Greece has stunning oceans and with Explora 1 you can travel to the rarely visited Kastellorizo. Credit: Shutterstock

What are the best Greek Islands to visit? Cruise beautiful Greece with Riviera Travel

Author: Lucy Abbott

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Riviera Travel offers you the chance to explore idyllic Greek Islands while having an intimate base of one of two cruise ships, MV Aphrodite or MV Harmonia.

Riviera Travel transports you into the scene of a picture-perfect postcard on its Ionian Island Odyssey cruise itinerary for 2022.

Feel like a true explorer and embrace the chance to cruise onboard Riviera Travel’s unique wooden-hulled, gulet-style boats for seven nights.

Navigate some of the most idyllic islands in the Ionian Sea - including Kefalonia, Lefkas and Ithaca - via wooden schooner seeking out untouched coves and villages.

Get ready for a deeply fascinating and relaxing week exploring the idyllic blue waters, quaint ports, picturesque harbours and stunning beaches.

Decide which excursions you embark on, or alternatively explore ports of call independently - tailor your holiday to suit you!

Discover what Greek wonders await…

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Visit the best Greek Islands with Riviera Travel

Agia Efimia, Kefalonia

Delve into the picturesque scenery straight from the offset, as your cruise begins in Agia Efimia, Kefalonia, Greece's sixth largest island with Riviera Travel.

Be sure to capture a picture of the high limestone cliffs which fall into Azure Seas as you explore the charming resort set in a beautiful bay heavily influenced by Italy - evident in the Italianate style of the houses and food. Treat yourself to a glass of Robola wine – it’s what the island is known for.

- READ MORE: Riviera Travel: Greek island cruises to visit secluded coves and private islands -

Fiscardo, Kefalonia

Set your sights north to Fiscardo, Kefalonia’s northernmost point and admire the views as you sail along the narrow channel which separates the island from Ithaca – the mythological homeland of the Greek hero Odysseus.

Stop along the way and take a refreshing dive at Antisamos beach – you may well recognise your surroundings as some scenes from the film Captain Corelli’s Mandolin were filmed here.

After indulging in a delectable lunch to fuel up for your explorations you will arrive in the village of Fiscardo. Admire the array of bright mansions and villas before heading over to one of the many tavernas, said to be some of the best of the island.

Riviera Travel lets you explore one of the most protected harbours in the region in Nidri, Lefkas. Credit: Shutterstock

Nidri, Lefkas

For lovers of all things green, the next port of call is Nidri, a lively town on the east coast of Lefkas island. It features landscapes covered in verdant hills framed with white cliffs, tiny coves and bays.

This is a truly unique experience as Nidri possesses one of the most protected harbours in the region. You can admire this beautiful island alongside the sailors who come to enjoy its plentiful harbourside cafes - strike up a conversation and learn about the sailing lifestyle.

Get your swimming gear out again for a swim stop in Sivota Bay before continuing to the bay of Nidri decorated with olive groves and rolling hills.

Stroll around with a smile on your face as you observe the friendly town bustling with busy tavernas and cafes.

Wander untouched landscapes with clear seas in Kalamos with Riviera Travel. Credit: Riviera Travel

Skorpios & Vathy, Meganissi

Peer into the lives of the richest people on earth when cruising around the small island of Skorpios. It was once the private retreat of Greek shipping magnate, Aristotle Onassis, and is now owned by a Russian billionaire!

Continue along to the sleepy island of Maganissi, located six kilometres south of Lefkas where you can walk along pebble beaches and admire the peaceful landscapes in the village of Vathy, the ideal setting for a romantic meal.

- READ MORE: Riviera Travel: Explore Christmas markets on a festive Rhine cruise this winter -

Kalamos & Kastos

If you thought Skorpios and Vathy were a slice of remote paradise, then just wait for Kalamos and Kastos.

These twin islands, explored with Riviera Travel, have a minuscule number of permanent inhabitants, so you can enjoy an untouched landscape boasting stunning clear seas and bays.

Riviera Travel brings you to Assos where you can explore this picturesque village. Credit: Shutterstock

Atokos & Vathy, Ithaca

Allow yourself to be tempted by the crystal waters of the small barren island of Atokos and dip into the warm Mediterranean Sea - say hello to the rabbits and goats that wander freely.

Over on Ithaca, the main town, Vathy, is up next and is one of the few buzzing towns visited on the cruise but keeps the same stunning landscape of lush green mountains.

Agia Efimia & Assos, Kefalonia

Sailing back down towards the port of Agia Efimia, head to Assos, where you will have the freedom to explore this small, charming village that only has around 100 inhabitants.

Make sure you visit the ruins of a 16th-century Venetian castle alongside the pebbled beaches in your free time.

A must-do trip in Kefalonia is Melissani Cave, an eternally popular area. The B-shaped cave features two chambers separated by an island in the centre, and, when the light is overhead at noon, the whole cave is lit up with the blue light from the waters below – a truly magical experience.

Why you should sail with Riviera Travel

Riviera Travel's MV Aphrodite or MV Harmonia prove that the best way to explore some of the best sailing areas in Greece is by cruise.

Both wooden-hulled, twin-mastered schooners were built in Turkey and are tailor-made to guarantee a new level of personal service, with a maximum of 12 guests onboard and three crew on each boat.

- READ MORE: Riviera Travel reveals 2023 European river cruise programme to France and Portugal -

Enjoy every meal served on the spacious aft deck. The buffet lunch is prepared with fresh, local ingredients making for an unparalleled relaxed environment.

Explore each destination to unparalleled depths, with both ships always staying overnight in each port - so you can find your favourite taverna for dinner.

Budapest. Credit: Shutterstock

If you enjoy the freedom the Ionian Island Odyssey itinerary gives you to explore ports overnight with a comfortable base awaiting your return - then be sure to check out Riviera’s Cruise & Explore concept.

This allows you to sail your own way and personalise your cruise completely. Visit a range of destinations such as Budapest, Vienna and Cologne and city hop with one five-star base.

You can choose from a wide selection of optional experiences to embark on while the ship is moored in the city centre for the full day and often till late at night.

Unpack once, explore every day.

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About Lucy Abbott

Lucy is an experienced cruise journalist, who has sailed on a variety of ships, from expedition to river – with her favourite being expedition cruising.

Lucy reports on what it’s like to be a young cruiser and is interested in new sustainable ways to cruise as well as how cruising is becoming accessible for all.

She works together with Kaye Holland to keep the World of Cruising website up to date with all the latest cruise news.