An Ionian Odyssey

with Dr Christina Hatzimichael-Whitley

Upcoming Tour Date:

  • 04 September–12 September 2020 – Just added
9 days
from £1,999 pp
Tour code: AGT1153

Tour Features:

    Book Now

    Upcoming Tour Date:

    • 04 September–12 September 2020 – Just added
    9 days
    from £1,999 pp
    Tour code: AGT1153

    Tour Features:

      Booking Enquiries

      Quick Tour Facts:


       

      Tour Code AGT1153
      Max Group Size 16
      Single Supplement £300
      Start/End Point Corfu Town / Zakynthos
      Tour Manager TBC
      Guide Lecturer Dr Christina Hatzimichael-Whitley – Read Bio

      Tour Map:


      Extras and Add-ons:


      Would you prefer to fly from your local airport or spend a few days at the end of your tour on the beach? We are happy to help you arrange any additional requirements you may have from airport parking and hotels to pre and post tour hotel stays. Whilst the majority of our tours use group flights from London airports it is often possible to offer regional departures or connections – give us a call on 01425 480600 and let us help make your trip as comfortable as possible.

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      The islands of the Ionian have a rich past and have been mentioned in the annals of history as far back as Homer’s Odyssey and Thucydides’ account of the Peloponnesian War. Join Prestige Holidays away from the tourist spots and ‘off the beaten track’ in places where it is impossible not to fall in love with these jewels of the rich blue Ionian Sea.

      This is a unique approach to the exploration of some of the main Greek islands the Ionian Sea has to offer, taking a winding journey from Corfu to the Ionian mainland, Lefkada, Ithaca, Kefalonia and finishing in Zakynthos. This island-hopping adventure sees us touch upon the trials of one of Greece’s most celebrated heroes, Odysseus, as well as many other cultural and historical themes.

      Expertly guided by Dr Christina Hatzimichael-Whitley, we include a visit to the picturesque ghost-town of Perithia on Corfu, a journey to the gates of the Underworld at Necromanteion, an appreciation of Mycenaean tombs and, of course, a visit to modern Ithaca, fabled to be the lost adventurer’s home. We also take in other impressive sites at the sprawling ancient ruins of Nikopolis (founded by Octavian in 28BC) as well as Venetian fortresses on Kefalonia and Zakynthos.

      These jewels in the deep-blue Ionian Sea offer up mysterious caves, stunning beaches and spectacular views. Of course, there will be plenty of excellent cuisine and local wine to make a visit to the Ionian islands as enticing as the call of the Sirens.

      Words from Your Tour Coordinator…

      “I have been coming to the Ionian Islands since I was a young man on family holidays in the early 90s, including Corfu, Kefalonia and Zakynthos. More recently, my wife and I achieved a long-term ambition of ours to holiday on the serene island of Ithaca. What a treat that was! For me, Ithaca encapsulates how I feel about the Ionian Islands as a whole. Although areas of these islands are tourist traps, around every corner and not too far away is a sleepy, rustic and authentic part of Greece. These islands have a deep history and have been mentioned in the annals of history as far back as the world of Homer’s Odyssey or in Thucydides’ account of the Peloponnesian War. It is impossible not to fall in love with these jewels of the rich blue Ionian Sea. Independent in culture and cuisine, I relish the opportunity to introduce this area of Greece to our guests here at Prestige Holidays. The tour has an underlying theme of Odysseus’ journey and yearning to return to his homeland, but also we touch upon many other historical subjects, culture, folklore, and indulge in sampling fine cuisine and wines. I have worked with Dr. Hatzimichael-Whitley many times before; she is a wonderful guide for everything Ancient Greek and an enchanting travel companion.”

      Alexander Oliver

      Highlights

      • An island-hopping adventure in the footsteps of the world’s most tragic hero, Odysseus
      • Lunch at a renowned taverna in the picturesque ghost-town of Perithia
      • Explore the River Styx and the gates of the Underworld at Necromanteion
      • Spend several days on the relaxing island of Ithaca
      • Exclusive insights from guide lecturer Dr Christina Hatzmichael-Whitley

      What’s Included

      • Return British Airways flights from London Heathrow, outbound to Corfu and inbound from Zakynthos
      • Eight nights accommodation in good standard hotels
      • Daily breakfast, five lunches and five evening meals
      • All excursions, entrance fees and tips
      • All overseas transport and English-speaking guides
      • Services of a Prestige Holidays Tour Manager

      Itinerary

      Day 1 - Arrival (D)

      Arrival. Explore Corfu’s old town. Full of Venetian elegance and complemented by British pomp, the old town is a warren of winding lanes, often bursting with fine aromas from restaurants and music from lively bars.

      Overnight: Corfu Town

      Day 2 - Corfu Town / Old Perithia (B, L)

      Visit nearby Achilleion Palace, famous for a large number of paintings and statues depicting scenes from the Trojan War, the most impressive of these being The Triumph of Achilles. From here, spend the afternoon in the ghost-village of Old Perithia, exploring the haunting streets and enjoying lunch at celebrated Taverna O’Foros. After lunch, return to Corfu Town for a chance to explore, relax or shop. This evening, seek out an independent dinner in Corfu Town.

      Overnight: Corfu Town

      Day 3 - Necromanteion / Nikopolis / Lefkada (B, L)

      Skirting the Ionian coastline, arrive on the shores of the fabled River Styx to visit the Necromanteion, reputedly where Odysseus descended into the Underworld. After lunch, explore the sprawling ruins of the ancient city of Nikopolis before continuing to Lefkada.

      Overnight: Lefkada Town

      Day 4 - Stavros / Frikes (B, L, D)

      Spend the afternoon in exploration of the northern part of beautiful Ithaca. The village of Stavros boasts a statue of Odysseus; from here, discover the intriguing open site known as ‘The School of Homer’. Venture for a swim in a nearby cove before dinner.

      Overnight: Frikes

      Day 5 - Stavros / Anogi / Vathy (B, D)

      Visit the small but intriguing Archaeological Collection of Stavros before a coffee break with some special access to the frescoes of a 12th century church in the village of Anogi. From here, there is further exploration of the southern peninsula of Ithaca, including a visit to the island’s capital of Vathy, before returning to the hotel for a free afternoon.

      Overnight: Frikes

      Day 6 - Sami / Poros / Argostoli (B, L)

      Kefalonia is steeped in history and is eternally synonymous with the story of Captain Corelli’s Mandolin. Climb to the ruins of ancient Sami before going subterranean with visits to the Melissani and Drogarati caves. After lunch in Poros, visit a nearby hidden and fascinating example of a Mycenaean tomb.

      Overnight: Argostoli

      Day 7 - Agios Georgios / Assos (B, L, D)

      Visit the castle of Agios Georgios. Although originally built in the 12th century by the Byzantines, it was mostly the Venetians that gave the fortifications their present imposing form. From here, venture to the charming bay of Assos for some lunch and sightseeing, where a walk up to the Venetian fortress is highly recommended. The day also features an opportunity to appreciate the world-famous Myrtos beach.

      Overnight: Argostoli

      Day 8 - Zakynthos / Zakynthos Town (B, D)

      Arrive at Zakynthos, famed in the Odyssey for being the origin for a large number of Penelope’s suitors. Embark on an excursion to the famous blue caves, followed by free time in Zakynthos Town before this evening’s farewell dinner.

      Overnight: Zakynthos Town

      Day 9 - Departure (B)

      This morning presents an optional visit to the Venetian fortress of Bohali before transferring to the airport for departure.

      Prestige Holidays’ booking conditions apply. Price is based on twin/double occupancy. Single rooms are on request at a supplement of £300— subject to availability. Itinerary may be subject to slight alterations due to operational restrictions. Hotels are subject to change and a hotel of similar standard in the overnight locations may be provided. Flight times are provisional and subject to change due to airline schedules.

      Call us today on 01425 480 600

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