Istanbul and Athens
Day 1: ATHENS ARRIVAL : Meet at Athens airport and transfer to the hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure. Athens is an amazing city to discover on your own with its numerous museums, parks, and the shopping areas of Kolonaki, Hermou, Voukourestiou Street, Monastiraki and Plaka. Overnight in Athens Hotel.
Day 2:HALF DAY ATHENS SIGHTSEEING: (Breakfast) Breakfast in the hotel. Pickup from the hotel for your half day morning tour. See Syntagma Square, the House of Parliament, the Memorial to the Unknown Soldier, the Athens Academy, the University, the National Library and the Hadrian’s Arch. Pass by the Temple of Olympian Zeus and visit the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of the modern era were held in 1896. On the Acropolis visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: the Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally “the harmony between material and spirit”, the Parthenon. Continue and visit the place where at last the statues found their home and admire the wonders of the classical era, the museum of Acropolis. At the end of the tour, drop off at the hotel or at the city centre. Remainder of the day at own leisure. Overnight in Athens Hotel.
Day 3: ATHENS: (Breakfast) Breakfast in the hotel. Full day at own leisure (free and easy) or, take an optional tour such as one day cruise Hydra-Poros-Aegina (including lunch). Overnight in Athens Hotel.
Day 4: ATHENS DEPARTURE: (Breakfast) Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to the airport and fly to Istanbul. Pick up from the airport in Istanbul and transfer to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 5: ISTANBUL: (Breakfast) After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will pick you up and we will visit Saint- Sophia Church (Church Of The Holy Wisdom): Built in 537 by Byzantine Emperor Justinianus, St. Sophia has been the largest cathedral in the world for nearly a thousand years; it is considered the masterpiece of Byzantine architecture; after having been the Patriarchal basilica of Constantinople, it was covered into a mosque in 1453 by Sultan Mehmet II. the Conqueror and into a museum by Ataturk in 1935. Mosque of Sultanahmet (Blue Mosque): Built in 1609, it is - with its 6 minarets facing Ayasofya- the last great imperial mosque of the classical period; its name comes from the 20.000 marvellous bue-toned Iznik tiles decorating the interior walls. Hippodrome: It was a horse-racing track and also the sporting and social center of the Byzantine Empire; the German Fountain, the Obelisk of Emperor Theodosius and the bronze Serpentine Column are the monuments embellishing the Hippodrome. Topkapi Palace: This extraordinary and secret palace was the residence of the Ottoman Sultans and the center of Ottoman might for nearly 400 years. The buildings are a typical example of Ottoman architecture and the rooms exhibit rich collections of porcelains, robes, weapons, shields, armors, Ottoman miniatures, Islamic calligraphic manuscripts as well as Ottoman treasures and jewellery. Grand Bazaar: The largest covered market in the world with more than 60 streets and 4,000 shops, where you may find in an authentic oriental atmosphere all kind of gifts, leather clothing, rugs and kilims, antiques, jewellery, hand-woven fabrics etc... At the end of the tour, drop off at the hotel or at the city centre. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 6: ISTANBUL: (Breakfast) After breakfast at the hotel, we will first visit Spice Bazaar (Egyptian Bazaar): Built between 1597 and 1664, it is the second oldest covered bazaar in the city. You may find there spices, dried fruits, nuts, seeds and Turkish delights, in an authentic decor full of oriental scents. Rustempasha Mosque: Built in 1560 by the imperial architect Sinan for Rustem Pasha, son-in-law and grand vizier of Sultan Soliman the Magnificient; the particular splendor of this jewel of Ottoman architecture lies in the Iznik tiles covering it, both inside and outside. Bosphorus Cruise: The Bosphorus strait connects the Sea of Marmara to the Black Sea and separates Europe and Asia, making Istanbul one of the most beautiful cities in the world and the only one built astride two continents; this romantic cruise along the Bosphorus will allow you to admire the Dolmabah^e Palace, the Beylerbeyi Palace, the Ciragan Palace and the Rumelihisar Fortress, ancient wooden villas and bridges and all the wonderful and unique maritime landscapes. Dolmabahce Palace: Was the first European-style palace built by Ottoman Sultans between 1843 and 1856. This Palace is interesting for its furniture and fittings and is a showcase of life in late Ottoman and early Republican period. Atatiirk ' lived the final part of his life in the residental part of the palace and died there. Bosphorus Bridge: Drive on the bridge and enjoy the beautiful view when crossing from Europe to Asia. It is 1,074 m long and was the 4th longest in the world when completed. Camlica Hill: The highest point in Istanbul offers you a fantastic panoramic view of the entire city and Bosphorus. At the end of the tour, drop off at the hotel or at the city centre. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 7: ISTANBUL: (Breakfast) Breakfast in the hotel. Full day at own leisure (free and easy) or, take an optional tour such as Princess Islands. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 8: ISTANBUL DEPARTURE: (Breakfast) Breakfast in the hotel. Transfer to the airport.