On the way to Kea we will sail under Cape Sounion, crowned by Poseidon temple built around 444BC. 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.
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.
Mikonos 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.
Just south-west of Mikonos on our way to Serifos lies the island of Delos, a major religious and political center of ancient Greece, where the Apollo oracle was consulted. 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.
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.
For the last time (this cruise !) 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 !