7 day tour of Istanbul and Athens
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.
*Kucuk Aya Sofya (Little Aya Sofya) and 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 Athens - (B)
After breakfast, we will provide a transfer to the Istanbul airport for your 1-hour flight to 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 5 - 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 6 - Athens - (B)
Breakfast provided in the hotel and your morning will be free. After lunch, around 2:00 PM, you will be picked up from the hotel and driven along the scenic coastal road affording splendid views of the Saronic Gulf, and the beautiful Athenian suburbs of Glyfada,Vouliagmenia and Varkiza.
At Cape Sounion, you will visit the 5th century B.C. Temple of Poseidon. Here is one of the most breathtaking panoramic views in the world (on a clear day you can see at least seven islands); the precipice is a sheer 197-foot drop into the sea. Overnight in Athens
Day 7 - Athens to Home - (B)
Andio sas! Good bye, It is time to go home. We will transfer you to the airport and wish you well, asking that you keep Istanbul,
Athens and all of us in your heart. We hope that our paths will cross again!
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 Athens (one way)
* Admission fees (at sites)
* All taxes and service charges
* International flight tickets to Istanbul and from Athens