Greece  The Peloponnese and the Ionian Islands

 September  2018

Erato under sail  Click here to see interior photos of the M/S Erato

Again, as before, our small group of travelers will explore and experience some of the most  magnificent and historic sites of Greece. Our tour begins in Athens, then proceeding by private coach to Sparta, Monemvasia and Olympia in the Peloponnese. At Katakolo we will meet our  exquisite yacht, the M/S Erato, our private charter, for a fabulous 8 days exploring the Ionian Islands. At the end of our sailing adventure, we return to Athens for a a visit to the Acropolis, it’s Museum and some free time to explore this amazing city.                                                                                                                                                                              

Space is limited to 10.

Please contact me immediately if you have any interest.

 

Itinerary

 

Monemvasia
Monenvasia

Day 1

Athens to Monemvasia by private coach; An easy day, relaxing city tour of Monemvasia and dinner on our own tonight. (L) 


                                                                                                    Olive Oil Museum

Day 2
Monemvasia to Sparta
by private coach;Today, we resume our tour of the Peloponnese and visit ancient Sparta … one of the most important Greek City States throughout the Archaic and Classical periods, famous in ancient history for it’s military prowess. Kings Leonidas and Menelaus were two of the most legendary. They were fierce warriors who prized military strength but were also the world’s first democracy. Afternoon visit of the small Olive Oil Museum of Sparta (B,L) 

 

 

Day 3, Sparta-Olympia via Mystras– Guided tour of Byzantine Mystras, Lunch at the Winery of Spyropoulos. Then to Olympia by private coach. Overnight in Olympia(B,L)

SpiropoulosMS Erato side

Day 4,  Olympia to Katakolo

Morning guided visit of the archaeological site of Olympia then, Olympia by private coach to the port of Katakolo, where we meet our boat, the MS Erato.  For the next 7 days we will relax while sailing, swimming and exploring the beautiful and historic islands and sites of the Ionian Sea.(Half-board):The Ionian Islands have been inhabited since Paleolithic times, have been through many invasions, and have received the influence of a variety of cultures. From the time of Frankish rule until 1864 when they were joined with Greece, the Ionian Islands were also ruled by a number of foreign conquerors. The presence of the Europeans on the Ionian Islands at a time when Greece was still under Ottoman rule gave rise to significant intellectual activity something that is still visible today both in the islands’ architectural tradition as well as their charming cultural traits.Tonight dinner will be at a typical taverna in Zakynthos (B,L,D)

 

 Day 5,   Zakynthos•Navigio Beach•Skala

Navagio Beach, Zakyanthos
Navagio Beach, Zakynthos

 

Zakynthos, is among the most beautiful and popular islands of the Ionian Sea. Located south of Kefalonia, it is world famous for the crystal beaches and the intense nightlife, which makes it a frequent destination. Navagio is the most famous beach of Zakynthos island, with its golden sand and the exotic blue waters. Of course we will stop for a swim here!  Due to their soft sand and clean water, these beaches are used as breeding spots for the loggerhead sea turtle known as the Caretta-Caretta.

We end our day at the beautiful resort town of Skala on the island of Kefallonia. The village reveals interesting ruins of a Roman Villa dating back from the 2nd century BC with magnificent mosaic floors. Nearby is an old village with notable architecture and watermills. (B, L)

 Day 6,    Skala•Antisamos•Ithaka
antisamos beach2

As we say goodbye to Skala this morning, we make our way to the beach made famous by the movie “Captain Corelli’s Mandolin”, Antisamos, where we will stop for a swim before ending our day in Ithaka, the mythical home of Homer’s Odysseus.  (B, L)

 


• 
Day 7,   Ithaca•Fiskardo•Meganisi

Ithaca

Another day, another beautiful island! Today we leave Ithaca with a stop at Fiskardfo for lunch then to Meganisi, a spectacular tiny,unspoiled  island very close to Lefkada. Dinner onboard and time to explore. (B,L,D)

 

Day 8,    Meganisi•Skorpios•Lefkada
  

lefkada port
Skorpios, famous as the home of Aristotle Onassis and Jackie Kennedy, will be on our route to Lyfkada today. Although the island is private, we still will be able to have a glimpse of some of the family structures and may have a chance to stop for  a swim.  Evening in Lyfkada (B,L)

 

 

Day 9,   Lefkada•Paxi


Lefkada Porto Katsiki

Before leaving Lefkada, we will stop for a swim at Porto Katsiki, listed among the six most beautiful beaches of the Mediterranean-the stunning landscape will take your breath away! Evening in Paxi. (B,L)

 Day 10,  Paxi•Antipaxos•Parga

Antipaxi

The cultural village of Europe for the year 2004, Paxi is blessed with Fjord-shaped beaches, underwater caves, small bays and green hills. According to legend, the island would be the southernmost tip of Corfu, if the God of the Sea, Poseidon, had not broken it off with his trident when he needed a god-deserving place to live his love with the Nereid Amphitrite.

Although a small island, Antipaxos is endowed with outstanding beauty. The island of Antipaxoi (literally meaning “opposite Paxi ”) lies at just 3 nautical miles from the port of Gaios.

Antipaxoi is famous for its renowned beaches, among which Voutoumi, with its exotic turquoise waters, is supposed to be one of the most beautiful in the world. Apart from the traditional methods of producing wine of fine quality and other Greek varietals (the worldwide famous “mavrodafni” is one of them), enhanced, biological cultivations transform the local wine into a product of high nutritional value.

We will swim at Antipaxos before sailing to Parga for the evening.

Sitting serenely beneath the shadow of the mighty medieval fortress, the town of Parga, with its island-like charm and narrow cobbled streets that climb to the top of the hill, exudes the atmosphere of a bygone era, steeped in history and legend. The Castle is a great exponent of the Venetian architecture.(B,L)

 Day 11,  Parga•Sivota •Corfu and our last night aboard the M/S Erato.

Sivota5Leaving Parga, we will stop for a swim at the exquisite island of Sivota before the final leg of our journey to Corfu. Evening free in Corfu.(B,L)

 

 

Day 12,   Corfu-Athens by air

Corfu (Kérkyra), unlike the rest of Greece, never fell under the Ottoman oppression. Due to the successive dominations of the Venetians, the French and the British over the centuries, the island has primarily become part of the Western rather the Levantine world. Their culture wielded strong influence in the city: it was here that the first Greek University (theIonian Academy), the first Philharmonic Orchestra and the First School of Fine Arts were founded.

Corfu

In the beautifully preserved Old Town of Corfu, a UNESCO world heritage site, Renaissance, Baroque and Classical “repertoire” came to be successfully applied to local artistic traditions. Palaces, fortresses, austere public buildings of the Venetian rule uniquely blend with lines of drying washing in tiny alleyways and small secluded squares. Strolling through a complex of narrow cobbled streets with stairways and vaulted passages, the so-called “kantonia”, will make you feel as if you’ve travelled to Genoa or Naples.

Morning free, a sightseeing tour of Corfu, and an evening flight back to Athens (B,L)

Day 13,  Athens

Acropolis close

 

One can’t come to Athens, the birthplace of democracy,  without visiting the  Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum-they dominate and define this city . Our private tour is comprehensive, informative and invaluable and should not be missed. (B,D)

Day 14,   Athens  (B, Farewell Dinner)

DSC02748One last day to shop, relax, and explore this amazing city before our very special Farewell Dinner.

 

 

Day 15.  Depart for Home (B)

TOUR DETAILS: 
Greece Private Charter as stated in itinerary:

$7150.00 pp, double occupancy, requires a minimum of 10 participants.

INCLUDED:
 •Accommodations for 7 Nights onboard ship
•Accommodations for 6 nights on land (4* Hotels or best available)
•All Private Tours
•All Transfers and Transportation in Greece
•Taxes
•Gratuities to guides and drivers
•Meals as noted on land (all breakfasts,5 lunches and 2 dinners)
•Half board on board the M/S Erato includes local wines and beer with meals.

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