Just a short distance from Athens, Piraeus is the biggest port in the Mediterranean and sees over 20 million cruisers each year. This port city is a perfect example of life by the sea, boasting an impressive harbour and authentic seafood dining, as well as the rich and fascinating history of ancient Greece. Whether you’re looking to discover archaeological findings or just want to relax in the sun at a friendly café, Piraeus is the place to be.
Things to do in Athens (Piraeus):
Agia Triada Church
Despite being a modern construction, Agia Triada features Byzantine architecture as well as an impressive dome that is visible from every spot within the church. Overlooking the port of Piraeus, Agia Triada is a must visit to discover the history of the town and take in the tranquillity.
This vibrant and colourful district is nestled on top of a hill with views out over the bay. A walk around this neighbourhood will take you to quaint cafes, neoclassical architecture, Prophet Elias church and the Veakeion outdoor theatre.
Covering the Mycenaean period to the Roman era, the Piraeus Archaeological Museum offers artefacts excavated from Piraeus’ landscape, as well as collections donated from other sites. Visitors will discover monuments, statues, artwork and more.
One of only three surviving Liberty ships, the SS Hellas Liberty is a fascinating vessel to explore. This floating maritime museum was presented to the public in 2010 and covers a range of exhibits people of all ages will enjoy.
With stunning views of the Saronic Gulf and the beautiful vessels moored in the harbour, the bay of Zea is the perfect place to go for a walk, enjoy a delicious coffee and take in the sunshine. You’ll find many hidden gems here, including ancient walls.
DAY 322 Oct 2024
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 6 PM
The island of Kefalonia has flourished after falling victim to a devastating earthquake in 1953, where almost every structure was demolished. Now, Argostoli is a thriving port city with shopping, restaurants, an active harbour and warm, friendly locals. You’ll find no shortage of traditional seafood, a quaint church, and a Blue Flag-awarded sandy beach. If you’re looking for a laid-back cruise holiday with plenty of sun, Argostoli is the place for you.
Things to do in Argostoli, Kefalonia:
The Archaeological Museum of Kefalonia
The Archaeological Museum of Kefalonia has seen its fair share of wear and tear but remains standing even today. Packed full of historical artefacts, it's home to a rich collection of historical finds from several excavation sites around the island, dating from prehistoric to Roman periods.
Historical and Folklore Museum
Housed on the ground floor of Korgialenios Library, the History and Folklore Museum of Argostoli is dedicated to the studies of historical Kefalonia. Visitors will find artefacts such as household items, embroidery and photographs, as well as works of art.
The Church of Saint Spiridonas is dedicated to the protector of Kefalonia and is one of the most central churches in the city. Take a look inside to see the renowned golden wood temple, housed here after surviving the 1953 earthquake.
Makri Yialos Beach
Just a short distance from the centre, Makri Gialos beach is a vast sandy expanse with ample facilities to spend a whole day here. Visitors will find a bar, restaurant and the chance to try your hand at water sports to make the most of the crystal clear, clean water to swim in.
DAY 423 Oct 2024
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 6 PM
One of Greece’s most verdant islands and perfect for a family holiday with charming architecture, an impressive fort and a 16th century church, Agios Spyridhon. Mount Pantokrantor rears up in the north of the island and all around the edges are sandy beaches and small villages. Whether you’re here to top up a tan on the stunning Loggas Beach or eager to discover the gorgeous monuments, Corfu has something for everyone.
Things to do in Corfu:
This hidden gem will provide the perfect getaway from bustling crowds. If you’re looking to relax in a quaint fishing village, enjoy traditional Corfiot cuisine on the waterfront and take a dip in the vibrant waters, Agni Bay is the place for you.
Surrounded by imposing cliffs, Loggas Beach – otherwise known as Sunset Beach – is one of the most beautiful spots in Corfu. You won’t find wild water sports here, instead you’ll witness breath-taking sunsets and take a dip in the warm, gentle water.
Saint George Church
Built in 1840 for British troops serving in Corfu, the Church of St George now hosts only two services each year, as well as occasional exhibitions. With views out over Garitsa Bay, this church resembles an ancient Greek temple and provides great photo opportunities.
Found on a tiny islet close by to the airport of Corfu, Vlacherna Monastery dates back to around the 17th and 18th centuries. The beautifully preserved building is a great photo opportunity particularly at sunset, and the perfect place to take a romantic stroll.
DAY 524 Oct 2024
Time at Port: from 9 AM to 7 PM
It’s easy to see why Dubrovnik is one of the best highlights on a Mediterranean cruise. In 1979, the city was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its beautifully preserved ancient architecture that you’ll love to spend hours exploring. Fans of the hit series Game of Thrones will particularly love to recreate their favourite scenes filmed here, while history and art enthusiasts will adore the fortresses and museums.
Things to do in Dubrovnik:
This small and intimate beach provides a quiet getaway from the crowds. Relax in the sun watching the locals play water polo, before taking a dip in the crystal clear waters and exploring the nearby cliffs and caves.
If you are looking for something relaxing but also to spend some time exploring, head along the sandy beaches and rocky paths where you’ll find Sunj beach. Here the waters range from beautiful crystal blue to alluring green where you can swim and relax under the sun with a wide range of bars to pick from.
A short ferry ride from Dubrovnik Old Town, Lokrum Island is a fantastic place for a day trip. With a beautiful botanical garden planted in the 19th century, the ruins of a Benedictine monastery and spots for swimming in the sea, you’ll love exploring this tiny island.
At 37 meters above the sea, Fortress Lovrijenac offers impressive views across the landscape. Used as a filming location for Game of Thrones, the fortress played an important role in protecting the Old City, which visitors will learn about as they explore the grounds.
Muralles de Dubrovnik
Covering 1,940 metres with 6 fortresses, the Walls of Dubrovnik are a must visit for Game of Thrones fans and lovers of architecture. Visitors can join walking tours of the walls which take approximately two hours and offer unrivalled views over the city from the forts.
St John Fortress
One of the most important forts in the Walls of Dubrovnik, it now houses the Maritime Museum and Aquarium, containing artefacts, paintings and documents telling the history of city. The aquarium, meanwhile, is where you’ll find marine life that thrives in the waters off Croatia.
DAY 625 Oct 2024
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 6 PM
Nestled among the mountains, Kotor provides the setting for a picturesque cruise holiday. A walk around Old Town Budva will take you past timeless architecture, while San Giovanni Castle has the best photo opportunities. Kotor is not just for relaxing and scenic strolls though, with Aquapark Budva providing a fun-filled day for all the family. Don’t forget to stop by the many charming eateries in between for an authentic taste of Kotor cuisine too.
Things to do in Kotor:
If you are looking for a secluded beach tucked away in serenity by beautiful rock coves, head to Jaz Beach where you’ll be able to sunbathe and relax.
St Tryphon’s Cathedral
After being restored numerous times following earthquakes, St Tryphon’s Cathedral continues to represent the expertise of Roman architecture. With many stunning artefacts and decorations, this cathedral is well worth exploring.
Lovćen National Park
A short drive from Kotor, Lovćen National Park is home to imposing mountains including the spectacular Mount Lovćen standing 1,749 metres high. With no shortage of outdoor adventures to discover, visitors will love quad biking and zip lining in particular.
With countless boutiques, authentic eateries, and bars as well as a quaint museum teeming with ancient artefacts, Old Town Budva is a delightful place to explore. Enjoy dessert from a charming bakery, admire the view from the citadel and bask in the peace and quiet.
San Giovanni Castle
After climbing 1,350 stairs to a height of 1,200 metres you’ll find this impressive fortress built between the 9th and 19th centuries. With Byzantine and Venetian roots, this structure is beautifully preserved and teeming with fascinating history to discover.
Nestled in lush surroundings with views over the town nearby, Aquapark Budva is perfect for spending a hot afternoon cooling off. The park features multiple pools and waterslides to suit a range of ages, as well as a restaurant, bars, shops and lockers.
DAY 827 Oct 2024
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 8 PM
Malta’s capital, Valletta is steeped in history and was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1980. A simple stroll through the Baroque-style streets will take you back in time to 1566 when the city was completed, while a range of museums and monuments provide an in-depth retelling of the past. Its intimate size makes it easy to explore the highlights on foot and discover many hidden gems such as botanical gardens, boutiques and eateries.
Things to do in Valletta:
This new-generation theatre provides an immersive journey through the history and culture of Malta, featuring 3D films, moving seats, water and air blasts and even leg ticklers. Fun for all ages, Malta 5D is the most unique way to discover Malta!
Manoel Theatre and Palazzo Manoel
Tucked away on a quiet street, the Manoel Theatre is a hidden gem of fascinating history and beautiful architecture. Whether you’re taking a tour of the theatre or enjoying a musical performance, visitors will fall in love with its elegance and grandeur.
St Johns Cathedral in Valetta
St John’s Co-Cathedral is considered one of the best examples of traditional Baroque architecture in Europe and features memorials dedicated to knights covering the floor and ceiling as well as the stunning Caravaggio’s painting.
Grand Master's Palace
Built between the 16th and 18th centuries, the Grandmaster’s Palace is an iconic piece of Maltese heritage, housing the President’s office and a museum where visitors can enjoy an audio guide to get to know the history behind the impressive armoury.
National Museum of Archaeology
Covering the history and mythology of Malta, the National Museum of Archaeology is a must visit for those looking to discover ancient artefacts. This highly informative museum is where you’ll find the renowned Sleeping Lady, Venus of Malta and more.
Upper Barrakka Gardens
At the end of a busy day of exploring, the Upper Barrakka Gardens are just what you need to wind down and relax in the capital. Offering unrivalled views of the city, these gardens date back to 1661 and are home to beautiful statues and plaques.
DAY 928 Oct 2024
Time at Port: from 8 AM to 6 PM
Messina is a coastal city located in the north-east of Sicily and overlooks the homonymous strait, which separates the region from the rest of the Peninsula. Founded by the Greeks in the 8th century BC, a few years before Rome, it is said that the strait was the home of Scylla and Charybdis, two sea monsters described by Homer in the Odyssey. In Messina you can admire the Duomo, the Astronomical Clock and the rich Regional Museum which houses works by famous artists.
Things to do in Messina, Sicily:
The Cathedral of Messina was consecrated in 1197 and stands in the Piazza del Duomo. Its peculiarity is the different architectural styles that distinguish it: in fact, Romanesque, Norman, Gothic, Neo-Gothic and Baroque elements coexist.
The Astronomical Clock of Messina is an integral part of the city's Cathedral. It was built in 1933 at the behest of Archbishop Angelo Paino during the restoration of the bell tower and is freely inspired by the one in Strasbourg.
Piazza del Duomo
The Piazza del Duomo is one of the central points of Messina: here you can admire the Duomo, the Astronomical Clock and the Statue of the Immaculate Conception, a white marble sculpture created by the sculptor Giuseppe Buceti between 1757 and 1758.
Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani
The Church of the Santissima Annunziata dei Catalani rises between via Cesare Battisti and via Garibaldi on the remains of a pagan temple. The beginning of the construction dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries and boasts a clear Byzantine style with Arab-Norman influences.
Messina Regional Museum
The Regional Museum of Messina was established in 1806 and since then illustrates the figurative art of Messina from the 12th to the 18th century. You can admire the Resurrection of Lazarus, a famous painting by Caravaggio, and several works by Antonello da Messina.
DAY 1029 Oct 2024
Time at Port: from 7 AM to 5 PM
Located to the southeast of Naples, Salerno is a bustling port city which lies between the Amalfi Coast and the picturesque Cilento National Park. Rapidly growing in popularity with tourists who are looking for beautiful beaches, decadent Italian cuisine and an abundance of historic sights, you can easily spend a day or two exploring all this scenic city has to offer.
Things to do in Salerno:
Dating back to the 11th century, the historic Salerno Duomo was beautifully restored in the 1930s. Constructed in a Neapolitan Baroque/Rococo style, this picturesque cathedral features a bell tower (that dates to the 12th century), beautiful artwork in the interior and a Byzantine bronze door.
The Arechi Castle is a prominent mediaeval fortress that overlooks the city and the Gulf of Salerno from a height of 300 metres. The reason it is called Arechi is because the Lombard Duke Arechi II has historically been linked to the building of this fortress.
The Promenade Trieste, Salerno's most picturesque location, has become known as a popular landmark in the city. Locals and tourists alike love this 2km long promenade, due to the variety of shops, bars and restaurants that line it. The perfect place to unwind with a tantalising drink, spending time along the Promenade Trieste is a wonderful activity to enjoy during your stop there.
DAY 1130 Oct 2024
Time at Port: from 7 AM to 7 PM
One of the most famous cities in the world, Rome has been an epicentre of politics, art, architecture, and food for thousands of years. It is home to some of the most well-known historic sites such as the Colosseum, the pantheon, and Vatican City. It’s easy to spend a day in a hundred different ways in Rome, whether you’re looking to sip on incredible wine and people-watch, indulge in decadent pasta, pizza, risotto, and gelato, or if you’re eager to wander around the streets soaking in all the history you can. Rome is one capital city which will always leave you wanting more.
Things to do in Rome (Civitavecchia):
Found in the heart of Rome, Vatican City is the smallest independent state in Europe at just 0.44km² with a population of 1,000 people. It acts as headquarters to the Roman Catholic Church and is home to The Apostolic Palace - the Pope’s residence –the Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica, and the Sistine Chapel.
St Peter's Basilica
Within Vatican City is one of the biggest churches in the world; St. Peter’s Basilica. Accommodating up to 20,000 people, this is where the Pope delivers services. Its 136 metre high dome was designed by Michelangelo, and was completed in 1614.
The colosseum was opened in 80 A.D. with 100 days of exciting games. It was mostly used for gladiatorial combat and fights with animals until around the 6th century when it began to fall into disrepair. It was then used to store building materials until the 18th century, when the papacy decided it should be preserved. As it stands now, however, more than two-thirds of the structure has been destroyed.
Known the world-over for its elaborate, 15th century artwork courtesy of Michelangelo, Botticelli, Luca, and Perugino, the Sistine Chapel is where new Popes are elected and ordained. It is located within Vatican City, inside The Apostolic Palace.
This Michelangelo sculpture is located inside St Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City. It depicts the body of Jesus after he has been crucified, being held by the Virgin Mary. The statue was originally commissioned by Jean de Billheres – a French cardinal – as a memorial for his tomb.
This is one of the most iconic buildings in Rome. There are myths surrounding the building of the original Pantheon, but the structure we see today was built in 120 A.D. by Emperor Hadrian. It was created as a Pagan temple to “honour all Gods” – which is the translation of “Pantheon”. In the year 609 it was converted to a Christian church, although it is still widely known as the Pantheon.
This popular public square is located where the (now fallen) Stadium of Domitian once stood, in 86 A.D. Since then it has been developed into a social gathering spot, adorned by three magnificent fountains that were commissioned in the 16 and 17th centuries. These are Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, Fontana del Moro, and Fontana del Nettuno.
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