The Aegean Classic calls to those fond of luxury boat trips, island cocktails and days of saltwater and sun. Nestle yourself between Turkey and Greece, spending 4 days cruising the Aegean islands of Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Mykonos and Patmos. Buffet breakfasts and 3 world heritage sites are just the mint in the Greek Mojito.
Cruising to Rhodes
- See the fortified town of Rhodes
- Grand Bazaar
- Sailing Cruise and Beach
Day 1 Arrive Athens
No adventure on the Aegean Sea can be deemed complete without a stint in Athens. Check-in to our hotel, get settled, & get acquainted. When the sun starts to set we'll join forces and meet our posse for an optional dinner, traditional Athens style, in the city's old Town, the Plaka. Cute cobbled streets, strolling through ancient ruins, this is a serious throwback in time. Feast on delicacies, do some dancing, my big fat Greek wedding style. Couldn't be a better way to get to know the group.
Day 2 Athens to Mykonos
Alright sailors it's time to hit the sea! We'll board a Greek ship and head straight for the crisp white isle of Mykonos.
Jetsetters and backpackers alike are drawn to this pristine, has-it-all island. Drift off under a beach cabana, snack on olives & tzatziki in a cute cafe, or stroll the white-washed lanes of the Old Town. Tonight you could head out for a few drinks in Little Venice, this quintisential waterside spot is famous the world over, so why not tick that off your list. Back on the boat we'll sleep knowing that you'll be waking up in Turkey.
Locations: Athens, Mykonos
Day 3 Cruising to Patmos via Kusadasi
Rise and shine globe trotters, our captain has kindly escorted us to Turkey! Here in the port town of Kusadasi you can rummage for treasures in the local bazaar and take a trip to Ephesus, the holiday hangout of Mark Antony and Cleopatra where our Local Guide will turn back the clock. Simply incredible, this ancient Roman town is packed full of ruins, and stories galore. Keep an eye out for the two story library, (yes, the ancient people were ahead of the times even way back when).
Out of Kusadasi we drift on towards the rugged island of Patmos, quaint, known for it's seafood, we'll tell you straight up that the octopus is some of the best you'll ever try. Explore this holy hotspot with an optional excursion to Patmos’ UNESCO World Heritage sites of the 11th century Monastery of the Apocalypse and the Grotto of St. John. A must when you're in the area, dating back to 1088 as a protection from pirates! St John's Grotto is up next where part of the bible was written by St John himself. Nothing like a bit of history to keep things interesting. Back on the boat, a sundowner is calling, and maybe some of the ship nightlife before we wake up in Rhodes.
Locations: Mykonos, Patmos
Day 4 Patmos to Rhodes
Today we take to the mixed bag of Rhodes, influenced by its edging on Europe, Africa and Asia. Shop up a storm of leather, silver, olive oil and honey or uncover Acropolis of Lindos & the walls of Rhode’s medieval town centre on an optional tour with a Local Guide. If sand, swims and sunshine are calling you then Elli Beach might be calling your name, so grab a sunbed and get horizonal and people watch. Beaches, local wine & fresh seafood - your life is complete.
Locations: Patmos, Rhodes
Day 5 Cruising to Santorini via Crete
We say goodbye to Rhodes and all it's ancient history as we cruise to our next destination, the iconic isle of Santorini.
Some may say we've saved the best 'til last, with Crete and Santorini marking our final full day. Crete is the biggest of the Greek Islands & home to the 4000 year old mythical Minoan Palace. Catch some sleep or explore it all morning with the option of exploring the Place of Knossos. As a quick 101, it's the home to the legend of the Minotaur, a half man half bull which lived in a labyrinth and was slayed by Theseus. A great way to look into days gone by, and we're talking 2000BC. With this fast and furious morning ticked, we head off to our next paradise found.
Get a belt handy - you're going to need to strap that jaw up off the floor as the island of Santorini slowly becomes a reality. Those iconic blue–domed, whitewashed churches are enough to bring a tear to the eye. Set on a caldera, or old volcano, Santorini is literally towering over the landscape. And the best way to get the sheer scale of it all is by boat, and lucky for you sweet traveller, we give you the chance to do just that! Make sure your phone is on full charge, as an Instagram upload is a must tonight.
Locations: Rhodes, Santorini
Day 6 Santorini to Athens
Our trip ends after breakfast - time to say bye to your new travel buddies, unless.. reunion in Thailand?
Locations: Santorini, Athens
- You'll be bunkering on board none other than a pimped out cruise ship in quad or twin-share rooms as we sail around the Aegean Sea. On our night off the oceans you'll be kicking back in a swanky hotel in Athens.
- What will you eat? What won't you eat - that's the real question. Daily buffet breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 scrumptious dinners will leave you wishing you didn't have a swimsuit to squeeze into.
- You'll be safe in the hands of a wised up on-board Cruise Rep who knows everything from the History of Mykonos to the best cafes on Rhodes.
You will have the option to book your own flights independently with the operator.
Started by one man with big dreams in 1962, Contiki now offers over 300 trips to 6 continents for 18 to 35 year olds, with the mantra #NOREGRETS. It’s their way of life; it’s about changing your perspective on the world, walking in other’s shoes, witnessing different cultures, religions, and ways of living; it’s about living in the moment, pushing past your comfort zone, challenging yourself to do the things you never thought possible.
Contiki believe that travel is so much more than just ticking boxes and saying you were there. It’s not about doing things for the sake of doing them, or seeing things just because you should. For them, travel is all about experience. It’s the number of sunsets you’ve watched with best friends, the number of ancient landmarks you’ve visited, the number of times you’ve defied your comfort zone and done the extraordinary. So that’s what their trips are all about – the #NOREGRETS experiences that will make you, the traveller, richer than your wildest dreams.
Their incredible experiences encompass all interests and cultures – bathing in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland, seeing the pyramids of Giza, walking the Great Wall of China, roadtrip along Route 66, watch the sunrise over Uluru, party in Las Vegas, snorkel the Great Barrier Reef, zipline through the Costa Rica rainforest, see the Mona Lisa, fly over the Grand Canyon or cuddle a Koala. The cost of your trip ensures Contiki take care of all your travel arrangements, accommodation, breakfasts and dinners, organised activities, plenty of free time and optional ‘me’ time activities to put your own unique stamp on your travel experience.
Contiki cater to all travellers, whether you want to cram in as many destinations as possible and experience everything or stick in one region for a while for an in depth exploration to really get under the skin of the country, they have the trip for you and many other options in between. Choose a purely water-based adventure with their Sailing, Cruise and Beach holidays, or snowy travels with the Winter holidays and even purely camping accommodation to make the most of your holiday budget but still see and experience all your destination has to offer.
Contiki is a founding partner of TreadRight, a not-for-profit foundation established by The Travel Corporation in 2008 to encourage sustainable tourism within its family of amazing travel brands. The TreadRight Foundation acts as an older, wiser sibling to Contiki, guiding them down a more sustainable path. The TreadRight Foundation supports projects that help the environment, protect and conserve ecosystems, and benefit communities. The foundation, along with The Travel Corporation brands, has donated in excess of US$2 million towards international sustainable tourism projects - a figure that continues to rise.