On arrival at Athens International Airport, you will be greeted by our local representative in Athens for a brief meet and greet. Later, proceed to your city centre hotel in Athens for check-in.
The capital and largest city of Greece, Athens is the birthplace of western civilization and democracy. One of the world’s oldest cities, Athens has been a center for arts, science, and philosophy since the time of Plato in 500BCE. Athens is the first European city wen approached from the Middle East and this eastern influence is prominent in its food, music, and street life. Today, apart from the fabulous historical sites, the city is popular for its wine, olives and cafes serving delicious food.
The day has been kept free for you to explore Athens on your own.
Overnight stay at the hotel in Athens.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will proceed for a sight-seeing tour of Athens.
We will begin the tour with a visit to the Acropolis which is one of the most important historical sites in the world. It houses various monuments which are part of the Greek mythology such as Parthenon, Temple of Athena Nike, and Temple of Olympian Zeus. Next, we will see the colossal Panathenaic stadium. This spectacular stadium was the site of the first modern Olympic games in 1896. Next, you will visit the Old Royal Palace and see the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a stunning memorial dedicated to the Greek soldiers killed during various wars. Finally, you will see the ruins of the famous Plato’s Academy where foundations of western science and philosophy were laid thousands of years ago.
Overnight stay in Athens.
SEGV’S RECOMMENDATION – Those interested in learning more about Greek history should visit the New Acropolis Museum. The archaeological museum houses artefacts found in the Acropolis hill and its surrounding slopes. Trip advisor rates it to be among the top 10 museums in Europe.
After breakfast at the hotel, Rest of the day has been kept free for you to explore Athens at your own leisure.
SEGV’S RECOMMENDATION – Explore the chic neighborhood of Plaka. Located in the foothill of the Acropolis, Plaka is a pedestrian only neighborhood with narrow cobblestone streets lined with sidewalk cafes and family run tavern. Multitude of shops sell jewelry, ceramics, and clothes. Here, you can indulge in a local food tour, go shopping or catch a movie at the popular open-air theatres where you can watch a movie with amazing views of the Acropolis.
Overnight Stay in Athens
After breakfast, we will check out from the hotel and proceed to to Santorini. Upon reaching Santorini, transfer to your hotel and check-in.
Santorini, with a reputation for romantic sunsets, dazzling panoramas and volcanic sand beached, is one of those destinations at the top of every traveler’s bucket lists! A volcanic eruption thousands of years ago gave the island its distinctive red, black, and white beaches and broke it up into multiple smaller islands. The largest and popular island is called Thira, which is home to Fira and Oia, the two major settlements on Santorini.
Rest of the day is free for you to explore Santorini at your own leisure.
Overnight stay in Santorini.
After breakfast at the hotel, proceed to the port to board a boat for the full day Volcano and Hot Springs Tour along with sunset tour at Oia.
Set off sail to Santorini’s famous volcano – Nea Kammeni. Here you not just see the volcano but also get down from the boat and climb up the to the volcano ridge. Next, we will travel to the island of Palaia Kammeni, famous for its hot springs. Those who do not mind getting wet, can also swim in the springs, rich with Sulphur, iron, and other metals, and enjoy the water’s healing properties. Next, we will visit Therasia and explore the picturesque village on the island. You can also taste the authentic Santorinian cuisine.
After Therasia, return to Santorini where you will be transported to the most beautiful village of Santorini – Oia. Travel around the unique alleys and explore its rich markets while enjoying the fantastic views. Watch the most beautiful sunset in the world!
After the tour, return to your hotel.
Overnight stay in Santorini.
On arrival at Istanbul International Airport, you will be met by our local representative in Turkey for a brief meet and greet. Later, proceed to your city centre hotel in Istanbul for check-in.
With one leg of the city in Europe and the other in Asia, Istanbul is the only city in the world that stretches across both the continents. Its strategic location and marvellous natural beauty shaped it into one of world’s most important historic and cultural city. For over 1500 years, Istanbul served as the imperial capital for the great Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires. The rulers of these great empires beautified the city with magnificent monuments and turned Istanbul into a city where people from diverse cultures, religions and nations thrive.
Rest of the day is free for you to explore Istanbul on your own.
In the evening, enjoy the popular Bosphorus dinner cruise. Bosphorus strait separates Istanbul’s European side from its Asian side. So, a cruise along the Bosphorus gives you the opportunity to see Asia on one side and Europe on the other and offers a glimpse of the complete charm of Istanbul. Enjoy your dinner on the cruise while watching fabulous Turkish folk dance performances.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will proceed for a sightseeing tour of Sultanahmet area, Istanbul’s old city.
We will begin the sightseeing tour of the Old city with a visit to Hippodrome to see the Egyptian Obelisk and Serpent Column, remnants of a now extinct stadium for horse racing and chariot racing. Next, we will visit the beautiful Sultanahmet Mosque, also popularly known as Blue Mosque. This Ottoman era mosque incorporates many elements of Byzantine architecture into the Islamic architecture and is considered by many as the last great mosque of Classical period. Afterwards, we will visit magnificent Haggia Sophia. Built in the 6th century, it was the largest church in the whole world for almost a thousand years. In 1453, when the Ottoman empire expanded to Istanbul, it was repurposed as a Mosque. Till today, Hagia Sophia remains the epitome of Byzantine architecture.
After lunch, we will continue our tour of Istanbul as we visit the Topkapi Palace. Built in the 15th century, it was home to the family of Ottoman Sultans and also their administrative headquarters. Today it serves as a museum showcasing Ottoman clothing, weapons, religious relics and the wondrous Spoonmaker’s diamond, the fourth largest diamond in the world. After the palace tour, we will conclude our tour at the Grand Bazaar, the world’s first shopping mall. This huge market is completely covered and comprises of over 4000 shops selling all things, from Turkish Lamps and teas to ceramics and rugs.
Overnight stay at hotel in Istanbul.
After breakfast at the hotel, we will proceed to the airport to catch a flight to Cappadocia. Upon arrival, we will transfer to and check-in at our boutique Cave hotel there.
Renowned for its unique and surreal rock structures, Cappadocia is a region in central Turkey that comprises of multiple towns and cities. Located on the silk road, the region’s affluent resources were often looted forcing locals to live in caves. The region was plagued by volcanic activity over millions of years – dispersing lava over the entire region. This lava was eroded by the actions of wind, rain and ice, leading to formation of these fantastic and uniquely shaped structures that are today synonymous with Cappadocia.
Overnight stay at the Cave Hotel in Cappadocia.
Early morning, catch a breath taking hot-air balloon ride over Cappadocia. With over hundreds of hot-air balloons taking off each morning, Cappadocia is indeed one of the best places in the world to enjoy this fun activity. Generally lasting for about an hour, you get to hover above the region and enjoy aerial views of the lunar landscape below.
After the hot-air balloon experience, return to the hotel for freshening up and a lovely breakfast. Afterwards, proceed for a sightseeing tour of Cappadocia.
We will begin the tour with a visit to the underground city of Kaymakli. The underground cities developed in this region as a way of natives to safeguard themselves against plundering tribes. These cities were built over multiple stories, with stables, tunnels, cellars and shafts to reach underground rivers. After exploring the underground, we will move above the surface and climb to the top of Uchisar Castle and be rewarded by magnificent views of the fairy chimneys in the surrounding valley. After marvelling at these fantastic rock structures, we will head over to Göreme National Park, a spectacular and unique UNESCO World Heritage site. At Göreme valley you can see the beautiful rock-cut churches with decorative frescoes on the roof. Finally try your hand at pottery making in Çavuşin village.
After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to Cappadocia airport to catch a flight back to India via Istanbul.
Arrive home with pleasant memories of your Greece and Turkey tour organized by State Express Global Voyages, which we are sure you will treasure for a lifetime.