Above the city, looking out towards the blue Aegean, stands the Acropolis. Here lie the ruins of a culture 2,500 years old: the Propylaea; the Temple of Athena Nike; the Erechtheum temple, and, most famous of all, the Parthenon.
Meanwhile, modern Athens buzzes busily below, a city of chic restaurants, lively bazaars, sophisticated banking, historical museums, and the sights and smells of the Plaka district.
Situated near the site of ancient Sparta, the ancient castles and fortresses, faded palaces and narrow byways are more reminiscent of the city's Byzantine and Venetian days.
This is your invitation to a day of indulgence. Treat yourself to a luxurious spa experience. Stretch out by the pool with your favorite beverage. Grab a great book or your favorite movie from the library. Stretch your muscles with our state-of-the-art fitness equipment. Dine in sumptuous casual style, or wrap yourself in that comfy waffle-weave robe and enjoy your meal in the privacy of your beautiful stateroom. Your delight is our single priority for your day at sea.
The second-largest and the greenest Ionian island, Corfu is deeply rooted in Western civilization. Homer termed it a “beautiful and rich land,” and it was Odysseus’ last stop on his journey home to Ithaca. Shimmering olive groves give rise to graceful cypress trees and blankets of wildflowers, while the tranquil shoreline provides a vista of exquisite crystal-like blue waters and popular beaches that refresh both body and soul. Travelers rhapsodize over Corfu’s paradisiacal qualities, but express frustration over their inability to adequately capture in words the unique essence of the place to which they long to return. If Homer labored to describe Corfu, the rest of us need not feel we’ve come up short in expressing our sense of wonder.
Kotor is a coastal town in Montenegro, located in a most secluded part of Gulf of Kotor. It has one of the best preserved medieval old towns in the Adriatic, listed with UNESCO world heritage sites. It has numerous other sights, such as Cathedral of Saint Tryphon in the old town (built in 1166), and ancient walls which stretch for miles directly above the city.
Nestled on the Adriatic coast, Dubrovnik is a beautifully preserved fortifed town. Its ancient medieval walls contain a sparkling white Old City, filled with 15th-century churches, peaceful Franciscan cloisters, a cathedral with works by Raphael and Titian, and a fascinating Maritime Museum. One of Dubrovnik’s main attractions is the sea swim from the quiet, rocky beaches on either end of the city, or catch a boat to the wooded island of Lokrum nearby.
As the largest Croatian city on the Adriatic coast and a major transport hub, Split emanates a vibe that is boisterous rather than relaxing. Its massive port sends ferries out to the Dalmatian islands and beyond, adding to the constant bustle. Despite Split’s broad-shouldered stance, a strong Mediterranean style prevails. Diocletian’s Palace is a World Heritage site that alone makes a visit to the city worthwhile. Within the palace’s ancient walls in the center of town rises the majestic cathedral, surrounded by marble streets lined with shops. The western end of Split consists of a mountain park with beaches below and pathways above. A refurbished promenade lined with cafés makes for a pleasant stroll along the harbor, and the coastal mountains set against the blue Adriatic make for a memorable view.
Pula is the largest city in Istria, Croatia, situated at the southern tip of the peninsula. Like the rest of the region, it is known for its mild climate, tame sea, and unspoiled nature. The city has a long tradition of winemaking, fishing, shipbuilding, and tourism. Pula has also been Istria's administrative center since ancient Roman times. The city is best known for its many surviving ancient Roman buildings, the most famous of which is its first century amphitheatre, sixth largest in the world and locally known as the Arena. This is one of the best preserved amphitheatres from antiquity and is still in use today during summer film festivals.The natural beauty of Pula's surrounding countryside and turquoise water of the Adriatic have made the city an internationally popular summer vacation destination. Roman villas and temples still lie buried among farm fields and along the shoreline of the dozens of surrounding fishing and farming villages. The coastal waters offer beaches, fishing, wreck dives to ancient Roman galleys and World War I warships, cliff diving, and sailing to unspoiled coves and islands large and small.
For centuries,Venice stood at the crossroads of culture between the Byzantine and Roman worlds. The city the great traders and philosophers created is an extraordinary place. From the elegant carved gondolas and vaporetti that ply the Grand Canal to the magnificent Piazza San Marco bustling with life – Venice is unique in all the world. Great works of art are housed here, in the Accademia with its Renaissance masters and the collection of Peggy Guggenheim in her canal-side palazzo. The Basilica di San Marco and the Doge’s Palace are must-sees. After that, follow where your feet take you, over romantic bridges, to shops selling precious glass, to small cafés for a cappuccino or Campari.