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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.
The volcanic island of Santorini (known officially as Thira) is one of the most spectacularly beautiful in the Mediterranean. The pretty village of Oia, with its whitewashed houses and windmills tumbling down the hillside, is particularly photogenic.
Delos was venerated by the Ancient Greeks as the birthplace of the gods Apollo and Artemis, and the sprawling ruins are now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Delos sits at the centre of the Cyclades group, which take their name from the fact that they encircle the sacred island.
Glamorous Mykonos is the most popular of the Cyclades islands, well known as a haunt of the rich and the famous. It’s also the gateway to the nearby island of Delos, home to one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece.
Hydra is unique amongst the Greek islands, blissfully free of motorised traffic; transport here is by donkey, water taxi or on foot. The island has attracted many artists, musicians and actors over the years, but retains a rustic and tranquil atmosphere.
The port of Nydri, a favourite with the yachting crowd, is situated on the east coast of Lefkada, a beautiful and unspoilt island connected to the Greek mainland by a narrow causeway. Here you’ll find amazing beaches, peaceful olive groves and the refreshing Dimosari Waterfalls.
The pretty town of Parga sits on the Ionian coast of northwest Greece, on a sandy bay between two rocky outcrops. The pastel-coloured houses and lively seafront tavernas make this a pleasant place to spend some time, and points of historical interest include the hilltop Venetian castle.
Kotor sits at the head of a beautiful, fjord-like bay, hemmed in by glowering mountains. The compact, walled old town is Montenegro’s star attraction, a warren of little alleyways and shady squares that is often described as a ‘mini Dubrovnik’.
Arriving in Dubrovnik
We never fail to be moved when we see the terracotta roofs and honey-golden walls of Dubrovnik, and a stroll around the perfectly preserved old town is a highlight of any visit to the Dalmatian coast. Formerly known as Ragusa, Dubrovnik is a city with a rich, and occasionally troubled, history; the shelling of the city was one of the most shocking images of the Balkan wars of the 1990s, which makes the painstaking restoration of the old town in the years since all the more remarkable. Make sure you take the time to walk around the walls and soak up the views across the rooftops towards Lokrum island, and the deep sapphire of the Adriatic Sea beyond.
The War Photo museum offers a sobering reminder of the conflicts that convulsed the Balkans in the 1990s. It’s not easy viewing, but it does make you appreciate the extraordinary extent to which Dubrovnik has bounced back.
Your home from home
The World’s Best Yacht, Crystal Esprit, offers a completely new Crystal experience, as adventurous or laid back as you please, with just 62 fellow guests.
What we love
We love the translation of everything that is wonderful about Crystal into a completely new environment - a tiny 62 guest yacht that can take you to the most inaccessible, the most exclusive and the most intimate of ports of call for a unique shipboard experience. An affordable way to live the life.
An astonishing 91 International staff
|Style||If you have a taste for the finer things in life, but love the idea of a relaxed and unregimented environment, Crystal Esprit is going to tick all your boxes.|
Total renovation 2015
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.
Our favourite hotel in Dubrovnik
We love the intimate Villa Orsula, with just eight lovely bedrooms and excellent sea views, but if you want to stay in the Old Town itself, the Pucic Palace is the one to go for.
Day trips from Dubrovnik
Make the short trip across the border into Bosnia-Herzegovina and visit the pretty little town of Mostar, with its famous stone bridge over the river Neretva.