Athens, Istanbul & the Aegean

Athens, Istanbul & the Aegean
Important notice: Due to the current warning issued by the Government of Canada regarding travel in this region, we are not currently operating this tour. However, we are constantly monitoring the situation. Please call for the latest information. 1.888.378.8845

Tour the ancient Grecian ruins in the bustling capital of Athens, explore the city of Istanbul to wander along mosque-lined streets and haggle over silk scarves at open-air markets, then set sail to discover Greece’s idyllic Aegean Islands.
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Day 1 Start tour (tours must depart North America on Wednesdays)
Day 2 Yassou Athens
Meet your tour director and check into hotel
Athens city walk
Plaka districtTemple of Olympian ZeusHadrian’s Arch
Details: Athens city walk
You’re never more than a few steps away from the past in Athens. Accompany your Tour Director to the Plaka, the historic district that borders the Acropolis. In its twisting narrow streets you’ll catch glimpses of an older city, from wrought-iron balconies bursting with geraniums to traditional Greek dancing in basement tavernas. Continue on to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, begun in the 6th century B.C. and finished in A.D. 132 by the emperor Hadrian. Its enormous columns provide a sense of the scale of the original temple. Nearby, the elaborate Hadrian’s Arch separated the ancient and imperial sections of the city.
Day 3 Athens landmarks
Athens guided sightseeing tour
ParthenonVisit AcropolisTemple of Athena NikeOmonoia SquareSyntagma Square2004 Olympic site
Travel to Pireus or Lavrion
Optional shore excursions available to purchase on tour. Note that from 2018 onwards, your tour will include three shore excursions of your choice.
Details: Athens guided sightseeing tour
Not just another crowded dusty city, Athens has developed from the birthplace of democracy to a bustling modern metropolis. With a local licensed guide, start your time travel at the ancient hot spots of the first Olympic site and the sprawling Acropolis, classical Athens’ religious and civic center. The awe-inspiring Parthenon -- a temple dedicated to Athens’ patron saint Athena -- is the obvious centerpiece, but take time to examine the building next door, where sculpted women hold up the roof with their heads, and the amazing view of modern Athens below. Jump back to the present in Syntagma Square, the center of the modern city, to see the Parliament building and the British-style changing of the guards ceremony. (There’s a rather un-British flair to it, however -- the Greek guards wear white skirts, head scarves, and shoes and knee bands adorned with pom-poms.) Continue to Omonia Square, Athens' other main meeting point, to relax by the splashing central fountain ringed with palm trees.
Details: Depart Athens on 7-day Aegean cruise (cruise departs on Fridays only)
Head to an incomparable world capital and eight of the most beautiful coastal destinations in the world. Your first stop is Istanbul, where the west mingles with the east to create a city immensely rich in beauty, history, and culture. Continue on to Kusadasi, an ancient Turkish town that’s one of the Mediterranean’s most popular resort destinations, and then hit Ephesus for a taste of Turkey’s classical past. Sail on to Santorini, where villages cling to the edge of a volcano and exotic black sand beaches stretch into the sea. Continue to Heraklion, the capital of Crete and a former Minoan seaport, for an unparalleled collection of Minoan archaeological artifacts. Rhodes is next, its whitewashed medieval buildings and spectacular views rivaled only by those at your next stop, Symi and Chios. End your cruise in Mykonos where bright white houses contrast with Crayola-colored boats and the international jet set relaxes all day long on the beach. Cruise excursions are provided by the liner and can be purchased during the voyage. Please note that the cruise will have different ports of call on select dates in April, July, August.
Day 4 Cruise to Istanbul
Please note that the cruise will have different ports of call on select dates in April, July, August.
Day 5 Istanbul--Kusadasi
Cruise overnight to Santorini
Details: Istanbul visit
The dynamic gateway between Europe and Asia, Istanbul straddles the two continents with grace. Open-air markets, little changed since the Ottoman Empire, offer silks, carpets, and spices, while cars speed past the modern hotels, cafés, and skyscrapers catering to the city’s newfound popularity as a tourist destination. Domes and minarets still dot the skyline, however, from the immense church of Hagia Sophia -- the absolute masterpiece of Byzantine architecture and the fourth-largest church in the world, with a dome 180 feet high -- to the beautiful Blue Mosque, designed for the 19-year-old Sultan Ahmet in 1609. Please note that planned shore excursions range between $75 and $125 and will be sold through the cruise ship in Greece.
Details: Visit Kusadasi
On Turkey’s west coast, Kusadasi (“Bird Island”) was named for the many pigeons that made their homes in and around the island’s 14th-century fort. Now tourists from around the world flock to this top Turkish resort for its miles of sandy beaches, beautiful rugged scenery, and proximity to important archaeological ruins. Wander through the market, where intricate carpets and glittering jewellery vie for buyers’ attention. Please note that planned shore excursions range between $75 and $125 and will be sold through the cruise ship in Greece.
Day 6 Kusadasi--Santorini
Santorini visit
Cruise overnight to Crete
Day 7 Santorini--Crete
Cruise overnight to Rhodes
Details: Visit Crete
The largest city on Crete and the fourth-largest city in Greece, Heraklion holds many treasures from the past within its modern buzz. The central Archaeological Museum proudly displays the remains of Heraklion’s Minoan heritage. Walk around and explore the many churches and ancient ruins, or just shop the markets and sample wonderful Greek fare. Please note that planned shore excursions range between $75 and $125 and will be sold through the cruise ship in Greece.
Day 8 Crete--Symi
Symi visit
Cruise overnight to Chios
Details: Visit Rhodes
Once a political and religious centre of the ancient world (and home of one of the seven wonders of the ancient world), Rhodes now lures visitors with sunny beaches, well-preserved medieval fortifications, and a castle on a hill. A league of Christian knights built the beautiful palace in the 1300s on the highest point of the island. Though partially destroyed by an explosion in 1856, the palace was rebuilt by the Italians to serve as one of Mussolini’s summer homes. Please note that planned shore excursions range between $75 and $125 and will be sold through the cruise ship in Greece.
Day 9 Symi--Mykonos
Chios visit
Cruise overnight to Athens
Details: Visit Mykonos
Now one of the most popular of the Aegean islands, Mykonos is rugged and beautiful at the same time, and is one of the smallest islands of the Cyclades – it’s only 10 miles long and 7 miles wide. Mykonos is absolutely picturesque - thatched windmills, whitewashed streets, and a medieval quarter boasting cubic houses with picturesque balconies, and churches with red or blue doors. You can walk along the main shopping street, Matoyanni, and search for jewelry and clothing, or just take a break in one of the Cafés that line the street. You’ll also visit the capital, Hora, with its colourful harbour in which little fishing boats nest happily side by side with luxury yachts. Please note that planned shore excursions range between $75 and $125 and will be sold through the cruise ship in Greece.
Day 10 Cape Sounion
Arrive in Athens
Details: Cape Sounion guided excursion
Contemplate the sea god Poseidon from his temple perched high atop the hill of Cape Sounion, the southern-most tip of Central Greece. Stand among the tall, marble pillars rising up from the slippery slabs of rock and look out over the calm blue Aegean Sea. The Temple of Poseidon, built around the same time as the Parthenon (between 450-440 BC), is a refreshing point of calm after the chaos of modern Athens.
Day 11 End tour

  • Or
  • Day 11 Start extension to London
    Fly to London
    London city walk
    Thames RiverTrafalgar SquareNational Gallery visitPiccadilly CircusCovent GardenLeicester SquareSoho
    Details: London city walk
    Step outside your hotel for a stroll through the heart of the English-speaking world. In this city of nearly seven million, you'll see everything from 12th-century fortifications to modern skyscrapers, royal parks to street art. Your Tour Director will lead you to some of the most famous sites. Walk along the Thames River. Cross Trafalgar Square. See bustling Piccadilly Circus. Pass trendy shops and cafés in Bohemian Soho on your way to Covent Garden, a 13th-century fruit and vegetable garden transformed into a maze of narrow streets and pedestrian walkways burgeoning with street performers, open-air markets and boutiques.
    Details: National Gallery visit
    Located in an impressive domed building right in Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery houses a rich collection of over 2,000 works of art dating from the mid 13th century to 1900. Explore the beautiful marble hallways to see famous paintings by Van Eyck, Turner and Van Gogh.
    Details: Classic fish & chips dinner
    Nothing's more British than fish and chips-there are eight fish and chips shops ("chippies") for every McDonald's in the county. Head to an authentic pub with your Tour Director for a taste of this national food, generally served with malt vinegar.
    Day 12 London landmarks
    London guided sightseeing tour
    Buckingham PalaceBig BenHouses of ParliamentWestminster AbbeyTower BridgeHyde ParkSt. Paul's Cathedral
    Details: London guided sightseeing tour
    Join a licensed local guide for an in-depth look at London, from the royal haunt of Buckingham Palace (the official London residence of Queen Elizabeth II) to the slightly more democratic Speakers’ Corner of Hyde Park, where anyone can pull up a soapbox and orate to his heart’s content. You’ll see the changing of the guard (season permitting), the clock tower of Big Ben with its 14-ton bell, and Westminster Abbey, where almost every English king and queen since William the Conqueror has been crowned. After a stop at the Houses of Parliament, continue on to the magnificent St. Paul’s Cathedral, the masterpiece of London architect Christopher Wren.
    Day 13 End tour
    Map of Athens, Istanbul & the Aegean Educational Tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 2 overnight stays (4 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • 7 overnight stays in cabins on cruise ship
    • Full European breakfast daily
    • Dinner daily
    • Full-time services of a professional Tour Director
    • Guided sightseeing tours and city walks as per itinerary
    • Visits to select attractions as per itinerary
    • 7-day Aegean Cruise
    • Lunch on cruise ship
    • Greek evening on cruise
    • Tips to cruise staff
    • Flight from Athens--London on extension
    • Non-alcoholic drink package on cruise ship from 2018 onwards
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Note: Tour cost does not include airline-imposed baggage fees, or fees for any required passport or visa. Please visit our Fees FAQ page for a full list of items that may not be included in the cost of your tour.

    We are better able to assist you with a quote for your selected departure date and city over the phone. Please call 1.888.310.7120 to price this tour with your requested options.

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