When cruising in Greece, passengers visit many places filled with archaeological treasures, remnants of the region’s rich cultural history. Influential civilizations have flourished in Greece for centuries -- such as the Minoans, the Mycenaeans and the Phoenicians -- shaping the world through philosophy, religion, science, art and architecture.

When you explore the country’s small villages and cities today, reminders of a fabled time linger at every turn. Here travelers can visit the ruins of monuments and temples, and museums filled with the art and relics of the past’s great societies. Legends surround many of these places: Olympia, the sanctuary dedicated to Zeus, king of the gods; the monuments of the Acropolis, built to honor Athena; the island of Delos where Zeus’s banished mistress is said to have given birth to Apollo and Artemis.

The mythical quality of the area is enhanced by its natural beauty. With inviting white and black sand beaches, underground lakes, coves and dramatic rocky coastlines -- as well as groves of olives, citrus and cypress trees -- Greece encompass a diverse, stunning landscape. Water sports, including sailing, snorkeling and windsurfing, are popular in the area. Other nature-oriented activities here include hiking a volcano, sea kayaking and mountain biking.

Greece is a place to learn history, relive legends and soak up the impressive scenery.

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