Visit Italy, Croatia, Turkey and Greece on an Eastern Mediterranean Cruise!
Cruising is a great way to see many diverse countries in a one week vacation window. Our Eastern Mediterranean sailing took us from Italy to Croatia, on to Turkey and then two destinations in Greece! Every day, a new adventure!
It’s certainly worth spending a few days in Venice to witness this amazing city, that seemingly rises up from the water. Built on many small islands amidst the Adriatic Sea, this is a city like no other! Your travels through Venice will be along the canals, by boat or by foot. There are no roadways. It’s truly an experience! For more on Venice, visit my post at http://www.4startraveler.com/vacation-in-venice/.
Split, on the Dalmation coast, is the second largest city in Croatia. There’s no need to book an excursion here as the cruise port is right outside of the Old Town with plenty of shops selling exotic gifts and several picturesque waterfront cafes along the promenade. The main site to see is also right in the port city. The Diocletian’s Palace and courtyard is a mini-city. This is a Unesco World Heritage site that dates back to A.D. 295. On a sidenote, this Palace has recently been used as a film location for ‘Game of Thrones’!
Our next stop, Ephesus, I was a little hesitant about at first. It was one of those cities on a cruise that you accept as part of the itinerary but may not have otherwise chose to go to. I stand corrected, it was pretty amazing! For more on this excursion, visit my post at http://www.4startraveler.com/ancient-city-of-ephesus/. The port town of Kusadisi is quite interesting as well. There is an old fashioned street bazaar type atmosphere. Watch out for the hawkers, they are everywhere, trying to get you to buy their wares.
The view of the gorgeous white and blue homes perched high on the cliffs of Mykonos is a beautiful sight as you cruise into port. The port area is filled with shops and cafes within walking distance, but here we decided to do our own excursion. Having seen many great reviews for the St. John Hotel in Mykonos, I decided to contact them. Not only did the St. John offer day passes for their facilities, but they provided free personal transportation to and from the cruise port for the eight people in my group! It was the perfect choice for a great relaxing day. We were able to dine, visit the spa, and use the pool and beach area at the hotel. My husband is still raving about their food! (Keep in mind that you can plan other excursions aside from those that the cruise ship provides.)
Kefalonia is a charming seaside village on the largest island in the Ionian Sea. Walking into the village, I was greeted by tremendous sea turtles swimming up along the harborside. They tease visitors by coming toward them, then quickly diving back under the water. I was a little mesmerized by these great creatures and had to be dragged away toward our beach destination! We lunched in the village and then took a cab to the amazing Myrtos Beach for the day. It had the most electric blue water I have ever seen. Gorgeous! The pure white pebbles and deep blue sea mimic the beautiful, clean-looking, white and blue façade that graces many of the buildings in several cities in Greece. The beach was absolutely breathtaking! Amenities included plenty of lounge chairs and umbrellas for rent, as well as a cantina for food and drink.
More About Cruising….
I’m a huge fan of cruising, especially to distant parts of the world that I’ve never been to before. This was my first time sampling destinations along the Eastern Mediterranean. What an amazing opportunity to be able to visit the famous ancient ruins of Turkey one day, and sip a drink poolside at an incredible luxury resort in Greece the next. Best of all, your vacation continues during travel time. As you dine, see shows and enjoy the amenities of the ship, you’re on your way to your next adventure! What’s not to love?!
Some things to keep in mind if you are new to cruising;
- Your stateroom, food and many forms of entertainment on the ship are all included in the cruise price. Many cruise lines are now offering other perks as well, including beverage packages, specialty dining, and internet access.
The cost of cruising is far less than it would be for hotels, food and entertainment if you were to book land packages. Keep in mind that drinks (unless part of a package) and shore excursions will be additional.
For those that fear motion-sickness – the ships now have stabilizers to limit the amount of sway. There are also many products available to prevent motion sickness, such as pills, wrist bands, etc…
You can pick a cruise line, itinerary and ship that best suits the needs of you and your fellow travelers. Not all cruises are created equal!
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