Duration: 13 Days / 12 Nights
Highlights: Istanbul, Gallipoli, Troy, Pergamum, Ephesus, Kusadasi, Mykonos, Athens, Delphi
Departure Dates: All year round* subject to ferry operations between Kusadasi & Samos
Note: Use the below itinerary as an outline, you may omit or add other attractions you have in mind. You can fine-tune the itinerary or change it as much as you like & our travel consultants will work with you until all your questions are answered & you are satisfied.
Day 1 : Arrival to Istanbul
Upon arrival to Istanbul Ataturk Airport & clearing customs, you will be met by one of our staff at the exit gate of arrivals hall & accompanied during your transfer to the hotel.
Day 2 : Istanbul
Breakfast at hotel, then meeting your guide at hotel lobby for a short drive to Spice Market (Egyptian Bazaar) heaped with various sweets & spices is one of the world’s largest spice bazaars since 1665. Soon after, we embark on a public ferry for an unforgettable cruise along the Bosphorus, the beautiful strait that divides Europe from Asia. After lunch in the afternoon we will complete this historical day by visiting Topkapi Palace, the residence of the legendary Ottoman Sultans, now converted into a museum with its jewel encrusted treasury & elegant four courts. Free time at the Grand Bazaar where you can shop or haggle with local merchants over unusual antiques, colourful spices, beautiful jewelry or carpets, richly textured fabrics & more.
Day 3 : Istanbul
After breakfast meeting your tour guide at hotel lobby to begin the day with a stroll to the Hippodrome, the former heart of Constantinople’s political & sporting life adorned with ancient monuments. Next visit the Blue Mosque with its six minarets, a great cascade of domes & a striking blue Iznik tiled interior. Continue with the Hagia Sophia which is considered the Jewel of Byzantine architecture & once the largest church in the world for 1000 years. After lunch break, we drive across the first Bosphorus Bridge & head for the summit of Camlica Hill offering 360° panoramic views of Istanbul overlooking the Sea of Marmara. Crossing back continents (Asia – Europe) over the Bosphorus Bridge, we visit Dolmabahce Palace, with more than 340 rooms & eight Turkish Baths the Imperial Residence of the last six Sultans.
Day 4 : Istanbul / Gallipoli Canakkale
After breakfast, check out & meet for early morning drive to Eceabat (4hrs). On arrival, we have lunch in the village before starting the Gallipoli ANZAC Memorials Tour. We will see the Kabatepe War Museum, ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine Australian Memorial, Johnston’s Jolly (Turkish & Allied trenches & tunnels), The Nek & Chunuk Bair New Zealand memorial. After leaving The Gallipoli Peninsula we cross the Dardenelles by car ferry to Canakkale & check-in to hotel. The evening is at leisure or for those that wish there is a screening of the 4 Corners documentary ‘Fatal Shore’ & the ‘Gallipoli’ movie starring Mel Gibson. Overnight in Canakkale.
Day 5 : Troy & Pergamum / Kusadasi
After breakfast at hotel, check-out & drive to Troy. The Greek poet Homer wrote about the ancient city Troy in The Iliad. Troy is one of the world’s most important archaeological sites because of its place in literature & what it tells us about a critical early period in the development of European civilization. The large replica of the Trojan horse at the front of the ruins, is part of the myth of the Trojan War. After the city of Troy we will proceed to Pergamum. The site of ancient Pergamum is set on a steep hilltop, the capital of Pergamum kingdom after the death of Alexander the Great was a cultural center having a large library rivaling that of Alexandria in Egypt. After the tour, we will drive an hour & half to reach Kusadasi. Transfer to hotel upon arrival. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 6 : Ephesus
After breakfast today we visit the Ancient City of Ephesus which is among one of the best preserved Greco-Roman Cities in the world enabling one to genuinely ‘soak in’ the atmosphere of Roman times. Enter through the Magnesia Gate & begin a slow, downhill walk with your guide into the ruins of this Roman provincial capital. After lunch, we depart to visit the House of Virgin Mary where she is said to be brought here by St. John & have spent the last of her days. The tour also includes a visit to the remains of Artemis Temple which was one of the 7 Wonders of the Ancient World & finally (time allowing) we visit Sirince, an old Greek Orthodox village most famous for its local wine, olive oil & 19th century architecture. Overnight in Kusadasi.
Day 7 : Kusadasi / Samos (Greece)
Breakfast at hotel, free day at lesiure. Kusadasi was much-frequented place of birds during the seasonal migrations, during Ottoman reign it was named as Kusadasi (Bird Island). Bird island is connected to the mainland with a mole. Centuries ago the island was used for securing the shores & for preventing the attacks from the sea. Today, it is an ideal place to watch the panoramic view of the city & to witness breathtaking sunsets. You can also sip your drink at one of the cafes on the island or stroll around the city which has become very popular among locals from nearby cities for its scenery & numerous restaurants serving local cusine on the water. Pick up from hotel lobby & transfer to Kusadasi Port for 16:00 ferry to Samos (Greece). Transfer to hotel in Samos upon arrival.
Day 8 : Samos / Mykonos
Check out from hotel after breakfast & transfer to Samos Port for Mykons ferry via Paros. Transfer to hotel upon arrival. Overnight Mykonos.
Day 9 : Mykonos
Free day at leisure. Overnight Mykonos.
Day 10 : Mykonos / Athens
Free day at leisure, you may spend the balance of the day either in Mykonos or Athens as there are frequent high speed ferries & flights to Athens.
Day 11 : Athens
After breakfast with your guide you will criss cross the centre of the city, taking in its modern & ancient history on foot. We will first make a short visit to the archaeological displays at Syntagma Metro Station, & then you will see the impressive House of Parliament, with the Monument to the Unknown Soldier & the Evzones the presidential guards. Then we cross to the National Gardens to the Presidential Residence & the marble Panathenaic Stadium, where the first Modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. The walk continues to the beautiful neoclassical Zappeion Hall. Then we come to the most famous neighbourhood of Athens (Plaka), the neighbourhood of gods at the foot of the Acropolis & to Lysicrates monument.
Day 12 : Delphi / Athens
After leaving Athens, we drive through Levadia & Arachova, famous for its bright multi coloured carpets & handicrafts. Arriving in Delphi which is situated at the foot of the Parnos Mountain we visit the Ancient Sanctuary of Apollo. We then visit the Delphi Museum where one can see among other archaeological treasures, the unique bronze charioteer, then proceed through the sacred way to the Athenian treasury & the Temple of Apollo. Delphi is one of the national treasures of Greece. Lunch en-route from there we will guide you along the sacred way to the Athenian treasury followed by a chance to visit the unforgettable Temple of Apollo, where the masses flocked to consult the oracle. Return to Athens to your hotel for the evening.
Day 13 : Athens Departure
Breakfast at hotel, check out & transfer to Athens Airport International Departure Terminal for homebound or onward flight.