A 19-day Greece and Turkey Mediterranean Interlude
Tour the legendary Istanbul City of the Sultans and
the Greek Isles of Crete, Rhodes and Santorini
Going By Sea between Marmaris and Rhodes
This is the perfect Mediterranean getaway. Your days are filled with exotic sights, sounds, scenes and scents. We’ll even provide you with the Lonely Planet guide to Greece and Turkey so that you can explore on your own, as you like, in your free time! Arrive Daily! May – Oct, This is the perfect add on to your Crystal Cruises, Oceanic Cruise, Princess Cruise or other Mediterranean cruise. Extensions are available to Cappadocia. The romance of the Greek isles. What’s better than a journey with a cherished companion to one of these prized destination? This is a trip tailored to make the most of that special company and unique occasion, be it an anniversary, a honeymoon, or a singular chance to be alone and away. Compare with Santorini and Mykonos version with an extended stay in Bodrum. Compare with Cappadocia and Pammukale version.
Day 1 – Istanbul – Choose your own arrival day. Arrive any day: May-Oct
Arrive at Istanbul Airport. Our driver meets you at the exit gate of Istanbul Airport and transfers you to your hotel. Rest of the day on your own. Overnight at Blue House Hotel in Istanbul. Private Transfers. Private air conditioned Vehicle
Day 2 – (BL) – Istanbul
We first stroll to the great square which was once the Byzantine Hippodrome. Now it is a great park like area surrounded by the Blue Mosque, Hagia Sophia, and the Underground Cistern, commonly called the Basilica Cistern. After lunch at a local restaurant, retracing our steps we walk to the Topkapi Palace. More than a palace, it is an assemblage of museums, containing the collections amassed by the Sultans over almost five centuries. After Topkapi Palace, we finish the day with Grand Bazaar visit, world’s largest covered market. Shops selling the same kind of merchandise congregate in the same area and there are 18 entrances and more than 4000 shops in the entire complex. Overnight at Blue House Hotel in Istanbul. Private Transfers. Private Guide. Private air conditioned Vehicle
Day 3 – (BL) – Istanbul
We start our second day in Istanbul with a walk to the Rustem Pasha Mosque, then we visit the Dolmabahçe Palace; overlooking the Bosphorus, it is definitely incomparable with 14 tons of pure gold used for its interior decoration, its priceless paintings, furniture, a rich collection of Bohemian crystal in addition to its famous Harem section. Right after Dolmabahçe Palace, we have lunch at a local restaurant and get on board and take a leisurely Bosphorus Cruise from Eminonu, to the still unspoiled village of Sariyer. We end the day with a visit to Chora Church, with its 14th century mosaics and frescoes of almost supernatural beauty. The most important features of the church are the frescoes and mosaics demonstrating the finest Byzantine art forms and parallel, in time, developments in Italian renaissance art. Overnight at Blue House Hotel in Istanbul. Private Transfers. Private Guide. Private air conditioned Vehicle
Day 4 – (B) – Izmir – Selcuk or Kusadasi
Our local rep meets you at the hotel and transfers you to Istanbul Airport for the morning flight to Izmir. Upon arrival to Izmir Airport, our local rep and driver meet you and head for Seljuk (Selcuk) or Kusadasi as you wish. Overnight at Kismet Hotel in Selcuk, or Korumar Hotel – sea view room in Kusadasi for deluxe hotel category. Private Transfers. Private air conditioned Vehicle
Day 5 – (BL) – Ephesus
Today we first drive to the Virgin Mary’s House; after that we visit Ephesus which was founded in the eleventh century BC by the Ionians. Strolling through the streets of Ephesus, we will witness the perfection of the Greco-Roman Art. Later in the afternoon we will visit St John’s Basilica, believed to be the tomb of the Apostle John, Christ’s beloved disciple. From the basilica, we will be able to look down on the remains of the temple of Artemis. We end the day with our visit to the Isa Bey Mosque. Overnight at Kalehan Hotel in Selcuk. Private Transfers. Private Guide. Private air conditioned Vehicle
Day 6 – (BL) – Priene – Didyma – Bodrum
After breakfast, we drive first to Prienne, formerly a leading member of the Panionic League. As we drive further South, we visit Miletus and then arrive at Didyma, where we have lunch at a local restaurant, circumstances permitting, across the road from the temple. As the historian Pausanias wrote, “The sanctuary of Apollo at Didymoi, and the oracle there are more ancient than the Ionian settlement”.
After this we transfer you to your hotel in Bodrum. Private Transfers. Private Guide. Private air conditioned Vehicle
Day 7 – (B) – Marmaris
After a late breakfast and check-out from the hotel, your chauffeur meets you at the hotel for the drive to Marmaris and your hotel. Rest of the day at leisure on your own in Marmaris. Overnight at Candan Hotel in Marmaris or similar. Private Transfers. Private Guide. Private air conditioned Vehicle
Day 8 – (B) – Rhodes – Greece
After breakfast transfer to the port to take the morning ferry to Rhodes. Our local rep will assist with your transfer to Cosmopolitan Hotel in Rhodes. Private Transfers. Private air conditioned Vehicle
Day 9 – (B) – Rhodes
Full day on your own on the Island of Roses. The compact, cobbled medieval city is perfect for exploring on your own. You’ll want to visit the Palace of the Knights of St. John, take a look at the wares in the boutiques, and spend some time in a seaside cafe. We also offer optional excursion to the Acropolis of Lindos and the Valley of the Butterflies.
Day 10 – (B) – Rhodes / Crete
Air fare is included (economy class) Rhodes / Heraklion in Crete. All transfers are always included. Sample hotel in Heraklion: Atlantis or similar. Private Transfers. Private air conditioned Vehicle.
DAY 11 – CRETE (B)
Enjoy your stay at the hotel or explore one of the beaches. Or explore on your own the Venetian part of the old town, see below more details on tours in Crete.
DAY 12 – Crete / Santorini (B)
Do your last-minute shopping this morning, or just linger deliciously in bed. Then we’ll call for you and see you to the port for your ferry to Santorini, ferry ticket is included. Volcano View Hotel or similar. Private Transfers. Private air conditioned Vehicle
DAY 13 – Santorini (B)
Enjoy breakfast at your lovely hotel (or Villa),or venture out,to explore ON YOUR OWN.
Some suggestion that you may wish to consider (on your own):
Akrotiri, reputedly the site of fabled Atlantis. Then on to Athinios port to take a boat across to the dormant volcano, and ascend through a crater-pocked moonscape to the crater. Visit Thirassia Island and watch sunset in Oia. Return to your hotel/villa early evening, the decision is totally yours.
DAY 14- Santorini- Own activities (B)
To stay in your lovely hotel and enjoy the beach, the service, and the amenities, or to venture out to explore some of the dramatic cliffs, coves, and villages… that is the question! No doubt, you’ll mix a bit of both; Relax, and revisit a favorite café or shop, sip an ouzo or retsina at a waterside café, discover a beach or two, pick up a loaf of fresh bread and cheese and olives, and picnic on a hillside as you look out to sailboats at sea. Your days will be filled.
DAY 15 – SANTORINI, Mykonos (B)
We’ll rendezvous in time to take you to your ferry to Mykonos & your hotel. Mykonos Palace or similar. Private Transfers. Private air conditioned Vehicle
DAY 16 – MYKONOS (B)
The day is totally yours. There’s no need to venture beyond the grounds of your lovely hotel. But on the other hand, there’s plenty of reason to do so, starting with 350 whitewashed churches and chapels, dramatic cliffs, blue seas, and secluded beaches. Private Transfers. Private air conditioned Vehicle
DAY 17 – MYKONOS, Athens (B)
Reserve some time to stroll the cobbled lanes of Mykonos, to sip an ouzo or a retsina at a waterside cafe, to discover a beach or two, to pick up a loaf of fresh bread and cheese and olives, and picnic on a hillside as you look out to sailboats at sea. We’ll rendezvous in time to take you to your flight for Athens. We’ll book for you the Sofitel Hotel at Athens Airport. Proceed on your own upon arrival to the Sofitel at the Airport.
DAY 18 – Athens- Private Tour (BL)
A private half-day city tour will orient you to the high points of Athens. You’ll visit Syntagma Square, at the very heart of the city; the Parliament; Hadrian’s Arch; and culminate with the Acropolis. Your afternoon is for a guided walking visit to the Plaka. Lunch is included at a charming local restaurant.
DAY 19 – Departure (B)
After breakfast, proceed to the gate on your own. Kalo Taxidi! Bon Voyage.
|Rate in USD $- per person in double occupancy:|
Superior (4 stars)
- Domestic flight tickets in Turkey and Greece – economy class, tax included
- All ferry tickets as per itinerary
- Hotel accommodation at the mentioned hotels or similar
- Air conditioned minivan with driver for all the tours and transfers
- Professional upscale guiding
- Breakfast (B), Lunches (L) and Dinners (D) as indicated in the itinerary
- All admission fees to the museums and sights as per itinerary
- Local Taxes.
- Private touring as per itinerary, private air-conditioned vehicle, private chauffeur.
Rate doesn’t include:
- International air fare.
- Visa Fee: (procure yours online in advance of travel at www.evisa.gov.tr/en/)
- Trip/travel insurance
- Optional excursions, such as tours on Santorini, sailing, cruising
- Any meal not specifically mentioned
- Beverages, and personal expenses
- Gratuities for local personnel
- Travel insurance
- Airport taxes.
Five Stars Deluxe:
- Istanbul: For Boutique Style Hotels: Blue House Hotel. Arena Hotel, or if you prefer: Hilton Istanbul, Hyatt Istanbul, Eresin Crown Istanbul Hotel or similar
- Selcuk or Kusadasi: Kismet Hotel in Seljuk or Korumar Hotel in Kusadasi
- Bodrum: L’ ambiance Resort
- Marmaris: Candan Hotel
For Deluxe rates: Nikos Villas in Oia, Dana Villas with a view of the Caldera & the sea (Firostefani)
First Class accommodation: “Sun Rocks in Firostefani”, “Astra Apartments”, “On The Rocks” or Chromata Apartments with a view of the caldera & the sea (Imerovigli.) “Grotto Villas” in Firostefani. Or Rose Bay on Kamari Beach Hotel.
For Katikies Villas & Pantheon, please add 20 % supplement to the deluxe rate.
Heraklio / Hersonissos Area:
- Creta Maris (5 stars)
- Knossos Royal Village (5 stars)
- Royal Mare Village (5 Stars)
- Atlantis Hotel (5 stars – Town property)
- Aldemar Royal Mare (5 stars)
- Heraklio /Amoudara Area:
- Candia Maris Hotel (5 stars)
- Hotel Elounda Mare (5 stars) Supplement $65 per person per night with breakfast & dinner included (part of the deal, can’t delete).
- Hotel Elounda Mare (5 stars): PRIVATE BUNGALOW with private pool. Supplement $300 Per person per night.
Crete – Four Stars Hotels – Properties:
- Sylva Maris Bungalows hotel (4 stars)
- Galaxy Iraklio Hotel (Town property)
- Asotria Capsis Hotel (Town Hotel)
- Marina Beach in Gouves area
- Pantheon Palace in Gouves area
- Miramar in Aghios Nikolaos