Best of Greece and Turkey

Duration

15 Days

Physical rate

Moderate

Starting city

Athens

Available

April 2021 / November 2021

Cities to visit: Athens; Corinth; Mycenae; Tripoli; Olympia; Patras; Nafplion; Epidaurus; Aegina; Ferry-Athens-Rodhes; Rhodes; Marmaris; Dalyan, Aegean Region; Antalya; Aspendos; Side; Karaman; Nigde; Cappadocia; Hacibecktas; Ankara; Safranbolu; Gokgol Magarasi; Eregli (Konya); Aydinpinar; Istanbul

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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: 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:  310 km 
Countryside: Very pretty scenery with the sea in the background. Mountains of the interior of the Peloponnese.  
NB:   We suggest comfortable footwear to see the archaeological complexes. It is also recommendable to take sun protection and a bottle of water in the hotter months.      

09.00 hrs - Athens -departure.   
10:30 hrs Corinth Canal - A short stop to photograph this millenary work. 
11.00 hrs - Acrocorinth . Arrival at this immense mediaeval fortress alongside the ancient city of Corinth. At the top of the settlement of what was one of the largest Acropolis of ancient Greece are the foundations of what was formerly a temple to Aphrodite.   

12.00 hrs - Acrocorinth. Departure. 
13.00 hrs Mycenae. - Arrival at the colossal eighteenth century BC citadel, the cradle of the first European civilisation (tickets not included). Time to visit and for lunch    

15:30 hrs -Mycenae. Departure. 
16:30 hrs Tripoli. A stop to stroll in the provincial capital of this region that produces excellent wines.   

17:30 hrs  Tripoli. Departure. 
19:30 hrs  Olympia  – Arrival, accommodation and dinner included.        

Distance covered:  285 km.
 
Countryside:  Pretty Mediterranean scenery of hills and mountains on the Peloponnese Peninsula.     
NB:  Wear comfortable footwear to visit Mistra. We also suggest sun protection and a bottle of water in the warmer months. 

With a  local guide, we visit OLYMPIA  where you can see the archaeological complex (tour with a local guide included, tickets to the complex not included) which was the cradle of the Olympic Games in antiquity.  We will see the Sanctuary of Zeus. After the visit there will be free time for you to visit the museum at your own pace if you like.  

11:30 hrs - Olympia –Departure-. Mountain scenery, some picturesque villages on our way. 
14.00 hrs - MISTRA  –Arrival-. Time for lunch and to see this ancient Byzantine city that was abandoned in the nineteenth century. Its ruins are impressive, and particularly noteworthy are the Byzantine frescoes in its monasteries. We are very close to the ancient Greek city of Sparta. 

16.30 hrs - Mistra –Departure-. We continue our route through the Peloponnese, travelling to the shores of the Aegean Sea. 
18.15 hrs - NAUPLIA,  a charming coastal town overlooked by the citadel and Venetian fortress; time for a stroll and  dinner included.

Distance covered by road: 85 km 
Countryside:  Today we do most of the route by boat as it is dominated by the Aegean Sea. 
Notes:  The bus will not travel with us on our trips made by boat (we will meet it again on arrival in Athens). Do not forget to take your documentation with you and everything you might need during the day. 
The timetables of the ferries connecting the Greek islands change a lot depending on the time of year, and will be announced very shortly beforehand. The timetable information given here is intended as a rough guide. The boat frequencies between Poros and Aegina are very limited. In the low season, the island of Aegina may be substituted by Hydra.  

08:30 hrs –Nauplia - Departure-.
09.00hrs - EPIDAURUS,  where there will be time to see its ancient theatre built 2400 years ago; it is magnificently preserved and is still used today, accommodating up to 14,000 people. 

10:30 hrs - Epidaurus –Departure-. 
11:15 hrs - Galatas –  Arrival this small port, where we can see the island of Poros in front. We board a pleasant ferry which in fifteen minutes leaves us on the  island of POROS . Time in this charming place full of tourist life; its ancient houses climb up to the clock tower. Time for a stroll and for lunch. After this (on a variable timetable depending on the time of year, a crossing of approximately 45 minutes) we take the  ferry to AEGINA , an island inhabited for more than 4000 years, where we can stroll around its ancient churches, its picturesque port and its typical districts of small houses. 

At around 18.00hrs, we take the ferry once more, which takes around 45 minutes to return us to  ATHENS  –Arrival in the Piraeus, where our bus is waiting – collection of luggage and end of the services if you end your trip here.

today´s highlights: city tour in athens. night ferry-boat to rodhes. 

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 central squares and the new neighborhoods that emerged after the 2004 olympic games. the tour will end at the acropolis site (entry not included). at night we will transfer to the port of pireo and embark on the night ferry, which has similar conditions to those of cruise ships, double berth accommodation. night on board.

today’s highlights: city tour of rodhes- ferry to marmaris (turkey). dinner included. 


arrival in rhodes first thing in the morning. we start with a 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..). in the afternoon, around 16:00h, we will embark on the express ferry to turkey, the journey will last about an hour. marmaris, beautiful coastal touristic enclave with a castle, marina and fountains. accommodation in the region of marmaris. dinner included

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. 

Distance covered:  335 km 
Scenery:   Coastal sections and sections between high mountains. Contrasts.  
NOTE: Have swimwear to hand if you want to enjoy the spa waters or the mud bath. We also recommend taking a change of clothes and having a towel to hand.    

08.00 hrs.- Marmaris - Departure -. 
09.30 hrs.- DALYAN - Arrival -. An incredible place beside a beautiful navigable river. We include a boat trip of around two and a half hours to see the LYCIAN ROYAL TOMBS , and we will continue in the boat to a large lake where we will stop at the spa waters, where you can take a dip in the warm waters or have a mud bath! (very basic facilities aimed at the local population). Time for a meal in one of the numerous restaurants by the river in Dalyan.    

13.30 hrs.- Dalyan - Departure -. We go on our way. Mountain scenery.  
17.15 hrs.- ANTALYA - Arrival -. We will make a brief visit of this great coastal city of more than a million inhabitants, the Adrian door, the Ottoman district and its large waterfall falling straight into the sea. Dinner and accommodation.

Distance covered:  530 km  
Scenery:  Spectacular contrasts; countryside overlooking the sea. High mountains often with snowy peaks; arid lands of Anatolia. 
Note:  The Ottoman mansion of Tartan Evi may sometimes be closed (out of season or due to local holidays). If it were unavailable for a visit, a visit would be made to a mansion of similar characteristics in Cappadocia.         

08.00 hrs.-Antalya - Departure -.  
09.00 hrs.- ASPENDOS - Arrival - we visit the Roman theatre that many believe to be the best preserved in the world.   

09.45 hrs.-Aspendos - Departure -. 
10.30 hrs.- SIDE - Arrival -. A small, very tourist city, full of commercial life. You will have free time. Its Greek temple of Apollo by the sea stands out. Time for a stroll around its port and through its streets full of life.   

12.30 hrs.- Side - Departure -. Amidst impressive scenery, we cross the Taurus mountains. The peaks, of more than 3500 metres, are covered with snow for a large part of the year. We stop for a meal along the way in a pretty service area in the mountains. 
17.00 hrs.- KARAMAN - Arrival -. A city with an oriental atmosphere. We visit TARTAN EVI , an ancient Ottoman mansion.   

18.00 hrs.- Karaman - Departure -. Great arid plains along the route in the south of Anatolia. 20.15 hrs.- NIGDE - Arrival -. We suggest a stroll around its bazaar, its ancient mosque and its fortress. Dinner and accommodation.

Distance covered:  120 km  
Scenery: Scenery of spectacular forms and shapes;  picturesque villages. 
Note:   We recommend comfortable footwear for today’s visits.   

09.00 hrs.- Nigde - Departure -. We spend the whole day in the region of Cappadocia. In the outskirts of Nigde, we first visit GUMUSLER, an incredible 7th-century underground monastery with maybe the best Byzantine frescoes of Turkey. We go on to KAYMACLI . You will see this impressive underground city in Cappadocia. Its tunnels and catacombs can house up to thirty thousand people. 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. Time for lunch. We then 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.  

AVANOS, dinner and accommodation in this pleasant city, the tourist centre of the region. In the evening, after dinner, we suggest going to the “Turkish night” show (optional).

Total distance covered:  540 km.
  
Scenery:   We begin with arid and flat landscapes of the interior of Turkey, as we approach the Black Sea mountains and forests are emerging.
Notes:  Hacibecktas is a sacred place for Muslims; We will visit the mausoleum, but maximum respect to the local population in the sacred places. P lease wear appropriate clothing.


08.00 hrs.- Avanos. Departure.  We have a fantastic day in the heart of Anatolia. 


09.00hrs.- HACIBECKTAS , arrival to the sanctuary guards the tomb of Hacibecktas, a Sufi mystic of the 13th Century. We visit with the utmost respect to the pilgrims ( suitable clothes, silence recommended in the sanctuaries ).

10.00 hrs.- Hacibecktas. Departure.
13.15 hrs-  ANKARA.  W e leave a free time to walk around and have lunch in the thriving center of the city. 

15.00hrs.- Ankara. Departure. We continue towards the north of Turkey. The landscapes become greener. 
18.00 hrs.- SAFRANBOLU;  arrival in this wonderful little city which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It was an important stopping point on the caravan routes. Our guide will show some of the most picturesque points of the city and we will include a traditional Turkish tea  in an ancient caravanserai!  Dinner  included.

Total distance covered: 470 km.
  
Scenery:   Forests, valleys, mountains, landscapes on the Black Sea; A rainy and green region different from what you probably have in your mind when you think of Turkey.

08.00 hrs.- Safranbolu. Departure. Today, the leg of our trip follows the Black Sea and its verdant landscapes. 

10.00 hrs.- In  GOKGOL MAGARASI  we provide entry tickets to this magnificent cave with its underground river and its multiple colours. 

11.00hrs.- Gokgol. Departure. Our road goes towards the sea.
12.00 hrs.-  EREGLI,  Arrival. Next to the Black Sea, we set aside time to have lunch. We also include a visit to its impressive  Cehennemagzi Magarasi caves and tombs  that are overflowing with mythology. 

15.00 hrs.- Eregli. Departure.
16.00hrs.- EYDINPINAR.  On our way back to Istanbul, we stop to relax at EYDINPINAR, with a walk between its green paths to the waterfalls! 

17.30 hrs.- Eydinpinar departure. We travel on the highway towards Istanbul. Passing the suspension bridge that separates Asia from Europe.
20.30 hrs.-  Arrival in  ISTANBUL  at the end of the day. 

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).

After breakfast, end of our services.


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