Athens, Sofia and Istanbul

Duration

9 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Athens

Available

May 2023 / March 2024

Cities to visit: Athens; Kamena Vourla; Kalambaca; Thessaloniki; Melnik; Sandansky; Rila, Kyustendil; Sofia; Istanbul

Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is part of our flexible coach touring range, guaranteed with a minimum of 2 people. Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

This tour is guided in English only. Please note if English speaking attendance numbers are low, the tour can become bilingual either accompanied by two tour leaders, one for each language, or a single tour leader providing explanations in both languages.

The tour offers flexibility, allowing you to customize it to your preferences. By clicking 'Quote or Book,' you will have the choice to select your desired start and end dates and destinations within the tour's defined parameters. Given this flexibility, it's important to note that the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Arrival. Transfer to the hotel.
Reception. Transfer to hotel and free time. You will receive information about the start of the circuit during the afternoon, or you can check the informative panels in the hotel reception area.
IMPORTANT - IF YOU REQUESTED ADDITIONAL NIGHTS on arrival at the hotel you will have your booking made but the guide of your trip will normally not arrive until the start of the included activities. YOUR TIME BEFORE THIS MOMENT IS THEREFORE FREE. At your hotel they can help you with all the information you need.
NB: The schedules you will find in this itinerary are approximate. The guide, depending on the situation and in order to improve the development of the circuit, may adjust the schedules.
TODAY´S HIGHLIGHTS: City tour in Athens.
We will enjoy a panoramic tour of the city with a local guide which includes the Presidential Palace, the Panathinaikos stadium where the first modern Olympic games were held, the national library, the bustling squares of the center; the new neighborhoods that emerged after the 2004 Olympic games. The tour will end at the Acropolis site (entry not included).
In the evening we include a transfer to the area of PLAKA, a place full of small Greek taverns where you can also enjoy this country´s folklore.
Total distance: 410 km.
Scenery: Views over the sea. Fantastic landscapes in the region of Meteoras, orthodox monasteries.
Notes: Wear appropriate clothing (women will have to wear the skirts that will be given at arrival to the monastery). Also foresee comfortable footwear... you will have to climb many steps in Meteoras!
08:00 hrs. Athens –departure-. We leave for the north of Greece. Pleasant Mediterranean landscapes.
10.15 hrs. - Kamena Vourla – Arrival.- Charming tourist centre by the sea amidst magnificent scenery. Time for a stroll and a coffee.
11.15 hrs. - Kamena Vourla –departure-. Continuation northbound. We make a brief stop at the gorge where the battle of Thermopylae took place.
13.45 hrs. Kastraki- stop for lunch in this picturesque town located at the foot of the Meteora. The views here are magnificent!. After lunch we will visit Meteoras an impressive place declared UNESCO World Heritage, an area that covers a few square kilometers and where an ancient monastic community and a rare geological phenomenon of huge rock pillars coexist in absolute harmony. We will see the whole valley and have the chance to go into one of the most famous monasteries (entrance included).
Accommodation in Kalambaka, a small town in the center of the Meteoras´ region. Dinner included.
Total distance: 395km
Landscapes: Beautiful landscapes in the north of Greece and on the way to Bulgaria: mountains, isolated areas, forests.
Note: Remember to have your Passport ready, you will need it to enter in Bulgaria.
08.00 hrs.- Kalabaka.- Departure. We travel through the North of Greece, amidst pretty mountain scenery, to the Aegean Sea.
11.15 hrs.- THESSALONICA – Arrival-, time for a stroll and lunch in Greece’s second city.
14.00hrs.- Thesalonica- Departure. We travel towards the Pirin mountain, a World Heritage Site, areas heavily influenced by the Greek, Slavic and Turkish cultures. After this we go on our way towards BULGARIA, and the border pass. Schedules of this stage sometimes, can suffer important delays because of the border procedures.
16.45hrs.- MELNIK. Arrival. In Bulgarian Macedonia we stop in this picturesque museum village in beautiful scenery amidst a wine producing area. We will learn about the traditional Balkan ways of life.
17.45hrs.- Melnik. Departure.
18.15 hrs- SANDANSKI , arrival at this beautiful small spa city, the birthplace of Spartacus, dinner a nd accommodation.
Total distance covered: 225 km.

Scenery: beautiful landscapes of the Balkans, with mountains, remote areas and forests.
Note: Wear suitable clothing to visit the monastery of Rila.-
08.30 hrs - Sandanski.- Departure.-
10.30 hrs - Rila Monastery - We visit this beautiful walled Orthodox monastery that is hidden hidden among forests and mountains within a national park. Time to look around.
11.45 hrs - Rila -Departure-.
14.00 hrs - Sofia - Arrival-. After time for lunch, we include a tour of the capital of Bulgaria , where we will see the Alexander Nevski Cathedral, the Russian church, the mosque, its squares and avenues of Stalinist architecture. Free time.
After breakfast, transfer to the airport. We take a regular flight (included, variable times) to Turkey. Arrival in ISTANBUL. T ransfer to the hotel and free time. You will receive information on this part of your trip in the afternoon, or it will be placed on the informative signs located in the hotel reception.
TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS: Sighseeing tour. Topkapi Palace .Night transfer to Taksim.
09.00 hrs.- A sightseeing tour of the city. We find ourselves in a city built in two continents. On our tour, we will enter the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent (the largest in Istanbul). We will see the walls, the Golden Horn, the fishing district, and we will admire the exterior of Hagia Sofia. After the visit, we will offer tickets and a visit to the Top Kapi Palace , which was the administrative centre of the Ottoman Empire, with its magnificent courtyards and its pavilions.
19.30 hrs.- At the end of the afternoon we will provide a transfer to the Taksim neighbourhood, the most commercialised and lively area of the city. There will be time to dine in one of its many restaurants, and you can also take the old tram that crosses the area or go to see the nearby Galata Tower. Return to the hotel around 22.00 hrs.
Important: Services during the stay in Istanbul may change order by taking the boat ride on the Bosphorus on the first day and the panoramic visit on the second day.
Today we include a boat trip on the Bosphorus that will last about two hours. We will undertake the trip on a boat exclusively for Europamundo travellers. The Bosphorus is a strait that connects the Black Sea with the Sea of ??Marmara, which separates Istanbul into two parts: the European part and the Asian one. We will enjoy seeing the liveliness of the strait with its multitude of boats. We will pass under the two bridges that unite Europe and Asia and we will admire the palaces of the sultans, the typical wooden houses and the Ottoman villas. Return to the center of Istanbul.
Rest of the day at leisure. You can go shopping in the Grand Bazaar; visit Hagia Sophia; ... Multiple options in this great capital.
After breakfast, end of our services.
Note: Remember that check-out time is usually at 10.00 hrs. In most cases, you can leave your luggage at the hotel reception at check-out time so you can enjoy the city and pick it up at the time you require that same day. If you need more time to use your room, please consider booking an additional night at the end of your tour.

Map Tour

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From AUD 1,966