From the Ionian to the Dodecanese, Greece is abundant with rich landscapes, everlasting horizons and historical adventure – making it a cruise destination everyone will love. With thousands of islands scattered across the Aegean Sea and beyond, see our top picks below for some of the highlights and landmarks to visit when cruising the Grecian grandeurs.
Beginning away from the beaches and tourist hot-spots, Corfu is one of the greenest islands Greece offers, with hundreds of olive trees blanketing the landscape. The Old Town of Corfu showcases Venetian-style architecture, combining the subtle pastel hues of the buildings with the illuminating blues and greens of the organic surroundings.
Sailing south, between the tips of Kythira and Kriti, you are greeted by one of the most romantic islands in the Cyclades: Santorini. With its white-washed, blue-domed buildings, this island oozes a signature style of simplicity. Trails and paths knit together each of the island’s individual locations to create a patchwork of tranquil black sand beaches, clifftop towns and local wineries, framed within glorious Grecian sunsets.
Further into the Aegean Sea, Rhodes, the largest of the Dodecanese islands, promises to satisfy your inner culture-vulture with its cobbled streets and lively local markets. The Old Town presents you with a medieval time capsule of stone walls and curiously cobbled lanes dotted with relics and ruins. The New Town, further north, instead caters to the 21st century visitor with beaches, bars and hidden bistros to cater to everyone’s tastes.
Kos offers both stunning landscapes and medieval castles. The main harbour port, Kos Town, is overlooked by the 15th century Neratzia Castle and lined with cafes, tavernas and shops which exude class. Within the port and along the harbour, beaches stretch and yachts bob; the perfect place to sit and feel the comforting lap of the water’s edge on your toes as you watch the fishing boats bring their latest catch to this wholesome harbour community.
The Cyclades also showcase the mystical destination of Mykonos – serene and silky, the beaches and bays illustrate everything this island is about. Like the white-washes of Santorini, Mykonos has a never-ending cliffside of crisp, clean buildings within which are bars and restaurants that tempt visitors with local delicacies and fine wines.
One of Greece’s more glamourous destinations, Mykonos offers sublime nightlife, jewellery boutiques and a party beach, aptly named Paradise.
The very symbol of Greece is the Acropolis of Athens, reminding locals and tourists alike of the heritage and history of this major destination. As well as visiting the Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage site, Plaka highlights the capitals current history as Athens’s oldest residential quarter. This village’s quaint atmosphere stands out among the small hotels and pastel-coloured homes – a quieter homage to the Grecian way of life.
Perfectly frozen in time and yet still introducing modern and boutique establishments to effectively marry the two, each and every island in Greece offers paradise around every corner. In equal measures ancient and contemporary, this country is a perfectly mixed cultural cocktail to be enjoyed under the Aegean sun.