Seven-Day Greek Tour and Cruise with Athens City Tour and Stops at Crete, Rhodes, and Ephesus
During this seven-day tour of Greece from Hellenic Holidays Inc., you’ll explore the ancient Acropolis in Athens before boarding a Louis Cruises ship to visit the Cyclades Islands, Turkey's Aegean coast, Crete, and Rhodes. This deal includes airfare from JFK International Airport in New York. See an itinerary here.
Day 1: After your flight arrives in Athens, you'll be transferred to the Amalia Hotel for a two-night stay. The 4-star hotel is located across the street from the Hellenic Parliament, and puts you in close proximity to the ancient city's iconic landmarks.
Day 2: A half-day city tour of Athens includes a stop at the Acropolis, the ancient citadel that overlooks Athens from atop a rocky outcrop. This UNESCO World Heritage site features many temples and buildings that date back to the 5th century BC, the Parthenon being the most famous. Walk past marble Doric columns and elaborate friezes depicting Greek gods, goddesses, and heroes.
Day 3: Set out for the port, where you'll board a Louis Cruises ship en route to Mykonos, a Greek Cyclades island nicknamed “the jewel of the Aegean Sea." According to mythology, the craggy island is made up of the bodies of giants killed by Hercules. Today, Mykonos is best known for its 16th-century windmills and the whitewashed buildings of its port town.
Day 4: Your ship heads eastward to Turkey for a visit to Kusadasi. Kusadasi was once a quiet fishing village, but has recently turned into a popular draw for cruising tourists on their way to Ephesus, an ancient Greek city. Ephesus was named one of the top Places to See Before You Die by Smithsonian magazine, and it contains a small stone building that many believe was the Virgin Mary's home.
Your next port of call is Patmos, the sacred site of the Cave of the Apocalypse. The grotto is thought to be where St. John experienced holy visions that inspired the Book of Revelations.
Day 5: Sail south to Rhodes, once the site of the bronze Colossus statue that was one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Today, the island's coast boasts a number of attractive beaches, and further inland, you can get a good feel for Rhodes's rich medieval history. Take a stroll through the Old Town of Rhodes, where cobbled streets weave past ancient temples, archaeological museums, and palace ruins.
Day 6: Arrive at largest of the Greek Islands, Crete, the seat of ancient Minoan culture. In the place where the city capitol once stood, you can still visit Knossos Palace, a labyrinthine network of shrines, altars, and royal chambers. Crete also has a distinctive natural landscape; the palm forest in Vai is one of Europe’s largest documented palm groves.
In the evening, you'll ride over to Santorini to catch one of this island's dazzling sunsets. Santorini, the site of a huge volcanic eruption nearly 4,000 years ago, has been likened to Atlantis. The island still curls around a caldera formed by that eruption, and many of its villages are perched on bluffs that overlook the volcanic rim.
Day 7: The cruise takes you back to Athens' port, where you'll transfer to the airport for your flight back home.