The best cruise in Greece? It’s the stuff of legend.
We know how difficult it is to choose only a precious few Greek islands to visit. You’ll be tempted to jet off to Naxos, swing over to Rhodes, stop in Crete, and sail to Milos, but such an ambitious adventure can be a logistical nightmare.
Instead, let us take care of the practicals so all you need to worry about are the photos on your holiday in the Greek islands.
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A Greek Island-Hopping Holiday
Our top picks for exploring the best of Greece by cruise weren’t chosen at random. No matter if you’re planning a family cruise of the Greek islands, setting your sights on an epic honeymoon, or just want to use your PTO to its fullest potential, we believe the three main features should be:
- Ample leisure time with instant accessibility
- A wealth of cultural, historical, and contemporary experiences
- A perfect mix of must-see attractions and lesser-known sites
And that’s why we think the one of the best cruises you can take in Greece has Mykonos, Santorini, and Delos as its ports of call.
If an Ancient Greek god created Mykonos as the epitome of what an island vacation should be, we’d believe it. You’ll know you’re on holiday immediately when you arrive in Mykonos: if the sun-kissed bodies on the sand don’t lure you over to a beach towel, the bass blaring out of the swanky bars will tempt you to party until sunrise.
Nightlife aside, you’ll have every reason to lose sleep as you pack your day with visits to the stunning Windmills of Kato Mili, pour over the exhibits at the Aegean Maritime and Archaeological Museums, and treat your sweet tooth to melopita pies filled with cheese, cinnamon, and tirovolia. And when all else fails, you’re never more than an arm’s length away from a bottle of ouzo and a few new friends to dance the night away with.
We don’t want to spread rumors, but we heard that even Paris is jealous of Santorini’s romantic prowess. Yes, gazing at the Blue Dome churches and whitewashed buildings are magnificent, particularly at sunset, but you needn’t set foot on the island to fall in love. Once you see the multicolored cliffs rising up from the Aegean, you’ll be smitten with Thira’s rugged yet delicate beauty.
It’s not all seafood, selfies, and suntanning, though. As much as you’ll want to indulge in the laid-back lavishness of the island, there’s more to explore beyond the shops and bars of Fira and Oia. Ancient Thera and the Bronze Age Akrotiri archaeological sites give you a glimpse into the lives of those that called Santorini home as far back as the 16th-century BC.
While your social media friends head to Crete, you’ll post pics of Delos and have followers wondering how they missed this cool Cyclades spot. Greek myth says the god Apollo and his sister Artemis were born in Delos.
Surrounded by other ruins, the Temple of Apollo is yours to explore, as is the island’s museum which features artifacts from Roman and Hellenistic times. You won’t find hotels on this archaeological site, making it a perfect day trip destination to fill your Greek cruise with another memorable port of call.
Our Greek Island Hopper tour takes you to all three islands with ease. High speed ferries cut your time in transit and give you more time to shop, dine, and actually explore each island to your liking. This 10-day trip around Greece’s famous islands starts and ends at Piraeus Port of Athens, ensuring that even your first and final days of your holiday aren’t wasted or waterlogged.
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If you’re feeling a bit wishy-washy about committing to a cruise around the Greek Islands, we get it.
Cruising isn’t for everyone, just as some people prefer not to rely on trains, buses, or flights to get from place to place on holiday. Which is why you’ll appreciate a chance to merely dip your toe into the world of cruising.
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Trafalgar’s Secrets of Greece tour offers a chance to see the best sights on mainland Greece, plus a short ferry trip to Corfu and an option to visit dreamy Santorini.
You’ll want to spend hours people-watching in Spianada, one of Greece’s most impressive squares, though you can just as easily fill your day exploring the winding medieval streets of Old Town. Stroll through the arcades and admire the architecture, each colorful townhouse and opulent palace flourished with the British, French, or Venetian aesthetic of its time.
When you’re not roaming through the grand Achilleion Palace and the regal Venetian Castle, sites like the 13th-century Paleokastritsa Monastery balance historic charm and drool-worthy backdrops where the rugged mountains meet the sea.
Two days in Santorini is plenty of time to snap a selfie in front of the Blue Dome churches. This volcanic island is exceptionally accessible, giving you options to swim in hot springs by day and hike to unforgettable panoramas for sunsets every evening.
“Island time” can’t even describe Santorini’s chill pace; you’re welcome to while away the day at a winery, on a catamaran, or with a good book on the beach. Just find a moment to pop into a restaurant for a plate of the chewiest octopus you’ve ever had the pleasure of tasting.
It’s all Greek on land & sea
Are you a bit of a landlubber? Don’t worry, we weren’t born with sea legs, either. Thankfully, the Ancient Greeks were kind enough to leave heaps of their culture on the mainland.
Trafalgar’s Best of Greece tour gives you 8-days worth of overland adventure. You’ll check off the bucket list stops in Athens like the Acropolis and the site of the first modern Olympics. Then it’s off to Corinth, Nafplion, and the site of the ancient Olympics. Between Patras and a return to Athens, you’ll see more ruins, monasteries, and museums.
Whether you fancy riding the waves on a high speed ferry or keeping your trainers planted firmly on solid ground, we’ve got multiple ways to get you around Greece with your desired level of comfort and convenience. Explore Trafalgar’s best Greek island cruises and overland experiences to find your perfect Greek holiday itinerary.
Been on a cruise and want to share your experience? Tell us all about it in the comments…