9 Night Italy, Turkey & Greece Cruise on Jewel of the Seas from Tarragona, Spain Santorini, Greece Oia White Blue
The 9 Night Italy, Turkey & Greece Cruise from Tarragona, Spain visits Sicily (Messina), Italy; Zakynthos, Greece; Chania (Souda), Crete; Santorini, Greece; Rhodes, Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Mykonos, Greece; Athens (Piraeus), Greece. Explore our cruise itineraries and choose from a variety of rooms depending on your needs and budget. Start planning your next cruise vacation by selecting a destination and departure port.
Royal Caribbean Cruises
Priced from: $1275.0 per person 1 sailing dates available
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9 Night Italy, Turkey & Greece Cruise
Itinerary Overview
Explore Jewel of the Seas
Day 1 - Tarragona, Spain
Day 2 - Cruising
Day 3 - Sicily (Messina), Italy
Day 4 - Zakynthos, Greece
Day 5 - Chania (Souda), Crete
Day 6 - Santorini, Greece
Day 7 - Rhodes, Greece
Day 8 - Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey
Day 9 - Mykonos, Greece
Day 10 - Athens (Piraeus), Greece
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Santorini, Greece Oia White Blue
Classic white and blue houses of Oia in Santorini, Greece
This is your

9 Night Italy, Turkey & Greece Cruise

Explore This Itinerary
Leaving from
Tarragona, Spain
Onboard
Jewel of the Seas
Day Port
1
Tarragona, Spain
Departs at 5:00 PM
2
Cruising
Day at sea
3
Sicily (Messina), Italy
From 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
4
Zakynthos, Greece
Tendered from 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
5
Chania (Souda), Crete
From 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
6
Santorini, Greece
Tendered from 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
7
Rhodes, Greece
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9
Mykonos, Greece
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
10
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Arrives at 6:00 AM
*Port sequence may vary by sailing date.
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Sailing from {{ overview.startDate }} (+ {{ additionalDatesCount }} Additional Dates)

Your ship Jewel of the Seas

Your ship
Jewel of the Seas
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Jewel of the Seas, Exterior View, Caribbean and European Cruise Destinations
Exterior view of Jewel of the Seas Cruise With Destinations in Puerto Rico, Antigua, Barbados, and more
Get to know
Jewel of the Seas
After a day spent wandering new shores, dive into a world of thrills on Jewel of the Seas®. Scale the Rock Climbing Wall or catch a movie on the poolside screen. Grab your playbill for West End to Broadway and raise a glass at Vintages. It's time to go all-in on adventure.

DECKED OUT FOR ADVENTURE

Discover countless ways to spend your days between ports, like fueling friendly competition in a round of mini golf and taking adventure to new heights on the Rock Climbing Wall. If you're after laid back lounging, catch a movie on the poolside screen or check into Vitality℠ at Sea Spa and Fitness Center.

DIG INTO DARING

Whether you're sipping wines from around the world at Vintages, savoring fresh-rolled sushi at Izumi, indulging in prime steaks at Chops Grille℠ or sitting down to a five-course epicurean adventure at Chef's Table, you're bound to find flavors as thrilling as the shores you'll explore.

NOT THE SAME OLD SONG & DANCE

Travel from London's West End to New York City in West End to Broadway, a cross-continental celebration of music theater production. And journey from ancient Atlantis to colorful India in the celestial show City of Dreams. On this ship, every show's a hit.

Day 1: Tarragona, Spain

Day 1
Tarragona
Spain
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Spain Tarragona Miravet Mediterranean Town
Spain Tarragona Miravet Mediterranean Town
Things to do in
Tarragona
Departs at 5:00 PM
Tarragona, the first city you come across when you travel southward from Barcelona, provides a window into the soul of the Catalonia region. A stroll through its cobbled streets is like a walk back in time, as well as a survey of Catalan gastronomy. Explore the ruins of Tarraco, a UNESCO World Heritage site with an amphitheater that dates back to the Roman era, or the 12th-century Tarragona Cathedral, built on the site of a destroyed Moorish mosque. Or follow your taste buds along the Neoclassical Plaça de la Font, where dozens of cafes serve classic Spanish tapas and sangria as well as some specialties you'll only find in Tarragona.
Spain Tarragona Ancient Roman Panoramic View
Spain Tarragona Ancient Roman Panoramic View

Brush Up on Catalan History

Tarragona's Part Antic old town is like a living history textbook. After surveying Roman ruins (and timeless ocean views) atop the walls of UNESCO World Heritage site Taracco, visit the many individual chapels that make up Tarragona Cathedral, where Spain's Moorish conquerors also prayed.
Insider tip
Tarragona locals are friendly and welcoming to tourists but can't always speak great English. A bit of Spanish (or Catalan), some patience and a smile will go a long way.
Spain Tarragona Salou Beach Cala Penya
Spain Tarragona Salou Beach Cala Penya

Nothing Comes Close to the Golden Coast

Is looking out at the ocean not enough for you? Dip your toes into the golden sands of Costa Dorada. El Miracle beach is the liveliest and closest to the city center, while the beautifully isolated Cala Fonda, just several miles north, evokes the Balearic islands that sit far off Tarragona's shores.
Insider tip
Tarragona is far less filled with tourists than Barcelona and other cities in Spain so enjoy the quieter streets as you explore the various attractions.
Spain Tarragona Bollards Old Street Artistic Colorful
Spain Tarragona Bollards Old Street Artistic Colorful

Art for the Afternoon

Whether you want a quick break from Tarragona's famous heat or are craving some culture, Tarragona's world-class art museums will hit the spot. Museu d'Art Modern de Tarragona spotlights Catalan artists like Antoni Gaudi and Joan Miro inside a series of 18th-century houses.
Insider tip
The farther north of the city center you go, the quieter Tarragona's beaches become, so long walks on the beach are especially rewarding here.
Spain Tarragona Paella Close Up of Local Cuisine
Spain Tarragona Paella Close Up of Local Cuisine

Local Cuisine

Fresh seafood is Tarragona's claim to fame. Dine near the port for classic Catalan paella (mussels and other shellfish stir-fried with fragrant saffron rice) or stop along Plaça de la Font for a carafe of sangria to wash down local takes on tapas such as grilled shrimp glazed with rich, nutty Romesco sauce.
Spain Tarragona Ceramics Spanish Porcelain Jugs
Spain Tarragona Ceramics Spanish Porcelain Jugs

Shopping

Whether you're looking for postcards and fridge magnets or locally made crafts, the Rambla Nova shopping street is the place to be. Galeria Tarraco sells artisanal crafts and textiles, including Catalan pottery and lace cushions made using techniques from the mid-19th century.

Day 2: Cruising

Day 2
Cruising
At Sea
View Itinerary
Family Celebrating a Hole in One
Family Playing Mini Golf on Liberty of the Seas
PLAY ANY WAY YOU LIKE
Father and Son Playing Basketball On Board
Father and Son Playing Basketball in the Sports Court

Sports Court

Whether it's a game of one-on-one or an all-out tournament to fuel your competitive fire, our Sports Court is just the spot for basketball and volleyball action.
Navigator of the Seas Adventure Ocean
Girl Playing with Dolls at Adventure Ocean

Adventure Ocean®

“Are we there yet?” is a thing of the past. We keep every kid entertained with games, events, age-appropriate activities and more in our award-winning youth program.
Brilliance of the Seas Solarium Entrance
Sunny Day at the Solarium

Solarium

Slip away to this adults-only indoor and outdoor retreat. The Solarium is your slice of paradise, with soothing whirlpools, warm sunshine and a refreshing water mist.
Vitality Spa Manicure Teen Nails
Vitality Spa Manicure Teen Nails

Spa & Fitness Center

A luxurious sanctuary offering signature treatments, medi-spa services, and a full-service salon to make you glow from the inside out. Browse our spa menu for pricing.

Day 3: Sicily, Italy

Day 3
Sicily
Messina, Italy
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Sicily (Messina), Italy, Aerial View
Aerial view of Sicily (Messina), Italy
Things to do in
Sicily
From 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
Messina is Sicily's panoramic gateway — located on the northeastern corner of the island, the city just kisses the boot of mainland Italy's southern tip. Get lost among the patchwork of churches and antique palaces. The Messina Cathedral is in the heart of the city, and its famous bell tower houses the largest mechanical clock in the world — every day at noon, the statues move to Schubert's "Ave Maria." In front of this church, you'll find the Fontana di Orione, a 16th-century fountain that's a work of art in itself, with sculptures of figures from ancient mythology. Cruise to Sicily and take a leisurely walk to the Sacrario di Cristo Re, a hilltop church with panoramic views of the town and the surrounding mountains.
Sicily (Messina), Italy, Orions Fountain
Orions fountain in Sicily (Messina), Italy

Photographer's Playground

Messina's panoramic views and patchwork of architectural styles are an invitation for the creative photographer. The Neptune and Orione fountains created by Michelangelo's collaborator, Montorsoli are renaissance masterpieces.
Insider tip
Messina is a great place to discover by foot; within 10 minutes you can be at the Cathedral.
Sicily (Messina), Italy, Ancient eternal calendar
An ancient eternal calendar

Dawn of the Duomo

Head to the Astronomical Clock at noon to catch the tower's daily spectacle, starring its bronze statue carousel. The 12th-century Santissima Annunziata Church, Gothic-style Messina Cathedral and the 19th-century Galleria V. Emanuele III span through centuries of architectural diversity.
Insider tip
Go from the Cathedral to the Piazza Cairoli for shopping or to relax at a local cafe with a gelato and espresso.
Sicily (Messina), Italy, Buildings
View of various buildings from a look out point in Messina, Sicily

A Piazza With a View

Once you reach the Sacrario di Cristo Re, you'll discover a panoramic view of the strait and most of Messina. Visit the beautiful temple and the tomb of the unknown soldier during your Sicily cruise. Afterward, walk back down to Piazza Cairoli to Viale San Martino where you can enjoy a refreshing granita, a sorbet-like Sicilian treat.
Sicily (Messina), Italy, Arancini street food
Three arancinis on a napkin

Local Cuisine

The cuisine here is one of the most antique in Sicily, with influences from Greek and Arabic cultures. Try Messina specialty la ghiotta di pesce stocco, filets of cod or swordfish baked in tomato sauce with potatoes, capers and herbs. Sample Sicilian bucatini, which combines pasta with local sardines and North African-inspired flavors like saffron, pine nuts and raisins. Or hit up the street vendors for arancini, the cheesy balls of fried rice that are the ultimate Sicilian comfort food.
Sicily (Messina), Italy, Assorted Ceramic Souvenirs
Assorted colorful ceramic souvenirs

Shopping

Shop in local markets for the typical products, such as cheese, figs and marzipan. Visit the Galleria V. Emanuele — the world's oldest active shopping mall, dating back to the 1800s — for artisanal crafts such as coral jewelry, hand-painted glazed ceramics and fine crocheted items. Stop in the small shops off the main roads to see artisans at work during your Sicily cruise.

Day 4: Zakynthos, Greece

Day 4
Zakynthos
Greece
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Shipwreck Bay with Turquoise Water and Pebble White Beach on Zakynthos island, Greece
Shipwreck Bay with Turquoise Water and Pebble White Beach on Zakynthos island, Greece
Things to do in
Zakynthos
Tendered from 9:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Located off the west coast of the Peloponnese Peninsula, Zakynthos doesn’t often make it onto the itinerary for travelers hitting better-known islands in the Aegean, like Mykonos and Santorini. But those who overlook this captivating gem are missing out. Zakynthos is home to an abundance of secluded grottos, dramatic white cliffs and some of Greece’s most beautiful beaches — not to mention plenty of charming tavernas serving up authentic Greek food and gorgeous sea views. Surrounded by the glimmering blue waters of the Ionian Sea, Zakynthos is a sun-seeker’s paradise — and it will cast a spell on you the moment you step ashore.
Picturesque sandy beach in Alykanas full of beautiful flowers and plants.
Picturesque sandy beach in Alykanas full of beautiful flowers and plants.

SHORE UP ON MEMORIES

Zakynthos has some of the prettiest beaches in Europe. The most famous is Navagio, nicknamed “Shipwreck Beach” and sheltered by a curving rock formation you’ve likely seen on your Instagram feed. Tranquil Amboula Beach and buzzing Alykanas Beach are also good bets, depending on what vibe you’re going for.
Insider tip
If you want to explore the island on land, consider renting a quad bike. They’re perfect for Zakynthos’s rugged terrain.
Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Zakynthos
Loggerhead Sea Turtle, Zakynthos

TURTLE TIME

Zakynthos offers easy access to vibrant coral reefs, many of which are home to loggerhead sea turtles. One of the best places to see them is Marathonisis, or “Turtle Island,” part of the National Marine Park of Zakynthos. You can join a tour or hire a boat and explore on your own.
Insider tip
If you’re visiting Shipwreck Beach, stop by the nearby village of Volimes for lunch and shopping.
Agios Nikolaos blue caves in Zakynthos (Zante) island, in Greece
Agios Nikolaos blue caves in Zakynthos (Zante) island, in Greece

CAVE QUEST

One of the coolest things to do in Zakynthos, Greece is exploring its famous Blue Caves. This series of impressive rock formations stretches from Agios Nikolaus Beach to Skinari Cape and is popular among scuba divers. The water within the caves themselves seems to glow bright blue.
Insider tip
Wear sneakers or water shoes if you’re exploring the seaside cliffs — the ground is rough and rocky.
Typical Greek restaurant on the balcony blue building overlooking the sea, Greece
Typical Greek restaurant on the balcony blue building overlooking the sea, Greece

LOCAL CUISINE

Greece is known for its delicious cuisine, and you’ll find plenty to satisfy your cravings in Zakynthos. If you’re in the mood for something light, order some traditional Greek yogurt drizzled with local honey, or try some of the island’s fresh-caught seafood. There are charming tavernas on every corner, most offering beautiful ocean views.
Small traditional pottery souvenir shop in Zakynthos island, greece.
Small traditional pottery souvenir shop in Zakynthos island, greece.

SHOPPING

If you’re looking for the perfect souvenir to remember your visit to Zakynthos, duck into the many craft shops across the island. You’ll find pretty ornaments made from driftwood, traditional pottery made by local artisans, and edible treats like homemade cinnamon syrup and locally sourced olive oil.

Day 5: Chania, Crete

Day 5
Chania
Souda, Crete
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Chania, Crete Boats Docked At A Pier
Boats docked at a pier in Chania, Crete
Things to do in
Chania
From 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Chania is rich in remnants of the past. Start your adventure in Crete's second-largest city at Venetian Harbor, the entry to the old port. Soak in the vibe while wandering the narrow streets lined with shops and waterfront restaurants serving local fare like zucchini fritters and sardines stuffed with herbs and sun-dried tomatoes. Then head to Souda Bay, a strategic commercial and military harbor since ancient times, where you'll find the Aptera Fortress and the oldest Ottoman building in Crete. Cruise to Crete and stop into Archeological Museum of Chania, with artifacts from neolithic to Roman times. Or splash around in the translucent waters of Fallasarna, a beach surrounded by olive groves.
Chania, Crete Ottoman Fortress
The exterior walls of the ottoman fortress in Crete

Active Archaeology

One of ancient Crete's most important city-states, Aptera sits on a hill just south of the bay, with two seaports at the entrance to Souda Bay. Check out this active archaeological site to learn about new discoveries that shed light on the most powerful city of western Crete during Minoan times.
Insider tip
Known as the "temple of gastronomy," the architecturally distinctive Chania Municipal Market is the place to discover local delicacies.Known as the "temple of gastronomy," the architecturally distinctive Chania Municipal Market is the place to discover local delicacies.
Chania, Crete Katholiko Monastery Ruins
The ruins of the Katholiko Monastery in Crete

Mountain Monasteries

Stroll the sandy beach at Stavros Bay, where Anthony Quinn danced in 1964's "Zorba the Greek." Explore the three monasteries — Agias Triada, Gouverneto and Katholika — set on this rocky peninsula. Discover Bear Cave on the footpath leading to Katholiko built into the cliff.
Insider tip
With a history dating back to around 2,200 BC, the Archaeological Museum housed in the Church of San Francesco stores artifacts dating from Neolithic to Roman times.
Chania, Crete Samaria Gorge
View of the Samaria Gorge in Chania, Crete

Hike to the Gorge

At 18 kilometers, Samaria is the longest of the many deep gorges that cut into Crete's mountains. The entrance is 42 kilometers south of Chania, and you can hike independently or with a guide. On the way, you might run into some kri kri, the wild goats found only on Crete. The gorge opens out to the black-sand beach at Ayia Roumeli.
Insider tip
Head to the Old Harbor, filled with wooden fishing boats and lined with cafes and restaurants, and to see remarkable changes of light throughout the day.
Chania, Crete Lobster With Vegetables
A plate with lobster served with vegetables in Chania, Crete

Local Cuisine

Restaurants with fresh seafood abound at the Chania waterfront. Local signatures of savory lamb, mini cheese pies and fresh vegetables also bring something special to the plate. And don't miss the dacos, a traditional Cretan bread served with tomato, mizithra cheese and rivers of virgin Cretan olive oil.
Chania, Crete Traditional Ceramic Dishes
Traditional ceramic dishes in Crete

Shopping

Chania's Old Town is packed with unique shops selling handmade ceramic kitchenware and decorations with classic geometric designs, one-of-a-kind jewelry made from pearl and coral — and of course, the local extra virgin olive oil, which is typically cold-pressed and retains distinctive flavors of green apple and fresh-cut grass. Take the time to explore the narrow, less-traveled streets to find both bargains and unique items during your Crete cruise.

Day 6: Santorini, Greece

Day 6
Santorini
Greece
View Itinerary
Santorini, Greece Oia Houses
Scenic view of traditional cycladic houses on small street with flowers in foreground, in Santorini, Greece
Things to do in
Santorini
Tendered from 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Santorini is one of the world’s most popular islands, known best for its dramatic scenery, whitewashed villages and fiery volcanic activity. Here adventure bubbles above the Aegean Sea in the most bold and breathtaking ways. A cable car takes you to the capital of Fira, a bustling cliff-top town awash with old cathedrals, enthralling museum collections and cozy tavernas. Venture to the coast for a swim in the deep blue waters that lap red and black pebbled beaches. And peel back layers of lava and history among excavated Akrotiri. Whether it’s by bicycle, ATV or on your own two feet, exploring this Cyclades isle never fails to impress.
Santorini, Greece Volcano
Nea Kameni volcanic island in Santorini, Greece

VOLCANIC WONDERS

Explore the volcanic history and geology of Santorini, site of an immense eruption 3,500 years ago. Trek the rocky landscape of Nea Kameni, an island in the center of the Santorini caldera, to see its smoking craters. Then soak in the soothing hot springs of Palea Kameni.
Insider tip
Wear hiking boots or comfortable sneakers and plenty of sunscreen when hiking the caldera.
Santorini, Greece Byzantine Castle Ruins
Early morning in Byzantine Castle Ruins in Oia village, Santorini, Greece

IT TAKES A VILLAGE

Considered the island’s most picturesque village, Oia radiates authentic Cyclades charm. Meander along tiny paths squeezed between stark-white villas. Snap selfies with the blue-domed St. Gerasimos Church, and view Byzantine castle ruins. Or dine on Greek seafood in a waterfront taverna— also the perfect perch for watching Oia’s fabulous sunsets.
Insider tip
Don’t be in a rush— dining in Greece is a laid-back, drawn-out affair.
Santorini, Greece Grapes Vineyard
Bunch of white grapes in the vineyard in the Wine Museum of Thira, Santorini, Greece

THE GLASS HALF FULL

Indulge your taste buds in a delectable tasting journey among the island’s traditional wine cellars. Vineyards dapple Santorini’s countryside, and many are among some of Europe’s oldest. White Assyrtiko and red Mantilaria are both popular varietals— and be sure to sample Santorini’s beloved dessert wine, Vinsanto.
Santorini, Greece Raki
Alcohol drink Raki with anis on wooden board in Santorini, Greece

LOCAL CUISINE

Thanks to Santorini’s rich volcanic soil, the island has a solid reputation for producing fantastic wines and vegetables— fresh cherry tomatoes, fava beans and white eggplant included. Try egg-based sfougato and fried tomatokeftedes fritters, two Santorini specialties. Pick up melitinia cookies from a local bakery. And for an after-dinner drink, sip unsweetened, anise-flavored raki.
Santorini, Greece Small white and blue houses
Small white and blue house souvenirs in Santorini, Greece

SHOPPING

Ypapantis Street in Fira is known for its dozens of jewelry stores selling pieces inspired by ancient Greek and Byzantine designs. You’ll find local artwork in the galleries of Oia and books about the Cyclades in Atlantis Books. A bottle of Santorini wine or Canava ouzo makes for a tasty souvenir.

Day 7: Rhodes, Greece

Day 7
Rhodes
Greece
View Itinerary
Rhodes, Greece, Lindos Castle
View of Lindos Castle above the town
Things to do in
Rhodes
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
The Colossus might not be standing anymore, but the Greek island of Rhodes still delivers beauty and allure on a giant scale. The island instantly greets you with serene white-sand beaches and wide-open blue skies. See the site in the harbor where the now-destroyed wonder of the ancient world once stood. Then, head to the Old Town, surrounded by medieval walls and seven ancient gates. Don't miss the Palace of the Grandmaster, with its mosaic floors dating from Hellenic, Roman and early Christian times. Shop for a colorful menagerie of seashells by the shoreline — and don't forget to spend some time relaxing beside the translucent blue waves with your Greece cruise.
Rhodes, Greece, Ruins
Ancient ruins in Rhodes, Greece

Colossal History

The site where the Colossus once stood is a momentary stop, but Rhodes offers plenty of other history. Ascend the Acropolis of Rhode, which rises above the port. Or stroll through the scenic Old Town, where you can climb the clock tower for a bird's-eye view of the city.
Insider tip
Don't be fooled by how small Rhodes looks on the map. Put fewer items on your itinerary rather than more to avoid missing your boat.
Rhodes, Greece, Filerimos Monastery
Filerimos monastery in Rhodes, Greece

Monestary on the Mount

Take the 20-minute drive to Phileremos. It's a moderately difficult hike to scale the hill here. At the summit, you'll encounter a priceless panorama and a peaceful monastery lined with cypress trees.
Insider tip
It might seem tempting to rent a car if you want to explore the outer reaches of Rhodes, but since driving and parking within the city are highly regulated, a taxi is a better bet.
Rhodes, Greece, Panoramic view of Lindos Bay
View of Lindos Bay in Greece

Land Meets Sea

If you're up for an excursion, hail a cab to Lindos Bay. Here, with your Greece cruise, you'll find the perfect balance of idyllic scenery and convenience — it's less than an hour drive each way from the port.
Rhodes, Greece, Baked Sea Bass
A baked sea bass filet with a side of rice

Local Cuisine

If seafood is your thing, you've come to the right place. Some of Rhodes' specialities include stuffed clams shells, grilled sea bass and squid, served grilled or fried. For dessert, try tangy local feta drizzled with sweet honey and topped with crunchy sesame seeds. Cruise to Greece and stick around the harbor at the northern tip of the island for seaside dining.
Rhodes, Greece, Souvenir shopping boat
A souvenir shopping boat offering a wide selection of items

Shopping

The most scenic spots to shop in Rhodes are the many boats parked along the sides of the port, where you can pick up colorful sea shells to bring back home. Once you're done here, visit Labryinthos Arts and Crafts to browse creations by local artists.

Day 8: Ephesus, Turkey

Day 8
Ephesus
Kusadasi, Turkey
View Itinerary
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Ancient Celsus Library
The ruins of the ancient Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey
Things to do in
Ephesus
From 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
The UNESCO World Heritage ruins of Ephesus impress even those familiar with the world's other ancient cities. Though excavations have been underway for 150 years, only 20 percent of the city has been uncovered. Check out the the Celsus Library — built in 117 A.D., the site is made up of towering columns highlighted by the statue of the goddess of wisdom. Cruises to Ephesus will give you a taste of Turkish life by strolling the seafront promenade and the bustling city center. Walk Marble Street, paved with actual marble slabs, which takes you from downtown to the Temple of Artemis — you can still see one lone remaining column from this wonder of the ancient world.
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Library of Celsus
A close up view of the Library of Celsus in Ephesus, Turkey

Window Into Ancient Life

Don't miss the Library of Celsus or the Scholastica Baths — their dozen ancient marble toilets are a unique sight from antiquity. Consider buying the extra ticket to see Ephesus' Terraced Houses. Not only are they shaded, but you get a sense of what ancient life was like and can see the restoration work in progress.
Insider tip
Ephesus' excavated section is in a 1.5-square-mile area; you'll need good walking shoes.
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Home of the Virgin Mary
The home of the Virgin Mary in Ephesus, Turkey

Set Your Sights on Selcuk

Walk from Ephesus' Lower Gate to the village of Selcuk, where you can visit what's said to be the burial site of John the Apostle at the Basilica of St. John. You'll also find the remains of the Temple of Artemis. About five miles from here lies the House of the Virgin Mary, which traditions holds as the last place she lived.
Insider tip
The sun reflects strongly both from above and off the white marble streets. Bring a hat, sunscreen and plenty of water.
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Homemade Carpets
Homemade carpets on a cart

Haggle for a Turkish Carpet

Stroll the seaside promenade in Kusadasi to catch a cooling breeze. Shop for souvenirs like carpets and spices in the bazaar near the port. Vendors will encourage you to sample their wares and will offer tea to serious carpet buyers. You can also visit Pigeon Island for views from the Byzantine castle once used by pirates during your Turkey cruise.
Insider tip
When negotiating in the market, make sure you're serious about buying — it's considered rude to bargain for items you're not going to buy.
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Lamb Kebob
Two lamb kebobs on a black plate

Local Cuisine

Most visitors will have tried sis kebab (grilled meat on a skewer) and doner kebab (meat shaved from a vertical skewer) before arriving in Turkey. Lamb is popular for both. Be sure to try kofte, spiced lamb or beef meatballs served with yogurt dipping sauce. Have a few meze (appetizers) to get your vegetable fix — great options include grilled eggplant salad and cicek dolmasi, fried squash flowers stuffed with raisins and rice.
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Colorful Pottery
An assortment of colorful pottery in Turkey

Shopping

The Kusadasi bazaar is naturally the place to go for shopping. A Turkish blue eye, meant to ward off the evil eye, makes a great souvenir. Also consider a traditional Turkish kilim (a woven carpet) or a more luxurious knotted carpet. Cruise to Ephesus and look for handmade tiles and pottery in the Iznik design, with floral-inspired geometric patterns. Prices are negotiable, and the first offer by the vendor will be at least double what you should pay.

Day 9: Mykonos, Greece

Day 9
Mykonos
Greece
View Itinerary
Mykonos, Greece Seaside Tavern
Chairs with tables in typical Greek tavern in Mykonos, Greece
Things to do in
Mykonos
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Nestled in the heart of Greece’s Cyclades archipelago, Mykonos pulses with irrepressible energy. With its powder white houses, sparkling blue waters, and red-hot nightlife, The Island of the Winds is as colorful as the people who call the island home. You can walk narrow marble pathways laced with purple bougainvillea blooms, or go cycling on two wheels past off-the-path Ano Mera village. Explore Greece’s maritime history at Armenistis Lighthouse, and check out the Folklore Museum’s Mykonian ship models. Join in the raucous beach party on Super Paradise’s shimmering sands, or watch the sun burn out beyond an Aegean horizon from an open-air seaside taverna.
Mykonos, Greece Panagia Paraportiani
A beautiful old white chapel, the Panagia Paraportiani Church, in Mykonos, Greece

COASTAL COSMOPOLITAN

Mykonos’ main town of Hora is a mixture of classic Cycladic architecture and buzzing street culture. Admire the stark-white Panagia Paraportiani chapel and meet the town’s famous pelican Pétros. See the island’s trademark 16th-century windmills spinning high above the port. Then explore the strip of medieval houses and waterfront cafés in Little Venice.
Insider tip
Hop on one of the many seawater-taxi services around the island for transport to the beaches.
Mykonos, Greece Agios Stefanos Beach
Agios Stefanos Beach in Mykonos, Greece

INTO THE BLUE

The multihued waters surrounding Mykonos are perfect for surfing and scuba diving, while prevailing winds invite sailing and windsurfing. Get your fill of aquatic thrills, then hit the beach— Psaroú for family fun, Agrari for seaside serenity, Paradise for epic beach parties, or Elia for a blend of all three.
Insider tip
With frequent openings and closings, listen to locals and other travelers to find the island’s best restaurants.
Mykonos, Greece Isis Temple Delos
The Temple of Isis in archaeological site of Delos island, Mykonos, Greece

DIG UP THE PAST

Enjoy a short boat trip to the island of Delos, a sacred Greek archeological site and the mythological birthplace of twin gods Apollo and Artemis. Comb the crumbling ruins of its ancient theater, Doric temples, markets, and mosaic-laced houses— plus the Terrace of Lions statues and amphitheater.
Mykonos, Greece Greek Salad
Greek salad and olive oil on sunny seaside restaurant in Mykonos, Greece

LOCAL CUISINE

Some of the Mediterranean’s most delectable restaurants are found on Mykonos. Its trademark kopanisti (peppered cheese) is a must-try, while you can’t go wrong with classic kremmydopita (onion pie). Enjoy fresh seafood by the sea— or a glass of sweet Heliophilos wine in a beach bar. Then for dessert go for amygdalota (almond cookies) or melopita (honey cake).
Mykonos, Greece Souvenirs
Souvenirs hanging on a wall outside a shop, Mykonos, Greece

SHOPPING

Hora is a hub for top designer fashions, including the world-famous Soho-Soho clothing boutique. Family-owned and operated Greek Light sells handmade jewelry with Greece’s traditional maiandros symbol. And don’t leave Mykonos without buying a pair of house-designed sandals or hand-loomed weavings— scarves, rugs or tablecloths.

Day 10: Athens, Greece

Day 10
Athens
Piraeus, Greece
View Itinerary
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Acropolis and Pathenon
View of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
Things to do in
Athens
Arrives at 6:00 AM
Athens offers a looking glass back in time into Greece's powerful ancient civilization. Art lovers, epicureans and history buffs will be delighted by the ancient ruins, museums and tavernas of this picturesque town. Just 10 minutes from the port, you'll find the Archaeological Museum of Piraeus, filled with sculptures from the Bronze Age to the Romans. Walk to the Zea Harbour to discover how the Hellenic Maritime Museum will bring to life the grandeur of ancient Greece's naval capacities. Jump onboard an Athens cruise and relax at the small harbor of Mikrolimano, enjoying a meal of grilled octopus and chilled white wine at a small restaurant overlooking the sea.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Agia Triada Church
The Agia Triada church in Greece

Take Me to Church

The Agia Triada is one of the finest examples of Byzantine-style churches in Greece. The Church of St. Nicholas, which overlooks the port, has a magnificent interior filled with orthodox icons, frescoes and sculptures.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Mikrolimano Harbour
Mikrolimano harbour in Greece

Mediterranean Romance

Part of the Castella district, Mikrolimano is the smallest and most picturesque port of Athens, making it perfect for a romantic afternoon. Take a leisurely stroll along the promenade to take in the amazing views, then settle in a cafe or taverna for some fresh seafood or a refreshing drink with your cruise to Athens.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece. Decorative Vases
Various decorative Greek vases

Boats and the Bronze Age

The Naval Museum has exhibits that present ship building from ancient times to the present day. You will be fascinated by the Neosoikoi, the archaeological remains of the ship sheds where local craftsmen maintained and repaired the boats. Art lovers will have plenty to see at the Piraeus Archaeological Museum, from Bronze Age sculptures to classical Hellenistic pottery.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Grilled Octopus
Grilled octopus on a white plate with a lemon on the side

Local Cuisine

Try the local dishes prepared with sun-ripened tomatoes, eggplant, bell peppers and fresh seafood like mussels and grilled octopus. Look for trovolia, a typical fresh cheese to savor with marinated olives. Ask for recommendations on local wines — the most common white is lively, floral and aromatic Moschofilero, while the red of choice is Xinomavro, an indigenous grape with a bold, complex flavor.
Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Greek Souvenirs
An assortment of Greek souvenirs such as helmets and sculptures

Shopping

You may want to bring back home some of the typical liquors such as the anise-flavored Ouzo or the strong Tsipouro. Greek olives, spices and capers can be vacuumed-packed, making for convenient souvenirs. Look for locally made leather sandals, pottery and hand-painted ceramics. You'll find most shops in the Psyri district, not far from the Acropolis during your Athens cruise.

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