Essential Turkey and Greece Tour
A combination of historical and scenic attractions in Turkey and Greece, this tour travels to the majestic former Byzantium, and Constantinople, the exotic centre of the illustrious Ottoman Empire. Also included is Athens, the home of ancient philosophers but the scenic views will also delight you from the picturesque town of Santorini to the lunar landscape of Cappadocia and the perfection of the white cotton castle called Pamukkale.
Pick up from the airport (or cruise ship port) and transfer to the hotel by private car. Overnight stay in Istanbul.
Visit Haghia Sophia Museum, Blue Mosque, the Hippodrome, Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace (harem not included.) Overnight stay in Istanbul.
Early transfer to the airport for your flight to Izmir. Join your Ephesus tour on arrival. Visit the ruins of the Temple of Artemis, one of the seven ancient wonders of the world. Then visit Ephesus Ancient City, the best-preserved Greco-Roman city in the world. Explore the Agora, Odeon, Celsius Library, Hadrian Temple, Roman Baths, Grand Theatre & Marble Street. After a lunch break, visit the House of Virgin Mary, where she is thought to have spent her final years. Overnight stay in Kusadasi.
Morning drive to Pamukkale, then lunch. In the afternoon, tour the 'Cotton Castle.' Pamukkale is an extraordinary natural wonder. The calcium waters rise from the round at a temperature of 35 C and tumble down the mountain from a height of 100 meters, forming a myriad of pools. Cream-colored stalactites are formed as the water overflows from the pools, creating a breathtaking sight unequalled in the world. Bring swimwear as you may have time to swim in the Antique Pool (extra fee applies.) Also visit the ancient ruins of the City of Hierapolis with its basilica, theatre, Roman Bath and Necropolis. Overnight in Pamukkale.
Morning flight to Cappadocia (via Istanbul.) Free afternoon exploring the cave town of Goreme. Overnight in a cave hotel in Cappadocia.
05:00 Hot air balloon flight. Drive to the take-off site and have a quick snack and safety briefing while watching the balloon inflate. Then you're off! Soaring over fairy chimneys, and dipping low to skim cave dwellings. This may be your favourite part of your Turkey trip - it will certainly be unforgettable. Celebrate a soft landing with a quick drink, and return to your hotel for breakfast around 8.30am. 09:30 Full Day Cappadocia Tour. Visit Zelve open air museum, which once housed one of the largest communities in the region. Visit Devrent Valley to see the unique fairy-chimneys. Drive to Pasabag (Monks Valley) to see the most interesting mushroom-shaped pinnacles. Visit Goreme Open-Air Museum and the natural Castle at Uchisar. After the tour, transfer to the airport for your flight back to Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
Pick up from your hotel and transfer to the airport for your flight to Mykonos (via Athens). Overnight in Mykonos.
Free day soaking up the sun and wandering the local villages. Overnight in Mykonos.
Take a ferry from Santorini to Mykonos and enjoy this spectacular island. Overnight in Santorini.
Free day. Consider taking a local trip around the caldera, or just wander through the beautiful town of Thira. Make sure you’re in the tiny town of Oia for the sunset! Overnight in Santorini.
Morning flight to Athens, arriving around lunchtime. Transfer to hotel in the Plaka area and free afternoon exploring this charming neighbourhood. Overnight in Athens.
Half day old city tour of Constitutional Square, the Presidential Palace, Omonia Square and of course, the Acropolis and Parthenon. Overnight in Athens.
Take a day trip through the pretty Greek countryside to the stunning ancient city of Delphi. Marvel at the beautiful cliff-top location, and see where the famous oracle gave her advice. Enjoy lunch with a view in the adjacent village, and return to Athens. Overnight in Athens.
Transfer to the airport for your onward flight.
You can customize this trip with additional days! Slow the pace with rest days in locations of your choice, or add additional sightseeing days along the route.
Start DateFinish DateDay / Days / Every Day
Start Date: 01.05.2018Finish Date: 15.10.2018Day / Days / Every Day: Every Day
Start Date: 01.05.2019Finish Date: 16.10.2019Day / Days / Every Day: Every Day
StartFinishSingleDouble/Twin PPTriple PP
Start: 01.05.2018Finish: 16.10.2019Single: 5,295 AUDDouble/Twin PP: 4,334 AUDTriple PP: 3,919 AUD
Michael Thank you so much for all hour help. We had a great time on our trip and will recommend you company to others. Thanks, SallyRead More
Hello Michael Just a note to say that the trip went very well indeed and that the organisation was excellent. Cappadocia was amazing as was Istanbul, except perhaps for the airport connections. Santorin and Naxos were an interesting contrast and beautiful. The hotel in Santorin was a highlight. Our guides were excellent but a special word for the guide and driver who took us to Ephesus. My wife lost of her wallet there and they were outstanding in their help. Luckily a Russian lady's children found it under some rubble, without the cash but with all cards etc, and sent it back to our home after contacting us. Amazing and so appreciated. And just a word for the Opera Hotel. I had read some negative comments online but it was a highlight, a beautiful room with a view that was perfect. All the best for the future and I am so glad that I persisted in my attempt to get to Turkey and the islands.Read More
Judith and George
We thought you would like to hear a brief comment on our recent Best of Turkey Tour.
It far exceeded our expectations. What we experienced could not have been achieved as independent travellers. Guides in all areas were excellent..in some cases we had a private tour experience.
To be in Gallipoli prior to Anzac Day was due to your suggestion and variation to the tour. Hotels were in great locations but our favourite was Sokullu Pasa in Istanbul. All staff there gave every assistance to any enquiry we had. A very friendly team made our stay there a highlight. Meals were excellent in all locations.
Information boards at the bus station similar to a railway station where bay changes can be seen would mean we would not have to ask the very busy staff. There were young backpackers also having a few problems locating their bus bay.
Other than that. The bus travel is excellent, regular stops, pleasant friendly staff on board and in the rest stops. Finally, we are very pleased we chose your company and hope you can pass on to the various agencies along the way our thanks for their efforts and professionalism. TJ ,s in Eceabat, and special thanks to our guide on day 2 Cappadocia who sought medical attention for me after a slight cut to my head. We are seniors in our seventies and feel very fortunate to have seen Turkey with your company. Thanks so much for all the e mail replies.
Akasaka, Tokyo, Japan
We had a fabulous time in Turkey, over and beyond our expectations. Thanks Michael for organizing our Best of Turkey tour, including accommodation and transport. We adored Istanbul, the hotel both there and in Cappadocia were delightful. I was impressed by the state of all the attractions we saw as they are amazingly well maintained and the guides obviously knew their history well.
Of Ephesus, Pamulkale and Cappadocia, "Kapadokya" won our hearts. What a delightful place and we are looking forward to seeing it again some day.
Travelling with a 14 year old is not always a delight, but our son was thrilled with variety of places we saw and it made learning historical facts so much more interesting for him. We were delighted that like us, he too enjoyed it so much.
Looking forward to seeing all those other gorgeous places we did not make it to this time in the near future.
Thanks again for the wonderful experience, we have been singing the praises of Turkey and your travel centre since we've returned home.
Fond RegardsRead More
Top Things to Do in Cappadocia
The Cappadocia region is full of intrigue, mystery and historical richness. Cave hotels, underground cities and ancient churches should be on everyone’s agenda when they visit the region. The ideal amount of time to spend in the area is at least two days and this will allow you to explore all the highlights at a leisurely pace. Below are our suggestions of what to do.
There are many valleys within the Cappadocia region but Ihlara valley is the most well-known out of them all. It is in the Aksaray province and is 14km long. Formed by earthquakes thousands of years ago, a river flows through the middle and cave churches are hidden inside the valley walls. It is possible to walk just a section of it if you are not enthusiastic about the whole trek.
Goreme open air museum is a world heritage UNESCO site. Most of the cave churches date back to the 11th century and the dark church has intricate frescoes that are considered to be a perfect example of late Byzantine art. Just two hours is needed to explore this museum and it is worthwhile to go with a guide to learn about the historical importance of the nunneries and monasteries that you will see.
A hot air balloon trip is highly recommended. Every morning at sunrise, up to twenty balloons rise into the skies to drift over Goreme and the Cappadocia valleys. This activity is highly popular so it is advised to pre book your space in advance.
It is estimated that there are hundreds of underground cities in Cappadocia but Derinkuyu underground city is the most popular. Used by locals at times of invasion, they enabled whole communities to protect themselves and their livestock. The pure size, network and structure meant communities could live underground for up to three months at a time.
Uchisar castle is the highest point in the region and one of the best examples of how locals in the past made buildings, homes, caves and churches out of rock. The castle just takes one hour to explore and a must see sight is the 360 degree panoramic view that it gives over the whole Cappadocia region.
Pottery demonstrations in Avanos are fun and a challenge to find out if you have the inspiration to create a master piece. This area is well known throughout the whole of Turkey for the pottery pieces that they produce using clay from the nearby red river. If you don’t want to participate, you can also watch a master craftsman at work and buy some unique holiday souvenirs.Read More
The Cave Churches of Cappadocia
Colourful balloons, fairytale chimneys, beautiful steeds, cave hotels and yet the land of Cappadoci offers even more surprises, with its fascinating churches.There are as many as 600 churches made out of the soft rock that dot the Cappadocia landscape, but there may well be many more yet to be unearthed.
Following the eruption of Mount Erciyes, the ash and lava formed soft rocks which eroded due to the elements. The region’s inhabitants came to realize they could carve into the rocks and soon turned them into houses, caves, and churches. The churches offered sanctuary to early Christians who then decorated them with art and symbols.
The churches flourished following the gathering of more communities under the guide of Saint Basil of Caesarea – one of the three renowned Cappadocian Fathers who advanced early Christian theology. The 4th century sanctuaries included many examples of Byzantine art, but later churches offer richer frescoes and images of the day.
The best churches are the ones at Goreme Village, but there are more with strong Egyptian influences with local names such as Sandal, Snake and Apple.Read More
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