4 August 2018 • 22 Day Athens to Florence • Fly, Cruise & Tour Package

  • Pricing

    Twin PR5 Prestige Balcony  –  $12,765 per person twin share

     Twin DS6 Deluxe Suite  –  $15,445 per person twin share

    Privilege Suite PV  –  $19,025 per person twin share


    - Return economy class airfare** from Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne, Adelaide or Perth to Athens and ex Florence on return inc tax

    - One way private car transfer from Athens airport to hotel

    - 2 nights accommodation at the St George Lycabettus Hotel (5-star) Athens including daily breakfast

    - BONUS! Free afternoon half day tour of Athens with Acropolis

    - One way private car transfer from Athens hotel to port

    - 8 night `Discovery of Dalmation Shores` cruise aboard Le Lyrial from Athens to Venice including: All meals while on board the ship (from dinner on the day of embarkation to breakfast on the day of disembarkation) | Captain`s welcome cocktail and gala dinner | Open Bar (pouring wines, house champagne, alcohol except premium brands…list available upon request) | Evening entertainment and events | Room service 24hr (special selection) | Port taxes

    - One way transfer from Venice port to Venice Mestre train station

    - One way first class train fare from Venice to Florence

    - One way transfer from Florence train station to hotel

    - 2 nights accommodation in Florence pre-tour including breakfast

    - 6 night `Tuscan Treats` small group tour (18 guests) round trip from Florence including: 6 nights in boutique accommodation | The services of an experienced Driver & Tour Leader | Local guide in Florence | Premium minicoach transportation | European breakfast daily (B), 2 lunches (L), 3 evening meals (D) | Wine tastings | Tuscan cooking class | Olive oil tasting | Pecorino cheese & wine tasting | Entrance included to: Cinque Terre Card, Baptistery of St John in Pisa & Cathedral of Siena

    - 1 nights accommodation in Florence post-tour including breakfast

    - One way transfer from Florence hotel to airport


     *Conditions Apply: All prices shown here are per person share twin (unless stated as single) in AUD, based on best available cruise fare at time of publication (29Sep17). All prices based on cash payment – credit card fees may apply. **All airfares/taxes are based on guestimated rates and schedules from 2017 and are subject to change until bookable approx 10 months prior – at which time, schedules and prices may change. Once booked, all airfare/taxes are due in full 24 hours from reservation and strict cancellation/change fees apply. Cruise deposit, amendment and cancellation conditions apply. Special conditions apply – please ask for full details at time of enquiry. All passports, vaccinations and visas are the responsibility of the travelling guest to secure prior to departure from Australia. The advertised prices shown here are based on a 15% Ponant bonus fare which may be withdrawn at anytime without notice. Package prices based on full payment for tour portion of package by 14Jan18 otherwise prices will increase. Offer ends 14Jan18 or until sold out/withdrawn from sale and is subject to availability at time of booking. We reserve the right to correct errors without penalty.
  • ItineraryDiscovery of Dalmatian shores

    Day 1, 4 Aug – Fly from Australia to Athens

    Day 2, 5 Aug – Athens
    Arrive Athens, transfer to hotel.

    Day 3, 6 Aug – Athens
    Free afternoon, sightseeing tour of Athens with Acropolis

    CRUISE STARTS: Day 4, 7 Aug – Athens, board cruise today. Depart 6:00pm
    Transfer to port, embark Le Lyrial cruise ship. The Greek capital city is located on the edge of the Saronic gulf, in the east of the country. It bears a plural name in reference to the first villages that surround the Acropolis. You will be enchanted by the rocky plateau presided by its monuments listed as UNESCO World Heritage. In the city below, you can visit some of the liveliest districts in Athens: Plaka, with its maze of colourful streets, and where, in the evenings the drifting aroma of moussaka and garlic prawns will tickle your taste buds. Don’t miss anything of the city’s cultural past. Pay a visit to the National Archaeological museum, or the Cycladic Art Museum.

    Day 5, 8 Aug – Hydra, Greece 11:00am to 5:00pm
    This unusual gem belonging to the Saronic islands is located to the east of the Peloponnese. There are no cars here. Named after the island, the harbour town is layered up the slopes of a mountainous bay. You may be surprised to see beautiful stone mansions. These are traditional here, as are the multi-coloured caïquesalong the quays. Further along the shore, within the walls of the “Monastery of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary” is a museum of Byzantine art. Collections from Athens National History Museum are exhibited in the elegant villa Koundouriotis.

    Crossing the Corinth Canal – The Corinth Canal cuts through the Isthmus of Corinth, turning the Peloponnese into an island as it separates the region from the Greek mainland. Inaugurated in 1893, the canal is a little over six kilometres long and enables merchant vessels and passenger to avoid a long 400-km detour around the peninsula. The two sides of the canal reach a height of approximately fifty metres. From the exterior decks, don’t miss this unique opportunity to watch the ship as it navigates along the narrow strip of water encased between tall, ochre cliffs. What an experience !

    Day 6, 9 Aug – Ithaca, Greece 11:30m to 9:00pm7 August 2018 - Hydra
    “As you set out on the way to Ithaca, hope that the road is a long one,” wrote Constantine Cavafy, a famous Greek poet.Mythical and immortal, a symbol of quests and adventure, Ithaca is a magical island and was the main source of inspiration for Homer’s legendary Odyssey. The ultimate aim of many sailors, Ulysses’ island offers unusual landscapes with a harmonious mixture of wooded mountains, white-sand beaches, traditional villages and archaeological monuments. When your ship calls here, discover the island’s many landmarks such as the ancient ruins of Stavros, and try to solve the mysteries of one of the world’s most told stories.

    Day 7, 10 Aug – Parga, Greece 7:00am to 6:00pm
    An ancient port in the Epirus region, picturesque Parga is located on the western coast of the Greek mainland. Ancient classical ruins and the Venetian citadel bear witness to the townメs colourful history and the diverse influences that shaped it. In a swoon of orange flower and lemon blossom scents, you can walk up steep streets lined with houses generously bedecked with flowers on your way to Ali Pasha castle. Here, you’ll be rewarded by splendid views of the old fishing village and wild neighbouring creeks.

    Day 8, 11 Aug – Sailing Bay of Kotor
    The long walls of the fortified city of Kotor unfurl before your eyes as you admire this medieval construction enclosed between the sea and the rugged cliffs from the decks of your ship. The still, deep waters of the bay plus the clouds of mist floating here and there create a surreal and magical atmosphere. Small islands with churches and fortresses built on them remind us that a proud maritime people has lived here for centuries, in this bay that forms a perfect natural harbour, used by sailors since ancient times. At the crossroads of Latin and Byzantine cultures, you will have the pleasure of observing the natural treasures of Montenegro during an unforgettable journey.

    Kotor – 12:00pm to 6:00pm5775.jpg
    Situated in one of Montenegro’s most beautiful bays, the medieval city of Kotor is a small town full of charm, truly imbued with the traditions and stories of another time. Built between the 12th and 14th centuries, this village, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, has preserved many historical monuments from this epoch. During your stop, be sure to admire the impressive castle that dominates the town, and let yourself fall under the charm of its maze of small streets and intimate squares on which folk festivals featuring magnificent colourful costumes are often organised.

    Day 9, 12 Aug – Dubrovnik, Croatia 7:00am to 11:59pm
    Emblem of the Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik is magnificently positioned on a rocky spur. History is sovereign here, in this ancient city, now a listed UNESCO World Heritage site. You will perhaps be surprised by the proportions of La Placa, the central drag through the city. The sheer width of it can be explained by the fact that it straddles a former lagoon. The elegant houses along La Placa are built in the legendary travertine stone. At Pile gate, you will be greeted by the statue of the patron saint of Dubrovnik, and you can admire the coastline as you walk along the ramparts. But what’s inside Fort Saint John, adjoining the outer walls? A maritime museum and an aquarium featuring rare fish from the Adriatic.

    Day 10, 13 Aug – Mljet, Croatia 7:00am to 12:00pm
    This splendid, pristine island is located off the Pelješac peninsula. Untouched nature awaits you in the protected forests of Mljet National Park. A hike up the hills brings you to the bays linked to two salt water lakes. On the larges lake, Veliko Jezero, you can see an old Benedictine monastery.

    Korkula, Greece 2:00pm to 11:00pmprogram-5103673
    This harbour town has a very special location, presiding on a spur on the north-eastern coast of the island of Korçula. The ramparts in its medieval district provide perfect vantage points over the Pelješac peninsula. To get there, you can take the monumental staircase in the Revelin Tower.Another way is to climb the steps in the shade of palm trees from the MorskaVrata (Marine portal). As you make your way through the little streets, you’ll see the bell-tower of Saint-Mark’s cathedral rise above you. This landmark will help you locate the house where Marco Polo was born. The island also has some of its own famous wines like the red Plavac and the white Posip.

    Day 11, 14 Aug – Hvar, Croatia 7:00am to 1:30pm
    Off the coast of Split, Hvar will surprise you by its traditions that haven’t changed since Antiquity. The country’s oldest town, Stari Grad, is here on this Dalmatian Island. The town nestles by a cove on the north-west coast, surrounded by dry stone wall structures on the Stari Grad plains. These have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage site because they were built in the time of the Ancient Greeks. From these parcels of land come wines and olive oil manufactured manually. In the upper part of town, you will discover hams and cheeses made by local producers. The picturesque village of Vrisnik is a good place to try some of local produce.

    Day 12, 15 Aug – Venice, Italy 8:00am program-5103674
    Disembark today. Proud and eternal, Venice has reigned on its lagoon ever since the 6th century. You may think you know this city before even setting foot here. You will inevitably fall in love with the charm of the innumerable treasures of the Serenissima: Saint Mark’s square, the basilica, Doges palace, the Grand Canal and the gondolas. Yet, secret Venice is also waiting for you to explore its little interlacing streets and canals, to ramble through its squares and to push open the doors of its churches. The city’s extraordinary heritage shouldn’t stop you from enjoying a glass of Spritz and a few tramezzini.

    Transfer to Venice station, Train to Florence, Transfer to hotel

    Day 13, 16 Aug – Florence, Italy
    Day at leisure

    TOUR STARTS: Day 14, 17 Aug – Florence to LuccaMap of Tuscan Treats  2018
    Your introduction to Italy involves an in-depth guided walking tour of Florence. But, before we get too comfortable in Florence, it’s off to leafy Lucca – where cobbled streets and red-roofed buildings make up the first stop on our journey. When we reach Lucca, unwrap layer upon layer of fascinating history and fine architecture as we go beyond its city walls. Tonight, we come together for the first of our delicious dinners at a local osteria. (D) Accomodation: (Albergo San Martino)

    Day 15, 18 Aug – Lucca – Cinque Terre – Lucca
    Rocky coastline. Romantic, sugared almond-coloured villages. It’s time to take the road less travelled along the more remote parts of the Italian Riviera’s sublime shoreline. Our route brings us to the Cinque Terre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a tour highlight. We explore villages dotted along this secluded stretch and marvel at the breathtaking scenery surrounding us. After time spent discovering this beautiful area, we return to Lucca in time for dinner. (B) Accomodation: (Albergo San Martino)

    Day 15, 19 Aug – Lucca – Pisa – Volterra
    Infamous and impossible to miss, Pisa’s Leaning Tower is a staggering sight – and our first point of call today. Afterwards, we travel on to Volterra where you have the chance to explore the town at your own leisure. Perched on a plateau, this magnificent and mysterious medieval walled town is our home for the night – but before bed beckons, there’s plenty of time for you to discover its charismatic character.(B) Accomodation: (Hotel San Lino)

    Day 16, 20 Aug – Volterra – San Gimignana – Siena – Pienza
    A magnificent piazza. Meandering stepped streets. Throw in beautifully preserved architecture and a sensational location, and you have San Gimignano where we make time to visit Gelateria Dondoli, home to a master gelato maker and carry on to Fattoria San Donato for an indulgent wine tasting, complete with bruschetta and local meats. After taking in the city’s head-turning historic centre, we continue to Pienza with a stop via Siena. Tonight, the evening is all yours. (B) Accomodation: (Relais Il Chiostro di Pienza)

    Day 17, 21 Aug – Pienza – Tuscany
    Its timeless charm and enchanting rural backdrop make Pienza a serene spot to spend this morning on foot with your Tour Leader, before we continue our journey to sample handcrafted pecorino cheese and world-class wine. Driving onwards through the Chianti countryside, another gem awaits – a Tuscan country house that we’ll call home for the next two nights. (B,D) Accommodation: (Fattoria degli Usignoli)

    Day 18, 22 Aug – Tuscany
    Rise and shine as your invitation to the kitchen awaits, where we roll up our sleeves and don aprons. The villa’s chef treats us to an exclusive lesson in making Tuscan delicacies, sharing all the secrets, and then we sit down to savour the fruits of our labours for lunch. (B,L,D)​Accommodation: (Fattoria degli Usignoli)

    Day 19, 23 Aug – Tuscany – Florence
    While we have to say goodbye to our villa this morning and we reach the final day of our trip, there’s one more treat in store: a stop-off at an oil mill for a guided tour, olive oil tasting and light lunch. All in all, it’s a fitting end to our tour that has celebrated the natural beauty and culinary traditions of Tuscany, and that ends back in romantic Florence. (B,L) At Back-Roads we pride ourselves on securing charming, intimate boutique accommodation for our guests.

    Tours end today – overnight in Florence

    Day 20, 24 Aug – Florence, Italy
    Transfer to airport, board your flight home to Australia

    Arrive home 26 Aug

    On rare occasions, there may be a requirement to substitute a property previously listed in the small group tour itinerary. Please note that any hotel changes will be consistent the high standards of this tour.

  • Only one date available for this fly, cruise & tour package

    4 to 26 Aug 2018

    Call us on 1300 689 461

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