Istanbul & Athens

A Sale of Two Cities
plus Classical Greece optional extension

This itinerary is for a past tour program.
Check out our current tour & cruise packages in Europe.

Athens & Istanbul

Istanbul & Athens 10 Day Tour Itinerary Two of the world's most fascinating cities, Istanbul and Athens, whose history, culture and art have helped shape the world as we know it today, are yours to explore in one, wonderful package. Everything you need, from convenient flights, transfers, great hotels in fabulous locations in the heart of each city, buffet breakfast daily and a full array of optional tours are part of this deal.


Detailed Itinerary

Blue Mosque, Istanbul Day 1: Depart USA. Your exciting journey to begins this evening as you check in for your United/Lufthansa overnight jet flight.

Day 2: Arrive Istanbul. Arrive in Istanbul, one of the greatest and most strategic cities in the world for the better part of two thousand years. You'll be met by our representative in Istanbul and then escorted to your hotel in the heart of the Old City, near many of the historical sites you will be visiting during your stay. Elite Hotel Istanbul

Spice Market, Istanbul Day 3-5: Istanbul. You'll have three full days to explore on your own. Your hotel is ideally located in the heart of the city, within short distance of many major attractions, as well as the best shopping and dining. Our Istanbul representatives will be glad to make suggestions if you prefer to explore independently. To make the most of your visit and enrich your experience, our representatives will offer you a chance to join some exclusive excursions to the city's highlights as well as memorable evening activities.

Parthenon & Acropolis, Athens Day 6: Istanbul/Athens. Today you'll be escorted to the airport and bid farewell to Istanbul as you board your short flight to Athens, the birthplace of western civilization. You'll be met by our representative in Athens and then escorted to your hotel overlooking the Acropolis and within short distance of Constitution Square and the famous Plaka (Old Town). Divani Palace Acropolis Hotel or Grecotel Athens Imperial Hotel

Day 7-9: Athens. You'll have three full days to explore on your own. Your hotel is ideally located in the heart of the city, close to many major attractions, as well as the best shopping and dining. Our representatives will be glad to make suggestions if you prefer to explore independently.

To make the most of your visit and enrich your experience, our representatives will offer you a chance to join some exclusive excursions to the city's highlights as well as memorable evening activities. Or, take advantage of our optional Classic Greece post-tour extension, departing on Day 9.

Day 10: Athens/USA. Today you'll be escorted to the airport and bid farewell to Athens as you board your return flight. Your exciting journey comes to an end as you arrive in the USA later today.


Classical Greece Extension

Corinth canal Day 9: Athens, Mycenae & Olympia. Board your touring coach this morning and begin a tour of the classical cities of Greece. Drive across the Corinth Canal, which connects the Ionian Sea with the Aegean, to the Peloponnesian Peninsula, where 4,000 years of history are more fully and comprehensibly illustrated than anywhere else in Europe.

Theater at Epidaurus Here we'll visit the famous theater of Epidaurus, the best preserved in Greece, which reached the height of its fame in the 5th & 4th centuries B.C. The acoustics are so perfect that even from the last of the 55 tiers, every word can be heard. Continue to ancient Mycenae, which, according to the poets, was founded by Perseus and built with the aid of the mythological Cyclops. Drive on to Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic games, for dinner and overnight. Hotel Amalia Olympia Breakfast & dinner provided.

Nafpaktos, Greece
Nafpaktos, Greece   © GNTO - F. Desilas
Day 10: Olympia, Nafpaktos & Delphi. This morning we'll tour the archeological site and museum at Olympia, where the Olympic games were conceived as a tribute to Hercules, son of Zeus. These games were the most important international event in the Hellenic world from 776 B.C. to 393 A.D. and continue today, with the lighting of the Olympic flame that is carried by runners throughout the world. Visit the Sanctuary of the Olympian Zeus and the Museum. This afternoon we drive via Patras to Rion where we board the car ferry to Antirion and picturesque Nafpaktos, where according to mythology, Hercules slew the Erymanthine boar and where we'll view the lovely circular Venetian harbor. Continue our drive to Delphi for dinner and overnight. Hotel Amalia Delphi Breakfast & dinner provided.

Ruins at Delphi Day 11: Delphi & Kalambaka. After breakfast we'll explore the ancient site of Delphi, located on the slopes of the breathtaking Mount Parnassus, in a landscape of unparalleled beauty and majesty. Here lie the ruins of the Sanctuary of Apollo Pythios, the Treasury of the Athenians, the Temple of Apollo and the museum, which contains masterpieces of ancient Greek sculpture including the famous bronze Charioteer.The site had been sacred since at least the Bronze Age. According to legend, the shrine was originally guarded by the she-dragon Pytho. She was killed by Apollo who then took over the oracle. In antiquity, Delphi was regarded as the center of the world.

Later, we'll depart for the small town of Kalambaka, built at the foot of the majestic gray rocks, at the point where river Pinios leaves the Pindos Mountain. Hotel Amalia Kalambaka Breakfast & dinner provided.

Monastery, Meteora Day 12: Meteora & Athens. This morning we will visit the spectacular Meteora monasteries, perched upon the summits of some precipitous and isolated rocky pinnacles, which rise above the almost flat valley of the Pinios river, 9 km beyond Kalambaka. The monastic history of Meteora goes back to the 11th century AD, when the monks constructed inaccessible eagle's nests in the crannies of these rocks and today, four are still occupied.

Dancing, Greek Taverna Later this afternoon we'll drive back to Athens, via Thermopylae, famous battleground from the Persian wars. Arrive in Athens and check in at our hotel. Why not take advantage of your final night in Athens to visit the famous Plaka district and enjoy dinner at a local taverna. Dinner will be delicious, the atmosphere full of music and fun, and the supply of plates for throwing seemingly endless! Grecotel Athens Imperial Hotel Breakfast provided.

Day 13: Athens/USA. Early this morning board your homebound flight. Your magical journey to Greece ends as you arrive the USA later today.

Add $549 per person, double occupancy; $199 single supplement.

Extra Nights in Athens

If you wish to reserve extra nights in Athens (after the 10-day trip or after the extension), please call us at 1-800-555-5765. You will not be able to book extra nights online at this time, but we'll gladly help you by phone.


Optional Tours in Athens

Optional tour prices are quoted in Euros (€). Click here to check the current exchange rate.

Children in Athens Half Day Athens
Enjoy a morning tour of the principal modern and classical sights including Constitution Square, the Panathenian Stadium (site of the first modern Olympic Games in 1896), the Presidential Palace, The Roman Temple of Olympian Zeus, the Parthenon with its many monuments atop the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. (€43)

Ruins of Apollo Temple, Corinth Ancient Corinth
Drive west from Athens, along the scenic coastal highway to the bridge crossing the spectacular Corinth Canal. Continue to the site of Ancient Corinth, one of the most celebrated cities of antiquity, owing its great importance to its strategic physical location that controlled the only land route into the Peloponnese. Here you'll view remains of the ancient Romans as well as the ancient Greeks, with a portion of the Temple of Apollo, one of the oldest ruins in Greece. (T.B.A.)

Ruins at Delphi
Ruins at Delphi
Delphi
Depart this morning for a full day to Delphi, the ancient sanctuary of Apollo. Visit the Museum in which you will see archaeological treasures, the unique bronze Charioteer and the Athenian treasury. Your tour includes visits to the Temple of Apollo and the Castalia Spring, among other sites. (€79, lunch included)


Optional Tours in Istanbul

Here are just some of the optional tours you'll be offered in Istanbul. Prices for Istanbul Optional Tours are quoted in U.S. dollars.

Agia Sophia, Istanbul, Turkey Half-day Imperial Istanbul
Enjoy a half day exploring the famous Agia Sophia, once the largest church in the Christian world, the Blue Mosque with its 21,000 blue tiles from which the name is derived, the Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts, the Hippodrome and Grand Bazaar, where carpets, gold, leather goods and other fantastic treasures are found. ($40)

Topkapi Palace, Istanbul, Turkey Half-day Ottoman Wonders
Visit the magnificent Topkapi Palace, official residence of the Ottoman Sultans and the Suleymaniye Mosque, dedicated to the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent and built by the fabled architect, Sinan. ($41)

Ortakoy Mosque at Bosphorus and the bridge connecting Europe and Asia Bosphorus Cruise
Board your boat for a half day cruise on the Bosphorus, which runs between the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, both former lakes during previous geological eras. The Bosphorus is 22 miles long and considered one of the most important waterways in the world. View the architectural masterpieces lining the shores of the channel, built during various historical periods, and experience the thrill of sailing between two continents, close enough to both shores for even the most avid photographer to catch close-up shots of the wonderful sites along the way. ($36)

Istanbul by Night, including Dinner
Enjoy an evening of Turkish cuisine and entertainment at one of Istanbul's top restaurants. Transfers, a delicious a la carte dinner and show are included. ($54)


Destination FAQs

For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Turkey, click here.

For quick answers to Frequently Asked Questions about travel to Greece, click here.

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