The place where Paris and Elena were first coupled together attracts poetic souls and gives wide flight for imagination. The kingdom of Nestor, legendary Sparta and Mistras revive history. And you will definitely remember the Gibraltar of the East.
Ten kilometres southwest of central Athens, Piraeus is dazzling in its scale, its seemingly endless quays filled with ferries, ships and hydrofoils. While technically its own city, it melds into the Athens sprawl, with close to half a million people living in the greater area.
The most attractive quarter lies east around Zea Marina and Mikrolimano harbours. The latter is lined with cafes, restaurants and bars often filled with people who've disembarked from their yachts for the day.
Monemvasia is a Medieval Castle Town, exclusively carved on a huge rock looking as if it came down from a fairy tale. The island is linked to the mainland by a short causeway 200m in length.
Go back in time wondering in paved narrow streets, viewing the elegant stone mansions and the Byzantine churches, such as the church of Agia Sofia and Christ Elkomenos. Do not also miss the breathtaking sea view from the top of the Castle during your Monemvasia holidays.
Try Greek Malvasia wine. In 12-15th centuries this wine ruled the Europe. The name "Malvasia" comes from Italian word "Malvasia" for Monemvasia; because it was a trading center.
Gythio is a quiet charming fishing town. Fish taverns and beautiful mansions line up the port. This place is surrounded by nice beaches. Mavrovouni is the most beautiful and longest beach close to Gythio, where the sea turtles Caretta-caretta go to lay their eggs in summer.
Gythio is also a base for excursions to legendary Sparta and Mistras.
Back in antiquity it was a port of Sparta.There is the islet of Cranae right at the entrance port. Here according to legend Paris of Troy and Helen from Sparta spent their first night together before departing for Troy, thus igniting the Trojan War.
Pylos is built amphitheatrically in the bay of Navarino, where the historic battle took place, and is defined by the Isle Sfaktiria. In Pylos there are many historical and natural attractions. Among them, Paleokastro, Niokastro,the cave of Nestor, the lagoon of Gialova, the bay of Voidokilia - one of the most spectacular beaches and bays of Greece. the impressive ancient trees that dominate the Square of Trion Navarchon, downtown, combined with the breathtaking views of Sfaktiria Island create a separate idyllic atmosphere.
Very few towns in Greece gather this many myths. Hercules, Odyssey, Jason. Trojan War, Argonauts, and Odyssey. Zeus, Athena, Poseidon, and Hades. According to Homer, Pylos was the kingdom of Nestor.
Zakynthos is the only Greek island having international status of the natural wildlife preserve. The island has been called “The flower of Mediterranean East” for its beauty and balmy gardens. Mirror-like waters of Zakynthos may be seen on almost every postcard of Greece.
Yachts floating on the water surface appear to be suspended in the air. It would be a crime to visit and not to swim in this magical place! Once in town, one may go to the National Sea Wildlife Preserve or visit the temple of Saint Dionysus, the local winery and the olive oil pressing factory or walk along the coastal avenue – Strata Marina – the liveliest street in the town, filled with coffee shops, bars and restaurants.
Despite being connected to the mainland by a narrow causeway, making it one of the few Greek islands that you can drive to, Lefkada remains surprisingly unaffected by tourism.
Laid-back Lefkada Town is a charming place to spend a day or two, while the hills of the interior still conceal timeless villages and wild olive groves, and the rugged west coast holds some amazing beaches, albeit in some cases badly damaged by recent earthquakes. Only along the east coast are there some overdeveloped enclaves; if you continue all the way south you’ll find stunning little bays and inlets, as well as windy conditions that attract kitesurfers and windsurfers from all over the world.
Lefkada was originally a peninsula, not a true island. Corinthian colonisers cut a canal through the narrow isthmus that joined it to the rest of Greece in the 8th century BC.
Saranda is the unofficial capital of the Albanian Riviera, and come the summer months it seems like half of Tirana relocates here to enjoy the busy beach and busier nightlife along its crowd-filled seaside promenade. What was once a sleepy fishing village is now a thriving city, and while Saranda has lost much of its quaintness in the past two decades, it has retained much of its charisma.
* Please note the quoted timing (arrival /departure time to/from the islands) is indicative and may slightly change due to weather conditions and especially for the sake of better provisioning of all the activities and benefits of the cruise.