13 Nights | 13-DAY ITALY, GREECE, ISRAEL: MEDITERRANEAN WONDERS
You will visit the following 9 places:
Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese islands in terms of land area and also the island group's historical capital. Administratively the island forms a separate municipality within the Rhodes regional unit, which is part of the South Aegean administrative region. It is located northeast of Crete, southeast of Athens and just off the Anatolian coast of Turkey. Rhodes' nickname is The island of the Knights, named after the Knights of Saint John of Jerusalem, who once conquered the land. Historically, Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Haifa is the third-largest city in the State of Israel. It is home to the Bahá'í World Centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a destination for Baha'i pilgrims. Built on the slopes of Mount Carmel, the settlement has a history spanning more than 3,000 years. The earliest known settlement in the vicinity was Tell Abu Hawam, a small port city established in the Late Bronze Age (14th century BCE). In the 3rd century CE, Haifa was known as a dye-making center. Today, the city is a major seaport located on Israel's Mediterranean coastline in the Bay of Haifa covering 63.7 square kilometres (24.6 sq mi). The city plays an important role in Israel's economy. It is also home to Matam, one of the oldest and largest high-tech parks in the country. Haifa Bay is a center of heavy industry, petroleum refining and chemical processing. Haifa formerly functioned as the western terminus of an oil pipeline from Iraq via Jordan.
Naples is a city in Italy; it is the capital of the region of Campania and of the province of Naples. Known for its rich history, art, culture, architecture, music, and gastronomy, Naples has played an important role in the Italian peninsula and beyond for much of its existence, which began more than 2,800 years ago. Situated on the west coast of Italy by the Gulf of Naples, the city is located halfway between two volcanic areas, Mount Vesuvius and the Phlegraean Fields. Naples has the fourth-largest urban economy in Italy, after Milan, Rome and Turin. It is the world's 103rd-richest city by purchasing power, with an estimated 2011 GDP of US$83.6 billion. The port of Naples is one of the most important in Europe, and has the world's second-highest level of passenger flow, after the port of Hong Kong. The city has long been a major cultural centre with a global sphere of influence, particularly during the Renaissance and Enlightenment eras. In the immediate vicinity of Naples are numerous culturally and historically significant sites, including the Palace of Caserta and the Roman ruins ofPompeii and Herculaneum. Culinarily, it is synonymous with pizza, which originated in the city.
Cyprus is an island country in the Eastern Mediterranean Sea, off the coasts of Syria and Turkey. It is the third largest and third most populous island in the Mediterranean, and a member state of the European Union since May 1, 2004. It has a rich, turbulent history stretching back to antiquity. Cyprus is also famed for its lovely hotel resorts, beaches, archaeological sites relating to the cult of Aphrodite, including ruins of palaces, tombs and mosaic-adorned villas.
Iraklion (also called Heraklion) is the largest city and capital of Crete. It is also the fourth largest city in Greece. It is the capital of Heraklion Prefecture, with an international airport named after the writer Nikos Kazantzakis. The ruins of Knossos, which were excavated and restored by Arthur Evans, are nearby. Iraklio has a certain urban sophistication, with a thriving cafe and restaurant scene, the island’s best shopping and lively nightlife.
Piraeus is a city in the periphery of Attica, Greece and within the Athens urban area, located 12 km southwest of its center and upon the Saronic Gulf. According to the 2001 census, Piraeus has a population of 175,697 people within its administrative limits, making it the third largest municipality in Greece and the second within the Greek capital following the municipality of Athens. The Piraeus urban area extends beyond the administrative city limits to the suburban municipalities, with a total population of 466,065.
Kuşadası is a coastal resort town in the Aydin Province of Aegean Turkey. It has become a popular holiday resort, especially for visitors from Northern and Western Europe. It has about 50,000 residents, although that grows significantly during the high season from May to October. The lovely city caters to tourists, growing to over half a million during the high season, when the large resort fills with tourists (from Turkey itself, northern Europe and the Balkans) plus the hotel staff, bar staff, construction workers, and drivers who are needed to work in the restaurants servicing all these visitors. The hills behind Kuşadasi are built up with big hotels and blocks of holiday flats.
Civitavecchia is a town and comune of the Metropolitan City of Rome in the central Italian region of Lazio. A sea port on the Tyrrhenian Sea, the name ''Civitavecchia'' means "ancient town". The modern city was built over a pre-existing Etruscan settlement. The massive Forte Michelangelo was first commissioned from Donato Bramante by Pope Julius II, to defend the port of Rome. The upper part of the "maschio" tower, however, was designed by Michelangelo, whose name is generally applied to the fortress. North of the city at Ficoncella are the Terme Taurine baths frequented by Romans and still popular with the Civitavecchiesi. The modern name stems from the common fig plants among the various pools. And also next to the town is the location of the cruise ship docks. All major cruise lines start and end their cruises at this location, and others stop for shore excursion days that allow guests to see Rome and Vatican sights, which are ninety minutes away.