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Greece & Her Islands and Bella Italia Tour

From $2698 (was $2948)

18 Days

Includes 21 meals on tour

Passport Required

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2017 Greece & Her Islands and Bella Italia Tour

Tour Starts: Athens, Greece

Tour Ends: Milan, Italy

Day 1

Depart for Athens, Greece:

Your vacation begins as you depart on your transatlantic flight. Overnight in flight.

Day 2

Arrive in Athens:

Arrive in Athens, Greece, the land of great philosophers, artists and the birthplace of democracy. If you purchased airline tickets from YMT Vacations, you will be transferred to your hotel where the balance of the day is at leisure. This evening you’ll get a chance to meet all your fellow travelers and your YMT Tour Director at the welcome briefing and dinner at the hotel. (D)

✦ Titania Hotel or similar

Day 3


A half-day sightseeing tour of Athens to observe the striking contrasts and history that make this such a fascinating city. You will see the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, the Parliament, the memorial to the Unknown Soldier and Constitution Square. Then it’s on to the most famous of all Athens sights, the Acropolis, atop which lies the stunning 2,500 year old Parthenon Temple built to honor the goddess Athena. Finally this morning you will visit the new Acropolis Museum. The afternoon is at leisure and you are free to explore the Plaka district, in the shadow of the Acropolis, Athens’ oldest and most picturesque neighborhood. This evening you can experience an optional fun and entertaining Greek night. (B)

✦ Titania Hotel or similar

Day 4


Today you have the full day to explore more of this ancient city, or explore further afield. We recommend you join our full day optional tour to Delphi and the Temple of Apollo, one of the most important archaeological sites in Greek history. Delphi was the center of the ancient world and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B)

✦ Hotel Titania or similar

Day 5


This morning we take the short drive to the port of Piraeus to board your ferryboat and cruise toward the islands. This afternoon we arrive at the Island of Mykonos, world famous for its windmills, whitewashed buildings and domed churches. The island is just 33 square miles and has a resident population of around 10,000. (B)

✦ Hotel Kamari or similar

Day 6


Today is yours to explore this magical island. We will have a morning optional tour to the neighboring Island of Delos, fabled birthplace of Artemis and Apollo. If you choose to explore on foot, the central part of Mykonos town is closed to traffic during most of the day and has whitewashed cubic houses, a labyrinth of narrow streets, beautiful churches, lovely chapels and many purple Bougainvillea. (B)

✦ Hotel Kamari or similar

Day 7


After breakfast at the hotel, this morning we leave Mykonos and take the fast ferry to the volcanic island of Santorini. Here you will arrive to witness the majesty of the island’s spectacular 1000 foot high volcanic cliffs. Also famous for the vista of its stacked whitewashed houses of Fira (the main town) perched on the side of the caldera, Santorini is one of the most photographed Greek Islands. Santorini is also renowned for producing some of the best wine in Greece. This evening you may want to join our optional sunset dinner cruise. (B)

✦ Hotel Kallisti or similar

Day 8


You have a full day to explore this unique island paradise at your own pace, or join our optional Island Highlights Tour where you’ll visit and see all the main sights. Tonight enjoy the included farewell dinner at a local restaurant, hosted by your YMT Tour Director. (B, D)

✦ Hotel Kallisti or similar

Day 9

Santorini and Athens:

The last morning in the islands is yours to relax on the beach or explore the array of shops for last minute souvenirs and gifts before we head to the port around lunchtime for our early afternoon ferryboat departure for Athens. We arrive back late evening at the port of Piraeus and take the short transfer to Athens for your last overnight stay in Greece. (B)

✦ Titania Hotel or similar

Day 10

Athens to Rome:

Transfer to Athens airport and check in for your flight to Rome to join our Classic Italy tour. A YMT representative will welcome you at Rome Airport and you will be transferred to your hotel. This evening learn about the next stages of your tour in Italy, then relax over a tasty Italian dinner. (B, D)

✦ Hotel H10 Roma or similar

Day 11

The Vatican:

This morning, we tour a city within Rome, the Vatican City, home of the Pope. At 110 acres, and a population of just over 800, Vatican City is the smallest independent state in the world by both area and population. Our guided tour explores the Vatican Museums, which house some of the most important and valuable art treasures in the world. Visit the Sistine Chapel to view the floor-to-ceiling biblical frescoes painted by Michelangelo around 1512, and St. Peter’s Basilica, built on the location of St. Peter’s crucifixion and burial. You’ll also see St. Peter’s Square, designed so that the greatest number of people could see the Pope give his blessing. Touring the Vatican Museums requires walking up several staircases and 2-3 hours of walking. (B)

✦ Hotel H10 Roma or similar

Day 12


A full-day sightseeing tour includes the highlights of this Eternal City. Today’s sights include outside views of the Roman Forum, once a marketplace and center of daily Roman life, and the Colosseum (entrances not included), the Piazza Navona and the renowned Spanish Steps along with the fabled Trevi Fountain, completed in 1762. (B, D)

✦ Hotel H10 Roma or similar

Day 13

Orvieto and Montecatini Terme:

Depart Rome and travel north into the picturesque Umbrian countryside. We stop and take the funicular up to the ancient town of Orvieto, where you can explore this charming town and admire a variety of Etruscan, Medieval and Renaissance art. By late afternoon, we arrive at Montecatini Terme for a 2-night stay. (B)

✦ Hotel Tamerici & Principe or similar

Day 14

Pisa and Florence:

Today’s full-day excursion starts with a short drive toward the city of Pisa. Here you will see the Leaning Tower of Pisa, which as of April 2011, is free of scaffolding for the first time in 20 years. Enjoy a walking tour of Florence and see the 13th century Duomo with the Brunelleschi dome and Giotto’s Campanile (bell tower); Ghiberti’s golden “Gates of Paradise” doors at the marble-clad Baptistery of St. John, the Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio. (B, D)

✦ Hotel Tamerici & Principe or similar

Day 15

Bologna and Venice:

We drive northeast and stop in Bologna. Probably best known for its culinary tradition, Bologna also has an impressive history and is home to the world's oldest university, founded in 1088. Enjoy some time on your own and perhaps pasta with authentic bolognese sauce before we continue toward the Adriatic coast. We’ll arrive in the Venice area by late afternoon and will stay just a few miles across the lagoon from the historic city. (B, D)

✦ Crowne Plaza Venice East or similar

Day 16


Enjoy a sightseeing tour of this amazing city, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, built on an archipelago of 117 islands in a lagoon. Visit St. Mark’s Square, with its Byzantine Basilica and clock tower; see the Grand Canal and Doge’s Palace, once home to the Duke of Venice (entrance not included), the fabled Bridge of Sighs, as well as the Rialto Bridge. This afternoon you are free to wander through the labyrinth of canals and alleyways, lined with their boutiques and souvenir shops. (B)

✦ Crowne Plaza Venice East or similar

Day 17

Verona, Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore:

Today we head inland from Venice and the Adriatic Sea, through the lush northern Italian landscape as we drive to Verona. A city best known as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, it also offers wonderful examples of Medieval and Renaissance art and architecture. Our walking tour includes the Duomo (cathedral), Piazza delle Erbe with the famous Torre dei Lamberti (high tower), and of course the house of Juliet, with its famous balcony. We continue west toward Lake Garda — at over 30 miles long, Italy’s largest lake, before spending the night in the Lake Maggiore area. (B, D)

✦ Zacchera Hotels or similar

Day 18

Lake Maggiore Cruise and Milan:

This morning we’ll take a scenic lake cruise and you’ll also have a little time to explore one of the picturesque lakeside towns before we continue our journey west to Milan, capital of the region of Lombardy. Your panoramic sightseeing tour highlights will include Piazza del Duomo, the main central square surrounded by several important buildings, such as Milan’s Gothic cathedral and the Royal Palace of Milan. You’ll also have a chance to see Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, an impressive and ornate indoor shopping arcade built in 1865, as well as La Scala Opera House. (B, D)

✦ Crowne Plaza Milan Malpensa or similar

Day 19

Depart for Home:

Bid farewell to Italy, taking home a suitcase full of memories and stories to share. (B)

Note: This tour is not suitable for those who have difficulty walking. The included sightseeing and optional tours will involve walking and standing, steps, stairs and uneven ground at ancient sites and other locations. Local regulations in Greece mandate that guests carry their own luggage on and off ferry boats.

Please note that this is a proposed itinerary; the actual itinerary may vary due to season, special events, or weather. Because our tour arrangements are often made a year or more in advance, YMT Vacations reserves the right to alter the itinerary. Itinerary changes are made to improve your vacation experience, as well as respond to any unforeseen circumstances that mandate alterations. By their nature, all tours vacations involve a certain level of physical activity. While YMT tours have been designed with our guests in mind and are not physically demanding, this tour does include walking and periods of standing during the sightseeing visits. You will also encounter steps and some uneven ground along the way, particularly at older, historical sights.