TREASURES OF THE GREEK ISLES

From $ 3,599 pp
Itinerary & Ports
date
port
arrive
depart
May 8 Sat
5:00 PM
 
May 9 Sun
8:00 AM
6:00 PM
 
May 10 Mon
7:00 AM
11:00 PM
 
May 11 Tue
8:00 AM
6:00 PM
May 12 Wed
8:00 AM
9:00 PM
 
May 13 Thu
12:00 PM
6:00 PM
May 14 Fri
7:00 AM
5:00 PM
May 15 Sat
7:00 AM
 
SAT MAY 8
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 MAY 9
8:00 AM TO 6:00 PM Mykonos

day 2 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.
MON MAY 10
7:00 AM TO 11:00 PM Kusadasi

day 3 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.
 


TUE MAY 11
8:00 AM TO 6:00 PM Patmos

day 4 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.
WED MAY 12
8:00 AM TO 9:00 PM Santorini

day 5 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.
THU MAY 13
12:00 PM TO 6:00 PM Monemvasia

day 6 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.
FRI MAY 14
7:00 AM TO 5:00 PM Nafplio

day 7 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. 
SAT MAY 15
7:00 AM TO Athens

day 8 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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