Greek Cruise Ports Of Call
Heraklio (Crete), Greece
Heraklion, the capital of Crete and its principal commercial port is just three miles away from the fantastic ruins of the Palace of Knossos. Discovered in 1899 by Sir Arthur Evans and partially reconstructed, the eleborate Palace is believed to be the mythical Labyrinth of King Minos and the seat of ancient Minoan culture. The Archaeological Museum in Heraklion displays many of the treasures found during the excavations.
Olympia was a sacred precinct built for the quadrennial games dedicated to Zeus during which all hostilities were ceased in the name of athletic competition. Much was destroyed when the games were outlawed as a pagan festival in 393 AD, but visitors can still see the Temple of Zeus and the stadium. The Archaeological Museum houses some exquisite sculptures, including the famous Niki "Winged Victory" by Paionios, "Hermes" by Praxiteles and Apollo from the Temple of Zeus.
On Mykonos you will find beautiful beaches, chic boutiques and elegant nightclubs. Beneath its sophisticated surface lies a quite essential Greek island. Hundreds of tiny chapels dot this blue and white-washed island with its beautiful windmills. Find a table on the waterfront and bask in the serenity of sunset over its picturesque harbor.
Patmos, very often called as "The Jerusalem of the Aegean Sea", is known as the site of the apocalyptic Revelations of St.John the Divine, written here during his exile from the Roman Empire. The cave where he lived is near the site of the Monastery of St.John, built on one of the island`s highest points and houses priceless icons and manuscripts in its Treasury.
Piraeus (Athens), Greece
Capital of Greece, cradle of democracy, birthplace of Western Civilization- Athens is a vibrant city where old and new coexist. The majestic Parthenon rises above the city, its ancient glory still visible in the timeworn stone, and the National Archaeological Museum holds countless treasures from Athens' Golden Age.
The beautiful "Island of Roses" has a rich and varied history. A mix of modern & medieval, fascinates and impresses each visitor. On a hill above the charming town of Lindos rises an ancient acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athens. Below lies the bay of St.Paul where the apostle landed during his voyages. The crusading Knights of St.John left the medieval city of Rhodes behind when they were defeated by Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent. The Ottoman Turks then occupied Rhodes for almost 400 years, leaving mosques, minarets and a Turkish bath to mark their presence.
The island of Santorini is the most breathtaking of all the Greek Islands. The town of Fira with white-washed houses, narrow streets, open-air cafes and glittering boutiques cling to steep cliffs is accesible by cable-car or mule. The village of Oia is a "must", an inspiration to all artists with numerous art galleries and spectacular views. To the south is Akrotiri where recent Minoan excavations support the theories that Santorini might be the fabled lost continent of Atlantis.