The Undiscovered Greek Islands


Enjoy the serenity of undiscovered and popular islands of the Aegean aboard the all-suite Harmony V

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 Nea Moni, Chios, Greece  Harbor on the island of Symi  Church on the island of Skopelos
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Unlike their larger and better known counterparts, the 'undiscovered' islands of the Aegean have preserved not only their architectural and cultural treasures, but also their traditional way of life. On this very special voyage, our small cruise ship Harmony V sails this age-old sea in pursuit of out-of-the-way, undeveloped destinations. Each day finds us amid striking vistas that include forgotten ancient ruins, hidden harbors, and villages where traditional occupations and crafts --fishing, farming, pottery, wine-making --are still practiced. Whitewashed villages on Amorgos, Skopelos, and Sifnos; the awe-inspiring volcanic island of Nisyros; the Sanctuary of the Great Gods on Samothraki; the magnificent 11th century monastery of Nea Moni on Chios --these are only some of the places we will experience. And on many evenings, as we linger in port, we will be able to browse the shops and stroll the streets at leisure, fully absorbing the authentic Greek ambience.

Itinerary

October 4-5, 2015 - U.S., Athens, Greece, Piraeus, Embark

Fly from the U.S. to Athens, Greece. Arrive in Athens, transfer to Piraeus, and embark Harmony V. (D)

October 6 - Sifnos 

Call at the unspoiled island of Sifnos, where the distinctive cubic style of Cycladic architecture prevails. Explore the former island capital at Kastro, an impeccably kept village that has retained much of its medieval character. Continue to Apollonia, a Cycladic labyrinth of white houses, flowers, and belfries, and its twin village Artemonas, with its impressive Venetian-style houses and their distinctive chimneys. (B, L, D)

October 7 - Amorgos

Arrive at Amorgos, a seldom-visited island in the Cyclades group, whose whitewashed villages are set in a rugged and mountainous landscape. A tour leads to the 11th-century Monastery of Khosoviotissa, a strikingly white structure built into the base of precipitous cliffs that face the sea. For over 1,000 years, the monastery has been a place of pilgrimage for worshippers who come to venerate an icon of the Virgin. (B, L, D)

October 8 - Symi

Today sail into Symi's beautiful Italianate harbor, where you will be greeted by picturesque pastel-colored homes. This delicate island was once the stronghold of the Knights of St. John and the coveted object of a succession of invaders. With tiers of beautifully proportioned neoclassical mansions rising above its harbor, today Symi is one of Greece's most attractive islands. Enjoy a walking tour and free time for independent exploration. (B, L, D)

October 9 - Nysros

Photogenic Nisyros is a fertile, volcanic island boasting dazzling hilltop villages and unique flora. Today you will explore the island and this impressive volcano. The drive to the crater provides magnificent views and, upon arrival, you'll have the opportunity to walk to the caldera. Continue to the charming village of Nikiá, positioned atop the crater. (B, L, D)

October 10 - Ikaria

Named for the mythological Icarus, Ikaria is arguably the most magical of the northeastern Aegean Islands. Its dramatic and varied terrain is comprised of deep, forested gorges, rocky landscapes, and secluded beaches framed by aquamarine waters. Enjoy a guided tour of this rugged island including a visit to Christos Raches village, known for the unusual schedule of its inhabitants. Also sample the island's signature local red wine --Ikaria is also considered to be the birthplace of Dioysos, god of wine, and Homer claimed the Ikarians were the world's first winemakers. (B, L, D)

October 11 - Chios

Awake this morning in Chios, the Greek island claiming to be Homer's birthplace. The island's volcanic rock formations and deep green valleys forge a landscape of stunning color oppositions and intricate appearances. Visit the 11th-century Monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most important ecclesiastical monuments in Greece. The Monastery sits majestically in a wooded vale and is decorated throughout with exquisite frescoes and mosaics. (B, L, D)

October 12 - Samothraki

An island of great beauty, remote Samothraki remains outside most tourist itineraries and, for this reason, has retained its original character. Samothraki's central massif rises to the great peak of Mount Fengari. According to Homer, it was from this peak that Poseidon watched the fighting during the Trojan War. Explore the Sanctuary of the Great Gods, an ancient place of worship where Mysteries were held. The Winged Victory, now in the Louvre, was discovered here in 1863, and subsequent excavations have revealed the Hieron, or Sanctuary; Anaktoron, which served as a hall of initiation into the mysteries; Temonos; and the Rotunda. Also visit the island's main town, where whitewashed homes sit beneath the hills of Mount Fengari and the ruins of a Byzantine fort. (B, L, D)

October 13 - Skopelos

Call today in Skopelos, one of the greenest islands in the Aegean that blooms with forests of pine, oak, and fruit trees and olive groves. Skopelos's main town is built against a hill rising from the sea. As you explore this handsome island, discover some of the most characteristic Aegean architecture --whitewashed, cube-shaped houses with terracotta tiled roofs and small churches that dot the hillside. (B, L, D)

October 14 - Evia

The medieval hilltop town of Kymi and dramatic Mt. Ortari rise above us as we call at Evia (Euboea), Greece's second-largest island. Of interest is the narrow Euripus Strait that separates Evia from mainland Greece, where the rapidly-flowing water currents reverse direction approximately four times daily --which has perplexed observers since ancient times. Enjoy the spectacular views and lush flora as we drive along the winding roads exploring the island's natural wonders and picturesque Kymi, surrounded by olive groves and set into the mountainside. (B, L, D)

October 15  - Piraeus, Disembark, Athens, U.S.

Disembark and transfer to airport for return flights. (B)