The best way to see the Greek Islands might well be on a cruise, and I was fortunate to escort a group on Silversea Cruises aboard the Silver Spirit. This was a very interesting itinerary, round trip Athens and stopping at a different port every day.
I flew to Athens on Lufthansa via Frankfurt, which is very easy and an excellent connection. I arrived late in the evening and spent one night at the Electra Palace hotel, which is one of my favorite hotels. Located in the old town with an amazing view of the Acropolis, you instantly know you are in Greece!
The next morning we walked out of the hotel and up the winding cobble stone streets of the Plaka to the Acropolis. On the way back after some shopping, we had a fantastic Greek Salad for lunch in a local taverna. If you have never been to Greece, I would suggest staying at least two nights in Athens before boarding a cruise ship.
In the afternoon, we had a driver take us to Piraeus, the harbor of Athens, and only a 20-minute drive from the heart of the city. We boarded the Silver Spirit, which has 270 suites and the perfect size for docking in these small Greek ports.
We had a lovely suite with a verandah, which is nice for breakfast in the morning or relaxing after a day of excursions. Our butler could not have been more accommodating.The meals were excellent; my favorite was the Italian restaurant, La Terazza. In the evening, my favorite entertainment was the jazz bar, where we enjoyed an amazing jazz singer and pianist from South Africa.
On our 7-night cruise we stopped at Monemvasia, Crete, Marmaris. Kusadasi, Mykonos and Lesbos. My favorites were Kusadasi and Mykonos.
In Kusadasi, we had a private guide and driver take us to Ephesus, which is only a short drive from the port. On the way back, our guide took us for lunch at a small but very popular family restaurant, “Bizim Ev,” which served the most amazing home cooked local dishes.
I would have liked to stay in Greece a few extra nights and spend time on one of the island such as Santorini which is what I would recommend you do.