Arrive in Athens and board the Le Soleal between 5 and 6 PM. Settle in to your cabin before attending a welcome dinner. Relax on board as the ship sets sail for Hydra.
In the morning, arrive in Hydra. In ancient times, the island was known as Hydrea, referencing the springs which were found on the island. Hydra features several bays and natural harbours, and has a strong maritime history. Explore the Captains' Mansions, numerous churches, and six Orthodox monasteries.
Sail in to Nafplion, one of the most beautiful towns in the area of Argolis. Choose from one of three optional driving guided excursions: exploring Epidaurus and Mycenae, Epidaurus, Mycenae and Palamidi, or Ancient Corinth and Canal Crossing. Alternatively, the area is rich in culture and history, and well-known for its quaint streets.
Arrive in Agios Nikolaos on the island of Crete, which was settled in the late Bronze Age by Dorian occupants of Lato. At the time, the security of the Lato hillfort became a lesser concern and access to the harbour at Agios Nikolaos became sufficiently attractive.
Take an optional guided tour of The Palace of Knossos and the labyrinth which was supposedly built to confine the mythological Minotaur, a monster born out of the unnatural union between King Minos' queen and a bull. Originally constructed around 1900 BC, the palace was destroyed by an earthquake 200 years later, and was then reconstructed on a grander scale. A final catastrophe occurred around 1500-1450 BC with the eruption of the volcano in Santorini. Despite this blow, inhabitation continued for another 50 years until a fire swept throughout the city around the year 1400 BC.
In the morning, arrive at the famed cliffs of Santorini. Every inch of Santorini is cultivated: tomatoes, pistachios and vines, and notably the Assyrtiko grapes, which produce one of Greece’s best wines. Take a small boat to the quayside of Athinios and board a coach to the village of Oia. On route, pass through several small villages which are perched above the sea and admire the different lava flows which for centuries have fashioned the island’s landscape. Arrive in Oia, a little jewel of a place on the side of a cliff overlooking the old crater or Caldera on the coast forming the north-west point of the island. The traditional Cyclades architecture has been scrupulously respected here and offers some stunning perspectives. Next, stop in Fira to visit the Museum of Prehistoric Thira, which houses finds from the excavations at Akrotiri. A stone’s throw from the museum the Orthodox Cathedral of Santorini holds court like an enormous white cake.
Wake in the harbor of Kos and join an optional guided excursion. Stop at the plane tree of Hippokrates, fabled to have been planeted over 2,400 years ago. Travel to the renowned Asklepeion, which lies just west of the town of Kos. The view from the highest one is stunning. The most important structure is the temple of Asklepios, a Doric peripteral temple erected in the 2nd century B.C. After visiting Asklepieion continue on with a drive through some of the most beautiful and traditional villages of Kos. Stop will be at the small village of Zia, located on the Diktaion mountain, and browse the small shops which sell local products such as honey, olive oil, and olive soap.
In ancient times, Delos was a major sacred site, second in importance only to the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. The island was covered in a variety of temples and sanctuaries dedicated to various gods. Today, it is one of the best-preserved archaeological sites of Greece, and the largest and oldest open-air site in Europe. Begin your walking tour with the Sacred Harbor on the west coast of the island. Discover the Terrace of the Lions and continue walking to a splendid mosaic floor of a building which is located in the Theatre Quarter, perhaps the most interesting part of the city.
In the afternoon, sail for Mykonos and spend the evening wandering its tranquil harbor and quaint streets.
Arrive in Athens and disembark after breakfast. Transfer to the airport for your continued flights.