Thu.: Istanbul. Upon your arrival you will be met and transferred to your selected hotel in Istanbul. Balance of the day at leisure.
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.
Free morning in Istanbul for your last walk or last moment shopping. In the afternoon you will be transferred to the port to embark your cruise ship for the 6 night cruise to Greek Islands and Turkey. Spend the afternoon to get to know the cruise ship and the facilities, enjoy the night life on board.
In the afternoon arrival at Kusadasi, a resort town on Turkey's Aegean coast. In ancient time settlers include the Aeolians in the 11th century BC and Ionians in the 9th century who made Kusadasi a centre of art and culture.Iin the early years of Christianity. St John the Evangelist and (according to Roman Catholic sacred tradition) Mary (mother of Jesus) both came to live in the area.
Take the opportunity to visit Ephesus, an ancient Greek city and later a major Roman city, on the coast of Ionia. The city was famed for the Temple of Artemis (completed around 550 BC), one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.
You can also visit the House of the Virgin Mary, purported to have been the last home of Virgin Mary, based on the visions of Sister Anne Catherine Emmerich. It is a popular place of Catholic pilgrimage which has been visited by three recent popes.
We will spend a whole day in Santorini! One of the jewels of small volcanic archipelagos five islands is undoubtedly Santorini. Santorini was created due to a volcanic eruption culminated in the explosion of a volcano caldera, therefore, its rugged landscapes dotted with huge cliffs. Santorini's capital, Fira, with white-washed houses, narrow streets and open air cafes that cling to a steep cliff, is at the top of the beautiful island where you can enjoy the beautiful views of the bay. Discover Santorini villages that retain their authenticity, with beautiful blue and white buildings and barren volcanic rocks. It is a very fascinating and picturesque island. A magical place that has nothing to do with the rest of the Greek islands, a place to spread the peaceful and hospitable nature of its people.
Tue.: Agios Nikolaos (Crete)
Early morning we arrive in Agios Nikolaos, a coastal town on the Greek island of Crete. Agios Nikolaos was settled in the late Bronze Age by Dorian occupants of Lato. Agios Nikolaos is probably best known as a tourist town that serves as a hub to the twenty or so small villages and farms that make up that part of Lassithi.
Wed.: Rhodes – Symi
Today we visit the magnificent island of the roses, Knights and Butterflies. Rhodes was famous worldwide for the Colossus of Rhodes, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The medieval Old Town of the City of Rhodes has been declared a World Heritage Site. Today, it is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.
Participating in one of the optional tours, you can visit the old medieval city and the famous Acropolis of Lindos. If you want to be on your own you can swim in one of the many beaches of the island or just stroll in the old city and imagine being one of its inhabitants of the ancient times.
In the afternoon we arrive in Symi, a mountainous Greek island. It includes the harbor town of Symi and its adjacent upper town Ano Symi, as well as several smaller localities, beaches, and areas of significance in history and mythology. In Greek mythology, Symi is reputed to be the birthplace of the Charites and to take its name from the nymph Syme.
There has been considerable restoration of many houses in Symi in the past decade, by architects including Haris A. Kalligas and Anastasia Papaioannou, both winners of the Europa Nostra Awards for their work on Symi and elsewhere in Greece.
Thu.: Chios – Mykonos
We will spend the morning in Chios. Chios is the fifth largest of the Greek islands. Archaeological research on Chios has found evidence of habitation dating back at least to the Neolithic era. Tourist attractions include its medieval villages and the 11th-century monastery of Nea Moni, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Chios is notable for its exports of mastic gum and its nickname is The mastic island. In the afternoon we will be in Mykonos, known around the world as the Ibiza of the Aegean, the most popular destination of the Mediterranean. An international "jet-set" known for its beautiful sandy beaches, hundreds of tiny white chapels and incredible night life. Stroll around the streets of the capital that are considered the most beautiful of the Greek islands and enjoy the great night life. It's easy to get lost in its maze of gleaming white walls dotted with blue domes and windows and balconies full of flowers. Have a coffee or a cocktail in one of the famous bars and promise to return for longer stay and more experiences.
Fri.: Lavrion (Athens). Early we arrive in Lavrion port. After breakfast disembarkation and transfer to your hotel in 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.
Sun.: Athens- Airport. At the indicated time, you will be transferred to the airport for your flight back to Athens. Arrival and transfer to your selected hotel.
Minimum price in triple room low season, maximum price in single room high season.
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