This guided holiday through Italy and Greece includes a fantastic 4-night cruise to the Greek Islands and the turquoise coast of Turkey. Begin with two nights in Palermo on the island of Sicily to explore the magnificent cathedrals, cuisine, and culture. Tour the Valley of the Temples in Agrigento on your way to Catania on the eastern coast of Sicily. Take an excursion to Syracuse to explore the fascinating 5th-century Greek and Roman archaeological site before visiting the small island of Ortigia. Stop to gaze on the stunning hilltops and coastal cliffs of Taormina, then cross the Straits of Messina by ferry to the Italian mainland. Explore Southern Italy’s “boot” with overnights in Cosenza and Matera, including a speciality dinner at a local restaurant, and a visit to a whitewashed trullo house—the signature Alberobello architecture of circular stone houses with conical roofs. Visit the beautiful towns of Locorotondo and Martina Franca in the “heel” of Italy, and spend two nights in Lecce, the “Florence of the South.” Sightseeing includes visits to the Duomo and Santa Croce Basilica. In Brindisi, have lunch and a sightseeing tour before boarding your overnight ferry to the Ionian Sea to Patras in Greece. Cross the Gulf of Corinth via one of the world’s longest cable-stayed bridges, visit the beautiful coastal town of Nafpaktos, and overnight in Itea. Enjoy an olive oil tasting in the area famous for its Amfissa olive trees. On to Delphi, where the Oracle told the future and the god Apollo found sanctuary on Mount Parnassus. Tour the extraordinary excavations and visit the Archaeological Museum—home to the 5th-century-BC bronze Charioteer. Continue to Athens, the Greek capital and home to the iconic Acropolis, Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, the Theseum where Socrates taught, and many more incredible sights of Greek history and mythology.
Board your cruise ship in Piraeus and sail across the blue Aegean Sea to the island of Mykonos. From there, sail to Kusadasi, Turkey, to explore the Greek, Roman, and Byzantine excavations of Ephesus. Cruise to the tiny Greek island of Patmos, and then to Rhodes with an included excursion to Lindos. Dock at Heraklion in Crete with exciting options to explore. Return to Piraeus to disembark your ship, then conclude your Greek cruise vacation in Athens. Your vacation through Southern Italy and Greece with a cruise to some iconic Greek islands is a true Mediterranean discovery and experience.