Cruise and tour combo
Greece is a destination that enchants and intrigues. With more than 300 hundred inhabited islands it offers a wide selection of experiences that range from the alcohol fueled parties of Mykonos to the serenity and tranquility of Patmos, and everything in between.
And then there’s the mainland… One would have to travel very far to come across anything resembling Meteora-a spiritual dreamscape of monasteries perched on top of gigantic jagged sandstone rocks that stick out of the ground like something out of a CGI enhanced film. Truly a spectacle to behold, as monks have actually managed to live on this unforgiving yet impressive environment for nearly 12 centuries.
A short drive down the road is Delphi, the ‘navel of the world’, the site of the fabled ancient oracle that decided on the fates of the people. Immortalised in films such as 300, Delphi is a fascinating example of how important decisions were taken back then, which is to say, not a lot has changed in that respect. In a way, we ought to be thankful for that; Greece is the definition of authenticity-while attracting massive amounts of tourists every year it still retains its small town feel and hasn’t sullied it’s land with the unsavoury effects of rampant over development.
And nowhere is this more apparent than in islands such as Patmos-the religious capital of Greece, if you may-where St John the Baptist spread his gospel based out of a cave in a mountain.
And then there’s Crete-a country within a country; mountains, gorges, sandy beaches, Minoan ruins and the famous Cretan diet. It being Greece’s southernmost part, it enjoys near tropical weather (and the biggest Palm tree forest in Europe) which means there are plenty of things to see and do, like kayaking down Preveli, hiking the Samaria gorge or simply biking around the picturesque countryside and idyllic villages.
The Mediterranean basin is rich in history. Scattered around the islands are the stories of a myriad tales, fables of heroes and gods that unfolded thousands of years ago; often, these remnants are located outside of Greece. Turkey’s western shores are dotted with temples and amfitheatres dedicated to the Gods. Ephesus, located in the Aegean coast is in fact home to one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World-the Temple of Artemis, as well as a number of many other historically significant sites, and is easily accessible, especially as part of a cruise, allowing you to take in all the truly important stuff.