Departs on Thursdays and selected Sundays.
Departure Dates 2019
April: 11 18 25
May: 02 09 16 23 30
June: 06 13 27
July: 04 18
August: 01 15 29
September: 05 12 19 26
October: 03 10 17 24
NOTE: This is an excellent itinerary for connecting to Greece (either embark on a cruise or catch a flight to Athens or take a ferry to Samos).
Day 1: Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey. On arrival you will be met by a representative of our local operator and then transferred to your tour hotel. Remainder of the day at leisure. Tonight meet your tour companions at a welcome briefing. Your accommodation has been reserved for two nights on a bed and breakfast basis.
Day 2: Istanbul (B)
Start you discovery of Istanbul with a visit to Topkapi Palace (excluding harem) residence of the Ottoman Sultans from 1453 to 1852. Visit the Hippodrome which was once the centre of life where chariot racing and other public events took place. Continue to the Blue Mosque built between 1609 and 1616 and famous for its blue ceramic tiles. Next see St. Sophia a church converted to a mosque by the Ottomans and now a museum and one of the world’s greatest architectural wonders. Your last stop will be the famous Grand Bazaar the world’s largest and oldest covered market with over 60 streets.
Tonight optional dinner with belly dancing.
Note: Sunday Tour departures will visit St Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul on Tuesday morning before departing to Canakkale
Day 3: Istanbul - Gallipoli - Dardanelles – Canakkale (BD)
Morning departure for Gallipoli. On arrival visit Anzac Cove Lone Pine cemetery and Chunuk Bair then across the Dardanelles to Canakkale for your overnight accommodation at your hotel.
Day 4: Canakkale - Troy - Pergamum – Izmir (BLD)
Today visit Troy with its famous wooden horse. Before arriving into Asclepion have lunch with locals in a traditional local village. Then continue to Pergamum to visit the ancient Medical Centre in Asclepion and continue to Izmir for two nights.
Day 5: Izmir - Ephesus & St. Mary’s House – Izmir (B)
Tour the famous ruins of Ephesus an important cultural centre of the ancient world and explore the 2000 year-old marble streets the theatre the library of Celsius and Hadrian’s Temple. Continue to St Mary’s stone cottage where it is believed Virgin Mary spent her last years accompanied by St John. Later visit a regional rug production centre.
Optional: Dinner at a local restaurant
Day 6: Izmir - Kusadasi (B)
Morning transfer to Kusadasi pier to catch ferry or cruise.
- Superior First Class hotels with private facilities
- Meals are indicated on itineraries by (B) breakfast (L) lunch (D) dinner
- Professional guides
- Local taxes and charges
- Air conditioned transport
- Travel Notes – Issued by Innovative Travel
- International airfares
- Optional tours and excursions
- Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
- Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Personal Expenses
- Departure taxes
- Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
- Visas (unless specified)
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Please note we have requested a double bedded room but cannot guarantee one will be available. In Turkey double rooms are very limited. Please ask on check-in with the hotel to see what is available.
Airport transfers are only included on days of the tour ex Istanbul Ataturk Airport - a surcharge will apply for transfers to/from Sabiha Gocken airport.
If you are arriving or departing Istanbul on any days other than the arrival and departure days of the tour transfers will not be included in the price of the coach tour.
Porterage for one suitcase is included in the tour price. Due to limited coach capacity the single bag should not exceed the dimensions of 30”x18”x10” and not weigh more than 50lbs (23kg). A charge of US $4 per travelling day is collected by the tour director for each additional piece of baggage or if the suitcase exceeds established weight and/or dimension limitations. Alternatively you might leave your luggage at your Istanbul Hotel storage.
Note: Sunday departures in May Sep and Oct will visit St Sophia Cathedral in Istanbul not during the full day tour of Istanbul which is Monday as it is closed but on Tuesday before departing for Canakkale.
The hotel selection may change – please use this as a guideline only.
Accommodation based on the following or similar:
Istanbul: Conrad Hotel
Canakkale: Kolin Hotel
** NEW HOTEL TAX**
The Greek government has recently approved a new law (Law 4389 / 27-05-2016 article 53 Accommodation Taxation) that will be in force and effective as of 01.01.2018 regarding a tax for all Tourists staying in any kind of Hotel, Apartment, Villa, etc. in any destination in Greece. This tax will be applied locally and payable at checkin or checkout depending on your hotel. The tax is a fixed Euro amount based on the property rating.
All ferry schedules may be subject to change, due to local conditions (including weather) and/or possible port congestion and the final requirements of the ferry companies. The cancellation or non operation of the ferries is a decision of the shipping company and the Ministry of Shipping. This is outside the control of our operators and Innovative Travel who confirm ferries in good faith.
If certain classes of ferries are not operating for any reason, the next best option will be used whether alternate ferries or flights. Example: If Hydrofoils are non-operational for any reason, clients booked on them may have to use alternative regular ferries in a first class seat. Any additional charges are at the clients expense.
Greek Island ferries are usually quite large, offering restaurant/cafeteria/bar facilities, though normally no swimming facilities. Porters are rarely available at ferry ports, so your luggage should be only as much as you can carry.
Ferry Rhodes / Marmaris: Unlike standard ferries connections between Greek Islands, the ferry between Rhodes and Marmaris is an international one. Our local operator in Rhodes will provide you with a voucher that you will exchange at the port where you will have to queue to receive your boarding pass and pay the Greece departure tax.
Connecting to International Flights from the Islands. We suggest client do not depart from Athens on the same day as they embark on ferries from the Cyclades or beyond. If departures are scheduled for this day we suggest flying directly into Athens airport.
*** FERRY TICKETS***
The majority of ferry tickets are paper tickets. A handling fee is included in the price of the tickets when purchased with other arrangements in Athens. If clients are not using the service of our local representative in Athens a delivery and additional handling fee may be charged. ( This applies particularly when an island hopping programme begins on the islands). Ferry tickets are non-refundable and non-changeable once issued. All tickets are issued locally in Greece.
Ferry schedules in Greece are constantly changing. Final ferry tickets are generally issued 2 weeks prior departure. To avoid client disappointment tickets are purchased on the best available scheduled departure at that time. If a client wants to make changes after tickets are purchased a change fees will apply payable locally and clients will be responsible for collecting the tickets from the ferry terminal on the day of departure. Final embarkation timings will be confirmed to clients by our representative in Greece.
The local Greece representatives are available to assist clients in case of emergencies or cancellations of ferries. They will also assist to make changes to a booking – any additions or changes to service may incur charges and these must be paid locally.
Transfers are supplied by drivers and are not guided. Some drivers may only have a basic command of English.
*** THE ISLANDS***
Traditionally the Greek Islands main travel season is from May to October. For clients arriving in April and towards the end of the season, many facilities and hotels may not be operational. The infrastructure on Santorini and Mykonos is well developed the other islands accommodation including Naxos and Paros have less developed infrastructure with accommodation generally a slightly lower standard. This is compensated for by atmosphere and charm.
Please note we have requested a double bedded room/cabin but cannot guarantee one will be available. In Greece/Turkey double room/cabin are very limited. Please ask on check-in with the hotel/cruise boat to see what is available.
*** CRUISE DEPARTURES FROM ATHENS ***
We suggest that a pre nights accommodation and an arrival transfer are booked, from your Athens Hotel to the port, to connect with the correct ferry/cruise. Due to the size and congestion at the port it can be difficult to find the correct terminal and the cruise departure point often changes without prior notice. The local operator will be informed of these details to avoid potential problems.
*** CABIN ALLOCATION ON CRUISES ***
Celestial Cruise Cabin numbers are confirmed generally 2 weeks prior to cruise departures. This may vary from the cabin allocated at the time of confirmation of the booking.
*** CRETE SELF DRIVE ***
The standard of the rental vehicles in Crete is generally lower than that of Central Europe and New Zealand. These cars are late model manual vehicles as opposed to new cars. They are well serviced, and reliable. Automatic vehicles can be requested, a surcharge applies. It is common practice that the car is delivered with a non-full (and quite often almost empty) tank. Make sure you fill in your tank before leaving town. At the end of your tour the car is expected to be returned with a similar level of fuel as when first delivered.
*** ATHENS SIGHTSEEING & GREECE MAINLAND COACH TOURS ***
Scheduled tours and sightseeing are bilingual unless specified. Wifi may be available on full day tours to Delphi, Argolis and all multi day tours.
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.