10-Month Mediterranean Journey: Coming February 2019

 

 
 
 
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Spain

Madrid:  Madrid has been the Spanish capital since 1561, and it feels like a celebration of life.  You could happily cap off each day with tapas and a glass of Spanish rioja.  Madrid has an infectious appetite for art, music, and epicurean pleasure, and it's transformed into a cosmopolitan, modern urban center, while fiercely preserving its traditions.

Spain brings to life the images of alluring hillside villages, cafe-lined streets, dazzling flamenco dancers, and kaleidoscopic cathedrals you’ve been painting in your mind’s eye for years.  As one of the world’s most visited destinations, Spain offers magnificent landscapes from the northern snowcapped Pyrenees, all the way down to the southern sparkling waters of the Canary Islands, top-notch historic and art museums, daily siestas, and vibrant cities of stunning architecture (Barcelona and Madrid, to name two).  Being the culinary nation that Spain is, most visitors come for the sun, but stay for the cuisine. The Spanish locals will be thrilled to share with you their gastronomic treasures of gazpacho, tortilla española, and paella, whetting your palate and leaving you hungry for more.

 

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Italy

Rome:  Rome wasn't built in a day,and you'll need much more than a day to take in this timeless city. The city is a real-life collage of piazzas, open-air markets, and astonishing historic sites. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, contemplate the Colosseum and the Pantheon, and sample a perfect espresso or gelato before spending an afternoon shopping at the Campo de’Fiori.

Never has a country blended together art, history, food, fashion, and spirit as wondrously as Italy has.  As one of the most re-visited places on Earth, Italy boasts of splendid natural wonders such as the beautiful Lake Como, Aeolian Island volcanoes, and the dazzling Mediterranean Sea. Traveling around Italy remains one of those exceptional experiences in life.  In few places do history, art, fasion and food all exist together, from enchanted castles and palaces, renowned museums and monuments, vibrant cities and shopping centers, and endless artistic, historic, and architectural treasures, to some of the best cuisine and wine the world has to offer.  Whether you find yourself gazing across the stone terraces of Cinque Terre, wandering the market streets of Naples, or wine tasting in the countryside, Italy will keep you thirsty for more.  Go for it and live la dolce vita ("the good life").

 
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Portugal

Lisbon: Lisbon is stunning and one of the most charismatic and vibrant cities in Western Europe. It is a city that effortlessly blends traditional heritage, with lively nightlife.  Lisbon offers a rich history and is blessed with a glorious year-round climate.

It is of Portuguese nature to spend an entire afternoons enjoying strong coffee and warm pastries with loved ones, pondering life as the sun glides across the sky. . . What better way is there to live in a charming, picturesque seaside village?  From rolling vineyards in Douro River Valley, to jagged cliffs that kiss sparkling Atlantic waters, Portugal’s stunning nature is just a portion of its wonder. With a strong Roman, Celtic, and Islamic influence, Portugal has a plethora of medieval quarters (found in cities like Braga and Évora), castles, UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and historic ruins to discover.  Whether you dance Fado (traditional) music under a waterfall in Flores, or enjoy Bacalhau in Porto, Portugal will be a perpetual delight to all your senses.
 

 
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Greece

Chania Crete:  With it's rich Minoan history, this beautiful port city that surrounds the Venetian harbor, is located in the best part of Crete for day-trips to beautiful beaches, scenic mountain villages and ancient ruins. 

Ah, Greece, a stunning land of enchantment and wonder… Home to some of the world’s greatest philosophers, poets, mythological deities, and ancient relics, every part of Greece encompasses a legend of its own: from the mythical Odysseus’ home on the island of Ithaca, to the former stomping grounds of Gods and Goddesses along the glorious coastlines of Peloponnese. Athens with the Acropolis and the Temple of Olympian Zeus, as well as treasures in the National Archaeological Museum is one of the pillars of Western history. To polish off Greece’s storybook appeal, it encompasses breathtaking scenery (from Mount Olympus to over 1,400 beautifully scattered islands), charismatic seaside villages, delectable Greek food (such as Gyros and fresh seafood), and world-famous Grecian hospitality to make you feel at home instantly.

 
 

Turkey

 

Istanbul:  The bazaars, breathtaking architecture and Turkish baths of Istanbul could keep you happily occupied for your entire trip: Visit the awe-inspiring Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque), which is visible from many points of the city. Stroll the Galata Bridge and stop by the Miniaturk Park to see its tiny artifacts. The Grand Bazaar has thousands of shops to browse, while the Egyptian Bazaar is a fragrant trove of spices and fruits.

From its beating heart of Istanbul to it’s other-worldly regions of Cappadocia, Turkey is a unique land of stark contrast. To contrast years of cultural, economic, and political distress, exists its current progressive and emerging culture; to contrast its booming cities, lie its sleepy hillside villages; to contrast it’s Roman and Ottoman archeological wonders are its modern bustling streets and cafes; to contrast its scabrous mountain ranges are its shimmering beaches.  To honor Turkey’s myriad of multicultural heritages lives its grand gastronomic diversity; from the sweet and nutty Baklava to the slow-roasted and savory Kuzu Tandır, your mouth will be watering from glances in each direction.  If diversity is your love language, Turkey and its people will tug at your heart strings continually.


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