Favourite port of call in Greece

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Greece Ports
Athens, Corfu, Crete, Katakolon, Limassol, Mykonos, Rhodes, Santorini, Volos
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#1
48 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Hello All,
We are toying with an idea of doing Greek Isles next summer.
What is your favourite stop and why?
Which ones would you skip and why?
Thanks so much,
Chris
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#2
UK
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Joined May 2003
My favourite Greek port, by some way, is Rhodes. The old town is a great place to walk round. Really lovely port, with the option of other places on the Island if you want to go further.

Others that we really enjoyed are Santorini (although it can be really busy), Katakolon (Olympia is somewhere that I had always wanted to visit) and obviously Athens.

Mykonos is also nice, and Crete looked OK, but we were there during a holiday and the town was packed. The sail away was really nice though.

We really weren't fussed about Heraklion or Limmasol.

Three non Greek ports that often turn up on these cruises are Split, Dubrovnik and Kotor. I think I actually prefer all three of those to the Greek ports.

You can't really go far wrong with any of them though. Even the ones that we weren't to fussed about are ones we could have enjoyed more, but they are relatively big towns and there are interesting archaeological sites nearby if you are willing to travel. We didn't because of being busy at other ports.
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#3
Atlanta,GA
200 Posts
Joined Sep 2012
We loved Crete. We did a Jeep mountain adventure and it was one of the coolest things to date. https://safariclub.gr

Mykonos was neat if you do a walking tour and learn the history. Otherwise it's known for being a party town.

Athens could have been knocked out in 1 day but our boat docked for 2. We were supposed to see Istanbul but the cruise had to modify the itinerary and eliminated Istanbul for Athens instead. Once we saw the sites in Athens we were satisfied. We didn't even get off the boat day 2.

Santorini was beautiful, but jam packed.

I would get a sailing that includes Kusadasi (Ephesus) turkey if you can, it was amazing.

Also Rhodes

Our sailing started in Rome (Civi) and the Amalfi Coast was our first stop.


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#4
48 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Thank you for the info.
So if you could choose only one, Athens or Santorini, which one would you prefer?
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#5
Romsey England
11,484 Posts
Joined Mar 2009
Katakolon and Kusadasi are great only if you want to visit Olympia and Ephesus respectively, both about a half-hour from their ports. Ditto Volos for the hilltop monastery some hours from that port
But if ancient Greek history isn't your thing, neither of those ports have anything else to offer. There are frequent threads on here by folk asking about what else to see because they've already been to Olympia and Ephesus.

Santorini is spectacular. Google to learn about the huge (world's biggest?) volcanic eruption and consequent tsunami thousands of years ago.
Mykonos is beautiful, laid-back and "different".
And like many other small Greek islands both are good for a day but with little other than sun and beach for those visiting for more than a couple of days.
Which makes them ideal for a cruise itinerary.

Just MHO as always

JB
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#6
20,455 Posts
Joined Mar 2005
Rated from the point of view of someone who's not a beach person and is very into ancient history.

Favorite Greek ports (from most liked to least liked):

Athens (for the history) -- been there about 7-8 times now
Nauplion -- nice town (modern Greece's first capital) and access to Mycenae and Epidauros
Mykonos -- only for Delos
Thessaloniki -- remains of a Roman imperial palace, great museum, proximity to Vergina
Monemvasia -- as yet (relatively) unspoiled and beautiful walled city
Iraklion/Heraklion -- for spectacular museum on Minoan culture; Knossos site
Katakolon -- only for Olympia
Rhodes -- for the old town and for Lindos
Kavala -- for ancient site of Philippi
Volos -- for the "hanging" Greek monasteries at Meteora
Santorini -- pretty, but not that interesting
Corfu -- pretty (in a different way than Santorini) but not that interesting
Chania (Souda) -- not a big fan; 20 minutes at the Venetian harbor is plenty for me
Ithaca -- home to Odysseus but not much to see
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#7
48 Posts
Joined Apr 2005
Thank you all very much for your replies.

Cruisemom, just like you, we are more history than beach people. Looks like, from you answer, that we would get more value out of Athens than Santorini. I would love to see both; but if we had to choose, I guess we would go with the former.
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#8
UK
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Joined May 2003
Originally posted by John Bull
Katakolon and Kusadasi are great only if you want to visit Olympia and Ephesus respectively, both about a half-hour from their ports. Ditto Volos for the hilltop monastery some hours from that port

But if ancient Greek history isn't your thing, neither of those ports have anything else to offer. There are frequent threads on here by folk asking about what else to see because they've already been to Olympia and Ephesus.


I certainly agree with you about Katakolon. Now we've been to Olympia I don't see any need to return.

I quite like Kusadasi though. We've been there a couple of times. Once we went to Ephesus, but the other time we enjoyed wandering round the town. There are a few restaurants etc along the beach area.
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#9
UK
7,779 Posts
Joined May 2003
Originally posted by Cruising_Christine
Cruisemom, just like you, we are more history than beach people. Looks like, from you answer, that we would get more value out of Athens than Santorini. I would love to see both; but if we had to choose, I guess we would go with the former.

I'd agree with that completely.
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#10
New Cumberland,PA, USA
27,660 Posts
Joined May 2000
Originally posted by Cruising_Christine
Thank you all very much for your replies.

Cruisemom, just like you, we are more history than beach people. Looks like, from you answer, that we would get more value out of Athens than Santorini. I would love to see both; but if we had to choose, I guess we would go with the former.
If you are about "history" then Athens is the place to go (for your first visit to Greece). That being said, DW would tell you that Santorini is one the must stunning romantic islands in the world.

Hank
#11
21 Posts
Joined Apr 2017
For best scenery it has to be Santorini. Most of the images of Greece you see in travel magazines, brochures, etc are from Santorini. If you get a day there when there's only one ship in port you'll have a great time. If you get there and there are two or three ships then it will get crowded as the streets are very narrow.
Rhodes is another really good port. You can walk in to the old walled, historic town in two minutes from the ship. Again very pretty and lots of history with the Knights of the Crusades.
We've been to most of the places listed in this thread and they all have their attractions but Santorini and Rhodes stand out.
#12
Wht Mts, NH - Gulf Coast, FL
2,737 Posts
Joined Jun 2004
As others have pointed out, the ports are so different that it really depends on what your personal preferences are. We loved Athens and could have easily spent more than one day there - but again, it was about the history and the ruins. It helped that we had an incredibly knowledgeable guide, who happened to be an archeologist. She truly made history come alive. We enjoyed Santorini, but it really is a mob scene, and we hated wasting time in lines for the tram up and down.
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#14
238 Posts
Joined Apr 2009
Santorini (so pretty)
Hydra (aka Ydra; pretty walks between towns)
Mykonos (for Delos)
Athens
Argostolion (aka Kefalonia; Melissani Caves and beaches are great)
Corfu
Chania
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#15
11,890 Posts
Joined Dec 2004
We like Santorin. But only in off season. We really liked it in the 80's but there are too many tourists like us now and far too many cruise ships.

We like Crete, Rhodes, Sifnos, Naxos, Monemvasia, Nafplio, Athens, among other stops.

We have done four Med/Greek Island cruises and multiple independent trips to Greece/Turkey.

We enjoyed the cruises but our all time favourite is simply flying to either Athens or Istanbul (then to the Med coast) and then making our way to Crete via the ferry system. Staying in area/islands as long as we want or until the next convenient ferry to our destination happens to come along. Each time we consider a Med cruise we keep going back to doing our own thing on the local ferries.
#16
Vancouver, BC Canada
1,116 Posts
Joined Feb 2012
I've been lucky enough to visit a few towns in Greece on our last 2 cruises. Athens is our favourite because of all the sites to see. We liked them all and don't regret stopping at any of them.

Chania
Rhodes
Thessaloniki
Volos

Katakolon we visited Olympia and the museums.

Nafplio. We really enjoyed walking the promenade and climbing the 999 steps up to Palamides castle. Our favourite Greece stop outside of Athens.

We will be visiting Athens, Santorini, and Heraklion on our October cruise.
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#17
Berkshire UK
254 Posts
Joined Jun 2009
For a spectacular arrival it has to be Santorini, the place is amazing. Rhodes has a lot to offer, with the town having a range of possibilities for sights, shopping, boat trips, beaches and excursions to Lindos as well.