Grand Odyssey: Sailing the Coasts of Southern Europe

Aboard the Aegean Odyssey, trace the coasts of Southern Europe on a grand voyage that explores seven countries over the course of a month.
Program No. 24008RJ
32 days
Starts at
Special Offer
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Flights start at

At a Glance

Grand odyssey, indeed! Aboard your floating campus, follow Europe’s history-filled coasts from Spain to Greece on a voyage of grand proportions. We’ve combined several of our favorite odysseys, from the coasts of the Adriatic around Italy and along the French Riviera, for the ultimate exploration of Southern Europe — all at an even better value! Compare the personalities of some of Southern Europe’s most beloved locales as you learn about iconic monuments, historic landmarks, distinct cultures and classic architecture alongside experts. Discover the vistas that inspired artists and soak up local life in bustling marketplaces and seaside villas.
Activity Level
Choose Your Pace
This program offers two Activity Levels to choose from on every departure date: one that has less walking and fewer stairs and another at a more active pace.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • Enjoy a water taxi ride down the Grand Canal to the Rialto, followed by an expert-led exploration of St. Mark’s Square, while in Venice.
  • Explore the treasures of the Old City of Dubrovnik, one of the most beautiful ports in all of Europe.
  • Discover the historic charms of Aix-en-Provence’s Old Town, followed by a visit to the Château La Coste winery.

General Notes

This voyage is a combination of three shorter Odyssey at Sea voyages “Pearls of the Adriatic” (#23510), “Coasts of Italy” (#23512) and “From Provence & the French Riviera to Barcelona” (#23520). We’ll have up to 350 Road Scholar participants on the ship, divided into groups of 35 for shore excursions. Please note roommate matching is available in categories F, H and L.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter
by Thomas Cahill
Cahill brings to life ancient Greek society and civilization through the lives and words of politicians, playwrights, a poet, a philosopher and an artist in this eloquent and absorbing tribute.
The Greek Myths, Complete Edition
by Robert Graves
A new edition of Graves' classic collection with a cover by comic book artist Ross MacDonald. This expert retelling by Graves, a poet, memoirist and the author of I, Claudius (ITL429), still remains the seminal modern translation of the mythologies of Ancient Greece.
Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook & Dictionary
by Anna Beltrami, Mirna Cicioni, Karina Coates, Susie Walker
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Italian Folktales
by Italo Calvino
A treasured collection of 200 lively folk tales presented by one of the modern masters of Italian fiction. Calvino's elegant rendering of these old stories reveals his great affection for the folkloric traditions of his childhood.
Matisse and Picasso, The Story of their Rivalry and Friendship
by Jack Flam
Jack Flam explores the compelling, competitive, parallel lives of these two artists and their very different attitudes toward the idea of artistic greatness, toward the women they loved and ultimately toward their confrontations with death.
A Traveller's History of Croatia
by Benjamin Curtis
Curtis untangles with alacrity the complex history of this nation at the crossroads of Europe.
A Year in Provence
by Peter Mayle
The original best-selling tale of an ex-pat settling down in Provence, told with warmth and a great deal of humor. It offers a wonderful inside look at the charms and quirks of the people and the countryside in the south of France.
Mediterranean by Cruise Ship
by Anne Vipond
A best-selling, compact guide, featuring excellent local maps, hundreds of color photographs, concise background information and recommended excursions for ports-of-call throughout the Mediterranean.
by Robert Hughes
This big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to the present.
For Whom the Bell Tolls
by Ernest Hemingway
Following an American volunteer assigned to a guerilla unit in the 1930s Spanish Civil War, Hemingway's novel is one of the greats of the era.
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook
by Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
The Genius of Venice, Piazza San Marco and the Making of the Republic
by Dial Parrott
With 112 color illustrations and four maps, the Genius of Venice presents the magnificent buildings of the celebrated piazza as, in the words of John Ruskin, the "living books of history" in this handsome cultural history.
A Taste of Croatia
by Karen Evenden
This engaging memoir of a three-year sailing odyssey includes 100 enticing recipes.
Art and Life in Renaissance Venice
by Patricia Brown
This compact volume evokes the spirit of Renaissance Venice with authoritative essays and 120 full-color illustrations.
A Traveller's History of Greece
by Timothy Boatswain, Colin Nicolson
A nicely written survey from prehistory through the 1990s: wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed.
Venice: A New History
by Thomas Madden
Using long-buried archival material and a wealth of newly translated documents, Madden weaves a spellbinding story of a place and its people, tracing an arc from the city’s humble origins as a lagoon refuge to its apex as a vast maritime empire and Renaissance epicenter to its rebirth as a modern tourist hub.
by Madeline Miller
#1 New York Times Bestseller, Madeline Miller weaves an intoxicating tale of gods and heroes, magic and monsters, survival and transformation.
Balkan Ghosts, A Journey through History
by Robert D. Kaplan
Kaplan interweaves history, art and culture with his travels through Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece in this regional portrait.
Two Towns in Provence
by M. F. K. Fisher
Celebrated food writer M.F.K. Fisher contrasts village life in Aix-en-Provence with bustling Marseilles, evoking both with anecdote and loving description.
The Fires of Vesuvius, Pompeii Lost and Found
by Mary Beard
With the panache of a gifted classicist, Mary Beard (Wonders of the World) conjures daily life in celebrated Pompeii, not only demolishing with particular relish the many myths that have grown up around the place but also emphasizing the limits of our knowledge. Some things we simply shall never know for certain.
Between Salt Water and Holy Water
by Tommaso Astarita
From the Normans and Angevins through Spanish and Bourbon rule to the unification of Italy, historian Tommaso Astarita explores the intellectual, religious, economic and political history of this fascinating region and delivers an accessibly written book that is not just colourful and scholarly but also wholly engrossing.
Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary
by Cristina Hernandez Montero
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
The City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
by R.W.B. Lewis
A vivid tour of the city and its riches by the fine biographer of Edith Wharton and Henry James. Lewis has written what he calls "a partial biography of Florence," beautifully interweaving the personal and the historical.
Antonio Gaudi, Master Architect
by Juan Bassegoda Nonell
This lavish little collection of Gaudi's work captures the evolution, imagination and exuberance of one of the most influential architects of the 20th century.
Van Gogh in Arles
by Alfred Nemeczek
A study of Van Gogh in the stunning setting of Arles in Provence, the place of his death.
My Brilliant Friend
by Elena Ferrante
Set in 1960s Naples, Italy, Ferrante explores the complexities of friendship that spans decades. She weaves a story of a neighborhood, a city, and a country as it transforms in ways that also changes the lives of these two women.

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