Greek Islands Cruise

Day 1   Rhodes  9/12
Meeting; Dinner
We’ll gather for our usual get-acquainted meeting in our beachfront hotel and go to dinner together in a local taverna.

Day 2   Rhodes  9/13
Rhodes Old Town
We’ll begin today by exploring the World Heritage listed Rhodes Old Town with our ace local guide.  Although Rhodes has an ancient pedigree, the ambiance is decidedly Medieval.  The crusading Knights of St John arrived in 1309, carving out a Feudal fief on the island, ruling for two centuries, and putting a permanent stamp on the town’s architecture.  Highlights include the massive city walls and the Knights Quarter with its storied Avenue of the Knights. Impressive Fort-like mansions, the charter houses of the various chivalric orders, line the street.  We’ll also tour the magnificent 14th century Palace of the Grand Masters.  Your afternoon is free to explore the twisting alleys of the Turkish, Byzantine, and Jewish quarters.

Day 3 Rhodes  9/14
Island Tour; Lindos
This morning we board a bus for a short journey to Lindos.  There our guide will reveal the secrets of the picturesque Acropolis of Lindos. We’ll have to turn our clocks back almost 3000 years for this smaller version of Athens’ famous hill.  It may not stack up in scale, but the cliff-top, seaside venue is spectacular!  Bring your swimsuit for a dip in stunningly beautiful St Paul’s Lagoon.

Days 4 to Day 8  Gulet Charter
For the next 6 days we take our accommodation with us – our Gulet Yacht, the B&BII.  Private cabins, ensuite bathrooms, a comfortable salon (dining room), and plenty of room to relax are just the beginning of the amenities on this luxury boat.  We’ll use our mobile base to visit 5 or 6 islands, several of which do not receive regular ferry service, as we motor our way west toward Santorini, the jewel of the Cycladic crown. Island explorations will mostly be left to you to create your own experiences.  We’ll provide logistical support, recommendations, and optional organized excursions when appropriate.  The itinerary is subject to sea and weather conditions, but our proposed itinerary follows.

Day 4   Symi  9/15
Symi Explorations

You’ll have the morning to continue your explorations of Rhodes Town or relax in the hotel.  We’ll depart the harbor just after lunch and sail for nearby Symi.  Symi is one of the most picturesque islands in the Dodecanese group, with its pastel colored Neoclassical houses tumbling down the steep slopes to its picturesque harbor.  Plus, a craggy and steep interior provides a backdrop for a lovely coast frequently riven by fjord-like inlets.

Day 5  Nysiros  9/16
Volcano Tour
After breakfast in the harbor, we’ll sail for Nysiros, a tiny, perfectly round, volcanic island without regular ferry service. Almost completely undeveloped, this makes a fascinating island stop.  In the afternoon we’ll be bused to the impressive and active volcanic crater.  We’ll continue up to a spectacular viewpoint and explore a tiny, white-washed, caldera-clinging village before returning to our floating hotel for the evening.

Day 6  Astypalia  9/17
Astypalia Explorations

Our goal today is beautiful Astypalia, perhaps the most picturesque of all the islands on our itinerary.  This hidden gem is enough off the radar to avoid the crush of commercial tourism.  The sugar cube houses of the Hora (main town) spill down a steep hillside to yet another photogenic harbor.  The hill above is crowned with the crenellated ruins of an old fort, inside which two classic blue-domed churches have been built.  To complete the picture postcard scene, a row of conical topped windmills line the saddle leading up toward the peak.  It is simply stunning!

Days 7-8  Amorgos  9/18-19
Guided Hike; Moni Hozoviotissis; Greek Dancing

Many travelers list Amorgos among the most beautiful islands in the Aegean. Blessed with a dramatic landscape, classic white-washed sugar cube architecture and blue-domed churches, it is the island destination of your traveling imaginations.  The long thin island looks like the rugged, spiny back of an undulating sea serpent emerging from the Aegean. Rugged cliffs plunge into the sea on the south coast and golden beaches dot the north. The beautiful, unspoiled Hora (main town) is as picturesque as any in the Cyclades.  Spreading like a white tissue across the island’s rocky crown, it boasts several windmills and is topped with a castle ruin. But the true gem of Amorgos is an impossibly alluring monastery. The magnificent 11th century Moni Hozoviotissis is a bright white building defying gravity as it clings precariously to a sheer cliff above the waves.  The monastery is difficult to get to on foot, but we have the luxury of creating our own front row seat – the deck of the B&BII.  We'll have our first dinner in a local taverna followed by a traditional Greek dancing lesson.

Day 9  Santorini  9/20
Today begins with our final sail on the B&BII.  Our goal:  Santorini.  What can be said about Santorini that has not been said a thousand times before? It is stunningly beautiful, breathtaking, sublime, transcendent.   All true and more.  The rest of our island hopping, wonderful as it will have been, was simply preamble. Santorini is the ultimate island visit.  Our arrival itself will present an awesome spectacle as we sail into the magnificent caldera, Santorini’s cliff-clinging, white-washed villages suspended hundreds of feet above.  Its a vision you will never forget.  The rest of today is a free day to explore Santorini.  We’ll spend our last night on the gulet, beneath the twinkling lights of Thira.

Day 10  Santorini  9/21
Santorini Explorations
We’ll transfer to our island hotel, perched on the rim of the caldera.  Each room boasts sweeping views.  Our first full day on the island is yours to order as you desire.  We can help organize an optional visit to the active volcanic island in the midst of the spectacular caldera. Hike up to the summit with tiny fumaroles of steam emerging from cracks in the trail.  Evidence of volcanism is evident everywhere in the lunar-like landscape.  Or do some wine tasting, shopping, beach hopping, or simply relax at one of the hotel’s 3 swimming pools with the world’s best view.

Day 11  Santorini  9/22
Akrotiri; Oia; Wine Tasting; Dinner

Today is our island exploration day.  We’ll head first to the Akrotiri archaeological site.  Our ace local guide Eugenia will bring the Minoan ruins to life. Afterward, we’ll tour the length of the island stopping at some of her most dramatic and poly-chromatic beaches en route to picture-perfect Oia, an artistic community with arguably the best view on the island. We’ll conclude our day with a sunset wine tasting and dinner in a local taverna.

Day 12  Santorini  9/23
Tour over after breakfast.  There are flights, ferries, and fast boats to neighboring islands and back to the mainland to extend your trip or connect with your flight home.

            Optional Pre-tour Delphi/Meteora Extension

Day 1   Athens  9/9
Meeting; Dinner

Meet in the hotel for a get-acquainted meeting, followed by an orientation walk and dinner in the neighborhood.

Day 2  Meteora  9/10
Acropolis Museum

Our morning begins with a guided visit to the wonderful new Acropolis Museum.  Then we’ll depart Athens and head for Meteora, arriving in time for happy hour views of the sheer stone spires and rugged cliffs lit by the last light of the day.

Day 3 Delphi  9/11
Monasteries Tour; Dinner

The name Meteora is derived from the Greek word meteoros, which means “suspended in air.”  The soaring pinnacles and jutting cliffs make for one of earth’s most dramatic geological displays.  The earliest inhabitants were 11th century hermits, seeking isolation from the profane world.  By the 14th century, Turkish conquests forced the Byzantine church to seek ever more remote and isolated refuge.  Meteora was a perfect sanctuary.  Eventually 24 monasteries were built, of which 6 remain active today.  We’ll start our day with a guided tour of some of the more dramatically situated buildings, perched precariously atop the amazing stacks.  After lunch we’ll drive to Delphi and settle in for the night. We’ll have dinner together in a local taverna.

Day 4 Delphi/Rhodes  9/12  [Day 1 Greek Islands Tour]
Delphi Tour
Today begins with a guide visit of the archaeological site.  Our amazing local guide Penny will give us a guided tour of the ruins and new Museum of Delphi.  Delphi was the “navel of the ancient world” and the location of the famous Delphic Oracle, whom all men great and small consulted before important decisions.  In the afternoon we’ll drive to Athens airport, catch our flight to Rhodes, and join the rest of the group for our Greek Islands Tour (flight included).

[Itinerary and hotels subject to change]

What’s Included:
11 nights accommodation (14 with extension); All breakfasts, 5 dinners, and 3 lunches (+2 dinners with extension); All tour transport by bus, boat, and airplane (extension); All tips for guides, drivers, group meals, boat crew, and hotel staff; Full-time services of a professional tour director, local guides; All entrances: Acropolis Museum; Delphi Museum & Arch. Site; Meteora Monasteries (extension); Lindos; Akrotiri. Other included activities: guided tours of Lindos, Rhodes Old Town, Oia & Santorini village visit; Greek dancing lesson; guided Amorgos hike; volcano excursion Nisyros; wine tasting; and more.

Important exceptions: Tour participants are responsible for the cost of drinks, free-time sightseeing, free time meals, and possible baggage charges on domestic flights; flights to/from the tour; any activities or services not listed above.  See our Terms and Conditions for important details regarding everything listed above.