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With a great historic past and incomparable art treasures, Venice is renowned as one of the world’s great cities. Its 118 islands are separated by more than 150 canals and spanned by 400 bridges. During Venice's artistic golden age many magnificent structures were erected to create world-famous masterpieces. One of the best sightseeing routes is along Grand Canal, with many palaces lining the famous waterway. St. Mark’s Square offers access to some of Venice’s most famed attractions - St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. From Piazza San Marco, a maze of narrow streets are lined with shops, cafés and restaurants. A popular pastime is sitting at an outdoor café facing the square while people-watching and letting the whole marvelous scenario unfold. Venice’s Murano, Burano and Torcello Islands comprise an area famous as home of Venice’s glass-blowing industry and known for their charm, skilled lace-making and medieval monuments. Relax on a gondola ride, see art treasures in museums, churches and palaces, and have a sumptuous meal - all in this incomparable city.
Split, the largest Croatian city on the Adriatic coast, is the heart of Dalmatia. The old town is built around the harbor on the south side of a high peninsula sheltered from the open sea by many islands. Split achieved fame when the Roman emperor Diocletian (245-313), noted for his persecution of early Christians, had his retirement palace built here from 295 to 305. Since 1945 Split has grown into a major industrial city with large apartment-block housing areas. Much of old Split remains, however, and this combined with its exuberant nature makes it one of the most fascinating cities in Europe.
Classed as a world heritage treasure by UNESCO, Dubrovnik is a place of ancient streets lined with stone palaces, Venetian-style buildings and bell towers. The city is enclosed by stone walls, and the highlight is a leisurely walk atop these massive walls for a great view of the city and the sea. Entering Dubrovnik, you are greeted by an impressive pedestrian promenade, the Placa, which extends before you all the way to the clock tower at the other end of town. The Orlando Tower here is a favorite meeting place. Just inside the city walls near the Pile Gate is the Franciscan Monastery housing the third-oldest functioning pharmacy in Europe, operating since 1391. For a fantastic panorama of the city, take a cable car ride to the summit of the 1,340-foot Mount Srdj.
Corfu's unique scenery, with gentle green hills and luxuriant southern flora, makes it one of the most beautiful of all Greek islands. Many beautiful buildings can be seen in Corfu Town. Corfu is a popular holiday destination for vacationers from all walks of life who come to enjoy mild climate, calm blue-green water, rugged mountains, hidden coves and miles of sandy beaches. A number of historical sights range from old fortresses and mansions to cathedrals and palaces. Corfu Town is surrounded by arcaded Venetian buildings. The Spianada is considered to be the largest square in Greece. Explore the narrow streets of Old Town. See Town Hall and the 300-year-old Church of Saint Spyrídon; a silver sarcophagus contains the remains of the town's patron saint. The Royal Palace - a neo-classical mansion - holds on its upper floor the Museum of Byzantine and East Asian Art. The Archaeological Museum has displays of artifacts discovered on Corfu. The Old Fortress, an impressive 14th-century Venetian structure, is now used as a popular venue for concerts.
Argostoli is the capital of Cephalonia. The harbour front is worth a walk. There is an excellent market for buying fresh fruit and veg, and the traffic free shopping area running parallel to the harbor front is also well worth visiting. Spend a Saturday evening in the main square over an ouzo, watching the local populace taking their volta. The whole family comes out to play. There are balloon sellers and amateur entertainers. Children race around on tricycles and on foot while their older brothers and sisters play the age old game of eyeing each other from the safety of their own peer groups. All this while the parents look on indulgently.
A former capital of Greece and a popular port on the eastern Peloponnese coast, Nafplion impresses visitors with grand, medieval architecture erected by Venetians during the 15th century. The most dominant structure is Palamidi Fortress towering high above town. The port is a lively town with a scenic harbor, a picturesque center to explore on foot and pebble beaches. Several monuments remain from its Turkish past, including mosques and parliament building. Handicrafts and local costumes are on display at the Folk Art Museum. Palamidi Castle has an incomparable view from the fortress’ lofty position. Spend time strolling along the waterfront, exploring around main square and narrow streets of Old Town. Platia Sintagmator, the city’s main square, is fronted by a former mosque, now the meeting place of Greek Parliament. Here is also the Archaeological Museum, which features an outstanding collection of Mycenaean finds. The entrance to Akronafplia Citadel has a gate built of Roman bricks, a Byzantine gatehouse with frescoes dating from 1291, and Venetian bastions.
From the port, don't pass up a tour to Mycenae. There is evidence that the site has been inhabited since 4000 BC, but reached its peak of civilization during 1500 - 1000 BC. It was here that the mighty Agamemnon ruled and the site still contains massive structures which give visitors a glimpse of what this magnificent city once was.
Santorini is everything that has made the Greek islands legendary. The world famous island of Santorini is the southern most island of the Cycladic group in the Aegean Sea, and is located north of Crete. Its population is distributed among thirteen villages and just exceeds nine thousand. The marvelous dry climate and unbroken sunshine create year around conditions which are perfect for observation, photographs and videos under an extraordinary variety of natural lights and colors.
Piraeus is the seaport for Athens, the capital of western civilization, which boasts a fantastic mix of classical ruins and vivacious modern life. Climb the hill of Acropolis to wonder at the Parthenon, join the lively Athenians in Constitution Square, and find a welcoming taverna for spirited bizouki music, plenty of ouzo to drink, and energetic Greek dancing. Piraeus is the largest harbor in the country. The white chapel of St. George at its summit has a theater bearing the same name. The hill of Nymphs is the site of a planetarium, which is located above magnificent Thesseio temple. Among all of these hills, Acropolis is the one that glorified Athens and the whole Greek world and became the symbol of the western civilization. Bays and small rocky or sandy coves dot the area and during the summer are filled with Athenians and foreigners enjoying their beauty.
Itinerary subject to change without notice. Please confirm itinerary at time of booking.
Port, security and handling fees, government fees and taxes are included in the fare. Price does not include airfare, transfers and airline government fees and taxes.
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