Wordtravels

Wordtravels

The Greek islands are growing in popularity as a cruise destination. There are hundreds of islands scattered like jewels over the Mediterranean and they offer a combination of picturesque scenery and astounding history that few destinations can match.

So where to start? One option is select a cruise that takes in the main highlights of the region over a 10-day period. Key attractions in the Greek islands include the perfectly preserved harbours of Mykonos; the famous white-washed houses of Santorini; the wonderful beaches and landscapes of Corfu; Kefalonia's magical scenery (setting for Captain Correlli's Mandolin); the castle guarding the port of Kos; and finally the old-walled town of Rhodes. This is only a taste of the full mezze platter of wonderful attractions awaiting you - see the Word Travels resort guides to Greece for more information.

Think carefully about what type of an experience you're after. A large cruise liner offers luxury and comfort, but is somewhat out of place when looming over a tiny, historic port town. Consider looking for a smaller vessel, sailboat or catamaran charter or megayacht to get a little more "up close and personal" with the islands you are choosing to visit. The smaller boats also allow for swimming stops. Another option with appeal to those with specific itineraries is to use the basic ferry system to get from island to island. Don't expect luxuries however, although the scenery is quite pleasant.

Most cruises are round-trips from the Port of Piraeus in Athens, which has become the cruise ship hub of the Mediterranean. Athens, of course, has many attractions to offer, from iconic sights like the Parthenon and Acropolis to fabulous shopping and the best of Greek cuisine. Make sure you allocate a least three days to explore - although do it before your cruise as Athens's legendary traffic might stress you out!