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Itinerary Summary
(2004 May 28 – June 11)
Tour Home Page Itinerary Itinerary The Transit Hotels Costs Terms Reservations Reservation Form More Information
Fifteen Day Tour of Italy, Athens and Crete

(1) For detailed description of tour see detailed itinerary
(2) For a one page text summary see pdf summary

(Requires Adobe Reader)

Note: We have improved the itinerary shown here and on the pdf summary,
added a day to tour (leaving May 27), and reduced costs by over $500 But, you must contact us by March 8, 2004 to receive these benefits.

(Meals provided shown by B = Breakfast, L = Lunch, D = Dinner, S = Snack)

DAY 1: MAY 28, 2004 (FRI). OVERNIGHT TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT.

Depart USA JFK Airport, New York at 8:20 p.m. EDT (D & B on flight)

DAY 2: MAY 29, 2004 (SAT). FLORENCE AND MONTECATINI TERME, ITALY.

Arrive Florence, Italy 11:05 a.m. local time. Meet Italian tour guide. Half-day tour of Florence. Rest of afternoon at leisure before transferring by motor coach to our hotel in Montecatini Terme at the foot of the Pistoian mountains and one of Europe’s leading spa capitals. Accommodation: Grand Hotel Panoramic (D)

DAY 3: MAY 30, 2004 (SUN). PISA AND FLORENCE.

Half-day excursion to historic Pisa and its leaning cathedral. Return to Florence with rest of day at leisure. After dinner transfer to hotel in Montecatini Terme. Accommodation: Grand Hotel Panoramic (B)

DAY 4: MAY 31, 2004 (MON). SIENA, ITALY.

Full-day excursion to the medieval city of Siena. Half-day tour with local guide to see one of Italy’s most enchanting cities and its great Gothic church. Lunch and time on your own to explore this Gothic city and stroll though its ancient, narrow streets. Return to hotel in Montecatini Terme. Accommodation: Grand Hotel Panoramic (B)

DAY 5: JUNE 1, 2004. (TUE). VENICE, ITALY.

Motor coach through the fertile Lombardian plains to the ancient water city of Venice. Water bus to hotel with lunch on own. Rest of day at leisure to preview the art and architecture of this amazing coastal seaport.
Accommodation: Hotel Sant’Elena (B,D)

DAY 6: JUNE 2, 2004 (WED). VENICE, ITALY.

Private boat round-trip tour to San Marco for half-day guided walking tour of this enchanting city. Highlights include St. Mark’s Square dominated by the Byzantine Basilica and the city’s largest civic building, the lavish Doge’s Palace with its amazing facade. Also watch Venetian glass blowers fashion delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner. Lunch on own with balance of day at leisure. Accommodation: Hotel Sant’Elena (B)

DAY 7: JUNE 3, 2004 (THU). VENICE.

Board motor coach for thrilling ride to Eternal City of Rome. Constantly changing landscapes pass as we cross Italy’s mighty river Po and the wooded, rugged Etruscan Apennine mountain chain that forms the backbone of Italy. Our coach will ride through Tuscan hills, home to olive groves and vineyards that produce famous Chianti wines. Check in at hotel. Rest of day at leisure. Choose one of Rome’s gourmet restaurants for dinner.
Accommodation:
Grand Hotel Palatino (B)

DAY 8: JUNE 4, 2004 (FRI).

ROME. Full day city tour of Rome including the Vatican Museum in Vatican City, Sistine Chapel containing Michelangelo’s extraordinary ceiling painting, and St. Peter’s Basilica, a masterpiece of 16th century Italian architecture. In St. Peter’s Square you can marvel at this vast plaza surrounded by two colonnades of 284 columns. Lunch on own near the Vatican with additional visits to the Great Roman Coliseum, Palatine Hill and the Roman Forum. Time for independent sightseeing ( Roman Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, etc.) In the evening we will have a farewell to Italy dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation: Grand Hotel Palatino (B, D)

DAY 9: JUNE 5, 2004 (SAT). PLATANIAS, CRETE.

Depart Olympic airlines in late morning for the Greek island of Crete. Transfer to our luxury resort in scenic Platanias on the north coast of Crete. Time to relax and explore this exquisite resort before our evening welcome dinner. Accommodation: Minoa Palace Resort (B,L,D)

DAY 10: JUNE 6, 2004 (SUN). EXPLORE CRETE.

Full-day sightseeing including brief tour of Chania (Hania), island’s most attractive city and Heraklion, notable for imposing city walls and the great fort defending the harbor entrance. Two-course lunch at a local restaurant. Visits to Venetian Walls, Archaeological Museum and Palace of Knossos. Accommodation: Minoa Palace Resort (B,L)

DAY 11: JUNE 7, 2004 (MON). SAMARIA GORGE OR AT LEISURE (CRETE).

Relax at resort or independent sightseeing (e.g., Samaria Gorge or Chania). Dinner together before multimedia presentation about tomorrow’s transit. Accommodation: Minoa Palace Resort (B, D)

DAY 12: JUNE 8, 2004 (TUE). TRANSIT OF VENUS (CRETE).

Today, for the first time in over 120 years, Venus transits the Sun, an event no one now alive has ever seen! Set up your own telescopes, etc. at hotel while relaxing and dining at this fabulous resort. (We will also provide telescopes.) This evening, enjoy discussing the day’s events over 3-course dinner at your hotel.
Accommodation: Minoa Palace Resort (B,D)

DAY 13: JUNE 9, 2004 (WED). ATHENS, GREECE.

Transfer to Chania airport for Athens, Greece. Enjoy short panoramic tour of city. Two-course lunch and guided tour of National Archaeological Museum. Delicious 3-course dinner at the Dionysos Restaurant with its incomparable, rooftop restaurant overlooking Athens! Accommodation: Lycabettus Hotel (B,L,D)

DAY 14: JUNE 10, 2004 (THU). ATHENS, GREECE.

Enjoy half day sightseeing in Athens, including Olympic Stadium and, Acropolis and its Parthenon, and the Roman Forum. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure for independent sightseeing. Have dinner on own at one of Athens’s charming old restaurants. Accommodation: Lycabettus Hotel (B)

DAY 15: JUNE 19, 2004 (FRI). HOMEBOUND TRANSATLANTIC FLIGHT ARRIVES SAME DAY.

Morning at leisure for independent sightseeing and last minute shopping. Transfer to Athens International Airport for 2:15 p.m. flight for USA. Arrive New York's JFK at 7:25 EDT with unforgettable memories of Italy, Greece and the transit of Venus! (B with D, S on flight) 

Itinerary Changes While every effort is made to adhere to the specifics mentioned herein, changes may be required at times. Therefore, all prices, itineraries, and other pertinent information are those in effect at the time this material was prepared, and are subject to change without notice.



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