8-Nights Island Cruising & Santorini
Island Cruising & Santorini
It's a strange few that aren't lured by the call of the Greek Islands. Uncover history, culture & tradition in the arms of idyllic oceans, unfathomable sunsets and plenty of island party spots. 3-n
8 nights from $2355 per person
Rhodes is one of Greece’s favored vacation centers and was an important cultural center with a well-known School of Rhetoric attended by such greats as Cicero and Caesar. Rhodes' most famous attractions originated with the Knights of St. John, who occupied parts of the island from 1310 to 1522 and left a medieval town, dominated by the Palace of the Grand Masters and Knights' Hospital, which houses an Archaeological Museum with interesting exhibits of national archaeological finds. Rhodes has inspired many artists. The Old Town offers shopping opportunities and lively nightlife. At Mount Filerimos a church has been built on the site of an ancient temple. A popular excursion is to the charming village of Lindos. Its premier attraction, the ancient acropolis, stands atop sheer cliffs. Walls of a 13th-century Crusader castle enclose the site. Today, the winding path up to the acropolis is lined by stalls, where locals sell lace tablecloths and souvenirs. Mandraki Harbor's entrance is flanked by stone columns topped by figures of a stag and a hind, the town's heraldic animals.
Visitors come to Kusadasi for beaches and nearby ruins of Ephesus. The major attraction is the archaeological site of ancient Ephesus, considered to be most important in Turkey. The history of this ancient city dates back to 10th century BC; many remarkable structures seen today are result of an excavation and restoration program. Along a white marble road grooved by ancient chariot wheels, the two-story Library of Celsus presents a striking sight. There are temples, houses of noblemen, and community buildings lining ancient streets. Nestled in the mountainside is a 25,000-seat amphitheater, still used for performances during Festival of Culture and Art. Bible buffs may know Ephesus as inspiration for St. Paul’s Epistle to Ephesians and the site of one of the first seven churches of Asia Minor. Treasures are kept in the Seljuk Archaeological Museum. Among the better-known ancient sites near Kusadasi are ancient Miletus and Dydima. Remains include a well-preserved Roman theater at Miletus and Dydima's sacred temple of Apollo.
Mykonos's many captivating attributes make it one of the most celebrated Greek holiday islands. Its main village is a colorful maze of narrow streets lined with white-washed houses, many with bright blue doors and shutters. As an attractive backdrop, famous windmills are lined up like toy soldiers on the hillside, vestiges of a time when wind power was used to grind grain. Mykonos has churches and chapels scattered about the island; quite a number of them are located right in town. Radiant flowers spill over white-washed walls and shady courtyards. In addition to swimming, sunning, water-skiing and surfing, visitors find endless shopping opportunities. Artists have relied on Mykonos' beautiful setting to inspire them. The most photographed site is the Paraportiani, a cluster of white-washed churches resting below windmills. Mykonos's museums include an Archaeological Museum, which houses relics from the Trojan War, a Folk Art Museum and a Maritime Museum. The best beaches are Aghios Stephanos, Psarou, Kalafatis, Onros, Panormos and Elia.
Santorini is everything that has made the Greek islands legendary. The world famous island of Santorini is the southern most island of the Cycladic group in the Aegean Sea, and is located north of Crete. Its population is distributed among thirteen villages and just exceeds nine thousand. The marvelous dry climate and unbroken sunshine create year around conditions which are perfect for observation, photographs and videos under an extraordinary variety of natural lights and colors.
This island is known as the site of the apocalyptic Revelations of St. John the Divine, written here during his exile from the Roman Empire. The cave where he lived is near the site of the Monastery of the Apocalypse. The Monastery of St. John, built on one of the island's highest points, houses priceless icons and manuscripts in its Treasury.
Crete is the largest of the Greek islands, lying at the southern limit of the Aegean Sea.
Among the artists who lived on Crete was El Greco, who was born near Heraklion in 1541. The area around the harbor and the side streets are lined with souvenir and handicraft shops. Jewelry, olive and honey products may be of interest.Tavernas along the harbor front offer tasty local dishes. Spinalonga Island is located 15 miles from Ághios Nikólaos. Formerly the site of a leper colony, the island is popular with sun worshippers who enjoy its picturesque setting. Other attractions include the remains of a 16th-century Venetian fort.
Even though you've probably come here to see the "glory that was Greece," perhaps best symbolized by the Parthenon and the superb statues and vases in the National Archaeological Museum, allow some time to make haste slowly in Athens. Your best moments may come sitting at a small cafe, sipping a tiny cup of the sweet sludge that the Greeks call coffee, or getting hopelessly lost in the Plaka -- only to find yourself in the shady courtyard of an old church, or suddenly face to face with an ancient monument you never knew existed. With only a little advance planning, you can find a good hotel here, eat well in convivial restaurants, enjoy local customs such as the refreshing afternoon siesta and the leisurely evening volta (promenade or stroll) -- and leave Athens planning to return, as the Greeks say, tou chronou (next year).
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