Star Clippers Cruises from Blue Water Holidays

Eastern Mediterranean Sailing Cruises

Cruise Collection 2024 / 2025

About Eastern Med Cruises

Explore the diverse Greek Islands and lush Turkish coast on a Star Clippers sailing cruise from Athens. Combine the romance of a voyage under sail with visits to both the stunning highlights and lesser-known tranquil islands and authentic ports of the Aegean Sea on one of our unique voyages.

Sail in the spring, summer and autumn from Athens to fashionable Mykonos, the spectacular island of Santorini, and Patmos with its pretty harbour town of Skala below the fortress Monastery of St John. Further off the beaten track are Amorgos, the steep cobbled streets of Monemvasia’s island citadel, the donkey trails of Hydra and the medieval villages of Chios.

Star Clippers sail to the Sporades, scattered across the northern Aegean, with their superb beaches and picturesque harbour towns. Visit stunning Skiathos and the pretty island of Skopelos where ‘Mamma Mia’ was filmed. Cruise under full sail past the dramatic peninsula of Mount Athos and its string of monasteries high on the cliff top.

Several of our tall ship cruises combine the lovely Greek Islands with visits to Turkey’s Turquoise Coast, a dazzling stretch of forest-lined beaches and fishing villages, with highlights including Bodrum and its Crusader Castle, Dikkili and the natural beauty of the Dalyan River, and Cannakale, close to ancient Troy.

Or cruise through the Greek Islands to the alluring Adriatic and historic Dubrovnik, the scenic islands of Hvar and Losinj, and the spell-binding beauty of Kotor.

  • Santorini
  • Royal Clipper under sail
    Royal Clipper under sail
  • Dalyan
  • Mykonos
  • Ephesus
  • Star Clipper in Santorini
    Star Clipper in Santorini
  • Rhodes
  • Sailing into the Greek sunset
    Sailing into the Greek sunset
  • Blue Mosque, Istanbul
    Blue Mosque, Istanbul
  • Star Clipper at sunset
    Star Clipper at sunset
  • Athens Acropolis with Piraeus port in background
    Athens Acropolis with Piraeus port in background
  • Star Clipper in Greece
    Star Clipper in Greece

Book any Star Clippers cruise and save an extra £50pp with our exclusive Blue Water Holidays discount!

Eastern Med Highlights

Eastern Med Highlights

  • Amorgos

    The island of Amorgos has more than its share of historic sites, including a 4th-century BC Hellenistic Tower, a Venetian Castle in the Hora, and the extraordinary white, rock-hewn Monastery of Chozoviotissa, reached via a flight of stone steps high up above the sea. The sandy beach near the port of Katapola has restaurants and cafés.

  • Athens (Piraeus)

    Piraeus is the port for Athens. The Acropolis and its Parthenon, temple of Poseidon and Theatre of Dionysus is an oasis in the busy Greek capital. As part of the preparations for the 2004 Olympics, 400 modern buildings were cleared from the ancient meeting place nearby, the Agora, which has been linked by walkways to the Acropolis. Below is the Plaka, the oldest neighbourhood in Athens and a pleasant place for a stroll.

  • Bodrum

    Bodrum is a lively port on the Aegean Sea overlooked by the Crusader castle of St Peter. It is a successful combination of modern holiday resort and ancient sites. The hillside is dotted with whitewashed houses, and along the coast are sandy beaches backed by pines and olive groves. Bodrum is home to the Mausoleum of Mausolus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

  • Cannakale

    Cannakale looks out across the Dardanelles and played an important part in ancient history. It is the gateway to the site of Troy, and a reconstruction of the legendary wooden horse sits on the seafront. Nearby is the picturesque village of Behrankale, built on the site of Assos. On a hill surrounded by olive groves is the Doric Temple of Athena built in 530BC.

  • Chios

    The fragrant island of Chios is well-known for its wild jasmine and a cluster of medieval villages, the Mastihochoria. Mesta, a castle-village, is little-changed since the 14th century and Pyrgi has uniquely decorated black and white plastered houses. Chios is also well-known for the World Heritage Site of Nea Moni, an 11th-century monastery with wonderful mosaics. The prettiest region of the island is Kambos, a green valley where the Genoese built their villas among citrus groves and ancient cisterns.

  • Corfu

    Corfu Town is an elegant and interesting port, with a multitude of cafes and restaurants, squares, cobbled streets and great views across the Ionian Sea. The landmark of Corfu is the Old Fortress, a World Heritage Site built by the Venetians and now housing a complex of museums and Corfu’s Public Library. The Liston is a lovely arcade running alongside the green spaces of Corfu Town’s grand Esplanade. Beaches can be found at Paleokastritsa and Glyfada, and in Gastouri is the 19th-century Achilleion Palace.

  • Dalyan River, Turkey

    The Dalyan River follows a scenic route from the coastal town of Dalyan to Lake Koycegiz, passing meadows scattered with cypress trees, reed beds and the famous Lycian rock tombs. They were cut from the rock cliffs in around 400BC and are close to the ruins of ancient Caunos. Dalyan beach is a breeding ground for Caret ta Caretta loggerhead turtles, and the delta is now a wildlife sanctuary.

  • Dikkili

    Dikkili is a small, popular town and tourist destination famous for its hot springs and pine-backed coastline. It is also a stopping-off point for the ancient site of Bergama (better known as Pergamum). Although parts of the old Greek city are now in a Berlin Museum, Pergamum is worth a visit for the Acropolis and the Asklepion. Dikkili’s harbour is lined with restaurants and the picturesque coastline sits opposite the Greek island of Lesbos.

  • Hydra

    This interesting island has no roads or vehicles, and the only transportation is by donkey. It has a wild and sparsely populated interior, and some magnificent mansions built by 19th-century shipping magnets. In the 50s and 60s it was a favourite haunt for artists, among them Leonard Cohen, who were inspired by its natural beauty. There are coves and beaches close to Hydra Town and a two-hour hike up Mount Eros behind the town to the Monastery of Ilias is rewarded with wonderful, far-reaching views.

  • Istanbul

    It is often said that Istanbul is where east meets west, and there are numerous places of interest in the Old City, opposite the port. The highlights are the Grand Bazaar, Hagia Sophia and the landmark of the city, the Blue Mosque, which is decorated with blue Iznik tiles and houses a market, public kitchen and theological school. The palace of the Ottoman Sultans, Topkapi, houses sacred Muslim relics including the Prophet Mohammed’s cloak and sword.

  • Katakolon

    The small seaside town of Katakolon has a beach at the end of the pier, and tavernas and bars along the waterfront. It is used as the gateway to the ancient site of Olympia, 35 kilometers away, which is where the Olympic Games began. The substantial ruins are situated in a lovely valley overlooked by Kronos Hill and include the temples of Zeus and Hera, and the Olympic Stadium with its still-visible starting line.

  • Kos

    The island of Kos has long been a popular destination and has good facilities for tourists. It lies just off the Turkish coast, with mountainous terrain and good sandy beaches. Kos Town has a mixture of ancient, medieval and modern buildings, with broad, leafy streets. Connected to the town and harbour by a bridge is the 14th-century Castle of the Knights of Saint John. South of the town is the Asklepieion, the ruins of an ancient Greek centre of medicine.

  • Kusadasi

    The large port of Kusadasi is also a tourist resort, and has a lively nightlife, a long palm-lined boulevard and numerous sandy beaches offering watersports, including the best-known, Ladies Beach. Kusadasi is also the gateway to the magnificent ancient site of Ephesus 18 kilometres away, where visitors can walk marble-paved roads and see the amphitheatre, temple of Hadrian and the Celsus Library. Star Clipper cruises usually make a call to the bay and resort of Camilimani from Kusadasi.

  • Monemvasia

    Monemvasia is connected to the Peloponnese mainland by a causeway, and was once a Byzantine fortified port. Pretty streets lead up to the 12th-century Byzantine church of Aghia Sophia and the fortress which defended the enclave from Normans, Catalans and pirates. In the maze of winding streets below there are numerous tavernas and cafes.

  • Mykonos

    Mykonos is one of the most fashionable and cosmopolitan of the Greek islands. Its hills are dotted with white-washed cube houses and churches, and the thatched windmills for which the island is famous. Pink pelicans are often spotted from the waterfront tavernas. The main sight in the town is the lovely white-domed Parportiani Church and from the island’s cruise port there are ferries making the 40-minute journey to the sacred island of Delos

  • Myrina

    Myrina on Limnos Island sits on a bay alongside the ruins of a Venetian castle, and the town's cobbled alleys are graced with neo-classical houses. The beaches are long and sandy, and around the harbour there are fish restaurants with wonderful sea views. The volcanic soil of Limnos produces grapes for its excellent red and white wines and nearby are the ruins of Poliohni on the scenic Cape of Voroskopos.

  • Patmos

    Skala is the pretty harbour of Patmos, built below the fortified monastery and the Sacred Grotto where St John wrote the Book of Revelation, both open to visitors. It is easy to get around by boat or bus, and around the harbour there are numerous picturesque tavernas and a few nightclubs. Beaches can be found at nearby Grikos and Diakofti.

  • Poros

    Poros was the island of Poseidon, the god of the sea, and in the centre of the island are the remains of a Temple dedicated to him. Archaeological finds from the site and Troizene nearby can be seen in the Museum on Korizis Square. The town has graceful neo-classical buildings and Hellenic Navy training is often carried out in the old naval base established in 1827. Water taxis are available to the lemon groves of Lemonodhassos.

  • Rhodes

    Rhodes port in the ancient Mandraki harbour is next to the walled Old Town with shops, restaurants and chief sights all within walking distance. These include the Palace of the Grand Masters built by the Knights of St John, the Sulemain Mosque, Byzantine churches, Venetian mansions and old Crusader inns along the Street of the Knights. The famous Acropolis of Rhodes on a hillside beyond the city is not to be missed and there is a good beach at Lindos.

  • Sarti

    The mainland town of Sarti was once owned by a monastery on the nearby peninsula of Mount Athos, and sits on a large bay backed by green mountains. Along the waterfront are taverns and restaurants, and the town has excellent facilities for visitors with traditional food shops and bars. The Mount Athos monastery of Xenofontos is only 500 metres from the village.

  • Santorini

    The best way to arrive in Santorini is by sea, with spectacular views of the high caldera walls and the cliff-top town of Fira. Ships berth in the old port, where the journey to the town is via donkey or cable car – either option provides dramatic views of the Mediterranean and the volcanic island of Nea Kameni. Along the narrow alleys of the cliff-top are brilliant white and blue buildings, and the much-photographed church of Ag Mina.

  • The Sporades

    The Sporades are a group of eleven islands in the northern Aegean, only four of which are inhabited. The three best-known are Skiathos, Skiros and Skopelos. The latter is now famous as the location for the film ‘Mamma Mia’, and the islands in general have some of Greece’s best beaches lapped by crystal clear turquoise sea. The land is mountainous and green, dotted with white churches and pretty villages.

  • Yithion

    Yithion (or Githion) is the ancient port and naval base of Sparta, and is reputed to be the site where Paris and Helen of Troy fled to Egypt. The town is full of character and its inhabitants and visitors are mainly Greek. Stroll the town to find good fish restaurants and elegant neo-classical buildings. Yithion is an ideal base from which to explore the the Caves of Diros and Mystra, the secret treasure of Greece, where centuries-old Byzantine frescoes are almost perfectly intact.

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