Ancient Empires of Greece & Turkey

22 Days
Athens to Istanbul
From (NZD)
$ 12,425
$ 11,775
Dates & Pricing

2021 Athens > Istanbul

Where ancient treasures await

Linked by the Aegean Sea, Greece and Turkey are synonymous with history, culture and natural beauty. And it’s all here waiting to be uncovered.
Greece and Turkey have long evoked visions of mystery and wonder. Discover the rich history of Athens, one of the oldest cities in the world and the enchanting landscapes of Cappadocia
Tour Map
Tour Code:
GRTU
Duration:
22 days
Departure City:
Athens
Return City:
Istanbul

Selected Itinerary

22 Day Itinerary

  1. Day 1 - Welcome to Greece

    Begin your journey in Athens, where a world of ancient myths and intriguing culture awaits. Join your Tour Director and fellow travelers this evening for a welcome drink, before settling in for your two night stay.

  2. Day 2 - Athens

    This morning, discover the bustling Greek capital with a guided city tour. Explore the city’s mix of ancient and contemporary with your local guide, including a visit to the site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896, the impressive Panathenaiko Stadium. You’ll also visit many of the city’s ancient wonders, such as the World Heritage-listed Acropolis, the Propylaea, and the Parthenon, just to name a few.

    Freechoice

    Visit the Acropolis Museum, situated overlooking the famed Acropolis offering stunning 360-degree views of the city, and discover the many ancient treasures on display. Alternatively, take a walking tour through Plaka, the oldest district in Athens, learning about local handicrafts along the way.

    Tonight, enjoy a delicious included dinner in a local restaurant.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  3. Day 3 - Athens > Nafplion

    Today travel towards Nafplion, Greece’s historic first capital. You’ll have the opportunity to stop and admire the 23-metre wide Corinth Canal, before continuing to the small village of Epidaurus, where you’ll visit the renowned Great Theatre of Epidaurus, dating back to 4th century BC.  This afternoon, arrive in the charming town of Nafplion and discover this picturesque seaside port with a guided city tour. Notice the many Venetian and Ottoman influences that make this city unique, as your guide takes you through the narrow streets of the Old Town, finishing your tour at the imposing Palamidi Fortress. Relax tonight at your hotel, where you’ll enjoy a one night stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

  4. Day 4 - Nafplion > Olympia

    This morning begins with a visit to the important archaeological site of Mycenae. Learn about the legendary Agamemnon, as you marvel at the fortified ruins where once stood the most powerful kingdom in Greece. As we continue towards Olympia, stop at local winery Skouras Domaine for a wine tasting. Then join a cooking class followed by a delicious lunch in the traditional village of Vytina. Continue to the small ancient town of Olympia, renowned as the site of the first Olympic Games held over 2,800 years ago. Here we’ll visit the Olympia Archaeological site, home to many extraordinary monuments such as the Temples of Hera and Zeus, and the ancient stadium where the torch of the modern Olympic Games is still lit today. You’ll also have the opportunity to visit the Archaeological Museum, which proudly displays relics dating back to prehistoric times. Tonight, enjoy an included dinner at a local restaurant before your over night stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  5. Day 5 - Olympia > Delphi > Itea

    Depart today for the mountainside town of Delphi, considered by Zeus to be the centre of the world if ancient Greek mythology is to be believed. Explore significant historical sites such as the ancient ruins of the Temple of Apollo, and the Archaeological Museum of Delphi. As we head towards Itea for our overnight stay, stop at local honey farm for a tour and olive tasting. Tonight is yours at leisure.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

  6. Day 6 - Itea > Meteora > Kalambaka

    Continue today to the World Heritage-listed site of Meteora. See the natural wonders of 60 million year old rock formations, with incredible Byzantine monasteries dating back to the 14th century balanced high on the rock pillars above. Originally, more than twenty monasteries once hovered high in the mountains, today only six stoically remain.

    Freechoice

    Visit the fascinating Monastery of Rousanou and the Antonite Varlaam Monastery, followed by a panoramic driving tour through the mountains for breathtaking views of this remarkable site, or for those feeling more active, follow the old footpaths monks have walked for centuries on a guided hike, exploring monasteries along the way, some still proudly standing and others in ruins.

    Tonight you’ll be treated to a home hosted dinner, before your overnight stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  7. Day 7 - Kalambaka > Athens

    Today we journey back to Athens, as we make our way to the city centre’s highest point, Lycabettus Hill. Take an enjoyable ride on the funicular railway to the peak, and be rewarded with spectacular views across the city. At the top is the setting for our unforgettable farewell dinner.   

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  8. Day 8 - Athens > Istanbul

    After breakfast this morning, transfer to Athens airport for your included flight to Istanbul. Upon arrival, you’ll be transferred to your hotel for a two night stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

  9. Day 9 - Istanbul

    After breakfast, embark on a guided tour of this amazing city. Among the highlights see the magnificent Hagia Sophia and visit the stunning Blue Mosque, the remains of the Hippodrome, and Topkapi Palace. Tonight a special treat awaits with a welcome dinner at a renowned local restaurant.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  10. Day 10 - Istanbul > Canakkale

    This morning your local guide will show you around the Grand Bazaar, the largest covered market in the world. Enjoy a tasting of traditional Turkish coffee from one of the markets oldest coffee roasters. Afterwards continue towards Canakkale for a two night stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  11. Day 11 - Gallipoli

    Today travel to the Gallipoli Peninsula, site of the WWI landings by allied forces. Visit many of the landmark sites such as the Cape Hellas Memorial, ANZAC Cove, the ominously named Shrapnel Valley, Lone Pine Australian Memorial and Chunuk Bair New Zealand Memorial. You will have time to reflect on this momentous location before returning to your hotel tonight for an included dinner.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  12. Day 12 - Canakkale > Izmir

    Journey today to the Greco-Roman city of Pergamon, where you will visit the ancient site of Asclepion, as well as  the magnificent Acropolis. See monuments such as the Altar of Zeus and the Temple of Athena, then enjoy authentic Turkish cuisine at a home hosted lunch in a local village. This afternoon travel to Izmir, arriving at your hotel for tonight’s stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  13. Day 13 - Izmir > Kusadasi

    Join your local guide for a tour of Izmir, visiting Konak Square, the impressive marble Konak Clock Tower, the ruins of Agora and the Old Market Place. Enjoy some time at leisure before visiting a local winery for a tasting of their delicious produce. This afternoon arrive at Kusadasi for a two stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  14. Day 14 - Kusadasi

    Visit the incomparable site of Ephesus, once home to the Temple of Artemis. Walk the Marble Road, with highlights such as the Temple of Hadrian, the Library of Celsus and the Great Ampitheatre. Then venture behind the Ephesus hills to where the House of Virgin Mary once stood.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

  15. Day 15 - Kusadasi > Pamukkale

    Freechoice

    Visit the ancient spa city of Hierapolis, with is breathtaking views of the white terraced thermal pools. Alternatively, take a swim in the Antique Pool of Cleopatra, known for its legendary healing properties.

    Continue to your overnight stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  16. Day 16 - Pamukkale > Antalya

    Travel to picturesque Antalya, and visit the Archaeological Museum rich in Classical, Roman, Byzantine and Seljuk artefacts. Then continue to Aspendos, including a visit to the amazing Roman Theatre. This will be your base for tonight.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

  17. Day 17 - Antalya > Konya

    This morning drive to Konya, a traditional caravan stop and home of the mystical Whirling Dervishes. Visit the Mevlana Museum, former monastery of the Dervishes, and see the Karatay Medresseh of Konya, before an overnight stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  18. Day 18 - Konya > Cappadocia

    Enroute to Cappadocia, visit a 13th century Caravanserai. Then visit a Cappadocian village with a delicious lunch hosted in a traditional stone house. Stop in Kaymakli Underground city, before continuing to your hotel for a two night stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

  19. Day 19 - Cappadocia

    Start today early with an unforgettable hot air balloon ride (weather permitting) over the colourful valleys of Cappadocia. Then explore this amazing location, including a tour of the Monastic Centre of Goreme, an open-air museum featuring rock-cut churches with beautifully well preserved frescoes inside. You’ll also visit one of the local pottery studios and see artists at work.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

  20. Day 20 - Cappadocia > Istanbul

    Take a short included flight to Istanbul, where you will enjoy an included lunch in the Old Town on arrival. From there you will visit the iconic Spice Market, before a fabulous evening at one of Istanbul’s finest restaurants. Enjoy a two night stay.

    Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  21. Day 21 - Istanbul

    Freechoice

    This morning, relax and rejuvenate at the Turkish Bath of Roxelana, or join a calligraphy course and try the ancient art of writing.

    This afternoon, relax aboard your private cruise on the Bosphorus.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

  22. Day 22 - Istanbul

    After breakfast, transfer to Istanbul airport for your homebound flight, taking many wonderful memories with you.

    This itinerary is a guide only and may be amended for operational reasons such as high and low water. As such, the cruise may operate altered from that stated above.

    Meals Included: Breakfast

Tour inclusions

The Scenic Difference
  • Take the funicular railway to the highest point of Athens, Lycabettus Hill, for spectacular views over the city
  • Visit Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar and enjoy a tasting of traditional Turkish coffee
  • Take a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who came before as you spend a day visiting Gallipoli and it’s poignant memorials sites

Pricing & Availability