Mykonos & Island Cruising
Check-in to your hotel and spend the afternoon getting a sneak peek at Athens, Europe’s oldest city. It’s crammed with myth and ancient wonders, and busy with modern, urban soul. This evening meet your Cruise Representative and fellow Contiki travellers. Start your tour off with a night to remember and get to know your group at an optional dinner in the rustic district of Plaka. Perched on the shady slopes beneath the Acropolis, Plaka is full of traditional tavernas that spill out onto the pavements. Later, head out to Athens’ up-and-coming district of Psiri, buzzing with trendy bars and clubs.
Athens to Mykonos
Today, board a ferry to Mykonos and take advantage of the amazing views across the Aegean, full of rocky islands as you make your way to the beautiful, whitewashed vistas of cosmopolitan Mykonos.
Mykonos is famous for its blissful beaches and party culture. No matter what you’re after, chances are this island has got it! You’ll soon understand why this happening hub draws people from all walks of life, from jet-setters to backpackers. In your free time, head into Mykonos town and wander through the maze of tiny streets lined by whitewashed, cube-shaped houses. Maybe grab a table in the village and snack on fresh local specialties, like olives, feta and tzatziki dip. For a laid back afternoon, be sure to check out world-famous Paradise Beach on an optional excursion. Get some friends together, chill out to the tunes pumping at the beachfront resorts, swim and relax Wrap up the day in Little Venice and watch the sun set over the Aegean. But don’t stop there – get into the vibe and party at one of Mykonos’ many bars and hip clubs.
Mykonos to Turkey
After another day of soaking up the sun, board our cruise ship bound for Turkey and the Dodecanese. Settle in to your cabin and watch the sun set over the Aegean. Later, kick off the cruise with your new friends in the ship’s nightclub.
Cruising to Patmos via Kusadasi
In the morning, wake up to the Turkish port town of Kusadasi. Rummage through the Grand Bazaar and go local bargaining for leather goods, jewellery or local crafts. Otherwise hook up with the group and our Local Guide for an optional excursion to ancient Ephesus, a stunningly preserved city that Mark Antony and Cleopatra once visited. Our next port of call is Patmos, with its sacred spots and wild countryside. Get the background from your Rep on why this island attracts both pilgrims and holiday makers. Explore the monasteries, traditional settlements and country churches. Get into the spirit of the island with an optional excursion that takes you to Patmos’ UNESCO World Heritage sites: the 11th century Monastery of the Apocalypse and to the Grotto of St. John – the hilltop cave where John the Apostle lived for many years.
Cruising to Santorini via Crete
Today we start the day off with a visit to the biggest of the Greek Islands, Crete. Choose an optional excursion to the Palace of Knossos where our Local Guide will tell you the story of this 4000 year old mythical Minoan Palace, where the minotaur (half-man/half-bull) was slain. Next up: Santorini. This island will make your jaw drop with its stunning natural beauty – the result of a massive volcanic eruption. From the water look up at the iconic blue–domed, whitewashed churches. Once we’re back on land, head up the cliff and the twisting stone steps, save your breath on a donkey ride or take it easy in the cable car for views of neighbouring volcanic islands. Your Rep will fill you in on Fira – dramatically perched on the edge of the crater - as the group explores its narrow streets. Get tips on the best places to pick up a piece of Santorini’s famous jewellery and where to try out the delicious local speciality, domatoktedes (fried tomato balls). Otherwise head to one of the distinctive black or red sand beaches, and soak up the breathtaking scenery. You could jump on an optional boat ride out to the active volcanic island of Nea Kamini. Cruise past lava formations and get up close to the active crater.
Arrival into Athens
After breakfast and a farewell to our hosts, we disembark in the Piraeus and head to Syntagma Square. Set right in the heart of Athens and home to Greece’s parliament, this is where our tour ends. For those who are keen to learn more, there’s a chance to step back in time to the birthplace of democracy. Get the run down on the Parthenon and the Acropolis from our Local Guide, as you wander around the famous columns perched above the city sprawl.