Day 1, Wednesday, 30 October 2019
Ready, Set, Go!!! Grab your bags, your passport and your wanderlust, we are going on holiday. The flight leaves today from South Africa.
Day 2, Thursday, 31 October 2019
Γεια σας Ελλάδα… We arrive in Athens, the capital city of Greece. From the airport we will make our way to our 3-star hotel. The rest of the afternoon is yours to explore. Syntagma Square, the National Garden and so much more are just a stone throw away from our hotel. Tonight, we will have dinner at one of the oldest and most traditional Greek tavernas situated in the heart of Plaka. At this taverna you will experience folk dances, a Greek show and delicious Greek dishes.
Day 3, Friday, 1 November 2019
Gods and goddesses… Today our tour starts at the Panathenaic stadium where the first modern Olympics took place. As we enter, you will be in complete awe as this is the only stadium in the world that is built entirely of marble. Next is Acropolis Hill, which means “city on the air”. On top of the hill there are three temples: the Parthenon, which is a temple dedicated to the goddess Athena, the temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheum, which is famous for its caryatids. We will also see the Arch of Hadrian, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus and the Theatre of Dionysus, which is considered to be the world’s first theatre. We will visit the temple of the mighty king of the gods, Zeus and make a stop at the Acropolis Museum and National Library. After experiencing the greats of Athens, nothing would be better than to end the day with a sumptuous dinner.
Day 4, Saturday, 2 November 2019
That Saturday Drive… After breakfast we will embark on a full-day tour outside of Athens. During the drive along the coast, you will see beautiful seaside villages and the Island of Salamis. Our first stop is the Corinth Canal, which you will be able to admire as you walk across on the pedestrian bridge. Next, we get to Ancient Corinth which houses the quaint ruins of a temple to Apollo on Acrocorinth. Then we are off to Mycenae, to see the renowned Lions Gate. Continuing, we will walk in the idyllic city of Nafplio and stop for lunch at a traditional taverna by the sea. After lunch we head up to Acronafplia for a panoramic view of the city and a visit to the site of Epidaurus, the best preserved ancient Greek theatre.
Day 5, Sunday, 3 November 2019
Left… Left… Left, Right, Left… Midmorning, we will head to the Monument of the Unknown Soldier to witness the changing of guards. Greek guards or “Evzones” have become a symbol of the city of Athens. The Greek guard was originally founded in 1868 as a regiment of the Greek army. It is a high honour for a soldier to be selected to join the Evzones. They guard the grave of the Unknown Soldier, who represents the common memory of all unknown soldiers killed at war. After this spectacular show, the day is yours to enjoy as you please.
Day 6, Monday, 4 November 2019
Aegean Blue Monday… After exploring the morning away, we start our afternoon with a sunset tour to see some of the most renowned districts of southern Athens, including Alimos, Glyfada, Vouliagmeni and more, as we make our way to Cape Sounion. There we will visit its crowning feature, the Temple of Poseidon. An interesting thing about this temple is its location, as it is perched above the Aegean Sea at a height of almost 60 meters. The Ancient Greeks sure knew how to pick a site for a temple. Here we will enjoy the views of the sunset over the Aegean Sea while we have a coffee or a drink on the cliff.
Day 7, Tuesday, 5 November 2019
Walk More, See More… Today is yours to do as your heart desires. You can sleep in, enjoy breakfast and just ease into the day. You could visit Monastiraki, which is only a few minutes’ walk away from our hotel. This lively neighbourhood is known for its iconic landmarks including the ruins of Hadrian’s Library, the Ancient Agora and a museum exhibiting Athenian artefacts. Monastiraki Flea Market is a jumble of shops selling artisanal soaps, handmade sandals and souvenir T-shirts. The surrounding streets are crammed with traditional tavernas and restaurants, many with Acropolis views. Tonight, we will enjoy dinner together as group.
Day 8, Wednesday, 6 November 2019
The early bird catches the worm… We will have a early flight from Athens to Rome. From the airport we travel to our 3-star hotel in the heart of Rome. Just a few minutes’ walk away, we will indulge in a delicious brunch. This afternoon will be the perfect opportunity for you to explore the stunning urban landscape. Tonight, you will get a taste of Rome, an authentic Italian dinner.
Day 9, Thursday, 7 November 2019
When in Rome… Today our journey starts right after breakfast as we discover Rome’s major sites and learn about its history. Make yourself comfortable and enjoy your driving tour around the amazing ruins of the Circus Maximus and the Palatine Hill. Finally, in the heart of Ancient Rome, we explore the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, which we will access with skip-the-line tickets to make the most of our experience. Next, we head to Rome’s historic city centre to discover amazing fountains and squares such as the Altar of the Fatherland, the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, Navona Square and the Pantheon. We will stop for a tasty lunch in a local trattoria, where you will have the chance to taste typical Roman delicacies. Afterwards, we head toward the ancient Appian Way to unveil the secrets of Rome’s subterranean world in the Catacombs.
Day 10, Friday, 8 November 2019
The Roma Experience… We will have a walking site seeing tour of the Jewish Ghetto and Trastevere. The Jewish Ghetto is one of the most atmospheric and ancient neighbourhoods in Rome. Although no longer a ghetto, it’s still commonly known as “the Jewish Ghetto”. With its enormous synagogue, kosher bakeries, and shop windows filled with menorahs. Trastevere which is south of Vatican City is a lively, bohemian area. It’s known for traditional trattorias, craft beer pubs and artisan shops. Trastevere is one of Rome’s most colourful areas. Its name means “beyond the river” and refers to its location on the west bank of the Tiber or Tevere in Italian. Within its maze of narrow streets and centuries old piazzas, you can still get a taste of authentic Rome, and make your own discoveries in hidden churches, Bijoux shops, small museums and bustling bars and restaurants.
Day 11, Saturday, 9 November 2019
Underneath the Tuscan sun… Today we will visit the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage landscape of Tuscany. Immerse yourself in the sound of monks chanting in secluded abbeys and the wonderful wines of Tuscany. We will explore the Montalcino wine region, where we will indulge in a 3-course lunch and Brunello wine paring, while overlooking the Montalcino hills. After lunch, we visit Sant’Antimo Abbey and the hill towns of Pienza and Montepulciano. There we will walk through the cosy Piazza Grande and lay eyes on the Duomo (Cathedral). Just before we completely lose track of time, Torre di Pulcinella (a medieval tower house, topped by the town clock) would serve as a reminder that it is time to head back to Rome.
Day 12, Sunday, 10 November 2019
Be a Traveller, not a Tourist… By now you know Rome like a pro, so take your time to do as you please. Let your inner Italian shine and make the best of your last full day in Rome. Don’t forget that shot of limoncello, you deserve it.
Day 13, Monday, 11 November 2019
TIVOLI!!! We will be accompanied by a guide to visit Villa Adriana (Hadrian’s Villa), a splendid example of architecture from the Imperial Age. You will also experience the monumental splendour of Villa D’Este and its Italian gardens, an incomparable example of the magnificence of the Italian Renaissance. When you need a break, you can stop for lunch in one of the typical restaurants in the area where you can savour the local cuisine accompanied by a genuine home-made wine that only the Italian countryside can offer…
All good things must come to an end. It is time to say goodbye as we head to Leonardi De Vinci International Airport and make our way back to sunny South Africa.
Day 14, Tuesday, 12 November 2019
Ciao Ciao… We arrive back in South Africa, just in time for you to book another amazing memory with Contore Tours. Together we will see great places!