Cyclades & Saronic Gulf
Kea is mostly barren with patches of cultivated and wooded ground near the coast. The picturesque hamlet of Vourkari is most popular and has excellent restaurants. The large protected bay was once important as a coaling station for steamers. The beautiful «chora» on the hill, a huddle of glaring white houses is well worth a visit. A large lion carved from the rock face is attributed to an Ionian sculptor from around 600 BC.
Barren rocky island little touched by tourism. Numerous anchorage provide crystal clear water and good white sand beaches. The hot mineral springs in Loutra have been esteemed throughout history. Near Cape Kefalos are the ruins of a medieval citadel and town.
Rocky Siros or Sira , is the commercial, administrative and cultural center of the Cyclades. Archeological digs have revealed finds of the Cycladic civilization dating from 2800 to 2300 BC. The inhabitants converted to Catholicism under the French Capuchins in the Middle Ages. The 19th century saw Siros become a wealthy and powerful port in the eastern Mediterranean. Though Siros does not live off tourism, more visitors arrive each year attracted by its traditional charm.
Mykonos is the tourist Mecca of Greece. Bright and breezy with fine sandy beaches by day and by night the hum of the bars and throb of discos into the wee hours is all part of the scene. It is the island where locals and plain ordinary holidaymakers rub shoulders with the yacht set, the jet set, artists and celebrities from all over the world. The houses the churches and the narrow winding alleys appear to be a naturally evolved form sculpted from the rocks of the island itself. The cosmopolitan flavor of Mikonos may be an interesting contrast to the simpler pleasures of other islands.
Delos was once the political and religious center of the ancient world. Legend has it that Apollo was born here. The Delos oracle was consulted before major decisions and its fame was second only to that of Delphi. The ancient ruins on this island have been likened to Pompeii not for any architectural similarity but for the completeness of the picture of ancient life that can be gleaned from it.
Popular Tourist Island and typically Cycladic Houses, shops and churches are dazzling white cubes with bougainvillea and wisteria providing splashes of natural color. The island possesses the finest church in the Aegean, the Katapoliani, and is well worth a visit for the beautiful interior. The museum houses a slab of Parian Chronicle recording Greek history from pre-Homeric times and some sculptures in Parian marble.
The island is a giant volcano. It is unlike anywhere else in the world. The volcanic crater is some six miles long by four miles wide. The white domed houses of the capital extend along the cliff top above the tiny harbor and present a remarkable sight from seaward. The volcanic soil is especially fertile and produces fine grapes for wine. Santorini is unique and consequently it is one of the places in the Aegean that must be visited.
Sifnos is a hilly island. The west coast is barren and burnt rock, but on the east side of the island where most of the population live, it is greener and cultivated in places. The medieval village of Kastro is a delightful place. Today the beaches on the southeast coast are very popular.
Serifos has a modest tourist trade in summer. The white houses of the chora on the hill above Livadhi bay are like icing on a bun. The view from the chora down onto the bay and over the sea and islands beyond is well worth the trip.
Hydra is one of the most beautiful and attractive Greek harbors, with its many
stately former shipowners’ houses. Hydra became a fashionable place in the 60’s, attracting many artists among which the famous songwriter Leonard Cohen.
We sail towards the green island of Poros, separated from the Peloponnese by a narrow straight. The town is attractive with its neo-classical architecture, and the large protected bay one the most beautiful in Greece.
The traditional fishing village of Perdika is there to greet us. The town is a busy little place but very pleasant and homely. It is the first place in Greece where the Greek flag was raised at the end of the war of Independence. The single Doric column on Cape Colonna nearby is all that remains of the Temple of Aphaia (Aphrodite) that formerly stood there.
For the last time we raise our sails. A tip for the evening is a visit to Plaka in Athens, the oldest neighborhood under the Acropolis.
Today you have to say goodbye to Nova and your captain…. and start planning your next cruise onboard !