Embark on your own Greek odyssey on a cruise from Athens to Santorini with Celebrity Cruises. You’ll cross the sparkling Aegean Sea, revealing the region’s incredible history and dazzling natural beauty. Visit Mykonos, famed for its whitewashed villages, windmills, and endless sandy beaches. In Rhodes, admire medieval palaces built by crusader knights. Chania, in Crete, is known for the gorgeous Venetian mansions that line the old port, while pretty Zakynthos, in the Ionian sea, is encircled by white sand beaches, towering cliffs, and aquamarine seas.
Cruises to Santorini from Athens also venture beyond the Greek Islands, sailing as far as enchanting Istanbul, a city spanning both Europe and Asia, its skyline pierced with slender minarets. Other voyages call at Valletta, Malta’s fortified capital featuring baroque churches and priceless art treasures. Or perhaps you’ll choose a cruise that combines the Greek Islands with the island-specked Adriatic coast, visiting Kotor in Montenegro, dating back to the 12th century and protected by ramparts that snake over the mountainside. These cruises end in stately Ravenna, Italy, from where you can visit dreamy Venice, where magnificent palaces gaze over a latticework of bustling canals plied by boats of every description.
Athens spills elegantly over seven hills, the exquisite Parthenon at its heart. Explore this ancient temple, dedicated to the goddess Athena, and marvel at the treasures in the ultra-modern Acropolis Museum. Wander the Plaka neighborhood, where you’ll find a tangle of streets filled with shops, cafés and vine-shaded tavernas. Take the funicular up Lycabettus Hill for sweeping city views. Travel to beautiful Cape Sounion to admire the graceful Temple of Poseidon, followed by lunch on the beach.
Volcanic Santorini, actually the rim of a massive caldera, is one of the most dazzling sights in Greece. Whitewashed villages are scattered over the cliffs like sugar cubes, and churches are adorned with brilliant blue domes. Browse the jewelry stores in Fira, the capital, or head for pretty Oia for the best views of the sapphire sea below. Marvel at the excavations of bronze age Akrotiri, sample the island’s excellent wines, or sunbathe on dramatic beaches where the sand is sparkling black.
Stylish Mykonos exudes glamor. Chora, the chic little capital, is a tangle of whitewashed alleys draped in pink bougainvillea and lined with enticing boutiques. Stop for coffee in Little Venice, the old fisherman's quarter right on the waterfront. Head for the famous beaches of Elia or Kalafatis, with endless sands and warm, shallow water. Or take the ferry across to uninhabited Delos, the mythological birthplace of Apollo, and wander around the ancient amphitheater, temples, and mosaics.