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Voyages to Antiquity: Great Civilizations of the Mediterranean

Program Number: 21379RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/21/2014 - 4/19/2014;
Duration: 29 nights
Location: Greece/Italy/Malta/Cyprus/Turkey/Israel
Price starting at: $8,195.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 81; 28 Breakfasts, 26 Lunches, 27 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian    

More than 2,000 years ago, Greek travelers journeyed around the Mediterranean to marvel at the Seven Wonders of the World. Recapture their spirit on this comprehensive voyage that gives you the opportunity to explore many of the greatest sites of antiquity.




Activity Particulars

Walking up and downhill, up to two miles per day. Standing up to four hours per day, with breaks; uneven terrain and steep stairs without railings at historic sites.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Athens (Greece), 2 nights; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 12 nights; Jerusalem (Israel), 1 night; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 10 nights; Istanbul (Turkey), 3 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-4: Arrival Athens (Greece) / embark Aegean Odyssey:

Walk in the footsteps of Socrates and Plato on the Acropolis of Athens. Examine archaeological treasures in a spectacular setting at the new Acropolis Museum. Lodging: Stylish five-star hotel.



Days 5-6: At Sea / Syracuse (Italy):

Discover Syracuse’s outstanding Greek and Roman ruins including the 5th-century Greek theater where many of Aeschylus’s tragedies were first staged. This evening, sail past the active volcano on the island of Stromboli.



Days 7-8: Palermo:

In the Sicilian capital, absorb a heady architectural mix of Byzantine, Arab and Norman influences. Experience Monreale Cathedral with its glorious 12th-century mosaics covering over 1.5 acres of wall space. Journey to Segesta, where the ruins left behind by the ancient Elymian people include a theater and an unusually well-preserved Doric temple.



Day 9: Trapani:

Enjoy a scenic drive through the Sicilian countryside to Selinunte, site of the largest archaeological park in Europe dating to the 7th century BC.



Day 10: Valletta (Malta):

Go ashore in this city built by the Knights Hospitaller to visit the Baroque St. John’s Cathedral, the magnificent Palace of the Grand Masters and more. Continue to the enchanting medieval town of Mdina.



Days 11-13: At Sea / Crete (Greece):

Spend two days exploring the island of Crete. Explore Rethimnon with its Venetian-era fortress and visit the Minoan palace of Knossos. Discover lovely Chania, a port held by the Romans, Venetians and Ottoman Turks.



Days 14-15: At sea / Haifa:

Venture to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Acre, a fortified port city whose walls protect a largely intact Crusader town from the 11th century.



Days 16-17: Jerusalem / Bethlehem:

Disembark for an overnight shore excursion in Jerusalem. Explore the Old City, a tiny area held sacred by many religions, and several important sites in the life of Jesus including Bethlehem, Nazareth and Cana. Lodging: Comfortable hotel near the Old City of Jerusalem.



Day 18: Limassol (Cyprus):

Discover the Greco-Roman city of Kourion, dramatically situated on the shores of Cyprus. Learn about the Knights Templar in medieval Limassol.



Day 19: Iskenderun (Turkey):

Take a field trip to Antioch, an ancient city that at its height rivaled Alexandria as the chief city of the Near East. It’s also considered the “cradle of Christianity.”



Day 20: Tasucu:

Venture to Mamure Castle, controlled at various times by Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans, then continue to the Roman trading center of Anemurium.



Day 21: Antalya:

Explore the ancient Greek city of Perga and the Roman trading town of Aspendos. Enjoy some time to walk the palm-shaded boulevards of lovely Antalya.



Day 22: Rhodes (Greece):

Step ashore in Rhodes Old Town, built to suit the ideals of the medieval Knights Hospitaller. The Palace of the Grand Master still looms above the capital.



Day 23: Santorini:

On this stunning volcanic isle, your expert-led excursion includes a visit to Oia, a village of whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches and tavernas carved into the cliffs.



Day 24: Delos and Mykonos:

Find the temples and famous lions of Delos, the island considered the holiest of sanctuaries by the Ancient Greeks. Continue to cosmopolitan Mykonos for an afternoon stroll.



Days 25-26: Izmir / At sea

Journey to Ephesus, one of the largest and best preserved ancient cities of the classical world, and discover the ruins of temples, theaters and the famous library.



Days 27-30: Istanbul / Disembark /

Discover the architectural treasures of Istanbul including the Hagia Sophia. Enjoy a private boat excursion on the Bosphorous. Lodging: Four-star hotel.



Aegean Odyssey

The Aegean Odyssey is a premium-class ship especially rebuilt for sailing along shallow coastlines, among remote islands and into small, uncrowded harbors that larger ocean liners can’t reach. Public areas include several gourmet restaurants, library, Internet center, sweeping sun decks, outdoor pool, gym and spa.


Meals and Lodgings
   Metropolitan Hotel
  Athens, Greece 2 nights
   Aegean Odyssey
  Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 12 nights
   Grand Court Jerusalem Hotel
  Jerusalem, Israel 1 night
   Aegean Odyssey
  Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 10 nights
   Armada Hotel
  Istanbul, Turkey 3 nights
 Metropolitan Hotel
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The Metropolitan Hotel, with its unique cosmopolitan atmosphere, combines traditional hospitality and luxury in central Athens. With a view to both the Acropolis and the Aegean Sea, the fully renovated Metropolitan Hotel is ideally situated in front of the Faleron Olympic Coastal Park. It is only 10 minutes away from Syntagma square, the center of Athens and the port of Piraeus.
  Contact info: Leoforos Syngrou 385
Athens,  175-64 Greece
phone: +30 210 947 1000
web: www.chandris.gr
  Room amenities: Each room has individually controlled air conditioning, satellite television, telephone, high speed Internet connection, radio, mini bar, hair dryer, safe box, and laptop and fax machine outlets.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, lounge, bar, gift shop, fitness center, marble steam bath, outdoor heated swimming pool, business center, free wireless Internet access in lobby, and a hairdresser.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
web: www.voyagestoantiquity.com
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Particular importance is placed on the standard of bedding in cabins. Luxury bedding, including fine duvets, covers and sheets, ample soft pillows and quality towels can be expected. Also, shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature outlets with 220 voltage, using the “European” two round pin plug. Hair dryers are provided in your cabin and electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers and other small appliances can be used in your cabin. For safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.
  Facility amenities: Dining: Aegean Odyssey offers many dining facilities: The Marco Polo Restaurant is the ship's more formal restaurant, providing casual country-club elegance for lunch or dinner; The Terrace Cafe offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner from the grill or the sumptuous daily buffet. In the evenings, enjoy breathtaking views over dinner at Tapas on the Terrace. *There is a complimentary choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks with your evening meal. There will be a string trio, pianist and casual dancing before and after dinner. You may also wish to partake in afternoon tea, served in the Observation Lounge or enjoy an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; Internet center (open 24 hours and a charge of $18 for 4 non-consecutive hours is applied, wireless available in reception area); beauty salon; medical center; laundry and pressing services (order form and laundry bag is provided in cabin); lecture theater and cinema and on board shop.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Grand Court Jerusalem Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The 4-star Grand Court Hotel is ideal for all visitors in the holy city of Jerusalem. The hotel is located in the city center, just a short walk from the Old City, abundant in important holy sites, colorful markets, and notable historical and cultural attractions.
  Contact info: 15 Saint George St.
Jerusalem,   91002 Israel
phone: +972-2-5917777
web: www.grandhotels-israel.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a mini fridge, hair dryer, telephone, LCD cable television, safe box, free wireless Internet, coffee-making facilities, and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers three restaurants including a sunlit dining room, a garden terrace, and a bar and lounge, as well as meeting rooms, business center with computers and printers, library, free WIFI Internet access throughout the hotel, laundry services and air conditioning. The luxurious pool and sundeck, which overlook the Old City, are a hotel highlight. The Grand Court also has a fitness center on the premises.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Armada Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The 4-star Armada Hotel is located in the historic peninsula of Istanbul, with views of two of the great masterpieces of world architecture; the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. The hotel offers modern comfort and convenience discreetly incorporated into the Turkish-inspired architecture, and period engravings throughout the hotel provide an insight into Istanbul's by-gone eras. The name of the Armada Hotel is a tribute to the memory of the renowned Ottoman Admiral Hayrettin Pasha Barbarossa. Located in the heart of the Old City, the hotel is within walking distance of museums, churches and other major attractions.
  Contact info: Ahirkapi Street 24
Sultanahmet
Istanbul,  34122 Turkey
phone: +90 212 455 44 55
web: www.armadahotel.com.tr
  Room amenities: Each room has a mini bar, hair dryer, bathrobes, telephone, LCD television, safe box, free wireless Internet, 24-hour room service and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers two restaurants, a bar, lounge, meeting rooms, business center with computers and printers, library, free WIFI Internet access throughout the hotel, laundry service and air conditioning. The rooftop restaurants offer magnificent views of the area.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. 1-800-241-1404
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Athens, Greece. Meet at 7:00 PM in the hotel lobby. You will be staying at Metropolitan Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Istanbul, Turkey. The program will end after breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Armada Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The Voyages to Antiquity Guest Registration Form is required.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Athens
  Transportation to site: Take a taxi from exit 3 of the arrivals level at the airport. Cost is approx. 35-40 Euros ($45-52USD), after midnight the cost increases to 60 Euros ($78USD). Alternatively, take the airport bus X95 which departs from between Exits 4 and 5 at the arrivals level. The bus costs 5 Euro and leaves every 10 to 15 minutes for Syntagma Square – from here it is a short taxi ride to the hotel (approx. 8 Euro).
  From End of Program
  Location:  Istanbul
  Nearest city or town:  In town
  Nearest airport:  Atatürk International Airport
  Transportation from site: The Armada Hotel is located about 10 miles from the airport. Taxi ride from the hotel to the airport costs approximately 45 Turkish Liras (approx. $30USD) and takes approximately 30 minutes. The Armada Hotel also has an airport shuttle. Contact the hotel for more details. Alternatively, to book a private transfer ($65), please contact info@baltactours.com.
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departures
(Friday, March 21)
   
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome
(Saturday, March 22)
   
 Morning: Arrival in Athens International Airport (ATH). Meet group outside of customs. Transfer to hotel.
 Afternoon: Settle in at the hotel. We gather in the hotel lobby at 7:00 PM for a welcome orientation to the program.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Metropolitan Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Athens, Greece
(Sunday, March 23)

Note: Heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, with multiple uphill segments.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: We will explore the long anticipated $200-million, 226,000-square-foot Acropolis Museum. In the dramatic Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis, ascending floors of glass literally “float” you above the excavations for an extraordinary perspective of the layers of Greek history that lie below.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Plaka.
 Afternoon: A guided excursion through the ancient citadel of Athens, the Acropolis. Built during the "Golden Age" of Athens between 447-438BC under the orders of the great statesman Pericles, the Acropolis represents the magnificent achievements of Athenian culture during this remarkable era.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Metropolitan Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Athens, Greece / Embark the MV Aegean Odyssey
(Monday, March 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: A guided walk through Plaka - the picturesque old historical neighborhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, and incorporating labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: We transfer to Piraeus where we will embark the MV Aegean Odyssey. Late afternoon Road Scholar orientation to the ship in the "Observation Lounge."
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: At Sea
(Tuesday, March 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. A chance to relax on deck and enjoy the shipboard guest lectures as the ship makes its way to Syracuse.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Syracuse, Italy
(Wednesday, March 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Many a conqueror set his sights on Syracuse, one of the largest and wealthiest cities of ancient Europe that, at the height of its power, rivaled Athens, Carthage and Rome. In 661, one of these invaders, Emperor Constans II, made it the capital of the Holy Roman Empire but that honor brought with it horrific imperial taxes. To pay them, we are told that wives became prostitutes, husbands were sold as slaves and children taken from their parents. The nightmare ended in 668AD when Constans was slain by a Greek bath attendant wielding a soap dish. Enjoy a walking tour of the city’s outstanding collection of Greek and Roman ruins in the Syracuse Archaeological Park including the Roman Amphitheater of Augustus and the 2nd-century BC Altar of Hieron (where as many as 400 bulls were sacrificed at one time in celebration of the Eleutherian Feast). Next, visit the Latomie of Paradise, huge caverns that served as a source of stone for the city’s monuments and also as a prison: 7,000 Athenian prisoners of war were held here in 413BC. One of the most impressive of these caverns is called the Ear of Dionysus in reference to its extraordinary formation and remarkable echo. The highlight of this field trip is a visit to the 5th-century Greek theater where many of Aeschylus’s tragedies were first staged. After visiting the park, return to the ship and enjoy a short walk through Ortygia.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Take advantage of the ship's well stocked library that has a wide selection of volumes covering classical history, literature, art, architecture, and philosophy. The frequently updated collection also includes an extensive reference section as well as modern and classic novels.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Sunset sail through the Straits of Messina and take you past the living volcano of Stromboli en route to Palermo.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Palermo, Sicily
(Thursday, March 27)

Note: Please wear appropriate attire for religious sites -- no shorts or bare shoulders.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: During Roger II’s reign as King of Sicily (1130AD to 1154AD), the island became a great maritime power and also the channel through which Greek and Arabic thought passed into Europe. The embracing spirit of Roger’s reign is gloriously expressed in many of the great buildings of Sicily, but nowhere more perfectly than the Palatine Chapel, built during the 1130s and 1140s. This is the king’s masterpiece – a miraculous fusion of Latin, Byzantine and Arabic architectural design. Creamy marble is inlaid with gold leaf, Byzantine mosaics blanket entire walls and the ceiling of carved wooden coffers speaks of the finest Arabic design. The palace in which the chapel is housed had its start in the 9th century AD, when the Emir of Palermo built on the site of a Punic Roman stronghold. Roger II turned the building into the city’s main fortress and his sumptuous palace, then crowned it with this jewel of a chapel. Following your visit to the Palatine Chapel, the walking excursion continues to nearby San Giovanni degli Eremiti, built by Roger II in 1132, a Norman church with Arabic domes. Drive next to Palermo Cathedral, site of the huge porphyry tomb of Roger II, as well as the silver urn that contains the remains of Palermo’s protector, St Rosalia.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: It is an hour and a quarter drive to Segesta, once an advanced center of the Elymian civilization. The city is thought to have been founded in the 5th to 4th century BC by a combination of exiled Trojans, Phocaeans from Greece and Sicans of Sicily. Segesta was well defended, located on a vast plateau between two peaks and surrounded by walls. Presiding in splendid isolation is a stunning Greek theater and the majestic 36-columned, 5th-century BC Doric temple. This archaeological jewel is in an extraordinary state of preservation and makes a superb sight amid its surroundings of rolling hills.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Palermo, Sicily
(Friday, March 28)

Note: Please wear appropriate attire for religious sites -- no shorts or bare shoulders. Monreale Cathedral access is via steep steps; taxis are available for a small fee.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Travel just a short distance out of Palermo to discover Monreale Cathedral, considered by many to be the most beautiful Norman church in Italy. Designed by William the Good in 1174, the church offers visions of beauty, grace and the divine. The exterior’s thick walls and powerful towers have the look of an austere fortress, but just step inside: it is the interior that is this cathedral’s true glory. The large nave with its side aisles and gray granite columns draws the eyes upward to 12th-century gold mosaics that cover over one and a half acres of wall space. Additionally, visit the Benedictine cloisters, a magnificent synthesis of Romanesque and Arab architecture. Admire the serenity of the courtyard with its graceful arcade featuring 216 sets of twin columns and pointed Arabic arches. Later, enjoy free time in the main square before we return to the ship. Alternatively, the ship will offer an optional extension of this excursion to Palazzo Gangi, a magnificent private residence dating to the 15th century (additional cost, bookable on board).
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore Palermo on your own or sit, relax and people watch at the Piazza Verdi or the Piazza Castelnuovo, two of Palermo's main squares.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Trapani, Italy
(Saturday, March 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Delve into Hellenic antiquity at Selinunte, one of the largest and most imposing archaeological sites in Europe, with a beautiful setting overlooking the sea. Your adventure starts with a panoramic sightseeing excursion from Trapani to Selinunte. The city was founded between BC650 and 628 by the Greek colony at Megara Hyblaea, and its name refers to a type of wild parsley. In 409BC, following a bitter rivalry with Segesta, its non-Hellenic neighbor, Selinunte was destroyed by Carthage and its 16,000 residents slaughtered. Later, Arabs and Byzantines established residence. Selinunte's archaeological zone superbly illustrates the synthesis of Greek and Phoenician cultures. Excavations here have unearthed over eight temples, altars and sanctuaries, as well as massive fortifications – all spread out over an area of approximately half a mile. You'll visit the Eastern Hill, home to three of the most magnificent temples, all of the Doric order. Temple E, consecrated to Hera and dating to the sixth century BC, was rebuilt in 1958. Temple F, probably dedicated to Athena or Dionysus, is the oldest temple on the hill. Temple G, dedicated to Apollo, was once one of Greece's greatest temples. Now wild parsley grows amid its fallen Doric columns, an evocative and unforgettable sight.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time to take a relaxing stroll through the charming port of Trapani. Alternatively, the ship will offer an optional excursion to the ancient hilltop town of Erice (additional cost, bookable on board).
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Valletta, Malta
(Sunday, March 30)

Note: This excursion involves significant walking on flat surfaces and may be operated in reverse. As we will be visiting religious sites, please no shorts or sleeveless shirts. If the Palace or Cathedral are closed for an event, we will substitute a visit to the Palace Armory or the Museum of Archaeology.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Join a walk through Malta's capital of Valletta, a city packed with historical interest. This World Heritage Site is dominated by two magnificent buildings: the Baroque St John's Co-Cathedral and the Grand Master's Palace. Valletta was founded in 1566 by Jean Parisot de Vallette, the 48th Grand Master of the Knights of St John, who was captured at the siege of Rhodes in 1522 at the age of 28, became a slave on a Turkish galley, and fought during the 1565 siege of Malta. This last encounter with the Turks revealed the weaknesses in the Knight's original base at Vittoriosa, so they moved across the harbor and established Valletta, an impregnable stronghold that has survived the centuries. This morning, visit the Grand Master's Palace, designed by Gerolamo Cassar, with its luxuriously furnished State Rooms and portraits of past Grand Masters. Continue by foot to St John's Co-Cathedral. Admire the magnificent Baroque interior and Caravaggio's masterpiece, The Beheading of St John. Drive next to Mdina, Malta's former capital, where much of the architecture dates from the Middle Ages. Around 60AD, the Apostle Paul was shipwrecked off these coasts and lived in a cave near Mdina. During his stay he converted the Roman governor, Publius, to Christianity. Stroll Mdina's narrow streets to visit St Paul's Cathedral, built, according to tradition, on the site where Publius once lived. Then stop for a panoramic overview from the ramparts and take in the strategic position of this island coveted by both Rome and Carthage before returning to the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: A free afternoon to explore Valletta’s wonderful palaces, gardens and museums.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: At Sea
(Monday, March 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Treat yourself to one of many spa services offered by the ship. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Find your way to one of the ship's lounges for a conversation with fellow travelers. Enjoy a late afternoon Road Scholar cocktail in the Observation Lounge.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Rethimnon, Crete
(Tuesday, April 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: An hour and 20-minute drive takes you from Rethimnon to Knossos. Even without the tales of a blood-thirsty Minotaur, this magnificent palace complex with its flamboyant decoration, courts, audience chambers and residential areas is an impressive and inspiring site. Constructed around 1900BC, it was the administrative and religious center of the Minoan kingdom. Here King Minos held court and – so mythology holds – his wife gave birth to a half-man, half-bull creature that lurked in the palace’s labyrinth. This fearsome beast was appeased only by human sacrifices. An earthquake destroyed the original complex; it was then rebuilt on an even grander scale, only to be destroyed again by the massive volcanic eruption on Santorini around 1500BC. Though periodically excavated by Greek archaeologists in the late 19th century, credit for the full excavation and restoration is given to amateur Victorian archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans. Roundly criticized for occasional mis-steps in restoration, Sir Arthur poured his fortune into the effort and did a remarkable job for the time period. Knossos today at least allows the visitor to visualize the palace as it once was and understand its intricacies. The guided excursion will take you through this legend-rich, entrancing complex that sprawled across five acres, where everything from throne room to royal living quarters is reconstructed with meticulous care.
 Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a Road Scholar exclusive drive to the scenic Lassithi Plateau that takes you through landscapes suggestive of El Greco, a native of Crete.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: A free evening to join your Group Leader on a walking excursion of Rethimnon’s Old Town – one of the best-preserved Renaissance cities in the Mediterranean with fine Venetian and Ottoman architecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Rethimnon, Crete
(Wednesday, April 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The beautiful town of Chania was, along with Heraklion and Rethimnon, one of the main Venetian strongholds on Crete. The morning will be spent visiting Chania’s fortified harbor. Free time to explore this charming town on your own.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a leisurely afternoon on board as the ship sails the Mediterranean Sea towards Israel.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: At Sea
(Thursday, April 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Stretch your body and mind during early morning yoga or pilates.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Enjoy a rousing board game with fellow travelers.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Haifa, Israel
(Friday, April 4)

Note: The excursion to Acre involves walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, with multiple uphill segments.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Free-time to enjoy the views of the Mediterranean Sea as the ship arrives to Haifa by mid-morning.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Crusader kingdom in Acre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and en route see the lovely Baha'i Gardens of Haifa. Today's field trip starts with a drive from port via Mount Carmel for a panoramic view encompassing the bay and entire north of Israel. Stop at an observation point next to the monastery in Stella Maris to admire the largest hanging gardens in the world, the Baha'i Gardens. At their center is an immense gold-domed shrine, a sacred center for the millions who practice the Baha'i faith. Continue your drive around the bay to Acre, one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, dating to the era of Pharaoh Thutmose III (1504-1450BC). Here, history unfolds before your eyes on a walk along narrow passageways where layers of cities are revealed. The present town was built in the 18th century, but in the 12th and 13th centuries Acre was a Crusader city, the main access to Israel for European Christians. For centuries a Moslem city, Acre still offers an astonishingly intact look at that earlier era. Your excursion of the walled Old City includes a visit to the newly excavated Knights' Halls, the Templers' Tunnel, the Marina Port and the Sea Walls. These well-preserved ruins give you a chance to see with the eyes of a medieval tourist who has just arrived to visit the Holy Land.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: The ship overnights in Haifa.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Haifa / Jerusalem, Israel
(Saturday, April 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Disembark the ship for one overnight in Jerusalem. Walk in the footsteps of Jesus as you visit his childhood home and the sites of many of his most famous miracles on this full-day field trip that starts from Haifa and concludes tonight in Jerusalem at your hotel. This morning, you drive to Nazareth, revered as the spot where the Angel Gabriel appeared to tell Mary she would bear the Son of God. Visit the Church of the Annunciation, built on the Crusader and Byzantine remains to mark the place of this heavenly event. Next, pass by the Church of St Joseph. See the site of Joseph's carpentry workshop and the well where Mary drew water. Wander through a colorful Arab bazaar, before continuing to the nearby village of Cana, the site of the wedding where Jesus turned water into wine at the request of his mother.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the Sea of Galilee.
 Afternoon: After lunch, continue the day's excursion. Visit Capernaum where Jesus awed his disciples, all fishermen, with miraculous catches and told them he would make them "fishers of men." See the village where St Peter once lived. Walk along the waters to Tabgha, where Jesus is said to have fed 5,000 with just two fish and five loaves of bread. Then head to the panoramic hill-top site where Jesus delivered the Sermon on the Mount. Drive next through the lively resort town of Tiberias to Yardenit, where Jesus is said to have been baptized. Pilgrims the world over come here to immerse themselves in the River Jordan. Your day ends at the hotel in Jerusalem, with a late check-in.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Grand Court Jerusalem Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Jerusalem / Haifa, Israel
(Sunday, April 6)

Note: Today's excursion involves walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, with multiple uphill segments.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Within Jerusalem's old city lie some of mankind's most revered sites, while nearby Bethlehem is venerated as the birthplace of Jesus. This full-day field trip starts with an overview of Jerusalem. Drive past the Israeli parliament, known as the Knesset, the Museum of Israel and the Shrine of the Book, home to the Dead Sea Scrolls. Ascend the Mount of Olives, where it is thought the dead will be resurrected on Judgment Day, to take in sweeping views. Continue to the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus prayed after the Last Supper and later ascended into heaven. Visit the Church of All Nations, known as The Basilica of the Agony. Then plunge into a world of narrow streets and religious landmarks on a walking excursion of old Jerusalem. Trace the path Jesus took carrying the cross to Calvary. Visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, at the site of the crucifixion, burial and resurrection. Glimpse the splendid mosques of Al-Aqsa and the golden Dome of the Rock. Stand before the Western (Wailing) Wall, where Orthodox Jews nod in prayer and insert notes into the cracks of the wall.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, drive to Bethlehem to visit one of Christianity's most hallowed sights – the Church of the Nativity, built on site of the stable where Mary gave birth to Jesus. Along the town's streets, shops offer handicrafts in olive wood, an ancient tradition in this land where the Bible comes to life.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Limassol, Cyprus
(Monday, April 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Although five earthquakes shook the thriving city kingdom of Kourion during the 7th century BC, it took a tsunami – created by the last earthquake – to deliver the final blow. Today visit this remarkable Greco-Roman city founded by Mycenaean Greeks and a major cultural center of its time. The setting is superb, perched atop a hill just outside the modern city of Limassol with breathtaking views of cultivated lands stretching to the Mediterranean. A highlight is the fully restored Roman theater, built in the 2nd century BC. Once two thousand spectators watched gladiators in this arena, today the site's wonderful acoustics and stunning sea views make it ideal for musical performances. Explore the House of Eustolios with its beautiful 5th century mosaic floors, colonnaded courtyard and unique baths. Continue to the romantic remains of the Sanctuary of Apollo, a 7th century shrine to the sun god that features stunning Corinthian columns. The stadium nearby was a venue for such Greek sports as wrestling, and you can still see the urns that provided water to the athletes. En route to Kourion, enjoy a short photo stop at the 13th century Colossi Castle, a fine example of Crusader architecture. An opening above the entrance gate served as ornamentation and also allowed the castle occupants to pour boiling oil or tar over unwanted entrants. Besides being the best preserved medieval castle on Cyprus, the site is where Coummandaria, the island's famous sweet dessert wine, was first produced over 800 years ago. After visiting Kourion, return to the ship or take the shuttle to the Old Town to explore on your own. The medieval castle is where Richard the Lionheart married Berengaria of Navarre and crowned her Queen of England in 1191 before going on to conquer Cyprus.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore Limassol on your own before the ship sails in the early evening.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Iskenderun, Turkey
(Tuesday, April 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Treat yourself at the ship's spa or dive into a good book from the ship's library.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Trace Christianity's spread in the Biblical city of Antioch where you'll visit St Peter's Grotto, the cave church where St Paul once preached, the renowned mosaic museum and also a traditional market. Your starting point for this adventure is Iskenderun, where it is said the whale coughed up the prophet Jonah. Antioch, now called Antakya, is the capital of Turkey's Hatay province. Your drive takes you to a valley surrounded by the Nur Mountains and the banks of the Orontes River. Antioch was founded by one of Alexander's Seleucid generals in 300BC, who named it after his father. Thanks to excellent trading routes, the settlement prospered and become the third largest city in the Roman Empire. In its heyday, the population was nearly half a million and had a reputation for luxury and lax morals. St Paul made Antioch his first mission and from here the Christian message spread to the rest of the world. You will also visit St Peter's Grotto, perhaps the oldest church in existence. In this cave blackened by the candle smoke of over 2,000 years, the apostle once preached his sermons. Antioch's churches were the first where this new religion was practiced openly and the word "Cristianos" was first used here to describe the Christian community. Also scheduled is a stop at the region's Archaeological Museum, containing one of the world's largest Roman and Byzantine mosaic collections, as well as objects from Stone Age civilizations. Then continue your explorations at the center of town. Antioch fell to the crusaders in 1098, was occupied by France until 1920 and reverted to Turkey just before World War II. Many different sects of Christianity exist here, along with Turkey's oldest mosque. Feel the town's distinctive character in the cobbled streets of the old quarter and visit the traditional bazaar where you can find laurel products from the neighboring mountains.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Early evening sailing for Tasucu. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Tasucu, Turkey
(Wednesday, April 9)

Note: The excursion to Mamure Castle and Anemurium involves strenuous walking.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The sight of Mamure Castle's stark façade soaring out of the sea may once have struck awe in the heart of would-be conquerors, but today inspires photos. Combine Turkey's most impressive castle with a visit to the ghost town of Anemurium, located at the southernmost tip of Turkey. From port, drive to Mamure Castle, a picturesque site with crenellated walls and watchtowers that stretch down to a moat or the Mediterranean Sea. This formidable bastion was used by Romans, Byzantines, Seljuk Turks and Ottomans respectively. The present castle was built in 1226 by Sultan Alaeddin Key Kukubat I, upon the site of a 3rd century Roman fort. The castle's 39 towers enclose three spacious courtyards and a mosque. Drive next to the hillside city Anemurium, which the Greeks termed "windy cape," set on a peninsula jutting into the Mediterranean. The city was inhabited from the 4th century BC to the 7th century AD and reached its height as a trading center under Roman rule. Many of the remains date from that time. Mosaics testify to the wealth of a community that minted its own coins. Visitors will see the aqueducts that supplied the town with potable water, the defensive walls that protected against Isaurian raids, and an immense palaestrae for sports training. Other sights include the extensive baths, Byzantine churches and a vast necropolis. You will leave this place with a glimpse into Roman life and some tantalizing questions about this vanished community.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Following lunch, return to the ship via coach for an early evening departure for Antalya. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Antalya, Turkey
(Thursday, April 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: After breakfast we will set off for the ancient Roman trading town of Aspendos, located on the Eurymedon River and splendidly backed by the Taurus Mountains. To date, only parts of Aspendos have been excavated, but the well-preserved Roman theater which hosts performances to this day, was one of the most spectacular buildings of the 2nd century. Following Aspendos, it is a short coach ride to Perge whose impressive ruins date to 1000BC. The stadium is one of the best-preserved in Anatolia, a huge arena where over 12,000 could watch athletic competitions.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time among the palm-lined boulevards, beautiful Old Town and excellent shops of Antalya. Alternatively, you may wish to visit the superb Antalya Archaeological Museum.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Early evening departure for Rhodes. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: Rhodes, Greece
(Friday, April 11)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Leave behind the port where the Colossus once stood and discover a stunning ensemble of Gothic architecture just a short drive from the port. These UNESCO World Heritage monuments testify to the role of Rhodes, the largest island in the Dodecanese group, as a strategic crossroads. Many structures date to the era of the Knights of St John of Jerusalem, who lived on the island from 1309 until 1522 when the Ottoman Empire finally dislodged the Knights. En route, you’ll visit a lookout named Mount Smith named after the British admiral Sir Sydney Smith who used this vantage point to scan the seas for French ships in the Napoleonic era. Then you enter the citadel of the Knight’s through the d’Amboise Gate and head for the restored Grand Masters Palace. The first building of the 14th century Crusaders, the Palace was modeled on the great Papal Palace of Avignon. It served as a fortress in times of war, a residence for the Grand Master of the Knights, a meeting place for senior knights, and, in later times, a summer residence of both Mussolini and Victor Emmanuel II of Italy. Stroll the cobblestone Street of the Knights and admire the honey-colored stone buildings with their giant doorways and arched windows. Step into the 15th century Knights Hospital, now an archaeological museum that counts the Aphrodite of Rhodes in flawless Parian marble among its treasures.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to continue to explore Rhodes.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Early evening departure for Santorini. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: Santorini, Greece
(Saturday, April 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Closed to the public for over six years, the newly reopened Minoan settlement of Akrotiri is today’s highlight, but you also visit several of Santorini's picturesque villages. One of the Aegean's most important archaeological sites, Akrotiri was abandoned after severe earthquakes, then covered in pumice by a volcanic eruption in about 1625BC. A visit tells the tale of an affluent society that farmed, built two-story homes and indulged a taste for frescoes, furniture and jewelry. Today's excursion includes a visit to the ongoing excavations, where you can walk amid the well-preserved streets, view the workshops and squares. Start your adventure with a transfer from the ship by local boat, then drive to the northern tip of the island to the village of Oia with its whitewashed houses, blue-domed churches and coffee shops carved in the cliffs. Stroll along the cobblestone streets where wealthy sea captains built their mansions, now converted to cafés, boutiques and art galleries. Take in breathtaking views in all directions. Continue to the southern end of the island and the archaeological site of Akrotiri. The excavations, led by Professor Spyros Marintos, began in 1967. Walk around this amazing city and get an insight into the culture that laid the foundation for Greek civilization.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local taverna in Pyrgos.
 Afternoon: After lunch, enjoy some free time wandering around the colorful streets of Firá or proceed to the cable car for a panoramic ride directly to port.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Sunset departure for Delos. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: Delos, Greece / Mykonos, Greece
(Sunday, April 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Discover the tiny, deserted isle of Delos, the religious center of the Cyclades, where columns lie glistening in the sun, and the Lions of Delos guard the Sacred Way. As the reputed birthplace of the god Apollo, Delos was once a principal religious and commercial center of the Eastern Mediterranean. Pilgrims, traders, politicians, and warriors alike came from all over the Mediterranean to this sanctuary. In fact, the “Cyclades,” the name of this island group, means “those islands around Delos.” In the 5th century BC, the Delphic Oracle decreed the island was to be purged of all the dead and that no person could either die or give birth on Delos to preserve the isle’s sanctity. Some of the richest archaeological treasure troves in Greece await as you leave the Sacred Harbour on your guided walking excursion. Imagine the merchants in the Agora and the pilgrims entering the Sanctuary of Apollo. Walk along the spectacular Avenue of the Lions. Pay homage to the guardians of the Sacred Lake where Leto gave birth to the twin gods, Artemis and Apollo. And above all, savor the almost-mystical silence that pervades this haunting site of antiquity.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Contrast the sacred sights of Delos with the more worldly charms of Mykonos, a whitewashed resort that is the very image of a Greek isle. The huge granite rocks you see strewn across the hilly landscape are said to be the graves of the Titans. The windmills are a later refinement, dating from the 16th century, used for grinding grain for shipment when Mykonos was a major seaport between Venice and Asia. In town, the streets are a delightful maze, designed to confuse attacking pirates, although eventually the island became the headquarters of the Corsair fleet and a place where pirates recruited for their ships. Today these winding streets are lined with tempting shops, galleries and boutiques that all exact their tribute. Along the waterfront, near the area called Little Venice, the seaside cafes are ideal for evening drinks. Enjoy a guided walk with your Road Scholar Group Leader followed by free time.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Early evening departure for Izmir. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 25: Izmir, Turkey
(Monday, April 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Upon arrival in Izmir, we will transfer south to arrive at the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the largest and best preserved ancient cities in the world. The cosmopolitan city of Ephesus was, in its heyday, on par with Athens and Rome. We will also visit the newly excavated Terrace Houses in Ephesus, where the rich and the ruling class once lived in homes where they had running water and were decorated with wonderful works of art.
 Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will visit the remains of the Basilica of St. John, a Byzantine church built in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian (527-65 AD) and dedicated to St. John the Evangelist. Before returning to the ship, we will also stop at the remains of the Temple of Artemis, one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 26: At Sea
(Tuesday, April 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Relax on board as the ship makes its way to Istanbul.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Join friends on deck to trade travel stories, reflect on all you have experienced on this adventure, and make plans for your next destination.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 27: Disembark / Istanbul, Turkey
(Wednesday, April 16)

Note: The excursions in Istanbul involve significant walking. As we will be visiting religious sites, please no shorts or sleeveless shirts. Ladies may be asked to cover their heads.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning we disembark the MV Aegean Odyssey and begin the day with an excursion in the city of Istanbul. Our excursion beings with the amazing church of Hagia Sophia, possibly the most important architectural monument in the city, standing gracefully since 537 AD. Field trip to the Hippodrome, the civic center of ancient Constantinople, where chariot races were run between the four teams of Blues, Greens, Whites and Reds. Then visit the 17th century Blue Mosque, world renowned for its exquisite Iznik tiles surrounding the interior of this wonderful mosque.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Explore the beautiful Underground Cisterns, built by the illustrious Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 532 AD to store water underground. Visit to the award winning Archeology Museum to examine an outstanding collection of artifacts spanning across millennia including the magnificent Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Armada Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 28: Istanbul, Turkey
(Thursday, April 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Explore the opulent Topkapi Palace including the Imperial Harem. The Topkapi Palace was the seat of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years and a great testimony to the wealth and power of the Ottoman Empire.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon visit the Chora Church/Kariye Museum to witness its exquisite mosaics and frescoes from the 14th century, a period of Byzantine reawakening in arts.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Armada Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 29: Istanbul, Turkey
(Friday, April 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Explore the Grand Bazaar with its maze-like streets and alleys boasting over 4,000 shops! Next, visit the Spice Bazaar where exotic aromas immediately capture its visitors. On to the Rustem Pasha Mosque, built by the famous architect Sinan, a small but gem-like mosque demonstrating the most stunning examples of 16th century Iznik tiles.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We embark on a private cruise on the Bosphorus to explore the stunning palaces, mansions, and fortresses dotted along the Asian and European shores of this marvelous strait.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Armada Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 30: Departures
(Saturday, April 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to Istanbul's Ataturk Airport for departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Anatolian Days & Nights


Author: Angie Brenner, Joy Stocke


Description: When Joy Stocke and Angie Brenner meet on the balcony of a guesthouse in a small resort town on the Mediterranean coast of Turkey, they think they have only a mutual friend and a summer dream in common. Soon, they discover a shared love of travel, history, culture, cuisine, and literature; and they begin a ten-year odyssey through Turkey.



Ancient Greece: Art, Architecture, and History


Author: Marina Belozerskaya, Kenneth Lapatin


Description: This lively illustrated guide covers the architecture, painting and sculpture of Ancient Greece from the third millennium to the end of the Hellenistic period. With 282 color and 28 black-and-white illustrations.



Birds Without Wings


Author: Louis De Bernieres


Description: De Bernieres offers sweeping historical scope, memorable characters, drama and many new vocabulary words in this stupendous novel set in Anatolia during the collapse of the Ottoman Empire.



Byzantium, The Surprising Life of a Medieval Empire


Author: Judith Herrin


Description: Herrin captures the glory, accomplishments, personalities, cruelty and import of Byzantium from the foundation of Constantinople to its capture by the Ottoman Turks in 1463.



Crescent and Star


Author: Stephen Kinzer


Description: This insightful, anecdotal report on contemporary life, culture and politics in Turkey comes from a former New York Times Istanbul bureau chief who is especially attuned to the powerful geographic position of Turkey and its multiple identities in Europe, Asia and the Middle East.



Culture Smart! Greece


Author: Constantine Buhayer


Description: A concise, no-nonsense guide to local customs, etiquette and culture with a short overview of the land and people along with practical travel advice.



Culture Smart! Turkey


Author: Charlotte McPherson


Description: Take along this pocket guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.



Eyewitness Guide Greek Islands


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: Color photography, excellent local maps and an island-by-island synopsis of attractions make this book the one to carry with you.



Eyewitness Guide Turkey


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: Gorgeously illustrated and filled with excellent maps, this compact book provides a thorough overview of history, traditions and sights.



Greece Map


Author: Michelin


Description: A colorful shaded map of Greece, the Greek Islands and the western coast of Turkey at a scale of 1:800,000.



Greece, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Artemis Leontis (Editor)


Description: In this terrific anthology, 24 modern Greek writers offer a flavor of their nation, its culture and people, beautiful landscapes and rich history.



Greece, Land of Light


Author: Nicholas Gage, Barry Brukoff


Description: Barry Brukoff's striking color photographs are paired with an eloquent tour of the land, people, history and monuments of Greece and the islands by journalist Nicholas Gage.



Helen of Troy, The Story Behind the Most Beautiful Woman in the World


Author: Bettany Hughes


Description: In her investigation into the life of Helen of Troy, one of the most enigmatic and notorious figures of all time, Hughes reconstructs life in Bronze Age Greece through Homer’s accounts, ancient literature and art. A well-researched and engaging portrait about one of the world's most famous women.



Istanbul, Memories and the City


Author: Orhan Pamuk


Description: Nobel Prize-winner Pamuk writes with dazzling grace of the city of his birth, a magical place of crumbling mansions and Ottoman riches.



Lost to the West


Author: Lars Brownworth


Description: This popular chronicle tracks the history of Byzantium -- a stronghold of Christian civilization, education, art and architecture -- from the establishment of the eastern Roman capital to the fall of Constantinople in 1453.



The Ancient Mediterranean


Author: Michael Grant


Description: Grant explores the realms of archaeology, geography, art and economics to paint this classic portrait of the ancient world, from prehistory through the Roman Imperium, and its influence on Western civilization.



The Colossus of Maroussi


Author: Henry Miller


Description: Miller captures the spirit and warmth of the resilient Greek people in this inspired tale of a wartime journey from Athens to Crete, Corfu and Delphi with his friend Lawrence Durrell.



The Complete World of Greek Mythology


Author: Richard Buxton


Description: With hundreds of color illustrations, site plans, genealogies and maps, this handsome, encyclopedic reference illuminates the world of the Greek gods.



The Fall of Constantinople 1453


Author: Steven Runciman


Description: A classic, wonderfully written history of the fall of Constantinople in 1493 and its consequences. Runciman, a noted British scholar, draws on many sources, both Greek and Muslim, in tracing this fateful time in the history of the city. Originally published in 1965.



The Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life


Author: Bettany Hughes


Description: An illuminating portrait of Socrates and the Golden Age of Athens. The award-winning scholar re-creates the streets, red-light district, gymnasia, religious festivals and the teeming marketplace in the heart of ancient Athens where Socrates engaged in philosophical dialogue and where he would be condemned to death.



The Last of the Wine


Author: Mary Renault


Description: Alexias, an Athenian soldier, grows to manhood under the influence of his friend Alkibiades and Socrates in this masterful historical novel set during the Peloponnesian War.



The Parthenon


Author: Mary Beard


Description: A lively tale of the construction, significance and uses of the 2,500-year-old architectural marvel.



The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece


Author: Robert Morkot


Description: This pictorial survey of Greek antiquity, recording its culture and expansion, features dozens of full-color maps.



The Towers of Trebizond


Author: Rose MacAulay, Jan Morris (Introduction)


Description: Mixing high farce, archaeology, history and lively travel writing, Rose MacAulay's impossibly witty short novel is back in a new edition. Originally published in 1956, MacAulay follows the adventures of English missionaries traipsing across Turkey from Istanbul to Trabzon.



The Turkish Embassy Letters


Author: Lady Mary Wortley Montagu


Description: The unconventional wife of the British ambassador, Lady Montagu delights in Turkish life and society in these lively letters.



Travels With Epicurus


Author: Daniel Klein


Description: Daniel Klein's witty meditation on the ancients, life in the Greek Islands, his favorite philosophers -- and growing old gracefully -- is also a delightful romp through the Aegean.



Turkey, What Everyone Needs to Know


Author: Andrew Finkel


Description: From the Kurdish question to economic policy, Turkey's role in Iraq and its quest for EU membership, Finkel illuminates the past and present of this strategically important nation in lively, straightforward prose. A journalist based in Istanbul for the last 20 years, he brings balance and insight to the task.



Women in Purple, Rulers of Medieval Byzantium


Author: Judith Herrin


Description: Herrin describes the complex and deeply religious world of Constantinople in the aftermath of Arab conquest, focusing on three Byzantine empresses’ work to restore icons to a prominent position in Eastern Christian worship. An enlightening portrait of three all-powerful women who changed history.





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