With its thousands of islands, stunning blue seas and endless skies, Greece is unmistakably one of Europe’s most exciting and alluring cruising destinations. With a rich cultural heritage and a historical prominence that spans millennia, not to mention exquisite cuisine and the pleasantly hospitable nature of locals, the Greeks know how to make guests feel right at home. Expansive and versatile, the country never ceases to amaze and surprise. With endless varieties of landscapes, time spent in Greece is time spent enjoying stunning natural beauty while savouring all the good things life has to offer. Plenty to enjoy and discover, so being invited to cruise the famed Cyclades region didn’t need much consideration.
Situated in a circular form around around the sacred island of Delos, the Cyclades are a group of well over 200 islands located in the central Aegean Sea, with Mykonos and Santorini being some of the better known destinations to be discovered here. The diversity of this archipelago offers an incredible setting for a luxurious 6-day itinerary, showcasing a wide variety of locations that would perfectly demonstrate the welcoming Greek nature, all framed by an impressive natural backdrop and suffused with bountiful culinary delights.
Arriving on Mykonos first thing in the morning, exploring this famous island is simply delightful. Aptly nicknamed the Island of the Winds, Mykonos not only offers a vibrant nightlife but also has ample possibilities for more leisurely activities. Gorgeous beaches and beautiful villages aplenty, Mykonos offers something for everyone and is therefore a great starting point for our journey.
Sites such as the Chora windmills and Little Venice are just some of various places worth visiting, but some lazy lounging and savouring an exquisite meal is also well advised. After an elaborate exploration of the island, we opt for the latter and settle down for lunch in the rustic Platis Gialos area. This area is popular but not overrun by the masses, offering a perfect atmosphere of vibrance and and relaxation.
The stunning beach side restaurant Avli Tou Thodori instantly proves why it is an absolute favourite amongst locals and tourists alike. Traditional Greek cuisine with a contemporary twist and framed by panoramic views perfectly kicks off a week of Cycladic exploration.
Our home for the week is the contemporary 34 metre motor yacht Ithaki. With 5 luxury cabins offering accommodations for up to 12 guests, this sleek and powerful superyacht offers a stylishly warm, modern setting for our company. Her crew of 6 ensures the guests’ comfort and safety 24 hours a day so Ithaki offers the perfect base for a week filled with anything, ranging from lazy lounging to exciting sportive activities. Her collection of water toys such as bananas, tubes, wake board and jet ski is at every guest’s disposal.
Ithaki’s ambiance is light and airy, with panoramic windows framing her fresh interiors. From her large main saloon and separate formal dining room to her spacious sun deck, which includes several lounge areas, al fresco dining setting and a fully equipped bar, and luxurious guest suites, she simply has everything to assure a perfectly luxurious journey.
After embarking, opting for a leisurely stroll through the old Mykonos town results in some inevitable shopping and visiting some of the many fine art galleries located here, after which we enjoy an exquisite dinner at the lush Mykonos Koursaros restaurant. After dinner, discovering the infamous clubbing scene is simply mandatory. Rounding up this perfect introduction to Mykonos at the Jacky O club, our company heads home to Ithaki who is patiently awaiting just around the corner. While her guests are still enjoying a good night’s sleep, Ithaki comfortably cruises towards the the ancient historical sites of Delos first thing in the morning.
The island of Delos is one of the most important historical and archaeological sites of ancient Greece, with extensive excavations still taking place to date. Our company is taken on a private early morning tour to discover the incredible treasures of the area, walking through ancient streets and submerging in classic Greek culture. The adjacent museum is filled with ample historical artefacts, bringing to life the exquisite world of Ancient Greece.
While cruising towards the island of Paros as our next destination, our company enjoys an exquisite and sunny al fresco lunch, with a delightful okra dish being one of several highlights. Ithaki’s lavish meals perfectly showcase the chef’s remarkable talents, with Greek cuisine being one of his undisputed specialties.
The sunny weather offers plenty of opportunities to take out water toys or go for a refreshing swim, before cruising towards the village of Nausa. Cruising, as always, is smooth and comfortable, and after arriving the village offers plenty of opportunity to shop, explore and relax.
Back on board, swimming and relaxation aplenty before enjoying a sumptuous dinner of filet steak beef and risotto, with after dinner drinks that would turn the crew’s signature ginger cocktail into an absolute guest favourite for the rest of the trip. Playing charades with crew and guests turns out to be an equally enjoyable as hilarious conclusion to the day.
Next, our experienced Captain takes us cruising for Schinousa, which offers plenty of shelter from from the breeze and shows how guest comfort is key. Allowing us to spend ample sun soaked hours lounging, swimming and walking around, some go diving for sea urchins while others opt for snorkelling and fishing. Extensive late night dining at a fine local tavern perfectly concludes yet another extraordinary day.
Waking up the next day, we find ourselves docked at the magical island of Santorini, one of two volcanic island in the Cyclades. Famed for the high cliffs, crisp white architecture and stunning sun sets, the stunning island consists of the edges of an enormous volcanic crater and is nothing short of amazing. Santorini is made up of six islands shaped like a circular archipelago, the largest of which is Thera.
Perched high on the edges of the cliffs, the village of Oia is a magnificent setting for our stay. From our berth, steep steps lead upwards and can be climbed either on foot or by donkey. Walking up these cliff side steps offers truly stunning views, while the picturesque architecture of the village serves as an amazing backdrop. The ambiance in the village is pleasantly relaxing and easy going; a mixture of vibrant tourism with soothing local life can be enjoyed here, allowing for leisurely shopping and some impressive sightseeing. Stunning views all around, ample taverns and bars take advantage of Santorini’s natural beauty by offering vista views. Shopping for art, jewellery and clothing is appealing, but simply walking around and seeing where the narrow streets and steep steps take is also greatly advised. The stunning sun set from one of the many rooftop terraces is followed by a tender ride back to Ithaki. With the starry skies above, and the edges of Thira’s cliffs twinkling with with villages’ many lights, it’s quite easy if not unavoidable to fall in love with Santorini. An exquisite lobster dinner on board awaits us, a perfect ending to a perfect day. It is undeniable: Santorini is an absolute must for anybody visiting the area.
Our final day has us saying farewell to Santorini and the wonderful Cyclades, as we cruise back to Athens comfortably, despite the breezy conditions. Courtesy of Ithaki and her skilled Captain and crew, disembarkation leaves us with countless extraordinary memories of a trip that truly was a memorable experience from beginning to end. Wonderful Ithaki and her crew, delicious meals and the luxury accommodations, all framed by the magical Cyclades islands are ingredients guaranteed to leave you with memories to last a lifetime.
Ithaki is available for charter with IYC at a rate of€55,500 during low season and€59,900 at high season. For more information on chartering Ithaki, contact Fotis Geranios directly at+30 6957 204863 or by email at[email protected].
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