Day 1: Arrive in Athens, Greece
Arrival at the Athens Airport and transfer to your hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Athens [B]
Depart for your Athens Sightseeing Tour including the Acropolis and the New Acropolis Museum. Our expert guide will take you to see the center of the city, the Constitution Square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the National library. On your way to the Acropolis you will see the Hadrian’s Arch, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and have a short stop at the Panathinaikos Stadium, where the first Modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. 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 famous Parthenon. Your first taste of Athens would not be complete without a visit to the Acropolis Museum, a modern architectural building where, at last, the statues have found their home and admire the wonders and architectural masterpieces of the classical era. Return to your hotel and remaining of your day at leisure. Overnight in Athens.
Day 3: Athens [B,L]
Depart at 8:15 a.m. heading to the three beautiful islands of the Saronic Gulf. Hydra, the favorite island of the jet set, whose old traditional beautiful stone houses and mansions silently witness to a long and turbulent story. The small narrow stone paved streets await you to explore them on foot or by the islands traditional “vehicle” the saddled donkeys or captivating walks along the old seaside promenade crystal clear waters, radiant fine craft shops and the beauty of Hydra will conquer you! Our stay in Hydra is about 2 hours. Poros, is the smallest of the three islands that we visit. Our stay in Poros is about 1 hour. Aegina is the largest of the three islands. Apart from its harbor, there are optional organized tours by air conditioned buses visiting the Temple of Afea (archaeological site) or the Church of Saint Nektarios, whose relics are displayed. Your stay in Aegina is about 2 hours. Overnight in Athens.
Day 4: Athens – Olympia [B,D]
Depart for your 4 day tour of Greece. Leave Athens by the scenic coastal road and reach the Corinth Canal (short photo stop). Enjoy the imposing landscape in the Corinth Canal protected waters, one of the XIX Century world’s engineering masterpieces with history that starts as early as 602 B.C. Continue to Epidaurus with its IV Century B.C. theater, famous for its astonishing acoustics. The town of Nafplion, your next stop, a modern seaside resort and old town, is crowned by the mighty ramparts at the Palamidi Fortress. The last stop of the day is Mycenae, the Homeric City of Atreides, the city “rich in gold” of the ancient poets. Visit the Lion’s Gate, the Cyclopean Walls and the Royal Tombs. Depart for Olympia through Central Peloponnese, Tripoli and Megalopoli. Arrival at your hotel, dinner and overnight in Olympia.
Day 5: Olympia – Delphi [B,D]
Visit Ancient Olympia, the birthplace of the idea and site of the Ancient Olympic Games. Visit the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus and the Archaeological Museum of Olympia, which hosts important treasures such as the famous statue of Praxiteles, Hermes. Continue through Achaia and Rio Antirio towards Delphi, passing through the picturesque towns of Nafpaktos and Itea. Arrival in Delphi, enjoy your dinner at the hotel and overnight in Delphi.
Day 6: Delphi – Kalambaka [B,D]
Depart for your tour to Delphi. Located on the slopes of Mount Parnasus, Delphi, once believed as the center, “Naval” of the Earth, is the home of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios. At the oracle of Apollo, Pythia, the high priestess of the temple, under the influence of the ancient god Apollo delivered her famous prophesies. You will also visit the Treasury of the Athenians and the Delphi Museum, which hosts valuable pieces of art like the famous bronze charioteer. Depart for Kalambaka. Dinner at the hotel and overnight in Kalambaka.
Day 7: Kalambaka – Athens [B]
Visit the breathtaking monasteries of Meteora. Perched on huge granite rocks, the monasteries seem to suspend between earth and sky, providing a magnificent view. Each monastery contains priceless historical and religious treasures. Enjoy your lunch at local restaurant in Kalambaka (not included), before returning to Athens bypassing Trikala, Lamia and Thermopylae where a stop will be made to visit the memorial of Leonidas and the brave 300 Spartans. Return to Athens and overnight.
Day 8: Athens – Istanbul [B]
Transfer to Athens International Airport for your onward flight. Arrive in Istanbul, Turkey and transfer to the hotel for overnight.
Day 9: Istanbul [B,L]
Visit of the Suleymaniye Mosque, the finest and most magnificent of the imperial mosques in the city. Take in wonderful panoramas of the Golden Horn on the cable car and in Pierre Loti Coffee House. Visit Istanbul’s most sacred site at the Eyüp Sultan Mosque and Tomb. Discover why thousands of faithful visit every day. After lunch discover the new city with Taksim Square, Istiklal Street and Ancient Pera. Return to the hotel for overnight in Istanbul.
Day 10: Istanbul [B,L]
Visit Topkapi Palace, the largest and oldest of the remaining palaces where Ottoman Sultans used to live; admire the gardens, kitchens, the treasury section as well as terraces overlooking the Bosphorus and the Golden Horne. Explore Saint Sophia, one of the marvels of Byzantine architecture. Visit the Blue Mosque covered by more than 20,000 Iznik tiles and the Roman Hippodrome. Lunch in a local restaurant. In the afternoon, discover the handcrafts of Anatolia and shop in the labyrinth tunnels of the Grand Bazaar. Return to the hotel for overnight.
Day 11: Istanbul – Ankara [B,L,D]
Free time in the historical Spice Market to feel the exoticism of the Orient. Enjoy a languorous boat trip along the European and Asian coasts of the Bosphorus. Lunch. In the afternoon, cross the Bosphorus Bridge and proceed to Ankara. Dinner and overnight in the capital of Turkey.
Day 12: Ankara – Cappadocia [B,L,D]
Visit to Archeological museum of Ankara, with its unique collection including Paleolithic, Neolithic, Hattie, Hittite, Phrygian, Urartian and Roman works and Lydian treasures. Short stop in the Mausoleum of Kemal Atatürk, founder and first president of the Turkish Republic. Lunch and proceed to Cappadocia. Visit of an underground city. Check-in to your hotel in Cappadocia, dinner and overnight.
Day 13: Cappadocia [B,L,D]
(You may have OPTIONAL Hot Air Balloon ride early in the morning)
Entire day to enjoy the natural beauty and the cultural depth of this unique region: explore the frescoed interiors of Goreme Cave Churches, which date from the 8th century, take a walk in Avcilar, Pasabagi and the valley of Dervent where you will admire the chimney like volcanic formations and a brief photo stop at Uchisar. In the afternoon, discover the unique artifacts of Cappadocia such as pottery, onyx…etc. Dinner and overnight.
Day 14: Cappadocia – Pamukkale [B,L,D]
Drive through the Silk Road to Konya to visit the Whirling Dervishes Convent which is now the Mevlana Museum. Visit a Caravanserai from XII Century. Continue to Pamukkale, dinner and overnight.
Day 15: Pamukkale – Ephesus – Izmir [B,L,D]
Discover the ancient city of Hierapolis and enjoy the unique splendor of its cascading, hot springs in Pamukkale. Proceed to Ephesus and explore the antique city by wandering along its 2,000 year old marble streets to such famous sites as the theater and the Celsus Library. Stop at a leather factory in Selcuk to attend a fashion show and to learn more about Turkish leather. Visit the Home of Mother Mary. Lunch during the visits. Continue to Izmir, third biggest city of Turkey. Dinner and overnight in Izmir.
Day 16: Izmir – Canakkale [B,L,D]
Proceed to Pergamon, the city where parchment was invented. Visit the Acropolis offering breathtaking views over the valley and discover the remains of the most impressive Hellenistic theater in Asia Minor. After lunch, visit the legendary city of Troy, the site of one of the most famous wars of ancient times, immortalized in Homer’s Iliad. Dinner and overnight in Çanakkale.
Day 17: Canakkale – Istanbul [B,L]
Cross by ferry the Strait of Dardanelles and discover Gallipoli where the bloodiest battles of First World War took place. Continue to Istanbul. Lunch in route. Arrival in the afternoon. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 18: Istanbul [B]
Transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport for your flight back home.