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.
8:00 AM TO 10:00 AM
day 2 Transit Corinth Canal, Greece
You’ll want to be on deck today as we transit the narrow Corinth Canal with other private yachts and Greek mail steamers. It’s a shortcut reserved for petite ships like ours, and as we cruise between the narrow limestone walls we are the envy of all the ancient Romans who once portaged their ships along this very route before there was a canal.
Canal transit time and duration is subject to change based on traffic and canal authorities.
3:00 PM TO 9:00 PM
day 2 Delphi, Itea, Greece
Before there were fortune cookies there was the oracle of Delphi, dating back to 1400 B.C. The oracle gave cryptic guidance to the leaders of the day and was so highly respected that Delphi, now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, became known as the center of the world. An optional tour lets you go exploring, from the Temple of Apollo to the Delphi Archaeological Museum, which contains some of the finest works of art in Greece.
8:00 AM TO 11:00 PM
Thanks to the fact you are on a small Windstar yacht, you’ll have the extraordinary experience of looking up at the magnificent medieval walls and red rooftops of the Old Town of Dubrovnik as your ship anchors nearby (larger ships can’t get near). As you head ashore you’ll quickly realize why, on a Dalmatian Coast cruise, Dubrovnik is the crown jewel. In the Old Town, where no cars are allowed, walking along the fortifications and wandering the marble streets you may imagine you’re back in the 14th century. You can visit a pharmacy founded in 1317.
With its historic atmosphere, it’s not surprising that Old Town starred in the TV show “Game of Thrones.” Show-focused tours point out the sights. Adventure tours explore the Adriatic Sea with such activities as swimming and snorkeling in Croatia’s Blue Grotto, the Modra Spilja Cave, in water that is startlingly blue. There is also opportunity to kayak past the walls of Old Town and to spend time on secluded beaches. Or travel into the countryside to explore Croatian farm life.
10:30 AM TO 6:00 PM
Something here will capture your heart. A Roman amphitheater, 9th century churches, and museums packed with Byzantine-era artworks crowd the peninsula that tidily contains the Old Town. It’s a tempting way to spend the day for sure. While away the day listening to Zadar’s giant Sea Organ, a haunting musical improv performed by the surging Adriatic or share a bench with a sun-drunk cat as you bite into a truffle.
9:00 AM TO 10:00 PM
Situated on a tiny piece of land jutting into the sea and considered to be the most beautiful of Slovenia’s coastal towns, Piran is full of medieval architecture, narrow streets, and compact houses. A walk to the beautiful oval-shaped main square will greet you with a statue of Giuseppe Tartini, composer and virtuoso violinist, and the most famous man of Piran. Around the square are attractions like Venetian House, and a delightful Gothic-Venetian structure, The Sergei Masera Maritime Museum and the Church of St. George with its gorgeous view over the city and the harbor from the bell tower. Take a tour to the nearby Skocjan Caves National Park, a UNESCO site.
9:00 AM TO 11:59 PM
The magical canal city of Venice is one of the most romantic places on earth. Exploring the winding streets and alleys, crossing bridges and ducking around corners to find hidden squares, palaces and churches, you may imagine you are in another world – the city looks much the same as it did some 600 years ago. Popular tourist sights attract crowds, such as St. Mark’s Square and the 5-domed Basilica di San Marco, with its gilded interior and jewel-encrusted altarpiece, and the 14th century Doge’s Palace. It’s also easy to escape the crowds.
Vaporettos (water buses) are the way locals get around and a fun way to navigate the Grand Canal waterway, really the city’s main “street.” There are discoveries at each stop. Art lovers will want to check out the Peggy Guggenheim Collection, where you’ll find works by Picasso, Kandinsky, Klee, Mondrian, and Dalí. The Galleria dell'Accademia is the place to admire Venetian art from the 13th to 18th centuries. A fascinating visit is the historic Jewish Ghetto, where Jews were restricted to live in the 16th century and where synagogues (some still active) are hidden on the upper floors of apartment buildings.
*Rates shown are per person, based on double occupancy, reflect all discounts and include non-discountable amounts. Taxes, Fees & Port Expenses are additional.