Glories of Turkey and Greece
Glories of Turkey and Greece
Glories of Turkey and Greece
Glories of Turkey and Greece

Glories of Turkey and Greece

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First Class Coach Tour in Turkey, Independent Island Hopping, and Group touring in Athens
16 Days ex Istanbul

2023 Departure Dates:

    • June: 08, 29

    • July: 13, 27

    • August: 17, 31

    • September: 14, 28

    • October: 12, 26

Full assistance provided on the Greek Islands

Please note that due to large seasonal variance in the cost of flights between Rhodes and Santorini, this will be priced separately at the time of booking and is not included in the listed price.

Day 1: Istanbul

Welcome to Turkey. On arrival, please clear customs and immigration. In arrivals area, you will be met by our local operator and then transferred to your tour hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Tonight meet your tour companions on your coach tour at a welcome briefing. Your accommodation is reserved for two nights on a bed and breakfast basis.

Day 2: Istanbul (B)

Start your 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. Supplement applies.

Day 3: Istanbul - Gallipoli - Dardanelles – Canakkale (BD)

Today is a special day for New Zealand and Australian travellers as you have a morning departure for Gallipoli. On arrival, visit Anzac Cove, Lone Pine Cemetery and Chunuk Bair. The doomed assault on Gallipoli by New Zealand and Australian forces, in their own contingents for the first time in foreign service, is considered by many to have been the birth of national consciousness for these two countries. For the Turks, then part of the Ottoman Empire, the victory is regarded as the defining moment in the birth of the Turkish nation, with independence following just 8 years later.

Later head across the Dardanelles to Canakkale for your overnight accommodation at your hotel.

Day 4: Canakkale - Troy - Pergamum – Izmir (BL)

Today you will step into mythology with a visit to Troy, the scene of heroic deeds from such legends as Achilles, Paris, Ulysses, Priam, and the incomparably beautiful Helen – “the face that launched a thousand ships.” Immortalised by Homer in his epic The Iliad, Troy was thought to be entirely fictitious until it was discovered by pioneering archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann in the 1870’s. The replica wooden horse adds further depth to the experience. Later, depart for Asclepion, stopping to have lunch with locals in a traditional village. Then continue to Pergamum to visit the ancient Medical Centre in Asclepion and continue on to Izmir for two nights.

Optional: Dinner at a local restaurant. Supplement applies.

Day 5: 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. Home to the now ruined Temple of Artemis, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Ephesus is where some believe the Gospel of John was written. Continue to St Mary’s stone cottage where it is believed Virgin Mary spent her last years accompanied by St John.

Day 6: Izmir - Bodrum (BD)

After breakfast drive to Bodrum to visit the castle of St.Peter and the renowned Underwater Museum that was awarded the best Underwater Museum of the World in 2000s. Dinner & Overnight in Bodrum.

Day 7: Bodrum – Marmaris (BD)

Morning transfer Southwards to the coastal city of Marmaris. Afternoon at leisure to explore the beach and markets of this mysterious city.

Day 8: Marmaris – Rhodes (B)

Morning transfer to Marmaris Port and ferry to Rhodes the largest of the Dodecanese islands, known for its beaches, ancient ruins and remnants of its crusader past. Begin your Greek Island Hopping programme with an arrival transfer to your hotel in Rhodes. The rest of the day is at leisure.

Day 9: Rhodes (B)

Rhodes was home to one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Colossus of Rhodes was built in 280 BC and stood approximately the same height as the Statue of Liberty. Unconfirmed speculation states that the giant statue stood with one foot either side of the entrance to Rhodes Harbour, although this is impossible to prove. Spend the day exploring the old town with its medical street of the Knights and palaces, or take an optional tour to Lindos.

Day 10: Rhodes – Santorini (B)

Fly Rhodes - Santorini via Athens. Upon arrival in Santorini you will be transferred to your hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure.

Day 11: Santorini (B)

Day at leisure to explore this most idyllic of Greek Islands. The beautiful island of Santorini was created by the eruption of a super volcano called Thera in ancient antiquity. This eruption has been estimated to have ejected 100 cubic kilometres of material, making it one of the four most powerful eruptions of historic times. The concentric shaped islands that remain have created one of the most perfect natural harbours in the world. Take advantage of the many spectacular viewpoints. Santorini is a delightful location to enjoy the Mediterranean. Famed for the beautiful sunsets, be sure to find a great vantage point from one of the bars dotted along the caldera, as the day winds down.

Day 12: Santorini – Mykonos (B)

Today you will be transferred to the port for your short ferry to Mykonos. Upon arrival transfer to your hotel before a day at leisure - a perfect opportunity to load a hamper up with local food and find somewhere for a picnic. For those wanting to delve into the history of Mykonos, the Archaeological Museum houses many interesting artefacts including a famed vase painted with scenes from the fall of Troy. Towards the end of the day, make your way toward Little Venice, a delightful area composed of rows of fishing houses with balconies hung over the sea. Many of these houses, some of which were built in the 18th century, have been converted into bars, cafes, and galleries. This is a perfect place to watch the sunset. Mykonos is popular with mainland Greeks and can be one of the more lively islands in the evenings.

Day 13: Mykonos (B)

Another day to continue your exploration of Mykonos. This island plays a key role in Greek mythology, reputedly being the location where the battle between the Gods and the Titans took place.

Today your choice, explore the cobblestoned streets of Mykonos Town, dotted with traditional Cycladic white houses, colourful shops and taverna s or stroll to the beach to spend a day relaxing on this idyllic Greek Island made famed for the movie Shirley Valentine.

Day 14: Mykonos - Athens (B)

Transfer to the port for your ferry to Athens. On arrival into Athens you will be transferred to your Athens hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure to discover this ancient city. (B)

Day 15: Athens (B)

Spend the day exploring Athens. Visit the magnificent Acropolis standing in the shadow of the Parthenon. Built over a period of nine years during the 5th century BC, the Parthenon has been described as the most beautiful building ever constructed, and the sculptural decoration is was considered by many to be the highpoint of Greek art. Continue to the new Acropolis Museum, followed by free time to wander along the narrow pedestrian streets of the Plaka, perhaps sample local Greek style fresh cuisine at one of the many open-air local tavernas or browse traditional shops.

Day 16: Athens (B)

Today you will be transferred to the airport for your onward flight.


  • Private arrival transfer in Istanbul included on tour arrival day
  • First Class Coach Tour in Turkey (Istanbul to Marmaris )
  • First Class hotels on the Greek Island Hopping and Athens
  • Air conditioned transportation and transfers
  • Licensed English speaking guides in Turkey
  • Licensed English speaking guide in Athens
  • Local taxes and service charges
  • Luggage handling
  • Daily breakfasts, 1 lunch & 4 dinners
  • Air-conditioned transportation
  • Sightseeing and entrance fees
  • All transfers in Istanbul, Athens & on the Greek Islands
  • Ferry Marmaris to Rhodes
  • Ferry/Hydrofoil Santorini to Mykonos & Mykonos to Piraeus (Athens port)
  • Private departure transfer from Athens to the airport included on tour departure day


  • Personal Expenses
  • Optional Tours
  • International airfares
  • Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
  • Porterage
  • 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
  • Flights Rhodes to Santorini via Athens


This programme is a combination of a coach tour, Independent island hopping in the Greek Islands and ministay in Athens. The Group size will vary and some passengers will only participate in a portion of the tour.

An arrival airport transfer is included on the arrival day of the tour ex Istanbul Ataturk Airport, a surcharge will apply for transfers to or from Sabiha Gocken Airport or the new airport when it opens. 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. However, if pre or post tour accommodation is booked, transfers to Ataturk airport are included.


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.

The hotel selection may change – please use this as a guideline only

Please note if you have requested a double bedded room this cannot be guaranteed. In Turkey and on the Greek Islands double rooms are very limited. We suggest you ask on check-in with the hotel to see what is available.

Accommodation based on the below or similar


Conrad Istanbul


Kolin Hotel


Swissotel Grand Efes


Ramada Resort Hotel


Elite World Hotel


Meditteranean Hotel


El Greco Hotel


Petassos Beach Hotel


Electra Palace


Dress Codes
Modest dress is required for entrance to holy sites – Men: Long pants, Women – skirt or long pants and shoulders covered.

On coach tours, hotels in regional areas (i.e Pamukkale) can be of a slightly lower standard than the other hotels on the tour.  

All sightseeing tours require a moderate amount of walking around historical / cultural sites. This is particularly true in Cappadocia where walks can be up to 1 or 2 km long and where a good level of fitness will ensure you get a maximum enjoyment from your visit. On some tours you may visit a carpet or handicraft shop where the locals will show how their crafts are made. There is no obligation to buy any products at any of these places.

Transfers are operated by drivers and are not guided. Some drivers may only have a basic command of English.

Optional Tours
Optional tours offered during coach tours may not be guaranteed (even if pre-booked ex New Zealand) as they are subject to a minimum number of participants.  

Private Sightseeing tours (if booked)
If a private sightseeing tour is booked it is important that you discuss the days arrangements with the guide as the touring programmes have a degree of flexibility. It is important to discuss with the guide so that any specific requirements can be met or addressed at the time.

Istanbul airport transfers:
For coach tours: airport transfers are included on days of the tour ex Istanbul Airport, a surcharge will apply for transfers to or from Sabiha Gocken Airport. Transfers from the hotel to the Airport may be on scheduled shuttles. Late Evning or early morning flights may require private transfers at a supplement.

For independent / private tours: if included, airport transfers are applied ex Ataturk Airport, a surcharge will apply for transfers to or from Sabiha Gocken Airport.


The Greek government established a tourist tax (which came into effect in 2018 - Law 4389 / 27-05-2016 article 53 Accommodation Taxation) for all tourists staying in any kind of Hotel, Apartment, Villa, etc. in any destination in Greece. This tax is applied locally and is payable at check-in or check-out 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
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.

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.