Sunday, October 8
Morning arrival in Heraklion, Crete, the southernmost of the Greek Isles where you will have an included excursion to visit the Palace of Knossos, discovered in 1900 by Arthur Evans. This was the kingdom of King Minos, the site of the legendary Minotaur, later slain by Theseus, and you can see the underground corridors of the Labyrinth. Then sail to Santorini, one of the most fascinating islands in the Aegean, with its rugged, volcanic cliffs topped by brilliant white houses in the town of Thera. The view from the town is spectacular, looking down into the beautiful bay to the still active volcanic island only a few miles away. Return to your cruise ship for the journey back to Athens.
Photos of our Day's Journey
Crete, the largest island in Greece, is one of the most popular travel destinations of the Mediterranean. It's an island with a thousand faces that combines everything a traveller might ask for: a rich history, several major attractions, a unique food culture, a vibrant nightlife, magnificent nature and pristine beaches.
On Crete flourished the first prehistoric civilisation of note on European soil, that of the Minoan Bronze-Age, and its majestic palaces can still be visited today. In the long history of the island, a multitude of different cultures and conquerors have passed through, leaving behind important traces on the island. As a result, present-day Crete has a high level of historical, archaeological and cultural points of interest.
The heart of Crete beats in its cities: Chania, the Venice of the East, Renaissance Rethymno, cosmopolitan Heraklion and picturesque Agios Nikolaos, Sitia and Ierapetra. In addition museums and historical sites and buildings, you'll find many shops selling local products, lively bars and cafés, as well as restaurants where you can try the both delicious and healthy Cretan cuisine.
At the same time, Crete stands out for its unique natural environment. On one hand, a seemingly endless and indented coastline offers countless beaches for each and every taste. At the other extreme, there is a spine of high mountains ideal for hiking and mountaineering. Gorges to wander through, caves to explore, valleys to admire, all waiting the visitor’s glance. In Crete, you'll never fall short of things to do.
Did the Apostle Paul ever go to Crete?
Early church tradition holds that Paul, after his release from his first imprisonment in Rome, stopped at the island of Crete to preach. Due to the needs of other churches, requiring his presence elsewhere, he ordained his disciple Titus as bishop of that island, and left him to finish the work he had started.
Santorini is a gifted island that has become the ultimate travel destination over the years and is among the most romantic getaways worldwide. It has distinct dramatic landscapes, a captivating wild natural beauty and offers awe-inspiring images and intriguing sensations to all visitors. Being an island, it is ideal for summer vacation as it provides precious shores, an open sea, attention-grabbing views and the famed warm Greek hospitality and way of life.
Santorini, or Thera as it is officially called, is a small Greek island, with an area of 96 kilometers, in the southern Aegean Sea. It belongs to a group of islands, called Cyclades, which consists of numerous islands that share the same characteristics and architecture. Santorini is a real gem and succeeds in enchanting every single person that sets foot on its magical land. It is actually the southernmost Cycladic island and lies between the Greek islands Ios and Anafi. It is at a distance of 130 nautical miles from the port of Piraeus in Athens, the capital of Greece, and 70 nautical miles from Crete, the largest Greek island. It is located about 200 km southeast of the mainland and is accessible by ferryboat or plane.