Seven night voyage of the Dalmatian Coast: Croatia, Montenegro, Albania & Greece
Located at the far south of the Republic of Croatia, Dubrovnik has become a protected part of the world heritage as well as a renowned holiday destination. Heavily damaged during the 1991-92 shelling, Dubrovnik is now completely restored thanks to the dedication of its people and the Rebuild Dubrovnik Fund. With the support of people all over the world, Dubrovnik has been reclaimed, not just as a Croatian treasure but also officially recognized by the United Nations as a World Cultural Heritage site.
Crowned by the Minceta Tower, the 10th century city walls are the proud symbol of Dubrovnik's colorful history. Stroll up the Stradún to the elaborately colonnaded Rector's Palace, the seat of the republic of Ragusa, a powerful Renaissance-era city-state boasting a fleet of 500 ships!
The massive walls that surround and protect this Mediterranean jewel were built between the 11th and 16th century, and commemorate the struggles that the Croatian people have had to endure over the centuries. One of the greatest attractions is to walk on top of the walls, for a view of the city unlike no other.
There are a few interesting stores in the Old Town. Local hand-crafts such as embroidered lace and filigree jewelry are the most popular items to purchase. You may also find a nice selection of crystal and watercolor paintings from local artists.
The Sponza's Palace, built in the 16th century was once used as the city’s Custom's House, but today houses a collection of modern artwork. The Church of St. Blaise, built in the 18th century was dedicated to the town's Patron Saint and the Onofrio's Fountain, which stands in front of the Church, part of the old water supply system still in use today, dates back to the 15th century. The baroque Cathedral of “Mary’s Assumption” with its dominating blue/green dome is one of the most striking monuments in the city.
Framed by dense green forests of allepo pine and twisted cypress, the red tile roofs of Korcula make an inviting picture that makes you want to see more of this charming island town whose most famous native son was Marco Polo. The pale wheat colored stone Cathedral of St. Mark houses a treasure trove of Dalmatian and Italian art, including works by Tintoretto and Titian. Walk through the towering Land Gate for a great view of the town, try a traditional Korcula dish, spinning-wheel fettucini. And if you're lucky, you may witness Korcula's thrilling Moreska Sword Dance.
Although it is a port town, Bar is amazingly clean and has many developed green areas. Around it are many tourist attractions, including The old town of Bar, Haj Nehaj Fortress, from the 15th century, and the castle of King Nikola. There’s an Old Olive Tree that is more than 2000 years old and Skadar lake, a remarkable bird habitat, as well as a large number of monasteries and churches for the visitors who enjoy this type of tourism.
Paxos Island, Greece
Paxos is an island of endless olive groves and sister island Anti Paxos is one large vineyard. The eastern coastline of the islands are gentle versus the west coast which is bold and abrupt, with caves, arches and shear cliffs. The capital of Paxos is Gaios a picturesque village built around a port which is protected by two small islands Agios Nikolas and Panagia. On the Northern side is the village of Lakka and on the east side is the very charming village of Loggos. You will find the pace is still unhurried, very relaxing with genuine friendly Greek hospitality at its best.
The lushest (and some say the loveliest) of all the Greek Islands, Corfu lies just a stone's throw from the Albanian coast. And nowhere is the stunning natural beauty of Corfu more evident than in the small village of Paleocastritsa, where legend says Odysseus was washed ashore to be rescued by Nausicaa. Another sight not to be missed is the Achillion Palace built for the Empress Elizabeth of Austria and later owned by Kaiser Wilhelm I. The British made Corfu a major base during the Napoleonic wars and you can see the lovely 1824 villa, Mon Repos, where Prince Philip was born.
The exquisite island of ancient Pheakon, has 150 miles of coastline, picturesque promenades and a vivid night life. The lush green silhouette of Corfu (better known as Green Greece) rises from the Ionian sea, a fertile island dense with lemon and orange groves, fig trees, cypress, and three million olive trees. Two forts mark the graceful old town of Kerkira, along with a gorgeous Esplanade, where locals play cricket – one of the remaining British influences. In the Campiello area, a maze of shuttered Venetian-era alleyways leads to a Byzantine museum full of icons.
Situated on a gulf of the Ionian Sea, two miles from the island of Corfu, Sarandë is a key tourist attraction on the Albanian Riviera. Nearby are the ruins of the ancient city of Butrint, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
The city's name comes from the name of the Byzantine monastery of Forty Saints, from the Forty Martyrs of Sebaste memorialized by the Orthodox Church. Included under the new Albanian state in 1913, it was occupied twice by Greece, and then by Italy between 1916 and 1920. Sarande was controlled in 1939 by Italian forces as a strategic port for the fascist regime, when Albania was annexed to Italy, and temporarily called "Porto Edda" in honor of Mussolini's eldest daughter. During the Greco-Italian War the city came under Greek rule, until the German invasion of Greece and the withdrawal of the Greek army in 1941.
Located along one of Montenegro's most beautiful bays is Kotor, a city of traders and famous sailors, with many stories to tell.
The Old City of Kotor is a well preserved city, typical of the Middle Ages, built between the 12th and 14th century. Medieval architecture and numerous monuments of cultural heritage have made Kotor a UNESCO listed “World Natural and Historical Heritage Site". Through the entire city the buildings are criss-crossed with narrow streets and squares. At one of them there is the Cathedral of Sveti Tripun , a monument of Roman culture and one of the most recognizable symbols of the city. The Church of Sveti Luka (13th century), Church Sveta Ana (12th century) Church Sveta Marija (13th century), Church Gospe od Zdravlja (15th century), the Prince’s Palace (17th century) and the Napoleon Theater (19th century) are all treasures that are part of the rich heritage of Kotor. Carnivals and fiestas are organized each year to give additional charm to this most beautiful city of the Montenegrin littoral.
Dubrovnik, Croatia (return)
Return to Dubrovnik to disembark.