Sailing from Greece
Setting sail from Athens (Piraeus)
Athens is a city awash with historical and cultural significance. Towering over the city are the gleaming columns of the Parthenon, surely one of the most iconic sights in the whole of Europe. And yet Athens is much more than an open air museum; this is a dynamic, bustling metropolis, and a place where history is still very much unfolding. For all its faults, the Greek capital possesses an energy and an optimism that are manifest in everything from the burgeoning art scene to the restaurants and bars that continue to pop up on a regular basis.
Once you have seen the essentials, explore further afield and you will immediately escape the tourist crowds. Visit Kerameikos cemetery, for example, or Mount Lycabettus.
Greece: Delphi (Itea)
The port of Itea, situated on the Greek mainland to the west of Athens, is the gateway to the magnificent ruins of Delphi. The spectacular cliffside setting at the foot of Mount Parnassos adds to the drama of this holiest of Ancient Greek sites, home to a famous oracle in antiquity.
Greece: Fiskardo (Kefalonia)
Rugged Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian islands, and remains unspoilt by tourism despite earning fame as the setting for ‘Captain Corelli’s Mandolin’. The island rewards exploration, with some splendid beaches and lovely little villages, and the vineyards here produce some excellent wines.
Italy: Giardini Naxos
The charming village of Giardini Naxos is one of the jewels of Sicily, a popular resort located on a majestic bay facing the Ionian Sea. Restaurants and bars line a long stretch of beach, and the attractive town of Taormina is within easy reach, along with the slopes of brooding Mount Etna.
Lipari is the largest of the Aeolian Islands, a volcanic archipelago to the north of Sicily. The main port is Lipari Town, a charming little harbour of pastel-coloured houses, fishing boats and enticing restaurants, overlooked by the imposing 13th century citadel.
The captivating island of Capri has much to offer, from the ruins of Roman villas to gorgeous private residences surrounded by flower-filled gardens. You might also want to explore the famous Blue Grotto, with its intense azure interior and ethereal silvery light.
Ponza is the largest of the Pontine islands, situated out in the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west of Naples. Sometimes described as a more authentic alternative to Capri, the island is notable for its natural beauty and Neapolitan-influenced cuisine, and has a reputation as a hideaway for the rich and famous.
Italy: Rome (Civitavecchia)
One of the world’s great cities, Rome continues to dazzle and delight visitors with a potent mix of architectural marvels, continent-defining history and buzzing nightlife. The Colosseum, the Vatican and the Forum are among the big ticket items, with the crowds to match, though in truth you will find history around almost every corner.
Italy: Porto Ercole
Bonifacio sits atop brilliant white limestone cliffs on the southern tip of Corsica, with the harbour down below filled with fishing boats and glitzy yachts. The town's history as a Genoese stronghold, along with its proximity to Sardinia, means that the Italian influence is strong here.
The Corsican port of Calvi is a popular summer destination for both sun-seeking tourists and the yachts of the super-rich, with a swanky harbour and five miles of beautiful beach. The town is said by some to be the birthplace of Christopher Columbus, and the skyline is dominated by the imposing 15th century Genoese citadel.
Italy: Portoferraio (Elba)
The island of Elba, just off the Tuscan coast, is where Napoleon Bonaparte was famously forced to live in exile between 1814-15. It’s hard to feel too sorry for him, though; the views from his plush Villa dei Mulini, situated high above the town of Portoferraio, are quite spectacular.
This tiny village on the Ligurian coast must be one of the most photographed spots in Italy, and no wonder; brightly coloured houses cling to the hillside overlooking a delightfully picturesque little harbour, where fishing boats gently bob alongside luxury yachts.
Arriving in Nice
Nice enjoys a marvellous setting on one of the most glorious stretches of the Côte d'Azur, the sweeping Bay of Angels, so it's no wonder that tourists have been flocking here since the 19th century. A stroll along the waterfront Promenade des Anglais, flanked by palm trees on one side and the dazzling blue of the Mediterranean on the other, is the quintessential Niçois experience, and one we'll never tire of. Do try and make some time to explore the old town as well though; it's a maze of wonderfully winding streets, some of which may be barely wide enough to squeeze through after that hearty seafood lunch!
Vieux Nice, the old town, is the perfect place to get lost, with beautiful baroque architecture, bustling markets and narrow lanes.
Your home from home
Emerald Azzurra is the first ship in the Emerald Yacht Cruises fleet, carrying just 100 lucky travellers in sleek and stylish surroundings.
What we love
Enjoy small ship cruising in style, with comfortable staterooms and suites (most with private balcony), an à la carte restaurant, infinity-style pool, al fresco Sky Bar, wellness area and a marina at the back of the yacht, allowing you to hop straight into the water and have fun with a host of water toys.
Intimate and informal, with an emphasis on relaxed, al fresco living and exploration ashore.
Tailor-make your trip
Extend your stay in Athens
At Mundy, we have long been hunting for the perfect Athenian hotel - our favourite so far is the Electra Palace in Plaka.
Excursions from Athens
Delphi is an absolute must – you’ll need a full day though, it’s quite a drive.
Where to stay in Nice
A Mundy favourite is the famous Negresco on the Promenade des Anglais, something of a museum in its own right.
See more of southern France
Travel out of Nice into Provence and visit the lovely villages such as Eze and St Paul de Vence.