Turkey, Greece, Greek Islands vacation and more…
Visit Istanbul and the most important places of Turkey joining the 5 days tour to West Anatolia to Ankara, Cappadocia, Pamukkale, Ephesus, Kusadasi and Izmir and continue to Famous Greek Islands of Mykonos, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete and Santorini joining our luxury 4 days cruise!
Day by Day Itinerary
Arrival in Istanbul, meeting and assistance and then transfer to your selected hotel in Istanbul. Balance of the day at leisure.
Morning transfer to the airport for the flight to Ankara, arrival and transfer to the city to visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk. Lunch at noon. Continue to Cappadocia, dinner and overnight.
Full day visit of the spectacular Cappadocia region, unique for its fascinating and unique landscape formed by the lava thrown out by volcanoes Erciyes and Hasan, 3 million years ago.
Visit the many monasteries and chapels in Goreme, World Heritage Site by UNESCO, dug into the rocks and decorated with frescoes of the tenth century (some of them very well preserved).
Pass by and admire a panoramic view of the castle of Uchisar on top of a mound of volcanic rock crossed by tunnels and windows and Avcilar Valley. Lunch and in the afternoon, visit the village of Avanos, famous for its handicrafts and valleys and Gόvercinlik Valley (Pigeon Valley).
Visit the underground city of Kaymakli or Serhatli, one of 36 underground cities of Cappadocia served as a refuge for Christians.
Return to hotel and dinner. Dinner and accommodation.
Early departure to Konya, capital of the Seljuk sultans in the 11th century. Visit of the Caravansarai of Sultanhan, where they used to stop the caravans of camels on the silk route.
Visit of the Mausoleum of Mevlana, poet and Philosopher who founded the mystical and religious sect of the Dancing Dervishes.
Lunch in the city and continuation of the trip to Pamukkale. Accommodation and dinner.
Pamukkale is a beautiful and spectacular natural site, unique in the world with its fairy-like dazzling white, petrified lime cascades. There you will see the thermal spring water laden with calcareous salt, plunging down the mountainside which has created this natural formation of stalactites, cataracts and basins. The thermal water has been used since the Roman period for its therapeutic powers.
Next, you will visit the Roman city of Hierapolis, which is not located not on earth or rock, but on solid limestone layers formed by limestone water that flowed for centuries over this raised level plateau. The name means “sacred city”, and according to Stephanus of Byzantium, the city was given this name because of a large number of temples it contained.
After that, you will visit the ruins of the necropolis and the Roman Baths. Continue to Aphrodisias and after lunch visit to this ancient Greco – Roman city, dedicated to the Goddess of Love Aphrodite. Departure for Kusadası. Dinner and overnight.
Departure in the morning and visit the House of Virgin Mary, where she spent the last days of her life. Authenticated by Pope Paul VI in 1967, the cottage is a place of pilgrimage for many believers.
Continue to Ephesus, the Roman capital in Asia Minor
The ancient city of Ephesus was an important centre for early Christianity. In the book of Revelation, Ephesus was one of the seven churches addressed by Christ in a vision. It is here that you will find the Temple of Artemis, considered to be one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
Your guide will also show you the Great Theatre, the Library of Celsius, the ruins of Odeon, Hercules Arch, the Temple of Hadrian, the magnificent library, the Agora and the Greco-Roman Theatre.
After lunch, visit the Basilica of San Juan and then to Smyrna. Arrival at the airport for your flight to Istanbul. Arrival in Istanbul and transfer to hotel.
After breakfast full day visit to Istanbul. We begin our tour from the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul at Agia Sophia. Built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD this church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Its massive dome dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses.
Next we visit the Blue Mosque, which owes its name to the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Dating from the 17th century, it is the only imperial Mosque with six minarets. The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100.000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire.
The Grand Bazaar was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4.000 shops are full of treasures – including carpets and kilims, silks, jewelry, ceramics, icons and leather goods.
Lunch in a local restaurant and continuation of our tour. Our afternoon will begin at Topkapi Palace which, from the 15th to 19th century, was the principle residence of the Ottoman Sultans.
Little Agia Sophia Mosque is known as one of the oldest standing churches in Istanbul dating back to 6th century. It is early domed-basilica architectural plan of famous Agia Sophia which was applied here first time in the history.
SATURDAY: ISTANBUL – ATHENS
After breakfast transfer to the airport for the flight to Athens. Arrival in Athens, meeting and assistance and then transfer to your selected hotel. Balance of the day at leisure.
This tour gives you an opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. Our expert guides will take you to see the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896 (short stop).
Continue and pass by the Prime Minister’s residence (ex Royal Palace) guarded by the Euzones in their colorful uniform, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Hadrian’s Arch, the Parliament and the memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Academy, the University, theNational Library, the Constitution Square (Syntagma). On the Acropolis visit the Architectural Masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally “the harmony between material and spirit”, the monument that “puts order in the mind”, the Parthenon.
Tour will end by visiting the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum, “State of the art” in museum construction and very rich in content.
Morning transfer to Piraeus port to embark your selected cruise ship. Our cruise ship will leave the port of Piraeus at 11:00 for a 3 full days of fun and experiences. We go along the Athens Riviera in the Saronic Golf to the south end of Attica passing close to the Temple of Poseidon in Cape Sounion. This afternoon is a good opportunity to get around and know your ship and the services we provide.
In the afternoon we arrive in Mykonos, known around the world as the Ibiza of the Aegean, the most popular destination of the Mediterranean. An international “jet-set” known for its beautiful sandy beaches, hundreds of tiny white chapels and incredible night life. Stroll around the streets of the capital that are considered the most beautiful of the Greek islands and enjoy the great night life. It’s easy to get lost in its maze of gleaming white walls dotted with blue domes and windows and balconies full of flowers. Have a coffee or a cocktail in one of the famous bars and promise to return for longer stay and more experiences.
In the evening return to the ship for overnight travel to our next destination.
Kusadası a resort town on Turkey’s Aegean coast. In ancient time settlers include the Aeolians in the 11th century BC and Ionians in the 9th century who made Kusadasi a centre of art and culture. In the early years of Christianity. St John the Evangelist and (according to Roman Catholic sacred tradition) Mary (mother of Jesus) both came to live in the area.
Take the opportunity to visit Ephesus, an ancient Greek city and later a major Roman city, on the coast of Ionia. The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
You can also visit the House of the Virgin Mary, purported to have been the last home of Virgin Mary, based on the visions of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich. It is a popular place of Catholic pilgrimage which has been visited by three recent popes.
Then on to the island of Patmos, a small Greek island in the Aegean Sea. Patmos is a destination for Christian pilgrimage. Participating in the optional tour, you will have the opportunity to visit the Monastery & the Grotto (the Cave of the Apocalypse) of St. John, where he lived and recorded the Book of Revelation.
Today we visit the magnificent island of the roses, Knights and Butterflies. Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
The included tour, will take you to visit the old medieval city and the famous Acropolis of Lindos. If you want to be on your own you can swim in one of the many beaches of the island or just stroll in the old city and imagine being one of its inhabitants of the ancient times.
We will spend this morning to explore this beautiful city, the capital of Crete, the largest of the Greek islands. Archaeological treasures, magnificent ruins and museums, glorious beaches and fabulous restaurants make Crete a complete vacation spot.
With the included tour you will visit the ruins of Knossos, which in Minoan times was the largest centre of population on Crete and are located within close proximity or the archaeological Museum of the city, one of the greatest museums in Greece and the best in the world for Minoan art, as it contains the most notable and complete collection of artifacts of the Minoan civilization of Crete.
One of the jewels of small volcanic archipelagos five islands is undoubtedly Santorini. Santorini was created due to a volcanic eruption culminated in the explosion of a volcano caldera, therefore, its rugged landscapes dotted with huge cliffs. Santorini’s capital, Fira, with white-washed houses, narrow streets and open air cafes that cling to a steep cliff, is at the top of the beautiful island where you can enjoy the beautiful views of the bay. Discover Santorini villages that retain their authenticity, with beautiful blue and white buildings and barren volcanic rocks. It is a very fascinating and picturesque island. A magical place that has nothing to do with the rest of the Greek islands, a place to spread the peaceful and hospitable nature of its people.
The included panoramic tour will show you a big part of the island and the town of Oia
FRIDAY: SANTORINI – ATHENS
Early morning return to Piraeus port. After breakfast on board, disembarkation and transfer to your selected hotel in Athens. Balance of the day at leisure.
SATURDAY: ATHENS– AIRPORT
According to your departure time you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back home.
STARTING POINT: Istanbul, Every Saturday, March to October
TRAVEL PLAN: 15 DAYS/ 14 nights
* 3 nights accommodation in Istanbul
* 4 nights/ 5 days Anatolia tour on Full Board basis in 4* or 5* hotels
* 3 night accommodation in Athens
* 4 nights cruise to the Greek islands & Turkey on full board basis (based on the minimum inside category)
* 3 Shore excursions during the cruise as per itinerary
* Unlimited drinks package during the cruise
* Full day Istanbul sightseeing tour with lunch
* Half day Athens sightseeing tour
* Air tickets Istanbul – Ankara + Izmir – Istanbul
* All transfers as mentioned
* Entrance fees during guided sightseeing
* Daily breakfast
* All meals during the cruise. Not the drinks
* Hotels’ taxes