of Greece and Anatolia
Compare with a Gulet Cruise : Start in Dalaman and on to Antalya
DAY 1 - Istanbul - Daily Arrival - March - Nov
local rep.meets your flight at Istanbul International Airport .
Or meet your cruise line at Istanbul port ( Oceania Cruises , Princess Cruises , Crystal Cruises or other Mediterranean cruises ), and escorts you to your hotel.
Sample Deluxe hotels : Inter-Continental or Ottoman Mansion Boutique Hotels: Arena .
first class : Aygun Plaza , Senator or similar. Welcome fruit basket awaits you at your hotel.
2 - Istanbul- (BL)
Drive along the old city walls and under the ancient Roman aqueduct on the way to view the best of Istanbul's stunning architecture and attractions. The impressive Hippodrome is your first stop. Then visit the Blue Mosque named for the vivid Iznik tiles which line its interior. Browse the amazing Topkapi Palace-official residence of the Ottoman Sultans-with courts, pavilions, mosques, fountains and a treasury. After lunch proceed through the commercial area passing Ottoman monuments to the famous Egyptian Spice Bazaar for a short visit. Then take the local ferry to start an unforgettable excursion between two continents, Europe & Asia. The cruise takes you along the latest palaces of Ottomans, The Dolmabahce Palace and Beylerbeyi, as well as 19th and 20th century, beautiful wooden Kiosks. Mansions and modern villas which form the elegant section of the city. Enjoy the scenery. Lunch is included at a local charming restaurant.
Day 4 – ISTANBUL – air – CAPPADOCIA (Breakfast
In the morning visit the jewel in Turkey's Byzantine crown-the Museum of St Sophia. This splendid Church of Divine Wisdom was originally built in the 4th century AD and was lovingly restored in the 1900s, reflecting the true history of the glorious city of Istanbul. After completing your exploration at St. Sophia, you will move on to the opposite side of Golden Horn, passing the Sirkeci train station, the last stop of the original Orient Express. Leave your vehicle at Karaköy, the old commercial harbor of the Ottoman Empire, and get on the underground train which connects the shores of Golden Horn to the Pera district on the hill. Opened for service in 1880, this is the second oldest underground train in Europe. You will leave the train in the Pera district which houses a wealth of fascinating buildings including churches, historical buildings, picturesque arcades, old Ottoman Hans, consulate buildings, and fine cafés. It is the best example of Istanbul's rich cultural and ethnic mosaic. After a short walk on Istiklal Street, "Grand Rue de Pera," visit the Pera Palas Hotel. The hotel was opened in 1896 in Istanbul next to the old American Consulate building, built in order to host the passengers of the Orient Express train. The train was designed by the French architect Valloury and was renovated keeping all the valuable and unique furniture in the original form. The original Orient Express started its service 120 years ago in 1883. Agatha Christie authored her famous book "Murder on the Orient Express" in one of the rooms at Pera Palas Hotel. Afterwards proceed to the Grand Bazaar for some shopping. Continue drive to the airport for your flight to Cappadocia. Dinner and overnight in Cappadocia.
Day 5 – CAPPADOCIA (Breakfast
Start out early for a full day’s excursion into the magical lunar landscape of Cappadocia’s rocky hills & valleys. Dominated by Erciyes Dagi, Mt. Argaeus, the region was first settled by ancient people then home to Romans, early Christians, Byzantines and Seljuks. Visit Goreme Church Valley, Zelve, Avanos, Ortahisar and Uchisar, and see some of the many churches carved into the rocks. Return to the hotel for the night.
Day 6 – CAPPADOCIA – air – Izmir – KUSADASI
(Breakfast , Dinner)
Visit the underground city of Kaymakli with nine floors underground, used by early Christians to escape any attack . After lunch drive to Kayseri airport, fly to Izmir. Transfer to hotel and overnight in Kusadasi.
7 – KUSADASI – Ephesus – KUSADASI
(Breakfast , Dinner )
Depart the hotel for the magnificent site of Ephesus. Ephesus is the best preserved of the Greek/Roman cities in Anatolia and while you are visiting the ancient ruins of this magnificent site and your guide will bring them alive. You will see the beautiful Celsus Library, restored and reconstructed according to its original form by the architect Friedmund Hueber in the 1970's. The most spectacular building of Ephesus is the Grand Theater, built during the Hellenistic age to hold 24,000 spectators. It is there that St. Paul preached. Opposite the Temple of Hadrian are the Hill Houses, homes of Ephesus' wealthy citizens. The city was also the hometown of great philosopher Heraclitus. After a visit to Ephesus Antique Site, you will arrive at Sirince Village. This old Orthodox Village, 30 km from Kusadasi, was once "Cirkince"(ugly). Indeed its inhabitants gave this name on the purpose as they did not want to be bothered by foreigners nor to share the beauty of their village. Still after years, visitors understood that the village was not ugly and called it "Sirince" (pretty). Today the village is a perfect synthesis of Turkish-Greek culture as of the 1920's; after the Turkish Independence War, people exchange between Greek and Turks has occurred and all those typical Greek houses, though they kept their original outside characteristics, have received the local layout inside. At Sirince Village you will have chance of seeing the local life at a village and purchasing some small local souvenirs and handicrafts. The village is also famous for its local grape and other fruit wines. During the lunch, mingle with the local people of the village as you will be a guest in their house for a simple lunch of local specialties. Have a cup of traditional Turkish coffee at the main coffee house of the village. Depending on the number of guests, a gypsy woman telling fortune by looking at the coffee grains remaining in the cup, may be available. Your last stop will be the visit to the Archaeological Museum of Ephesus established in 1929. It displays very interesting and valuable finds from Ephesus. Return to Kusadasi for Dinner and overnight.
Day 8 – KUSADASI – Miletus – Didyma –
Priene – KUSADASI (Breakfast ,
Following the departure from the hotel, the first stop will be Priene. The ancient harbor city of Priene probably changed its location when the silt of the Meander River threatened to bury it. Now it is nearly 16km away from the sea. The original place of the city has never been found but it was probably a peninsula with two harbors. Priene was laid out on a Hippodamian system of grid plan at the foot of a spectacular cliff on mount Mycale and contained many famous examples of Hellenistic art and architecture. All the streets intersect at right angles. Next visit Miletus, an ancient city located near the present Akköy at the mouth of the Buyuk Menderes (meander) River. Miletus owed its importance to its position on the trade routes. It was one of the largest cities in Anatolia. Highly prosperous, it founded many colonies and was the home of the ancient philosophers Anaximander, Anaximenes and Thales, the town planner Hippodamus and architect Isidorus. Having a prominent position, Miletus became the most important port in this area and it was the most active member of the twelve cities of the Ionian Confederation. From the 7th century B.C. the city has been controlled in turn by the Persians, Roman and Seljuk Turks. The last visit in the tour will be Didyma. The world Didyma meant "twins" and it was associated by some as being the meeting place of Zeus and Leto to have their twins Apollo and Artemis. Didyma was famed as a prophecy center dedicated to Apollo, which served a similar purpose as the Delphi of Anatolia. It was not a city but a sanctuary linked to Miletus by Milesians with a 12 mile sacred road. Return to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight.
9 - The Greek Island of Samos (B)
After breakfast at your hotel, we proceed to board the ferry from Kusadasi to the lush Greek Island of Samos, enjoy yours days as you wish on the island. . Deluxe hotel: Proteas Bay Hotel. First class : Doryssa or Arion hotels. Samos is a superlative destination to decompress after an intensive traveling program
Day 10 - Samos - Pirates Lunch ( Breakfast ,Lunch)
Our " Pirates Picnic" excursion is a true fun as you sail in a Greek 'caique' and discover the natural beauty of Samos enchanting beaches. After a short morning sailing Captain Yannis and his crew will bring you to the South Coast to the lovely sandy beach of TSOPELA.
There, they will prepare and serve you with a delicious lunch 'barbecue style", please advise us of any dietary requirement )
Our crew will mysteriously disappear to allow you some privacy as you relax after lunch, then we head back late afternoon, or if you wish to extend your stay (supplement applies), then you may reconfirm the time you prefer for your return. Enjoy the sun and crystal clear Mediterranean waters.
11 - Samos (BD)
Full day at leisure. If you prefer to extend your stay in Samos, please do let's know in advance. Enjoy the local restaurants & street cafes. Please click here for more details on optional tours available in Samos.
SAMOS GREEK VILLAGE EVENING DANCE & DINNER
Have you heard of "KALAMATIANOS, SIRTOS or CHASAPIKOS" ? no ?
Well, come along and enjoy the true Greek Mediterranean life ! as you experience a typical Greek Village Evening. A spontaneous and charming Greek band, traditional Greek cuisine, not forgetting the wine ! (all included ), we'll even introduce you to Greek dances and show you some of the steps if you wish to join our Greek dance!
12 - Samos/Kusdasi / Izmir Airport (B)
Enjoy a leisurely breakfast and morning before we head back to the port (transfer included).
The port is suitably picturesque and lined with cafes and clusters of tourist shops that offer the ubiquitous worry beads and Greek key design jewelry, we'll meet back at the Pier in Kusdasi upon your return and escort you back to Izmir Airport for your flight home.
RATES per person in US $
Deluxe Hotels class
|In Triple Occupancy||
|In Double Occupancy||
|In Single Occupancy||
Rates include :
Deluxe Hotels class
Rate doesn't include :
* Tips, Visa Fee : $20 in cash upon arrival, for US citizens, or $45 for Canadians.
* Trip cancellation
* International air fare from /to your home country
Click here for info on sailing the Mediterranean ( Blue Cruise)
Tour starts daily in Istanbul Apr-Oct.
SAFARI $ 65.00
Even for the most adventurous there is something to suit in our program: a bit of 'sportsmanship', a touch of adventure and above all lots of fun ? that's our Jeep Safari.
In this way you can discover all those hidden beauties of Samos and its varying scenery. Up hill and down dale on natural and mountain roads, passing through lovely, original villages, where you will be welcomed with overwhelming hospitality. The 'crowning finale' is a swim?stop at a marvelous beach
- ST. JOHN : $ 45 .00
Named "Jerusalem of the Aegean Sea" is this island of aesthetic austerity. This tranquil island ? formerly a refuge for Christian monks ? seems to consist only of jagged rocks, lave?stone and beautiful, crescent moon bays.
P a t m o s ? a significant connection with the Byzantine Period and whose Christianity has still strongly preserved the Byzantine presence by the monastery and churches. Here, in a cave, ST. JOHN wrote the 'APOCALYPSE' ? one of the most magnificent texts of world literature.
The harbour town of SKALA is dominated by the mighty monastery of the 'Theologian', built in the 11th cent., with its priceless religious relics, rare manuscripts, icons, jewellery, embroidery and its wealthy library constituted it as one of the richest monasteries within Christianity. The narrow lanes with the typical white?painted houses, the innumerable taverns and the mediaeval town of CHORA with splendid architectural patterns, the people's life?style and hospitality ? all this creates for you an unforgettable stay on Patmos.
TOUR "AMBELOS": $ 55
Our starting?point is the typical mountain village of VOURLIOTES. From there we walk up to one of the oldest monasteries of the island, PANAGIA VRONTIANI (built in 1566). The church has the form of a Basilica with dome and a remarkable collection of icons, dating from the 18th and 19th centuries, as well as many other sacred church articles, such as books and other ecclesiastical documents.
After this short visit we return to the village, upon arrival at the village?square we make a welcome 'coffee?stop'. Then after having left finally the village behind us, we walk through the most beautiful and wild?romantic landscape of Samos descending along the route of an ancient 'donkey?foot?path', until we reach a very nice old church, where there is time for a short stop. We then continue walking through the constantly varying scenery, passing along vine?yards, olive, cypress and lemon or orange groves, along some country?houses, on very old foot?paths and through 'natural channels' of trees and bushes, until we finally reach the coast side and the finishing point for our walk.
TOUR : $ 55
This tour perfectly combines nature with archaeology and includes visits to the most famous archaeological sites of Samos:
Our first visit is to the Archaeological Museum in Samos Town, where we can adore ? as a nice 'rounding? off' of our already gained impressions by the visit of the 'Heraion' ? all the most wonderful excavations of the 'Temple of Hera', dating from the Pre?historic, Geometric and mainly from the Archaic Era. Apart from other works of sculpture of different art, also exhibitions from the Hellenistic Era. The greatest and thus most famous pieces of excavations from the Archaic Period are the assemblage of the Samian sculptor GENELEOS and ? above all ? the 5,5 m huge statue of a young man ? KOUROS.
As Samos is also known as the 'Island of wine' (Mouskat) and as viticulture permanently marked the island's economy and history, we also visit the Union of the Wine Producing Cooperatives of Samos. After this interesting visit and enjoying a fantastic view from a high point down on the whole harbour bay of Samos Town we continue our tour passing through the village MITILINI where our next stop will be at the PALAEONTOLOGICAL MUSEUM. Here it is said to have been located the ancient town CHISSIA. We can adore findings of great value from the point of view of the science of Paleontology such as: bones of pre? historic vertebrate animals, of rhinoceri, of a Mediterranean horse with three hoofs, hippopotami and of other wild beasts of 13 million years old.
continuation we are approaching next the southern area, where we visit
the EFPALINOS TUNNEL. This ancient aqueduct had been constructed by
the haudraulic engineer EFPALINOS in order to provide the city of
Polycrates always with water. With its two openings from both sides
of the mount CASTRI it is considered to be one of the greatest works
of Antiquity. For relaxation we walk up to our next interesting stop:
the monastery of SPILIANI to visit its famous cave of the ancient
From here we enjoy a wonderful view on the entire southern area including the archaeological site of 'ROMAN BATHS'.
IKARIA ISLAND : $55
Ikaria is an island, famous for the legend of IKAROS and known as 'Radium Island' because of its hot medicinal springs. Its ancient names were 'MAKRE' and 'DOLIHI', reflecting its length and 'ICTHYOESSA', expressing the abundance of fish to be found there. ICARIA (or NICARIA, as the inhabitants call it) is an island of surprising alternations in its landscape: from the south with its steep and barren rocks, to the inner part so calm and peaceful, and the north with its marvelous coastlines.
Our point of arrival is AG. KIRIKOS the capital and largest town on the island. From here we start our tour by coach. Passing through numerous picturesque villages we have a chance to soak up the atmosphere of the island before we drive up the mountain to cross over to the north coast. At the highest point the views are truly spectacular and we make make a short photo stop at the village of MILIOPO. Our next destination is the beautiful harbour town of EVDILOS, the islands second largest port situated on the northern coast. Her we have a short stop to explore (30mins), before continuing our tour. Continuing along the north coast we pass through KAMBOS, where the ancient city of OINOE used to be situated. Ruins of the ancient city are still existing and we may visit the small museum with its archaeological remains. Continuing further along the coastline with its lovely scenery we reach the magnificent sandy beaches at ARMENISTIS. We then proceed to the picturesque village of YIALISKARI with its small port used for docking fishing boats. This will be our lunch?stop and we have time to enjoy a lunch in one of the local restaurants.
In the afternoon we make our way leisurely back to AG. KIRIKOS following the same route as we took in the morning, making a short coffee stop in the village of Miliopo. Just before we arrive in AGIOS KIRIKOS we make a stop in THERMA, set next to the sea and surrounded by greenery, it has five iamic hot water springs of which three are functioning: Spilia, Apollonas and Kratsa. Our tour ends as we arrive back in AG. KIRIKOS to take the ferry back to Samos.
Fish : $ 55
Our Greek Mediterranean fish is simply the best !
You will sail with our true Greek Captain : "Yannis" in typical Greek fishing boat !caiquis to a special place in the nearby water , where we have made arrangemnets with Poseidon to enusre that you can catch some fish for lunch. After hopefully a successful fishing Captain Yannis will prepare a delicious barbecue lunch ( you do nothave to eat the fish you caught :-) enjoy the beach and relax for the rest of the afternoon.
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