Best of Turkey & Greece (13 days/12 nights)

 

2 Travelers
$5,450
4 Travelers
$4,795
6 Travelers
$4,295
10 Travelers
$3,950

Rates above are per person, double occupancy, in US dollars, and in your own private group in the high season (May through September)
For April & October (lower season), deduct $300 from above rates
Subject to availability on dates selected 
A 10% discount applies to the following period: November 15 - March 15 

Day 1: Arrival at Istanbul Ataturk International Airport
Meet your guide and enjoy a private transfer to your hotel, located in the charming Old City district of Sultanahmet. Traveling along the old city fortifcation walls, you’ll learn a bit about this exciting city along the way. The remainder of the day is at leisure; why not stretch your legs with a walk around the neighborhood, then perhaps with dinner on your own at a rooftop restaurant. We can suggest several with great views over the Sea of Marmara! 

Day 2: Istanbul
Enjoy two full days of private sightseeing in Istanbul with your knowledgeable guide. Today we explore the Sultanahmet area and visit the Roman-era HippodromeBlue MosqueHagia Sophia Museum, the underground Basilica Cistern, and the Grand Bazaar. (B) 

Day 3: Istanbul
Private sightseeing continues today with visits to the sprawling Topkapi Palace and its Harem Quarters and the Spice Market, followed by a leisurely boat ride on the Bosphorus Strait, and, finally, time permitting, a walking tour through Istanbul's winding backstreets. (B)

Day 4: Istanbul / Cappadocia
Included transfer to the airport and a flight to Cappadocia this morning. Upon arrival, we’ll begin to discover the wonders of this magical region. We’ll explore the beautiful panoramas of Ortahisar Valley and also visit the Goreme Open Air Museuma UNESCO World Heritage Site. (B) 

Day 5: Cappadocia
An optional early morning hot-air balloon ride is available for those wishing to experience breathtaking views of this specatacular region. After breakfast, we head out on another private tour which includes a visit to the remarkable Underground City of Kaymakli. Throughout its five floors, this amazing complex once housed churches, storage areas, a communal kitchen, burial chambers and many more astounding features. Next, we visit the town of Uchisar - its “fortress” served as a natural formation that was used both for housing and defense.  Pasabag has a high concentration of fairy chimneys, and the small town of Avanos  is famed for its local pottery, made from clay taken from the nearby Kizilirmak River. Lunch is included in a cozy local village home. Overnight in Cappadocia. (B, L) 

Day 6: Cappadocia / Flight to Izmir / Sirince old Greek village
We will provide a transfer to the airport for your flight to Izmir: we arrive early in the afternoon and drive about 1 hour to the Ephesus area. We will stop to visit the Basilica of St. John before continuing onto the village of Sirince where your hotel is located. This pretty hillside village is a perfect blend of Turkish-Greek culture and has impressive views of the vineyards, as well as the peach and olive orchards. You’ll have a chance to socialize with the locals throughout your stay. Overnight in Sirince. (B, L) 

Day 7: Sirince / Ephesus
In the morning, we will enjoy an extended visit to the well-preserved ruins of Ephesus.  We also visit the recently-opened Terrace Houses, the homes of Ephesus’ elite, and have been often compared with the ruins at Pompeii in terms of its state of preservation. After this visit, we drive to the local village of Sultankoy, where we learn about local rug-making processes which include silk extraction, dyeing and weaving. Then, we will break for a fresh and organic al fresco lunch using ingredients from Sultankoy’s farm and orchards. Our final stop of the day will be the town of Selcuk where you can visit the Museum of Archaeology. We’ll return to Sirince to spend another night. (B, L) 

Day 8: Sirince / Izmir / Athens, GREECE
Enjoy a private transfer to the airport today for a nonstop flight from to Athens.  Upon arrival in Athens, meet your local host for a private transfer to your hotel, which will be located in the lively Plaka district – it is within walking distance to the city’s most important monuments and sights.  The remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight in Athens. (B)

Day 9: Athens
This morning, you will join a half-day guided group tour of Athens and the Acropolis.  This includes an overview of the modern city, paying attention to the striking contrasts when compared to its glorious past.  Our first stop is at the Panathenian Stadium (site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896). Continuing onto the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, next to the Parliament House on Constitution Square, we’ll stop to take some photos of the Evzones guards in their colorful uniforms. See the Presidential Palace (the ex-Royal Palace) government building and nearby elegant homes.  Drive along Panepistimiou Avenue and see the Catholic Cathedral, the Academy, the University, the National Library and Omonia Square.  We also visit the Roman Temple of Olympian Zeus and, of course, the crowning beauty of Athens, the Acropolis  as well as the Parthenon, the Propylae, the Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion with its Porch of Maidens. 

The afternoon is at leisure; you may choose to visit the new Museum of the Acropolis which is within a short walking distance from your hotel.  The evening is at your leisure. (B)

Day 10: Athens / Santorini
Today, enjoy a private transfer to Athens airport for an included 45-minute flight to Santorini, (Thira), and the main island of Greece’s Cyclades island group.  Santorini is actually a group of islands consisting of Thíra, Thirassiá, Asproníssi, Palea and Nea Kaméni.  Upon arrival, you will met by one of our representatives for a transfer to your hotel, where you will stay for three nights.   The remainder of the day is at leisure. (B)

Day 11: Santorini
Enjoy a small group tour today, led by an expert local guide, from approximately 11:30 AM to 6 PM, to the archaeological site of Akrotiri.  Often compared to Pompeii, Akrotiri boasts amazingly well-preserved ruins dating back to the second millennium BC. Walk through passageways in the excavated areas and marvel at the beautiful pottery, and the two- and three-story houses, once adorned with frescoes, and the roads and public spaces  of a city nearly 3,500 years old.  The tour also includes visits to the Prof. Ilias Monastery, the village of Megalochori, Perivolos beach, Pyrgo village and the Santo Winery, where we’ll enjoy a tasting of 3 types of local wines. (B)

Day 12: Santorini – free day
You will have a free day to explore Santorini on your own.  A popular way to get around is to rent a local “Smarte Car” – please let us know if you wish to add a rental car to your itinerary.  Also please let us know if you need ideas for organized day tours.
There is no shortage of things to do here, and include day trips by catamaran into the caldera, beaches on the opposite side of the island,  and even taking a donkey ride through small village back streets.  All views in Santorini are spectacular. The main harbor is actually a caldera formed by a volcanic eruption in 1,450 B.C.;  your eyes will widen at the sight of the town of Fira dramatically clinging to a cliffside hundreds of feet above. Ride the gondola to the top, saunter up on a donkey or hoof it up the stairs. Then gaze in awe down over the blindingly white hotels, restaurants and residences down to the sparkling Aegean Sea below. (B)

Day 13: Santorini / Athens - homebound departure
Transfer to the airport for an included flight to Athens, connecting with your flight home.  We suggest planning a flight that departs Athens at 11 am or later, so as to easily make this connection. (B)

Price of the package includes:

  • Accommodations: 
    3 nights in Istanbul: Hotel Ottoman Imperial - Premium Room 
    2 nights in Cappadocia: Yunak Houses Cave Hotel - Deluxe Room 
    2 nights in Ephesus/Sirince village: Hotel Gullu Konaklari - Stone Room
    2 nights in Athens: Hotel Divani
    3 nights in Santorini: Andromeda Villas
  • Domestic flights in coach class within the program (Istanbul to Kayseri/Nevsehir, Kayseri/Nevsehir to Izmir; Izmir to Athens)
  • Meals as indicated by (B, L, D) - B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner 
    15 meals: 12 breakfasts & 3 lunches (includes bottled water)
  • Private, licensed, professional English-speaking guides throughout trip
  • All transfers and travel in a non-smoking, modern, air-conditioned vehicle with a driver
  • All entrance fees to the sites and museums mentioned in the program
  • Parking, ferry, and toll road fees (not applicable when renting a car)
  • Gratuities at restaurants (where a meal is included in the program)

Price of the package excludes:

  • Airfare for international flights
  • Beverages other than water (during included meals)
  • Optional gratuities to the tour guide(s) and driver(s)
  • Tipping for porters at hotels
  • Travel insurance
  • Visas, laundry, and other personal items