Cruising the Greek Islands: Athens to Athens

8 Days

Classical Greece: Cruising the Greek Islands: Athens to Athens

Board a luxury yacht in Athens and set sail for an amazing experience taking in the beauty, culture and history of the fascinating Greek Islands visiting important destinations such as Delos, Mykonos, Santorini, Crete and Hydra among others.

This one week cruise visits a variety of Greek islands, each with its own character and attractions. Sailing from Athens, the first port of call is the island of Kea where you will go ashore to the picturesque capital and port of Korissia. Kea is both rich in history and is scenically very attractive with its mountainous backdrop.

The next stop is Delos, once the most sacred island of ancient Greece. It is the mythical birthplace of Apollo and offers a wealth of antiquity. Sail on to Mykonos with its charming white houses and narrow streets. Spend the evening here. Mykonos is famous for its nightlife

Then arrive in Santorini, arguably the most spectacular of all the islands. Take a cable car to the top of the island and tower above white cliffs and Santorini’s volcanic crater. An optional tour will take you to Akrotiri, a city which was once buried in a volcanic eruption.

Next is the island of Crete calling in at the port of Rethymnon where the outstanding architecture ranges from Byzantine to Ottoman. Here you have the opportunity to travel to Knossos considered Europe’s oldest city and home originally to the Minoan civilization. Amazingly enough, Knossos was only discovered in 1900. It is also home to the Minotaur, the half man-half animal mythological being.

The island of Kythira, although one of the lesser known islands, has beautiful beaches and is scenically exceptional. In Chora, you can wander among the narrow alleyways and streets of this attractive town.

The island of Monemvasia boasts well preserved Byzantine architecture and a medieval fortress. Continuing on, arrive at Nafplion in the Peloponnese with its medieval fortifications followed by the island of Hydra where no vehicular traffic is allowed. Walk through the narrow cobblestone streets and enjoy a drink at the harbour, a good place to people watch (On some departures, Hydra will be replace by Spetses, known for its outstanding beaches).

Harmony V
2019: Apr 19, 26; May 3, 10, 17, 24, 31; jun 7, 14, 28; Jul 5, 12, 19, 26; Aug 2, 9, 16, 23, 30; Sep 6, 13, 20, 27; Oct 11, 18, 25

Rates shown are based on select discounted departures May 4th & 11th

Itineraries can be changed at the discretion of Variety Cruises and of the Vessel’s Captain in case of adverse weather conditions (winds of 6/7 beaufort or more depending on the vessel) on port authorities not allowing a vessel to leave port or in case of other extraordinary conditions. Such itinerary changes do not entitle automatically passengers to any refunds but Variety Cruises guarantees that passengers are disembarked at the advertised port of disembarkation on time for their flights.

Prices are “from”, per person, based on twin share. Subject to availability.

You must ensure that you have appropriate travel insurance for the entire duration of your holiday to cover you for cancellation, illness, death or personal injury, medical treatment, damage to and/or loss of luggage, repatriation etc. Rates and schedules are not guaranteed until booked.

Today you embark around 2:00-3:00pm from Marina Zea, and head out via Cape Sounion to Kea. You will have time at leisure to explore Kea’s tiny port, Korrisia after dinner.

Kea, also known as Gia or Tzia, and, in antiquity, Keos, is a Greek island in the Cyclades archipelago in the Aegean Sea. Other major villages of Kea are the port of Korissia and the fishing village of Vourkari. After suffering depopulation for many decades, Kea has been recently rediscovered by Athens as a convenient destination for weekends and yachting trips. An island with rich history and relaxing beaches, Kea Greece receives mostly Athenian weekend vacationers. It has nice seaside villages, a picturesque capital and crystal beach waters. The architecture has more earthy colours that match the wild, mountainous landscape.

You will depart from Kea in the early hours for Delos, and spend the night at sea.

Meal Plan – Dinner

Duration 7 Nights

Accommodation – M/Y Harmony G

The Harmony “G” is a modern vessel with a sleek high-tech look very similar to the private yachts to be found in the famous ports of the world. The 53 meter long / 7.2 meter wide Mega Yacht Harmony G was launched in January 2001 and renovated in 2009-10 and in 2013. It complies with the most stringent SOLAS safety regulations, while its powerful engines and state of the art stabilizers allow for safe and comfortable cruising.

Life on board centers around the Indoor / Outdoor lounge and its American bar, on Upper Deck. The classy dining room located on Main Deck is surrounded by large windows. The spacious Sun deck is the ideal place to bask under the sun, read a good book or just gaze at the scenery. The swimming platform on Harmony G stern enables you to swim when weather and anchorage conditions permit.

This morning you have the option of taking a tour to the unique archaeological site of Delos, antiquity’s most sacred island (additional cost). According to Greek mythology, Apollo was born on this tiny island in the Cyclades archipelago. Apollo’s sanctuary attracted pilgrims from all over Greece and Delos was a prosperous trading port. The island bears traces of the succeeding civilizations in the Aegean world, from the 3rd millennium B.C. to the Palaeo-Christian era. The archaeological site is exceptionally extensive and rich and conveys the image of a great cosmopolitan Mediterranean port.

You will then continue on to the port of Mykonos, with a swim stop on the way. You have the afternoon free and evening to enjoy the island’s cosmopolitan lifestyle. Welcome to Greece’s most famous cosmopolitan island, a whitewashed paradise in the heart of the Cyclades! According to mythology, Mykonos was formed from the petrified bodies of giants killed by Hercules. And did you know that the island took its name from the grandson of Apollo, “Mykonos”?

Set out on a journey to discover a fascinating world where glamour meets simplicity. Whether you are an entertainment junkie out for a real good time, or a visitor who wishes to explore the island’s history and tradition, Mykonos will certainly meet your expectations.

Overnight in Mykonos.

Meal Plan – Breakfast and Dinner

Day 03 :

Today you will arrive into Santorini (anchorage at Fira) around noon. Crescent-shaped Santorini (or Thira), the precious gem of the Aegean, is actually a group of islands consisting of Thira, Thirassia, Aspronissi, Palea and Nea Kameni in the southernmost part of Cyclades.

Did you know that the whole complex of Santorini islands is still an active volcano (the same as Methana, Mílos and Nisiros) and probably the only volcano in the world whose crater is in the sea? The islands that form Santorini came into existence as a result of intensive volcanic activity; twelve huge eruptions occurred, one every 20,000 years approximately, and each violent eruption caused the collapse of the volcano’s central part creating a large crater (caldera).

You have the option of taking a tour to archaeological sites and typical villages with unique views over the Aegean Sea (additional cost). The excavations at Akrotiri have uncovered one of the most important prehistoric settlements of the Aegean. The first habitation at the site dates from the Late Neolithic times (at least the 4th millennium BC). During the Early Bronze Age (3rd millennium BC), a sizeable settlement was founded and in the Middle and early Late Bronze Age (ca. 20th-17th centuries BC) it was extended and gradually developed into one of the main urban centers and ports of the Aegean.

Tonight you will sail overnight to Crete.

Meal Plan – Breakfast and Dinner

This morning you will arrive in Crete’s famous and lively port of Rethymnon. The port is close to the centre of the Old Town, just a 5 minute walk away. There are two sides to Rethymno offering two styles of visit: the endless big beach hotel strip that stretches from the east end of Rethymno, lapping up the coastal towns/villages, and the Rethymno that allows you the character of the old town with its mix of architecture and history, cultural influences and styles ranging from Venetian to Ottoman empire.

You also have the option of taking a tour to the ancient city of Knossos near Heraklion (additional cost). Knossos is the ancient Minoan palace and surrounding city on the island of Crete, sung of by Homer in his Odyssey: “Among their cities is the great city of Cnosus, where Minos reigned when nine years old, he that held converse with great Zeus.” For centuries, Knossos was considered only a city of myth and legend until, in 1900 CE, it was uncovered by the English archaeologist Sir Arthur Evans and excavations were begun. Through frescoes on the walls, the excavated site revealed more about the Minoan sport of bull jumping and the ancient story of Theseus and the Minotaur (half-man-half-bull) seemed more probable than fanciful.

Later you will depart for Kythira, spending the night at sea.

Meal Plan – Breakfast and Dinner

Day 05 :

Late this morning you will have a swim stop, then an afternoon arrival to Kythira. This is a less known island gem now fast becoming a favourite among visitors to Greece. The natural beauty, the small beaches, the historical sites and the hospitality of the residents charm the visitor. Apart from the many beautiful beaches, it is ideal in spring and autumn for hiking as it is rich in flora and has many churches, monasteries, castles and caves.

You will have the evening at leisure to visit the picturesque main town of Chora and experience the subdued charms of this peaceful island. Chora became the island’s capital during the Venetian era, when it was moved from its initial location, Paleochora (a small 13th century Byzantine citadel) for security reasons. The castle of Chora was built in 1503 on a small existing bulwark, and the village was built in front of the castle’s only entrance. The architecture of most buildings is typical of the Aegean Sea, but several have Venetian and English elements, a testimony to the owners’ high standing. You will be seized with wonder as you walk around the area and through the city’s small, narrow alleyways. The houses are built very close to each other and in some places even two-wheeled vehicles cannot get through. Take a walk down the city’s main street to buy some traditional goods and to relax in one of the charming little bars and cafes.

Overnight tonight in Kithyra.

Meal Plan – Breakfast and Dinner

You will have an early morning sailing to Monemvasia. Here you will discover a remarkable medieval fortified town, with time at leisure to explore the uniquely preserved Byzantine and Venetian architecture and experience the beauty of the natural setting. For centuries an almost impregnable stronghold, it is now almost deserted, most of its inhabitants having moved to the new village on the mainland. But even in its abandonment it preserves its magnificent situation. In recent years the local people have increasingly been returning to the old part of the town, giving it a new lease of life and making it a busy and attractive tourist center.

Early this afternoon you will leave port, with a swim stop on the way, and head towards Nafplion (arriving this evening). The old quarter is charming, with narrow streets and characteristic period architecture. Also, impressive medieval fortifications can be seen in the port and crowning the hills above.

Overnight tonight in Nafplion.

Meal Plan – Breakfast and Dinner

Today you have the option of taking a tour to Mycenae (additional cost), the powerful walled palace of Agamemnon the Homeric Achaean king. Mycenae was a fortified late Bronze Age city located between two hills on the Argolid plain of the Peloponnese, Greece. The acropolis today dates from between the 14th and 13th century BCE when the Mycenaean civilization was at its peak of power, influence and artistic expression.

Early this afternoon you will depart for the islands of Hydra or Spetses. Time at leisure to explore this picturesque port town.

Hydra is truly the gem of the Saronic Gulf and stands alone among Greek islands as the one free of wheeled vehicles. No cars. No scooters. Just tiny marble-cobbled lanes, donkeys, rocks and sea. In addition to the island’s exquisitely preserved stone architecture, criss-crossing rural paths and clear, deep waters, you can find a good cappuccino along the people-watching harbour.

Spetses is a very nice little island where you get the choice of just relaxing, going out at night and visiting some interesting sites. It is small enough to get around by bike in 4-5 hours (the road is not the best, though) and there are very few cars. You can find both pebble and sand beaches on Spetses. The most popular ones are Agia Paraskevi and Ag Anargyri, but there are many more to enjoy. There are water sports on some of the more organized beaches, and the island also has some great spots for snorkelling.

Overnight tonight in port.

Meal Plan – Breakfast and Dinner

Day 08 :

This morning you will depart in the early hours and head towards Marina Zea, Piraeus. After breakfast it will be time to disembark the ship.

Meal Plan – Breakfast

What's Included

  • Accommodation in double or twin cabins with private en suite and air conditioning.
  • Half-board Meals: Buffet breakfast and one main meal daily, including a Welcome Cocktail, a local Theme Evening, fun BBQ (weather permitting) and Captain's Dinner.
  • Regular (filter) coffee, tea and drinking water free all day.
  • Use of fishing and snorkelling equipment (subject to availability).
  • English-Speaking Cruise Escort.


  • Beverages (except those mentioned above).
  • Shore excursions on the islands or other land arrangements.
  • Crew tips.
  • Passenger personal expenses.
  • Wi-Fi (available at charge)

You can send your enquiry via the form below.

Cruising the Greek Islands: Athens to Athens