15 Days Turkey and Greece Tour to Istanbul, Cappadocia, Ephesus, Pamukkale, Kusadasi, Patmos, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini, Athens, Olympia, Delphi and Kalambaka (Meteora)
Departure Every Wednesday from April to October
DAY 1 Arrival Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul, upon arrival your driver will be ready to meet and transfer you to your hotel. Time at leisure, stay overnight in Istanbul.
DAY 2 Full Day Istanbul Old City Tour
Begin the day with visits to the most important sites of once imperial Constantinople; Hagia Sophia, famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. Hippodrome was a horse-racing track that was the sporting and social centre of Constantinople. Sultanahmet Mosque, also named “Blue Mosque” by foreign travelers based on the tiles in dominant tones of blue, turquoise and green that cover most of its interior. Have free time in the Grand Bazaar is one of the largest covered markets in the world. After lunch, discover the official and primary residence in the city of the Ottoman Sultans. You will be amazed by 10,700 pieces of Chinese, Japanese and Turkish porcelain displayed in the palace kitchens once served to 4,000 people in a day. Imperial Treasury, a large collection exhibited in five different halls, consisting gifts of ambassadors, enthronement gifts, and belongings of the Ottoman dynasty as well as holy relics. End the day with a slow paced, relaxing walking tour inside the palace. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3 Flight from Istanbul to Cappadocia / North Cappadocia Tour ( L )
We will transfer you from your hotel to the airport for your early morning flight to Cappadocia. The flight takes about an hour from Istanbul to Cappadocia. Upon arrival in Cappadocia you will be greeted at the airport by Roadrunner Travel represent and transferred to our office. From here you will begin your full day North Cappadocia tour. We will drive to the Uchisar Rock Fortress viewpoint and learn about the massive honeycombed towers that rise above Cappadocia like a crown. We leave Uchisar and drive to the scenic village of Urgup, a town consisting entirely of stone houses set in the hillside and lining the narrow winding streets. Next we head north to an intriguing collection of rock formations that seem to have been carved by an eccentric artist rather than by nature itself. Devrent Valley consists of many fairy chimneys that have eroded to form the shapes of animals, a whale, Snow White and the Seven Dwarves. Also known as “imagination valley” let your mind wander and marvel in the strange and amazing shapes created by wind and rain. Avanos, a small riverside hamlet situated on the Kizilirmak or Red River is our next destination. This area has been the home of rich artisan communities with pottery production that goes back centuries. Like most of Cappadocia, visiting Avanos is like stepping back in time. The town sits on dozens of underground complexes and has a long history with the Kizilirmak River. Alexander the Great crossed this river to fight the Persians and the Romans built the picturesque city of Vanessa here. With an amazing collection of galleries and artists you will learn about the tradition of pottery and you might even be able to try your hand at creating a piece yourself! Our final highlight of the day is a visit to the famous Goreme Open Air Museum. This site is an absolute ‘must see’ when visiting Cappadocia. The exceptionally well preserved churches here originate from before and after the iconoclastic period, rich with wonderful vibrant frescoes and carvings of the life of Christ and his disciples. This is the last stop of our tour today and we will transfer you to your hotel around 18:00 p.m. You have the rest of the evening to explore or simply relax for your overnight stay in Goreme.
Day 4 South Cappadocia Tour / Flight to Izmir ( B, L )
After breakfast we will pick you up from your hotel with your luggage and start our full day tour of South Cappadocia. We will go to the viewpoint above Pigeon Valley, Kaymaklı ancient multi-level underground city which is 5 floor and extending to a depth of approximately 40 m. Then head off to the Red Valley, this beautiful valley gets its name from the rose-colored rock. Here we will hike for 2 hours to see the beauty of the valley with several rock-cut underground dwellings and churches from the Byzantine period. At the end of the tour we will transfer you to the airport for your 1 hour flight to Izmir. Depending on your flight there may be some additional time for you to spend in Cappadocia by yourself before we transfer you to the airport. When you arrive Izmir airport you will be greeted by a Roadrunner Travel represent and transferred to your hotel. Overnight in Kusadasi
DAY 5 Full Day Ephesus Tour
Early transfer to the airport to take a flight to Izmir via Istanbul. Upon your arrival meet your guide and drive to visit the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. We then proceed to the Ancient City of Ephesus, no today any comparison could be made between Ephesus other ancient cities in the world. After spending hours with bottomless information, stories and wows we take a break under the shadows of fig trees to eat lunch. Finally, visit to the House of Virgin Mary, a pilgrimage site for many people of all denominations. After tour transfer to your hotel for dinner and stay overnight. (Breakfast, lunch)
DAY 6 Full Day Aphrodisias & Pamukkale Tour
After breakfast we drive to Aphrodisias to explore the remains of Ancient Aphrodisias; where there was a school of sculpture in ancient times. We will also visit the stadium and the Temple of Aphrodite. Continuing on to Pamukkale, a spa that was well known throughout the ancient world. Upon our arrival you will see the white Cotton Cliffs, one of the natural wonders of the world formed by deposits of calcareous salts. We will also visit the ancient ruins of the City of Hierapolis with its Basilica, theatre and Roman Baths. After the visits, drive back to Kusadasi and overnight.
DAY 7 Cruise, Kusadasi / Patmos
You will be transferred from your hotel in Kusadasi to the port for embarkation to the cruise ship. At 12:00 the ship sails for Patmos. Between 16:00 & 21:00 enjoy the sacred island of Patmos, an island with an austere physiognomy. This is where St John the Evangelist wrote the Apocalypse.
DAY 8 Rhodes
From 7:00 to 18:00 we enjoy our day in Rhodes, the legendary home of the sun god Apollo. Visit Lindos famous for its Acropolis and the old town of Rhodes, the Grand Master s Palace and the Street of the Knights (optional excursion).
DAY 9 Crete / Santorini
From 7:00 to 11:30 we arrive in the main city of Heraklion on the island of Crete. Here you will be able to visit the Minoan Palace of Knossos (optional excursion). At 16:30 we alight in Santorini. Go ashore and take a donkey ride or the cable car up to the town of Fira. Santorini is an exceptionally beautiful island of white washed houses set into the steep cliffs shaped by the volcano. Be sure not to miss the dazzling sunset from one of Santorini s many charming villages. We set sail for Athens at 21:00.
DAY 10 Disembarkation, Athens
Return to Piraeus port around 07.00, disembarkation after breakfast. Meet at the port and transfer to your hotel. Time at leisure. Today, you can discover Acropolis on your own. Overnight in Athens.
DAY 11 Athens / Olympia
Prehistory, the Classical period, Roman domination, the Byzantine Empire, the Crusades and Modern times. Greece through the centuries will unfold before you on this four day tour. Leave by the coastal road to the Corinth Canal (short stop). Drive on and visit the Theatre of Epidauros, famous for its remarkable acoustics. Then proceed to the town of Nauplion (short photo stop), drive on to Mycenae and visit the Archaeological Site and the Tomb of Agamemnon. Then depart for Olympia through Central Peloponnese and the towns of Tripolis and Megalopolis. Overnight in Olympia, the cradle of the Olympic Games.
DAY 12 Olympia / Delphi
In the morning visit the Archaeological Site with the Sanctuary of Olympian Zeus, the Ancient Stadium and the Archaeological Museum. Then drive on through the plains of Eliad and Achaia until the magnificent bridge which is crossing the Corinthian Bay from Rion to Antirion. Pass by the picturesque towns of Nafpaktos (Lepanto) and Itea, arrival in Delphi. Overnight.
DAY 13 Delphi / Kalambaka (Meteora)
In the morning visit the Archaeological Site and the Museum. Depart for Kalambaka, a small town stated at the foot of the astonishing complex of Meteora, gigantic rocks. Overnight.
DAY 14 Kalambaka (Meteora) / Athens
Visit Meteora, 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. Return to Athens via Trikala, Lamia, Thermopylae (short stop to see across the road the Leonida’s Monument). Arrive in Athens early in the evening. For the visit of Monastery ladies need to wear a skirt and the gentlemen need to wear long trousers. Overnight in Athens.
DAY 15 Athens/ End of the 15 Days Turkey and Greece Tour
Today we will transfer you to Athens Airport for your departure flight. End of the 15 Days Turkey and Greece Tour.