Sail across the Aegean through the Cyclades Islands to the Turquoise Coast of Turkey
The Piraeus is the ancient port of Athens and still functions as the chief exit point from the city by sea for destinations amongst the Aegean Islands and elsewhere in the east Mediterranean. Domestic destinations include all of the Aegean islands except the Sporades and some smaller Cyclades and Dodecanese isles that require a connection. International destinations (apart from cruise ships) include Cyprus and the Middle East.
The beautiful island of Rhodes (Island of Roses) has a rich and varied history. The beach at Lindos is among the best on the island, whose capital, Rhodes Town is a bustling mecca for both sightseers and shoppers alike. This thriving port provides access to the many beautiful sights on this popular island. On the Eastern coast of Rhodes, poised high above two spectacular bays is the Acropolis of Lindos below which one can find a labyrinth of winding streets and dazzling white buildings. Lindos was once the principal city of the island before the founding of Rhodes Town in 408 BC.
Once a cozy fishing village of only a few thousand people, Bodrum has experienced a renaissance in the last half century that has transformed this once-sleepy community into one of Turkey's most popular vacation hot spots. Writers, intellectuals, artists and musicians have long called this Aegean town home, or second-home, attracting a vibrant cultural scene paralleled only by the town's nightlife. Windswept beaches and glittering waters provide the backdrop to the perfect beach getaway.
Dalyan River, Turkey
At first glance, this is a picture one hardly expects to see in Turkey. A lovely, unspoiled lake teeming with fish, a lush marshy delta, verdant farmlands, a lazy, reed-fringed river meandering into the sea. And a lonely, deserted beach where sea turtles lay their eggs. But the sea is an incredibly clear blue, and on the bottom are ruins of an ancient civilization. On shore, you can see ruins of the Lycian city of Caunos, with its basilica and fortifications looming over the green marsh where endangered Caretta loggerhead turtles hatch in the spring.
The island of Santorini is perhaps the most breathtaking of all the Greek Islands. Around 1500 BC, a volcanic eruption destroyed the center of the island, leaving a crescent shaped rim of cliffs around a harbor formed in the volcano's caldera. Santorini is a spectacular sight, especially when approached by sea. Steep cliffs rise dramatically from deep azure waters. The capital of Fira is located 1,000 feet above our anchorage, accessible by donkey, cable car, or foot. The views from on top are unforgettable: stark white-washed buildings are scattered along the clifftop village; the sea stretches outward from black volcanic sands. Santorini has an explosive history of volcanic activity, and some say that here in the ruins at Akrotiri lie the remnants of the lost civilization of Atlantis.
It looks barren and rocky, but the narrow harbor of Hydra hides a surprise, a town of stately mansions all built around 1800 by blockade runners who had made fortunes outwitting the British during the Napoleonic Wars. Many of Hydra's merchants were also celebrated naval heroes during the Greek fight for independence from Turkey in the 1820s. Another surprise is that there are no cars, so if you want to see the spectacular view from the Monastery of Ilias you'll have to ride a donkey to the top.
Athens, Greece (return)
Return to Athens for debarcation.