Day 1 Embark in Istanbul, Turkey
For centuries, Istanbul lit up Europe and the Ottoman Empire. Much more than a capital, it is a beacon in the history of civilizations. Arrive in Istanbul and transfer to the pier to embark Le Lyrial from 4:00PM to 5:00PM.
Day 2 Sailing Dardanelle Strait | Dikili
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
An optional excursion in Dikili is to the Asclepeion, a vast temple dedicated to Asclepius the god of healing and medicine. Remarkable because of its impressive dimensions, the temple played a vital role in the development of medicine in ancient times. In the northern part of the temple stands a Roman theater and there is an underground passage leading to the temple from the Telesphorus treatment center. You can see the circular temple of Asclepius in the eastern part of the building.
Then board your coach again to drive to the Pergamum Acropolis. Before entering, it is worth noting that the site is famous for having once been a serious rival to Alexandria and Egypt. In fact, during the reign of Eumenes II in the 2nd century BC, Pergamum was at the height of its glory and possessed a library to rival that of Alexandria. When the Egyptians decided to stop supplying papyrus, thus preventing new publications from being produced, the wise men of Pergamum invented a new substance from fine calf skin which they called “pergamena” (parchment) after the city. Emerging out of a magnificent natural setting on a hill that is otherwise covered in beautiful buildings, the Acropolis is a joy to behold. Discover the Trajan Temple with its marble columns built at the time of the Emperors Trajan and Hadrian and representing the only evidence of Rome. The Theater (+10,000 seats) is incredible as the terraces are so steep. It overlooks the Temple of Dionysus and the altar of Zeus.
Day 6 Sailing past Stromboli | Taormina, Italy
- 1 Breakfast, 1 Lunch, 1 Dinner
After disembarkation by tender, journey by coach on a 45-minute journey to the ancient Greek town of Taormina. Called Tauromenium in ancient times, Taormina clings to the side of Mount Tauro and offers superb views, splashed with the vibrant colors of bougainvillea and oleanders, of the Mediterranean Sea, Isola Bella, and a snow-capped Etna in the background. A maze of narrow streets, stairs, and tiny squares, Taormina has attracted many civilizations over the centuries. It is home to theaters and a gymnasium from the Greek period, an Odeon and baths from Roman times, buildings blending Arab and Norman cultures, traces of Byzantine, and villas belonging to European aristocracy in the 18th and 19th centuries.
Visit on foot to the historic center then cross the famous Corso Umberto to discover numerous monuments from several eras, and admire Porta Catania, the Cathedral, Piazza IX Aprile, and Palazzo Corvaja. Then arrive at Teatro Antico, a theater built by the Greeks in the 3rd century BC, and almost completely rebuilt by the Romans who created a gladiatorial arena. The theater is the second largest in Sicily after the one in Syracuse. Due to its size and acoustic quality, the theater is still used to host festivals and concerts. Seated on the stone terraces, the audience can enjoy the concert while admiring a breath-taking panoramic view of the sea, Mount Tauro, and Etna.