Turkey & Greece

Turkey & Greece
Important notice: Due to the current advisory 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

In Istanbul, take in the Byzantine architecture of the Hagia Sophia, the commanding minarets of the Blue Mosque, and the remnants of the Ottoman Empire. Pass through the ruins of Troy, Pergamon and Ephesus before embarking on an Aegean cruise to Athens. Once you reach the birthplace of democracy, visit the Parthenon, the Acropolis, Hadrian’s Arch and the Temple of Olympian Zeus.
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Day 1 Start tour
Day 2 Merhaba Istanbul
Meet your tour director and check into hotel
Details: Istanbul city walk
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.
Details: Blue Mosque visit
With its six staggering minarets that salute its eight cascading domes, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque may appear to be a dominating piece of architecture from the outside. But visitors have given it the friendly nickname, the Blue Mosque, because of its beautiful blue handmade Iznik tiles that grace the interior. Look carefully and you’ll even spot some that are decorated with cypresses, fruits and flowers. As one of the last mosques of the classical period, visiting the Blue Mosque is a must. And those who come in summer will be wowed by a light show and historical narrative held every evening.
Day 3 Istanbul landmarks
Details: Istanbul guided sightseeing tour
This panoramic tour will take you to Istanbul’s greatest monuments, offering insight into this city‘s long and rich history. Visit its many mosques including the Blue Mosque that was constructed during the Ottoman Empire. And explore its plentiful palaces once inhabited by wealthy royals. Guides will take you to the magnificent Topkapi Palace that used to be the political center of the entire Ottoman Empire. Housed on a hill, there are views aplenty. Look out for the Golden Horn to the north, the Sea of Marmara to the south and the Bosphorus strait to the northeast.
Details: Hagia Sophia visit
Visit the Hagia Sophia and trace the five lives of this ancient house of worship: two as an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral, one as a Roman Catholic Cathedral, one as an Imperial Mosque and now as a museum. Marvel at the great surviving Byzantine design, ornately decorated with marble and colorful frescoes. Recent restorations have even uncovered ancient Christian mosaics for you to admire alongside traditional Islamic artifacts.
Details: Topkapi Palace visit
Explore the Topkapi Palace that was built for the tastes of Sultan Mehmet II, an Ottoman conqueror who didn’t like Istanbul’s typical Byzantine architecture. His palatial design was so impressive that UNESCO named it a World Heritage Site. Meander through courtyard after courtyard, past the library, the mosque, and the harem before coming to the private chambers of the Sultan and his wives. Along the way, be sure to check out some of the most important relics of Islamic history that fill the Palace, including Prophet Muhammed’s cloak and sword.
Day 4 Istanbul--Bergama
Take the ferry to Canakkale
Travel to Bergama via Troy
Troy guided sightseeing tour
Day 5 Bergama--Kusadasi
Travel to Kusadasi via Pergamon
Pergamon Acropolis visit
Details: Ruins of Pergamon visit
Explore the Roman baths, marble temples, palaces of Hellenic kings, gymnasiums, a theater and even the first known hospital in history called the Asclepius. You’ll also have a chance to see the base of the Great Altar of Pergamon located on the upper Acropolis, which is believed to have been dedicated to Zeus, the father of gods and men.
Day 6 Ephesus
House of the Virgin Mary visit
Details: Ancient Ephesus excursion
Scholars put Ephesus as the fourth most populous Roman city back in 1 B.C. (That’s home to some quarter of a million Romans.) And because it was established as a port, Ephesus was known as the trade center of the ancient world. Although the glory days of Ephesus are long gone, take a tour of this ancient archaeological site and witness remnants of life as it once was. Explore the Library of Celcus, Curetes Way, Odeon and the Temple of Hadrian. And, be sure to stop at the Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Wonders of the World) along the way.
Day 7 Aegean cruise
Cruise for two days on the Aegean (cruise departs on Saturdays only)
Details: Your cruise includes three shore excursions of your choice.
Enjoy the convenience of an all-inclusive cruise. Drinks, meals and shore excursions are included on your Aegean cruise.
Day 8 Aegean cruise
Cruise
Day 9 Yassou Athens
Arrive in Athens
Athens guided sightseeing tour
ParthenonVisit AcropolisTemple of Athena NikeOmonoia SquareSyntagma Square2004 Olympic site
Athens city walk
Plaka districtTemple of Olympian ZeusHadrian’s Arch
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: 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.
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Day 10 End tour

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    Day 10 Start extension to Rome
    Travel to Patras via Olympia
    Overnight ferry to Bari/Brindisi
    Details: Ancient Olympia guided visit
    Once one of the most important sites in Greece, the former locale of the Olympic games now has some of the most picturesque ruins in the country. Surrounded by shady olive trees and flowing rivers, the stones of the original temple and stadium still inspire awe – and the occasional victory lap.
    Day 11 Brindisi--Rome
    Travel to Rome via Alberobello
    Rome city walk
    Spanish StepsTrevi FountainPantheonPiazza Navona
    Details: Rome city walk
    Baroque-en hearted? Revive your spirits with a walk past Rome's most beautiful and unusual Baroque fountains. At the foot of the Spanish Steps, elegant cafes once favoured by visiting Brits and Americans surround the central fountain. The water pressure here was so low that the artist had to sink the fountain into the ground to get any water going through it, so he went ahead and designed the fountain to look like a sinking ship. There's no shortage of water pressure at the nearby Trevi Fountain, a Baroque extravagance designed by master sculptor Bernini. At the Pantheon, you'll see the largest concrete dome ever constructed. An oculus, or hole, in the dome lets sunlight into the beautiful temple, dedicated to all the gods.
    Day 12 Vatican City
    Vatican City guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
    Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel visitSt. Peter’s Basilica visit
    Details: Vatican City guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
    Tour St. Peter’s Basilica with a licensed local guide and whisper headset so you don't miss a word. Outside the church, four rows of columns radiate out like welcoming arms; inside, the church seems enormous enough to embrace the entire world. The dome, partially designed by Michelangelo, rises 452 feet above the ground. Michelangelo’s mark is everywhere here, from the costumes worn by the Swiss Guards to his exquisite “Pietà” sculpture (the only sculpture he ever signed) to the amazing frescoes of the Sistine Chapel. Because he considered himself a sculptor and not a painter, Michelangelo hated working on these paintings, now considered masterpieces.
    Day 13 Ancient Rome
    Ancient Rome guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
    Colosseum visitForum Romanum visitPiazza Venezia
    Details: Ancient Rome guided walking sightseeing tour with Whisper headsets
    The ultimate symbol of ancient Rome, the Colosseum still dominates the modern city. Tour the amphitheater with your local licensed guide. Built by the emperor Vespasian in A.D. 72, the structure held almost 50,000 spectators but was so well organized that the entire place could be emptied within 15 minutes. Inside, the spectacles varied from gladiator battles to immense naval contests that required the flooding of the amphitheater to wild beast shows, in which thousands of exotic animals like giraffes and ostriches were popped into the stadium through trap doors and left to fight Roman hunters. See the system beneath the floor that operated the trap doors and housed the animals, then continue on to the relative calm of the Forum. Rome’s commercial, religious, and political center, the Forum held markets, temples, and the Senate House. Near the Rostra, or speaker’s platform, you can still see game boards scratched into the marble by bored politicians -- anyone up for a game of tic tac toe?
    Day 14 End tour
    Tour Includes:
    • Round-trip airfare
    • 6 overnight stays (9 with extension) in hotels with private bathrooms
    • 2 overnight stays in cabins on ferries
    • 1 overnight stay on ferry on extension
    • 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
    • Tour Diary™
    • Note: On arrival day only dinner is provided; on departure day, only breakfast is provided
    • Non-alcoholic drink package on cruise ship
    • 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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