Celestyal, the award-winning, number one choice for travellers to the Greek Islands and the Eastern Mediterranean, returns with the seven-night “Eclectic Aegean” itinerary from October 22nd until November 12th calling at Istanbul, Kavala, Thessaloniki, Volos, Santorini and Athens with starting price from 491 euros.
Unique views and excursions await you on this cruise, such as the ones offered in the beautiful city of Thessaloniki, which was strategically chosen due to it being at the crossroads for travelers from North Greece, Europe and the Balkans. It is now the only Greek city that belongs to the UNESCO Creative Cities of the Gastronomy Network and, at its famous Ladadika, the neoclassical buildings have been wonderfully restored, breathing the air of “old” Thessaloniki with the “old meeting the new” into an area with numerous options for authentic Greek dining.
Be more of an explorer and discover destinations that stand out by joining the special “Eclectic Aegean” itinerary
Also on Celestyal’s “Eclectic Aegean” itinerary, guests are able to explore the Pelion peninsula in Volos. From snowy mountains to beautiful beaches, Pelion has been untouched by mass tourism and is home to some of the most fertile land and some of Greece’s best olive oil – or “liquid gold” as the locals refer to it. For centuries, olives and olive oil have been an essential in every Pelion home and a source of pride and joy for those who produce it. Guests can select from several interesting ‘Authentic Encounters’ options – to ‘Eat and Drink like a local’ or ‘Discover Pelion Cuisine’. In addition, they can visit the Meteora on one of the most spectacular excursions. This complex of steep and high rock pillars sweep 400 metres into the sky with the famous Eastern Orthodox monasteries – known as the ‘Hanging Monasteries’ -perched on their summit.
This itinerary also includes a visit to Kavala, the northern, centuries-old Greek port city on the Thracian Sea, often referred to as the “blue city” due to its crystal-clear coastal waters and legendary scenic sea views from the Bay of Kavala, and a picturesque historic town unfolding high atop the triangular Panagia peninsula. This charming old town comprises a mosaic of winding lanes of red-tiled houses and a Byzantine fortress known as the Kastro. Just nine miles from the center of the old town is the ancient city of Philippi, home to the first Christian church in Europe. Philippi became an important early Christian center following a visit to the city by Paul the Apostle in 49 C.E.
Among the special new excursions offered in Turkey’s largest city, Istanbul, is the opportunity to learn the art of baklava making from Nadir Gullu, Istanbul’s “master baklavaci”. Turkish Baklava, also known as Fistikli Baklava or pistachio Baklava, is a deliciously rich, buttery, sweet dessert made from phyllo dough, finely ground pistachios, butter and a syrup made from sugar, water and lemon juice. The family business opened in 1820 and Nadir’s father moved the factory to Istanbul in 1949. Guests will tour the five-storey factory across the water from the Topkapi Palace and watch a demonstration of the baklava-making process by the master himself followed by the opportunity to join in and help with the production. This will be followed by a sampling of a variety of Turkish pastries and desserts. Next to Baklava, nothing is more Turkish than the Hammam or Turkish bath, which is a significant part of Turkish culture. A special gentlemen’s wellness and grooming experience in Istanbul at Cemberlitas Hamami, an historic Turkish Bath originally built in 1584 for Nurbanu Sultan, the head of Istanbul’s imperial harem, combines the health benefits of the Hammam’s steam, sauna, body wash and massage with a classic Turkish haircut, shave and shoeshine.
Experiencing the vibrant markets of Istanbul, savoring the rich flavors and aromas of Northern Greece’s cities as Thessaloniki, Volos and Kavala and discovering the rich history and fascinating legends of mythical gods and centaurs, this seven-night cruise is blessed with stunning scenery, shimmering emerald bays, dramatic cliffs and fascinating architecture that “attract” adventure you do not want to miss.