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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.
Obviously don’t miss the Acropolis, nor the new adjacent museum, where space has pointedly been left for the frieze we call the Elgin Marbles – it is really excellent. Then take time to stroll on the hills and slopes around the outcrop.
Unspoilt Skyros is the largest of the Sporades islands, with its dramatic castle and a picturesque Chora draped across a hillside. The young Achilles is said to have hidden here, and to have ridden a Skyrian horse into Troy; if you’re lucky, you might spot one of these rare and small-bodied creatures in the wild.
Kavala has a rich history dating back nearly 3,000 years, and was known in antiquity as Neapolis. Many of the city’s most interesting sights were built by the Ottomans, including the aqueduct of Suleyman the Magnificent and the beautiful Imaret, a former religious school.
The Aegean island of Bozcaada, also known as Tenedos, is a popular weekend and summer escape for residents of Istanbul. The main settlement, Bozcaada Merkez, has an atmospheric Greek quarter full of colourful houses, while elsewhere on the island you'll find vineyards, beaches and an impressive castle.
Basking on the Black Sea coast is Varna, Bulgaria’s cosmopolitan third city. It’s a pleasant place to explore, with charming Baroque architecture and some interesting Roman remains, and it’s also easy to take a day trip out to one of the nearby beach resorts.
Founded by Catherine the Great in 1794, the sunny port of Odessa has a rich and storied history as a cosmopolitan playground for Russian high society, reflected in the city’s gloriously faded neoclassical architecture. Famous sights include the Potemkin Steps, so called after featuring in the classic 1925 film ‘Battleship Potemkin’.
Constanta, Romania’s largest Black Sea port, is not the most attractive city in the world, but it does have some interesting history; founded by the Greeks over 2,500 years ago, the city was home to the Roman poet Ovid after he was exiled here by the Emperor Augustus in 8 AD. It's also located close to the wildlife-rich Danube Delta, home to pelicans, white-tailed eagles, egrets and more.
The main attraction in Nessebar is the pretty old town, connected to the mainland by a narrow isthmus and full of Byzantine churches in varying states of decay. In summer the crowds can be a little overbearing, but the cobbled streets are sufficiently charming to make a visit worth your while.
Arriving in Istanbul
This is one of those destinations that really does live up to the hype! Istanbul is the place where East meets West, where Asia Minor reaches out across the Bosphorus and almost touches Europe. In its earlier incarnation as Constantinople, the city was the eastern bastion of the Byzantine Empire, holding out for centuries before finally capitulating to the Ottomans in 1453, and it remains a bristling, bustling cultural melting pot, the skyline dotted with magnificent minarets and domes.
Try and go for an authentic Turkish experience with a bath in a hamam. Discuss your options with the receptionist. Cagaloglu Hamami is the most spectacular.
Your home from home
Just 56 fortunate couples enjoy a completely relaxed al fresco holiday experience and a quirky individual style of service that is way beyond the norm.
What we love
This has to be one of our favourite travel experiences. We love the al fresco feel, dining outside for all meals if you wish, and even spending the night sleeping under the stars on the Balinese dream beds. The totally laid back style means SeaDream is the ultimate chill.
|Crew||95 International Staff|
|Style||A place where you are nurtured, indulged and cared for, with no rules and no schedule. Lots of action if that's what you want, or nothing at all if you prefer.|
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 recommended hotel in Istanbul
We love the intimate Four Seasons at Sultanahmet, but – top Mundy tip! - it is so small that it’s often fully booked, so don’t hang about.
See more of Turkey
Take a few extra days and travel to Cappadocia for the extraordinary Star Wars scenery, rock caves and churches.