Apart from enjoying a break from daily life, one of the greatest aspects of travelling is the exploring; discovering something new, often stemming from something very old. For those looking for a holiday with culture, history and maybe mythology, there is a new all-inclusive seven-night cruise aboard MV Athena – A Cyclades Adventure from Mykonos where you can walk in the footsteps of Apollo and Homer.
The trip sets sail aboard MV Athena from Mykonos to Delos, Naxos, Ios and Paros with Saga. Delos is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with no permanent residents, dating back to 3,000BC and is the birthplace of the legendary Apollo. Naxos is the largest of the Cyclades and has a causeway linking the port to the islet of Palatia, home to the Portara, or ‘Great Door’. The Portara was built in 6BC from four marble blocks weighing an incredible 20 tons each and are thought to be part of an unfinished temple.
Other exceptional archaeological visits include Ios, which means ‘flower’ and is the place where the ancient poet Homer is entombed whilst Paros is home to the iconic Byzantine ‘Church of 100 Doors’ with its silver Madonna.
During the trip, there are opportunities to explore the deserted beaches, ports, and incredible coastal villas of the rich and famous. A swimming stop that you may be interested in is at the small island of Antiparos, where American actor Tom Hanks owns a villa. He has been known to join the communal swim to Paros, across the channel of one nautical mile, held at the beginning of each July.
Walking tours of Mykonos Town and Paros are included where you can search the local markets, seafood restaurants, shops and quaint whitewashed buildings.
MV Athena is exclusively chartered for Saga guests and has 16 cabins which were refurbished in 2015 to a very high standard. The spacious ship features a sun deck, lounge and dining area plus an alfresco dining section. The free bar is open 11 hours a day from 11am-10pm, serves local alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
Fact box: Seven nights from £999 departing London Gatwick on a choice of 16 dates from April to October 2019. The price includes return flights, all meals and a free bar.