Greek Islands and Turkey trip
16 Days / 15 nights, Greece & Turkey Special Trip, price/person 2795€ for 4 - 16 participants, 2-17 June 2011 & 15 - 30 September 2011
This itinerary is specially designed to give our guests a great combination of Greece and Turkey, including Athens, The Cyclades and Western Coasts to Asia Minor including Ephesos, Pergamon, Troy and Istanbul, within an archaeological and historical framework with many visits to well and lesser-known archaeological sites. You will not only explore these sites in their fantastic natural settings, but also discover their interrelated history and their links to the roots of modern Western culture.
DAY TO DAY ITINERARY
16 Days: Thursday - Friday
Day 1 / Thursday / Arrival in Athens
Arrive to Athens International airport “Eleftherios Venizelos” and transfer on your own to the hotel, which is conveniently located in the heart of city. Settle to the hotel. O/N at Philippos Hotel http://www.philipposhotel.gr/ or similar
Day 2 / Friday / Athens-Mykonos
After breakfast, your guide will meet you at the hotel. Together walk to the Acropolis and visit the Parthenon as well as the new Acropolis Museum with a professional guide. Early in the afternoon (around 15:00 o’clock), by high-speed boat we go to the island of Mykonos. (Duration of trip approximately 2 hours) Transfer to your hotel that is overlooking the sea. O/N at Petassos Town Hotel http://www.petasostown.gr/ or similar (B/L)
Day 3 / Saturday / Mykonos
After an early breakfast, go to the port to catch the small boat to the historical island of Delos. Time will be spent on the island discovering its ancient ruins.
Enjoy an evening walk in the internationally acclaimed Mykonos town. Walk amongst its small winding streets and sugar – cube like buildings- the archetypal postcard image of the Cyclades. O/N at Petassos Town Hotel http://www.petasostown.gr/ or similar (B/L)
(Please note that sometimes the boat transfer times may not permit the crossing to the island of Delos due to weather conditions, in this case our guide will take you on either on a walk on the town of Mykonos or for a swim in one of the beautiful sandy beaches of the island).
Day 4 / Sunday / Mykonos – Naxos (via Paros)
In the morning, transfer by ferry boat to Naxos (via Paros Island), the biggest and most fertile island of the Cyclades. Settle in your hotel, near the Naxos Town. Enjoy a sunset Horse-ride starting at 17:30
O/N at Naxos Resort http://www.naxosresort.gr/ or similar (B/L)
Day 5 / Monday / Naxos
Enjoy a morning hike starting from the kouros statue to Halki village. Visit Kouros of Melanes, that lies under the pleasant shadows of trees, on the backyard of a Greek family, and then continue onwards to Kouros of Potamia. Then we will follow the path to Ano Potamia picturesque village. After a short refreshing stop at the village’s spring, we will hike to Apano Kastro (Upper Castle - optional hike to the peak). Build on a strategic position, it provides panoramic view of Naxos town, port and the surrounding villages. Continue onwards via Tsikalario little village to Halki. In Halki village, will visit Valindras small distillery that produces Kitron (the local alcohol drink of Naxos). Visit the traditional distillery in Halki. Return to the hotel and rest. Take the evening boat to Rhodes and sleep on board. (B/L)
(Blue Star departure 21: 35 – Arrival 9:40)
Day 6 / Tuesday / Rhodes
Transfer to your hotel and settle in. Enjoy a walking tour around the Old Medieval Town of Rhodes. The old town is a fascinating mixture of Byzantine, Turkish and Latin architecture. O/N at Best Western Plaza Hotel http://www.rhodesplazahotel.com/ or similar (L)
Day 7 / Wednesday /Rhodes
Today you will enjoy a walk that will take you into the heart of Rhodes where you can see Greek farm practices and discover some real treats along the way on this linear walk through the Rhodian countryside.
We will walk through villages and meet some of the local people. O/N at Best Western Plaza Hotel http://www.rhodesplazahotel.com/ or similar (B/L)
Day 8 / Thursday / Arrive - Marmaris
Today you will take the boat to Marmaris. Transfer to Rhodes port. Arrive to Marmaris. Transfer to your hotel. Dinner is on your own. Overnight at Royal Maris hotel. (B)
Day 9 / Friday / Bodrum
After breakfast you will visit the Bodrum Underwater Archaeological Museum. Also you will visit one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the tomb of King Mausolos. Dinner is on your own. Overnight at Bodrium Boutique Hotel. (B)
Day 10 /Saturday/ Priene & Didyma - Kusadasi
Today we will drive to Kusadasi. On the way we will visit the most important cities of the classical period, the Ionian cities of Priene, Miletos and Didyma. Afterwards we will drive to Kusadasi. Dinner is on your own and overnight at Charisma Hotel. (B/D)
Day 11 / Sunday/ Ephesus - Kusadasi
After breakfast you will drive to Ephesus and full day visit Ephesus and environs. Ephesus, representing many cultures of bygone eras, is the most famous of the cities of Asia Minor. It established and developed governmental and economic systems and played a major part in the growth of various branches of the fine arts. It was once the commercial center of the ancient world. The city, whose wealth and patronage supported its splendid architectural program, was dedicated to the goddess Artemis. Ephesus with its port commanded the west end of one great trade route into Asia and had easy access to the other two. The silt from the Cayster River (Kucuk Menderes) caused the coastline to move west. By the early Middle Ages the city was no longer useful as a port and fell into decline. After visiting the city we will drive to the Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the World. The great temple was built by Croesus, king of Lydia, in about 550 BC and was rebuilt after being destroyed by a madman named Herostratas in 356 BC. It was famous, not only for its great size (over 350 by 180 feet), but also for the magnificent works of art that adorned it. The temple was destroyed by invading Goths in 262 AD and was never rebuilt. The remains of the foundation and some columns are all that can be seen of this once colossal temple.
Our next stop, after lunch at a local restaurant, will be the House of Meryemana. It is recorded that St. John brought the Virgin Mary to Ephesus after the crucifixion of Christ and that she spent her last days in the small house that was built for her on Mt. Koressos (Bulbuldagi). Now a popular place of pilgrimage for Christians and Moslems, the house has received the official sanction of the Vatican, and Christians observe a commemorative ceremony there every year on Aug. 15. Our tour of the area will wind up with a visit to the Ephesus Museum, which houses an impressive collection of statues and other artifacts recovered during the excavation of Ephesus, and the Basilica Tomb of St. John. Dinner is on your own & overnight Charisma Hotel. (B/D)
Day 12 / Monday/ Pergamon - Canakkale
After breakfast you will drive to Pergamon along the coastal road to visit the modern town of Bergama. You will enjoy the local lunch at a local restaurant in Bergama. You will also visit the Acropolis and the Asclepion, one of the most important medical centers of the Roman period. It is also famous for the work done by the great physician Galen. In the afternoon you will drive to Canakkale. Dinner and overnight at the Tusan Hotel. (B/D)
Day 13 / Tuesday/ Canakkale – Istanbul
Today first thing in the morning you will visit Troy, where you will see the most recent finds and the legendary site of Troy. Afterwards you will across the Dardanelles and you will drive to Istanbul. Dinner is on your own, overnight at the Ottoman Park Hotel. (B)
Day 14 / Wednesday/ Istanbul
After breakfast we will start the day with the Sultanahmet Mosque, which is more familiarly known as the Blue Mosque. Sultan Ahmet I commissioned one of Sinan’s apprentices to build the mosque, which is one of the best examples of late classical Ottoman architecture. Its name derives from the beautiful blue Iznik tiles which were used for the interior decoration of the mosque. Hippodrome was constructed in 196 AD by the Roman Emperor Septimius Severus when he rebuilt the city after destroying it. Chariot races and other public games were held here. It was also the scene of many revolts during the time of the Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans. Afterwards we will visit we will visit Topkapi Palace, the maze of building at the center of the Ottoman Empire between the 15th and l9th centuries. In these opulent surroundings the sultans and their court lived and governed. A magnificent wooded garden fills the outer, or first, court. In the second court stand the palace kitchens, now galleries exhibiting the imperial collections of crystal, silver and Chinese porcelain. The Harem, the secluded quarters of the wives, concubines and children of the sultan, echoes with the intrigue of centuries. An exhibition of imperial costumes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the treasury and a priceless collection of miniatures from medieval manuscripts can be seen in the third court. In the afternoon we will visit the magnificent Hagia Sophia Museum. Originally constructed by the first Christian Roman Emperor Constantine in 347 AD, it was consecrated to Hagia Sophia the Eastern Orthodox figure of the heavenly Wisdom. The church was destroyed in a rebellion in 532 and rebuilt by the Emperor Justinian on an even more magnificent scale in 537. Supporting buttresses were added, notably by the famous Turkish architect Sinan, in 1571. Hagia Sophia was used as a mosque until 1935, when it was converted into a museum upon Ataturk’s orders. Dinner is on your own and overnight Ottoman Park Hotel. (B)
Day 15 / Thursday / Istanbul
After breakfast we will visit Basilica Cistern. Also we will have some time to visit The Grand Bazaar, a labyrinth of streets and passages housing more than 4,000 shops. The names recall the days when each trade had its own quarter: the goldsmiths’ street, the carpet sellers’ street, the street of the skullcap makers. Still the commercial center of the old city, the bazaar is the original shopping mall. Later on we will have a cruise on the Bosphorus with a private yacht Dinner is on your own. Overnight at Ottoman Park Hotel. (B)
Day 16 / Friday/ Istanbul
Transfer to Istanbul Airport for your flight.
Price /person for 4 - 16 particioants: 2795 €
Single supplement: 475€
• All hotels as indicated in the itinerary. (Please note that hotel reservations are not
Made and subject to availability.)
• English Speaking guides and all expenses
• Last model, A/C minibus / Midibus / bus with a professional driver and all
Expenses throughout the tour in Turkey, incl. all parking fees and toll roads
• Airport transfer in Istanbul
• Private Bosphorus Cruise Tour with a private boat.
• All entrance fees and admissions per itinerary in Turkey
• Tour maps and brochures of Turkey
• Meals as mentioned in the program: 6 Breakfasts at hotels and 5 picnic lunches
and 3 dinners - Please see (B/L/D), B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
• All activities mentioned in the program.
• All transfers by buses and/or taxis depending on group size in Greece
• All transfers from the port to the hotels on the Greek islands.
• All transfers from the hotels to the ports on the Greek islands
• All boat tickets to the Greek islands (our priority is to book high speed ferries but
as ferry schedules vary according to weather conditions this may alter)
• Professional guide and entrance fees at Acropolis & New Acropolis Museum
• Visit to Delos island on organized tour
• Horse Riding in Naxos
• Entrance fee to the Palace of the Knights in Rhodes
SERVICES NOT INCLUDED
• Transfers from Athens Airport to the hotel (day 1)
• Personal expenses
• Drinks, beverages
• Professional guide at the Old town of Rhodes
• Travel Insurance
• Meals as mentioned in the program: Breakfast on Day 6, some lunches and dinners
(Please see (B/L/D), B= Breakfast, L= Lunch, D= Dinner)
• Domestic flights in Turkey
• Visa for Turkey. (can be obtained at the airport for 26.-usd pp for U.S. citizens)
• Optional gratuities to leader, guides and local staff.
• Anything not mentioned above
- This itinerary is subject to change according to local weather conditions
- Hotels are subject to availability