Show sea days
One of the world’s most beautiful cities also happens to be one of its most unusual. Venice is actually made up of over 120 islands in the Adriatic Sea. Because the city is connected by canals instead of streets, a good way to see Venice is on a romantic gondola ride. The epicenter of the city is St. Mark’s Square, where you’ll find the 900-year-old Basilica of St. Mark
One of the most beautiful islands in all of the Mediterranean, Corfu is said to cast a spell upon those who land upon its shores, which is perhaps why Shakespeare set his magical play, The Tempest, here. Millions of silvery olive trees grace the hillsides, the scent of lemon blossoms perfumes the air, and picturesque views of sapphire bays set against verdant hills capture your attention. A leisurely stroll through the narrow alleyways of Corfu old town will reveal many local treasures – old churches, a Byzantine cathedral, small enticing shops, and tavernas offering local wines and fresh seafood.
The capital and “heart” of the Greek Island of Kefalonia, Argostoli is a modern town with a traditional soul. Although devastated by a major earthquake in 1953, the city has been largely rebuilt, and there are still many places of myth and legend to explore. With its stunning display of stalactites and stalagmites, the famous Drogati Cave and underground Melissani Lake routinely top must-see lists. There’s also the vibrant central square, Plateia Valianou, with its many bars, restaurants and tavernas, and the picturesque Lithostroto, a pedestrian-only cobblestoned shopping street.
One look at Monemvasia as you pull in to port and it’s easy to understand why locals nicknamed it The Rock. Shrouded by precipitous cliffs along the brilliant teal waters of the Myrtoan Sea, Monemvasia is a castle town suspended in history. Adding to the feeling that it comes from another time, Monemvasia is tethered to our world by a simple causeway.
History is very much alive in Iraklion. The Fountain of the Lions, built by Morozini in 1628 during the Venetian occupation of Crete, dominates the central square. Today, the city’s Town Hall is located in the Venetian Loggia, a building from the same era. Stroll among the shops and cafes surrounding the central square, or follow the old Venetian walls to Koules, a bastion overlooking the old harbor. Explore the archaeological site at Knossos and walk among Minoan findings displayed in the Archaeological Museum of Iraklion. Don’t miss the Historical Museum of Iraklion, which houses findings from the early era of the Christian religion.
Your daydream of a Greek island meets reality in Santorini – its whitewashed villages cling to cliff sides, and bright blue roofs reflect the sea and sky. So beautiful is it, that you can almost believe the myths that claim it as the birthplace of gods. Born itself as a volcanic cone, the island blew its top in 1450 BC, its center sank, and it assumed its current crescent shape, outlined by three main islands. The capital, Fira, a pedestrian haven with narrow, meandering cobblestone lanes, is reachable only by cable car, donkey, or for the fit and fearless, a flight of 600 steps.
Rhodes, the friendliest city in the Mediterranean, welcomes you with seemingly eternal sunshine thanks to more sunny days than any other place in Europe. Situated at the island’s most northern point, Rhodes’ only neighbors on the east and west are gleaming blue seas. This sunny retreat is also home to many historic sites ranging from the ruins of the Temple of Venus to the medieval Street of Knights.
Sure, we could chat about the resort town of Kusadasi and its beaches and restaurants, or nearby places like Dilek Peninsula National Park, but let’s talk Turkey: The star attraction in this neck of the woods is Ephesus. Once the second largest city in the Roman Empire, eclipsed only by Rome, here are just a few of the incredible sights just waiting to be gobbled up! (Sorry, we couldn’t resist.)
There’s the Library of Celsus, still magnificent almost 2,000 years later; the Odeon, home of our “Ephesus: Back to Ancient Times” AzAmazing Evenings eventSM; and the 24,000-capacity Great Theatre, where St. Paul used to preach. Stretching from this jaw-dropping amphitheatre to the harbor is the marble-made Arcadian Street. Stroll past the marketplaces, colonnades, and fields of wild fennel, and into bath complexes that once offered piped-in hot water and a sauna.
Mykonos is living proof that picture postcard destinations do exist. Its many charms include its iconic windmills, fabulous beaches, and an irresistible traditional town with a maze of twisting streets and alleys originally designed to confuse marauding pirates. Dazzling sunlight reflects off of whitewashed houses and hundreds of small chapels. Other adornments include shaded courtyards and balconies lush with flowers, and a lively nightlife that some claim is the best in Europe. Nearby you can visit the uninhabited island of Delos, birthplace of Apollo, fittingly the god of sunlight, music and beauty.
You could spend a lifetime in Europe’s oldest city and still not see everything it has to offer. Settled over 3,500 years ago, Athens is like a mythological crossroads of the past and present, where modern buildings share the skyline with spectacular ruins like the Parthenon.
To see a veritable “greatest hits” line-up, make your way to Vasilissis Amalias Street for the archaeological walk. Winding through the heart of the ancient city, the route leads to landmarks like the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Ancient Agora, Arch of Hadrian, and of course, the Acropolis.
Searching for the latest prices…