Once a glamorous hang-out for the likes of Jackie Kennedy Onassis and Brigitte Bardot, the Cycladic island of Mykonos still boasts an air of exclusivity. Golden sand beaches beckon, while pristine white-washed architecture contrasts against the brilliantly blue Aegean Sea. Embrace the island’s elegant allure as you visit historic sites, browse chic boutiques and dine on its scenic waterfront.
Striking Santorini is the largest Greek island of an archipelago of the same name, the exposed remains of an enormous volcanic eruption that occurred around 3,600 years ago. Beautifully scenic and historically fascinating, it is rumoured to have inspired Plato’s Atlantis and the eruption has been suggested as the cause of the Biblical plagues. Look down on the deep blue waters of the four-mile-wide lagoon from an amphitheatre of whitewashed dwellings perched atop the caldera’s precipice.
Venturing to Croatia’s clear, sapphire waters is a refreshing experience. The Adriatic coast is awash with ancient architecture, quaint fishing villages and a collection of many picturesque islands. During summer, an extensive ferry network runs meaning you can easily do a spot of island hopping.
The fantastically scenic peninsula of Split is found on the west coast of Croatia, surrounded on three sides by the turquoise waters of the Adriatic Sea. The dynamic city is a hub of activity where modern life flows harmoniously around thousands of years of history. At its centre is the Diocletian’s Palace, a recognised UNESCO World Heritage Site and the setting for much of the popular TV series, Game of Thrones.
George Bernard Shaw once said: “Those who seek paradise on earth should come to Dubrovnik and find it”. Indeed, with its marble streets, Baroque buildings and serene surroundings, this charming city on the Croatian coastline is a very special part of the world. The splendour of the pedestrian-only Old Town is a treasure trove of beautiful and historic architecture, while there is no better way to soak up the sun than by lying on one of the city’s sun-kissed, sparkling beaches.
Sail to Istanbul and enter a city of wonder. Considered the place where east meets west, Istanbul is the only city to occupy two continents. For this reason, the city has been a pivotal location for commerce and conquest for thousands of years. The wealth of history and culture is simply unmatched, from the beautifully detailed mosques to the 500-year-old Grand Bazaar.
On Turkey’s western Aegean coast is Kuşadasi, a beach town named after the nearby Güvercinada Island, which resembles a bird’s head. A Byzantine castle on the island is popular for sightseeing, while the mainland is home to the popular Ladies Beach, a seafront promenade, plus many restaurants and shops. Nearby attractions include several waterparks and the scenic Dilek Peninsula-Büyük Menderes Delta National Park, though the ancient Greco-Roman city of Ephesus is the magnum opus.
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