My colleague, Marilyn, and I volunteered to host a trip through some of the prettiest coast on the Mediterranean cruise onboard Silversea cruises. Knowing we were to start in Istanbul, we arrived a day early and chose to stauy at the Four Seasons Sultanahmet (near the Blue Mosque) for its great location and charming setting. Imagine having breakfast in a glass house amidst gardens! It is even more incredible when you know that the gardens were the exercise area for the 1916 prison that was formerly on this spot. Our room was lovely, the service was smiling and helpful; we explored the surrounding neighborhood and picked up shoes made of kilims (woven Turkish rug).
We set sail, so to speak, in the rain, but that was the last we saw of any unfavorable skies. The Biblical stops on our itinerary were provocative: first we stopped in Dikili, which featured ancient Pergamum, with a gondola for easy access! Our second stop was Kusadasi to visit Ephesus, and Silversea shined there! My guide had been digging at Ephesus since the 60's and though now retired, he gave us the new tour of the terrace houses which are extraordinary in their size and grandeur.
Our final Turkish stop was Marmaris, which is on a corner of the Turquoise Coast. The more robust swimmers swam in the turquoise water and as the gulet (luxury yacht) stopped, they reported: frigid water in May! The city has beaches protected from boat traffic, lovely seaside hotels, and lots of trees….a first for us along the Turkish coast!
A quick stop in Santorini took us all over the picturesque island with time to amble. We cruised through the picturesque waters approaching Kotor, which also is charming: small and walled with plenty of small plazas to eat ice cream or dinner. Dubrovnik is another walled city on the Croatian coast that will not disappoint….walk the wall, sit in the main square, watch the people! Our final stop was an overnight in Venice, where we had time to enjoy the bridges, the narrow walk streets and the piazzas.
Silversea did it beautifully with superb guides, cabins that were immaculate and spacious and mostly with verandas, plenty of food venues, punctual in every port, and very gracious staff. Let us help you treat yourself to the wonders of the eastern Med aboard Silversea’s yacht-like experience.