Highlights of Turkey and Greece
10 day tour visits Istanbul, Cappadocia in Turkey and Athens and Santorini in Greece.
Skip the line addmissions, small groups, good guides...
Day 1 - Arrival in Istanbul
HOS GELDINIZ! Welcome to Turkey. We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. After a short briefing about your
tour you will have the afternoon free to rest and explore Istanbul on your own. Overnight in Istanbul
Day 2 - Istanbul - (B/L)
Today is dedicated to exploring Istanbul's most historic sites:
Sites you'll see today:
* Blue Mosque/Sultanahmet Mosque (Camii) built during the reign of Sultan Ahmet I during 1609-1616. It is the only mosque in Turkey with six minarets. Due to its magnificent hand-dyed blue, green and white Iznik tiles it has been named the "Blue Mosque" by Europeans. The central dome is 43 m in height and is 33.4 m in diameter; it also boasts 260 windows.
* Hagia Sophia/Aya Sofya is a truly awe-inspiring, 1,400-year-old Byzantine cathedral which houses mosaics, relics and iron work. Hagia Sophia was, for nearly a thousand years, the largest enclosed space in the world, and still seen as one of the world's most important architectural monuments. It is one of Turkey's most popular attractions, drawn by the sheer spectacle of its size, architecture, mosaics and art. Built during the reign of Byzantine Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD.
* Hippodrome: the backdrop of chariot races and the center of Byzantine civic life. Of the ornaments which once decorated it, only
three remain: The Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column, and the Column of Constantine.
* Topkapi Palace was the imperial residence and administrative heart of the massive Ottoman Empire, beginnng with Fatih Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror, in 1453, until 1856. It was converted to a museum in 1924. Parts of the palace such as the Harem, Baghdad Pavilion, Revan Pavilion, Sofa Pavilion, and the Audience Chamber distinguish themselves with their architectural assets. The museum also has collections from the Imperial Treasury, as well as Chinese porcelain, weapons, calligraphy, etc. The Treasury
also houses the Topkapi Dagger, the 86-carat "Spoon Maker's Diamond", and the jewel-encrusted bones of St. John the Baptist.
the Grand Bazaar will also be visited during the tour. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3 - Istanbul - (B)
* The Spice Bazaar/Egyptian Bazaar (Misir Carsisi) transports you back to the Silk Road days with its mystical aromas of various spices. Here, you'll also find other shops selling fruits, vegetables, teas, flowers, fish, and Turkish Delight (lokum).
* Bosphorus Cruise takes you though the waterway separating the two continents, Europe and Asia; along its shores, you can take photographs of marble palaces and antique wooden Ottoman-era villas that sit beside luxurious modern residences.You will also see Dolmabahce Palace, Beylerbeyi Palace, and Ortakoy Mosque from the sea
After the tour, you will have the afternoon at leisure..
Overnight in Istanbul.
- Day 4 - Istanbul to Cappadocia - (/L)
In the morning we will meet you at your Istanbul hotel and provide a transfer to domestic airport.
Short domestic flight to Cappadocia, whereupon you'll then be transferred to Cappadocia for your comprehensive full-day tour.
We’ll have a full day tour of Cappadocia which has around 36 underground cities, dating back 4000 years to the time of the Hittites. We will walk through the Underground City of Derinkuyu, where ancient people fled for their lives escaping the Arab invaders.
We’ll wander through the oasis-like Ihlara Gorge, here in the middle of the Anatolian plain, see ancient monasteries (complete with pigeon holes they used to send messages), and stroll through traditional Anatolian villages.
You'll get time to stroll in a village such as this and see the average Turkish villager at work...or play.
Overnight in Urgup, Cappadocia.
- Day 5 – Cappadocia - (B/L)
This day will continue our exploration of the amazing sites of Cappadocia. (optional hot air ballooning tour) including the World Heritage Site of Goreme Open-Air Museum, cut from rock Byzantine churches and monasteries with11th and 12th century frescoes on the cave walls; the famous Fairy Chimneys, shaped over millions of years by volcanic eruptions, some 40 meters in height; the Devrent (or “pink valley”), and natural rock fortress of Uchisar Castle, inhabited during both the Byzantine and Ottoman times. Along the way, we’ll have the chance to visit local crafts people and learn how they make dolls and create traditional pottery.
Overnight in Cappadocia.
- Day 6 – Cappadocia to Istanbul then to Athens - (B/L)
After breakfast we will provide a transfer to Cappadocia airport for your flight to Istanbul then onto Athens.
KALOS ORISATE! Welcome to Greece! We will meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel. After a short briefing about your tour, you will have the afternoon free to rest and explore Athens on your own. Overnight in Athens
- Day 7 - Athens - (B)
After breakfast around 8:30 AM, we will meet you at your hotel for your guided tour of Athens.
You will explore Temple of Olympian Zeus, Panathinaiko Stadium (where the first Olympic Games took place in 1896). After that, we will drive by the Prime's Minister's residence, the Royal Palace, (guarded by colorful Evzones), Zappion (Conference and Exhibition Hall), National Garden, Hadrian's Arc, St. Paul's Church, Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Schlieman's House (Numismatic Museum), Catholic Cathedral, Academy, University, National Library, Old Parliament, Constitution Square, and the impressive Russian Orthodox Church.
At the ACROPOLIS, you will visit Propylaea, Temple of Athena Nike, Parthenon, Erechtheion and the Museum of the Acropolis.
In the early afternoon, we will provide a transfer to your hotel, or we can also drop you off at the Plaka so you can wander and explore. Overnight in Athens
- Day 8 - Athen to Santorini - (B)
You have a free day to explore Santorini on your own. Many take this opportunity to relax and tan on one of Santorini's famous beaches, such as Red Beach, or return for more sightseeing in Oia. Overnight in Santorini
- Day 9 - Santorini - (B)
After breakfast, we will take you on a full-day tour of Santorini. You will visit the Island and go on a boat trip to view the caldera, visit hot springs, view the ruins of Thirrassia, and afterwards, you will be taken back to your hotel. Overnight in Santorini
- Day 10 - Santorini to Athens then to your next destination - (B)
In the morning we will provide a transfer to Santorini airport for your lfight to Athens.
Arriving in Athens will end this tour.
Total cost _______ Euros per person in a double room & ______ Euros in a single room
* Centrally-located, distinctive hotels with breakfasts
* All land transfers with comfortable vehicles
* Professional, English-speaking tour guides
* Flight tickets from Istanbul to Cappadocia
* Flight tickets from Cappadocia to Istanbul
* Flight tickets from Istanbul to Athens
* Flight tickets from Athens to Santorini
* * Flight tickets from Santorini to Athens
* Admission fees (at sites)
* All taxes and service charges
* Hot Air Balloon tour on Cappadocia
* International flight tickets to Istanbul and from Athens