ANCIENT WONDERS OF GREECE & EPHESUS

From $ 5,199 pp
Itinerary & Ports

Ancient Wonders of Greece & Ephesus

From $ 5,199* pp

date
port
arrive
depart
Jun 12 Sat
5:00 PM
 
Jun 13 Sun
8:00 AM
5:00 PM
Jun 14 Mon
8:00 AM
11:59 PM
 
Jun 15 Tue
12:01 AM
7:00 AM
 
Jun 15 Tue
10:00 AM
5:00 PM
 
Jun 16 Wed
7:00 AM
11:00 PM
 
Jun 17 Thu
8:00 AM
6:00 PM
Jun 18 Fri
8:00 AM
5:00 PM
 
Jun 19 Sat
8:00 AM
10:00 PM
 
Jun 20 Sun
9:00 AM
9:00 PM
 
Jun 21 Mon
9:00 AM
6:00 PM
Jun 22 Tue
7:00 AM
 
SAT JUN 12
TO 5:00 PM Athens

day 1 Athens, Greece


Athens, Greece
With 3,000 years of history, you can’t turn around in Athens without encountering the past. The Acropolis, a UNESCO site, the Plaka, and the Acropolis Museum are must-sees. But leave time if you can to climb Pnyx Hill for photos of the Parthenon at sunset, to buy your own set of Greek komboloi (worry beads), and to explore the metro stations that serve as mini-museums for the relics that are constantly being unearthed. 
SUN JUN 13
8:00 AM TO 5:00 PM Nafplio

day 2 Nafplio, Greece


Nafplio, Greece
With its red-roofed buildings and cobblestone streets, this medieval town in the Peloponnese is one of the lesser-known and nicest places to visit on the Greek mainland – a charming port accessible thanks to the small size of your Windstar yacht. It was the first capital of modern Greece from 1823 to 1834. Named for Nafplios, son of Poseidon, god of the sea, the fortressed town is a delightful place to wander. It’s also a starting off point for tours of nearby antiquities, such as the Theatre of Epidaurus, the best-preserved ancient Greek theater known for its great acoustics. Conquerors of Nafplio included Romans, Venetians, and Turks. All left their mark on the architecture and culture. Dominating the view is Palamidi, a Venetian fortress some 708 feet above the sea. You can get a workout walking the 999 rock-carved steps to the top. Your Windstar Shore Excursion will take you to the Venetian Fortress to stroll through and take in the views. You may choose a less-taxing stroll along the little harbor to admire cliffside chapels or wander the town’s narrow cobblestone streets past neoclassical buildings, statues of heroes from the Greek War of Independence, and cool parks. 
MON JUN 14
8:00 AM TO 11:59 PM Mykonos

day 3 Mykonos, Greece


Mykonos, Greece
When you arrive on this legendary island you will no doubt be dazzled by what you see. Whitewashed homes with brightly colored doors and window frames, fishing boats in the harbor, and the frequent presence of pelicans. Photographer’s delight in the color contrasts of golden-sand beaches and blue water, buildings and sky, and the garb of sun worshipers. Ancient ruins are accessible on the nearby island of Delos, mythical birthplace of the twin gods Apollo and Artemis. Or, you may stick to the main town of Hora to explore chic boutiques on quaint streets, view thatched-roofed windmills (some from the 16th century), admire blue-domed churches, and visit art galleries. Stop by a bakery to sample the island’s famous almond cakes and tarts. An overnight visit allows time to immerse yourself in this classic Greek island’s beauty and culture.
TUE JUN 15
12:01 AM TO 7:00 AM Mykonos

day 4 Mykonos, Greece


Mykonos, Greece
When you arrive on this legendary island you will no doubt be dazzled by what you see. Whitewashed homes with brightly colored doors and window frames, fishing boats in the harbor, and the frequent presence of pelicans. Photographer’s delight in the color contrasts of golden-sand beaches and blue water, buildings and sky, and the garb of sun worshipers. Ancient ruins are accessible on the nearby island of Delos, mythical birthplace of the twin gods Apollo and Artemis. Or, you may stick to the main town of Hora to explore chic boutiques on quaint streets, view thatched-roofed windmills (some from the 16th century), admire blue-domed churches, and visit art galleries. Stop by a bakery to sample the island’s famous almond cakes and tarts. An overnight visit allows time to immerse yourself in this classic Greek island’s beauty and culture.
TUE JUN 15
10:00 AM TO 5:00 PM Ermoupoli

day 4 Ermoupoli, Syros, Greece


Ermoupoli, Syros, Greece
Your first views of Ermoupoli, capital of the island of Syros, will be of homes clinging to the coastline and up two hills, one topped by a Catholic church, the other by a blue-domed Orthodox church. This is a port rarely visited by cruise ships, and is a real find. There are wonderful beaches and quaint villages nearby, or stick to the city to discover layers of surprises.  Greek refugees fleeing the Turks landed here during the 19th century Greek War of Independence. Wealthy sea captains and merchants built gorgeous neoclassical mansions and marble squares. The town hall is one of the most beautiful you’ll find anywhere, with its colonnaded exterior and opulent interior. The opera house is a scaled down version of La Scala in Milan. Head uphill to the medieval Catholic quarter, Ano Syros, to explore narrow cobblestone streets and stone passageways built by the Venetians in the 13th century. Some of the white-washed buildings house cafes with sweeping views of the city and sea.
WED JUN 16
7:00 AM TO 11:00 PM Kusadasi

day 5 Kusadasi, Turkey


Kusadasi, Turkey
The port of Kusadasi, once ruled by Ottomans, is a full-blown resort town where you can bargain for Turkish rugs and leather goods. The biggest draws are outside the city – the amazing ancient city of Ephesus and the location where the Virgin Mary is believed to have spent her last days, now a pilgrimage site. Ephesus is a jaw-dropping place, one of the world’s best-preserved ancient cities. While Greeks and Egyptians spent time here, most of what you see today was built by the Romans, including the 2-story remains of a façade of a library that once contained some 12,000 scrolls.  As you walk through the city, it’s not difficult to imagine early toga-clad residents at baths, aqueducts, and a massive amphitheater. Your complimentary Windstar Destination Discovery Event delivers the once-in-a-lifetime experience of appreciating  the ruins under moonlight – with dinner and music. Nearby are sites significant in early Christianity. Drinking from one of the three fountains at the House of the Virgin Mary is said to bring good luck.
 


THU JUN 17
8:00 AM TO 6:00 PM Patmos

day 6 Patmos, Greece


Patmos, Greece
In a cave on this spiritual island, St. John the Evangelist had his vision of the Apocalypse, which led to the writing of his Book of Revelations some 1,920 years ago. The cave and a fortress monastery, established in the 11th century, are both pilgrimage sites. The Monastery of St. John, with its imposing medieval gray stone walls, rises above the island’s pretty harbor. As you approach by ship, past whitewashed homes, you’ll notice the battlements atop the high walls. Within are eight chapels, impressive frescoes, and a museum filled with treasures – including jeweled chalices, crowns, and crosses. Tours also visit the Grotto of St. John, where a small chapel surrounds the spot where the Evangelist is said to have lived in exile. If you choose to stick around the harbor, say at an outdoor café, you’ll find the people in the fishing village both friendly and proud of their island.
FRI JUN 18
8:00 AM TO 5:00 PM Rhodes

day 7 Rhodes, Greece


Rhodes, Greece
On an island that enjoys 300 days of sunshine each year, head to the beach or immerse yourself in history. Rhodes was touched by the great Greek, Roman, and Ottoman Empires, and the crusading Knights of St. John. All left their mark. Don’t bother looking for the legendary Colossus of Rhodes. The giant statue of the Greek god Helios collapsed millennia ago. In the large, walled, medieval Old City, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, wander the same 14th century streets as the knights and visit the Palace of the Grand Masters, when you’re not checking out trinkets at the Turkish bazaar. If you do lunch in Rhodes, look for local seafood dishes featuring snails or octopus and pitaroudia (falafel-like fritters made from chickpeas). Venture outside the city to see the natural beauty of the island, including lush valleys and gold-sand beaches. A trip to Lindos, the island’s old capital, brings you to winding hillside streets lined with art galleries and leading to the ruins of the Acropolis of Lindos.
SAT JUN 19
8:00 AM TO 10:00 PM Agios Nikolaos

day 8 Agios Nikolaos, Crete, Greece


Agios Nikolaos
Soak in the culture and scenic beauty of eastern Crete in this laid-back town. Hit the beach (you may swim in the lagoon where the goddess Athena was said to bathe) and stroll the waterfront, taking a break at open-air cafes or seafood restaurants. Look for Cretan specialties such as locally made cheeses and kalitsounia (fried cheese pies). You may want to fortify yourself with a taste of raki (a Cretan brandy made from grapes). A late-night stay in port affords time to linger and get into the spirit of the small town. History buffs will want to do a side trip to see the ancient Minoan palace of Knossos, a UNESCO World Heritage Site where the queen had running water in her palace bathroom more than 3,000 years ago. According to Greek mythology, this Bronze Age religious and administrative center was the domain of King Minos, son of Zeus and Europa, who built a labyrinth to contain the Minotaur (half man and half bull). Tours include the Archaeological Museum of Heraklion, with its collection of Minoan artifacts.
 
SUN JUN 20
9:00 AM TO 9:00 PM Santorini

day 9 Santorini, Greece


Santorini, Greece
For many guests, Santorini is the highlight of a cruise to Greece. Plan to be on deck when your ship sails into the sunken crater of an ancient volcano. The scene of the white island rising from the deep blue sea is breathtaking. On shore, pictures in quaint villages look like postcard views.  History-lovers will want to explore the ruins of the ancient settlement of Akrotiri, which may have inspired Plato’s fictional city of Atlantis. Santorini produces some of Greece’s best wines, which may be sampled on tours of famous wineries. The high, white-washed town of Oia is astonishing. Churches are topped with blue domes; mansions and neoclassical homes cling to volcanic rocks high above the sea; galleries and fashion boutiques will keep shoppers well-occupied; and cafes are delightful venues for a respite with cliffside views.
MON JUN 21
9:00 AM TO 6:00 PM Monemvasia

day 10 Monemvasia, Greece


Monemvasia, Greece
This medieval castle town, on an island off the eastern tip of the Peloponnese, is impressively carved into the slopes of a large rocky plateau that carries the nickname “Gibraltar of the East.” A popular vacation destination for wealthy Greeks, Monemvasia can’t be seen from the mainland. Most visitors arrive on a short causeway, and walk through one massive Venetian gate (cars are not allowed), or via a short shuttle. Most ships are too large to call here.  The isolation lends a fairytale quality. Wandering the narrow cobblestone lanes past restored, red-roofed medieval stone houses and dozens of Byzantine churches, you might imagine you are in another time. The 13th century Church of the Agia Sophia, which tops the cliffs, offers views of the town and sea. In the lower town, ruins include a Muslim Mosque, a reminder that the town once was occupied by the Ottomans – as well as the Byzantines, Crusaders and Venetians. Monemvasia is known for its excellent rooftop restaurants.
TUE JUN 22
7:00 AM TO Athens

day 11 Athens, Greece


Athens, Greece
With 3,000 years of history, you can’t turn around in Athens without encountering the past. The Acropolis, a UNESCO site, the Plaka, and the Acropolis Museum are must-sees. But leave time if you can to climb Pnyx Hill for photos of the Parthenon at sunset, to buy your own set of Greek komboloi (worry beads), and to explore the metro stations that serve as mini-museums for the relics that are constantly being unearthed. 

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