From Acropolis to Constantinople - 16 Days

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From Acropolis to Constantinople - 16 Days

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From Acropolis to Constantinople - 16 Days

*Free Delos Tour 8 May, 22 May, 19 Jun, 18 Sep, 2 Oct.*

Day 1 Sun: Athens
Upon arrival at Piraeus port or Athens’ airport transfer to Athenian Callirhoe Hotel or Acropolis Museum hotel or similar. Rest of the day at leisure. The sprawling city of Athens is bounded on three sides by Mt Ymettos, Mt Parnitha and Mt Pendeli with the streets of Athens now meld imperceptibly the city's ancient (and still bustling) port. Take advantage of the time to explore and dine on authentic Greek cuisine.

Day 2 Mon: Athens
Today enjoy a morning sightseeing tour which begins with visit to the Acropolis. Climb the hill and discover the building standing atop which is recognisable throughout the world. Admire the sweeping views of the city  below before descending and continuing on. Other sites visited during this coach tour with English speaking guide are: the site of the first modern Olympics, Temple of Olympian Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch and Syntagma Square, home to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Afternoon free to explore the historical section of the city known as the Plaka where most of the streets have been closed to automobile traffic allowing pedestrians to be able to explore restaurants, jewellery stores, tourist shops, and cafes. Overnight in Athens. (B)

Day 3 Tue: Athens-Mykonos (walking tour)
After breakfast, transfer to the port for ferry (aircraft type seats) to the beautiful island of Mykonos. Upon arrival transfer to Grand Beach Hotel or Lady Anna or similar. In Greek mythology Mykonos was the location of  the battle between Zeus and the Titans, and the island was named in honour of Mykons, son of Anios who was a son of Apollo and nymph named Rio. Late afternoon a local representative will help you to unravel the  secret of Mykonos, normally known to the locals only. Meet at the Manto statue and follow the escort exploring the labyrinth of Mykonos port town with famous Windmills, Little Venice, Paraportiani church, the small  fishermen port with the church of Saint Nikolas, and “Yialos” area with all café and restaurants till the main Manto square. This orientation walk will finish in the local “ouzeri” called Enplo, where you can sample local  ouzo or raki (traditional Greek aperitifs) accompanied with a small “meze” plate. After completion of the walk which will last two to three hours we recommend that you remain in town and try one of the traditional
restaurants for dinner. (B)

Day 4 Wed: Mykonos
Day at leisure. Optional half day tour to Delos is recommended today. Enjoy the cruise to nearby island of Delos where you can see the archaeological masterpieces such as the magnificent mosaic floor of the House  of Dionysus, the Minoan Fountain, temples, Agoras and the majestic Lions dedicated to Apollo making up the Terrace along the Sacred Way. Or take the time to discover more about Mykonos by visiting the  Archaeological Museum, which houses marble sculptures, ceramics and jewellery recovered from the islands of Delos, Renia and Mykono or the Aegean Maritime Museum, which displays models of a collection of ships from the pre-Minoan period through to the 19th century and nautical and ancient artefacts related to the history of shipping on Mykonos. (B)

Day 5 Thu: Mykonos-Santorini
Morning free in Mykonos. Explore the streets of Mykonos Town for the last time and purchase last minute souvenirs from your time in this amazing island. Afternoon transfer to port for hydro ferry to Santorini. On arrival  transfer to hotel El Greco or Splendour or similar for overnight. Santorini is essentially what remains after an enormous volcanic explosion that destroyed the earliest settlements on a formerly single island, and created  the current geological caldera. It is known for its beautiful sunsets and black sand beaches. (B)

Day 6 Fri: Santorini (walking tour)
Today join a walking orientation of Fira conducted by our local representative. Starting in front of the centrally located Atlantis hotel walk along the cliff while the escort will give you all tips how to best utilise your time on the island. Wander through the white cobbled streets of Fira, a town of about 2000 inhabitants, where you’ll feel of the old-world charm blended in with the modern day comforts. Visit Gold Street where you can find the  most interesting and beautiful jewellery. Walk short section of the famous Santorini donkey roads, which were frequently used by the locals to carry their goods. Afterwards relax at Assyrtico wine restaurant located on the first floor of the mansion in the heart of the Faldera in Fira. Tasting of traditional Santorini wines in the unique wine cellar at the restaurant is included. Afternoon free. Overnight in Santorini. (B)

Day 7 Sat: Santorini
Free day to explore this beautiful island. Visit Oia village or catch a local bus and spend a day on one of the island's famous black sand beaches. Rent a bike or head to Karmari to enjoy the open air cinema  (Cinekamari). For those loving archeological sites we recommend a visit to Akrotiri excavations. For the afternoon we recommend the optional Sunset cruise to witness the unforgettable while sipping wine and enjoying dinner after a swim in the Mediterranean Sea. (B)

Day 8 Sun: Santorini-Rhodes
Transfer from hotel to airport for flight to Rhodes. On arrival transfer to Mediterranean or Plaza Hotel or similar. Rest of the day at leisure. As Rhodes is one of the largest and most beautiful of the Greeks Islands there are many options available. Take a day cruise to nearby island or choose to hire a car. Travel to see the Valley of the Butterflies on the western side of Rhodes Island, approximately 27 km from Rhodes city. This area is a lush green valley that gets overwhelmed in spring and autumn with butterflies of the Panaxia genus, species Quadripunctaria Poda. On the way back visit the Seven Springs, a real oasis, even in the high summer  where the springs follow into a small lake. Alternatively spend a day on one of the island beautiful beaches of Kallithea, Ladiko Anthony Quinn or Faliraki. (B)

Day 9 Mon: Rhodes (walking tour)
In the morning join a 4 hour orientation walk of Rhodes town. Admire the main sites on the way as well as gain local knowledge about restaurants, bars, transportation, tours and secrets known to locals only from our  English speaking Guide. This walk starts at the lobby of hotel Mediterranean, walk towards to old town passing by the Casino of Rhodes, the Turkish cemetery and the Mandraki port before entering the medieval city of Rhodes through the moat (Tafro). Continue stroll along the Knights' Street, a cobble stone street lined with the "Inns", 15th and 16th century buildings, where the knights have lived divided according to their nationalities. Travel back in time and experience the medieval character of the beautiful old town, declared a World Heritage site. To complete the tour visit the Palace of Grand Master of the Knights of Rhodes, built in the 14th  century by the Knights (entrance fee of approx. euro 6 payable locally). Rest of the day at leisure. Overnight in Rhodes. (B)

Day 10 Tue: Rhodes-Marmaris-Pamukkale
After breakfast, transfer to port for ferry to Marmaris. Upon arrival transfer from Marmaris Port to Pamukkale. Pamukkale, meaning "cotton castle" in Turkish is a natural site in southwestern Turkey. The city contains hot springs and travertines, terraces of carbonate minerals left by the flowing water. Overnight at Dog Thermal Hotel. (B, D)

Day 11 Wed: Pamukkale-Hierapolis-Kusadasi-Izmir
In the morning visit ancient Hierapolis with its theatre, Apollo Temple and magnificent Necropolis graveyard. See the limestone cascades the area is famous for. Hierapolis means “holy city” and was the ancient Greek  city on top of hot springs. Today it is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The hot springs have been used as a spa since the 2nd century BC, and people came to soothe their ailments, with many of them retiring or dying  here. The large necropolis is filled with sarcophagus, including the one of Marcus Aurelius Ammianos. Drive to Izmir for overnight at Kaya Ramada Thermal Hotel. (B, D)

Day 12 Thu: Izmir-Ephesus-Izmir
In the morning take a short drive to the ancient city of Ephesus where we will visit its magnificent library, theatre and temples. Ephesus was an ancient Greek city, and later a major Roman city, on the west coast of Asia Minor. It was one of the seven churches of Asia that are cited in the Book of Revelation. Lunch in a nomadic tent in Selcuk to taste the Turkish Gozleme. In the afternoon visit the traditional Turkish village of  Sirince. Transfer back to Izmir for overnight. (B, L, D)

Day 13 Fri: Izmir-Pergamum-Troy-Canakkale
Early departure for Pergamum, an ancient Greek city found in modernday Turkey, to visit the Asclepion Ancient Medical Centre. Founded by a man named Archias, the Asclepion of Pergamum became famous under Galen (131-210 AD), a local physician who pursued his medical studies in Greece and Alexandria (Egypt) before settling here as doctor to Pergamum's gladiators. Drive to Troy the place where the legendary Trojan War took place. Troy had been founded in the year 3000 B.C. and was demolished and reconstructednine times until the year 500 A.D. It was inhabited incessantly for 3500 years. Continue to Canakkale for overnight at Kolin Hotel. (B, D)

Day 14 Sat: Canakkale-Gallipoli-Istanbul
After breakfast cross the Dardanelles by ferry, then continue to Gallipoli. Visit places associated with the Gallipoli Campaign which took place at Gallipoli peninsula from 25 April 1915 to 9 January 1916, during the First  World War. A joint British and French operation was mounted to capture the Ottoman capital of Istanbul, and secure a sea route to Russia. The attempt failed, with heavy casualties on both sides. Visit Anzac Cove, Nek, Chunuk Bair, Lone Pine, the 57th Regiment Memorial and the War Museum. Overnight at Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel in Istanbul. (B)

Day 15 Sun: Istanbul
Full day guided tour of Istanbul. Visit Topkapi Palace - home for the Ottoman Sultans, currently a Museum reflecting the glory of Ottoman Empire, Sultans and their way of living. Tour Blue Mosque - impressive structure with its beautiful domes and semi domes, nice courtyards and six slender minarets. Continue to Hagia Sophia -also called St Sophia, or Ayasofya, one of the most extraordinary buildings in the history of architecture  and the fourth biggest Cathedral in the world with its 56m high dome. Visit to Spice Bazaar also included. Overnight Sura Hagia Sophia Hotel. (B)

Day 16 Mon: Istanbul
After breakfast transfer to Ataturk airport. (B)
 

Inclusions
• Transportation as per itinerary by air conditioned vehicle • Accommodation in first class hotels • English speaking guide throughout Turkey tour • Economy class airfare Santorini to Rhodes • 3 walking tours while in Greece • Meals as per itinerary (B-Breakfast, L-Lunch, D-Dinner) • Ferries as per itinerary • All transfers as per itineraries • Entrance fees, luggage handling, service charges and local taxes

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Greece and Mediterranean Travel Centre Pty Ltd
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Sydney, NSW 2000 Australia.

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