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The Signature Collection – Exclusive Amenities
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With a great historic past and incomparable art treasures, Venice is renowned as one of the world’s great cities. Its 118 islands are separated by more than 150 canals and spanned by 400 bridges. During Venice's artistic golden age many magnificent structures were erected to create world-famous masterpieces. One of the best sightseeing routes is along Grand Canal, with many palaces lining the famous waterway. St. Mark’s Square offers access to some of Venice’s most famed attractions - St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. From Piazza San Marco, a maze of narrow streets are lined with shops, cafés and restaurants. A popular pastime is sitting at an outdoor café facing the square while people-watching and letting the whole marvelous scenario unfold. Venice’s Murano, Burano and Torcello Islands comprise an area famous as home of Venice’s glass-blowing industry and known for their charm, skilled lace-making and medieval monuments. Relax on a gondola ride, see art treasures in museums, churches and palaces, and have a sumptuous meal - all in this incomparable city.
Split, the largest Croatian city on the Adriatic coast, is the heart of Dalmatia. The old town is built around the harbor on the south side of a high peninsula sheltered from the open sea by many islands. Split achieved fame when the Roman emperor Diocletian (245-313), noted for his persecution of early Christians, had his retirement palace built here from 295 to 305. Since 1945 Split has grown into a major industrial city with large apartment-block housing areas. Much of old Split remains, however, and this combined with its exuberant nature makes it one of the most fascinating cities in Europe.
Take a step back in time and visit the old town of Kotor, one of the best-preserved medieval towns in this part of the Mediterranean. The asymmetric structure of the narrow streets and squares, combined with the awesome monuments of medieval architecture, contributed to Kotor being placed on UNESCO’s “World’s natural and cultural inheritance” list. From ancient fortification systems surrounding the city to 12th century cathedrals, Kotor is a dream come true for those who revel in history. Entrance to town from the Gurdic spring, consists of 3 separate gates, built from the 13th, 16th and 18th centuries. The Cathedral of St. Tryphon is one of the most visited and impressive churches in the city. According to some texts, the original church was erected in the 8th century and rebuilt in 1166. Two earthquakes, one in 1667 and one in 1979 seriously damaged the cathedral and it continues to be restored to this day. The city is breathtaking in every respect and only a visit will truly reveal all it has to offer.
Classed as a world heritage treasure by UNESCO, Dubrovnik is a place of ancient streets lined with stone palaces, Venetian-style buildings and bell towers. The city is enclosed by stone walls, and the highlight is a leisurely walk atop these massive walls for a great view of the city and the sea. Entering Dubrovnik, you are greeted by an impressive pedestrian promenade, the Placa, which extends before you all the way to the clock tower at the other end of town. The Orlando Tower here is a favorite meeting place. Just inside the city walls near the Pile Gate is the Franciscan Monastery housing the third-oldest functioning pharmacy in Europe, operating since 1391. For a fantastic panorama of the city, take a cable car ride to the summit of the 1,340-foot Mount Srdj.
Corfu's unique scenery, with gentle green hills and luxuriant southern flora, makes it one of the most beautiful of all Greek islands. Many beautiful buildings can be seen in Corfu Town. Corfu is a popular holiday destination for vacationers from all walks of life who come to enjoy mild climate, calm blue-green water, rugged mountains, hidden coves and miles of sandy beaches. A number of historical sights range from old fortresses and mansions to cathedrals and palaces. Corfu Town is surrounded by arcaded Venetian buildings. The Spianada is considered to be the largest square in Greece. Explore the narrow streets of Old Town. See Town Hall and the 300-year-old Church of Saint Spyrídon; a silver sarcophagus contains the remains of the town's patron saint. The Royal Palace - a neo-classical mansion - holds on its upper floor the Museum of Byzantine and East Asian Art. The Archaeological Museum has displays of artifacts discovered on Corfu. The Old Fortress, an impressive 14th-century Venetian structure, is now used as a popular venue for concerts.
The largest island in the Ionian, Cephalonia is a land of contrasts. Don't miss the view from the castle at Assos. On the left lies the enchanting turquoise bay of Myrtos renowned for its afternoon sun and soft white sand. Visitors can swim in the crystal clear water of Poros. The top of Mt. Enos is 1,628 meters above sea level, and its slopes are covered with tall, cedar-like fir trees that grow nowhere else in the world. On other parts of the island are groves, breathtaking golden beaches and deep coves, rugged rocky shores or famous caves. The cave at Melissani is actually a partially covered subterranean lake. Drogorari is known for its unusual stalactites. In the area of Lassi, are the famous Katavothres (swallow-holes), a rare geological phenomenon where sea water "disappears" in rock openings to cross the island and finally emerge at Melissani. Of the old, immensely attractive city of Argostoli very little remains; one or two houses, the arched bridge stretching across the lagoon and the obelisk at its center. Visit its interesting museums and swim at the famous nearby beaches.
Itea, in the Gulf of Corinth, is the port from which you can visit Delphi and the monastery at Osios Loukas. Docking at the pier close to the centre of town, a twenty minute bus or taxi journey takes you to Delphi, perhaps the most magical classical site in Greece.
Even though you've probably come here to see the "glory that was Greece," perhaps best symbolized by the Parthenon and the superb statues and vases in the National Archaeological Museum, allow some time to make haste slowly in Athens. Your best moments may come sitting at a small cafe, sipping a tiny cup of the sweet sludge that the Greeks call coffee, or getting hopelessly lost in the Plaka -- only to find yourself in the shady courtyard of an old church, or suddenly face to face with an ancient monument you never knew existed. With only a little advance planning, you can find a good hotel here, eat well in convivial restaurants, enjoy local customs such as the refreshing afternoon siesta and the leisurely evening volta (promenade or stroll) -- and leave Athens planning to return, as the Greeks say, tou chronou (next year).
Itinerary subject to change without notice. Please confirm itinerary at time of booking.
This journey contains some active elements, including walks over uneven terrain and optional, challenging hikes.
Note: Itinerary is for guidance purposes only and may be adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances including we
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