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Legends of the Peloponnese (Monet)

Legends of the Peloponnese (Monet)

From GBP £4,395

Description

The Peloponnese is home to an extraordinary collection of great archaeological sites with tangible traces of the many civilisations which have at one point over the course of history called this region home including classical temples, Mycenaean palaces, Byzantine cities and Ottoman and Venetian fortresses. The islands are of course also the setting for numerous myths and legends which will be brought to life by our local guides. It was here that Hercules fought the Nemean lion, the legendary Spartan warriors battled and from where Paris of Troy eloped with Helen. Beyond these fascinating sites, there is also beautiful mountainous scenery, mysterious caves, vast gorges, charming villages and superb beaches.

Over the course of eleven nights, our voyage will introduce you to the picturesque ports of Nafplio and Pylos, the Byzantine city of Mystras, the stunning coastal scenery of Mani, the sporting history of Olympia and Nemea and the quirky Odontotos railway. Upon leaving the Peloponnese we ensure we stay a little off the beaten track with our visit to the delightful town of Vathy on the legendary island of Ithaca and make the essential visit to Delphi. Finally, ensure you are on deck when we transit the Corinth Canal which, whilst only built in the 19th century, was conceived as long ago as the 7th century BC, a wonderful end to our cruise and only possible on a small ship such as the MS Monet.

Trip Name
Legends of the Peloponnese (Monet)
Days
12
Overview
Vessel Type: Motor Yacht Passenger Capacity: 50 Build / Referbished: 1998 / 2016 / 2018 Your Cabin All the cabins on board the MS Monet are designed for comfort and have a warm and inviting feel with light fabrics and wood trimmings. Cabins range in size from 9 to 22 square metres and Categories A, B & C are equipped with windows, while those in Category D have portholes. Cabins 104-107, 112, 119, 205 and 210-215 feature twin beds and all other cabins have fixed double beds. Facilities include en-suite bathroom with shower, television, minifridge, safety deposit box, air-conditioning and hairdryer. Your Space The public areas include a main lounge and bar with comfortable sofas on the Lumiere Deck, a restaurant located on the Parisian Deck and the Lumiere Open Deck al fresco dining area where meals can be enjoyed when weather permits. The gym can be found on the Parisian Deck and the Lumiere Sun Deck provides a delightful sun exposed space with sun loungers and a Jacuzzi, ideal for relaxation and wonderful views. Your Dining Located on the Parisian Deck, the glass enclosed indoor dining room seats all passengers in a single sitting with unassigned seating and allows for wonderful panoramic views of the stunning scenery as we sail. The Lumiere Open Deck provides a generous covered area where guests can enjoy meals al fresco, weather permitting. Food is served at the table or displayed on the hot and cold buffet stands. The menu is international, with a focus on local specialties. A choice of house wine, beer and soft drinks are served with lunch and dinner. Life On Board During the day, life on board focuses around the indoor lounge area, and the indoor and outdoor dining spaces, as well as the open and inviting deck areas including the Jacuzzi. These are natural gathering places and perfect for enjoying your meals al fresco, relaxing in a comfortable chair with a good book or socialising with your fellow passengers and enjoying the views.

Itinerary



Day 1 - Day 1 London Heathrow to Athens, Greece.
Fly by scheduled flight. Arrive this afternoon and transfer to the MS Monet moored in Piraeus. Sail this evening.
Day 2 - Day 2 Nafplio & Epidaurus.
Enjoy a morning cruising arriving into Nafplio at lunchtime where we moor in the centre of town. Looking out across the translucent water of the bay towards the Arcadian Mountains, Nafplio’s sheltered location below a rocky headland and large natural fortress crowned by a Venetian castle is perhaps unrivalled in Greece and this afternoon we will visit one of the most renowned of Greece’s ancient sites. Situated on the slopes of a beautiful and wooded valley, Epidaurus was known throughout the Hellenic world for its unique medical facilities and healing treatments. Dedicated to Aesclepius, the god of healing, the city was filled with curative spas and baths and only priests had access to certain secret sites. Most of the ruins of Epidaurus have been reduced to their foundations, with the exception of the astonishing theatre which is in an admirable state of preservation. Built into the ground, rather than above it, it is known for its fantastic acoustics, which we will observe during our visit. Return to Nafplio and enjoy time wandering the twisting labyrinthine streets, view the Venetian and Turkish architecture and maybe enjoy a pre-dinner drink ashore. Moor overnight.
Day 3 - Day 3 Nafplio, Mycenae & Nemea.
After breakfast we will enjoy a scenic drive through the Argos Plain to Nemea, the site of a religious sanctuary which hosted the pan-Hellenic athletic games every two years from 573 BC until 271 BC. The mythical origin of the Games is sometimes ascribed to Hercules who, after his first labour in which he had to kill the Nemean lion living in the caves of Mount Tritos above the site, established the athletic games in honour of his father, Zeus. Nemea was not a town or settlement but a venue where festivities were held during the games and our tour will include the Temple of Zeus, the bath house and the stadium before spending time in the small but excellent on site museum. Nemea is also famous for its red wines and we will enjoy a wine tasting at a local vineyard before we continue to the famous citadel of Mycenae which is located high above the confluence of two boulder strewn ravines and accessed by way of the Lion Gate. Once inside the gate, we will explore the Royal Palace, the shaft graves and the remains of the city walls. An archaeological briefing within the Treasury of Artreus (also known as the Tomb of Agamemnon) will add to our understanding and appreciation of the sights. We will enjoy lunch in a local restaurant before returning to Nafplio this afternoon and sailing late this evening.
Day 4 - Day 4 Monemvasia.
This is a magical place. A massive rock rises dramatically out of the sea and on top there is a fortress. However, the real attraction is the Medieval town with its narrow cobbled streets and winding stairways which lead to a warren of stone houses with walled gardens and courtyards, and the main square dominated by an old cannon and the cathedral. On a morning walking tour we will visit the town and have some free time to enjoy there, perhaps climb up to the fort to enjoy the views from the plateau before returning to the ship for lunch. We sail in the afternoon along the coast toward Kalamata.
Day 5 - Day 5 Kalamata & Mystras.
We arrive in Kalamata this morning. Our destination today is Mystras, a remarkably intact Byzantine hillside town that once housed a population of 20,000 people. Here we visit the Cathedral of Agios Dimitrios, where the two-headed eagle which is the symbol of the Palaeologos Dynasty is carved into a plaque on the floor. According to tradition, this is where Constantine XII stepped when he was crowned king. Strolling through the narrow lanes of the dead city, we will also visit the Church of Agia Sophia, the Palace of the Despots and the Monastery of Pantanassa, with its brilliant frescoes. Before returning to the vessel for lunch, refreshments will be served at the picturesque tavern located just beneath the site offering sweeping views over the local terrain. The afternoon is free to enjoy at leisure. Perhaps explore Kalamata old town or stroll along the promenade and dip into the turquoise waters from the beach.
Day 6 - Day 6 Kalamata, Diros Caves & Mani Peninsula.
After breakfast this morning we will head to the beautiful Mani peninsula. Our day will start at the impressive Diros Caves, an area of 16,700 square metres where over 2800 water passages have been discovered. We will board small boats in the cave and enjoy a 2.5 kilometre long, winding passageway through an intricate network of passages and galleries, decorated with gleaming stalagmites and stalactites, whose reflection in the water accentuates their natural beauty. The remainder of the morning will be spent on the Mani Peninsula visiting the villages and enjoying the wonderful views along the coast and the flowers along the roadside. Visit Aeropoli named after Ares, the God of War, for its role in the War of Independence. Here we find tower houses, constructed with field stones, which are distinct from the traditional blue and white buildings that characterise many Greek villages. Meanwhile in Kardamyli we find a seaside village with unique architecture and beautiful views. Enjoy a traditional Greek lunch with great views before a scenic drive back to the MS Monet later in the afternoon.
Day 7 - Day 7 Pylos.
This morning we will call into the home of Nestor, the wise king of Pylos who fought for the Greeks at Troy and advised Odysseus’s son, Telemachus, on how best to deal with the evil suitors chasing his mother, Penelope. From our central berth in Navarino Bay, we will drive through the enchanting countryside to Methoni, one of the most impressive Medieval fortresses in Greece. The Venetians built Methoni on the Ionian Sea and Koroni on the Gulf of Messenia in the 13th century to safeguard their newly acquired Greek Empire. Also visit the castle of Neokastro which today houses the Centre for Underwater Archaeological Studies. Enjoy lunch on board and a free afternoon to explore Pylos independently. For those interested in learning more about King Nestor we will arrange an afternoon tour to the site of his palace situated a short distance from Pylos and considered one of the best preserved of the Mycenean Palaces in Greece. We will remain in port until the late evening.
Day 8 - Day 8 Olympia.
The port of Katakolon will be our base today for our excursion to Olympia. Pastoral and lush, Olympia’s plentiful ruins are shaded by Aleppo pines and olive trees. The fame of Olympia rests upon the Olympic Games. During the celebrations that accompanied the Games, competitors, while not forgetting that they were Athenians, Spartans or from other city states, remembered that they were Greeks and regarded an Olympic victory as the highest honour. We will see the gymnasium, the stadium and the palestra or wrestling school. We will also explore the Altis, or sacred precinct of Zeus, which houses structures including the Temple of Zeus, one of the largest temples on the Greek mainland and the Archaeological Museum which houses some fine sculptures and artefacts from the site. After our visit you may choose to return to the MS Monet for lunch and an afternoon at leisure in Katakolon or stay in Olympia to explore further independently.
Day 9 - Day 9 Vathy, Ithaca.
Ithaca, one of the most legendary of all Greek islands, will be our port of call today. This jewel of the Ionian Sea is unspoiled by tourism, yet has a fascinating history. Relics date back to 4000 BC and by Mycenaean times it was the capital of a kingdom that included surrounding islands and part of the Peloponnese coast. It was under Odysseus that this kingdom reached its zenith, sending 12 ships to the Trojan War. The morning is free to enjoy this delightful town and harbour at leisure and for those that wish, there will be an afternoon tour of the island which will explore the ruins of Stavros and the Medieval capital of Perachori with its Byzantine and Venetian architecture.
Day 10 - Day 10 Delphi, Itea.
North of the Peloponnese, we arrive during breakfast in Itea. This morning we will visit the sacred site of Delphi, one of Greece’s most important sites of antiquity. The hillside ruins here are exceptional and we will explore the Sanctuary of Apollo, site of the sacred Delphic Oracle and walk along Delphi’s Sacred Way, visiting the Treasury of the Athenians and the 5000 seat theatre dating from the 4th century BC. Return to the ship for lunch and enjoy a free afternoon along the waterfront in Itea or join a visit to the nearby picturesque seaside village of Galaxidi where a guided walk will pass the Agios Nikolaos Church and historical buildings and you can enjoy some free time. After an evening cruise along the Gulf of Corinth, we moor overnight at the port of Corinth.
Day 11 - Day 11 Corinth & Corinth Canal.
The port of Corinth flourished under both Greek and Roman rule due to its significant location on the Isthmus of Corinth which controlled trade routes as well as being home to the naval power which took colonies in Syracuse and Corfu. It has also been closely linked to St Paul who lived here for a number of years and is known through his letters to the Christian community. Today we travel to the lesser known mountainous region of the North Peloponnese and enjoy a trip on the Odontotos railway which climbs 750 metres from the seaside village of Diakopto to the mountain town of Kalavrita through the Vouraikos Gorge. The train passes through stunning scenery as it travels alongside the river, past waterfalls and through tunnels up the mountain. Enjoy some time to explore Kalavrita before returning to the MS Monet for lunch. Be on deck later this afternoon as we transit the Corinth Canal. Completed in 1893 and only 6.4 kilometres long and 21.5 metres wide, it is only small ships like ours which can now make this journey. This evening we continue sailing to Pireaus where we moor overnight.
Day 12 - Day 12 Athens to London Heathrow.
Disembark this morning and transfer to the airport for our scheduled flight to London.
Day 13 - Please Note:
Itineraries are subject to change.

Trip Dates

StartEndPrice FromRoom Type
25-05-202105-06-2021GBP £4,395Category D
25-05-202105-06-2021GBP £4,595Category C
25-05-202105-06-2021GBP £4,895Category B
25-05-202105-06-2021GBP £5,195Category A
25-05-202105-06-2021GBP £5,730Category D Solo
05-06-202116-06-2021GBP £4,395Category D
05-06-202116-06-2021GBP £4,595Category C
05-06-202116-06-2021GBP £4,895Category B
05-06-202116-06-2021GBP £5,195Category A
05-06-202116-06-2021GBP £5,730Category D Solo

Inclusions

    • Enjoy Nafplio & Epidaurus.
    • Travel to Kalamata & Mystras.
    • Visit Pylos & Olympia.
    • Discover Corinth & Corinth Canal.

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