When cruising Greece, a country of thousands of sundrenched islands scattered along the Aegean and Ionian seas, you’ll cruise in the wake of mythic mariners. iExplore the Acropolis In Athens, where democracy, philosophy and theatre were born. On your Holland America Line cruise, unpack once and then cruise the Greek islands. Walk the warm, black sands of Santorini. Sample ouzo at a Mykonos taverna. Visit Olympia, site of the ancient Olympics, and the Church of Our Lady of the Castle, a Byzantine gem on Rhodes.
Gythion (Sparta), Greece
Katakolon (Olympia), Greece
A distinctly Greek welcome can be experienced in the Peloponnese like nowhere else. The region reveals what it means to be Greek: traditions that go back thousands of years, simple but delicious and healthy cuisine, towering mountains, crystal blue seas and, above all, the true hospitality of the people. In Greek, xenos means "stranger," but the word also means "guest," and a respectful traveler will be treated like a favored friend.
In addition to unmissable Olympia, the Peloponnese offers lesser-known ancient sites, natural wonders and an insight into the traditional rural life. See as much as possible—your efforts will be more than rewarded.
Kavala (Neapolis), Greece
Mytilene, Nisos Lesbos, Greece
Pine-covered hills wrap around the lovely town of Pylos (often referred to as Navarino, its Italian name), in the Messenia region of Greece's Peloponnese. Cobblestoned streets lead down to the harbor, where outdoor cafés overlook the bay. This pleasant scene, however, belies a turbulent history. In 425 B.C.E., the Athenians won a rare victory here over the Spartans, and 22 centuries later, a critical battle of the War of Greek Independence unfolded in these waters. Travelers come for more than history, however. Besides rolling hills covered in olive groves, the region has some of Greece’s best beaches, where fine golden sands meet clear turquoise sea.