Jewels of Turkey and Greece – Land and cruise (11 days)

Feb 21, 2019   //   by admin   //   Suggested Itineraries  //  Comments Off on Jewels of Turkey and Greece – Land and cruise (11 days)

 

DAY 1 – UK – Istanbul
Upon arrival in Istanbul we are met at the airport and transferred to our hotel.
Dinner and overnight stay in Istanbul

 

DAY 2 – Istanbul – Izmir – Kusadasi – Patmos (cruise)
After breakfast, we will drive to Ataturk airport to catch our morning flight to Izmir. Upon arrival in Izmir we will be transferred to Kusadasi to embark on a 3 night cruise of the Aegean Islands. Our first stop will be Patmos, this island is known as the site of the apocalyptic revelations of St. John the Devine, written here during his exile from the Roman Empire. The cave where he lived is near the site of the Monastery of the Apocalypse. The Monastery of St. John, built on one of the highest points, houses priceless icons and manuscripts in its Treasury
Dinner and overnight stay on board

 

DAY 3 – Patmos – Crete-Heraklion – Santorini
This morning arrive in Heraklion which is three miles away from the fantastic ruins of the Palace of Knossos. Discovered in 1899 and partially reconstructed, the elaborate Palace is believed to be the mythical Labyrinth of King Minos and the seat of ancient Minoan culture. The next island will be Santorini perhaps the most breath taking of all the Greek Islands, with its white washed housed, narrow streets, open air cafes and glittering boutiques.
Dinner and overnight stay on board

 

DAY 4 – Santorini – Athens – Mykonos
We arrive at Piraeus, the port city of Athens, cradle of democracy, birthplace of Western Civilisation, Athens is a vibrant city where old and new co-exist. The majestic Parthenon rises above the city, its ancient glory still visible in the time worn stone. The last island of the cruise will be Mykonos, hundreds of the tiny chapels dot this blue and white washed island with its beautiful windmills. Find a table on the waterfront and bask in the serenity of sunset in the picturesque harbour.
Dinner and overnight stay on board

 

DAY 5 – Mykonos – Kusadasi – Pamukkale
Arrival to Kusadasi at 07:00. We will proceed to the vast ruins of the ancient city of Ephesus. Once in the ancient city itself we will explore this ancient Roman city and visit the library of Celcius, Temple of Hadrian, the Theatre and Odeon. After lunch continue to Pamukkale ‘the Cotton castle’ with its snow white terraces formed by famous Necropolis, the Basilica, Theatre and Plutonium.
Dinner and overnight stay in Pamukkale

 

DAY 6 – Pamukkale – Konya – Cappadocia
After an early breakfast we set off for Cappadocia, with a visit to the Sultanhan Caravansarai on the way. Following lunch in Konya we will visit the Mausoleum, Museum and Monastery complex dedicated to Mevlana Celalettin Rumi, the founder of the mystical order often referred to as the Whirling Dervishes. Setting out once again we will enjoy our panoramic view of Cappadocia as we reach that strange and mystifying landscape.
Dinner and overnight stay in Cappadocia

 

DAY 7 – Cappadocia
After breakfast we set off on a full day excursion. We begin our explorations of the famous and intriguing valley of Cappadocia, a unique region in which nature has created an incredibly strange and colourful world of cones, columns and needles that were shaped by the wind and water erosion of the area’s volcanic tuff. Some of these strange shapes are as tall as 100 ft. But it is not only the natural landscape that is unique here. Our forefathers used the soft features if the stone to carve out this fantasy like environment into homes, stables, shops, churches and hospitals. Many early Christians painted the walls of their chapels with their own renditions of Bible stories. Some of these frescoes are incredibly beautiful, attesting to the skills and religious fervor of the faithful. Among the place we will visit are Goreme Open Air Museum, Castle of Uchisar, Underground city and Pasabag.
Dinner and overnight stay in Cappadocia

 

DAY 8 – Cappadocia – Ankara
After breakfast we drive to Ankara. On the way we will take a picturesque trip along the Salt Lake pass by the 13th century Seljukian Caravanserai Agzikarahan. Upon arrival to Ankara visit the Anatolian Civilisations Museum at which numerous remnants from the Stone Age, Neolithic Age, Hittites, Urartians, Phrygians and many others are on display.
Dinner and overnight stay in Ankara

 

DAY 9 – Ankara – Istanbul
After breakfast, we make our way back to Istanbul for a half day sightseeing tour including a visit of the renewed Sultanahmet Mosque also known popularly as the Blue Mosque, this exquisite mosque built in the name of Sultan Ahmet is famous for its blue Iznik tiles and is unique for having six minarets. It was built from 1606 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. We continue on to the Hippodrome, once the vast arena that functioned as the heart of sporting events and political activities of the old city. The tour will end with a visit to the Grand Bazaar, the vast and legendary covered market this is the biggest souk in the world with nearly 4,000 shops of antiques, jewellery and carpets.
Dinner and overnight stay in Istanbul

 

DAY 10 – Istanbul
After breakfast, we set off on a half day of sightseeing in Istanbul. We will start with a visit to Topkapi Palace. This visit to the imperial palace of the Ottoman Sultans will include tours of the imperial treasury, the Chinese porcelain section, the calligraohy section and many more. We continue on to the Hagia Sophia, the church of Divine Wisdom. Ranking as one of the greatest marvels of the world architecture, this awe inspiring building was constructed as a basilica in the 6th century by Byzantine Emperor Justinian.
Afternoon at leisure
Dinner and overnight stay in Istanbul

 

DAY 11 – Istanbul – UK
After breakfast we drive to Ataturk Airport for our flight back to the UK.

 

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