Departs on selected Thursdays
2018 Departure Dates:
April: 19 26.
May: 03 10 17 24 31.
June: 07 14 21 28.
July: 05 19.
August: 02 23 30.
September: 06 13 20 27.
October: 04 11 18 25.
2019 Departure Dates:
April: 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
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 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. Supplement applies.
Day 3: Istanbul - Gallipoli - Dardanelles – Canakkale (B D)
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 (B L D)
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.
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.
Optional: Dinner at a local restaurant. Supplement applies.
Day 6: Izmir - Pamukkale & Hierapolis (B D)
Meander through the plains and cotton farms to Pamukkale. Explore the stunning Pamukkale limestone cascades, a similar site to New Zealand’s lost Pink and White Terraces – albeit formed in a slightly different way. Later visit the ancient Roman spa of Hierapolis and relax at the thermal pools at the hotel.
Day 7: Pamukkale – Marmaris (B D)
Morning transfer Southwards to the coastal city of Marmaris. Named for the rich marble deposits in the area, little is known of the ancient beginnings of this destination. The local Nimara Cave has been shown to have hosted worship for 12,000 years around a central rock with smaller rock alters placed in a semicircle around it. These rocks can still be seen in place inside the cave to this day. 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.
El Greco Hotel or similar
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.
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 was considered by many to be the high point 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)
- Flight Rhodes-Santorini
- Private departure transfer from Athens to the airport included on tour departure day
- Personal Expenses
- Optional Tours
- International airfares
- 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
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.
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.