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7Nights/8Days Greece and Turkey tour packages
Athens (Pireus), Istanbul, Izmir (Ephesus), Patmos, Myconos, Rhodes, Crete, Santorini
Day 1.Athens (Piraeus) Greece
AGIOS NIKOLAOS, GREECE
Knossos Palace (Half day)
Crete is the largest and the most rugged of the Greek islands. It is also the home of the great Minoan Civilization and the mythological home of Zeus. Taking the National Road along the North coast you will get to Heraklion where the tour will start with the visit of Knossos excavations. Here, Sir Arthur Evan’s archaeological discoveries revealed a civilization dating back to 4000 B.C., when a great empire flourished on the island of Crete. Based on the wealth of artifacts that were found, Evans theorized that this was the site of the ancient Minoan Kingdom. These findings will be viewed in detail, as your guide will lead you on a journey of discovery to learn of the sophisticated culture that flourished thousands of years ago on this island. The Palace, decorated with frescoes and shields houses the Hall of the Royal Guard, the Hall of the Double Axes, the King's Chamber with the alabaster throne, the Queen's Apartment, beautiful courtyards and shrines. After the visit of Knossos Palace, the tour will go back to Agios Nikolaos to embark your ship and continue the trip in the Aegean Sea.
A Taste of Crete (Half day)
Leaving Agios Nikolaos, capital city of Eastern Crete, and its cosmopolitan atmosphere your bus will drive you to Elounda, located in a gorgeous natural bay. Elounda is famous not only on the island of Crete but also in the entire Aegean Sea, much acclaimed for its outstanding hotels and tourist establishment in a magnificent natural environment. The combination of the landscape and the sea it is something you will never forget!
Spinalonga (Half day)
Leaving Agios Nikolaos, capital city of Eastern Crete, and its cosmopolitan atmosphere you will drive north and enjoy a wonderful view of both Mirabelo and Elounda Bay. Elounda is the most renowned cosmopolitan location, not only in the island of Crete, but also in the entire Aegean Sea, much acclaimed for its outstanding hotels and tourist establishments in a magnificent natural environment. The combination of the landscape and the sea is something you will never forget!
After visiting Spinalonga, you will continue your journey to Agios Nikolaos. The landmark of the city is a small lake, known as "Voulismeni" that is located in the centre of the city, at the foot of the cliffs. According to mythology, the goddess Athena used to take her bath in this lake. It is an especially picturesque site with many open-air cafés and restaurants along the waterfront.
Here you will be given free time to browse in this beautiful town before you return to the ship.
Day 2 Istanbul Turkey
Istanbul by Night (Half day)
Take part in the entertainment and night life at one of the finest night clubs in the city. Depart by motor coach and after a short drive through the illuminated streets of Istanbul you will arrive at one of the best known Night Club of Istanbul. Enjoy a variety of Turkish specialties while you are entertained by Turkish musicians, belly dancers and folk dancers, performing dances from different regions of Turkey. At the end of the show, join in the singing of popular and favourite songs. Board your motor coach and continue your sightseeing by night before returning back to the ship.
Highlights of Istanbul - lunch on board (Full day)
Begin the excursion with a sightseeing drive through the business centre of the modern city, across the Galata Bridge, along the banks of the Golden Horn and under the Byzantine Aqueduct of Valens. On the way, you can see the Süleymaniye Mosque, dedicated to Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent. Continue around the mighty citywalls, which once protected Constantinople from the many invasions and attacks it suffered over the centuries. In the Old City, the first visit will be to the Byzantine Hippodrome, which was once one of the largest chariot race arenas in the Byzantine Empire. Visit the Sultanahmet Mosque, where large groups of pilgrims start their pilgrimage to Mecca. It is decorated with 21,000 blue Iznik tiles from where it gets its name, the “Blue Mosque”. Walk to the world famous monument of Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine Church of Divine Wisdom, where you can see the superb mosaics and the marble decorations. Return to the ship for lunch on board. After lunch continue the tour with a visit to the Topkapi Palace, the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans. See the famous treasury and the “Spoonmaker’s Diamond”, the 7th biggest diamond in the world.
Highlights of Istanbul (Full day with lunch)
Begin the excursion with a drive through the business centre of the modern city, across the Galata Bridge, along the banks of the Golden Horn and under the Byzantine Aqueduct of Valens. On the way, you can see the Süleymaniye Mosque, dedicated to Sultan Süleyman The Magnificent. Continue around the mighty city walls, which once protected Constantinople from the many invasions and attacks it suffered over the centuries. In the Old City, the first visit will be to the Byzantine Hippodrome, which was once one of the largest chariot race arenas in the Byzantine Empire. Visit the Sultanahmet Mosque, where large groups of pilgrims start their pilgrimage to Mecca. It is decorated with 21,000 blue Iznik tiles from where it gets its name, the “Blue Mosque”. Walk to the famous Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine Church of Divine Wisdom, where you can admire the superb mosaics and the marble decorations. Walk through the large gardens to Konyali Restaurant and experience typical Turkish cuisine. After lunch, the tour continues with a visit to the magnificent Topkapi Palace, the official residence of the Ottoman Sultans. See the famous treasury and the “Spoonmaker’s Diamond”, the 7th biggest diamond in the world.
Scenic Bosphorus Cruise (Half day)
Start the tour with a short drive through the modern city of Istanbul, crossing the Galata Bridge en route to the Golden Horn. The impressive Süleymaniye Mosque, built by Turkish architect Sinan and dedicated to Sultan Süleyman The Magnificent, can be seen on the way. At the Golden Horn, take a short walk to the Cruise Boat Station where your private boat will be waiting for your exciting trip on the Bosphorus. You will sail past Dolmabahce and Ciragan Palaces built on the European shore, glide under the Bosphorus Bridge and past Beylerbeyi Palace, Anatolian Fortress and Kanlica on the Asian shore. You will have the chance to take amazing photographs sailing between these two continents.
Secret Treasures of Istanbul (Full day with lunch)
This tour is designed to give you a glimpse of the best and the most famous monuments in Istanbul remaining from the Byzantine Empire era. Depart from the pier for an interesting tour of Istanbul with a city sightseeing drive through the business centre of the modern city, across the Galata Bridge, along the banks of the Golden Horn and under the Byzantine Aqueduct of Valens.
Day 3 Izmir Ephesus Turkey
Ancient Ephesus (Half day)
Drive through the colourful town of Kusadasi and along the coast to reach Ephesus, famous in antiquity for its Temple of Diana - one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - and later the home of St. John. During the years of the Roman Empire, the Greek port of Ephesus became the greatest city in Asia Minor. Upon arrival at Ephesus follow your guide to enter the ancient site through the Magnesian Gate. Discover innumerable monuments including the Forum, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the Thermal Baths of Scolastika and the Great Theatre built in the Greek era and reconstructed in the Roman period, which is still noted for its remarkable acoustics.
Day 4 Mykonos and Patmos Turkey
Mykonos Walking Tour (Half day)
Mykonos is world famous. It is the most cosmopolitan of the Greek Islands and attracts many visitors from all over the globe, including large numbers of artists and intellectuals. Your coach will take you to “Hora” the island’s capital where you will enjoy a walking tour in the narrow cobbled streets of the town, passing by chic boutiques, elegant nightclubs and white–washed houses until reaching Alefkandra. Alefkandra is a charming corner of Hora, known also as the “Venice” of Mykonos. The houses are built on the sea, with wooden balconies that evoke Venice. These were built from the mid. 18th century onward and were homes of wealthy merchants and captains. At Louis Theoxenia Hotel, you will enjoy the atmosphere while drinking your refreshment accompanied by Greek ‘meze’. You will return then to Mykonos Town (Hora) from where you will take the ship’s shuttle service back to the port to meet your ship.
Delos Apollo Sanctuary (Half day)
Delos, once a Sacred Island, is the legendary birthplace of the Sun God Apollo and his twin sister Artemis. For 500 years, tiny Delos was the religious & commercial hub of the entire Aegean. Today, the only remaining inhabitants are the keepers of its treasured ruins. Depart from the port of Mykonos by boat, and sail along the western coast of the island, through Diles & Rhenia Islands, to the ancient harbor of Delos where you begin the guided walking tour. First you see Agora and beyond it, the Sacred Way, which leads to the Temple of Apollo. Next, you see the remains of a Hellenistic Quarter with its harbor, water house and luxurious villas, such as the House of Cleopatra, the House of the Dolphins, the House of the Masks, the House of Dionysos, and many other interesting buildings.
St. John’s Monastery & Grotto of the Apocalypse (Half day)
Depart from the port of Scala and enjoy a short drive to the village of Chora, where the Monastery of St. John is built within the walls of a strong fortification. As you walk uphill towards the entrance of the monastery marvel at this magnificent structure, which was built 900 years ago. View the courtyard, the monks’ dining room and the old bakery before you visit the main church noted for its outstanding frescoes and interior decoration.
Day 5. Scenic Island Tour, Athens City Tour and Acropolis
Scenic Island Tour (Half day)
An interesting scenic island tour has been designed for those passengers who prefer to discover the beauties of Patmos from the comfort of an air-conditioned motor coach. Start the tour from the port of Scala and drive to the central part of the island “Chora” which is the location of the Majestic Byzantine Monastery of St. John the Divine, built in 1088. Your sightseeing will first bring you to the Grotto of the Apocalypse, and then to the windmills of Chora, once upon a time the landmark of all Aegean Islands, from where you will enjoy a beautiful view and have the chance to take photos..
Athens City Tour and Acropolis (Half day)
This tour is an introduction to the splendor of the Golden Age of Athens and the modern 21st century city. The port of Piraeus itself is one of the finest examples of city planning in antiquity. On arrival in Athens you visit the Acropolis on which stands the Parthenon, the symbol of classical architecture. The entrance to the top of the hill is through the Propylea, the ‘gates’ through which the Panathinea processions used to enter. Built totally of white marble covers an area of 50 m across the whole western face of the Acropolis. Next to them is the temple of Athena Niki also known as the ‘Wingless Victory’. The Parthenon is the main temple, built in honour of Goddess Athena. Her statue decorated the centre of the temple and it was made of ivory and gold. Next to the Parthenon is the smaller Temple of Erechthion with lovely sculptured young maidens supporting the roof of the porch. From the top of the Acropolis you can admire the ancient theatre of Herodes Atticus with its remarkable acoustics.
Day 6: Athens & the Picturesque Plaka and Rhodes
Athens & the Picturesque Plaka (Half day)
Leaving the port of Piraeus, one of the finest examples of city planning in antiquity, the coach takes the coastal road leading to the city that hosted the 2004 Olympic Games. On arriving in Athens, you start the city sightseeing driving past the Temple of Zeus, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, guarded by the “evzones” dressed in their traditional costume, the Parliament and the Panathinaikon Stadium where the first Olympics of modern times were held in 1896. The whole stadium is built of pure white marble. The drive continues by the Library – the Academy – the University, three buildings representing 19th century architecture blended with the classical influence. The tour then passes by Omonia Square, the commercial centre of the city and Syntagma Square, which is the business and cultural centre. RHODES, GREECE
Rhodes & Lindos Combined (Half day)
Drive along the picturesque south-eastern coastline, dotted with white-washed villages, to Lindos, one of the most important of the three great cities of ancient times. See how this entire city is guarded by medieval walls which were constructed by the knights of St. John in the 13th century. Within them stands the ancient Acropolis of Lindos, on the brink of a precipice 122 m above the sea. From the Acropolis, marvel at the breathtaking views covering the great expanse of the Aegean Sea and St. Paul’s Bay, where the apostle cast anchor during his historic voyage to Ephesus. Proceed on foot uphill, to the great staircase leading from the Hellenistic Portico to the Acropolis and Temple of Athena.
Day7: Old City & Philerimos and SANTORINI
Old City & Philerimos (Half day)
Drive along the medieval walls to the summit of Mount Smith, the Acropolis of ancient Rhodes. From the tumbled massive pillars of the Temple of Athena, the view encompasses the nearby Temple of Apollo, the stadium of Diagoras and the port, once protected by the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the ancient world. The drive continues across the island to Philerimos. The summit of Philerimos was the site of Ialysos, one of the three ancient cities of Rhodes. Later sites include the restored Byzantine Church of Our Lady of Philerimos, a chapel with 15th century frescoes, and the ruined Castle of the Knights. After the visit and some free time, return to Rhodes and begin a guided walk of the old walled city to the Porte d’Amboise. It is a pleasure to stroll the street of the Knights with its medieval buildings, winding alleys, towers, turrets and emblazoned façades. You will then visit the impressive Grand Master’s Palace and have the chance to see the superb mosaics. The pleasant walk passes through the Marine Gate before you return to the ship.
Valley of Butterflies and Old Town (Half day)
Depart from the pier and drive along the western side of the island of Rhodes, where lies the Valley of the Butterflies (Petaloudes), one of the most attractive destinations on the island.
During August, thousands of butterflies of the genus Panaxia overwhelm the valley in order to reproduce. During the rainy period, the Butterflies in the caterpillar stage remain in the Mediterranean thicket feeding on the foliage. As the end of the wet season approaches, towards the end of May, the final stage is concluded and the butterfly in all her perfection makes her appearance in the form recognizable to us all. They move constantly towards areas of highest humidity, always following the "water ways", as the dry period progresses, they finally arrive at the valley.
At the end of the walking tour, you may choose to browse on your own a little longer and return to the ship on foot or join your coach to return directly to the ship. The ship is within sight and it takes approximately 10 minutes walking.
Excursion to Oia Village (Half day)
Driving along the road you will have the unique opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and the neighbouring islands. A unique sight is the various layers of lava that can be seen on the face of the rock, each layer being another phase of the activity of the volcano. Built on the Caldera rim, Oia Village is an excellent example of Cycladic architecture. Explore the village walking along the cobble-stone streets and the white washed houses with blue shutters where one gets the impression that they are a beautiful travel poster.
Your coach will bring you back to the port of Athinios, where you will embark your tender boat.
Day8: Athens Piraeus Greece.
Santorini Sailing & Volcano (Half day)
Enjoy a cruise (on motorboat) around the active crater of Nea Kameni islet. Sail along the strange formations of its volcanic shores, where black lava rocks and white pumice are combined beautifully with the red colour of lava. Take a walk to the top of the volcanic island where sulphur is spewed into the air by one of the craters. Enjoy this surreal landscape as your guide narrates the creation and history of the volcano and the last eruption leading to the destruction of the island of Santorini. The tidal wave created by the eruption was of such an immense magnitude, it destroyed the thriving city of Knossos on the island of Crete.
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