11 Days, from Gocek to Santorini
When you sail around the Greek isles, you follow in the wake of millennia of travelers. Starting with such legendary figures as Odysseus, sailing around these rugged islands amongst deep blue waters has been a romantic, idealized venture. As you island-hop from ancient cities to ruined temples, from Cyprus to olive groves, from sandy beaches to rocky cliff walls, from lively waterfront towns to lonely mountains, you are tracing the steps of those before you, rediscovering the same lands that have been known for much of human history. There’s a reason this part of the world has remained so beloved and magical for so long.
Ideal in the summer season
Arrive in deep blue Göcek Bay, sometimes called the Gulf of Fethiye, and you’ll find you aren’t alone in marveling at its magnificence. These pine forested-shores, ancient towns, and endless beaches are pretty much a required stop for anyone traveling by sea along the Turquoise Riviera.
The resort town of Göcek has managed to avoid to the over-development of nearby Ölüdeniz, and its annual regatta has made it a destination more for yachters than European beach-goers. Spend an afternoon here sipping cocktails and wine over freshly grilled fish dishes on a waterfront terrace, then head out to explore the bay’s numerous forested islands, coves, and and hidden inlets. Keep an eye out for Cleopatra’s baths. Take advantage of the protected bay and deep waters to explore the underwater world, home to some of the coast’s best scuba diving amongst submerged ruins.
Stop off in the pleasant town of Fethiye, once the major port for Roman Lycia. Join the locals along the seafront promenade and don’t miss the Tuesday market, where you can stock up on everything from fresh produce to Turkish textiles to local olive oil and cheese. To continue the local experience, get scrubbed and massaged in the 16th-century hammam in town, marveling at the traditional architecture as you lounge in the steam room. Venture just out of town to the ruins and Lycian rock tombs at Telmessos, the ancient city
Day 2Ekincik - Dalyan River Trip
Take a trip down the river from Ekincik to Dalyan.
Day 3Marmaris & Rhodes
Sail to Marmaris before moving onto the Greek island of Rhodes in the afternoon.
At Marmaris, swim in the protected bays and its picturesque setting, surrounded by pine-covered hills and long, sandy beaches, explore the nearby inlets and you may find a quiet beach to call your own for the afternoon. Back in town, be sure to pay a visit to the Castle Museum, behind the busy bazaar, where you’ll get some of the best views of the city and the bay.
In the afternoon, move onto the largest island in the Dodecanese, Rhodes, also known as the island of the Sun or Pearl of the Mediterranean. She offers the best of both worlds, a fairytale town surrounded by medieval walls and a city with an intense nightlife and hundreds of shops where anything can be found. The entire island has sights worth seeing including those of the Acropolis at Lindos, the valley of the butterflies and the archaeological sites at Kamiros. Plymmyri beach on the southside of Rhodes has the most virigin beaches on the island. The area is slowly starting to get developed, but is mainly untouristed - thus it is perfect for finding a secluded beach to picnic on. Stegna beach, located on the east coast of the island, is mostly secluded and has not been as commercialized as other regions. Long stretches of white sand and lemon and almond groves line the winding roads. This is a great area to take advanatge of the water toys onboard. Once you have explored the land, dive into its cryastaline waters and explore the sites Stegna offers below the sea level.
Day 5Kos & Leros
Sail into Kos and end the day in Leros.
Kos lies in the middle of Dodecanese Islands. Sandy beaches and rich history are its two major attractions, along with the vivid nightlife. The main port and population centre on the island, also called Kos, is also the tourist and cultural centre, with whitewashed buildings including many hotels, restaur-ants and a small number of nightclubs forming the famous Kos town “barstreet”. The town has a 14th century fortress at the entrance to its harbour, erected in 1315 by The Knights of Saint John of Rhodes. The ancient physician Hippocrates is thought to have been born on Kos, and in the center of the town is the Plane Tree of Hippocrates, a dream temple where the physician is traditionally supposed to have taught. The limbs of the now elderly tree are supported by scaffolding. The small city is also home to the International Hippocratic Institute and the Hippocratic Museum dedicated to him. Near the Institute are the ruins of Asklepieion, where Herodicus taught Hippocrates medicine.
Leros is situated between Patmos, Lipsi, and Kalimnos in the Dodecanese islands. Leros, like most of the Greek islands, consists of small fertile valleys sandwiched between rolling green hills, deep coves and pretty beaches. The capital of Leros is Agia Marina: a collection of little white houses, neoclassical buildings and narrow alleyways. Laki, Alinda, Xirokambos, and Partheni are charming seaside villages and the perfect settings to go fishing. You’ll find wonderful swimming and the perfect atmosphere to relax at the beaches of Agia Marina, Pandeli, Vromolitho, Alinda, Laki, Merikia, and Xirokambos. There are many picturesque tavernas and chic restaurants on every beach. In the evenings, bars, discos and nightclubs with local bouzouki music await you at Panteli, Agia Marina and Lakki.
Patmos (Paht-moss) is the northernmost Dedecanese island, and has an appeal to it like no other. Religious spirituality, history, and beautiful beaches are what bring it’s diverse visitors to Patmos. In AD 95 John the Devine was exiled from Ephesus and sent to Patmos by the pagan Roman Emperor Domitian. Entrenched in a cave, this is where he wrote the Book of Revelations. The book’s introduction states that its author, John, was on Patmos when he was given (and recorded) a vision from Jesus. Early Christian tradition identified this writer John of Patmos as John the Apostle. Given the island’s spiritual importance, it is now a pilgrimage for both Orthodox and Western Christians alike. Indeed, Patmos is, without a doubt, one of the best places to experience Orthodox Easter.
In 1088 a monastery was built to commemorate St. John in the capital city of Chora. It looks more like a mighty castle than a monastery however, as Pirate raids required strong fortifications. Visitors can see the Cave of the Apocalypse where Saint John is said to have received his Revelation as well as the Monastery, both of which have been declared World Heritage Sites by UNESCO.
Perhaps the most cosmopolitan of all the Greek isles, Mykonos has an international reputation of impeccable beaches, friendly locals, fresh cuisine, and of course, a buzzing nightlife that attracts glamorous crowds of celebrities, intellects and well-known artists that enjoy
partying until dawn. After a day of exploring the main town walking amongst the gorgeous white Grecian villas, take to the night scene so your holiday can really begin. Dine at delicious luxury restaurants like Bakalo, Avra and Gola and after, head to the multitude of bars and clubs in the area and party until dawn under the mesmerizing Grecian moonlight.
Paros is one of the most popular destinations for good reason: exquisite sandy beaches, crystalline waters, traditional villages, lovely chapels, and exciting nightlife. The main town, Parikia, is one of the most cosmopolitan areas of the island. Visit the monastery of “Panagia Ekatontapiliani” which means “with the hundred gates.” Out of them only 99 have been found. Try and locate the 100th. Paros also offers great landscaping and superb swimming locations.
Spend the day exploring Ios.
Ios is famous for its lively nightlife, which can be experienced in the lively beach resort of Mylopotas and in the harbor Ormos. In addition to fun, Ios boasts many beautiful sights for its visitors. The coastline of this predominantly mountainous island is festooned with a multitude of picturesque little coves and a myriad of quiet and peaceful places. Combined with the innumerable churches and chapels, olive-clad hills and vineyards, crystal-clear air and sea, magnificent sandy beaches and excellent tourist facilities, Ios attracts a great deal of visitors to the island.
Sail into Santorini.
The celebrated Santorini stands strong and majestic, guarding well the secrets of Atlantis, the lost city. Santorini is different from the rest of the Cyclades group by virtue of its geological structure, which is the result of the eruption of a now inactive volcano for which the island itself owes its very own existence. The landscape is extremely imposing on the western side of the island, where crisp white villas with cerulean roofs perch on top of gigantic, steep rocks that plunge abruptly into the sea. In contrast to the sheer cliffs on the west, the coast on the eastern side of the island has endless stretches of beach with sand and colourful rocks.
Disembark in Santorini.
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