Greece: Athens sightseeing with Acropolis 3 Greek islands-Corinth Canal-Nafplio- Epidavros – Mycenae – Ancient Olympia – Delphi – Plaka, Athens old town
Turkey: Istanbul sightseeing – Hippodrome – Hagia Sofia – Blue Mosque – TopKappi Palace – Grand Pazaar – Camlica Hill – Vosporos – Pergamon – Ephesus, Izmir(Smyrna)
11 days / 10 nights
Arrival to Istanbul Airport, meet with our representative, Transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
OPTIONAL: Bosporus Dinner Cruise including traditional Turkish entertainment and dinner
Istanbul (Constantinople until 1453) city tour
Guided tour to old Istanbul city. Visit HAGIA SOPHIA This ancient basilica, built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century. TOPKAPI PALACE the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries with the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury. BLUE MOSQUE (SULTANAHMET IMPERIAL MOSQUE) built in the 16th century, HIPPODROME the scene of chariot races, with the three monuments; the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine, being the the centre of Byzantine life for 1000 years. GRAND COVERED BAZAAR in its streets and passages are more than 4,000 shops selling antiques, jewellery, gold, carpets, leatherware and souvenirs. OPTIONAL: Evening Shows with belly dancing entertainment or Bosporus Dinner Cruise including traditional Turkish entertainment and dinner. Overnight in Istanbul.
Istanbul Bosporus Cruise and Shopping Tour
Visit to SPICE BAZAAR (Egyptian Bazaar). The air here is filled with the enticing aromas of cinnamon, caraway, saffron, mint, thyme and every other conceivable herb and spice. Then BOSPORUS by boat, a traditional excursion by boat along the canal separating Europe and Asia. On the way we’ll see from the boat the Dolmabahce Palace, the imperial pavilions of Yildiz Palace, the RUMELI FORTRESS Built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 prior to the conquest of Istanbul BEYLERBEYI PALAS (PALACE) the summer residence of Ottoman sultans. BOSPHORUS BRIDGE where you have the chance to step Asia continent to Europe. CAMLICA HILL the highest point in Istanbul, where you can have magnificent views of Istanbul and Bosporus.
SHOPPING TOUR (after cruise) Walk the streets of Istanbul and enjoy the shopping in traditional silk and carpet shops, handcrafts centre and see jewelry and modern leatherwear show. Overnight in Istanbul.
ALTERNATIVE routing for shorter itineraries: Indeed of Shopping tour, transfer to Istanbul a/p. Flight to Athens. Transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Athens
Izmir – Kusadasi – Pergamon
Morning transfer to the airport for a short flight to Izmir. After arrival, drive to Pergamon to visit the ancient city dating before the 4th century BC. Visit many impressive sites, including the Athenaeum, the second largest library of the Ancient world. The Acropolis with the beautiful views from the hill-top. The Temple of Trajian and the Sanctuary of Asclepius, an important healing centre/hospital in ancient times, second most famous Aesclepion after the one in the island of Cos. Drive to Kusadasi. Overnight
Ephesus. Temple of Artemis and House of Virgin Mary
Morning departure for Ephesus. Guided tour to the largest ancient port-city in Asia Minor. First we will visit the House of Virgin Mary where it is believed that she arrived with Saint John and where she spent her last years of her life.
Then we’ll visit the Ephesus Ruins (Odeon, Temple of Hadrian, Roman Baths, Celcus Library and the Theatre which is still in use today for concerts and has an amazing capacity of 25,000). Following this we will visit the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. Before heading back to Kusadasi we will visit Isabey Mosque and after some free time for shopping we return to Kusadasi Port for our departure by boat to Greek island of Samos (or to Tsesme for Chios 3hrs).
Night ferry Samos / Chios to Piraeus. Overnight on board in double cabins.
Morning arrival to Piraeus. Guided full day city tour. We’ll visit Constitution Square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the National Library. Driving down Herod Atticus st, you will see the Evzones in their picturesque uniform and the Presidential Palace.
On your way to the Acropolis you will see the Hadrian’s Arch, visit the Temple of Olympian Zeus and you will make a short stop at the Panathenaic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games took place in 1896. Then Acropolis, the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age (5th Century BC) of Athens, Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Erechtheion, and finally Parthenon – a place any civilized person has to visit. We complete the visit with the new Museum of Acropolis. Overnight in Athens
Greek islands daily cruise
This day have a daily excursion to Greek islands and get in touch with the Aegean jewelries. Morning transfer to Piraeus port. Embark on boat for 1 day cruise with lunch and show on board to nearby islands of Aegina, Poros, Hydra. Return to Piraeus in the evening. Transfer back to the hotel. Overnight Athens.
Classical Greece Tour
This day we start our 2 days guided Classical Greece tour where we’ll see the classical sites of ancient Greece.
Morning drive to Peloponnesus – Argolis to see the ancient open theatre of Epidaurus (16000 seats – 4th century B.C), famous for its acoustics. We’ll visit the Homeric city of Mycenae, (1300 B.C.), home town of King Agamemnon, leader of Greeks in the Trojan war, to see the Lions Gate, the Cyclopean Walls, the Royal Tombs. Then we’ll visit the beautiful Nafplio, the first capital of Greece in its modern history after Greek’s revolution against Turks in 1821. On the way to Argolida we’ll have a short stop at Isthmus(Canal) of Corinth. First attempt to cut it was in 1st century AD.
Then driving through central Peloponnesus we arrive to Olympia. Overnight at Olympia.
Guided visit to Ancient Olympia, the archaeological site with the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of Hera, the altar of the Olympic flame, the Olympic stadium of 45,000 seating capacity where the first Olympic Games took place in 776 B.C, and the archaeological museum with the famous Hermes sculpture of Praxiteles. Then with driving on west side of Peloponnese we cross the new bridge of Rio and we arrive to Delphi.
Note: Zeus status on left, one of eight world wonders, is a replica design.
Delphi city considered by the ancients Greeks to be the center (omphalos) of the world and a religious center. This is the place where you might get Pythia’s chrism for your future and the future of the world, as many other Kings and Emperors in the past have done. Even Alexander the Great got her advice before conquering the word. Guided tour to Archeological site, Temple of Apollo, theater, market and the famous Omphalos (navel of the earth) and the Delphi museum with the amazing sculptures. Then we visit the traditional village of Arachova and latter on we start our trip back to Athens. Overnight in Athens.
OPTIONAL: Greek folklore night with Greek food and wine in a tavern at Plaka, Athens old town.
Free time in Athens. Transfer to Athens airport for your departure.
NOTE: Alternative shorter Routings / itineraries – Days nr as described above:
1) Option-1: Turkey 1, 2, 3 – Greece 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 (Istanbul + Full Greece – 9d/8n)
2) Option-2: Turkey 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 – Greece 6, 8, 9, 10, 11 (Full Turkey + Classical Greece – No Greek island cruise 10d/9n)
3) Option-3: Istanbul 1, 2, 3 – Athens 6, 7, 11 (Istanbul + Athens + 1 day 3 Greek islands cruise 6d/5n)
4) Any other tailor made combination.