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The Hidden Islands of Greece:


Unspoiled Landscapes, Pristine Villages & Ancient Sites

July 10 - 20, 2011

Unlike their bigger and better known counterparts, these islands have preserved their architectural and cultural treasures intact. This spectacular voyage will take us over the Aegean waters in pursuit of pristine, undeveloped destinations. Each day will find us amid ravishing vistas, from forgotten ancient ruins and tucked-away Byzantine chapels to hidden harbors and idyllic villages. We will explore the whitewashed villages of Amorgos, the awe-inspiring volcanic island of Nisyros, and in Chios, we will visit the 11th-century Nea Moni monastery, adorned with beautiful mosaics created by artists from Constantinople. Also discover the excavations in Vergina and explore Kos, the island where Hippocrates established the standards of medical ethics. Enjoy the classic Aegean architecture on Skopelos before concluding the voyage back in Athens.

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Preliminary Itinerary
(please click on location to reveal details)

FULL ITINERARY

Day 1: July 10, 2011 - USA

Depart the U.S. for Athens, Greece

Day 2: July 11, 2011 - ATHENS, Greece | PIRAEUS | EMBARK

Arrive in Athens and transfer to the port to board Callisto.

Day 3: July 12, 2011 - AMORGOS

Arrive this morning at Amorgos, a seldom visited island in the Cyclades group, whose whitewashed villages are set in a rugged landscape. A tour leads to the 11th-century Monastery of Khosoviotissa, built in a spectacular setting of precipitous cliffs facing the sea. For over 1,000 years, the monastery has been a place of pilgrimage for worshippers, who come to venerate an icon of the Virgin.

Day 4: July 13, 2011 - NISYROS and SYMI

Explore the island of Nisyros and its impressive volcano. The drive to the volcano’s crater provides magnificent views and once we arrive, you’ll have the opportunity to walk to the caldera. Continue to the charming village of Nikiá, positioned atop the crater, where you’ll have time to stroll through its quaint streets, enjoy time at leisure, or visit its volcanological museum. In the afternoon, sail to Symi, once the stronghold of the Knights of St. John and the coveted object of a succession of invaders. With tiers of beautifully proportioned neoclassical mansions rising above its harbor, Symi is one of Greece’s most attractive islands.

Day 5: July 14, 2011 - KOS

Sail to Kos, the island where Hippocrates established the standards of medical ethics in the 5th century b.c. Explore the ancient ruins, including the Asklepeion, dedicated to Asklepios, the god of healing.

Day 6: July 15, 2011 - CHIOS

Awake this morning in Chios, the Greek island claiming to be Homer’s birthplace. The island’s volcanic rock formations and deep green valleys forge a landscape of stunning color oppositions and intricate appearances. Visit the 11th-century Monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the most important ecclesiastical monuments in Greece. The Monastery sits majestically in a wooded vale and is decorated throughout with exquisite frescoes and mosaics.

Day 7 July 16, 2011 - SAMOTHRAKI

An island of great beauty, remote Samothraki remains outside most tourist itineraries and, for this reason, has retained its original character. Samothraki’s central massif rises to the great peak of Mount Fengari. According to Homer, it was from this peak that Poseidon watched the fighting during the Trojan War. Explore the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, an ancient place of worship where Mysteries were held. The Winged Victory, now in the Louvre, was discovered here in 1863, and subsequent excavations have revealed the Hieron, or Sanctuary; Anaktoron, which served as a hall of initiation into the mysteries; Temonos; and the Rotunda. Also visit the island’s main town, where whitewashed homes sit beneath the hills of Mount Fengari and the ruins of a Byzantine fort.

Day 8: July 17, 2011 - PLATAMONAS | VERGINA | DION |PLATAMONAS

From bucolic Platamonas on the Greek mainland coast of Thessaly, take an excursion to Vergina, the site of Aigoci, the capital of the ancient Macedonian kingdom. Visit the excavations, including the tombs of Philip II (Alexander the Great’s father), and note the Macedonian burial mounds that dot the plain. Also see the many treasures recovered from the tombs on display in the Archeological Museum. After lunch at a local restaurant, explore Dion, an ancient site set in a superb location on the foothills of Mount Olympus, dedicated to Zeus.

Day 9: July 18, 2011 - SKOPELOS

Skopelos’s main town is built against a hill rising from the sea. As we explore the island, we will discover some of the most characteristic Aegean architecture— whitewashed cube-shaped houses with blue slate roofs. Scattered around the countryside are numerous little churches preserving beautiful icons from the 17th and 18th centuries.

Day 10: July 19, 2011 - SKYROS

Off the beaten path, Skyros has managed to retain its traditional culture and handicrafts, which include beautiful painted pottery and ornate woodcarving. From Linaria, the island’s main port, drive the short distance to Skyros Town, with its characteristic, whitewashed houses built on the side of a rock that rises sharply from the sea. The top of the hill is dominated by a fortress, dating from the Byzantine period. Explore this atmospheric and friendly town and visit the private Faltaits Museum, whose collections include embroidery, costumes, and other objects.

Day 11: July 20, 2011 - PIRAEUS | ATHENS | DISEMBARK | USA

Disembark in Piraeus and transfer to the airport in Athens for return flights to the U.S.


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Cost and Program Inclusions

COSTS (PRELIMINARY):
Cabin Category List Price
D 7,995.00
C 8,695.00
B 9,795.00
A 10,695.00
Single Supplement Available
in Categoies B & C:
$ 1,995

PROGRAM INCLUSIONS:

  • 9-night cruise aboard the 34-guest yacht Callisto
  • Welcome and farewell cocktail receptions aboard ship and at the hotel
  • All meals aboard ship, including house wine, beer, and soft drinks with lunch and dinner
  • Open bar aboard ship throughout the cruise
  • Complete program of tours and excursions
  • Educational program of lectures and discussions by accompanying guest lecturers
  • Professional Travel Dynamics International tour staff
  • Complete pre-departure materials
  • Baggage handling and transfers abroad on the designated program arrival and departure dates
  • Port and embarkation taxes
  • Gratuities to porters, guides, and drivers
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Bryn Mawr Faculty Host

Professor James Wright and Dr. Mary K. Dabney
Professor James Wright

Professor James Wright is Chairman of the Department of Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College. He teaches the prehistory of the Aegean and classical archaeology and has been a member of the department since 1978. He has excavated in England, Italy and Greece. Since 1981 he has been directing research in the Nemea Valley sponsored by Bryn Mawr College, especially the prehistoric settlement of Tsoungiza. With his colleagues he is readying for publication the results of the recent excavation of a chamber tomb cemetery that belongs to the settlement. He has published widely on Mycenaean architecture and on the archaeological reconstruction of Minoan and Mycenaean societies.

Dr. Mary K. Dabney is a Research Associate in Classical and Near Eastern Archaeology at Bryn Mawr College and Adjunct Faculty at Widener University and Chestnut Hill College. As Co-Director of the Nemea Valley Archaeological Project in Greece she is publishing the Late Mycenaean settlement on Tsoungiza and co-publishing the Mycenaean cemetery excavations. Dr. Dabney has also directed museums and historic sites in the Philadelphia area.

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