Beautiful Turkey and Athens

Duration

13 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Istanbul

Available

April 2021 / March 2022

Cities to visit: Istanbul; Ankara; Cappadocia; Ihlara; Konya; Egridir; Pamukkale; Efeso; Kusadasi; Bodrum; Marmaris; Rhodes; Ferry Rodas Athens; Athens

Detailed day by day description

Introduction

This tour is a flexible, guaranteed escorted coach tour, guided in English only.

Once the tour is booked, it is guaranteed so it will definitely go ahead, and will never cancel.

The tour is flexible so you can tailor it to suit your needs. By clicking ‘Quote or Book’, you will have an option to choose your start and end date and destinations within the tour parameters. As these tours allow for such flexibility, the same people, tour guides or drivers may not be on your entire journey.

Day

TODAY’S HIGHLIGHTS:   Arrival. Transfer to the hotel.
Welcome to Europe!!!.   On arrival at the airport we shall be waiting to transfer you to the hotel.  You can enjoy free time until your tour starts, information about the meeting place and start time can be found on the information boards 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:  Sighseeing tour.Cable car to Pierre Loti viewpoint. Night transfer to Taksim.

09.00hrs.- Istanbul.- A  sightseeing tour  of the city taking in the walls, the Golden Horn, the fishing district, and Taksim. We will skirt round the Topkapi Palace and admire the exterior of Hagia Sophia. On our tour, we will include a  cable car ride up to the Pierre Loti  viewpoint and we will look round the  Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent  (the largest in Istanbul). We find ourselves in a city built in two continents. Views over the Bosphorus, with its huge mosques and ramparts: the city has magnificent sights. The visit is accompanied by a local guide, and lasts about two hours (admission to the monuments is not included).  
Free time. 

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. 

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 t hat 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. 

Free time (an optional visit with tickets and lunch inside the Topkapi Palace is available).

Total distance covered:   750 km.
   
Scenery:  Crossing over the suspension bridge spanning the Bosphorus between Europe and Asia. Plateaus of Anatolia. 

06.30 hrs.- Istanbul. We leave the hotel to go to the Istanbul-Pendikque train station. Today we travel by train departing at 08.55hrs (the schedule can be modified) from the station in the Asia district,  we take the most modern and fast train in Turkey,  a pleasant 4-hour trip through the Anatolian landscapes, perhaps having a coffee in the train café. 

13.07 hrs (estimated) Arrival in  ANKARA,  the modern capital of Turkey. After a time to have lunch in the area of the station, With the coach, we take you to discover the immense  museum-mausoleum of Ataturk , the "father of modern Turkey",  

15.00 hrs.  - Ankara - Mausoleum –Departure-.  We continue by coach through the arid regions of Turkey´s interior that take us into Cappadocia. We travel past the  salt lake . Brief stop en route to take some photos of the lake.

19.15 hrs.- Arrival at the end of the afternoon in  AVANOS (CAPADOCIA) ,  pleasant town in the center of the  region of Capadocia known for its pottery, its attractive old town with cobbled streets and its views over the river. Time to enjoy the hotel facilities or walk through the streets.  Dinner is included. 

Distance covered:  75 km  
Scenery:  Scenery of spectacular forms and shapes;  picturesque villages. Note:  We recommend comfortable footwear for today’s visits. Sometimes the order of the visits may be changed by the guide to see the different points when they are less crowded.        

In the early morning, there is the option of a balloon flight over the Cappadocia region. - A wonderful experience offered at dawn  

09.30 hrs.- Avanos - Departure -. We leave for the  GOREME VALLEY.   We include tickets  to see the fantastic open-air museum that houses more than 30 churches dug out of the rocks, some with very beautiful frescoes. After this we visit  UCHISAR  – A stroll in this village of Cappadocia; you can see its 60-metre rock full of houses in dugout caves. We continue to  KAYMACLI.  You will see this impressive underground city in Cappadocia. Its tunnels and catacombs can house up to thirty thousand people. Time for lunch. 

In the afternoon, we will go to  PASABAG,  known as the  “Valley of fairies ”, and we will stroll around this spectacular natural complex. We will also visit a traditional jewellery workshop with stones typical of the region of Cappadocia, Onyx and Turquoise, and we will see some examples of those used by the sultans during the Ottoman Empire. 

At around 18 hrs. return to the hotel, where you can enjoy the swimming pool (in the summer months) or go for a stroll around the pleasant commercial town of Avanos.  Dinner included.

Total distance covered:  290 km.
  
Scenery:  We continue amid the beautiful landscapes of Cappadocia. Subsequently arid and flat areas.
Notes:  Today it is again necessary to wear comfortable shoes as we continue to explore Cappadocia. In Konya, we visit places considered "holy" for the Dervish sect: please wear appropriate clothing. 
 
07:30 hrs  - Nevsehir –Departure-. In the morning we go to small characterful towns mark the Ihlara Valley.  
09:45 hrs - Ihlara Canyon  –Arrival-. Refreshed by the cooler air by the river, we explore churches that are carved into the rock of the canyon. 
11:45 hrs -  Ihlara Canyon –Departure-.  
13:00 hrs. - Sultanhan  –Arrival-. Here one of the most beautiful caravanserai is preserved. This magnificent building reminds us of the great caravans of camels that, in the past, marked these lands. Time to explore and have lunch. 
14.45 hrs -  Sultanhan –Departure-. Landscapes with large herds and arid plains. 
16.15 hrs - Konya  –Arrival-. In the center of Konya, we explore the MEVLANA MAUSOLEUM, a holy place for Dervishes, the Muslim sect known for their whirling "trance" dancing. Admission to the exhibition is included. Later, we suggest a stroll through the bustling bazaar.  Dinner included.
At night, we suggest that you attend the dance performance of the whirling dervishes in the cultural centre.

Total distance covered:  430 km.
  
Scenery:  Varied: mountain areas and lakes. Fantastic "cotton mountain" at the end of the day. Notes:  We recommend that you also bring shoes that are easy to remove and carry in Pamukkale... and if you wish, bring your bathing costume to this place! 

08.00 hrs. -  Konya –Departure-. We continue our journey through Turkey´s interior. 
11:15 hrs. -Egridir.  Located on the shores of a lake with the same name, this is a picturesque town with its walls and mosques where we can walk and have lunch.  
13:30 hrs. -  Egridir –Departure-.  
16:15 hrs. - Pamukkale  –Arrival-. Admission included. At the " cotton mountain ", our coach will drop passengers at the top of the mountain so that - having admired the ruins that date to the Roman era - you can descend on foot between the hot springs and the "baths". The colours at sunset are fantastic. Our coach will collect you at the area below. Finally you will have time in the hotel at which point you can enjoy its thermal pools.  Dinner included.      

Total distance covered:  225 km.
 
Scenery:  Various: proximity of the sea in region at the end of the stage. 
Note:  Again, for the Ephesus visit, it is advisable to wear comfortable shoes.   

08.30 hrs.  - Pamukkale –Departure-.  
11:30 hrs. - Ephesus – Arrival-. We now visit a fantastic complex of Roman ruins. 2,000 years ago, this city had a quarter of a million inhabitants. We will discover with our guide the house of the  Virgin Mary,  the  Basilica of Saint John  and the impressive  ruins at Ephesus (tickets included) . Time for lunch.

16.00 hrs- Ephesus departure. We continue on towards the Turquoise Coast, which has magnificent landscapes. 


16.30 hrs.- Kusadasi.- Arrival to this  popular coastal town with a lot of atmosphere, commercial life and a small castle. We will visit a gallery of leather articles where we will learn about the famous production of sheepskin garmets in this region. Free time to enjoy its bazaars and see its small castle.   Dinner included.


NOTE : Due to the existing combinations in our circuits, some travellers have visited the city of Ephesus before. These travellers will be given the option of taking a direct transfer to Kusadasi (arrival around 12.30 hrs) having free time in this tourist enclave.

Total distance covered:  320 km.
 
Scenery:  Various beautiful sights over the Aegean.

08.30 hrs.- Kusadasi- Departure. 11.00 hrs.-   Bodrum , free time in this beautiful fortified city of Greek origin. You can visit its castle, walk through its streets which are full of life and tourist activity or its leisure marina. Time for lunch.

15.00 hrs- Bodrum, departure.
17.30 hrs.- MARMARIS,  arrival to another beautiful coastal tourist enclave, with its castle, its marina and its fountains.  Dinner a nd accommodation.

NOTE:  On some high difficulty dates (especially in summer ), some groups can be accommodated in a nearby town.

today’s highlights: ferry to rhodes (greece)- city tour of rodhes- 

we will embark toward greece first thing in the morning. express ferry, the journey will last about an hour. immigration checks. arrival in rhodes. city tour of this incredible walled city and the old quarter, which bears the imprints of the different cultures that shaped it (greek, roman, byzantine, knights of saint john, ottoman, italian..). free afternoon.- 
important notice: the timetable for the ferry between rhodes and marmaris is frequently modified and doesn’t operate every day (except in the summer months), this part of the trip’s itinerary may have to be modified accordingly. 

today’s highlights: excursion in rhodes. night ferry-boat to athens. 

today,an excursion around the island of rhodes is included. we will travel to filerimos up on a hill where you will be able to visit its small monastery sitting amid amazing landscapes. afterward we will travel to lindos where its medieval fort and greek acropolis own the sea. you will be able to take a stroll along the whitewashed and commercial downtown streets, rest up at one of its beaches or walk up (on a donkey if desired) to the acropolis.  at the cited time, we will meet up at the port of rhodes and embark on the ferry to athens. 

today’s highlights: city tour in athens- evening transfer. 

arrival first thing in the morning where a panoramic visit of athens is included to know the presidential palace, the panathenaic stadium (where the first modern day olympic games were held), the national library, the busy downtown plazas, as well as the new suburbs which appeared at the time of the 2004 olympic games. we will wrap up the tour at the acropolis (entrance not included). a transfer to the plaka quarter is included in the evening, a place full of small greek taverns where you can also experience this country´s folklore. 

After breakfast, end of our services.


Map Tour

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From: AUD 1,881