In the first stage we cross the Aegean Sea through the most beautiful Greek islands and enter the Ionian Sea.
Upon leaving the island of the sun, Rhodes, we’ll stop at Astypalaia with it's famous windmills. We'll pass by the Kythira Strait to Pilos and by the end of the stage reach the blue waters and achingly smooth sands of magnificent Zakynthos.
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Starting point: Rhodes
We begin our leg on the sunny island of Rhodes. The medieval city of Rhodes with it’s beautiful narrow and cosy streets offers an abundance of beaches, bars and ancient sites. This Mediterranean island is famous because it was once home to the Colossus of Rhodes, a 108-foot bronze statue that towered over the city like a god on earth, an eternal reminder of Rhodes' victory over its enemies. We will enter this very harbor where the statue was standing.
Rhodes → Astypalaia, 95nm
The next stop is Astypalaia, the westernmost one of the Dodecanese islands of Greece, famous for it’s beaches and hiking trails. We'll go to Chora of Astypalaia with it's iconic windmills and breathtaking views. And the Castle of Querini, a fine example of the Venetian architecture, is a must-see place.
Astypalaia → Ios, 65nm
From Astypalaia we'll go to the island of Ios. Chora, the capital of Ios island, is a picturesque town that clings tightly to the rocky hill and has the prettiest beaches. It is one of the most authentic Greek towns and has a very cozy pier. And did you know that Homer was buried on Ios?
Ios → Monemvasia, 120nm
The next stop will probably be Monemvasia. It’s a stunning rock, connected to the mainland with a brigde. There locates a medeival city, really beautiful one.
Monemvasia → Pavlopetri, 40nm
From Monemvasia we'll pass through Kythira Strait and check on a place called Pavlopetri, which literally translates to ”Paul's Stone”. It is one of the oldest underwater cities, as well as the oldest in the Mediterranean sea. It was discovered only 50 years ago by Nicholas Flemming, majestically beautiful spot.
Pavlopetri → Pylos, 95nm
And the next stop is Pylos, one of the biggest and most significant centers of the Mycenaean Greece. This is a place where Telemachus from the Odyssey meets Nestor. The Museum of Pylos’s collections include archaeological artefacts which were excavated in the area of Pylia and dated back from the Neolithic Era to the Roman period.
Pylos → Strofades, 45nm
Strofades is just a couple of tiny islands in the middle of the Ionian sea, bare and flat. With an enormous wall of an old monastery.
Strofades → Zakynthos, 40nm
And from Pylos we go to the beautiful Zakynthos island with it's scenic hilltop villages, traditional monasteries and fabulous natural landscapes. Homer first mentioned the island in the Iliad and the Odyssey, stating that the first inhabitants were the son of King Dardanos of Troy called Zakynthos and his men and that they first came on the island around 1,500-1,600 BC. There are many things to see, such as the Venetian bridge or the Venetian castle on Zakynthos. The Ionian Islands are a cinematic paradise. Blue waters and smooth sands are the perfect finale to this stage.
🛬 Rhodes (RHO)
🛫 Zakynthos (ZTH)