Cruising the Aegean: A Family Adventure

   
 

Cruising the Aegean: A Family Adventure

BY PETER SOMMER TRAVELS
www.petersommer.com

UPDATED

1 week ago

DURATION

8 Days/7 Nights

SEASON

July 27, 2019 - August 3, 2019

RATES

GBP 2,895.00 per person

EXPIRES

Jul 27, 2019
Cruising the Aegean: A Family Adventure
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Open to Families and All

This cruise among the timeless Islands of the Dodecanese archipelago is a perfect and entertaining introduction to the varied history of the Aegean Sea and its inhabitants. It is also the fabulous setting for our family cruise in Greece. Every day on Cruising the Aegean: A Family Adventure brings new discoveries, new things to learn, and new places to enjoy together.

With a team of expert guides at hand to bring the region's past back to vibrant life, you will discover the mysteries of ancient Gods and hear tales of giants and monsters! You’ll learn of the skills of the ancient Greek city-builders, of Roman merchants, of Byzantine holy men, of Crusader Knights, of Ottoman warriors and of Italian architects, all set next to each other in compelling harmony, and each monument with its own story to tell. These stories, all linked across space and time, form a dense web of meaning, offering insights on humanity itself. Of course, we will "meet" these characters and their stories hands-on, by walking through a smoking volcano, strolling along mighty castle battlements, admiring intricate ancient craftsmanship and sailing the very same azure waters that the ancient traders and conquerors criss-crossed for thousands of years.

The spirit of discovery and the joy of engaging with the many stories the region has to tell goes hand-in-hand with ample time to relax, swim, snorkel, kayak, or simply gaze at the ever-changing maritime scenery - the perfect way to truly enjoy this famously beautiful area in an unforgettable way. There is no finer experience of the Greek Islands than a family gulet holiday. As always, wonderful food, freshly prepared on board or in selected tavernas on the islands, will complete the days, from breakfast on deck in the morning sunshine to lively bustling tavernas providing dishes of glorious salads, slow roasted meats and freshly caught seafood. The experience, is unique, exciting and most of all fun!

When we think back on our childhood and youth, many of us find that the most vividly remembered scenes and moments are often ones that took place on holidays and while travelling. It makes perfect sense: travel is a wonderful and formative experience for children and adults alike. The experience of exploring new places, meeting new people, tasting different foods and enjoying the daily adventures brings families closer together – it’s what memories are made of.

ADDITION RATE INFORMATION

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£2,895 / Single Supplement: £795

ITINERARY

Day 1:
Kos, Dodecanese, Greece
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We embark on our gulet, about 40 minutes from Bodrum airport, in the town’s beautiful grand harbour. Welcome drink and dinner on board.

Day 2:
Kos, Dodecanese, Greece
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After a morning cruise to Kos, we begin our adventure by exploring the archaeological museum of Kos, a superb collection of sculpture, pottery and other finds, ranging from prehistory to the Roman era and serving as a perfect introduction to the archaeology of the region. We then set out for our first long crossing to the little-visited island of Leros, where we anchor in a picturesque bay.

Day 3:
Leros, Dodecanese, Greece
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On Leros, we make our way to the formidable medieval Castle of Panteli, whose military history extends as recently as the tragic Dodecanese campaign of 1943. Its extensive medieval walls crown the heights of the former ancient acropolis as it sits high above a deep blue sea and overlooks a fascinating scenery of coves, bays, and a dense jumble of ornate mansions. Originally a Byzantine stronghold, it later became a major outpost of the Hospitaller Knights of St John, who greatly expanded it to ward off the threats of the fiercely-contested fourteenth century Aegean. From the castle we take a stroll around the Italian military town at Lakki, a unique planned outpost in a then-showpiece architectural style before making our way westwards to sacred Patmos, to anchor in a beautiful cove.

Day 4:
Kalymnos, Dodecanese, Greece
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In the morning, we explore the extraordinary cultural riches of Patmos, some of the most memorable images of our tour. We discover the Cave of the Apocalypse, now a chapel, and traditionally the refuge of St John the Divine as he composed, or transmitted, the Book of Revelations. At the great Monastery of Saint John, we find one of Greece’s greatest medieval treasures, whose soaring and stout walls house some extraordinary Byzantine survivals. Clustered around is the breathtakingly beautiful Chora, the island capital with its maze of cobbled streets and beautiful houses. The setting, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, is stunning and reveals a thousand years of life in a small and remote island uniquely connected to a greater world. In the afternoon, we set out for the rugged island of Kalymnos.

Day 5:
Kalymnos, Dodecanese, Greece
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In the morning, we visit the beautifully laid-out archaeological museum of Kalymnos, home to a surprisingly rich collection of ancient Greek sculpture. Outstanding even amidst the fine marbles is the over life-size ‘Lady of Kalymnos’, a superb and near-complete bronze statue of a himation-swathed woman, drawn up from the sea as recently as 1994 after being found by fishermen. Kalymnos being the last redoubt of the once extensive sponge-diving industry, we take the opportunity to visit one of the remaining sponge-washing workshops and observe this almost-lost art first-hand. In the afternoon, we continue southwards, anchoring near the tiny islet of Pserimos with a permanent population of just a few dozen.

Day 6:
Giali, Dodecanese, Greece
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Southwards to Giali, a small island famous for its ample supplies of pumice and obsidian, a rare volcanic glass, used for cutting tools since early prehistory. There is ample time to swim and relax before we enter the port of Mandraki on Nisyros. Here, we explore the small but excellent archaeological museum of Mandraki, with rich finds from the island’s ancient cemeteries. Later, we discover the astonishingly well-preserved Hellenistic fortification of Palaiokastro, probably built by the Rhodians to secure their northernmost possessions. Afterwards, we enter the island’s huge volcanic caldera to visit the atmospheric steam crater of Stephanos, where we see, hear and smell the true nature of Nisyros: the whole island is an active volcano. We walk past mud pools to stand in the stark amphitheatre of its crater where hot water bubbles on the surface and steam vents from beneath, leaving mounds of crystallized sulphur, before heading off to enjoy a well-earned dinner with unforgettable views of the island.

Day 7:
Kos, Dodecanese, Greece
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We return to Kos. Here we explore the Casa Romana, the vast mansion of a Roman aristocrat, partially restored to give a strong sense of the palatial residence’s original opulence. Mosaics and wall paintings still adorn its spacious expanse and the restoration offers a rare chance to experience what the colonnades and courtyards of a Roman aristocratic home really felt like. Afterwards, we go to the beautifully-set Asklepieion, the most important sacred site on the island. The extensive shrine, an important international sanctuary where pilgrims sought the attentions of the healing god Asklepios while they slept, post-dates Hippocrates, the ‘father of medicine’ so closely associated with Kos, but the picturesque terraces, monumental stairways and ornate columns attest the god’s lasting presence. After our final crossing back to Bodrum port, farewell dinner on the gulet.

Day 8:
Kos, Dodecanese, Greece
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Transfer to Bodrum airport, about 40 minutes away.

Location:
Aegean, Greece
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WHAT'S INCLUDED

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  • Full board accommodation on gulet
  • Airport transfers on first and last day of tour
  • All crew services on gulet
  • Entrance fees & tips on land
  • Archaeological excursions
  • WiFi on our scheduled gulet cruises (when coverage permits)

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