Mediterranean Trail plus Greek Island Hopping (METIH)
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.
Use your free time this afternoon to explore more of this open-air museum. You could honour the birthplace of drama by climbing around the massive Theatre of Dionysus or get the background on Ancient Greece at the National Archaeological Museum. Otherwise experience Athens’ urban heart, take off into the streets and find a hole-in-the-wall food joint, where you can try the famous souvlaki. You’ll also be transferred to meet your fellow travellers on the Greek Island Hopping tour.
Athens to Mykonos
Today, board a ferry to Mykonos and take advantage of the amazing views across the Aegean, full of rocky islands as you make your way to the beautiful, whitewashed vistas of cosmopolitan Mykonos.
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 jet-setters 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 in the village and snack on fresh local specialties, like olives, feta and tzatziki dip. For a laid back afternoon, be sure to check out world-famous Paradise Beach on an optional excursion. Get some friends together, chill out to the tunes pumping at the beachfront resorts, swim and relax Wrap up the day in Little Venice and watch the sun set over the Aegean. But don’t stop there – get into the vibe and party at one of Mykonos’ many bars and hip clubs.
Mykonos to Santorini
Today: change islands and it’s a total change of scene. Santorini 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, take in the fantastic views of the neighbouring volcanic islands.
Start your day getting familiar with this gorgeous island. Head to Santorini’s highest point for full blown vistas over the crater then cool of with a swim stop at Perissa Beach. Your Tour Manager 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 specialty, domatokeftedes (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. Or head to the northern tip of Santorini with the group to catch one of the island’s famously spectacular sunsets on the Oia at Sunset optional excursion.
Santorini to Ios
After free time this morning, we cruise on to Ios. Relax on the boat and hang out with the group. Peaceful by day, pumping by night, Ios is the ultimate party destination.
Relax on sandy beaches or lounge about poolside before a big night out, when Ios’ villages come alive. Head to the small streets of Hora, packed with clubs, bars and pubs and let loose to the pumping tunes. Otherwise, join the outdoor party in the squares and lanes. If you’re keen, you can keep it moving until dawn!
Ios to Athens
Wave goodbye to Ios and the Cycladic Islands as we set sail back to mainland Greece and spend a final evening together in the mythological city of Athens. For those who are keen to learn more, there’s a chance to step back in time to the birthplace of democracy. Get the run down on the Parthenon and the Acropolis from our Local Guide in this fascinating optional, as you wander around the famous columns perched above the city sprawl. Make the most of your last night on tour and join the group for a farewell dinner. Later, head out to Athens’ up-and-coming district of Psiri, buzzing with trendy bars and clubs.
The tour ends after breakfast and it’s time to say farewell to your new friends.