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Setting sail from Istanbul
This is one of those destinations that really does live up to the hype! Istanbul is the place where East meets West, where Asia Minor reaches out across the Bosphorus and almost touches Europe. In its earlier incarnation as Constantinople, the city was the eastern bastion of the Byzantine Empire, holding out for centuries before finally capitulating to the Ottomans in 1453, and it remains a bristling, bustling cultural melting pot, the skyline dotted with magnificent minarets and domes.
Try and go for an authentic Turkish experience with a bath in a hamam. Discuss your options with the receptionist. Cagaloglu Hamami is the most spectacular.
Limnos is off the beaten track, with a refreshingly low key approach to tourism compared to other Greek islands. Ascend the ruins of the Venetian castle for the best views of the island’s beautiful volcanic landscapes, or spend some time wandering around the charming harbourside capital, Myrina.
Syros is one of the smallest of the Cyclades islands, though it’s also the administrative capital of the archipelago. Not many cruise ships call here, so you’ll find the beaches are much less crowded than other islands, and the main town, Ermoupoli, is home to a fascinating mix of architectural styles.
Saint John is said to have written the Book of Revelations in a cave on Patmos, and today the spot is marked by the hillside Monastery of the Apocalypse. As well as spirituality, the island is known for its beaches and upmarket vibe, with a scattering of stylish restaurants and bars.
Delos was venerated by the Ancient Greeks as the birthplace of the gods Apollo and Artemis, and the sprawling ruins are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Delos sits at the centre of the Cyclades group, which take their name from the fact that they encircle the sacred island.
Glamorous Mykonos is the most popular of the Cyclades islands, well known as a haunt of the rich and the famous. It’s also the gateway to the nearby island of Delos, home to one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece.
Paros gleams with a classic Cycladic colour palette of whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches, and is famous for its ancient marble quarries, which provided the raw material for the Venus de Milo. The island is also home to some great restaurants, peaceful inland villages and lovely beaches.
Hydra is unique amongst the Greek islands, blissfully free of motorised traffic; transport here is by donkey, water taxi or on foot. The island has attracted many artists, musicians and actors over the years, but retains a rustic and tranquil atmosphere.
Arriving in Athens (Piraeus)
Athens is a city awash with historical and cultural significance. Towering over the city are the gleaming columns of the Parthenon, surely one of the most iconic sights in the whole of Europe. And yet Athens is much more than an open air museum; this is a dynamic, bustling metropolis, and a place where history is still very much unfolding. For all its faults, the Greek capital possesses an energy and an optimism that are manifest in everything from the burgeoning art scene to the restaurants and bars that continue to pop up on a regular basis.
Obviously don’t miss the Acropolis, nor the new adjacent museum, where space has pointedly been left for the frieze we call the Elgin Marbles – it is really excellent. Then take time to stroll on the hills and slopes around the outcrop.
Your home from home
Sleek and stylish, Le Boréal, Le Soléal, L'Austral and Le Lyrial are wonderful small ships that blend luxury and intimacy with a discreet elegance and tasteful décor.
What we love
These chic sisters are amongst the most stylish ships at sea, with muted natural tones, minimalist interiors and playful splashes of colour. The accommodation is flexible, with the option to combine staterooms and create expansive suites, while the restaurants deliver the sort of outstanding gastronomic experience that you would expect from a French flag cruise line.
|Style||Refined with a wonderful mix of a modern super yacht and nautical tradition, all with a French flair.|
Tailor-make your trip
Our recommended hotel in Istanbul
We love the intimate Four Seasons at Sultanahmet, but – top Mundy tip! - it is so small that it’s often fully booked, so don’t hang about.
See more of Turkey
Take a few extra days and travel to Cappadocia for the extraordinary Star Wars scenery, rock caves and churches.
Extend your stay in Athens
At Mundy, we have long been hunting for the perfect Athenian hotel - our favourite so far is the Electra Palace in Plaka.
Excursions from Athens
Delphi is an absolute must – you’ll need a full day though, it’s quite a drive.