Journey through Greece and Turkey in this scenic tour visiting: the Temple of Zeus, the Parthenon, and other sites from antiquity around Athens. See the famous Spice Bazaar and majestic Suleymaniye Mosque of Istanbul. Take a cruise through the beautiful Aegean Sea and journey to its many ancient cities, sea ports, and ruins of ancient civilizations. Experience the rich culture and history of the ancient Roman and Ottoman Empires
Your adventure begins as you board your international flight bound for Athens, the capital of Greece, an ancient city rich in culture.
Arrive in Athens, where a coach will take you to your hotel. Enjoy some time to freshen up before this evening's dinner.
This morning start with an orientation city tour of Athens, meeting the neoclassical buildings of the Academy, University and National Library, passing by the Parliament Building and Constitution Square. Continue on to the Temple of Zeus, the Statue of Harry Truman, and the Stadium, where the First Olympic Games were held in 1896. Next a guided tour of the Acropolis, see four fabulous buildings that stand on it, the Parthenon*, the Erechtheion, the Temple of Victory, and the Propylaea. Complete the day with a guided visit to the New Acropolis Museum*. Enjoy some free time in Plaka before heading back to your hotel.
Depart your hotel to the docks in Piraeus to board the Aegean Sea Cruise. Begin your cruise around the deep blue waters of the Mediterranean before arriving into Mykonos, the most cosmopolitan island in Greece, famous for its amazing sandy beaches, picturesque villages and the vibrant nightlife. A round trip shuttle service from port to downtown Mykonos will be specially arranged by Peony Tours for your convenience. Dinner on board the cruise liner and an overnight stay while we continue sailing towards Kusadasi, Turkey.
In the early morning arrive at the port of Kusadasi. Disembark for an inclusive half-day excursion to Ephesus and the House of the Virgin Mary. A walking tour shows you the Temple of Diana, the Forum, the Odeon, the Fountain of Trajan, the Library of Celsus, the Thermal Baths of Scolastika, and the Great Theatre. Walk back to the coach along the Arcadian Way, where Mark Anthony and Cleopatra once rode in procession. Enjoy some free time at the Grand Bazaar, and lunch on board the ship while sailing to the island of Patmos, where you may take an optional excursion to the Grotto of Revelation and St. John’s Monastery.
The ship arrives into Crete, the largest of the Greek islands, also home to the great Minoan Civilization. You may participate in the optional half day tour of Heraklion to see the Knossos excavations. Lunch on board while sailing to Santorini, an ancient island that endured one of the largest volcanic eruptions in recorded history. Known as “the World’s Best Island” for tourism and famous for its breathtaking scenery, lapis lazuli sea, and the sunsets that light up the caldera, your Santorini visit features an inclusive half-day excursion to Oia Village, which will give you a unique opportunity to admire the panoramic view of the Aegean Sea and nearby islands. Explore the picturesque village while walking along the cobble-stoned streets and the white washed houses with blue shutters.
The ship arrives into Piraeus. Disembark and drive through Thebes, Levadia, and Arachova, arriving in Delphi, the ancient sanctuary of Apollo. Visit the Museum housing the bronze statue of Charioteer, one of the masterpieces of ancient Greek art. Then proceed through the sacred way to the archaeological site, visiting the Temple of Apollo, the Theater, and the Pyrene Fountain. Continue your trip to reach the picturesque town of Nafpaktos.
Your coach crosses the new cable bridge, connecting Rio-Antirio, for a guided tour to Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games and Zeus’ sacred palace. Visit the archaeological site and museum including the Olympic Flame, the symbol of the Olympic Games.
Transfer to the airport for a flight to Istanbul, the largest city and administrative capital of Turkey. Upon arrival an orientation tour of the city begins. Enjoy dinner at the hotel this evening.
Your full day tour of Istanbul features visits to the majestic Suleymaniye Mosque, Chora Museum, and the Spice Bazaar. Embark on a cruise up the Bosphorus*, the legendary strait separating Europe and Asia. Your ship passes by the Dolmabahce, Beylerbeyi Palaces, wooden 19th century seafront mansions and villages. Before disembarkation, your boat passes by the Sadberk Hanim Museum, a three-story mansion housing a rich collection of Anatolian works of arts, antiques and relics dating back to 6,000 BC. Enjoy a Traditional Turkish Dinner Show tonight.
Another full day tour of Istanbul begins with visits to the Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome, the Obelisks, and the magnificent Haghia Sophia. After free time and lunch in the maze Grand Bazaar area, we continue on your journey to the Topkapi Palace and then return to the hotel.
Transfer to the airport for your homebound flight.
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