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Amalfi Coast Holiday Package
Get cozy at an agriturismo on the Amalfi Coast, hike the famous "Walk of the Gods", learn about the fate of Pompeii from an expert local guide, explore chic resort towns and historic villages, savour delicious home-cooked Italian food made from local ingredients, enjoy having the Amalfi Coast to yourself during the off-season.
Ready to live like a local on this off-season trip to the hilltop towns and vineyards and peruse the local markets and delis in search of the finest organic fare, sample wines in the very vineyards that produced them, and work off all that deliciousness with walks through some of the world’s most beautiful scenery, in the Amalfi Coast. Just start experiencing local customs and once-in-a-lifetime moments in this part of Italy. Explore the ruins of Pompeii in the morning, hike the coastline of the Mediterranean by the afternoon, and tuck into bed at your converted seventeenth-century monastery homebase at sundown. Since this trip takes place when it's just a bit cooler out and perhaps there are fewer people around the Amalfi Coast, which means you will have that much more paradise all to yourself on the Extended Amalfi Coast Holiday Package!
Welcome to Naples, home to the best pizza of the world, and if there are no planned activities, enjoy the city. Move out for an exciting dinner to eat the dish Naples is famous for—pizza! It is one the most vibrant cities and lies on the coast south of Rome, defining itself as the most important city in southern Italy. The city has recently undergone some renovation but still retains much of its old character and holds many historical and artistic treasures.
You may head off by private transport to your novice accommodation, an agriturismo just outside of Furore. En route you will visit the famed site of Pompeii, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius, near Naples. One of Italy’s best-known sites, this unique visit is truly an amazing experience. After a guided tour, there will be some free time to explore on your own before shifting into your accommodation, located just outside the village of Furore on the Amalfi Coast, formerly a sixteenth- century monastery, but surrounded by colourful gardens, open terraces and endless staircases leading out to lemon tree groves and grape vines. After you have had time to settle into your room, the hosts will give you a tour of the property and tell you a bit about themselves and the agriturismo's history.
You have the option of visiting the seaside town of Sorrento and get your bearings as you enjoy free time in the town to take a cooking class, walk along the cliff tops if the weather is agreeable or take a day trip to the island of Capri.
Look forward to glorify the Amalfi Coast, where you can explore the small towns and trails of the beautiful countryside, and set out on the 'Walk of the Gods,' correctly addressed, due to its proximity to nature’s environs, as though the `Gods’ are your invisible companions on this trail, but of course, weather and conditions permitting! Probably the most famous walk of the Amalfi region, the ancient trail climbs along ridges high above the coastal towns of Positano and Praiano, the only road connecting these two villages. This path can be rough underfoot and a little exposed but well worth it for the spectacular scenery and the chance to be so close to nature and "the Gods". The outstanding beauty of the Amalfi Coast can only be fully appreciated on foot, as you follow ancient paths and trails linking isolated farms, villages, churches and monasteries. Most of the walking offers amazing views to the rugged coastline below with wonderful vistas from village to village, where you mingle with the true colours of the countryside, exchanging views and conversations with their fellow beings, perhaps over their traditional snack or beverage! Hike uphill along a forest trail and stairs to the small town of Bomerano, perched in the hills high above the sparkling sea. From there, continue to the village of Montepertuso and eventually to Positano along sometimes narrow path with sensational views down to the sea far below. Stop along the way for an included picnic lunch with magnificent views of this Coast. Walk past abandoned farmhouses and lemon groves, across high mountain pastures and through woodlands, breathing a unique fresh air, and finally down to hilltop villages and steeply down to the coast again. The last part of the path is on the main road and then down aplenty of stairs, which can also be done by a public bus to save tired knees and ankles. The walk finishes in Positano where you will have time, if you wish, to explore the bustling resort. You can then take a scenic boat ride back to Amalfi and bus it back to the agriturismo. Be sure to pack layers for the day's hike.
The focus is now on food. Start off with a mozzarella-making demonstration. You would know that Italians and foodies worldwide would always be keen and helpful to tell you that the texture of mozzarella is just as important as the taste, both of which can be marred by less-that-fresh mozzarella. See how it is made right before your eyes. Afterwards! Earn all about limoncello production and tasting at a local limoncello factory. Southern Italy is known specifically for the giant lemons they use to make limoncello, and paradoxically these lemons can easily grow to be larger than one's head, so wouldn’t you want to see them in person today. In the evening, learn how to make pizza the Italian way and pay close attention to the process and what you cook, as you will eat the pizza that you make for dinner. Sounds inviting……….gurgle,gurgle, growl, growl,…….the appetizer noise!
Bundle up and hop on to a public bus to the town of Amalfi. Check out the big cathedral off the main square and poke around the shops, in season. Note that some stores are closed during the tourism off-season but some will still be open. This town is also home to a paper museum that houses tools and machines from the past several centuries of paper making. After Amalfi, board a second bus to the picturesque hilltop town of Ravello, which is famous for the beauty of its situation, perched high above the azure Mediterranean with stunning views in all directions, and for its musical associations. The scenery here inspired many poets, artists and musicians to indulge in their cultural expressions and talent, most prominent amongst them Wagner. After some time, you may visit the Villa Rufolo and the cathedral, and then return to the agriturismo home outside of Furore. You then have the opportunity to relish a real treat for your local living experience. Before dinner, your habitant hosts will show you how to make a delicious Italian speciality using mostly traditional regional recipes made with local produce. This activity will be available fornthree nights in a week before dinner, for a duration varying between twenty minutes and one hour, depending on what time you finish your days' activities and the seasonal availability of ingredients. Could a stay have been better and more versatile than this, enriching a blend of pleasure, leisure, history, know-how and tranquil charm!
After an exhilarating stay on the Extended Amalfi Coast Holiday Package, move on to an extended destination, further on………. and say `Welcome to Greece’, the huge land of Neolithic architecture, archaeological walks, splendid monuments and a history to store in the memory and remember! The holiday starts with the capital city of Athens!
Several branches for each of this land’s collection are located close to each other, such as the, the ancient Byzantine, Ottoman-era and Chinese art, the Byzantine and Christian Museum containing Byzantine art, the Numismatic Museum housing a great collection of ancient and modern coins, the Museum of Cycladic Art home to an extensive collection of Cycladic art, including the famous figurines made of white marble, the Temple of Olympian Zeus embracing stunning ruins, with the Olympic Stadium and the Hadrian’s Arch.
Next to big institutions such as the National Gallery and the Benaki Museum, a big number of small private galleries are spread within the city centre and the surrounding areas, hosting the works of contemporary visual and media artists. In recent years a number of bar galleries have sprung up, where you can have a drink or a coffee, sensing the comfort in a cozy surrounding, whilst visiting an exhibition.
Even if you are not an art aficionado, it would be worthwhile to visit the National Art Gallery is located at Michalakopoulou Street, close to Evangelismos metro station and is one of the main art institutions featuring some of the best paintings and works of the art of Greece and Europe. Emphasis is given to popular Greek contemporary artists including Giannis Tsarouchis, Domenikos Theotokopoulos (a.k.a. El Greco), Theodors Vrizakis, Nikolaos Kounelakis, Nikiforos Litras, Konstantinos Parthenis, Maleas, Giannis Moralis and others.
The City of Athens Technopolis, an industrial museum of incomparable architecture, amongst the most interesting in the world, has been transformed into a multipurpose cultural space. The centre has assisted in the upgrading of a historic Athens district and the creation of yet another positive element in its cultural identity. With a `can’t believe these wonders’ thoughts psyching you, go on with a quest for other such delectable treats!
You may visit The Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the ancient fortified town of Athens, dating back to the Late Bronze Age, and the site of the best buildings of the Greek Classical age such as the Parthenon, the Erectheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Acropolis dominates the Athenian sky and symbolizes the foundation of modern culture and civilization as the most famous landmark of entire Greece, and the eternal symbol of democracy, education and inspiration. The ticket to this area also gives you entry to the Kerameikos, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Roman Agora, Ancient Agora, and the nearby Theatre of Dionysus. The New Acropolis Museum has proved considerably popular and a number of smaller and privately-owned museums focused on Greek culture and arts are also to be found closeby.
The Ancient Agora site is a very green space and lends a striking view of the Acropolis. You will see the Temple of Hephaestus, the best preserved ancient Greek temple and the Attalos Stoa, the museum of the Agora which is a reconstructed ancient building. From the Agora, you can walk towards Acropolis and an extension towards the Roman Forum.
At the Syntagma Square, check out the Parliament building and the newly-restored Grande Bretagne Hotel and also, catch the changing of the guards in front of the Parliament every hour. Their uniforms and walking style is fun to see, but make sure you do not stand on the wrong side of them, if you want to take a picture.
The district of Metaxourgeio represents a unique neighborhood in the historic center of Athens, and has become a bohemian enclave as well as a haven for art and culture. As part of the area's continual transformation, the principal gallery of the city, The Municipal Gallery, was relocated to Avdi Square, which is a large, public space that is well suited to artistic expressions of all kinds.
Athens also offers some of the best urban walking in Europe. Several major streets have been recently pedestrianized, and a mostly car-free archeological walk starts at Vasilisis Amalias Street, passing in front of the New Acropolis Museum, Acropolis, Herodion Theatre, Thiseio (Apostolou Pavlou Str), Ermou Street and ends at the popular area of Kerameikos (Gkazi) where numerous bars and clubs are located. Pleasant walking can also be had in Plaka, especially its upper reaches, and in much of Kolonaki, and the National Garden which can provide a welcome respite from the heat and noise of the city center! With a plethora of flexible choices above, have your hearty meals and satiate your appetite with every fulfillment on this Extended Amalfi Coast Holiday Package!
The Parnitha National Park is punctuated with well-marked paths, gorges, springs, torrents and caves dotting the protected area. Hiking and mountain-biking in all four mountains remain popular outdoor activities for many residents of the city. The National Garden of Athens is a peaceful and beautiful park in its centre, located between the Parliament and the Zappeion buildings, where visitors can enjoy their walk and spend hours of relaxation,. The Garden encloses luxuriant vegetation, plenty of flowers, some ancient ruins, two duck ponds and a small zoo. In addition, there is a children’s playground and a café as well. The biggest zoo of the city is the Attica Zoological Park, located in the suburb of Spata and home to animals and rare endangered species!
Here comes the beatific trip to Mykonos, a Greek Island, part of the Cyclades, lying between Tinos, Syros, paros and Naxo, serving like an `icing on a cake’. The town of Mykonos is also known as Chora where tourism is a major industry as the nightlife and the beaches are most active and famous on this land! Hence it is a popular tourist destination situated in the middle of the Aegean Sea, famed and acknowledged as a cosmopolitan destination, and widely recognized as one of the great travel meccas. This touristed island is supported by loud dance clubs, English breakfasts, a landscape which is a symphony of bare rock, blinding white peasant architecture and, in contrast to its small size, numerous lacy stretches of the most beautiful sandy beaches, accentuated by the wonderful Mediterranean light and set against the deep blue background of the Aegean.
Mykonos' main communities are Chora, the island's port town and capital, and the village town of Ano Mera. The town Chora is a stunningly picturesque Cycladic town with a maze of tiny streets, whitewashed stepped lanes, and houses and churches gathered around its harbour in the middle of a wide bay. Although the streets are lined with little shops, boutiques, art galleries, cafes, stylish bars and restaurants, it’s traditional Cycladic architectural style and character has remained firmly intact.
All museums are open from April to October, except the Archaeological Museum which is open year round. Most people keep the museums for a rainy day, but the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos is worth a visit as it’s exhibits include a large number of vases, ranging from the prehistoric to the late Hellenistic era, statues, stelae and urns from the nearby island of Rheneia (Delos' necropolis). The Folklore Museum, housed in an eighteenth-century sea captain's house, brings together a number of collections of furniture, icons, pieces of sculpture, folk musical instruments, costumes and textiles. Lena's House Museum, a branch of the Folklore Museum, is an authentic nineteenth-century middle class Mykonian house, completely restored with furnishings. The Boni Mill has been maintained and is fully functional, featuring its customary wood-burning stone oven.
Of all the churches in Mykonos Town, the most impressive is Panagia Paraportianí, a true Byzantine jewel. This whitewashed church is the most popular and most photographed of the other churches on the whole island. It is made up of four chapels at ground level and only one of the chapels on the ground floor is open to visitors, from early morning until sunset. The church is located in the Kastro district, the oldest section of Mykonos Town.
You may spend your day in the most relaxing or hectic schedule, as per choice, that is the beach land! Most of the beaches have taverns and restaurants and are well equipped with deck chairs and parasols. The best beaches are on the south side of the island and sheltered from the prevailing northern wind. On the more popular beaches, it is not uncommon for people to walk down the beach selling probably goods such as DVDs, bags, clothes, jewellery and watches.
Paradise is probably the most popular beach known for its parties hosting foot-tapping music. This exotic resort is easily reached by bus from Mykonos Town or with a regular boat service from Platys Gialos. It is engulfed with Super Paradise restaurants, beach bars, and offers enough space for some guests to simply dine and leave and for others to party and burn the night away! Delos, a small uninhabited island close to Mykonos, is a UNESCO World Heritage area known for its important archaeological sites, and is accessible by a boat.
Find some time to visit Ano Mera, a small village in the middle of the island, based around a large central square, which is lined on three sides by a series of Greek tavernas. The monastery of Panagia Tourliani is the most significant highlight of this area. Enthused by this unusual abode of admiration, continue with another surprise!
Head towards the Windmills, one of the most recognized landmarks of Mykonos, projecting a splendid view on Little Venice and being the most popular place in on the western side of this arena to watch that eye-catching sunset! Little Venice, in Mykonos Town, is a district located at the sea, famous for its picturesque medieval two and three storey houses, which stand like a wall above the sea, with their colourful wooden balconies. It is also one of the most beautiful, magnetic and romantic places offering a fantastic sunset, which keeps everyone, families, couples, companions and children, in awe of this enigma! A favourite activity here is drinking a cocktail in one of the many bars and cafes while watching the sun -go -down on the seashore. You can reach Little Venice walking from the windmills down the stairs.
Italian fashion has a long tradition and is regarded as one of the most important in the world, as Europe boasts of renowned British designers, producing unique brands and setting worldwide trends, from bling brands to prestigious art galleries. It is a luxury shopper’s dream destination where top-branded universal department stores are lined up for the elitist as well as the modest and moderate stores serving the mid-end strata of society, with thrifty bargains. When it comes to vintage fashion, the obsessed may go fishing for apparels, arts, crafts, cosmetics, perfumes, shoes, bags, accessories, belts, paintings, curios, miniatures and souvenirs. From traditional board games to cutting-edge gadgets, the continent has toyshops that have everything a family could want, for themselves and their children! Preserved edibles such as cheese, marmalades, jams, honey, syrups and chocolates may be carried in addition! has antiques, perfumes, marbled stationery and gold. Inside the market, you will find fantastic food stalls, selling meats, cheeses, olives, breads, and countless goodies to fill up a picnic basket. Vendors of clothing, leather goods, ceramics, reside in the stalls outside of the market. often selling unique trinkets. You may also find vintage clothing and accessories, antiques, jewellery and pottery, fine silk and glorious velvets and many shops selling an enormous range of beautiful fabrics. Some outlets have Venetian glassware, with simple, traditional designs as well as more contemporary glassware. Traditional and genuine masks make great souvenirs with some truly splendid and eye-catching designs.
Although Greece is a huge country, it has relatively some shopping malls or large department stores. Souvenirs are of course available in every area that the tourists visit. Other shopping opportunities consist of antiques, museum reproductions, embroideries and folk art goods, Greek food and drink products. This is an overview of the tempting shopping scene spread across various cities. There are small streets which are home to incredibly low-priced shoes, bags, jewellery, gifts, homewares, and so there are shopping malls that include outlets with luxury brands, as well as luxury cafés, bars and restaurants. Casual silver pieces to hand-crafted gold with precious stones, gold in ancient and Byzantine motifs, contemporary designs in silver and unique gold and silver jewellery by local designers are available. Fashion for men and women, street wear, club wear, party wear, accessories, funky T-shirts, youthful women’s fashion, clothes by Greek designers and A-level designers including Roberto Cavalli, Gaultier, Missoni and Chloe, may be found in designerwear stores and various shopping areas. Ceramics, wood-carvings, sculpture, Aphrodite candles, authentic Greek folk art, trinkets, embroideries, crocheted iPod covers, antique ceramics and hand-crafted silver jewellery are available in abundance! Unique metal creations, candle-sticks, small mirrors, lamps and books, are sprawled all around. You can go shopping or window shopping in the fabulous little boutiques which carry exclusive brands, amongst them being outstanding Greek jewellery, souvenirs, and works of art. Mykonos specifically is home to a large artists' colony, so there are a number of fine galleries offering original works.
From economical restaurants to luxury dining, afternoon tea to Sunday roast, enjoy fresh, local produce and some tasty, traditional European food at one of the fine restaurants in any city. Travellers may complete a heritage day out with a meal at one of top museum restaurants hosting fresh, healthy and delicious gourmet to the best vegetarian and vegan restaurants in the cities. There are numerous restaurants, coffee shops and bars serving French, Spanish, Italian and Japanese cuisine. There are some high-profile outlets that offer a unique experience – al fresco dining – where tourists can dine on a chic roof terrace, and meander through a created landscape or a Spanish garden, walking past a stream or a pond with sculptures, flamingos and ducks. There are oceans of kitchens which offer seasonal dishes, home-made ice-cream, sandwiches and afternoon tea, along with several eateries and pavement dining courts where tourists can dream in a wonderland amidst olive and palm trees. They may be able to relish the classic wines, and wine-blended dishes along with some exotic sweets as in liqueur and liquor chocolates and truffles, cakes and patisserie! There are possibilities for every pocket and for every mood and hip spots that attract fashionable crowds, haute cuisine restaurants, countless pizzerias, and those popular eateries called ”trattorie”, where it is not hard to find an old mama, making fresh hand-made pasta or even wine bars where you can nibble while enjoying a glass of wine. The culinary delights vary in each region, though pizza, pasta, lasagne, gelato, focaccia, cheese, espresso coffee, cappuccino and white wine are part and parcel of the Italian cuisine, which are served in restaurants, cafes hotels, and even homestays, all over the country. There are innumerable pizzeries, dishing up endless varieties of pizzas with toppings to suit individual tastes, and several restaurants serving seafood and Italian cuisine, haute food spread and wine bars.
In Greece, for quick, decent and low-budget meals that do not fall into the commercialized fast food category, try a souvlaki', pronounced soo- VLAH-kee, mainly grilled meat, pork, chicken, or your choice, vegetables or tomato and onion slices and greek 'tzatziki' or pronounced tzah-TZEE-khee, which is yogurt enriched with garlic and cucumber. All the above, often accompanied by french fries, are wrapped inside a thin slice of pan bread, named 'pita' or PEE-tah. If you are interested in a sandwich, cheese pie, spinach pie or the equivalent of a fast snack, try Grigoris or Everest, two chains of fast food to be found in most districts of Athens and the rest of Greece. Goody's is the Greek equivalent of McDonald's and offers a fair variety of tasty meals, including pastas, different salads and burgers. Modern Greek. International culinary fare such as Greek, Seafood, Mediterranean, Italian, Chinese, Modern French, Japanese, Patisserie, including savoury and sweets, ice-creams, sundaes, are always around to satiate your appetite, as well as restaurants serving Indian dishes consisting of tandoori chicken, curry lamb, breads, appetizers, masala tikka, Kashmiri and Punjabi cuisine. Greeks love to socialize and Athens buzzes after its other counterparts have laid their heads down to sleep. Cafes spill on to the streets, and the sounds of lively conversation rings around everywhere in the evenings. Have a frappé, the delicious Greek version of cold coffee and being a Greek invention, relish its serving as sweet, medium, or without sugar, with or without milk. Delicious with Bailey's too!
Due to the great longitudinal extension of the peninsula and the mostly mountainous internal conformation, the climate of Italy is highly diverse. In most of the inland northern and central regions, the climate ranges from humid subtropical to humid continental and oceanic. In particular, the climate of the Po Valley geographical region is mostly continental, with harsh winters and hot summers. The coastal areas generally fit the Mediterranean stereotype. Conditions on peninsular coastal areas can be very different from the interior's higher ground and valleys, particularly during the winter months when the higher altitudes tend to be cold, wet, and often snowy. The coastal regions have mild winters and warm and generally dry summers, although lowland valleys can be quite hot in summer.
Athens has a subtropical Mediterranean climate and it alternates between prolonged hot and dry summers and mild, wet winters, which are rather July and August, are the driest months, where thunderstorms occur sparsely once or twice a month. The climate of Mykonos is characterised by hot, dry summers and mild winters. Like in most of the Aegean Islands it hardly ever rains during summer, but rain showers can be expected between October and April.
Recommended for a visit throughout the year, as even in the coldest of winters, if well-equipped with woollens, walking could be rather pleasant and attractive. Of course, even the spell of rainy showers, could offer you the chance to just gaze at the surroundings from indoors, and then step outdoors when dry, on this Extended Amalfi Coast Holiday Package!