'Lands of Legend'


Guided Athens city tour, Spectacular Santorini, Crusader Castle of St Peter, Bodrum, Fairy tale landscape of Cappadocia, Timeless Istanbul, guided tours; the poetic Greek Isles


Dates & Prices

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Prices are in US Dollars (USD), before taxes (if applicable) - All pricing reflects per-person Land Only expenses, however, we can book flights from virtually every city. Please call us for an air quote.

Start DateEnd DatePriceMore Info
Fri 21 Apr 2017Thu 11 May 2017 $5430 USD
Fri 14 Jul 2017Thu 03 Aug 2017 $5430 USD
Fri 08 Sep 2017Thu 28 Sep 2017 $5430 USD

Optional Single Supplement: $832 USD (number of singles limited).

Tour Overview

This tour replaces tour code GR2 featured in our general catalogue

This classic combo of two of our favourite destinations features the best highlights of Western Turkey and Istanbul, and the idyllic and surprisingly varied Greek Islands of Rhodes, Santorini and Mykonos. This well-paced itinerary strikes the perfect balance of organized activities and touring and individual downtime to explore and soak it all in. Ancient cities, sprawling archaeological sites, rugged coastlines, impossibly blue waters and sugar white beaches, this tour has it all -- breathtaking monuments, varied cultures, compelling history, stunning landscapes, and fascinating legends.

Regions visited: Central And Eastern Europe and Western Europe
Countries visited: Turkey and Greece

Full Itinerary

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

Day 1 Arrive in Istanbul
Today we arrive in Istanbul and transfer to our hotel.

"If one had but a single glance to give the world, one should gaze on Constantinople," marveled Alphonse de Lamartine, the 19th century French writer and politician. New Rome, Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul; the legendary city has served as the capital of the legendary Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. Though no longer a capital, Istanbul is the largest city and the cosmopolitan heart of Turkey, full of marvels and startling contrasts.

Overnight in Istanbul.

Meal plan: Dinner

Day 2 Istanbul: Hippodrome & Agia Sophia
We start our day with a panoramic drive around the Golden Horn and the great walls of Constantinople. The first recorded bridge over the Golden Horn was built during the reign of Justinian the Great in the 6th century at the western end of the city, and today we will pass the famous Galata Bridge and the Ataturk Bridge. As we drive along the Byzantine city gates and walls we will view the towering minarets of Suleyman's Mosque and the Galata Tower before arriving in Sultanahmet Square.

We'll begin the walking component of today's tour at the legendary Blue Mosque, built between 1609 and 1616 by Mehmet Aga. The inside is covered by more than 20,000 Iznik tiles. At the adjacent Hippodrome you will see the remains of the great sports stadium where chariot races were held in Roman and Byzantine times. We will also see an Egyptian obelisk, a giant needle of stone carved for the Pharaoh Tutmoses III around 1500 BC and brought to Constantinople by the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius in AD 390.

We continue to the church of Agia Sophia (St Sophia), built by the Emperor Justinian in 548 BC. It was the largest church in the Christian world for nearly 1,000 years. When the Ottoman Turks conquered the city in 1435 one of the first things they did was to convert St Sophia into a mosque. Today it is a museum featuring many beautiful Christian mosaics.

Outside Agia Sophia we descend underground to the gigantic Basilica Cisterns. These are the largest of several hundred ancient cisterns that lie beneath the city of Istanbul. Like most sites in Istanbul, the cistern has a colourful history. Constructed using columns, capitals and plinths from ruined buildings, the cistern's symmetry and sheer grandeur of conception are quite extraordinary. This immense underground water container was built during the reign of Emperor Justinian I in 532 to meet the water needs of the Great Palace. This marvelous piece of engineering only confirms yet again that those were the heydays of the Byzantine Empire.

At the end of our touring today your Tour Leader will lead you on a leisurely exploration of Istanbul's famous Grand Bazaar before setting you free for independent exploration.

Overnight in Istanbul.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 3 Istanbul: Topkapi Palace
This morning we visit the Topkapi Palace, the great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the mid-15th to the early 19th century. It was from this vast complex of buildings that the mighty Ottoman Empire was administered. Today it is a huge museum containing ceremonial robes in silk and gold thread, Japanese and Chinese porcelain, European clocks, miniature paintings depicting Ottoman courtly life, and one of the largest jewelry collections in the world. Highlights of the jewelry collection include one of the world's largest diamonds, the Spoonmakers diamond, and the Topkapi dagger with three enormous emeralds in the handle.

The afternoon is free for you to explore Istanbul, a city crowded with beautiful mosques, churches and palaces. You may want to visit the Topkapi Harem before leaving the palace. Perhaps stroll down to the Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar), where spices, dried fruits, cheeses, sausages, jams, nuts, lokum (Turkish Delight) and other edibles fill many of the shops. This bazaar is located right at the southern end of the Galata Bridge on the Golden Horn in the Eminönü district, right next to the New Mosque (Yeni Cami). Alternatively, you may take an optional ferry ride up the Bosphorous towards the Black Sea. Along the shores of the Bosphorous are many summer palaces and old wooden houses dating from Ottoman times. Your Tour Leader will help you plan your day.

Overnight in Istanbul.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 4 Istanbul - Kayseri - Cappadocia
Today we fly to Kayseri, gateway to Cappadocia. Upon arrival in Kayseri we continue by road (1.5 hours) to Cappadocia.

Situated on a high and dry plateau in the middle of Turkey, the rocky landscape of the Cappadocia region is honeycombed with a networksof ancient underground settlements and outstanding examples of Byzantine art.

Overnight near Cappadocia.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 5 Cappadocia Area
Today we will spend a full day exploring this unique and fascinating lunar landscape with its fairy chimneys and conical towers topped with huge, delicately balanced rocks. Here the elements have weathered layers of volcanic dust into giant cones and mushrooms 9m (30 feet) high! Most of the chapels date from the Byzantine period of the 10th and 11th centuries.

In the Goreme Valley we will see the many churches carved into this landscape with their wonderful paintings and frescoes. This monastic complex of rock chapels covered with frescoes is one of the best known sites in Central Anatolia. We will visit the underground city of Kaymakli one of the many cities dug into the soft rock of Cappadocia. At Kaymakli there are at least eight levels in the underground city, four of which are currently open to the public. The city is an elaborate network of tunnels, stairways and chambers hollowed out of the rock. It served as a safe haven during times of unrest and protected its citizens from marauding armies.

This evening, those who wish may attend a performance of Turkish traditional dances from Turkey's many regions (optional).

Overnight near Cappadocia.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 6 Cappadocia - Konya
Today we drive across the flat Anatolian Plateau to Konya. The plateau-like, semiarid highlands of Anatolia are considered the heartland of the country. Mountains near the coast prevent Mediterranean influences from extending inland, giving the interior of Turkey a continental climate with distinct seasons.

Along the way we visit the Sultan Han (Caravanserai of Sultanhani). Caravanserai were fortified, medieval hotels located one day's journey apart. The Turks built these hotels and offered free accommodation and protection to travelling merchants. This encouraged merchants and their caravans of silks and spices travelling the "Silk Route" to trade in Turkish lands, thus fostering prosperity.

Konya was the centre of Sultanate of Rum from AD 1150 until 1300. Many of the great buildings of Konya are Seljuk in design and date from this 'Golden Age'. We will see the Mevlana Museum, the ruins of the Seljuk Palace, the delicate stone carving of the Slender Minaret, and the Karatay Museum. The highlight of our journey to Konya will be a visit to the Mevlana Museum, a tribute to the founder of the whirling dervishes.

Overnight in Konya.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 7 Konya - Pamukkale & Hierapolis
This morning we continue by road to Pamukkale, unique with its fairylike, dazzling white, lime cascades, known as 'travertines.' Here we will see the thermal spring water laden with calcareous salt, plunging down the mountainside, which has created this natural formation of stalactites, cataracts and basins. The thermal water has been used since the Roman period for its therapeutic powers.

Next we will visit the Roman city of Hierapolis. The ancient Greco-Roman and Byzantine city of Hierapolis was built on top of the white "castle". Hierapolis, whose name means "sacred city," was believed by the ancients to have been founded by the god Apollo. It was famed for its sacred hot springs, whose vapors were associated with Pluto, god of the underworld. The city also had a significant Jewish community and was mentioned by Paul in his Letter to Colossians.

Today Hierapolis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Most of what we see today is from the Roman period, as the original Hellenistic city was destroyed by successive earthquakes. The site is surrounded by Byzantine walls, outside of which is an extensive necropolis which we will also visit. The north necropolis (graveyard) is the largest in Anatolia! It contains more than 1,200 tombs of various types, including tumuli, sarcophagi and house-shaped tombs from the Hellenistic, Roman and early Christian periods.

Overnight in Pamukkale.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 8 Pamukkale - Aphrodisias - Kusadasi
This morning we travel along the winding Menderes River Valley, which gives its name to the geographical term "to meander". We will visit the impressive Roman archaeology site of Aphrodisias, named after Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. Much of the site's excavation has been funded by the National Geographic Society. Aphrodisias is the location of one of the greatest schools of sculpture in antiquity; the museum here contains some magnificent pieces. Here we will see an ancient stadium where 30,000 people could watch sporting events. We will also view the Temple of Aphrodite, which was later converted to a Christian basilica; and the theatre and baths of Hadrian.

We continue to the coast once again to Kusadasi, our base for our excursion to Ephesus.

Overnight in Kusadasi.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 9 Kusadasi: Ephesus Site Tour
Today we visit Ephesus, one of the highlights of any visit to Turkey. During its Golden Age, the city was adorned with splendid monuments, theatres, agoras and libraries. The protectress of the city was the goddess Artemis whose temple, dating back to 1300 BC, was considered one of the Seven Wonders of the World. As a prosperous trade and banking centre, Ephesus had a cosmopolitan population. It has been recorded that St John brought the Virgin Mary to Ephesus
where she spent her last days after the death of Christ. On our tour of Ephesus we see a 24,000 seat amphitheatre, the Library of Celsus, and the marble-paved Arcadian Way. We also include the special Terrace Houses section, which provides fascinating insight into family life during the Roman period.

In addition to the main site of Ephesus we will visit the superb Ephesus Museum. We also visit the traditional town of Selcuk with its many beautiful buildings, including the Isa Bey Mosque (built in 1307), remains of old Turkish baths, and a hill crowned by the Ayasoluk Fortress.

Overnight in Kusadasi.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 10 Kusadasi - Didyma - Bodrum: Crusader Castle of St Peter
Today we travel southward along the Aegean coast on winding roads through fields and olive groves to Bodrum. En route we stop at Didyma, an ancient Ionian shrine and the most renowned oracle of the Hellenic world, containing a temple and an oracle of Apollo. The Temple of Apollo at Didyma was the fourth largest temple in the ancient Greek world.

Bodrum is the site of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World: the Mausoleum. This was also the birthplace of the Greek historian Herodotus. Today Bodrum's whitewashed sugar-cube houses, draped in bougainvillea and scattered on the hillside overlook the perfect natural harbour. The reputation of Bodrum's boatyards dates back to ancient times, and today, craftsmen still build the traditional yachts: the Tirhandil with a pointed bow and stern, and the Gullets with a broad beam and rounded stern. The latter, especially, are used on excursions and pleasure trips,

This afternoon we visit the Crusader Castle of St Peter, which dominates Bodrum Bay. The castle was built by the Knights Hospitaller in the early 15th century. Today the castle houses an excellent museum, mainly dedicated to the artifacts retrieved from the many ancient shipwrecks discovered off the Turkish coast. Many of the pieces in the museum have been excavated from below the sea bed by teams of archaeologists from Texas A&M University.

Overnight in Bodrum.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 Bodrum: Day at Leisure
Today is free for you to enjoy the ambience of this beautiful seaside town. Some may want to explore the Bodrum Mausoleum, also known as Mausoleum of Halicarnassus -- one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. The Mausoleum dates back to 350 B.C. and is dedicated to Carian satrap Mausolus. This monument tomb was 50 meters high, and rose over the region. Though there is not much left to see, the site is worth a visit with its beautiful ruins, gardens and landscape.

Situated on a hillside overlooking Bodrum is the Bodrum Amphitheatre, another structure accredited to the reign of King Mausolus. The theatre is another witness to the great past of Bodrum, and it is one of the best-preserved structures of ancient Halikarnassus. Originally, it was built around 4th C BC during the reign of King Mausolos, in 2nd C AD, during the Roman period, it was enlarged and enriched.

Overnight in Bodrum.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 12 Bodrum - Mamaris, Turkey - Rhodes, Greece
Today we travel down the coast to Marmaris from where we take the ferry to Rhodes, Greece.

Marmaris's situation, with pine forests reaching right down to the sea, has been described as fjord-like for the huge bay in which it sits is almost landlocked. Nelson's entire fleet sheltered in this anchorage in 1798 prior to sailing for Egypt where it destroyed the French fleet in the Battle of the Nile. In the old quarter on a hillock jutting out into the bay stand the remains of an Ottoman castle built in 1522 by Suleyman the Magnificent, with a cluster of crumbling houses roofed in red tiles huddled within its walls.

Our ferry will likely be a hydrofoil and, weather depending, the journey takes approximately one hour. Welcome to Greece! The order and placement of our sightseeing on Rhodes (dependant on ferry time and duration, and flight time to Santorini), will be at the prerogative of your Tour Leader.

During our time on Rhodes we will have a walking tour of the old town.

Overnight on Rhodes.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 13 Rhodes: Island Tour
Today we will visit the Castle (aka Palace of Grand Masters), which features turreted towers as perfect as they were back in the 14th century. Destroyed when an arms store in the nearby Church of St. John exploded in 1856, it was rebuilt by the Italians and was the summer retreat of King Victor Emmanuel and Mussolini. The Knights of St John was a religious order of the church of Rome founded in Amalfi in the 11th century. They went to Jerusalem initially to minister to the needs of the pilgrims who arrived there and soon extended their duties to tending the poor and sick of the Holy Land. Over the years they became increasingly militant, joining forces with the Knights Templars and the Teutonic Knights of St Mary in battles against infidels.

We then head out of town by bus, stopping at Lindos to visit the Acropolis and to have a wander about this lively village, a unique monument of preservation. The beauty of the castle, the Acropolis of Athena Lindia on the top, with St. Paul's Bay (where the Apostle arrived in 58 AD) and the paved streets of the village captivate visitors. A walk through its narrow paved streets reveals the beauty of the traditional island architecture.

On the way back to Rhodos we drive across the island from east to west coast, passing through villages and densely wooded areas. We reach the top of Filerimos Mountain, with its marvellous panoramic view. We then come to the ruins of the acropolis of the ancient Lalussos where we have one of the best panoramic views of Ixia, one of the biggest tourist resorts in Rhodes.

We return to Rhodes town mid-late afternoon.

Overnight on Rhodes.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 14 Rhodes - Santorini
Depending on flight schedules, we may have some free time for independent exploration in the old town before flying to the island of Santorini.*

Vast geological upheavals have given this island its unique form resulting in the nickname, "Pre-Historic Pompeii." The effect of terracing makes this unlike any other island, Greece's most visually stunning. Santorini is the island of churches, wine, and donkeys! From as early as 3000 BC the island developed as an outpost of Minoan civilization until around 1650 BC when the volcano erupted. At this point the island's history became linked with the legend of Atlantis.

On arrival we transfer to our hotel near Fira on the caldera rim.

* Our dates are set to coincide with direct flights to Santorini, which occur only on certain days of the week. In the event of a schedule change, we may have to fly via Athens.

Overnight on Santorini.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 15 Santorini: Akrotiri & Island Tour
Visually, Santorini is the most spectacular of the Cycladic islands. With its brilliant flooded caldera, high cliffs and charming villages, it is the Greek Isle of everyone's dreams. Our coach tour today will take us to Santorini's many highlights.

We begin with a visit to Akrotiri, where excavations have revealed a complete prehistoric Minoan city with squares, streets and two-storey houses, which contained marvelous frescoes. The buildings date to the late 16th century BC. No skeletons or treasures have been found in Akrotiri, so historians think that the inhabitants were forewarned of the eruption and were able to escape. The excavations have yielded evidence that has revolutionized our knowledge of the Late Bronze Age; indeed the town has been called a "Bronze-age Pompeii."

We will also visit the hilltop village of Pyrgos, once the capital of the island and home to more than 30 churches. The village is composed of traditional houses built around the Venetian Castle and the small streets follow the shape of the hill. Climbing from the square up to the castle of Pyrgos, the stone houses crowd more densely together within the labyrinth of narrow vaulted lanes.

Our drive around the island will also take us up to the Prophet Elias Monastery built on the highest point of the island in 1711 AD. Though we will not visit inside the monastery, the view from here is breathtaking.

Fira is the capital of the island and the most important village. Perched on the edge of an impressive cliff 260m high, the town offers great panoramic views over the submerged volcano. Here the small streets are filled with all kind of shops, cafes, and restaurants. After an orientation walk through the town we will visit the impressive Archaeological Museum. This museum features many pieces and exhibits specific to the Santorini site of Akrotiri, as well as artifacts dating back to the time of the Cycladic Civilization. The most impressive legacies of this civilization are the statuettes carved from Parian marble -- the famous Cycladic figurines. Like statuettes of Neolithic times they depicted images of the Great Mother. Other remains include bronze and obsidian tools and weapons, gold jewelry, and stone and clay vases and pots.

Oia, our last destination, is built along the rim of the caldera wall. We will walk through the village, admire the magnificent panoramic views, and perhaps enjoy a snack at one of the many local cafes.

We then return to Fira. Those who wish to extend their time in Oia can return to Fira using the public bus system.

Overnight on Santorini.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 16 Santorini - Mykonos
Today we travel by ferry to the island of Mykonos.*

From the harbour waterfront, you can watch the local fishing boats, or venture into the labyrinth of dazzling, white-washed streets to the many churches, tavernas, or shops selling artisan crafts. In the distance stand a string of windmills that once harnessed the breezes of days gone by. The sugar cube buildings are stacked around a cluster of seafront fishermen's dwellings. The labyrinth design was intended to confuse the pirates who plagued Mykonos in the eighteenth and 19th centuries. The whitewashed houses concealing dozens of little churches, shrines and chapels.

* PORTERS ARE GENERALLY NOT AVAILABLE ON THE GREEK ISLES, OR ON FERRIES BETWEEN THEM. You MUST be able to carry / wheel your baggage on and off ferries.

Overnight on Mykonos.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 17 Mykonos: Walking Tour & Boat Trip to Delos
This morning we'll take you on an orientation walking tour of Mykonos Chora. We wander the pirate-proof streets of town and see the Paraportiani Church near the quay, an architectural masterpiece of five chapels in one.

We then meet the boat that will take us to the tiny sacred island of Delos (40 minutes away). Delos gives the whole group of islands surrounding it their name, the Cyclades -- so named because they form a circle (kyklos) around Delos. For nearly 1,000 years this sanctuary was the political and religious centre of the Aegean. Leto, pregnant by Zeus, gave birth to the twins Apollo and Artemis on Delos. In the 18th century BC, the annual Delia Festival was established on
the island to celebrate the birth of Apollo. Delos was populated during its height in Hellenistic times with wealthy merchants, mariners and bankers from as far away as Egypt and Syria.

During our guided walking tour of Delos, we will see the Agora of the Competialists, Roman merchants or freed slaves who worshipped the guardian spirits of crossroads; the Sanctuary of Apollo, the three temples of Apollo and the Sanctuary of Dionysus. In the House of the Masks we are able to see a mosaic portraying Dionysus riding on a panthers back. The theatre here could seat 5,500 people.

We return to Mykonos where you will have free time to explore Mykonos town on your own.

Overnight on Mykonos.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 18 Mykonos - Athens
Today we travel by ferry to Pireaus, the main port of Athens. Depending on ferry schedules, we may have extra time in either Mykonos or Athens.

Athens has been, off-and-on, the capital of Greece in its many incarnations over several thousand years. The city received a major facelift for the 2004 Olympics and is looking better than ever, with buildings and monuments cleaned and renovated, and newly created pedestrian areas near the Ancient Agora and Acropolis.

Overnight in Athens.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 19 Athens: City Tour
Today we enjoy a guided tour of Athens, the very heart and soul of Greece. Athens has been very nicely pedestrianized in recent years, and most sites of interest are easily and pleasantly accessed by foot or subway (rather than being trapped in Athens' horrendous traffic).

Our guided tour begins at the new Acropolis Museum, located at the foot of the Acropolis. The museum was built to house every artifact found on the rock, from the Greek Bronze Age to Roman and Byzantine Greece. Nearly 4,000 objects are exhibited over an area of 14,000 square metres.

From here it is just a brief walk to enter the Acropolis, near the site of the Dionysos Theatre. Constructed in the 6th century BC, it is one of the world's oldest theatres and the place where the great works of Aeschylus, Sophocles, Euripides and Aristophanes were first performed. We will also see a more recent theatre, the Odeon of Herod Atticus from the second century AD, which is still used for concerts and performances.

Ascending to the top of the Acropolis, we will see magnificent buildings dating from the 5th century BC, the Golden Age of Athens. On the highest point on the Acropolis is the Parthenon, often considered the finest monument to Greek civilization. The temple was dedicated to Athena "Parthenos," the virgin and patron goddess of the city.

After our Acropolis tour, we'll descend and enter the Ancient Agora located adjacent to the Plaka, the old town of Athens. Among the numerous sights in this archaeological park are the well-preserved Temple of Hephaistos and the landmark Roman era Tower of the Winds. From here you are free to wander and explore on your own, or make your way back to the hotel with your Tour Leader's assistance.

Overnight in Athens.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 20 Athens: Delphi Day Trip
Today we will travel by road from Athens to Delphi. On arrival we will have a guided tour of this spectacular site and its excellent museum.

According to mythology, Zeus released two eagles at opposite ends of the world and they came to rest at Delphi, the 'navel of the world.' Delphi is known as the center of worship for the God Apollo, son of Zeus who embodied moral discipline and spiritual clarity. But even before the area was associated with Apollo there were other deities worshipped here including the earth goddess Gea, Themis, Demeter and Poseidon, the well known god of the sea. By the end of the Mycenaean period Apollo had displaced these other deities and became the guardian of the oracle.

Delphi was the site of the Delphic oracle, most important oracle in the classical Greek world, and it was a major site for the worship of the god Apollo. His sacred precinct in Delphi was a Pan-Hellenic sanctuary, where every four years athletes from all over the Greek world competed in the Pythian Games, the precursor to the Olympic Games.

Return to Athens in the late afternoon.

Overnight in Athens.

Meal plan: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 21 Departure from Athens
Departure from Athens.


Meal plan: Breakfast

Tour Map

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►

*The red tour trail on the map does not represent the actual travel path.

Hotel List

The following is a list of sample hotels at some locations included on this tour. The hotels shown here are meant to provide a general sense of the standard of hotel we usually aim for; they are not necessarily confirmed for your chosen departure.

Hotel Divani Palace Acropolis

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Athens
Country: Greece

Divani Palace Acropolis enjoys a priceless location right by the world-famous Acropolis, the perfect place to savour Athens fascinating history.
... beautiful hotel offers elegant rooms and suites, an outdoor pool with bar, and delicious dining including our summer Roof Garden restaurant with enchanting views of the ancient heritage. Top-notch meeting rooms and romantic banquet rooms make our hotel ideal for business meetings or a truly memorable event.
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Citadel Hotel

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Istanbul
Country: Turkey

Best Western Citadel Hotel situated on the shores of the old city, leans against the historical city walls of Istanbul.
... its pleasant atmosphere, Citadel offers you a breathtaking view of Sea of Marmara. The stained glass enterance welcomes you with the traditional Turkish hospitality. You are assured to experience the mystical life and exotic culture of this city firsthand at our hotel, which is in walking distance to St. Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and other historical monuments. Youll have a pleasant stay in our authentic, yet well-equipped 25 rooms and 6 suites with satellite TV, radio, direct dial phone , hairdryer and minibar.
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Hotel Arcadia Blue

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Istanbul
Country: Turkey

Hotel Arcadia Blue, is located on a central but calm street at the district of Sultanahmet, that is the cultural
... commercial heart of Istanbul; In face of the previous Courthouse of Istanbul.
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Antique Theatre Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Bodrum
Country: Turkey

The Antique Theatre Hotel caters to those who seek the sophisticated refuge of a small elegant hotel with professional and
... personalized service. Antique jars in the flowery gardens, original etchings, hand-made bed spreads, antique mirrors and chairs in the guest rooms, the ottoman screen and the porcelain collection in the restaurant add to the sophisticated atmosphere. All rooms equipped with air conditioning, shower and toilet, direct telephone. Large outdoor swimming pool, safe deposit boxes, easy access to the beach.
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Gulet cruise

Location: Bodrum
Country: Turkey

Gulets are wooden boats, traditionally hand- made by master craftsmen from the Bodrum area and once used by fisherman and
... divers to transport their catch. Today they are purpose-built for the charter market with fittings and equipment designed for guests' comfort. An aft deck for dining and lounging in the shade of a sun awning and a forward deck with numerous sunbeds. Large living areas, air-conditioned twin-berth cabins (with WC, shower) and a sun deck furnished lounge area are typical. On deck there are sun lounges for sunbathing and relaxing as well as dining areas under sun awnings. Our gulet will rage in size, depending on number of group participants (may not be exactly as pictured).
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Santorini Palace

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Santorini
Country: Greece

Santorini Palace is an A' Class Hotel in Fira, the island's capitol. It is within walking distance from the breathtaking
... fine restaurants, and the main shopping center. With a total of 106 impeccably furnished rooms and suites, fully air-conditioned, an outdoor 300 sq meters swimming pool, a deluxe restaurant, main bar and pool bar.

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Yunak Evleri Hotel

Rating: 4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation4 Star Accommodation
Location: Cappadocia
Country: Turkey

In Cappadocia’s magical landscape of fairy chimneys, in the ancient village of Urgup, is a unique cave hotel carved into
... mountain cliff, the Yunak Evleri. This hotel includes 7 cave houses, 40 rooms dating back to the 5th and 6th centuries and a 19th century Greek Mansion. Yunak Evleri is an inspiring hotel – an ideal base for exploring Cappadocia’s elaborate underground cities, hidden cavernous churches and enchanting rock terrain.
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Hotel Petinos

Rating: 3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation3 Star Accommodation
Location: Mykonos
Country: Greece

Hotel Petinos, built and painted in traditional Cycladic architecture and colours, offers its guests a warm, cozy, hospitable environment. The
... was renovated in January 2006. All rooms and common use areas are air conditioned. The hotel also provides a TV room, a large courtyard garden, bar and restaurant facilities and a swimming pool nearby. There is a mini market just across the street.

Read More.

Trip Information

To book this tour, please refer to the sidebar ►


Breakfast and dinner (mostly local restaurants, some hotels) daily. All accommodation, sightseeing and entrance fees for sites noted as 'visited' in the detailed itinerary. Gratuities for local guides, drivers, restaurant staff, porters (where available). Airport transfers for land & air customers and for early arriving / late departing land & air customers who book their extra hotel nights through us.


Tour Leader gratuities, lunches, drinks, personal items (phone, laundry, etc), international (if applicable) and domestic air taxes, visa fees / port taxes, and excursions referenced as 'optional'. Airport transfers for Land Only customers. Our post-reservation trip notes offer further guidance on optional meal costs, shopping, and visas.

Seasonality and Weather

This tour is offered in spring, summer, and fall, the most popular being spring and fall when temperatures are milder, crowds thinner, and airfares lower. Spring is popular for green landscapes and wildflowers; beach goers prefer fall sea temperatures. The region has a Mediterranean climate with early springs, long hot and dry summers, and autumns that are bright and warm into mid-October. Showers are possible in spring, rare in summer, and possible in fall.

Transport and Travel Conditions

Local ferries between mainland / islands can range from hydrofoils to large vehicular vessels (economy class). Greek ferry schedules tend to change without notice; some itinerary adjustments may be necessary at the discretion of your Tour Leader.

Land transport by private air-conditioned motor coach, 24-36 seats depending on group size (see "Group Size"); some local buses and taxis. Turkish roads are very good and travelling is not arduous though we do have some full days. Scheduled flight Rhodes to Santorini. Several walking tours on uneven surfaces.

Porters are available at all hotels in Turkey; however, they are generally NOT available at hotels on the islands. Your MUST be able to manage with your own baggage at airports and onto / off ferries.


Well-located, air-conditioned, mid-range hotels (3-4 star) throughout. Island hotels are smaller properties (3-4 story) that will likely not have elevators. All hotels have en suite bath, though most have shower only.

Staff and Support

Tour Leader throughout, driver (s), local step-on local guides in various locales.

Group Size

10-18 plus Tour Leader