A cruise that combines religion, history and fun! The peninsula of Athos- the Garden Of the Virgin Mary as it is called by the Monks-impresses with its unique virgin natural beauty even from the sea. Mount Athos is an autonomous monk community in Europe with monuments of immense historical and cultural value and is included since 1988 in the list of World Heritage Sites of UNESCO. In this cruise you are given the opportunity to see the historical monasteries with their authentic architecture and the isolated skites (subsidiary establishment), which are punctuated on its steep slopes. Only males are permitted to visit the territory for a few days, with Orthodox Christians taking precedence in permit issuance procedures.
Entering the cave, you will be impressed by its stalagmites (dripstones) and stalactites (icicles) -among the most ancient ones in Europe as it is speculated. A fossilized hominid skull was found in this cave which is assessed to be 700,000 years old. It is considered to be the oldest European hominid ever found. There is an abundance of fossils in the adjacent Anthropologic Museum just few metres from the cave.
Beginning from Sunrise country and driving through the picturesque nature of Halkidiki you can encounter its capital Polygyros and visit the mountain of Holomontas, where especially during autumn you will have the chance to enjoy a magnificent landscape of magical colours that only nature can depict! The traditional town of Arnea, famous for its wonderful woven pieces and its tasty wines is worth visiting.
Meteora constitute the most prominent monastic complex after Mount Athos and they have been accredited as Preserved and Protected Monument of Humanity. Whoever faces Meteora for the first time, is confronted with a geological’ miracle. Thousands of rocks unify, thus forming an unreal landscape. Monks that have spent their lives as authentic hermits (religious recluses) for over 600 years have built the monasteries on the top of the rocks. The interior of the monasteries has been decorated by skilful iconographs of the Byzantine era. Nowadays, only six monasteries are preserved and if you wish to visit them you have to be appropriately dressed.
After a hearty breakfast in the Sunrise beach hotel you can start your journey towards one of the most historical sites of Greece, Vergina, the first capital of Ancient Macedonia. Among the monuments saved is the palace, decorated with mosaic and colourful tessellations as well as tombs-with more than 300 burial mounds. The tomb of the Macedonian King Filippos, father of the Great Alexander has been accredited as World Cultural Heritage Site.
The multi-cultural co-capital has a wealthy historical heritage and offers a great amount of activities. You can visit the Archaeological Museum as well as distinguished temples such as the temple of Saint Dimitrios (Agios Dimitrios) or that of Saint Sophia (Agia Sophia).You may also go shopping or enjoy a coffee in the centre of the city.