Call now 01246 819 819 to book
Outside from Call for fares
Balcony from Call for fares
Suite from £8,606pp
Show sea days
Spanning Europe and Asia, exotic Istanbul is one of the world’s most fascinating cities. Domes and minarets enhance the skyline. In the old Stamboul area, traces remain of every city built since the community was established over 600 years before Christ. Once Rome’s eastern capital, Istanbul was also the center of the huge Ottoman Empire. Landmarks include Hagia Sophia, once Christendom’s greatest church; the Blue Mosque with its striking Iznik tiles; Topkapi Palace, containing a sultan’s ransom of treasures; Chora Church with its Byzantine mosaics; and the Grand Bazaar, the ultimate shopping experience.
Limnos is an arid, volcanic island located near the mouth of the Dardenelles. The volcano and sulphurous springs on the island inspired many legends in ancient times. Limnos was the mythological home of Hephaistos (Vulcan), who was cast off Mount Olympus by his father Zeus and landed on Limnos, breaking his leg in the process. Lame ever since, the God of Fire lived on the island and toiled at his forges, the volcanoes of the island, teaching the people of the island the art of metalworking. Jason and the Argonauts stopped here during their quest for the Golden Fleece and during the Trojan War, Hercules’ companion, Philoctetes was cured of a gangrenous wound by the magical earth of the island.
A popular holiday and resort destination, Cesme is located on a promontory on the tip of a peninsula that carries the same name. The town itself is dominated by the medieval Cesme Castle, while the back streets invite a casual stroll with their old Ottoman and Greek houses that charm passers-by. South of the castle there is an Ottoman caravanserai built in 1528 that has since been transformed into a lovely boutique hotel, and check the Greek Orthodox church of Ayios Haralambos to see the current art exhibition. Along with the historical attractions, visitors will enjoy local pleasures, such as a dip in the thermal baths followed by the culinary delights of native fruits, artisan cheeses and local wines.
Today Bodrum is a picturesque yacht harbor filled with traditional wood-varnished sailboats, charming outdoor cafes and streets bursting with small shops selling carpets, leatherwear, jewelry and local artwork. In antiquity, it was the site of ancient Halicarnassus. Under King Mausolus, the city prospered, and in death, the king left the city its most enduring legacy, his majestic tomb, from which we derive the term “mausoleum.” Only its massive foundations remain today but it was the largest tomb ever built by the Greeks and one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Models on the site recreate its form for visitors. Alexander the Great attacked the city in 334 BC, leveling all but the Mausoleum, which was later destroyed by an earthquake.
When the Knights of St. John lost their castle in Smyrna in 1402, they came here. Finding the mausoleum in ruins, they used the stone to construct the Castle of St. Peter, which proudly stood sentinel to the city. Together with their fortifications on Kos and Rhodes, the Knights dominated the southeastern Aegean, running a hospital for passing pilgrims and ruling the seas as privateers in swift vessels. They remained until 1523, when Ottoman ruler, Suleyman the Magnificent, conquered Rhodes and the Knights’ position became untenable. The castle still dominates the harbor and houses an archeological museum.
Symi belongs to the Dodecanese islands and lies across the Asia Minor coast and just a few nautical miles NW of Rhodes. Aristocratic and far off the model of mass tourism, Symi pleasantly surprises its visitors with its plain, aristocratic yet wild beauty.
As you glimpse the perfectly formed harbor of Symi, Gialos, you are confronted with a beautiful picture-postcard Venetian village. Wonderfully well-preserved two and three story mansions with their facades painted in bright and vivid colors reflect the island’s rich past since Symi was once one of the richest islands with a tradition in sponge diving, ship building and wood carving.
The history of Symi goes back to ancient times. Aigli, Metapontis and Kariki are some of Symi’s ancient names where according to mythology the Graces were born. Symi got its current name from the nymph Symi, who according to the myth mated with Poseidon, God of the Seas, and brought to life Hthonios who became the leader of the island’s first inhabitants.
“Thira, the Wild Island” and “Kalliste, the Fairest One” – all terms of endearment for this seductive, volcanic Greek island in the Sea of Crete. Extraordinary for its black sand beaches and sheer limestone cliffs, Santorini also showcases remnants of the Phoenician, Spartan and Minoan cultures, which fell under the island’s spell – an unvarying, irresistible lure that continues to this day. Fira, the picturesque, pedestrian-only capital, is reached from the seaport via a short cable car ride that offers thrilling views as you ascend.
Syros is an important island in the Cyclades, but rather off the tourist map. Just the sort of place we like. The town (named for Hermes) is the capital of the island group, and its airy Miaouli Plaza is a wonderful, palm-lined place to sit in a cafe and have a drink. The medieval Venetian village of Ano Syros crowns a hilltop nearby. Wander the narrow, cobblestone streets to the impressive 13th-century Agios Georgios church. Back in town, the Eastern Orthodox Church of the Assumption holds an icon by the Greek painter known as El Greco. A small archeological museum has some very fine Cycladic figures, and the Ermoupolis Industrial Museum recounts the island legacy of shipbuilding and other occupations.
Piraeus has been the port for Athens since 482 BC. The busy harbor is filled with ferries and cruise ships making their way to the Greek Islands and other Mediterranean cities. The busy metropolis of Athens and its treasure trove of antiquities lie just a few miles from the port. Even as the reality of the modern city took hold, with its high-rise apartments, crowded sidewalks and bustling traffic, the beauty of the Acropolis, the outstanding museums, charming cafés, sidewalk markets and startling views come together in a cultural mosaic for all to enjoy.
Kusadasi, which means “bird island,” is set in a superb gulf known for its sparkling water, broad sandy beaches and large marina. The city has managed to retain a certain earthiness while doing a brisk trade in Turkish carpets and leather goods to visitors. The town’s old quarter is a picturesque maze of winding streets and houses adorned with flowers and birdcages. In the center stands a 17th-century caravanserai, now converted into a hotel. The resort is also gateway to important sites of archaeological and religious interest.
Deserted for centuries because of constant raids by pirates and the Turks, this tiny arid island was first settled in 1088 when the Emperor of Constantinople made it a gift to the monk Christodoulos Latrnos so that he could establish a monastery in honor of St. John the Divine on the site. Patmos has been a place of scholarship and religious enlightenment ever since. Today this modern pilgrimage site is a quiet respite from the tourist havens many other Greek isles have become.
Best known of the Dodecanese Islands, Rhodes is a fascinating architectural patchwork of her past. Here the legacy of the ancient Greeks mingles with that of besieging Turks, crusading knights, and occupying Italians. Twin bronze deer, the symbol of Rhodes, guard the Mandraki Harbor where the 100-foot Colossus is said to have stood, a wonder of the ancient world. The medieval Crusader City is dominated by the Palace of the Grand Masters, while cobbled streets lead to the bustling bazaar and a lively harbor that is a center of the international yachting scene.
This small port town was called Telmessos in ancient Lycian times. Throughout its history, dating back to the 5th century BC, it fell under the rule of Persians, Hellens, Romans and Byzantines. Charming Fethiye lies at the southernmost edge of the Aegean in a deep blue bay of 12 islands, one of which is reputedly the birthplace of jolly old St. Nicholas. An earthquake leveled the town in 1958 and most of what was left standing were its tombs from 400 BC. These Lycian tombs were carved directly out of the cliffs that face the harbor; their facades are reproductions of building fronts from those ancient times. There is even a 400-year-old Hamam, or Turkish steam bath. Today bakeries, cafes, and shops abound – a perfect setting for an exploration on foot.
Paphos is a city on the southwest coast of the Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Inhabited since Neolithic times, it has several sites relating to the cult of goddess Aphrodite, whose mythical birthplace was at Old Paphos (Kouklia). New Paphos is the modern city that incorporates the harbor, and the ancient ruins of tombs, fortresses, theaters and villas at Paphos Archaeological Park
Situated on the slopes of Mount Carmel, along one of the most beautiful bays on the Mediterranean coast, Haifa is Israel’s primary port. It also serves as an important gateway to the biblical and historical sites of this sacred land. Although the origin of Haifa is obscure, its name appears for the first time in the 3rd century A.D. in Talmudic literature. Over the years, Crusaders, Arabs, Turks and the British occupied the city. Today, this bustling city possesses the nation’s largest industries, several important museums and the respected Haifa Technical Institute. It is also the world center of the Baha’i faith, symbolized by a beautiful gold-domed shrine.
Searching for the latest prices…
Click the live chat icon to speak with an agent today
Let us call you back at a time to suit you. » Request a callback now.
Search 1000s of cruises for your next holiday. » Search for a cruise.