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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.
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.
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.
Bodrum is one of the trendiest destinations on Turkey’s Aegean coast, with plenty of private yachts bobbing alongside the traditional gulet boats in the harbour. Whitewashed buildings draped in bougainvillea give the town a Greek feel, overlooked by the imposing 15th century crusader castle.
The Turkish port of Kusadasi is the gateway to Ephesus, one of the most spectacular archaeological sites in the Eastern Mediterranean. This was the Roman capital of Asia Minor, and the remains constitute the most complete classical city in Europe.
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.
Çanakkale occupies a key strategic location guarding the Dardanelles, at the meeting point of the Aegean and the Sea of Marmara. This region of Turkey is full of historical interest, including the battlefields of the disastrous Gallipoli campaign and the ruins of ancient Troy.
Istanbul is the place where East meets West, where Asia Minor reaches out across the Bosphorus and almost touches Europe, and the city remains a bristling, bustling cultural melting pot, the skyline dotted with magnificent minarets and domes.
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.
Once known as the ‘Paris of the East’, it’s fair to say that modern Bucharest bears some pretty ugly architectural scars from the 22-year dictatorship of the late Nicolae Ceauşescu. Looks aren’t everything though, and Romania’s capital has emerged from the ashes of communism as a feisty, dynamic city.
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’.
Sochi’s sub-tropical climate and spectacular setting, where the Caucasus mountains meet the Black Sea coast, mean that this has long been a popular summer beach destination, which made it all the more surprising when the city was chosen as the venue for the Winter Olympics in 2014!
The balmy Black Sea port of Batumi is Georgia’s most popular beach resort, and a great introduction to this intriguing country. Significant investment over the last few years has resulted in a glut of eye-catching new buildings, along with a delightfully spruced-up seafront boulevard.
Named after a mythical Amazon queen, the pretty town of Sinop is situated on a rocky promontory that guards the Black Sea’s finest natural harbour. You can explore the ruins of the city walls and the old fortress, or simply relax at one of the many seafront cafés and restaurants.
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.
Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace, the Blue Mosque, the Basilica Cistern, the Grand Bazaar, the Golden Horn, the Suleiman Mosque, the spice market, the shopping, the museums and galleries and… so much more!
Your home from home
Star Pride, Legend and Breeze are hugely popular little vessels, for good reason.
What we love
These small ships accommodate 312 guests in large all-suite accommodation, following the completion of the Star Plus refurbishment programme in 2021. There's a choice of restaurants and comfortable lounges and plenty of deck space, while the ship's marina ensures you can enjoy the complimentary watersports when anchored in hidden bays and tiny coves.
|Crew||190 International Staff|
|Style||This is laid-back luxury at its best with relaxed informal days, refined yet comfortable evenings and a friendly and welcoming crew.|
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.