This Cruise Offers the Best of Greece, From Historic Athens to the Beaches of Mykonos

Tour the Greek Isles on Windstar’s seven-day cruise through the Aegean, which includes ancient sites, beautiful beaches, and one-of-a-kind experiences.

The Temple of Hephestus

The Temple of Hephestus

Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Discover the picturesque, ancient world of Greece one sun-drenched island at a time, aboard Windstar’s spectacular masted sailing ships, the Wind Spirit or Wind Star. Scaled to accommodate only 148 passengers, along with Windstar’s impeccable personalized service, the experience is much like traveling by private yacht.

From visiting the Acropolis in Athens to slipping into charming village ports that only smaller ships can accommodate, you’ll experience the special enchantment of the Greek Isles as you make your way through the Aegean on this seven-day cruise. You’ll visit islands with iconic whitewashed architecture, relax on pristine island beaches, tour historically significant sites such as St. John’s cave on the island of Patmos, and even spend an unforgettable evening under the stars in Kusadasii, dining to live chamber music beside one of the most famous relics in the ancient Roman city of Ephesus.

If you’d like more, you can extend your stay with a Cruise Tour which adds on two additional important UNESCO World Heritage sites: Delphi, once considered the center of the world, and Meteora, known for its monasteries sitting atop ancient rock.


Trip Highlight:

Dinner in the Moonlight

On your visit to the seaside town of Kusadasi, a trio from the Aegean Chamber Orchestra serenades as you dine next to the Roman ruins of Ephesus.
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Trip Designer:

Windstar Cruises

Windstar specializes in small-ship cruises that explore iconic cities and charming villages from a new perspective, while the high crew-to-passenger ratio ensures welcoming, personalized service. As the Official Cruise Line of the James Beard Foundation, Windstar enchants guests with local flavors and brings the destination onboard with enrichment programs.
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Discover Athens’ delightful Plaka neighborhood

Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Day 1Walk through centuries of history in Athens

Begin your Greek odyssey with a hike to the Acropolis, the hilltop fortress that has stood proudly over the city of Athens for more than 3,000 years. A historical treasure with awe-inspiring, sweeping views, the well-preserved UNESCO World Heritage Site is perhaps most known for the Parthenon, a Doric-style temple built for the goddess Athena, and its influence on architects for centuries. Afterward, meander back down the winding trail and wander around Athens’ charming, village-like Plaka neighborhood to refresh with a bite to eat at one of its sidewalk cafes.

The thatched-roof windmills of Mykonos

Day 2Visit Mykonos

Wake up to a scene that encapsulates the heart of the Greek Isles. From your stateroom, just beyond the harbor filled with multicolored fishing boats, you’ll see traditional whitewashed architecture and windmills with thatched roofs, aimed at capturing some of the island’s famous (and forceful) breezes. Welcome to Mykonos, Island of the Winds.

After breakfast on the ship, you can explore the island on a shore excursion. Consider one that takes you on a scenic drive to the nearby village of Messaria, where you’ll be welcomed by a local family who will teach you how to cook traditional Mykonos cuisine. You’ll harvest vegetables from their backyard garden, then gather in the kitchen to learn how to make some of its most popular dishes, served with the island’s famous wine and plenty of stories about how the area’s food, culture, and religion intersect.

Slow dance to Greek classical music on centuries-old stones.

Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Day 3Dine and dance next to the ancient ruins of Ephesus

A once-in-a-lifetime evening—a special Destination Discovery Event that’s included as part of the cruise package—awaits you in Kusadasi, a beautiful coastal town on Turkey’s western Aegean coast. As the sun begins to set, you’ll walk down a marble road to the Roman ruins of Ephesus, the second-largest city of the Roman Empire and one of the most magnificent ancient sites in the Mediterranean. Your destination: the stunning, two-story Library of Celsus, now glowing in the dimmed blue skies, where you’ll be treated to an elegant, five-course Turkish dinner. A trio from the Aegean Chamber Orchestra serenades you as you dine by candlelight. Cue the twinkling stars.

Day 4See sacred sites on Patmos

A tiny volcanic island with sheer cliffs and a picturesque harbor dotted with lively cafés and a UNESCO World Heritage site, Patmos is best known as the place where St. John wrote the Book of Revelation. In the morning, you’ll take a 10-minute drive from Skala harbor to the village of Chora for a guided visit to the Holy Monastery of the Apocalypse, a massive stone enclave built in 1088 C.E. comprised of eight different chapels, pebbled courtyards, and intricate frescoes.

Afterward, you’ll stop by the nearby Cave of the Apocalypse, where St. John lived for two years while he wrote the Apocalypse, and even see the stone pillow where he is said to have rested his head. Enjoy a late lunch at a local taverna just steps from the pier or ask one of the waiters if they might bring a platter of fresh-caught, grilled calamari directly to your table on the beach, just across the street—unless they suggest it first.

Oia at sunset

Day 5Explore Santorini

Your day in Santorini, one of Greece’s most enchanting islands with its spectacular, all-white villages hugging the hillside, begins with a trip up Profit Elias mountain for panoramic views of the entire island and the azure blue Aegean. Afterward, you’ll head to the town of Oia, where you’ll take in its blue-domed churches as you wander through the narrow cobblestone streets on your own, browse among the tiny boutiques selling handmade ceramics and jewelry, and pop into a café for a glass of crisp, cold local wine, Assyrtiko. After an invigorating cable car ride back down the mountain to the port, you’ll have even more time to explore the city before dinner.

See for miles atop the village of Monemvasia.

Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Day 6Check out Monemvasia

Located on the Peloponnese Peninsula with a secluded port only accessible by small cruise ships, the medieval village of Monemvasia was built directly into the rock and faces the sea instead of the mainland so it’s hidden from view and protected from possible invaders. Wander through its pedestrian-only passageways, some wide enough for only two people, and climb the narrow steps to the upper village to see the castle and Agia Sophia, a Byzantine church.

In the afternoon, tour an ancient olive oil factory and taste the island’s famous oil dipped in warm, just-baked bread. Wrap up your day by slipping off your shoes and strolling along the town’s smooth pebbled beach. Or if you’re still feeling adventurous, kayak under the city walls and cliffs or enjoy another activity thanks to the Watersports Platform. Then pop into a seaside café for a glass of ouzo. Ya mas!


Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Day 7Nafplio

Breathe in the sweet scent of flowering bougainvillea. You’ve just arrived in Nafplio, one of the most romantic cities in Greece with Venetian fortresses, charming cafes, and elegant neoclassical-style mansions.

From the pier, the delights of Nafplio are just a short walk away. Explore the shops in this medieval, cobblestoned city on your own, and visit Syntagma Square in the heart of the city. Sign up for a private tour to see the 18th-century Palamidi Castle, the best-preserved castle in Greece, and climb the castle’s 999 rock steps for incredible views of the town and Argolis Bay. Alternatively, go for a guided tour of the acoustically sound Theatre of Epadauris, built in the 4th Century B.C.E., along with the adjacent sanctuary hospital of Asclepius, where the Greeks went for healing. The proximity of the two structures was no accident. Back in the day, watching a Greek play was often prescribed to relieve some ailments.
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Pop into one of Athens’ traditional tavernas for one last meze platter before you go.

Courtesy of Windstar Cruises

Day 8Athens

Spend your last day shopping and picking up any last-minute souvenirs, along with your own set of Greek komboloi (worry beads), as you explore the city on your own. You’ll be reminded of the convergence of the modern and ancient worlds as you check out the “mini-museums” at Athens’ metro stations that showcase relics unearthed during construction.
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