Empires of the Mediterranean
|Resort:||Empires of the Mediterranean|
|Operator:||Viking Ocean Cruises|
Explore the empires of the Mediterranean on a 10-day journey from Venice to Athens.
Ten days. Nine magnificent destinations. One epic journey with memories that last a lifetime. Cruise through the Adriatic and Aegean, where each day and night has been created to bring you all the riches of this fabled region. On an exploration bookended by the iconic cities of Venice and Athens, you will discover the ancient ruins of Olympia and the Acropolis. Explore the medieval warrens of Zadar, Dubrovnik and Kotor. Delight in the beauty of Corfu. And for the first time, Viking takes you to Koper for an in-depth exploration of picturesque Slovenia.
All This Is Included
Step aboard in Venice; the magical city renowned for its art, architecture and culture is the ultimate destination on your epic voyage. Watch the sunlight dapple on the water as we ease our way through the archipelago. As we will remain in port overnight, enjoy a fine restaurant, the vibrant nightlife and perhaps even a romantic evening gondola ride along the Grand Canal.
Call on the Slovenian port of Koper, gateway to the unspoiled Istrian region. Your tour of this historic city reveals the rich architectural legacy of the Venetian Republic. In Tito Square, admire the Venetian-Gothic Praetorian Palace with its crenellated facade and the elegant Loggia where lively town debates once took place. Take the time to ascend the tower of the Cathedral of the Assumption for splendid views of the city and the Gulf of Trieste.
Explore remarkable Zadar, once an island separated from the mainland by a deep moat. The capital of independent Dalmatia for a millennium, Zadars impressive city walls attest to its might. A walking tour leads you along a maze of cobblestone streets through its magnificent Old Town, a remarkable repository of red-roofed, medieval stone houses. During your tour, stop to admire its three stunning churches in bold Romanesque. Perhaps youll also stroll the Riva, the picturesque seafront promenade where acoustical tubes embedded beneath large marble steps sing the song of the city with every lashing wave.
Where city meets coastline, you will sail to this beautiful 12th-century walled city in Croatia. And as it happens, George Bernard Shaw declared, Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik. We think he has a point. Enjoy an entire day to take an inclusive tour with a drive high up to catch the magnificent views of the city and countryside. Or descend to the coast and enter the city on foot through the historic Pile Gate, passing by the Sponza Palace, the 15th-century Onofrios Fountain and stop inside the Dominican Monastery to see Renaissance paintings. You may also wish to consider exploring the famed Dubrovnik Riviera with a cruise along the Lapad Peninsula.
Spend the day traversing the medieval streets of this historic Montenegro town with a walking tour. Pass by Venetian walls constructed in 1420, en route to the Cathedral of Saint Tryphon, built in 1166. Notice its mismatched towers, the result of an earthquake and a budget too small to rebuild properly. Included on this tour is a visit to the Maritime Museum, which documents Kotors heritage. As an option, venture to the small towns of Budva and Sveti Stefan, the latter once a hideaway for the rich and famous.
Corfu (Krkyra), Greece
Spend the entire day on the romantic island of Corfu, resplendent with charming pastel townhouses and pristine white beaches. Our well-crafted included tour takes us on a drive to Kanoni, where we will make a photo stop to view tiny Mouse Island and the Vlacherna Monastery. Following the coastline through Garitsa Bay, you will reach the UNESCO Site of the Old Town. See the fabled Esplanade, one of Europes largest public squares, and the Liston Promenade, once the exclusive preserve of the local aristocracy.
Olympia (Katakolon), Greece
Visit the quaint Greek port of Katakolon, huddled around a pretty little harbor dotted with colorful fishing boats. During your visit, venture into the fertile valleys of the western Peloponnese to the legendary city of Olympia, classical birthplace of the modern-day Olympic Games on the slopes of Mt. Kronos. Walk among the ancient citys stunning ruins with an expert guide and historian, admiring the remains of temples, the Palaestra, or wrestling school, and the Gymnasium. Youll gain insight into the very first Olympic Games at the fascinating museum.
Santorini (Thra), Greece
Gliding toward a full day in Santorini, prepare for its spectacular caldera and looming cliffs. Once anchored, embark a local boat for the islands main port of Athinios. On your included excursion, drive with a local guide to the top of Mt. Profitis, where youll have spectacular views of the island, the Aegean Sea and the summits monastery. En route to clifftop Oia take in the beauty and charm of the countryside and traditional villages. Then enjoy free time in the capital of Fira. Alternatively, visit the hot thermal springs of Palea Kameni island, and enjoy the most remarkable swim of your life. Or, choose to visit a Greek vineyard for a tour and tasting.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Today, you will have the whole day to journey into ancient Athens via a panoramic drive, passing the promenade at Mikrolimano as you enter the citys heart. There, you will see the Hellenic Parliament, Constitution Square, the Panathenaic Stadium, the Temple of Zeus and the iconic Acropolis. Explore the bustling Plaka District at the base of the Acropolis. Or as an option, explore the interior of this UNESCO Site; climb 80 steps to the entrance and glimpse an unforgettable view of the Parthenon at its peak.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Awake in Athens, where you will disembark your ship. From here, you can easily spend a few extra days to further explore this historic city with our option to extend here.