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Cruise the island-strewn waters of theAegean after the heatand crowds of the summer havedisappeared. Discover islands that haveinspired artists and poets, UNESCOWorld Heritage Sites and the home ofWestern medicine. Cruise the Lyciancoast of Turkey, exploring ancient citiesand abandoned villages before arrivingin the ancient port of Piraeus. Greek and Turkish Odyssey sets sail on 30September for 15 days with fares fromonly £1,905 per person. For further information or to book,call 0844 822 0677 or See insertfor other cruise REVIEW / SUMMER 2011 57TRAVEL/TOURSvolcanic springs and low, white agrarianvillages was for many years the haunt ofMediterranean pirates, but it's best-known now for three former residents;the ancient Greek philosopher, Diagoras,Renaissance painter Vassilacchi, and the Venus de Milo or, as she wasoriginally known, the Aphrodite of Milos.This iconic statue was discovered in1820 by a peasant named YorgosKentrotas. A French soldier working withhim ensured it was sold to the Frenchambassador who donated it to theLouvre. A copy of the statue can beseen in the entrance to Milos'sArcheological Museum in the mainsquare. Here you can also seeMycenaean pottery, painted ceramicsand the volcanic obsidian that has beenthe basis of Milos's wealth for centuries.The last chain of islands to beincorporated into modern Greece werethe easterly Dodecanese, which wereseized by Italy in 1912 and only becameGreek in 1948. Among the mostbeautiful is Kos, which was famousthroughout the ancient world as thehome of Hippocrates, the founder ofmodern medicine. The asklepieion builtin his honour in the 4th century BC canstill be seen in the hills outside the townof Kos. This partially restored buildingoriginally combined the functions oftemple, medical school and hospitaland made the island famous forcenturies. Later the fierce Knights ofSt John established a fortress on theharbour to defend Kos againstOttoman expansion, but the Turksfinally took the island in 1522. Theharbour is a delightful place towander, especially in the evening.Many visitors stop to look at theancient plane tree on PlateiaPlatanou, which was reputed to havebeen planted by Hippocrates himself.In fact it is probably less than 600years old, but it could well be a directdescendant of his original.These four islands sum up somuch that is special about the Greekarchipelago - the wine and olives, thefusion of Turkish and Greek history,the great names from classicalcivilisation, the sandy beaches,fortified cities, volcanic cliffs andwhite painted villages. It is a taster,yes, but so rich in flavours. Below: Stonehouses andcobbled pathslead topicturesqueMolivoRight: Grilledoctopus is aGreek specialitymuch of its history with Lesbos, havingprospered under Genoese merchantswho made this the wealthiest port in the Aegean. Centuries of Turkish rule did not disrupt Chios's lucrative trade in mastic gum, an essential ingredient inoil painting, produced by villages in the island's interior. However anunsuccessful rebellion against Ottomansin 1822 changed everything. Despite the opposition of the main Genoesefamilies who did not wish to see thelucrative status quo upset, aninsurrection took place that resulted in the massacre of 30,000 Chianislanders by the Turks. News of thiswholesale slaughter inspired one ofEugene Delacroix's best-knownpaintings and galvanised Europeanpublic opinion in favour of Greekindependence. Copies of The Massacreof Chios were widely circulated. Onehung in the Philip Argenti Museum inChios until 2009 when it was takendown as a gesture of conciliationtowards the Turkish mainland.Far south in the archipelago lie theCycladean chain of islands, whichpresent a very different aspect tovisitors. Formed by volcanoes, thesecrags rear up dramatically, and yet offersome of the best white sand beaches inthe Mediterranean. Milos with its hot