Cappadocia Classical Greece all together. In 15 days you have the opportunity to visit the most important places of Greece and Turkey with visits to Athens and the nearby islands, the Classical Greece 4 days tour, Istanbul, the Cappadocia area, ancient Ephesus and Izmir.
MONDAY: ATHENS: Morning sightseeing tour of Athens including all famous monuments: House of Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Adrian’s Arch, Temple of the Olympian Zeus, the Royal Palace, the Academy, the University and the National Library. Tour will end by visiting the Acropolis and the new Acropolis Museum, “State of the art” in museum construction and very rich in content.
Afternoon free to visit Plaka (The old Athens city) with lots of souvenir shops, restaurants and taverns.
TUESDAY: ATHENS – HYDRA – POROS – AEGINA: This small cruise will take you to Hydra, Poros and Aegina and bring you back in the evening full of fun and with the taste of the Greek islands.
Morning transfer to the pier of Piraeus, to embark your cruise ship for your full day cruise to the islands of Aegina, Poros and Hydra. Good opportunity to know a little bit of Greek Islands and visit a small part of Ancient Greece in the optional tour to the temple of Aphea Athina in Aegina.
On the return trip you enjoy a program with Greek music and songs and join the dancers on Greek folklore dancing. Included is the transfers to and from the port, port taxes and lunch on board.
WEDNESDAY: ATHENS – NAUPLION – OLYMPIA: Leave by the Coastal Road to the Corinth Canal (short stop). Drive on and visit Epidaurus which was a small city in ancient Greece, at the Saronic Gulf. Reputed to be the birthplace of Apollo’s son Asclepius, the healer, Epidaurus was known for its sanctuary, the cult of Asclepius at Epidaurus is attested in the 6th century BC.as well as its theater, which is once again in use today.
The Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidaurus is a UNESCO world heritage site.
The theatre is marvelled for its exceptional acoustics, which permit almost perfect intelligibility of non amplified spoken word from the proscenium or scene to all 15,000 spectators, regardless of their seating.
Then proceed to the Town of Nauplion ( short stop) drive on to Mycenae. and visit the Archaeological Site and the Tomb of Agamemnon. Departure for Olympia Through Central Peloponnese and the Towns of Tripolis and Megalopolis. Dinner and overnight in Olympia, the Cradle of the Olympic Games.
THURSDAY: OLYMPIA – DELPHI: Olympia was a sanctuary of ancient Greece, known for having been the site of the Olympic Games in classical times, the most famous games in history.
The sanctuary, known as the Altis, consists of an unordered arrangement of various buildings. Enclosed within the temenos are the Temple of Hera (or Heraion/Heraeum) and Temple of Zeus, the Pelopion and the area of the altar, where the sacrifices were made. The hippodrome and later stadium were also to the east.
To the north of the sanctuary can be found the Prytaneion and the Philippeion, as well as the array of treasuries representing the various city states.
Olympia is also known for the gigantic ivory and gold statue of Zeus that used to stand there, sculpted by Pheidias, which was named one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World by Antipater of Sidon.
Then drive on through the plains of Eliad and Achaia until the magnificent bridge which is crossing the Corinthian Bay from Rion to Antirion. Pass by the picturesque Towns of Nafpactos (Lepanto) and Itea, arrive in Delphi . Dinner and overnight.
FRIDAY: DELPHI – METEORA: Delphi was the centre of Ancient World – the “Omphalos” (Navel of Earth) – whose prestige extended far beyond the boundaries of the Hellenic World.
On the slopes of Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty, lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios.
Visit the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the Museum containing such masterpieces of Ancient Greek sculpture as the bronze Charioteer and the famous athlete Aghias.. Depart for Kalambaka, a small Town situated at the foot of the astonishing complex of Meteora, gigantic rocks. Dinner and overnight.
SATURDAY: METEORA – ATHENS: Meteora is one of the largest and most important complexes of Eastern Orthodox monasteries in Greece, second only to Mount Athos. Among striking scenery, perched on top of huge rocks which seem to be suspended in mid-air, stand ageless Monasteries, where you can see exquisite specimens of Byzantine art. The six monasteries are built on natural sandstone rock pillars, at the north western edge of the Plain of Thessaly near the Pineios river and Pindus Mountains, in central Greece. The Meteora is included on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Return to Athens via Trikala, Lamia, Thermopylae (visit the Leonida’s monument). Arrive in Athens early in the evening.
MONDAY: ISTANBUL: After breakfast full day visit to Istanbul. We begin our tour from the Sultanahmet district, the heart of old Istanbul at Agia Sophia. Built by Emperor Justinian in the 6th century AD this church is one of the marvels of world architecture. Its massive dome dominates the skyline of old Istanbul. It is famed for its mosaics, including glittering portraits of emperors and empresses (closed on Mondays).
Next we visit the Blue Mosque, which owes its name to the exquisite tiles adorning its interior. Dating from the 17th century, it is the only imperial Mosque with six minarets. The Hippodrome, the stadium of ancient Byzantium, held 100.000 spectators and featured objects from all corners of the empire.
The Grand Bazaar was the commercial heart of the old city and its 4.000 shops are full of treasures – including carpets and kilims, silks, jewellery, ceramics, icons and leather goods (Closed on Sundays).
Lunch in a local restaurant and continuation of our tour. Our afternoon will begin at Topkapi Palace which, from the 15th to 19th century, was the principle residence of the Ottoman Sultans (closed on Tuesdays).
Little Agia Sophia Mosque is known as one of the oldest standing churches in Istanbul dating back to 6th century. It is early domed-basilica architectural plan of famous Agia Sophia which was applied here first time in the history.
TUESDAY: ISTANBUL – ANKARA – CAPPADOCIA: In the morning, transfer to airport for flight to Ankara. Arrival in Ankara and then to town to visit the Museum of Anatolian Civilizations and the Mausoleum of Kemal Ataturk. Lunch and continue to Cappadocia. Dinner and overnight.
WEDNESDAY: CAPPADOCIA: Visit the spectacular Cappadocia region, unique for its fascinating and unique landscape formed by the lava thrown out by volcanoes Erciyes and Hasan, 3 million years ago. Visit the many monasteries and chapels in Goreme, World Heritage Site by UNESCO, dug into the rocks and decorated with frescoes of the tenth century (some of them very well preserved). Pass by and admire a panoramic view of the castle of Uchisar on top of a mound of volcanic rock crossed by tunnels and windows and Avcilar Valley. Lunch and in the afternoon, visit the village of Avanos, famous for its handicrafts and valleys and G?vercinlik Valley (Pigeon Valley). Visit the underground city of Kaymakli or Serhatli, one of 36 underground cities of Cappadocia served as a refuge for Christians. Return to hotel and dinner.
THURSDAY: CAPPADOCIA – KONYA – PAMUKKALE: Morning departure to Konya. En route visit the Caravanserai of “Sultanhan”. Arrival in Konya, visit Mevlana Museum and the Theological School of the Dervishes. Lunch & then to Pamukkale. Dinner and overnight.
FRIDAY: PAMUKKALE – KUSADASI: In the morning visit to Hierapolis, the ruins of the necropolis and the Roman Baths. Continue to Aphrodisias and after lunch visit to this ancient Greco – Roman city, dedicated to the Goddess of Love Aphrodite. Departure for Kusadasi. Dinner and overnight.
SATURDAY: KUSADASI – IZMIR – ISTANBUL: Departure in the morning and visit the House of Virgin Mary. Continue to Ephesus, the Roman capital in Asia Minor, to visit the ruins of Odeon, Hercules Arch, the Temple of Hadrian, the magnificent library, Agora and the Greco-Roman Theatre. After lunch, visit to the Basilica of San John and then to Smyrna. Arrival at the airport for your flight to Istanbul. Arrival & transfer to hotel.