We have teamed up with Mediterranean specialist Celestyal Cruises to offer you the chance to win a fabulous seven-night Eclectic Aegean cruise for two, which includes overnights in vibrant Istanbul and cosmopolitan Mykonos, as well as calls in Çanakkale and Troy, Volos, Heraklion and Santorini.
You’ll board Celestyal Crystal in Athens and set sail for Istanbul, arriving the next afternoon. Here you’ll enjoy a Bosphorus cruise on a private tender boat, weaving your way between traditional fishing boats and ferries while looking out for the glamorous 19th-century Dolmabahçe Palace and former Ottoman palace of Çırağan, on the European riverbank. And on the Asian side, the summer residence of the sultans, Beylerbeyi Palace, as well as the medieval Anatolian Castle and the magnificent Kanlica Villa all soon come into view. Then, back on dry land, you can take a stroll around the labyrinthine Spice Market where you can haggle for souvenirs, or simply browse the myriad of goods on offer.
After an overnight in Istanbul, it’s on to Çanakkale, which occupies both sides of the Dardanelles Strait connecting Europe and Asia and the Aegean and Marmara Sea. Çanakkale is home to two of the most legendary battlefields, Gallipoli and Troy, with optional excursions to both available.
Next up is Volos, the mythical home of Jason and the Argonauts, which is close to the UNESCO-listed monastery complex of Meteora. Optional excursions are available or you can meander along the seafront to visit one of the island’s 600 ‘tsipouradika’ tavernas serving up mouthwatering dishes accompanied by pomace brandy.
Celestyal Crystal then moves on to Heraklion, which is brimming with landmarks, world-class museums, golden beaches and plenty of tavernas serving ice-cold drinks and freshly caught fish. As the birthplace of the Minoan civilisation, Heraklion is full of history and culture, which can be explored at the Archaeological Museum with exhibitions covering more than 5,000 years.
Santorini is the next port of call where you you’ll discover almost vertical towns of whitewashed houses and blue-domed churches, winding narrow streets, black sand beaches and even a dormant volcano. While the island is most famous for its striking landscape, you won’t want to miss sampling one of its famous dishes – Greek fava – complemented by a bottle of locally produced Vinsanto wine.
The final destination is Mykonos where you’ll discover a rugged landscape blending seamlessly with smooth sandy beaches, undulating hills, traditional whitewashed villages and fascinating archaeological sites, as well as numerous cosmopolitan bars, exclusive boutiques and gourmet restaurants. The ship departs Mykonos in the early hours and arrives back into Athens the following morning.
Your home for the week is Celestyal Crystal, which features comfortable staterooms and suites, plus a variety of restaurants, bars and lounges. The ship showcases authentic Mediterranean hospitality with attentive staff and a friendly ambiance that makes every guest feel immediately at home.
For further details, call 0800 411 8038 or visit celestyalcruises.uk. The closing date is 11.59pm on 13 April 2020
Terms & Conditions:
1. The ‘Idyllic Aegean’ prize comprises seven days on board Celestyal Crystal in an exterior stateroom; three excursions; all meals and drinks on board; gratuities; and all port charges. 2. The cruise is available to be taken on selected dates in 2020, subject to availability, and the prize cannot be extended. 3. The prizewinner and their companion are responsible for arranging their own flights and transfers. 4. Travel insurance is not included. Any other expenses incurred during the period of the prize will be the responsibility of the prizewinner and their companion. 5. No cash alternative will be offered and prizes are non-transferable. Prize is non-refundable and cannot be exchanged for cash. 6. The prizewinner will be responsible for supplying valid passports and, where necessary,
for obtaining appropriate vaccinations and inoculations. 7. It is strongly recommended that travellers take out adequate travel insurance. Celestyal Cruises cannot be responsible for unforeseen cancellations of flights or the cruise due to circumstances beyond their control. 8. The competition is open to residents of the UK and Northern Ireland aged 18 and over. 9. In addition to these terms and conditions, the Chelsea Magazine Company terms and conditions apply. These can be viewed at chelseamagazines.com/terms-and-conditions.