Monday - Day 1 - Arrival in 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 rest of the afternoon free to explore Athens on your own. Overnight in Athens
Tuesday - Day 2 - 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, 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
Wednesday - Day 3 - Athens to Mykonos - (B)
After breakfast early in the morning, we will provide a transfer to the Rafina ferry port for your trip to Mykonos Island. After arrival, you will check in the hotel, and have a free day to explore.
* Mykonos remains one of the most popular islands of Greece, and for good reason: crystal clear beaches, hill-top windmills, waterfront cafes, archeological sites and a lively nightlife, it's no wonder that Mykonos has always lived up to its reputation.
Archaeological finds indicate that the Ionians settled on Mykonos in the early part of the 11th century BC. More recent discoveries have uncovered remnants in Ftelia beach from the Neolithic Kares tribe dating back as far as 3000 BC.
Overnight in Mykonos
Thursday - Day 4 - Mykonos to Santorini - (B)
After breakfast, you will depart Mykonos Island for Santorini Island, going via Paros Island. After arrival, you will check in the hotel.
Overnight in Santorini
Friday - Day 5 - Santorini - (B/L)
After breakfast, we will take you on a full-day tour of Santorini. You will visit Acrotiri, go on a boat trip to view the caldera, visit hot springs, view the ruins of Thirrassia, and wrap up the day watching the romantic sunset from Oia. Afterwards, you will be taken back to your hotel.
* 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 lively nightlife, have made this island a perennial tourist favorite. Overnight in Santorini
Saturday - Day 6 - Santorini to Rhodes - (B)
After breakfast, we will provide a ferry transfer to Rhodes Island. After arrival, we will transfer you to your hotel for your check-in. Today, you will have free time to relax or to explore Rhodes
Overnight in Rhodes
Sunday - Day 7 - Rhodes - (B)
After breakfast, you will have a full free day to relax and explore Rhodes. Overnight in Rhodes
Monday - Day 8 - Rhodes to Marmaris then to Pamukkale- (B/D)
After breakfast, you will depart from Rhodes for a 2-hour ferry ride to Marmaris. After arrival in Marmaris, you will be met at the harbour for your transfer to Pamukkale, ("cotton castle" in Turkish - so named for its impressive calcium formations).
After arrival, you will check in to your thermal spa hotel, and have a free day to relax in the thermal pools. Dinner will be served at the hotel. Overnight at Pam Hotel (http://www.pamhotel.com/indexeng.htm)
Tuesday- Day 9 - Pamukkale to Kusadasi - (B/L/D)
Sites you'll see today:
After breakfast, we will depart from Kusadasi to Pamukkale; upon arrival we will continue on the guided tour of Pamukkale and Hierapolis. Our drive will take us through a rich agricultural area that's teeming with cotton fields and fruit orchards.
* Pamukkale ("cotton castle" in Turkish) is the result of limestone formations created over thousands of years. Warm, calcium-rich mineral water from nearby thermal hot springs flowed over these cliffs and, as these waters cooled, they deposited the calcium that we see today.
* Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was founded as an ancient healing care center in 190 BC, taking advantage of the mineral waters. It was one of the most important intellectual, artistic, religious and commercial centers of the Roman Empire. Over time, the city hosted large numbers of both Jewish and Christian residents.
After the tour, we will provide a transfer to Kusadasi, where you will check into the hotel.
Overnight in Kusadasi (Onder Otel)
Wednesday - Day 10 - Kusadasi to Istanbul - (B/L)
Sites you will see today:
*Ephesus is the best-preserved classical cities from ancient times, and was inhabited by Greeks, Macedonians, Romans and Turks. St. Paul lived here circa 60 AD, when it was at its most populated at 250,000. During your visit, you’ll walk its stony boulevards, stand in the grand theatre, marvel at the beauty of the Celsus Library, the agora, as well as the baths, giving you the unique chance to get up-close-and-personal with history by literally being able to walk into it.
*The Temple of Artemis is situated in serene countryside celebrates the Greek goddess Artemis, the virginal huntress and twin of Apollo, who supplanted the Titan Selene as goddess of the Moon. This temple, known as Artemision in Greek times, was the largest of its kind at the world.
*The House of The Virgin Mary, (Turkish: Meryemana Evi), high on a hill overlooking the town of Selcuk, is where it is believed that St. Mary came to live with St. John the Baptist in the later years of her life. Masses are held here on Sundays.
After the tour has ended, we will transfer you to the Izmir airport for a 1-hour flight back to Istanbul. After arrival in Istanbul, we will transfer you to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul
Thursday - Day 11 - Istanbul - (B/L)
After breakfast, we will meet you at your hotel and take you on your full-day Istanbul tour.
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.
The Obelisk is in the Egyptian style and was erected in 1547 BC and stood 60m tall. The German Fountain is also within the hippodrome area, constructed in Germany to mark German Emperor Wilhelm II's second visit to Istanbul; it was imported and officially opened on January 1 1901. The fountain's three domes are decorated with gold mosaics.
* Topkapi Palace (Topkapi Sarayi), the residence and administrative center of the Sultans during the Ottoman Empire, was constructed in 1459-1465 shortly after the establishment of Constantinople. You'll see the Treasury that houses the Topkapi Dagger, the 86-carat Spoon Maker's Diamond, and the jewel-encrusted bones of St. John the Baptist.
* Grand Bazaar (Kapali Carsi - covered bazaar) in Istanbul is one of the largest and oldest covered markets in the world, with more than 58 streets and over 4,000 shops which attract between 250,000 and half a million visitors daily.
The grand bazaar began construction in 1455 and opened in 1461. It is well known for its jewelry, pottery, spice, and carpet shops. Many of the stalls in the bazaar are grouped by the type of goods they sell, with special areas for leather coats, gold jewelry, textiles, and the like.
The bazaar contains two bedestens (domed masonry structures built for storage and safe keeping), the first of which was constructed between 1455 and 1461 by the order of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. The bazaar was vastly enlarged in the 16th century, during the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, and in 1894 underwent a major restoration following an earthquake.
Today, the grand bazaar houses two mosques, two hamams, four fountains, and multiple restaurants and cafes. The sprawling complex consists of 12 major buildings and has 22 doors.
After our tour, we'll return you to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul
Friday - Day 12 - Istanbul - (B)
After breakfast at your hotel, we will take you to the ferry landing.
* Bosphorus ("Bogazici" in Turkish) Cruise takes you though the waterway separating 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 (where Ataturk lived), Beylerbeyi Palace, and the iconic Ortakoy Mosque.
Later, your afternoon will be free for you to relax or do some last-minute shopping for Turkish Delight (lokum), jewelry or textiles at the Grand Bazaar. Overnight in Istanbul
Saturday- Day 13 - Istanbul to Home - (B)
Gule gule! Good bye! It's time to head home. We will transfer you to the airport and wish you well, asking that you keep Turkey in your hearts, and hope that our paths cross again.
Prices are starting from 1685 Euros per person in a double, contact us to get a price quote for your dates
* All hotels
* All land transportation and ferry tickets
* All guided tours mentioned on the itinerary
* Entrance fees to museums and to ancient sites
* Professional tour guides
* All meals mentioned on the itinerary (b-breakfast, l-lunch and d-dinner)
* All taxes and service charges
* All of the drinks with meals
* International flight tickets
(NOTE: This is a fully-customizable program and is available all year round. If you are interested in obtaining more information about early booking, cash-paying discounts, hotel names (and web sites), or daily departure times, simply send us your e-mail inquiry, letting us know the dates you wish to travel, and we'll get back with you soon.
You may also choose to extend your stay by adding-on such destinations Fethye, Bodrum, etc., in order to fit your time and travel interests.)