Grand tour of Turkey and Greece in 3 Weeks

21 day tour from Istanbul

Departs every Sunday
Small groups, skip the line addmissions, good guides, hotels, food......

Program

- Sunday - 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.

- Monday - Day 2 - Istanbul - (B/L)
After breakfast we will continue our exploration of Istanbul, including the Spice Bazaar and a cruise on the Bosphorus, which takes you though the waterway separating the two continents, Europe and Asia. Along its shores, you will enjoy many photographic opportunities: the 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.
Overnight in Istanbul

- Tuesday - Day 3 - Istanbul - (B)
After breakfast we will continue on the full day tour, including Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, Hippodrome,
After the tour you will return to your hotel, or enjoy the rest of the day exploring Istanbul at your own pace.
Overnight in Istanbul.

- Wednesday – Day 4 – Istanbul to Canakkale – (B/L/D)
Early in the morning we will drive west, skirting the northern shore of the beautiful Sea of Marmara, heading towards the Aegean Sea.
--After our lunch, we will devote our afternoon to visiting Gallipoli, where fierce World War I fighting took place between Allied forces and the Turkish Army. At ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Armed Corps) Cove, thousands lost their lives on one fateful dawn morning. We'll also visit other famous WWI battles it es and cemeteries in this area, including Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair. From here, we'll board a ferry and cross the Dardanelles Strait.

*Canakkale will be our final destination for today and where we will spend our evening. After dinner, you might want to stroll the harbor wall; here, locals buy sunflower seeds and take evening strolls with their families to watch the sunset. Overnight in Canakkale

- Thursday - Day 5 - Canakkale to Kusadasi - (B/L/D)
In the morning we will head east towards Troy.

*Troy (Truva) is the ancient site written about by Homer in the classic Iliad. It dates back to approximately 3,000 BC and has been the site of nine different cities through the thousands of years it has been in existence. Upon entering Troy, a large wooden Trojan horse full-scale reproduction will dominate your view.

After lunch, you will depart from Canakkale, driving along the Aegean Sea south to the seaside city of Kusadasi. Upon arriving, you will check into your hotel. 
Overnight in Kusadasi

- Friday – Day 6 – Kusadasi – (B/L/D)
In the morning we will drive to Ephesus for your comprehensive full-day tour of some of Turkey's most impressive Roman and Biblical sites. Ephesus is one of the best-preserved classical cities, inhabited in different eras by Greeks, Macedonians, Romans and Turks, as well as St. Paul. Nearby is the famous Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, as well as the House of The Virgin Mary.
Overnight in Kusadasi.

- Saturday - Day 7 - Kusadasi to Pamukkale - (B/L/D)
After breakfast, we will depart from Kusadasi to Pamukkale and Hierapolis. Our drive will take us through a rich agricultural area, teeming with cotton fields and fruit orchards. We'll walk through Pamukkale ("cotton castle" in Turkish), a magical area of thermal hot springs and snow-white limestone formations created over thousands of years.
Hierapolis, an ancient healing care center dating from 190 BC, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. One of the most important intellectual, artistic, religious and commercial centers of the Roman Empire, the city hosted large numbers of both Jewish and Christian residents.
Overnight in Pamukkale

- Sunday - Day 8 - Pamukkale to Cappadocia - (B/L)
After breakfast we will drive to Cappadocia, on the way we will stop and visit the former home of the whirling dervishes, now the turquoise-tiled Mevlana Museum in Konya.
Free time to explore Cappadocia on your own for photography, note taking, and enjoyment.
Overnight stay in our deluxe cave hotel in Urgup, Cappadocia.

- Monday - Day 9 - Cappadocia - (B/L)
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.

- Tuesday - Day 10 – 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.

- Wednesday - Day 11 - Cappadocia to Athens - (B)
In the morning we will provide a transfer to Cappadocia Airport and put you on a 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

- Thursday - Day 12 - 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.

- Friday
- Day 13 - Athens to Mykonos - (B)
Very early in the morning, you will be transferred to Piraeus Port, and put on a fast ferry to Mykonos. After arrival in Mykonos, you will be transferred to your hotel; you will then have a full free day to relax and explore on your own.
Overnight in Mykonos.

- Saturday - Day 14 - Free day in Mykonos - (B)
Breakfast providd in the hotel; you will then have another free day to relax and explore Mykonos Island.

Located in the middle of the Aegean Sea, Mykonos is one of the most popular Greek islands, thanks to its beaches with crystal-clear water, windmills, charming waterfront buildings, stunning archeological sites and excellent nightlife. Archaeological records here indicate that the Ionians settled Mykonos in the early part of the 11th century BC; more recent discoveries have uncovered ruins in Ftelia beach from the Neolithic-era Kares tribe dating back to 3,000 BC.
Overnight in Mykonos.

- Sunday - Day 15 - Mykonos to Santorini - (B)
After breakfast, you will depart Mykonos Island for a 3-hour ferry to Santorini Island. Upon arrival, you will be met at the ferry port and transferred to your hotel. After check-in, you will have a free day to relax and explore Santorini.
* Santorini is one of those iconic places that will be permanently etched in your mind. Everywhere you turn is a photo opportunity. Essentially, the island is what remains of an enormous volcanic eruption, which destroyed the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island. The aftermath of the explosion created what you see today, a caldera. All of the whitewashed, charming houses cling to the high cliffs of the rim, while the deep blue Aegean Sea wraps around the geological masterpiece, hundreds of feet below. Its spectacular physical beauty, along with its lively nightlife, has made this island a perennial tourist favorite.
Overnight in Santorini.

- Monday - Day 16 - Santorini - (B/L)
After breakfast, we will take you on a full-day tour of Santorini. You will hop on a boat to explore the caldera, take in the hot springs, view the ruins of Thirrassia, and Afterwards, enjoy rest of the day exploring Santorini at your own pace.
Overnight in Santorini.

* Santorini is one of those iconic places that will be permanently etched in your mind. Everywhere you turn is a photo opportunity. Essentially, the island is what remains of an enormous volcanic eruption, which destroyed the earliest settlements on what was formerly a single island. The aftermath of the explosion created what you see today, a caldera. All of the whitewashed, charming houses cling to the high cliffs of the rim, while the deep blue Aegean Sea wraps around the geological masterpiece, hundreds of feet below. Its spectacular physical beauty, along with its lively nightlife, has made this island a perennial tourist favorite.
Overnight in Santorini.

- Tuesday - Day 17 - Santorini - (B)
After breakfast, you will have a full free day to relax and explore Santorini on your own. Many take this opportunity to relax and tan on one of Santoriniís famous beaches, such as Red Beach, or return to Oia for more sightseeing. Overnight in Santorini.

- Wednesday - Day 18 - Santorini to Crete - (B)
After breakfast, you will depart Santorini Island for a 3-hour ferry to Crete. Upon arrival, you will be met at the ferry port and transferred to your hotel. After check-in you will have a free day to relax and explore Crete.
____________________________________
* Crete, Greeceís largest island, was the center of the Minoan civilization, Greeceís oldest (ca. 2600ñ1400 BC). Crete lays claim to significant and varied ancient history: you can visit the Minoan sites of Knossos and Phaistos, the Greek classical city of Gortys, as well as the historical Venetian region of Chania and the Venetian castle in Rethymno. There is also Samaria Gorge National Park (established 1962), a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
Overnight in Crete.

- Thursday - Day 19 - Crete - (B)
In the morning, we will meet you at your hotel and take you on a half-day tour to the ancient city of Knossos.
We will start the day driving through picturesque villages to Knossos; after arrival, you will have about 1.5 hours to explore the site.
* Knossos (also known as the Knossos Palace), is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and was very likely the ceremonial and political center of the Minoan civilization. The city remained important throughout the Classical and Roman periods, but its population shifted to the new town of Handaq (modern Heraklion) during the 9th century AD. By the 13th century, it was known as Makryteikhos (ìlong wallî); however, the bishops of Gortyn continued to call themselves the ìBishops of Knossosî until the 19th century. Today, the name is used only for the archaeological site itself.
Overnight in Crete.

- Friday - Day 20 - Crete to Athens - (B)
After breakfast, we will provide a transfer to the Crete Airport for your 1-hour flight back to Athens, upon arrival you will be transfered to your hotel and have the day at leisure --- Overnight in Athens.

- Saturday - Day 21 - 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; we hope our paths cross again soon.

*** End of tour ***

Total cost _______ per person in a double room & ______ Euros in a single room
Contact us for price information.

Price includes
* All hotels ( centrally located, charming hotels)
* All land transfers with comfortable vehicles
* All meals mentioned in the itinerary (B-breakfast, L-lunch & D-dinner)
* Professional, English-speaking tour guides
* All port and airport transfers
* Domestic flight tickets from Cappadocia to Istanbul
* Domestic flight tickets from Istanbul to Athens
* Ferry tickets from Athens to Mykonos
* Ferry tickets from Mykonos to Santorini
* Ferry tickets from Santorini to Crete
* Domestic flight tickets from Crete to Athens
* Admissions to ancient sites
* All taxes and service charges

Excludes
* International flight tickets to Istanbul and from Athens to your next destination
* Hot Air Balloon tour in Cappadocia
* Drinks with meals

hagia_sophia
gallipoli
cappadocia hot air balloon
cappadocia
grand bazaar
athens
athens
Delphi
Greek ferries
Santorini
santorini
crete
knossos
 

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