slain. Next up: Santorini. This island will make your jaw drop with its stunning natural beauty – the result of a massive volcanic eruption. From the water look up at the iconic blue–domed, whitewashed churches. Once we’re back on land, head up the cliff and the twisting stone steps, save your breath on a donkey ride or take it easy in the cable car for views of neighbouring volcanic islands. Your Rep will fill you in on Fira – dramatically perched on the edge of the crater - as the group explores its narrow streets. Get tips on the best places to pick up a piece of Santorini’s famous jewellery and where to try out the delicious local speciality, domatoktedes (fried tomato balls). Otherwise head to one of the distinctive black or red sand beaches, and soak up the breathtaking scenery. You could jump on an optional boat ride out to the active volcanic island of Nea Kamini. Cruise past lava formations and get up close to the active crater.
Arrival into Athens
Disembark after breakfast and transfer into central Athens where the tour ends once you arrive.