Day 12: Athens, Greece
And on the 12th day, we arrived in Athens! We were very excited to see the Acropolis and all the history that Athens held, and were pretty surprised when we left the ship to find that Athens is pretty grungy. Having researched the public transit system and not wanting to pay an exorbitant fee for a cab, we took the train to the Acropolis from the nearest station to the cruise port.
Our first and pretty much only stop was the Acropolis. Admission cost us 20 euros each, but it was worth it, as the one thing you pretty much have to do when you go to Athens. And to its credit, it was incredible, as was the view of the distant Mt. Lycabettus.
We spent about 15 minutes at the theater pictured below, because I was convinced it was the Theatre of Dionysus and was reveling in the piece of theatre history I was witnessing. We realized too late that it was, in fact, the Odeon of Herodes Atticus, something I had never heard of. Eventually we found the real Theatre of Dionysus, and while it was not quite as intact, it definitely made sense that it was much more in ruin. Either way, I got to sit in the ancient seats of the Theatre of Dionysus, arguably the birthplace of theatre!
After exploring the Acropolis, we decided to return to the ship, not loving the touristy vibe throughout Athens. The train was crammed on the way back, so keep that in mind if you end up taking it, but hey, still way better than a cab.
Day 13: Mykonos
The next day we arrived at one of the ports I was most excited for: Mykonos! We didn’t have any plans for this one, so we just took the ferry from the cruise port to the main town and walked around, exploring the shops and seeing what we could see. It was a beautiful, beautiful town, with iconic blue and white buildings everywhere you looked, and a gorgeous view of the ocean.
Mykonos was beautiful, and we had a very peaceful day walking around and enjoying the town. That night we returned to the ship and enjoyed the onboard Teppanyaki grill/show, excited for the following day when we would go on our one shore excursion for the cruise!
Day 14: Santorini
Santorini was definitely the port I was the most excited for, and it did not disappoint. The cruise port was not at the base of Oia as I had hoped, but we spent our day in what I think was the best way possible: swimming in hot springs and hiking a volcano. That’s right, there is in fact a volcano in Santorini! And man, was it a cool experience. At the hot springs, I even jumped straight off a boat into the water, which for a water-fearing girl with an irrational fear of drowning like me, was quite an accomplishment.
It was an incredible day, and I would absolutely recommend it if you get the chance. It’s not too expensive, not too hard of a hike, and you definitely get an experience to remember.
Tuckered out from our hike and swim, we decided to head back to the ship for the night. Santorini was our last Greek Isle for the cruise, but we still had a few stops to go!