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Cruise stop on Kasteli beach, Kato Koufonisi, Greece.
31 May 2024 -
29 Aug 2025
8 days
From €2691 / per person
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Hidden Greece
Let us show you our home, off-the-beaten path. These 10 stunning island destinations offer a more nourishing side of Greece, a taste of true Greek culture. These are places where people take pride in offering hospitality – in line with the ancient custom of filoxenia, love of strangers – and where things are done with meraki, love and soul. A cruise voyage unraveling the most authentic Cycladic and Dodecanese islands of Greece. Discover unknown gems with rich history, incomparable light, translucent water, and heavenly beaches.
Whether Greece has always been on the top of your bucket list or whether you are returning for yet another visit, Greece is a magical land with an endless supply of beauty and knowledge, so be prepared to experience it all with new eyes.
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A view of a port and a town during sunset
Day 1 | Friday
Athens (2pm - 3pm) - Cape Sounion
All aboard! Our exploration begins as we head from Athens to Cape Sounion. As the sun sets on our first day of adventure, enjoy an al fresco, get-to-know-each-other dinner under the ancient Greek Temple of Poseidon, Cape Sounion. As night falls, we start our sail to Ikaria. Overnight at sea.
Enjoy the stunning scenery of a beach in Ikaria with turquoise waters
Day 2 | Saturday
Wake up in paradise: aka Seychelles Beach, Ikaria. Surrounded by craggy rocks, the beach is best accessed by boat (luckily you’ve chosen to cruise with Variety!) Enjoy your first of many swim stops before we sail onwards to Ikaria’s quaint port. Hike the wildlife, take a dip in thermal spas, join a family cooking class, or visit an ancient village. You’ll soon realise this is an island like no other. Fun fact: locals here live an average of 10 years longer than elsewhere in Greece. Overnight in Ikaria.
The historic island of Patmos on a Variety Cruises tour, view from above
Day 3 | Sunday
Today we’ll voyage from Ikaria to Patmos to Lipsi. Patmos is home to two UNESCO World Heritage Sites and is often considered divine. As we sail onwards to Lipsi, enjoy lunch al fresco before diving into the glittering sea. We also invite you to join our on board tasting of Lipsi’s famous wine, Aposperiti. This elusive bottle is produced only on the island. You can thank your lucky grapes - and us! - later. Evening at leisure, overnight in Lipsi.
Traditional boats of Kalymnos Island
Day 4 | Monday
Early morning sail to Kalymnos, but not without a swim stop on our way. Simple, authentic and packed to the shores with hiking routes, Kalymnos is a utopia for modern adventurers. It’s also home to the famous Greek sponge divers. Join us to meet the locals who harvest them, and learn all about the process from reef to market. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure; relax with a coffee, hike one of the famous island trails or - and we recommend this one - visit the stunning Esperidon fjord. Overnight in Kalymnos.
The Monastery of Hozoviotissa on Amorgos Island visited on a Variety Cruises excursion
Day 5 | Tuesday
From the Dodacanese to the Cyclades. Destination Amorgos, with a stop at Levitha island. The grand total of people living on Levitha is four. Yes, you read that right. The dedicated family raise animals and run a restaurant for visiting yachts - dine on their freshly-grilled fish. Trust us, you won’t regret it. In the afternoon, we sail onwards to Amorgo where Luc Besson’s movie, Big Blue, was shot. The island will transport you to the past with its authentic, laid-back villages. Evening at leisure in the mediaeval capital, overnight in Amorgos.
A panoramic view of the small Greek island of Koufonisi
Day 6 | Wednesday
Before we set sail today, we’ll stop at Panagia Chozoviotissa - a monastery carved into the dramatic sea-facing cliffs and bursting with significant ancient heirlooms. Then on to Koufonisia, a playground for water-lovers packed with caves and rock pools accessible only by boat. Jump off deck and snorkel, kayak or paddle board to explore them. Our afternoon cruise passes scenic Schinoussa to reach the tiny island of Iraklia, protected by Natura 2000 and offering incredible mountainous footpaths. Take a walk along them for awe-inspiring views. Enjoy laid-back Greek island life at leisure this evening. Overnight in port.
A view of the colorful Serifos port and town, Greece
Day 7 | Thursday
It’s the penultimate day, but it’s one to remember. We’ll sail to Serifos and start with a swim at a remote beach. Refuel with a barbecue on board then on to Chora, the island’s castle-village. Sit back at a cafe, indulge in souvenir shopping at the boutique stores, join us at a winery, or show off your creative side at the island’s pottery studio. We’ll enjoy a special dinner this evening: a chance to remember and reminisce about the hidden gems of Greece. Midnight sail back to Athens.
A view of a port and a town during sunset
Day 8 | Friday
Athens, Greece (8.30-9am)
Breakfast, disembarkation, and a chance to swap contact details with your fellow explorers, who we’re sure have become friends. With new islands explored, where to next? Find all our cruise itineraries here, and we hope to sea you on board again soon!
A scenic view of the Greek coastline

In case of severe weather conditions our expertly designed routes are adjusted ensuring your safety & comfort by applying our rich marine knowledge, garnered since 1949. Stay flexible – Adventure on.

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    Medieval castle of Patmos at night
    Patmos: A touch of the Divine
    The Cave of the Apocalypse, this sacred, candlelit grotto is believed to be the spot where St John the Divine received his visions from Christ and transcribed the Book of Revelation, the last chapter of the Christian Bible. Exiled on Patmos in 95 AD, he preached to, baptised and prayed with the island’s inhabitants. Eventually, Patmos came to be considered sacred and the cave became the focal point of a significant religious pilgrimage.
    A person holding a sea sponge sitting in a boat in Kalymnos island, Greece
    Discover the charming island of Kalymnos on a Variety Cruises trip, photo of sea sponges
    Kalymnos, the island of the sea-sponge harvesters
    The fourth largest island of the Dodecanese Group is widely known as an international sponge-harvesting trade center. After WW II, Kalymnos remained the only Greek island engaged in the sea sponge-harvesting activity, supplying Syros, Nafplio and Constantinople and travelled as far as Odessa, St Petersburg, Moscow, Trieste and the Middle East.
    Photo of a lemon in a glass
    Longevity Secrets of Ikaria
    Enjoy a cooking class with fresh local produce and discover the Ikarian diet: Vegetables from the garden, legumes and greens, and plenty of olive oil. On the Greek island of Ikaria, life is sweet… and very, very long.
    Wherever we sail, we do so with purpose. Our mission is to create life-enriching experiences at sea for our guests, and a better world for us all. We’re transparent about carbon emissions, always aiming to improve our footprint. Our journeys are designed to get you closer to the things that matter: whether that’s an island reachable only by boat, or by ensuring your adventure honours and gives back to local communities. We always have fun at sea, but we do it responsibly.
    Psili Ammos beach in Patmos island, Greece visited on a Variety Cruises excursion
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