At the beginning of July my family and I took a cruise with Princes Cruise line from Rome to Athens Along the way, we made stops in Sicily, Montenegro, Corfu, Crete, and Mykonos. The experience was incredible. I had never been to Italy before and as a pasta/pizza enthusiast I was excited to finally go.
I met my family in Rome and only had about 10 hours to see everything before we had to leave for our boat. Luckily, my sisters and cousins had already been there for three days and had a set route ready for me in order to see all the exhibits. The morning was cloudy and not too sunny so thankfully, it never got too hot. Since I only had a limited amount of time, I only made it to the Colosseum, the Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain. Each exhibit was more breath taking than the next.
At 4pm, my family and I boarded the ship and set sail for Sicily. After this excursion, I am a firm believer that everyone must see Sicily in their lifetime. We only had about 5 hours in Sicily so we spent most of our time in Taormina. The town is filled with vibrant colors. Where ever you turn, there was a windowsill overflowing with the most beautiful flowers. The streets streets are flooded with children playing tag, people selling their fresh produce, outdoor restaurants, and a gelato stand every twenty feet. It is true what they say; once you visit Sicily, it holds a place in your heart forever.
Dress: Zaful (ON SALE) | Shoes: Market in Greece
Our next stop was Montenegro. The day we went it was a scorching temperature of 98 degrees but was the most incredible day. I am convinced that this is one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline there can be. With ice blue seas, and sandy coves set into the mountains, I am easily retiring here. The locals were wonderful. Despite any language barriers they will put themselves out to help and the overall service standards are above the norm. My family and I had a driver take us to Kotor and Tivat. Little fun fact, if you are a Game of Thrones fanatic, you must visit Montenegro, it is where they film. The towns are filled with the cutest outdoor cafes/restaurants. If you like seafood you have come to the right place. You may not know what you are eating, but you will be presented with a fantastic choice of fresh fish, able to choose the one you would like cooked. All the beaches have at least one Greek style Taverna, where you sit in the shade, sip a cooling drink giving you the best type of relaxation.
The third stop we made was Corfu. Corfu has a very Italian life feel to it especially in the main town, where you could easily believe you are in Venice with its narrow streets and balconied houses.The Italian feel is because of the many years of Venetian rule, Corfu is the only part of modern Greece that never came under Turkish control. With exceptionally cold water, Corfu is known for their stunning beaches. It is known as Greece’s ‘Emerald Island’ due to its curtain of beautiful wild flowers, bushes and shrubs. If you’re feeling adventurous, talking a walk down to Vlacherna Monastery is a must because the airport’s runway is only a few hundred feet away so you get to watch planes take off right above you. I highly recommend visiting Corfu during Greek easter. It becomes the most colorful place in Greece during this time. Easter in Corfu is a big deal and celebrations last for a week and thousands come to the island just for the celebrations. At 11am on Holy Saturday, plates, pots, and vases are hurled from building in Corfu Town.
The fourth stop was Crete. I have been to many Greek islands, but had not yet been to Crete. I can happily say I will be returning back to this beautiful island next time I am in Greece. We explored Chania where I had the best shopping on this island. The jewelry was something you can only find on their island. If you love delicate pieces of jewelry, you must visit this island. Chania is another city that is filled with hole in the wall restaurants that are built in the most creative ways. One restaurant that we found had been a burnt down building that had been turned into a restaurant. It was the most beautifulful setting.
Our last stop was Mykonos. Mykonos is one of those islands where you can spend days exploring and still not see everything. Fortunately, I have been to Mykonos to multiple times (I am currently on a ferry headed there as I type this). If you ever want to visit a classic Greek island, Mykonos should be at the top of your list. The streets are filled with white houses and blue tops. The windowsills are filled with overflowing plants and flowers. Bougainvillea attaches itself in small corners of every store giving the scenery a splash of color. Where ever you turn, there is a new ally that waits to be explored.