Athens, the capital and largest city of Greece, is one of the world's oldest cities, its history spanning 3,400 years. A cosmopolitan city, Athens is central to economic, financial, industrial, political and cultural life of Greece.
Ancient Athens was a powerful city-state, and a center for the arts, learning and philosophy. It is frequently called the cradle of Western civilization and the birthplace of democracy.
The impact of the classical era is still apparent in the city, as represented in ancient monuments and works of art, the most famous being the Parthenon, a key landmark of early Western civilization. The city also contains a vast variety of Roman, Ottoman and Byzantine structures representing Athens' long history across the centuries.
Athens was the host city of the first modern-day Olympic Games in 1896, and 108 years later it hosted the 2004 Summer Olympics.
One of the most beautiful towns in the area of Argolis as well as the most romantic cities of Greece, Nafplion was the first capital of the newly born Greek state between 1823 and 1824.
The town's history traces back to the pre-historic era when soldiers from here participated in the Argonautic expedition and the Trojan War. The town declined during Roman times and then flourished again during Byzantine times.
Ancient walls, medieval castles, monuments and statues, Ottoman fountains and neoclassical buildings remain somewhat intact today.
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.
Kusadasi is a popular Turkish port of call for cruise ships, as not only is it a bustling resort town full of shops, bars and restaurants, but it is also the main access point for the famous archeological site at Ephesus, where extensive excavations have revealed an ancient city through which visitors can now wander and observe the wonders of a bygone civilization.
Not far from the pier you'll come across Meryemana, the House of the Virgin Mary, said to be where St. John took the mother of Jesus after the crucifixion. From there you'll enjoy a panoramic view of Ephesus below. Take time in Kusadasi for a little shopping and a cup of Turkish coffee.
Patmos is not a big island, but it is one of the best known. The whole island breathes of faith and devotion.
Nevertheless, there is more to the island than its Christian reputation. There are many nice beaches along the jagged coastline, and the people grow fruits and olives on the green hills. The landscape invites you to take long walks and there is much to discover.
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.
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 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.