Greek Island Odyssey – A Ferry Travel Adventure

Explore hidden streets, enjoy city eats and become an expert in Greek culture – all while island hopping on this new experience with Med Experience. You’ll discover Greece like one of its own.

Historian Bettany Hughes is on a personal Odyssey to find kernels of truth behind grand Greek myths and legends. She begins in Santorini, which is shaped by the world’s most cataclysmic volcanic eruption.

1. Athens

Board an overnight flight to Athens, the cradle of Western civilization. Once you land, get acquainted with your Tour Guide and other Travelers as you eat a Welcome Dinner at an authentic local spot.

Step back in time on the Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site home to iconic temples like the Parthenon and other historical wonders. Then, learn about the city’s rich history at the National Archaeological Museum, a world-class collection of Greek sculptures and antiquities that you won’t want to miss.

Historian Bettany Hughes is retracing the steps of the epic hero Odysseus on this Ferry Travel Adventure, where she’s uncovering kernels of truth behind grand Greek myths. Follow along with her as she explores a Peloponnesian island and visits the mystical ancient site of Delphi.

2. Mykonos

Inspired by her epic hero Odysseus, Bettany Hughes sails to the Greek islands in search of a story. From the site of the Trojan War to a graveyard of ancient shipwrecks, she discovers a culture that is both intimate and epic in scope.

In Mykonos, Bettany tucks into exquisite Mediterranean fare while learning about the island’s unique cosmopolitan character. Its famous restaurants serve a medley of styles, ranging from fresh seafood to sophisticated haute cuisine.

Known as a world-renowned cosmopolitan destination, Mykonos has maintained its local roots with windmills and picturesque churches. The main town, Hora, is also known as Little Venice, a maze of narrow paved alleys lined with captain’s homes and old churches.

3. Santorini

The words “Greek Islands” often evoke visions of sun-bleached houses shoulder to shoulder across dramatic clifftops. On Santorini, these quaint enclaves of white houses and blue domes are the stuff of postcards, drawing crowds of travelers to their breathtaking views and unforgettable sunsets.

But the island’s charm extends beyond its dramatic vistas, including vineyards that yield some of Greece’s most revered wine. Its rugged, rocky landscape also reveals historical churches and monasteries and, some say, the Lost City of Atlantis.

Those seeking to avoid the summertime crowds should visit during spring and autumn, when the weather is still warm but hotel prices are much more affordable. The islands’ interiors are dotted with vineyards and traditional villages where you can stroll away from the tourist hustle and bustle.

4. Rhodes

Known as the “Knights’ Island,” Rhodes is a beautiful mosaic of experiences. Explore the Old Town — a UNESCO World Heritage Site — and see its imposing walls encircle a past that’s richly preserved. See the inns of knights, marble crests, a Clock Tower with breathtaking views and even a hammam.

On Spetses, the resentment of Greece’s long history of invaders is still alive. Visit the memorial statue of a stocky woman, Laskarina Bouboulina, who was a Byronic admirer and hero during the Greek War of Independence.

On the mountainous island of Kameiros, you can visit a medieval castle and its namesake church. You can also trek to the top of a cliff for magnificent views, and stroll through traditional inland villages with shady orange groves.

5. Corinth

Corinth was a major centre of trade and industry, and its Corinthian pottery was widely used around the Mediterranean. It was also famous as the venue for the Isthmian Games, and is recalled in the New Testament by letters sent by St Paul to its community.

The site of the city lies on the Isthmus of Corinth, a narrow neck of land joining the Peloponnesian peninsula with mainland Greece. It was a strategic location, and ships dragged on ropes across the isthmus until in 67 ce the Roman emperor Nero began digging a canal.

The resulting 6.4-mile (10.1 km) canal, opened in 1893, is today’s main transport link between northern and southern Greece. Corinth also has a modern port on the Saronic Gulf, and a principal harbour called Lechaeum.

6. Corfu

A magical island in the Ionian Sea, Corfu (Greek: Kerkyra) is known for its vibrant music festivals, culinary feasts, religious festivals and carnival celebrations – all of which carry deep Venetian influences. Located near the border with Albania, Corfu also boasts spectacular scenery ranging from the highest peak in Greece, Pantokrator Mountain to the ancient palace of Achilleion.

Here, amidst the cliched postcards and throngs of tourists, Peter uncovers a more authentic side to the island. He visits a stunning monastery and explores the rugged interior, where a world of cypress-studded hills and vertiginous villages awaits. This is where Odysseus was soothed and sent on his way home to Ithaca. Inspired by his epic hero, Bettany embarks on a personal Greek Islands Odyssey. Throughout the series, Bettany encounters unsettling events that, like those of the hero herself, are quite literally earth-shaking.

7. Ithaca

Almost completely unspoiled by modern development, the capital of Ithaca clings to traditional Ionian charm and wraps itself around a deep-water, fjord-like bay. The island has long been associated with the heroic home of Odysseus whose adventurous and tumultuous voyage towards it in Homer’s epic poem have given the island mythical status worldwide as a symbol of spiritual journeys, solace and discovery.

Join Bettany Hughes on her personal odyssey as she sails to some of Greece’s most beautiful islands. Follow her from the site of the Trojan War to a graveyard of ancient shipwrecks and on to Chios, Homer’s birthplace and Samos. This iconic Channel 5 series will reveal the truth behind Greek myths and legends, while also celebrating the beauty of the islands.