Beautiful Turkey and Athens

Duration

13 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Istanbul

Available

April 2023 / March 2024

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 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.
09.00 hrs- Panoramic tour of the city , we are in a city built on two continents. On our tour we will enter the Mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent (the largest in Istanbul), we will visit the walls, the golden horn, the fishing district and admire the exterior of Hagia Sophia.
19.30 hrs.- At the end of the afternoon we will offer a transfer to the neighborhood of Taksim , the most commercial and local area of the city. Time to dine in one of its many restaurants, you can also take the old tram that crosses the area or approach the nearby Galata Tower.
Note: the order of the services included in the city of Istanbul may vary during the stay.
Visit to Topkapi Palace, boat trip on the Bosphorus.
Total Distance: 450 km
07.30 hrs- After breakfast, we will include the entrance and visit to the Topkapi Palace, which was the administrative center of the Ottoman Empire with its magnificent courtyards and pavilions.
Afterwards, we will take a boat trip on the Bosphorus for about two hours. We will do it on a private boat for Europamundo travelers. The Bosphorus is a strait that connects the Black Sea with the Sea of Marmara separating Istanbul into two parts: European and Asian. We will enjoy watching the animation of the strait with all its boats, we will pass under the two bridges that connect Europe and Asia and we will admire the palaces of the sultans, the typical wooden houses, the Ottoman villas.
We will disembark on the Asian side and we will have time to walk through the Uskudar neighborhood , with its large mosques, where Yemi Valide, the maiden´s tower and its quiet streets stand out. Time for lunch.
15.00 hrs- Istanbul Departure. From the Uskudar neighborhood, on the Asian side, we continue our route to the Anatolian peninsula.
21.00 hrs- Ankara- Arrival , dinner included.
Total Distance: 315 km
Landscapes: Lunar landscapes next to the salted lake.
Note: We will visit the shrine of Hacibecktas, an exciting pilgrimage site rarely visited by tourists. Please wear appropriate clothing and be respectful during the visit.
08.00 hrs- After breakfast we include a visit to Ankara, the cosmopolitan capital of Turkey, with over 5 million inhabitants and a lot of cultural life with its performing arts center, which houses the State Ballet and Opera, the Presidential Symphony Orchestra and many national theater companies. We will visit the impressive Mausoleum of Ataturk , the powerful castle of Ankara , whose first construction was 8 centuries before Christ. We also include the entrance to the Museum of Anatolian civilizations that allows us to understand the different cultures that left their mark on Turkey. At the end of the morning, we will stop at a large shopping mall so that in your food court you can choose the type of food that you like the most.
13.30 hrs.- Ankara, departure-. We continue our route by coach. Arid regions in the interior of Turkey take us to Cappadocia. We travel past the salted lake, with a stop to photograph it.
17.30 hrs- Hacibecktas, arrival at this complex, one of the most important centers of religious tourism in Turkey where the mausoleum of Haci Becktas, a Sufi mystic from Anatolia of the thirteenth century that puts the person at the center of his philosophy. The rituals and symbols of Bektashism are reflected in the sanctuary architecture and interior design.
18.30 hrs- Hacibecktas, departure.
19.30 hrs- Nevsherir / Avanos - arrival, dinner includded .
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/Nevsherir . Dinner included.
Total distance: 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 atmospher, 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: during the high season, from une to September (both included), accommodation will be given in a town near Kusadasi.
Total distance covered: 320 km.
Scenery: Various beautiful sights over the Aegean sea.
08.30 hrs.- Kusadasi- Departure.
10.00 hrs- Lake Bafa- Stop to see the lake, its magnificent nature, history, mystical beauty and serenity is undoubtedly one of the natural wonders to be seen in Turkey.
10.30 hrs.- Bafa Lake, departure.
12.00 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 and accommodation.
NOTE: On some high difficulty dates (especially in summer), some groups can be accommodated in a nearby town.
NOTE - Remember that we are entering to Greece. On the ferry you should carry your luggage and have your passport handy as it is requested for embarkation.
IMPORTANT NOTE: The ferries that link Marmaris with Rodhes undergo frequent changes in schedules and do not operate every day (except during summer months). The itinerary may be adapted based on the frequencies available during your trip. If the group is less than 10 people, the visits of Rhodes can be made in a regular service at a different schedule (sharing with other people from other companies).
07.30 HRS.- Early in the morning, at first light, we will leave the hotel. After border procedures we will board the boat for Greece.
09.15 hrs- Fast ferry, a cruise of approximately one hour.
10.15 hrs.- Border procedures to enter Greece. Rhodes, arrival. We will include a visit of the city , with its impressive walled citadel, its old town that shows the traces of the different cultures (Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Knights of Saint John, Ottomans, Italians, etc.) that inhabited it. The visit lasts about two hours and is done with a local guide. After the visit, transfer to the hotel.
Free afternoon.- We suggest you to enjoy on its beaches or stroll on your own in this beautiful city.
Distance traveled (by road): 115 Km
Scenery: Mediterranean landscapes, picturesque views over the sea.
Note: Ferry schedules are often subject to change. Departure time indicated in this
itinerary is subject to changes. Journey to Athens could be made by plane.
09.00hrs.- Rhodes -departure-. Today an excursion to visit the island of Rhodes is included.
09.30 hrs.- Philerimos, on the top of the hill, among magnificent landscapes, you can
visit its small monastery sitting amid amazing landscapes.
10.15hrs.-Filerimos- Departure.
11.30hrs.-Lindos. Arrival to this city with a medieval fortress and Greek Acropolis overlooking the sea. With the coach we will take you to the bay of St. Paul, it is said that the apostle arrived here by sea in 51 AD to preach Christianity. The movie "The Guns of Navarone" was filmed here. Afterwards you will have free time, you can stroll through the white and commercial streets of the center, relax on the beaches or climb (by donkey if you wish) to the Acropolis.
15.00 hrs.- Lindos -departure-. Return to Rhodes.
16.00 hrs.- Rhodes. Arrival. At the port we board the modern ferry to Athens. Scheduled departure (July and August period not yet confirmed) from Rhodes at 17.00 hrs. Relax and enjoy the Mediterranean on board.
Accommodation in cabins with private bathrooms. Breakfast not included. Night on board.
Note: Depending on the number of passengers, your guide may not accompany you on the
ferry.
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). Free afternoon.
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.

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