Tour: RGH - 2013 (RGH) - 2013 / 2014

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Itinerary

DAY 1Athens, Greece

Welcome to Athens! At 6 pm, meet your traveling companions for a welcome drink with your Tour Director.

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DAY 2Athens

Sightseeing with a Local Guide features a visit to the Parthenon’s crowning beauty atop the ACROPOLIS, the Erechtheum with its Porch of Maidens, the beautifully preserved Theseum, Roman temple dedicated to Zeus, theater of Dionysus, and the Agora where Socrates taught. Vistas of the government buildings and elegant homes in the modern city provide a striking contrast to the remains of the glorious past. Tonight is your chance to join an optional dinner outing to try out local fare and entertainment reminiscent of Zorba the Greek. (Breakfast)

The Parthenon The Parthenon is a temple to the Greek goddess Athena 
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DAY 3Athens–Corinth–Mycenae–Epidaurus–Nauplia

Cross the spectacular Corinth Canal, then visit ANCIENT CORINTH, where St. Paul preached. Two highlights today: MYCENAE, where 19th-century excavations reveal impressions of the splendors so vividly described by Homer. Admire the Beehive Tombs, the Treasury of Atreus, Lion Gate, Europe’s oldest known monument, remains of Agamemnon’s Royal Palace, and the impressive fortifications of the Citadel. Then, a short drive to EPIDAURUS for a tour of its amazingly well-preserved 2,300-year-old open-air theater. Overnight in nearby Nauplia. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Ancient amphitheater in Epidaurus, Greece Corinth Canal in Greece Ancient Corinth 
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DAY 4Nauplia–Olympia

Spectacular scenery on the way through the Arkadian Mountains. Then, spend the afternoon in OLYMPIA, where the athletes of antiquity competed in honor of the king of deities. Learn about the history of those original Olympic Games as you walk among the impressive remains of the Gymnasium and the Temples of Hera and Zeus. Also visit the MUSEUM that displays Praxiteles’ magnificent statue of Hermes. Enjoy a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite Tzatziki COOKERY DEMONSTRATION. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Olympia is the founding city of the Olympics, dated from 776 B.C.E. 
Ancient Olympia: The Origins of the Games

Ancient Olympia: The Origins of the Games


"While centuries of weather and wear have left the site of the original Olympic Games in Olympia, Greece, in ruins, you can easily imagine the 30,000-seat stadium packed with fans. As you venture here, a palpable sense of the incredible feats that occurred on this hallowed ground will overtake you. The first Olympic Games were part of a religious festival held in honor of Zeus in 776 B.C. and were open to all male Greeks (and later, Romans). Athletes traveled to Olympia from as far away as Iberia (Spain) in the east and the Black Sea (Turkey) in the west. And while Greek city-states were often at odds with each other, a sacred truce during the games helped channel their hostile opposition into athletic competition instead. The ancient Olympic festival lasted five days and included wrestling, chariot and horse racing, the pentathlon and the pancratium (a vicious form of no-hols-barred boxing)."
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DAY 5Olympia–Delphi

Via the busy seaport of Patras, proceed through the picturesque fishing villages along the south coast of the mainland to mystic Delphi. The afternoon is devoted to a fascinating tour of the ancient sanctuary of the god Apollo in its dramatic setting on the slopes of Mount Parnassus. Hear about the Oracle and tour the EXCAVATIONS. Also visit the ARCHAEOLOGICAL MUSEUM to admire the Charioteer, an extraordinary 5th-century BC bronze statue. Tonight, a special highlight: a Globus Local FavoriteGlobus Local Favorite DANCING LESSON, where you’ll learn to dance the Sirtaki, made famous in the movie Zorba the Greek. (Breakfast, Dinner)

Temple of Apollo in Delphi, Greece Delphi, Greece, known in ancient times known as the Navel of the Earth Delphi Ruins 
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DAY 6Delphi–Meteora Area

Drive past Lamia and Trikala to Kalambaka in the unreal, fantastic landscape of Meteora with its 24 rock-top monasteries. Visit VARLAAM MONASTERY, famous for its frescoes, and ST. STEPHEN’S MONASTERY, featuring a unique collection of icons and an incredible panoramic view (ladies are suggested to pack one long skirt, as shorts or trousers may be inappropriate when visiting the monasteries). (Breakfast, Dinner)

The Meteora monastery in Greece Meteora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece The monasteries in Meteora, Greece are built on natural sandstone rock pillars In Meteora, Greece monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars 
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DAY 7Meteora Area–Thermopylae–Athens

Today’s highlight is a guided visit to THERMOPYLAE, the site of the heroic battle of Leonidas’ 300 doomed Spartans against Xerxes’ huge Persian army. On the way back to Athens, your Tour Director will tell you about Thebes, the setting of Sophocles’ Oedipus Rex, and Marathon, where 10,000 Athenians defeated more than twice that number of Persian invaders in 490 BC. Enjoy an optional dinner in a romantic restaurant. (Breakfast)

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DAY 8Athens–Piraeus (Embarkation)–Mykonos

Head for Pireaus, where at 11 am you will sail into the deep blue waters of the Aegean Sea. Later, dock at the mountainous island of Mykonos with its characteristic windmills and dazzling white houses. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Enjoy a spectacular sunset in Mykonos The gorgeous coastline in Mykonos 
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DAY 9Cruising: Kusadasi, Turkey & Patmos, Greece

Two ports of call today. First, Kusadasi on the Turkish coast. An optional morning excursion takes you to the fascinating Greek, Roman, and Byzantine excavations of Ephesus. Next, discover the tiny Greek island of Patmos. The 11th-century monastery with its valuable manuscript collection is well worth a visit. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

The ancient site of Ephesus Explore the tiny Greek island of Patmos Kusadasi is a resort town on Turkeys Aegean coast Discover the Turkish port of Kusadasi 
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DAY 10Cruising: Rhodes

All day is dedicated to the island of Rhodes. Explore the sights in the historic Old City with its ramparts and palaces built by the Knights of St. John during the Crusades. Another possibility—join an optional excursion to Lindos and the fabulous Temple of Athena. Sail from Rhodes around dinnertime. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Enjoy an optional excursion to Lindos 
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DAY 11Cruising: Heraklion & Santorini

First port of call today is Heraklion on Crete. A few miles away is Knossos, the center of the 3000 BC Minoan civilization, and an optional excursion can be booked. Afternoon call (weather permitting) at Santorini, the “Black Pearl of the Aegean.” The optional shore excursion here takes you up to the cliff-top village of Thera for one of the world’s most breathtaking panoramas. (Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner)

Discover Santorini, Greece, the Black Pearl of the Aegean Enjoy the breathtaking views of Santorini Santorini, Greece Visit Santorini, the “Black Pearl of the Aegean.” 
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DAY 12Piraeus (Disembarkation)–Athens

After breakfast on board, disembark at Piraeus and return to Athens. (Breakfast)

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DAY 13Athens

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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