Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Milos, Rhodes… these quintessentially Greek islands were just some of the ports on Singles Travel International’s Greek Islands Fantasy Cruise in July. This annual cruise from beautiful Athens is the perfect way to see some of Greece’s most beautiful islands without ever having to pack and unpack as you go!
Our group of singles met in Athens for our pre-cruise stay, and it was as if they were a group of long-lost friends! From our first dinner as a group at a rooftop restaurant underneath the Acropolis, the laughter never stopped. We boarded the Celestyal Crystal to begin our journey through the Greek islands and even to Kusadasi, Turkey.
On this cruise, we had enough time in port to have dinner in town a couple of time. So in Mykonos, we had dinner as a group in Little Venice and watched the sunset. In Santorini, Singles Travel International had arranged for our group to see “The Greek Wedding Show,” a lively and interactive performance, where some of our members even got up and danced!
At the end of the cruise, I asked each member of our group what his and her favorite or most memorable part of the journey was, and surprisingly each said the visit to Turkey! Our day in Kusadasi, Turkey, started out with our wonderful guide, Eylem, giving us an insightful and interesting tour of the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Ephesus, whose beginnings date back to the 7th Century B.C. To walk the same streets that ancient Greeks and even St. John walked is simply awe-inspiring! Eylem’s knowledge not only of the history of Ephesus and Turkey but also his humor and knowledge of U.S. and Turkey relations made our trip all the more memorable! After our visit to the archaeological site, we continued on to a government-funded co-op where the ancient art of Turkish rug-weaving is being taught in order to keep the art alive. This visit was fascinating, to say the least! To see how silk is culled from the silk worm’s cocoon to how the yarn is dyed using natural sources (flowers, herbs, minerals) to how the weavers follow a pattern and sit for months at a time working on one carpet! From silk to cotton to wool to blends of each of these, the carpets were stunningly beautiful, and our group did a fine job of helping the local economy! At the end of this wonderful day, we all settled at a seaside restaurant in Kusadasi with Eylem and had a traditional dinner, coming together over food and friendship.