Crossing east in the Ionian Sea to many ports in southern Greece.
Valletta, Jean de la Valette, French Grand Master of the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, built the capital after the epic siege of 1565. It dominates, in one wide sweep, the Island's historic Grand Harbour - one of the finest natural ports in Europe. Within its limited boundaries, the city reflects some of Malta's rich heritage of archaeology, history, architecture, art and culture.
The more important collections covering Maltese archaeology are housed in the Auberge de Provence, Valletta, one of the Inns of the Knights of St John. Collections of prehistoric pottery, sculpture, statuettes, stone implements and personal ornaments recovered from the Maltese megalithic temples and other pre-historic sites are exhibited. Typical examples of tomb furniture of the Punic and Roman periods are also displayed. After two years of refurbishment, the Museum now boasts new
The National Museum of Fine Arts, located in an 18th century palace, houses paintings, sculptures, furniture and other exhibits connected with the Order of St John. Works by Domenico di Michelino, Carpaccio, Perugino, Tintoretto, Reni, Valentin, Mathias Stomer, Preti, Tiepolo, Favray and Vernet are permanently displayed.
St. John's Co-Cathedral and Museum, formerly the Conventual Church of the Order, is historically and artistically one of the most important monuments on the island. It was built between 1573 and 1577 to the design of Gerolamo Cassar (1520-1586), chief engineer of the Order. The "Beheading of St John", Caravaggio's masterpiece, hangs in the Oratory. The museum houses a unique collection of Flemish tapestries, silver objects and church vestments.
Malta has beaches for everyone, from windsurfers to sun loungers. Choose from golden sand, red sand, rocks, blue lagoons and even inland seas. There are family beaches, rocky inlets ideal for snorkellers, and beach sunsets for twilight swimmers. On larger beaches, you’ll find cafes, fruit stalls or snack bars open during the season. With Malta’s climate, beach life lasts well into October. Enjoy water sports and activities like windsurfing, jet and water skiing, and para-kiting. You can hire equipment from beach cafes or shops nearby.
Monemvasia is located on a small peninsula off the east coast of the Peloponnese in the Greek prefecture of Laconia. The peninsula is linked to the mainland by a short causeway 650 feet in length. Its area consists mostly of a large plateau some 325 feet above sea level, up to 950 feet wide, the site of a powerful medieval fortress. The town walls and many Byzantine churches remain from the medieval period.
The town's name derives from two Greek words, mone and emvasia, meaning "single entrance". Its Italian form, Malvasia, gave its name to Malmsey wine. Monemvasia's nickname is the Gibraltar of the East or The Rock.
The Peloponnese is the stuff of legends. It is here that Hercules fought the Nemean lion and gods walked the earth, meddling in mortal affairs. It is from here that Paris of Troy eloped with Helen and the Argonauts set sail in search of the Golden Fleece. This region bears tangible traces of the many civilizations that once called it home, witnessed in its classical temples, Mycenaean palaces, Byzantine cities and Ottoman, Frankish and Venetian fortresses.
One of the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek Islands and quite justifiably attracting visitors from all over the world, Mykonos is a contrast of rocky hills and beautiful beaches. Hora, the capital, spreads around a colorful harbor in which fishing boats nestle side by side with luxury yachts. The brilliant white cubic houses with white-washed balconies built close together with little shops and tiny churches, make up the backstreets of the town. The harbor is overlooked by a variety of tavernas, and is a popular meeting place as the sun goes down, turning the brilliant whites to beautiful shades of pinks and reds.
Syros or Siros or Syra is a Greek island in the Cyclades, in the Aegean Sea. It is located 78 nautical miles south-east of Athens. The area of the island is 32 sq miles and it has approximately 21,000 inhabitants.
It has always been a significant port town and during the 19th century it was even more significant than Piraeus.
Piraeus (Port of Athens), Greece
Piraeus is Greece's third largest city in population and its biggest port, serving the city of Athens. First settled in the time of Themistocles, when the Long Walls were built (478 BC), the city was laid out to the plans of the architect Hippodamus. When Athens became a naval power, Piraeus gained considerably in importance. The ancient harbors of Piraeus were Zea and Munichia.
Zea, now Pasalimani, is one of the largest yacht marinas in the Mediterranean. Munichia is now a pretty harbor filled with yachts and fishing-boats and rung about with tavernas.
The commercial harbor of Piraeus is one of the most important in the Mediterranean. The city is in an industrial zone of particular importance for the Greek economy, but nevertheless its center has broad streets, spacious squares, tree-lined avenues, and parks.