Isn't it great to be alive? Particularly on days like today - kicking it in Rome & meeting a new pack of legends who you'll explore the Med with. Today, after you've settled into your shiny new hotel, we'll kick off the jaw-dropping experiences with a trip to some of Rome's most iconic spots. Hello Colosseum, hello Trevi...the sites will blow your mind literally at every corner. We'll refuel before we hit up the famous Trastevere district for a night out before catching some zzz's to make the most of tomorrow.
Open your eyes this morning and give yourself a few minutes to let the reality sink in … you may even need to pinch yourself a few times. Yes, you are actually in Rome! Opt to be guided around the Roman Forum and Colosseum first up, continuing to file info into the brain under "mind-blowing historical facts." The rest of the day is yours to chow pizza, sip coffee, watch the Vespas fly by, and just generally get in the swing of all things Italian.
It's Day-3 and the bucket list has already had a few ticks - today, it's "visit the smallest country in the world." Also known as the Vatican City, it is a masterpiece of artwork and architecture. Ramp up your last night in Rome with an Italian feast (we're talking pastas, succulent meats and traditional Roman delights) and a evening on the town with your travel buddies. Bellissimo!
Rome to Amalfi Coast via Sorrento
Get that camera on 110% battery, today is going to be scenic. Cast your eyes on Rome one last time before we hit the road on the hunt for the Amalfi Coast, yes global roamers, this next destination is yours and it's hot hot hot.
Stop off on the way to the Amalfi Coast to enjoy some spectacular views over the Bay of Naples.
Sojourning to the south we find ourselves in Sorrento, the place you've seen on Instagram countless times, always being stabbed by a pang of jealousy. It's finally your turn! Italian Riviera vibes will kick off pronto as we step into a glamorous afternoon of wine and mozzarella tasting to really get into the swing of things. You're living the high life now, aren't you!
Amalfi Coast incl Capri
Sit you in front of that gorgeous coastline without throwing you into it? We wouldn't dare! Rise and shine and throw on your boating attire - a day at sea awaits us.
Enjoy and included boat ride through the Bay of Naples to the island of Capri, home of crystal clear waters and the famous blue and green grottos. Those feeling particularly taken by the island can opt in for a cruise around the beautiful waters.
After a day out, we'll head back to the mainland well and truly satisfied. What a day, this has definitely been one to remember. You can find a cosy spot for some dinner and exchange of stories of an epic day, and get ready for tomorrow's next adventure.
The olive groves, lemon terraces & tumbling villages of this region are yours for another day. There's a local optional that you won't want to miss today, when we visit a local family to experience the famous symbol of the Amalfi, the lemon! Here you'll sample home made lemondade and lemoncello, as well as lemon cake made by Nonna herself. Delicious. Not one for citrus? Perhaps you want to see the colourful homes of Amalfi Town, maybe you're going to curl up with a good book and a tub of gelato. It's your holiday, it's your call. Tonight, a tastes of Amalfi dinner is up for grabs! Because there's nothing like the feeling of a little glam.
Amalfi Coast to Overnight Ferry via Pompeii and Bari
Arrivederci Amalfi coastline! You've been real. And the next few days have a lot to live up to. Luckily, with Greece on the horizon, we're in pretty safe hands.
Before we farewell Italy, there's a chance to peel back the layers of history at ancient Pompeii. It's here where a volcanic erruption destroyed an entire city, which after re-discovery gives explorers a peek into ancient Roman life. Utterly fascinating and a must-see when you're in this part of the world.
After taking in the rugged beauty of the boot's south, we board our overnight ferry to Greece. Don't be ashamed if you need to wipe away a tear or two as we plough through the Ionian Sea watching Italy get smaller.
Overnight Adriatic Ferry to Athens via Patras and the Corinth Canal
Oh hello there...we're pulling up in Greece! The awe of this country's mainland will begin shortly after our arrival as we catch a glimpse of Corinth Canal. This manmade passageway squeezes boats through it's path, sandwiched by two steep cliffs and sitting over gloriously blue ocean.
A collage of ancient wonders and modern magnificence, the allure of Athens is hard to dismiss. Relax tonight with the knowledge that we have plenty of time to soak up the city all day tomorrow.
A time capsule of life before us, Athens will leave you stunned from sun up 'til sun down. We will drive around the city to see old temples, the first modern Olympic Stadium and of course the gem in Athens crown, the Acropolis. With more than 3000 years of history, this place is #throwback central and the best place for learning about the birthplace of democracy. Climb around the massive Theatre of Dionysus or peruse the National Archaeological Museum. Finishing the exploring by finding a hole in the wall souvlaki haunt, saving room for an optional final dinner with the gang in the rustic district of Plaka. Plate smashing anyone? Oh yes we will.
Athens to Mykonos
Alright sailors it's time to hit the sea! We'll board a Greek ship and head straight for the crisp white isle of Mykonos.
Jetsetters and backpackers alike are drawn to this pristine, has-it-all island. Drift off under a beach cabana, snack on olives & tzatziki in a cute cafe, or stroll the white-washed lanes of the Old Town. Tonight you could head out for a few drinks in Little Venice, this quintisential waterside spot is famous the world over, so why not tick that off your list. Back on the boat we'll sleep knowing that you'll be waking up in Turkey.
Cruising to Patmos via Kusadasi
Rise and shine globe trotters, our captain has kindly escorted us to Turkey! Here in the port town of Kusadasi you can rummage for treasures in the local bazaar and take a trip to Ephesus, the holiday hangout of Mark Antony and Cleopatra where our Local Guide will turn back the clock. Simply incredible, this ancient Roman town is packed full of ruins, and stories galore. Keep an eye out for the two story library, (yes, the ancient people were ahead of the times even way back when).
Out of Kusadasi we drift on towards the rugged island of Patmos, quaint, known for it's seafood, we'll tell you straight up that the octopus is some of the best you'll ever try. Explore this holy hotspot with an optional excursion to Patmos’ UNESCO World Heritage sites of the 11th century Monastery of the Apocalypse and the Grotto of St. John. A must when you're in the area, dating back to 1088 as a protection from pirates! St John's Grotto is up next where part of the bible was written by St John himself. Nothing like a bit of history to keep things interesting. Back on the boat, a sundowner is calling, and maybe some of the ship nightlife before we wake up in Rhodes.
Patmos to Rhodes
Today we take to the mixed bag of Rhodes, influenced by its edging on Europe, Africa and Asia. Shop up a storm of leather, silver, olive oil and honey or uncover Acropolis of Lindos & the walls of Rhode’s medieval town centre on an optional tour with a Local Guide. If sand, swims and sunshine are calling you then Elli Beach might be calling your name, so grab a sunbed and get horizonal and people watch. Beaches, local wine & fresh seafood - your life is complete.
Cruising to Santorini via Crete
We say goodbye to Rhodes and all it's ancient history as we cruise to our next destination, the iconic isle of Santorini.
Some may say we've saved the best 'til last, with Crete and Santorini marking our final full day. Crete is the biggest of the Greek Islands & home to the 4000 year old mythical Minoan Palace. Catch some sleep or explore it all morning with the option of exploring the Place of Knossos. As a quick 101, it's the home to the legend of the Minotaur, a half man half bull which lived in a labyrinth and was slayed by Theseus. A great way to look into days gone by, and we're talking 2000BC. With this fast and furious morning ticked, we head off to our next paradise found.
Get a belt handy - you're going to need to strap that jaw up off the floor as the island of Santorini slowly becomes a reality. Those iconic blue–domed, whitewashed churches are enough to bring a tear to the eye. Set on a caldera, or old volcano, Santorini is literally towering over the landscape. And the best way to get the sheer scale of it all is by boat, and lucky for you sweet traveller, we give you the chance to do just that! Make sure your phone is on full charge, as an Instagram upload is a must tonight.
Santorini to Athens
After breakfast it's hugs, tears, and a final batch of reminiscing. It's astounding how close a group can get in just a few short days. Nothing says bonding quite like the good life. The Croatia Island Hopper is probably the only way to really ease the pain of this goodbye. #NOREGRETS