Jyoti and I along with my brother and his wife took a 3 week Greek island cruise vacation. We added days in the beginning at Venice and at the end in Athens.
Day 1: Travel Day
Long flight from San Diego to Venice.
Day 2 - 4: Venice
After arriving at the airport, we took a boat right to our hotel canal near the Rialto Bridge. Weather was drizzly and a bit cold but we walked around to see the sights. Dinner was cichetti and great spritzes.
Our first full day in Venice started with St. Mark's Square where we had reservations for the basilica and the "secret" tour of Doge's Palace. Both were great. We then took the Vaporetta up the canal and walked back to our hotel.
Last full day in Venice started at the Accademia and then more checking out the sights. We really like Venice and it was much better than expected.
|Drizzly day on the Rialto Bridge|
|Rainy St. Marks Square|
|Campanile from St. Mark's Basilica|
|St. Mark's clock tower|
|Somewhat empty St. Mark's Square|
|Sunny and crowded St. Mark's Square|
Day 5 - 6: Sea Days
We had some time before our water taxi so we checked out St. Mark's Square again. Since there was no rain, it was very crowded. We then took a bus to Chiaggio where the cruise ship was docked. The boarding process was very smooth since the Azamara boat was smaller than many others. It headed south for our first port visit. There was a visiting professor who gave talks about the Mediterranean culture and other topics.
Day 7: Corfu
Our first island was Corfu where we drove around to see a monastery and the north side of the island. We then went into old town Corfu and checked out the old fort. This would be first of many Venetian forts we would see.
|Overlooking town from the old fort|
Day 8: Kefalonia
Next up was Kefalonia where we went to another monastery (there are lots of them in Greece) and a really nice winery. We then went to Dhrogarati cave and Melissani lake and a nice lunch right on Sami bay. We really liked Kefalonia.
|Lunch on Sami Bay|
|Ready to leave Kefalonia|
Day 9: Zakynthos
On Zakynthos, we drove to the north side of the island to check out a olive oil factory/press, the small but wonderful Goumas winery and a small beach.
Day 10: Gytheion
|Cats of Mystras monastery|
Day 11: Crete
Crete is large but we stayed near town and hit the great Archeological Museum and or course Knossos. Also visited the Venetian fortress in the harbor.
|Crete Archeological Museum|
Day 12: Santorini
After tendering, we took the cable car up to Feri and then caught the public bus to Akrotiri. The ruins were pretty neat. Then did the hike to Ia which was very nice but hot. We had a great dinner in Ia and walked the cliff path down the port.
|Ruins at Akrotiri|
|Along the trail to Ia|
Day 13: Rhodes
After renting the car, we headed to Lindhos but couldn't find a parking spot so headed back with a stop at the Seven Springs. Back in town we walked through the old town and another Venetian fort.
|Hike to Seven Springs|
|Seven Springs selfie|
|Old town Rhodes|
Day 14: Kusadasi
Leaving Greece for a day in Turkey, we hired a guide and driver. We spent most of the time in nearby Ephesus which was incredible. We also made stops a carpet making school and a pottery store.
|View from St. John Basilica|
|A view of Ephesus|
Day 15: Mykonos
Last island on the itinerary was Mykonos. We got a cruise shore excursion which guided us through town then over to Delos to see the ruins, then lunch and lastly a very nice monastery. Our guide was ok with information but was terrible at keeping the group together and almost stranded us on Delos.
Day 16 - 18: Athens
Our cruise ended at Athens where we spent 3 days hitting the major and minor sights:
- Acropolis Museum
- Hadrian's Library
- Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
- National Garden
- Olympian Zeus
- Hadrian's Arch
- Roman Agora
- Ancient Agora
- Eureka Technological Museum
- Mars Hill
- Aristotle's Lyceum
- Byzantium and Christian Museum
- Greek War Museum
|Cave of the Acropolis restaurant|
|Tower of Winds|
|Stoa at Ancient Agora|
|View from Mars Hill|
|Entering the Acropolis|
|At the Parthenon|
|Greek Flag selfie|
|Byzantine and Christian Museum|