12 Night Mediterranean Greek Isles on Vision of the Seas from Barcelona, Spain Cannes, France Aerial View of Harbor
The 12 Night Mediterranean Greek Isles from Barcelona, Spain visits Cannes, France; Florence / Pisa (La Spezia), Italy; Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy; Chania (Souda), Crete; Mykonos, Greece; Athens (Piraeus), Greece; Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey; Santorini, Greece; Barcelona, Spain. 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.
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12 Night Mediterranean Greek Isles
Itinerary Overview
Explore Vision of the Seas
Day 1 - Barcelona, Spain
Day 2 - Cannes, France
Day 3 - Florence / Pisa (La Spezia), Italy
Day 4 - Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
Day 5 - Cruising
Day 6 - Chania (Souda), Crete
Day 7 - Mykonos, Greece
Day 8 - Athens (Piraeus), Greece
Day 9 - Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey
Day 10 - Santorini, Greece
Day 11 - 12 - Cruising
Day 13 - Barcelona, Spain
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Cannes, France Aerial View of Harbor
aerial view of boats docked at a harbor in Cannes, France
This is your

12 Night Mediterranean Greek Isles

Explore This Itinerary
Leaving from
Barcelona, Spain
Onboard
Vision of the Seas
Day Port
1
Barcelona, Spain
Departs at 5:00 PM
2
Cannes, France
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
3
Florence / Pisa (La Spezia), Italy
From 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
4
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy
From 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
5
Cruising
Day at sea
6
Chania (Souda), Crete
From 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
7
Mykonos, Greece
Tendered from 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
8
Athens (Piraeus), Greece
From 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
9
Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey
From 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
10
Santorini, Greece
Tendered from 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
11 - 12
Cruising
Day at sea
13
Barcelona, Spain
Arrives at 6:00 AM
*Port sequence may vary by sailing date.
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Your ship Vision of the Seas

Your ship
Vision of the Seas
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Vision of the Seas, Side View, Caribbean Cruise Destinations
Side View of Vision of the Seas Cruise Ship Visiting Puerto Costa Maya and Cozumel, Mexico
Get to know
Vision of the Seas
You'll gain a new perspective of adventure onboard Vision of the Seas®, and we don't just mean the views at the top of the Rock Climbing Wall. From classic sips at R Bar to disco dancing in Boogie Wonderland, this ship is a spectacle to behold.

ALL-AROUND AMAZING

Spend your sea days catching a film on the poolside screen or learning how to flambé with a seasoned chef in a culinary class. Or get top-notch views on the Rock Climbing Wall, then visit Vitality℠ at Sea Spa and Fitness Centre. With so much to do onboard, adventure is always in sight.

TASTEBUD TRAILBLAZING

Grab a classic cocktail at the retro-inspired R Bar then chow down on select steakhouse faves at Chop's Grille℠. For a Far East feast, head to Izumi. And get ready for an elevated epicurean experience at Chef's Table.

CASTING CALL

Magic happens when the curtain goes up onboard Vision of the Seas®. We're talking peace, love and disco beats in Boogie Wonderland, show tunes galore in Broadway Rhythm & Rhyme, and guest entertainers that know how to rock your holiday with stellar performances.

Day 1: Barcelona, Spain

Day 1
Barcelona
Spain
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Spain Barcelona La Sagrada Couple
La Sagrada Couple Walking
Things to do in
Barcelona
Departs at 5:00 PM
It’s easy to see why Barcelona is the most-visited city in Spain. As the capital of the country’s Catalonia region, this cityscape’s cultural mosaic pieces together a 2,000-year-old hodge-podge of sun-drenched beaches, cutting edge architecture and a world-renowned dining and drinking scene. Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí left his modernist handprint all over the city, while medieval treasures linger in historic Gothic Quarter squares. Get lost in the whimsical gardens of Park Güell or savour a chef-led Catalan cooking class. Browse art collections dedicated to Picasso and Miro – or ride a cable car to the top of Montjuïc Hill, relishing citywide views along the way.
Spain Barcelona La Sagrada Familia Interior
La Sagrada Familia Interior Colorful

SKY HIGH DELIGHTS

Get an up-close glimpse of La Sagrada Família, a cathedral masterwork designed by celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Marvel at its sky-piercing spires and then step inside to admire intricate mosaics, Montjuïc stone pillars and the Nativity façade. You can even climb to the tippy-top of the spires for panoramic city views.
Spain Barcelona Barceloneta Beach
Barceloneta Beach at Sunset

SEAS THE DAY

With seven beaches spanning more than two miles of Mediterranean coastline, Barcelona’s harbour-front is known for some of the world’s best sun-seeking and on-the-sea adventures. Lounge along the shore, kayak deep blue waters – or charter a fishing trip for the chance to reel in tuna, swordfish or Mediterranean spearfish.
Barcelona Spain La Rambla Historic Buildings
La Rambla Historic Buildings

IN THE MIX

Take a stroll along La Rambla’s pedestrian boulevard to experience the city’s pure essence. Souvenir shops, street artists, flower stalls, pavement cafes and Catalan folk sardana dancers set a lively scene. Its marvellous centrepiece, La Catedral, dates from the 1200s – and its tower delivers sweeping views of medieval Barcelona.
Spain Barcelona Sparkling Cava Wine
Couple Enjoying the Local Sparkling Cava Wine

LOCAL CUISINE

Barcelona has mastered the art of eating. Many restaurants serve up creative 'nueva cocina española', while waterfront spots dish out seafood paella and multi-course lunch menus include a glass of sparkling cava wine. For a taste of Catalan cooking, try pa amb tomàquet (tomato-topped bread). Or nibble on Spanish tapas (bite-sized appetisers) around the bar like a local, with house-made vermouth in hand.
Spain Barcelona Local Fresh Market Shopping
Couple Strolling Through the Fresh Local Market

SHOPPING

You could spend hours checking out the markets of Barcelona for high-quality leatherwear, jewellery, old books and unique housewares. Passeig de Gràcia and Barcelona Shopping Line are two popular retail promenades – and the Gothic Quarter is home to dozens of family-owned shops that sell textiles, stationery, decorative ceramic tiles and earthenware kitchenware.

Day 2: Cannes, France

Day 2
Cannes
France
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Cannes, France Aerial View
Aerial view of Cannes, France
Things to do in
Cannes
Tendered from 8:00 AM - 7:00 PM
The French Riviera is synonymous with glamour and wealth – and when it comes to prestige, Cannes is the crown jewel. Home to the famous Cannes Film Festival, the city comes to life with film stars each year for the event. But you don't have to be a big-shot to feel like a star here. Head to Palm Beach to take a dip and bask in the sunshine. Stroll down the famous mile-long La Croisette and take in the views of the marina and town below. Cruise to Cannes and head up the hill to Le Suquet, the original town centre that's remained unchanged for hundreds of years.
Cannes, France  Saint Marguerite Island
A sentinel tower at Saint Marguerite island

Island Excursion

A 15-minute ferry ride over the deep blue Mediterranean will get you to Ile Sainte-Marguerite, one of the Lerin Islands. Head here for a more tranquil setting than Cannes. Walk through the island's aromatic forest of eucalyptus trees, and check out the 17th-century fortress prison Fort Royal.
Insider tip
If celebrity sightings are your thing, plan your visit around the Cannes Film Festival in mid-May.
Cannes, France Beach Pier
A pier at a beach in Cannes, France

Soak Up the Sun

The luxury and natural beauty of the Cote d'Azur are right at your fingertips in Cannes. Relax on one of the white sand beaches. Stick around until sunset to watch as the sky glows orange over the coastline.
Insider tip
Uber operates in the French Riviera and is often easier to use than a taxi.
Cannes, France View of Sea
View of the sea and the coast of France

Hike the Hills

More than 100 acres of lush forest borders Cannes. From here, you'll get some of the best views of the sea. Jump onboard a French Riviera cruise and remember to pack a picnic and hike through the public woodland without spending a penny.
Cannes, France Paella From Local Market
A chef serving paella at a local market in Cannes, France

Local Cuisine

Cannes has plenty of high-end restaurants serving freshly caught seafood – sea bass, prawns and oysters are amongst the favourites. Head to Le Suquet for more casual takes on ocean fare. Stop by the Marche Forville, the local market. Sample meats, fresh fish and brightly coloured fruit and vegetables. Try the French Riveria staple socca, a chickpea pancake.
Cannes, France Rue Meynadier Street Sign
A Rue Meynadier street sign in Cannes, France

Shopping

Head to Rue Meynadier and pop into the 18th-century homes that have been turned into boutiques. If you're looking for higher-end designs, wander down Rue d'Antibes for the ultimate experience of lecher les vitrines – window-shopping. You'll find designer fashions, art galleries and speciality shops.

Day 3: Florence / Pisa, Italy

Day 3
Florence / Pisa
La Spezia, Italy
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Florence - Pisa, Italy Aerial View
Aerial view of Florence, Italy
Things to do in
Florence / Pisa
From 7:00 AM - 7:00 PM
The northern Italian port city of La Spezia, on the border of Liguria and Tuscany, offers an ideal gateway to two of the country's most famous cities: Pisa and Florence. Just one hour by car or train will bring you to Pisa, where you can check out the white-stone arches of the city's famous leaning tower and its sister-structure, the Pisa Cathedral. Or spend your day in Florence, about two hours away by train: Climb to the top of the famous Duomo ("dome"), the nickname for the Italian Gothic Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, for stunning 360-degree views of the city. Cruise to Florence to stroll through the San Lorenzo market with an espresso in hand and take in the smells of local spices and truffles as you people-watch.
Florence - Pisa, Italy Marble Statue
A marble statue with the Leaning Tower of Pisa in the background

Lean Into Adventure

Climb the 251 steps up the spectacular Leaning Tower or Campanile (bell tower) on the Field of Miracles in Pisa. The 56-meter-high tower took almost 200 years to build, but it was already leaning when it was unveiled in 1372. Access is limited to 45 people at a time. Book online in advance to save a space — many tourists flock here.
Insider tip
You can skip the lines at many of Florence's museums by buying tickets online before your visit.
Florence - Pisa, Italy Duomo Close Up
Close up of the Duomo Santa Maria Del Fiore toweing over Florence, Italy

Day at the Duomo

In Florence, you can't miss the Santa Maria del Fiore cathedral, more commonly called the Duomo in honor of its red-tiled cupola, or dome. The city's most iconic landmark, dating back to 1296, the Duomo's pink, white and green marble facade is a must-take photo. Head inside to admire the 44 stained-glass windows and Vasari's magnificent fresco of the Last Judgment.
Insider tip
Always carry euros. Some restaurants and shops operate on a cash-only basis.
Florence - Pisa, Italy Uffizi Gallery
The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy

Museum of the Masters

The Galleria degli Uffizi is one of Italy's most famous and star-studded art museums. Cruise to Florence to admire the mind-blowing masterpieces of the Italian Renaissance, including works by Sandro Botticelli and Leonardo da Vinci, as well as German, Flemish, Dutch and French masters. Just remember it's closed on Mondays.
Florence - Pisa, Italy Fettuccine Pasta
Fettuccine pasta served in a white bowl

Local Cuisine

Tuscany has its own unique cuisine and pasta dishes. Try fresh pecorino (sheep's milk cheese), fazzoletti (pasta filled with ricotta and spinach), papardelle (broad noodles), ribollita (a variation on minestrone) or zuppe di cavolo (cabbage soup). What about some pan ficato (fig cake) or castagnaccio (chestnut-flour cake with nuts) for dessert?
Florence - Pisa, Italy Leather bags
Leather bags for sale in Florence, Italy

Shopping

Shop for souvenirs and jewelry at the Ponte Vecchio bridge in Florence. Mercato Centrale is the locals' favorite for food shopping. Buy or taste wine and truffles in Enoteca Obsequium during your Florence cruise. The best olive oils, platters and soaps can be bought from La Bottega dell'Olio. In Pisa, go Italian fashion shopping in Borgo Stretto for luxury items and Corso Italia for more affordable leather bags and shoes.

Day 4: Rome, Italy

Day 4
Rome
Civitavecchia, Italy
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Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Colosseum
View of the Colosseum in Rome, Italy
Things to do in
Rome
From 7:00 AM - 6:00 PM
With 28 centuries of celebrated history, Rome holds the edge when it comes to unrivalled adventures. The city that sparked the world’s largest empire is very much alive today with a jumble of ancient ruins, world-renowned art and vivacious street culture. Here you can live 'la dolce vita', recalling the glory days of Ancient Rome and twirling forks full of pasta in a trattoria. Ride past centuries-old basilicas in a three-wheeled Ape Calessino, or stand in awe of paintings by Italian masters at Villa Borghese. Whether it’s Vatican City’s spiritual allure, Trastevere’s backstreet charms or the Colosseum’s embattled legacy – The Eternal City endures with endless adventures.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Pantheon
The Pantheon in Rome, Italy

ANCIENT AND AMAZING

Walk through the heart of Ancient Rome. Start at the Colosseum, an enormous arena where gladiators once battled. Then meander around the Roman Forum’s timeworn ruins, past crumbling temples and basilicas. See where emperors lived on Palatine Hill – and enjoy an up-close view of the 2,000-year-old, well-preserved Pantheon church.
Insider tip
The train ride between Civitavecchia and Rome is approximately 80 minutes each way.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy Piazza Navona
A fountain in Piazza Navona in Italy

ADVENTURE SQUARED

Roam around Rome’s piazzas, as each offers a unique perspective. Dine al fresco in Piazza Navona and climb The Spanish Steps in Piazza di Spagna. Wander cobbled alleys in bustling Trastevere and browse Campo de’ Fiori’s artisanal stalls. Be sure to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain for good measure.
Insider tip
Conservative attire (no vest tops or shorts) is required when visiting Rome’s religious sites.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, Statues
Statues in the Vatican Museum

SACRED SPACES

Explore the Vatican Museums’ extraordinary collection of tapestries and classical statues. Step inside the Sistine Chapel and be awed by Michelangelo’s ceiling frescoes. Then enter St Peter’s Basilica, one of the world’s largest churches, to stand under its enormous sky-piercing dome.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, Pizza and pasta
Pizza, pasta, and antipasta on a table in Rome

LOCAL CUISINE

Romans live to eat, whether it’s family-style or in a pavement café. For an authentic taste of Cucina Romana, try carciofi alla Romana (braised artichokes) or spaghetti alla carbonara. Enjoy panino (stuffed sandwiches) or thin-crusted Roman pizza. Satisfy your sweet tooth with a scoop of gelato. Then finish the night with a glass of white wine from the surrounding Lazio region.
Rome (Civitavecchia), Italy, Colosseum Vatican Models
Minitature models of the Colosseum and Vatican

SHOPPING

Street stalls throughout the city are your best bet for souvenirs. Via Condotti offers a string of couture Italian designers. Browse artist studios along Via Margutta, or the indie artisan retailers of the Monti neighbourhood. Porta Portese is the city’s largest flea market – and La Rinascente, the first department store.

Day 5: Cruising

Day 5
Cruising
At Sea
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Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time
Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time
CAN'T-MISS FAVOURITES
Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time
Man Climbing Rock Wall On Board Day Time

Rock Climbing Wall

Rise to the occasion and take on the signature Rock Climbing Wall. From beginners to speed climbers, everyone can enjoy an unparalleled view from 12 metres (40 feet) above deck. Included in your fare, no reservation required.
Family Enjoying the Pool
Family Enjoying the Pool and Tanning

Pools

Soak up the sun or savour the shade on expanded pool decks, with complimentary loungers, live music and the opportunity to enjoy a frosty cocktail.

Day 6: Chania, Crete

Day 6
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 10:00 AM - 6:00 PM
Chania is rich in remnants of the past. Start your adventure in Crete's second-largest city at Venetian Harbour, 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 courgette fritters and sardines stuffed with herbs and sun-dried tomatoes. Then head to Souda Bay, a strategic commercial and military harbour since ancient times, where you'll find the Aptera Fortress and the oldest Ottoman building in Crete. Cruise to Crete and pop into the Archaeological Museum of Chania, with artefacts 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 2200 BC, the Archaeological Museum housed in the Church of San Francesco stores artefacts dating from Neolithic to Roman times.
Chania, Crete Samaria Gorge
View of the Samaria Gorge in Chania, Crete

Hike to the Gorge

At 18 kilometres, Samaria is the longest of the many deep gorges that cut into Crete's mountains. The entrance is 42 kilometres 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 Harbour, 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 savoury 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 jewellery made from pearl and coral – and of course, the local extra virgin olive oil, which is typically cold-pressed and retains distinctive flavours of green apple and freshly cut grass. Take the time to explore the narrow, less-travelled streets to find both bargains and unique items during your Crete cruise.

Day 7: Mykonos, Greece

Day 7
Mykonos
Greece
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Mykonos, Greece Seaside Tavern
Chairs with tables in typical Greek tavern in Mykonos, Greece
Things to do in
Mykonos
Tendered from 7:00 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 colourful 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-beaten-track 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 multi-hued 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 travellers 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 archaeological site and the mythological birthplace of twin gods Apollo and Artemis. Comb the crumbling ruins of its ancient theatre, Doric temples, markets and mosaic-laced houses – plus the Terrace of Lions statues and amphitheatre.
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 jewellery 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 8: Athens, Greece

Day 8
Athens
Piraeus, Greece
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Athens (Piraeus), Greece, Acropolis and Pathenon
View of the Parthenon atop the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
Things to do in
Athens
From 6:00 AM - 6:00 PM
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.
Insider tip
The yellow trolley bus (number 20) will take you from the port to Passalimani, going through Castella and ending at the Metro station.
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.
Insider tip
Traffic can be chaotic, so be cautious at all times.
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.

Day 9: Ephesus, Turkey

Day 9
Ephesus
Kusadasi, Turkey
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Ephesus (Kusadasi), Turkey, Ancient Celsus Library
The ruins of the ancient Celsus Library in Ephesus, Turkey
Things to do in
Ephesus
From 7:00 AM - 7:00 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 10: Santorini, Greece

Day 10
Santorini
Greece
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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 cosy 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 amongst 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 centre 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 trainers 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 amongst the island’s traditional wine cellars. Vineyards dapple Santorini’s countryside, and many are amongst 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 aubergine included. Try egg-based sfougato and fried tomatokeftedes fritters, two Santorini specialities. Pick up melitinia cookies from a local bakery. And for an after-dinner drink, sip unsweetened, anise-flavoured 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 jewellery 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 11 - 12: Cruising

Day 11 - 12
Cruising
At Sea
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Focaccia della Casa - Giovanni's Table
Flat Italian bread with potatoes and herb, marinated artichokes, olives & pesto. Cruise fine dining at Giovanni's Table.
FOR FOODIES
Izumi Sushi Specialty Roll
Izumi Sushi Specialty Roll

Izumi

From delicious sushi rolls to fresh sashimi and nigiri, Izumi serves up an exotic Asian-inspired dining experience. Savor izakaya-style appetizers and rolls that range from classic to imaginative. No matter what you order, you’re in for a far out, Far East feast filled with incredible flavors from Tohoku to Tokyo.
Giovanni's table Grilled Octopus
Oasis of the Seas Giovanni's Table Dish

Giovanni's Table

Every meal at Giovanni’s Table is a family-style celebration of rustic Italian flavor. You’ll find all your favorite Old-World classics on the menu here, like house focaccia served with marinated artichokes, olives and pesto, fluffy gnocchi tossed in a thyme-scented sauce of lamb and root vegetables, traditional risotto finished with porcini and truffle mushroom tapenade, and veal osso buco paired with creamy cheese polenta, ripe tomatoes and sautéed green beans.

Day 13: Barcelona, Spain

Day 13
Barcelona
Spain
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Barcelona, Spain Park Guell
View of the city from Park Guell in Barcelona, Spain
Things to do in
Barcelona
Arrives at 6:00 AM
It’s easy to see why Barcelona is the most-visited city in Spain. As the capital of the country’s Catalonia region, this cityscape’s cultural mosaic pieces together a 2,000-year-old hodge-podge of sun-drenched beaches, cutting edge architecture and a world-renowned dining and drinking scene. Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí left his modernist handprint all over the city, while medieval treasures linger in historic Gothic Quarter squares. Get lost in the whimsical gardens of Park Güell or savour a chef-led Catalan cooking class. Browse art collections dedicated to Picasso and Miro – or ride a cable car to the top of Montjuïc Hill, relishing citywide views along the way.
Spain Barcelona La Sagrada Familia Interior
La Sagrada Familia Interior Colorful

SKY HIGH DELIGHTS

Get an up-close glimpse of La Sagrada Família, a cathedral masterwork designed by celebrated Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí. Marvel at its sky-piercing spires and then step inside to admire intricate mosaics, Montjuïc stone pillars and the Nativity façade. You can even climb to the tippy-top of the spires for panoramic city views.
Spain Barcelona Barceloneta Beach
Barceloneta Beach at Sunset

SEAS THE DAY

With seven beaches spanning more than two miles of Mediterranean coastline, Barcelona’s harbour-front is known for some of the world’s best sun-seeking and on-the-sea adventures. Lounge along the shore, kayak deep blue waters – or charter a fishing trip for the chance to reel in tuna, swordfish or Mediterranean spearfish.
Barcelona Spain La Rambla Historic Buildings
La Rambla Historic Buildings

IN THE MIX

Take a stroll along La Rambla’s pedestrian boulevard to experience the city’s pure essence. Souvenir shops, street artists, flower stalls, pavement cafes and Catalan folk sardana dancers set a lively scene. Its marvellous centrepiece, La Catedral, dates from the 1200s – and its tower delivers sweeping views of medieval Barcelona.
Spain Barcelona Sparkling Cava Wine
Couple Enjoying the Local Sparkling Cava Wine

LOCAL CUISINE

Barcelona has mastered the art of eating. Many restaurants serve up creative 'nueva cocina española', while waterfront spots dish out seafood paella and multi-course lunch menus include a glass of sparkling cava wine. For a taste of Catalan cooking, try pa amb tomàquet (tomato-topped bread). Or nibble on Spanish tapas (bite-sized appetisers) around the bar like a local, with house-made vermouth in hand.
Spain Barcelona Local Fresh Market Shopping
Couple Strolling Through the Fresh Local Market

SHOPPING

You could spend hours checking out the markets of Barcelona for high-quality leatherwear, jewellery, old books and unique housewares. Passeig de Gràcia and Barcelona Shopping Line are two popular retail promenades – and the Gothic Quarter is home to dozens of family-owned shops that sell textiles, stationery, decorative ceramic tiles and earthenware kitchenware.

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