Istanbul Cappadocia Athens Delphi Meteora 12 days full of history and beautiful landscapes!
Perfect combination of Turkish antiquities with full day Istanbul sightseeing, visit of the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk in Ankara, continue to Cappadocia and then Athens, Delphi and famous Monasteries of Meteora.
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.
Departure for a full day tour of the extraordinary and fascinating Cappadocia starting with a visit to the underground city Kaymakli or Ozkonak, originally excavated by Christian communities, with a depth of 7 to 12 stories underground. Then we will go to Valley Güvercinlik (Pigeon Valley) and admire a panoramic view of the castle of Uchisar on top of a mound of volcanic rock crossed by tunnels and windows. In the afternoon, visit the open air museum of Göreme, World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Continued, visiting the vineyard where Pasabag are so-called “fairy chimneys”. Dinner and accommodation.
TUESDAY: CAPPADOCIA – KAYSERI – ISTANBUL
Departure from the hotel and drive on to Kayseri airport, for the flight back to Istanbul. Arrival in Istanbul and transfer to your selected 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, jewellery, 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.
THURSDAY: ISTANBUL – ATHENS
At the appropriate time your will be transferred to the airport for the flight to Athens. Upon your arrival, you will be met and transferred to your selected hotel in Athens. 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.
Free day in Athens to stroll around the city and know better the sites and the people. Good opportunity to visit one of the famous museums like the National Archaeological museum or the Benaki Museum.
Use metro not only for your transportation but also visit the different stations to admire pieces of ancient and modern art. Not the miss the visit to Plaka (The old Athens city) with lots of souvenir shops, restaurants and taverns.
Excursion to the Archaeological site of Delphi, once known as the centre of Earth. This tour will show you the ruins of ancient Delphi and also a big part of mainland Greece full of green places and beautiful villages. Ancient Greece was full of religious places like Delphi, also connected with athletics and medical services.
Delphi was the centre of Ancient World – the “Omphalos” (Navel of Earth) – whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic World.
On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios.
Visit the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the Museum containing such masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias.
Lunch in a local restaurant and free afternoon to enjoy the very nice views to the gorge all the way to Itea.
MONDAY: DELPHI – METEORA
Relaxed breakfast in your hotel and free morning in Delphi.
Depart for Kalambaka, a small Town situated at the foot of the astonishing complex of Meteora, gigantic rocks. Dinner and overnight.
Meteora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. Among striking scenery, perched on top of huge rocks which seem to be suspended in mid-air, stand ageless Monasteries, where you can see exquisite specimens of Byzantine art. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the north western edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The Meteora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Return to Athens via Trikala, Lamia, Thermopylae (visit the Leonida’s monument). Arrive in Athens early in the evening.
WEDNESDAY: ATHENS – AIRPORT
According to your departure flight, you will be transferred to the airport.
STARTING POINT: Istanbul, Saturdays April to October
TRAVEL PLAN: 12 DAYS/ 11 nights
* 3 nights hotel accommodation in Istanbul
* 2 nights/3 days tour to Cappadocia on full board basis in 4* hotels
* 4 nights hotel accommodation in Athens
* 2 nights/3 days tour Delphi and Meteora on half board basis
* Full day Istanbul sightseeing tour with lunch
* Half day Athens sightseeing tour
* Air tickets Istanbul – Kayseri – Istanbul
* All transfers as mentioned
* Entrance fees during guided sightseeing tours in Turkey
* Daily breakfast
* Hotel taxes in Turkey
* Government hotel taxes in Greece
* Air tickets Istanbul-Athens not included
* Special overnight tax of €4 for 5* hotels, €3 for 4* hotels, €1,5 for 3* hotels and €0,5 for 2* hotels per person per night to be paid by clients directly to the hotels in Greece.