The limelight might shine on Mykonos, Santorini, and the famous names of the Greek Islands. Still, with more than 6,000 islands to choose from, there are plenty of opportunities to escape the crowds and seek a traditional way of life and untouched natural beauty on a Greek Island cruise. Here we take a peek at five spectacular secret islands which fly under the radar and why you should visit them.
The most remote of the Northern Sporades islands, Alonnisos encapsulates the spirit of the Greek Islands. The small isle is blanketed with pine forests, olive groves, and orchards grazed by bell-toting sheep in the picturesque harbor of Patitiri, a cobbled waterfront lined by pastel-colored buildings and quaint cafés. Hora (the Old Village) is dominated by a medieval castle with panoramic sea views, and its narrow lanes are home to ancient stone houses. Alonnisos is pure natural perfection, and its National Marine Park is home to seabirds, dolphins, and the endangered and rare Mediterranean monk seal.
Despite being part of a remote archipelago far off the tourist trail, Fourni has a thriving population and is home to the delightfully vibrant little fishing town of Kambos set around a natural harbor. Yet its true magic lies in its dramatic landscape, where fjord-like bays have been carved between towering sea cliffs, and islets stretch into the horizon like giant stepping stones. It is little wonder pirates from across the Mediterranean were drawn to its grottoes. From ancient windmills to mulberry trees and a freshwater spring, Fourni offers raw beauty and Greek hospitality in equal measures.
Italy is bursting with iconic destinations, from flamboyant Venice to cultured Rome and the pastel-hued villages of the Cinque Terre. Famed the world over for its rich cuisine, its picturesque landscapes, and blend of ancient and modern culture, there is nowhere which fires the wanderlust quite like Italy. Yet step away from Lake Como or the Amalfi Coast, and you'll discover an even more authentic Italian experience. Our destination here is Le Marche, a region of dramatic landscapes, fine white wines, and pretty hilltop towns.
Be Dazzled by Dramatic Landscapes
Tucked between the Apennine Mountains and the Adriatic Sea, Le Marche offers visitors the best of both worlds. The crowd-free pebble beaches are lapped by the clearest of waters, with tranquil little bays such as those in the Parco del Conero backed by white cliffs. There are impressive caves to explore - the Grotte di Frasassi standing as one of the largest cave systems in Europe - and sweeping national parks of towering mountains and foothills blanketed in vineyards. While away an afternoon at the vineyard in the Parco Regionale Monte San Bartolo, sipping delicate wines while the sun sets over the Adriatic for an experience that's impossible to forget.
A cruise to Alaska ventures deep into one of the world’s wildest frontiers. In this vast realm, nature reigns supreme and promises unparalleled adventure and exploration. The snow-frosted mountains, great calving glaciers, and puffing whales are jaw-dropping when seen from the deck of the ship, but get up close, and you’ll feel genuinely embraced by nature. Here we look at some of the most incredible wild adventures Alaska can offer cruise ship passengers.
Meet the Wildlife
All across Alaska, wildlife thrives, from the vast mountainous inland to the long craggy coastline. Kodiak National Wildlife Refuge is home to the largest brown bears in the world, so where better to watch these magnificent animals as they gorge on plump summer salmon and dig for clams in the coastal shallows? Rugged and remote, Kodiak is the largest island in Alaska and is home to 3,000 grizzly bears, whales, seals, sea lions, and otters. Alaska’s chilly Arctic waters are teeming with marine mammals, and in Juneau, you can hop aboard a small ship and go in search of huffing humpback whales and pods of orcas.
From the port city of Seward, the Kenai Fjords National Park promise a day of unforgettable wildlife experiences. In the shadow of gargantuan glaciers, spot orcas and whales, Steller sea lions, harbor seals, puffins, and majestic eagles.
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