Discover the cradle of ancient civilizations. Sun and fun are promised as bonus. 2 weeks.
Meeting at the Toronto Pearson Airport Terminal 1 at 7 p.m. Your tour leader will brief you about the itinerary. Departure from Toronto (Pearson-YYZ) to Istanbul (Ataturk IST)) at 11 p.m.
Arrival at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport at around 3.30 p.m. We will meet our local guide. Following the entry and customs clearance our private coach bus will take us for the panoramic city tour and then we will check in at our hotel in the city centre. We will have dinner at the hotel or at a restaurant in walking distance to the hotel. Accommodation : Overnight hotel stay in Istanbul (1). Meals: Dinner
Full day tour of the old city named Byzantium in the 7th Century BC. This ancient city was renamed Constantinople in 326 AD by Constantine the Great, when he moved the capital of the Roman Empire to what is now Istanbul. The city received its current name from Mehmet II (named Mehmet the Conqueror afterwards) in 1453 and is the only city in the world that spans over two continents.
We will also visit several of Turkey’s most famous museums and mosques, such as Topkapi Palace which was first built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1453 and the home of the Sultans until the 19 century. St. Sophia was built by Emperor Justinian of the Roman Empire and it was completed in 537 AD and ruled as the greatest Christian Church in the world for more than thousand years. The Blue Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet in 1603 and was constructed with the intention of rivaling St. Sophia. At the end of the day we will have free time for shopping in world’s largest market area: the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Market.
In the evening we will have a boat tour with dinner to enjoy the beauties of the Bosporus strait that links two continents, Europe and Asia. Along the shores of Istanbul, you will contemplate the view of old mansions (Yalis), imperial palaces, former fishing villages and bridges connecting east and west.
Accommodation: Hotel stay overnight in Istanbul (2). Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
After an early breakfast we depart by bus to Ankara (the capital city). We will arrive in Ankara around noon time. In the capital we will visit the Mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey.
This beautiful landmark perched atop a hill with a panoramic view of the city. In the late afternoon we will depart from Ankara and arrive in Urgup, heart of the Cappadocia Region by coach bus.
Accommodation: Hotel stay overnight in Urgup, Cappadocia (1). Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
After breakfast, we will enjoy the unique landscapes of the wind and rain eroded volcanic formations carved directly into stone. Cappadocia’s amazing subterranean cities include ancient underground churches hand-hewn from solid rock by Christians. While in Cappadocia, we will enjoy an excellent lecture and a demonstration on Turkish carpets and kilims. We will visit handicraft shops as well as enjoy a folk and belly-dancing performance while we wine and dine in an underground cabaret.
For an optional air balloon ride early in the morning, please talk to your tour director in advance and possibly prior to the departure date.
Accommodation: Hotel stay overnight in Urgup, Cappadocia (2). Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
After an early breakfast we will depart for Pamukkale. Along the way we will stop briefly in Konya and visit the Whirling Dervish Museum of Mevlana, a very holy place for Turkish Muslims, were you can see the exhibits of dervish costumes, instruments, illuminated manuscripts and various ethnological artifacts of Mevlevi Sufi Order.
We will arrive in Pamukkale in the late afternoon. We will check into our hotel, which has a hot mineral pool for your enjoyment. We will visit the snow-like travertine of calcium at Pamukkale, a region with strikingly beautiful mineral springs clinging to the hillsides that will amaze you. Hierapolis is the ancient name for the Greco-Roman city above the travertine.
Accommodation: Hotel stay overnight in Pamukkale (1). Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
On our way from Pamukkale to Kusadasi, we will visit Ephesus and its colossal Greco-Roman Theater. This theater is still used for performances. Our next destination is the Ephesus Archeological Museum and the house where St. Mary lived her final days.
Accommodation: Hotel stay overnight in Kusadasi (1). Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
After the breakfast, we will have some relaxation and free time for shopping, swimming and sunbathing. In the late afternoon we will depart to Marmaris. Following a 2.5 hour drive, we will arrive in Marmaris, a famous resort town at the southwest tip of Turkey where Aegean Sea and Mediterranean merge. We will check in at our hotel and have dinner.
Accommodation: Hotel stay overnight in Marmaris (1) Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Today is time to move to another country! After breakfast we will depart to the Seaport of Marmaris. Our ferry will take us to the Island of Rhodes, Greece after a two-hour cruise. WELCOME TO GREECE. Upon arrival you can enjoy some leisure time or take an optional tour of the beautiful island of Rhodes with its rich and varied history. On a hill above the charming town of Lindos rises an ancient Acropolis dedicated to the goddess Athena. Below lies the bay of St. Paul, where the apostle landed during his voyages. The crusader Knights of St. John left the medieval city of Rhodes behind when they were defeated by Ottoman Sultan in the 16th century. The fortified old city was rebuild with EU funds. Rhodes is the largest of the Dodecanese area islands and the historical capital of the island group with a population of around 115,000 and an area of 1,400 square kilometers.
Accommodation: Hotel stay overnight in Rhodes (1). Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
After breakfast, we will check out and have free time until a late lunch. In the afternoon at around 5 p.m. we will take the ferry to Santorini. After a five hour cruise, we will arrive arguably in the most famous Greek island. Dinner will be served on board the ship. Upon arrival around 10 p.m., we will check in at our hotel. Then you can enjoy some free time at the evening of this vibrant island.
Accommodation: Hotel stay overnight in Santorini (1). Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
The Volkanic Santorini is arguably the most breathtaking of all the Greek Islands. The town of Fira, with its white-washed houses, narrow streets, open-air cafes and glittering boutiques cling to steep cliffs, is accessible only by cable-car or mule. To the south is Akrotiri where recent Minoan excavations support the theories that Santorini might be the fabled lost continent of Atlantis. You can either join our optional tour or enjoy your day at your own pace.
Accommodation: Hotel stay overnight in Santorini (2). Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
The day is yours. Just relax and enjoy your day. You can swim, take a stroll and discover the secrets of the island as you wish.
Accommodation: Hotel stay overnight in Santorini (3). Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
After breakfast, and some free time for shopping and strolling, we will be transferred to our ferry and depart to Athens around 12 p.m. After nearly four-hour cruise, we will arrive at the port city of Piraeus. In the late afternoon, you can enjoy some leisure time at the evening.
Accommodation: Hotel stay overnight in Athens (1). Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner.
Optional tour of Athens, capital of Greece, the cradle of democracy, and birthplace of Western Civilization. Athens is a vibrant city where old and new co-exist. The majestic Parthenon rises above the city, its ancient glory still visible in the time-worn stone, and the National Archaeological Museum holds countless treasures from Athens’ Golden Age. Constitution Square (Syntagma), the House of Parliament, the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier and the National Library are the main highlights of our ride. Driving down Herod Atticus Street we’ll see Evzones and the Presidential Palace, then the Panathinaikos Stadium where the first Olympic Games were held, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and Hadrian’s Arch. We will then visit the Acropolis, its museum and masterpieces of the golden age of Athens. After the tour you will be transferred to your hotel in Athens. If you do not join the optional tour, you can talk to your guide and get his/her recommendations.
Accommodation: Hotel stay overnight in Athens (2). Meals: Breakfast and Lunch
After breakfast and check-out, transfer to Munich Airport for our return flight to Toronto Arrival in Toronto in the afternoon. Enjoy breakfast, then we will be met by our representative and transferred to Athens Eleftherios Venizelos Airport (ATH) where you will be assisted with your check-in for your flight back home. Meals: Breakfast
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