Greek islands cruises
The most beautiful sites of ancient greece
The trans-Mediterranean cruise travels between Dubrovnik and Corfu. In November, the ship sails around Greece, in the Peloponnese, on a unique journey to the heart of Greek mythology. After leaving Dubrovnik, the MS Belle de l’Adriatique visits Kotor, Corfu, Katakolon, Gythion, Piraeus, Corinth, Itea and Kefalonia, before returning once more to Corfu. Greece is a true land of legends, where history and civilisation seduce the visitor. Discover the Greek lands, the most magnificent Minoan civilisation and the most charming Ionian islands. Following in the footsteps of Zeus and Athena, we sail along the Greek coastline during a wonderful cruise from the Bay of Kotor all the way to the Corinthian Canal and have ample opportunities to admire the finest sites of Ancient Greece.
The Greek Islands are one of the most popular summer holiday destinations in Europe. There are no less than 1400 islands of which a dozen or so remain uninhabited, dotted across the Aegean and Ionian Seas. Each island is unique and has its own style, beauty and distinctive ambiance. Some islands are peaceful, others are bustling and full of life, or are blessed with long beaches of fine golden sand, or ruins from the oldest civilisation in Europe.
The Cyclades Islands
The Cyclades are a group of islands located in the centre and southern half of the Aegean Sea, made up of 39 islands of which only one third is inhabited. The Cyclades are the best known of all the Greek islands. In paintings and photographs, the islands are always represented by images of white houses with blue window frames set on small, narrow streets and beautiful Byzantine churches with blue domes, with everything bathed in a dazzling light. The group of Cyclades Islands has a fine selection of never ending beaches of fine sand, traditional white villages, old Byzantine churches, castles and ruins from ancient times.
The Ionian Islands
The Ionian Islands are a small group of seven main islands located just off the western coast of the Greek mainland, along the Epiros coast and the Peloponnese. The Ionian Islands group is often called Heptanisos, which means “Seven Islands” in Greek. These seven islands are, from north to south: Corfu (Kerkyra), Paxos, Lefkada, Ithaka, Kefalonia, Zakynthos (or Zante) and Kythera. The Ionian Islands are different from other groups of islands because they receive a lot of rainfall and are therefore very fertile with lush, dense vegetation.
The Dodecanese Islands
The Dodecanese Islands form the group of islands that is furthest from the Greek mainland, located close to the Turkish coastline. The group is made up of twelve main islands and several other, smaller islands. The strategic position of the islands meant that they were often at the heart of invasions and they have certainly had a very lively past. Located at the very edge of Europe, the group of islands offers a great variety of architectural styles, influenced as much by eastern as by western culture. The most important of the Dodecanese islands are: Rhodes, Kos, Kalymnos, Karpathos, Patmos, Tilos, Symi, Leros, Astypalea, Nisyros, Kassos and Halki. The turbulent history of the Dodecanese Islands has left many archaeological and classical remains but the islands have much besides remains to offer the visitor: magnificent scenery, never-ending beaches of fine sand, charming towns and villages, ancient castles and so on. The most famous of the island group is medieval Rhodes, but the other islands are also well worth a visit.
The Island of Crete
Crete is the largest of all the Greek Islands. It is the furthest south of all the islands from the Greek mainland and is the fifth largest island in the Mediterranean. Crete is a mountainous island with a high mountain chain in its centre running from east to west. The great distance separating Crete from the mainland, combined with its very fertile lands, goes a long way to explain why Crete has been independent for many centuries. It is also for this reason that Crete has been able to develop its own independent culture as well as its own language and traditions. For the visitor to Crete, there are beautiful mountains, beaches of golden sand, a forest of palm trees unique in Europe, charming towns, villages and fishing ports, many caves, Byzantine churches and several castles. The island of Crete also has much to offer the visitor in search of culture and history. Crete is the birthplace of the Minoan civilisation, one of the most ancient and most important European civilisations. There are many interesting ruins from this period, such as Knossos Palace.