As lifelong adventurers we are constantly seeking our own secret paths. When we were children these paths might have begun with the simple shortcuts home from school, through a neighbor’s yard, or across a wild meadow. Later, these paths took the form of roads and hidden delights we discovered while extending the borders of our surroundings, venturing farther afield and around the globe.
Now our travels take us to foreign cities and villages where we wander labyrinthine alleys through medieval fortresses or hike off the beaten track to wind up the hillsides for amazing views across verdant valleys. We look for hidden castles, ancient ruins, or sometimes just for the comfort of a little known rustic café where we might relax and enjoy the local scene. In wider and wider concentric circles our explorations expand like ripples. For the intrepid traveler, soon our secret paths seem to traverse the world.
During Zegrahm’s Fabled Adriatic voyage aboard the Island Sky, we will find our way across indigo seas to connect the pathways to secret worlds. We will visit nine UNESCO World heritage sites, beginning in Malta, a small jewel of an island, with Tarxien Temples that divulge six thousand years of stories. Across the Mediterranean we’ll stop in Syracuse on Easter Sunday, not only to visit the sites, but to explore Ortygia’s old town and cathedrals. In Albania, we’ll climb the mountain roads to the backstreet bazaars of Kruje and hike the Roman ruins of Butrint, whose history is overgrown by the lush tangle of vegetation.
In Croatia there will be forays along the fortress walls to view the photogenic rose-tiled roofs and the Venetian influenced architecture of Dubrovnik, Split, and Korcula. Our walk beside Sibenik’s waterfalls and lakes offer a serene pause in this hidden natural wonderland. We’ll wander through the cobblestone alleys of ancient cities such as Kotor, Montenegro, carved from the brilliant white karst of the Dalmatian coastline. And we’ll overnight in Venice with ample time to saunter along the canals, visit the museums, or simply sit in St. Mark’s square, taking in the cacophony of pigeons, people, and voices of the past over a cappuccino as the light turns rosy.
With each visit to this timeless and gracious region, I delight in finding new hidden secrets beyond the obvious attractions. Join me in the spring, in one of my favorite corners of the western world, and we’ll discover that the paths less taken make the adventure all the sweeter.