Board the small ship Athena in Mykonos and set sail on a seven-night circular cruise to the quieter islands of the Cyclades, including Delos, Naxos, Ios and Paros…
Enjoy an incredible seven-night cruise aboard the small 4-star ship Athena, navigating the waters of the Aegean Sea to discover small island paradises. Destinations include the isle of Delos – legendary birthplace of Apollo – Naxos, Ios and Paros. Explore whitewashed villages, archeological sites and deserted beaches where you can swim in crystal clear seas.
Fly to Mykonos and board the Athena (4?) at Marina Tourlos. Later, enjoy a walking tour of Mykonos Town in the company of a crew member before returning to the ship for dinner. Spend the night moored in the marina. D
Before breakfast, your ship sets sail for the short cruise to the island of Delos. The island was occupied from 3,000BC and is regarded as sacred, being the mythical birthplace of Apollo, the son of Zeus. Its rich archaeological heritage has earned it the status of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and in order to protect it there are no full-time inhabitants, all visitors must be accompanied and can stay no longer than four hours! You can see some of its key sites, which include the remains of a great port, an Agora or marketplace, a vast theatre and homes of wealthy residents some of which have retained their mosaic floors, and the Sanctuary of Apollo – to name but a few! Discover more on an unmissable optional guided tour this morning. Return to the ship for lunch on board and set off for around a 30-minute cruise to Rhenia Bay where you moor for the night. It is a fantastic spot for a dip in the sea. B, L, D
Set sail for Naxos before breakfast. It is the largest of the Cyclades islands, known for its sandy beaches and lush vegetation. En route, enjoy a swim stop in a magnificent private bay. As you approach the port of Naxos you’ll see a causeway linking the port to the tiny islet of Palatia, home to the six-metre-high, 6th-Century BC Portara or Great Door. Thought to be part of a temple that was planned but never completed, it’s built from four huge marble blocks, weighing an estimated 20 tons each. Your ship moors in Naxos port for the rest of the day and overnight. B, L, D
Set sail for Ios before breakfast, stopping en route at Iraklia, one of the Lesser Cyclades and a peaceful, unspoilt island paradise. Here, you can enjoy a swim in the crystal clear sea, take a tender from your ship to a deserted beach to relax or head out on one of the walking trails. Return to the ship for lunch and cruise to the island of Ios. The island, whose name means flower, is where the ancient poet Homer is entombed. Remain moored overnight in Ios Harbour. B, L, D
Today, enjoy a day at leisure, moored in Ios. Relax on board, cool off in the sea or explore the island independently. There is plenty here to appeal to every taste – from archaeological sites, to the typical Cycladic town of Hora and the superb beach of Maganarri. Perhaps wander through the hilltop Old Town or Chora where the narrow car-free streets are hemmed by blue and white homes, tavernas and boutiques. It’s quiet during the day, but the bars and discos can get lively at night. Alternatively, you can join an optional excursion to Santorini, by ferry. The island is blessed with more than its fair share of natural charm and world-renowned archaeological sites. Traditional towns and villages, patchworks of blue and white paintwork, perch on the cliffs commanding picture-postcard views over the turquoise sea. B, L, D
Leave Ios before breakfast and sail 35 miles to the island of Paros. On the way, stop at the small island of Antiparos for a swim. The island is one nautical mile from Paros and once a year, at the beginning of July, there’s a communal swim across the channel which separates the islands. The actor Tom Hanks, who owns a villa on the island of Antiparos, is one of many who have completed the swim. You’ll moor in the harbour, Paroikia, which is also the capital of Paros, for a walking tour, then free time to explore. The narrow cobbled streets, traditional churches and higgledy-piggledy blue and white homes personify Cycladic settlements. Perhaps make a visit to the Byzantine Panagia Ekatontapiliani – the Church of 100 Doors – to see the famous silver Madonna, or head to the port of Naoussa to see the semi-submerged remains of the the Venetian castle built to protect it. B, L, D
Depart Paros before breakfast and make the 32-mile journey across the Aegean to Mykonos to complete your cruise. On the way enjoy another fantastic swim stop in the calm waters of Naoussa Bay. Dock in Marina Tourlos in the late afternoon – you may like to explore independently or go shopping for souvenirs. Back on board ship tonight, enjoy the Captain’s farewell dinner. B, L, D
Disembark and travel to the airport for your return flight home. B
7 nights on board the ship
20 meals: 7 breakfasts, 6 lunches and 7 dinners
Free bar open 11 hours a day
Excursions and visits
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