The Odyssey Reimagined – Modern Greek Island Adventures by Ferry

The Odyssey Reimagined Modern Greek Island Adventures by Ferry

Revel in the enchantment of Greece. Whether you’re SCUBA diving in Santorini or trekking around a medieval castle on Tinos, mild Aegean breezes refresh villages and towns where daily life continues unchanged for centuries.

The first four books of the Odyssey begin with Penelope, Odysseus’s wife, and her arrogant suitors. Her son Telemachus searches for his father.

1. The Dodecanese Islands

Set at the crossroads between Europe and Asia, these 15 main islands and their 150 islets are home to a rich history of seafaring adventure. They’ve been occupied by a long list of global superpowers—Mycenaeans, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans, among others—and each island has its own unique personality.

Whether you’re soaking in the sun on Rhodes’ famous Red Beach or discovering ancient ruins on Kos, there are many treasures to explore. A drop in package tourists means that many of the island’s beautiful beaches are now comparatively uncrowded—a great way to enjoy this lovely region.

Karpathos’ rugged mountain landscape, 100+ gorgeous beaches and 300+ days of sunshine make this little-visited island chain a hidden gem. And if all that wasn’t enough, the Dodecanese islands boast incredible biodiversity and architectural styles from many different cultures—and have been protected by the EU’s Natura 2000 network of ecologically significant areas.

2. Corfu

Historian Bettany Hughes devoted six months to sailing around Greece in search of kernels of truth behind the myths of Homer’s epic tales. From the party islands of Santorini and Mykonos to the more meditative spots like Corfu, she explored 22 historical sites and 13 islands.

From the Byzantine castle of Angelokastro in southwestern Corfu to the serene beaches of Paleokastritsa, the island offers an array of picturesque scenery. But it’s the rocky headlands of east Corfu where some believe Odysseus would have set sail from. Here, along the pristine shoreline of Ermones and the dramatic bays of Palaiokastritsa, you’ll find the cliff-like Kolovri Rock, which local legend claims was the home of Odysseus’s ship, the Argo.

This spellbinding novel delves into Greek mythology, reimagining the Odyssey from the perspective of the witch Circe. Miller vividly depicts the solitary life of this daughter of Helios who spends her time honing her mystical powers on her deserted island. She encounters Hermes, the Sirens, and the wrath of a scorned Poseidon, among other legendary figures. The island also serves as a backdrop for the deepening romance between her and Patroclus, Achilles’s deeply wounded lover.

3. The Cyclades

The Cyclades are the dazzling, cosmopolitan heart of Greece, home to powder white houses and red-hot nightlife. Stroll narrow marble pathways laced with purple bougainvillea flowers on cosmopolitan Mykonos, or explore the nation’s maritime history at Armenistis Lighthouse. Then dance the day away on Super Paradise’s glistening sand or watch the sun burn out over the Aegean Sea at an open-air taverna.

Naxos is the largest island in the Cyclades and promises something for everyone, from long, shallow beaches to quaint mountain villages with local distilleries. Or visit the Luc Besson film set of Amorgos, an island that exudes romance with its azure waters and pristine coves.

On the isle of Ithaca, Odysseus’ steadfast and clever wife Penelope maintains her kingdom and family amidst ruthless suitors in this epic reimagining of classic myth. Embark on a journey that takes you through storm and shipwreck, the cave of the Cyclops, the swaying isles of the Sirens, the omnipresent wrath of the gods, and more in this powerful and unflinching retelling.

4. The Ionian Islands

The Ionian Islands are home to lush landscapes, a vibrant culture, and of course, a handful of the most legendary beaches in Greece. From the cliffs and crystal clear waters of Navagio Beach on Zakynthos to the olive-tree-covered hills of Lefkada, you’ll find all the ingredients for an unforgettable trip to Greece.

But island hopping in the Ionian Islands is a bit more complicated than it is in the Cyclades or even the Dodecanes. This is because the Ionian Islands form a long island chain that spans a large geographical area. Consequently, the islands don’t have as many ferry connections.

So if you’re hoping to hop between all the islands in the Ionian Islands—Corfu, Paxos, Lefkada, Kefalonia, Ithaca, and Kythira—you will need to spend more than a week in the region. But don’t worry, better online ferry reservaton systems have made navigating the Greek islands by ferry far easier than ever. With a little planning, getting around is actually one of the most rewarding parts of a trip to Greece.

5. The Sporades

Just off the east coast of mainland Greece, these 24 largely pristine islands are a hidden treasure – although with Skopelos featuring in Mamma Mia and a recent appearance in a Hollywood movie, this little archipelago isn’t likely to remain a secret for very long. The cosmopolitan island of Skiathos, with its crystal clear waters and stunning beaches (think Koukounaries, Banana, Agia Paraskevi), is the most popular destination among American visitors while Skyros, Alonissos and the rest are home to some of the most untouched natural beauty in the Aegean Sea.

With their picturesque cobblestone streets, traditional Skyrian houses and rich pine forests, these islands hold many secrets to discover. The perfect combination of adrenaline and serenity, they are sure to leave an indelible mark on those who visit. The sailing conditions are also fantastic, with warm, sunny weather and moderate meltemi winds throughout the summer. But an understanding of the area’s geography is essential for a successful and enjoyable voyage. This is why it’s so important to have the right expertise and preparations in place before you set sail.