Explore Greece & Turkey with Joy Travels special 11 Days Greece and Turkey Holidays Package. The tour covers the best of Greece and Turkey including places like Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, Cappadocia and Istanbul. Below is brief tour itinerary of this Greece and Turkey holiday package:
Duration: 11 days/10 nights
Welcome to Greece, the huge land of Neolithic architectu, archaeological walks, splendid monuments and a history to store in the memory and remember! The holiday starts with the capital city of Athens!
eral branches for each of its collection including ancient, Byzantine, Ottoman-era and Chinese art, the Byzantine and Christian Museum containing Byzantine art, the Numismatic Museum housing a great collection of ancient and modern coins, the Museum of Cycladic Art home to an extensive collection of Cycladic art, including the famous figurines made of white marble, the Temple of Olypian Zeus embracing stunning ruins, with the Olympic Stadium and the Hadrian’s Arch located nearby.
Next to big institutions such as the National Gallery and the Benaki Museum, a big number of small private galleries are spread within the city centre and the surrounding areas, hosting the works of contemporary visual and media artists. In recent years a number of bar galleries have sprung up, where you can have a drink or a coffee whilst visiting an exhibition.
The National Art Gallery is located at Michalakopoulou Street, close to Evangelismos metro station and is one of the main art institutions featuring some of the best paintings and works of art of Greece and Europe. Emphasis is given to popular Greek contemporary artists including Giannis Tsarouchis, Domenikos Theotokopoulos (a.k.a. El Greco), Theodors Vrizakis, Nikolaos Kounelakis, Nikiforos Litras, Konstantinos Parthenis, Maleas, Giannis Moralis and others.
The City of Athens Technopolis, an industrial museum of incomparable architecture, amongst the most interesting in the world, has been transformed into a multipurpose cultural space. The centre has assisted in the upgrading of a historic Athens district and the creation of yet another positive element in its cultural identity. With a `can’t believe this wonder’ thoughts psyching you, get back to the hotel to sleep with a quest for a treat on the following day!
The day begins after breakfast! The Acropolis, a UNESCO World Heritage Site,was the ancient fortified town of Athens, dating back to the Late Bronze Age, and the site of the best buildings of the Greek Classical age: the Parthenon, the Erectheion, and the Temple of Athena Nike. Acropolis dominates the Athenian sky and symbolizes the foundation of modern culture and civilization as the most famous landmark of entire Greece, and the eternal symbol of democracy, education and inspiration. The ticket to this area also gives you entry to the Kerameikos, the Temple of Olympian Zeus, Roman Agora, Ancient Agora, and the nearby Theatre of Dionysus. The New Acropolis Museum, replacing the old museum on the Acropolis, has proved considerably popular and a number of smaller and privately-owned museums focused on Greek culture and arts are also to be found closeby.
The Ancient Agora site is a very green space and beautiful view of the Acropolis. You will see the Temple of Hephaestus, the best preserved ancient Greek temple, the Attalos Stoa, the museum of the Agora which is a reconstructed ancient building. From the Agora, you can walk towards Acropolis and an extension towards the Roman Forum.
At the Syntagma Square, check out the Parliament building and the newly-restored Grande Bretagne Hotel and also, catch the changing of the guards in front of the Parliament every hour. Their uniforms and walking style is fun to see but make sure you do not stand on the wrong side of them, if you want to take a picture.
The district of Metaxourgeio represents a unique neighborhood in the historic center of Athens, and has become a bohemian enclave as well as a haven for art and culture. As part of the area's continual transformation, the principal gallery of the city, The Municipal Gallery, was relocated to Avdi Square, which is a large, public space that is well suited to artistic expressions of all kinds.
Athens offers some of the best urban walking in Europe. Several major streets have been recently pedestrianized, and a mostly car-free archeological walk starts at Vasilisis Amalias Street, passes in front of the New Acropolis Museum, Acropolis, Herodion Theatre, Thiseio (Apostolou Pavlou Str), Ermou Street and ends at the popular area of Kerameikos (Gkazi) where numerous bars and clubs are located. Pleasant walking can also be had in Plaka, especially its upper reaches, and in much of Kolonaki, and the National Garden which can provide a welcome respite from the heat and noise of the city center, may be accommodated on the following day!
With a plethora of flexible choices exercised above, return back to the hotel for an overnight sleep to rest your tired feet!
The day begins after breakfast! The Parnitha National Park is punctuated with well-marked paths, gorges, springs, torrents and caves dotting the protected area. Hiking and mountain-biking in all four mountains remain popular outdoor activities for many residents of the city. The National Garden of Athens is a peaceful and beautiful park in the centre of Athens, located between the Parliament and the Zappeion buildings,where visitors can enjoy their walk and spend hours of relaxation,. The Garden encloses luxuriant vegetation, plenty of flowers, some ancient ruins, two duck ponds and a small zoo. In addition, there is a children’s playground and a café as well. The biggest zoo of the city is the Attica Zoological Park,located in the suburb of Spata and home to animals and rare endangered species! Overnight stay at the hotel!
After breakfast, a trip to Mykonos, a Greek Island, part of the Cyclades, lying between Tinos, Syros, paros and Naxo, would be like an `icing on a cake’. The town of Mykonos is also known as Chora where tourism is a major industry as the nightlife and the beaches are most active and famous on this land! Hence it is a popular tourist destination situated in the middle of the Aegean Sea, famed as a cosmopolitan destination, and widely recognised as one of the great travel meccas. This touristed
Island is supported by loud dance clubs, English breakfasts, a landscape which is a symphony of bare rock, blinding white peasant architecture and, in contrast to its small size, numerous lacy stretches of the most beautiful sandy beaches, accentuated by the wonderful Mediterranean light and set against the deep blue background of the Aegean.
Mykonos' main communities are Chora, the island's port town and capital, and the village town of Ano Mera. The town Chora is a stunningly picturesque Cycladic town with a maze of tiny streets, whitewashed stepped lanes, and houses and churches gathered around its harbour in the middle of a wide bay. Although the streets are lined with little shops, boutiques, art galleries, cafes, stylish bars and restaurants, it’s traditional Cycladic architectural style and character has remained firmly intact,.
Ano Mera is a small village in the middle of the island, based around a large central square, which is lined on three sides by a series of Greek tavernas. The monastery of Panagia Tourliani, is the most significant highlight of this area.
Enthused by this unusual abode of admiration, get back to the hotel for an overnight sleep!
The day starts after breakfast! Head towards the Windmills, one of the most recognized landmarks of Mykonos, projecting a splendid view on Little Venice and being the most popular place in on the western side of this arena to watch that eye-catching sunset!
Little Venice, in Mykonos Town, is a district located at the sea, famous for its picturesque medieval two and three storey houses, which stand like a wall above the sea, and their colourful wooden balconies. It is also one of the most beautiful and romantic places offering a fantastic sunset, as mentioned above. A favourite activity here is drinking a cocktail in one of the many bars and cafes while watching the sunset on the seashore. You will reach Little Venice walking from the windmills down the stairs. Panagia
Of all the churches in Mykonos Town, the most impressive is Panagia Paraportianí, a true Byzantine jewel. This whitewashed church is the most popular and most photographed of the 400 churches on the whole island. It is made up of four chapels at ground level and only one of the chapels on the ground floor is open to visitors, from early morning until sunset. The church is located in the Kastro district, the oldest section of Mykonos Town.
All museums are open from April to October, except the Archaeological Museum which is open year round. Most people keep the museums for a rainy day, but the Archaeological Museum of Mykonos is worth a visit as it exhibits include a large number of vases, ranging from the prehistoric to the late Hellenistic era, statues, stelae and funerary urns from the nearby island of Rheneia (Delos' necropolis).
The Folklore Museum, housed in an 18th-century sea captain's house, brings together a number of collections of furniture, icons, and pieces of sculpture, folk musical instruments, costumes and textiles. Lena's House Museum, a branch of the Folklore Museum, is an authentic 19th-century middle class Mykonian house, completely restored with furnishings. The Boni Mill has been maintained and is fully functional featuring its customary wood-burning stone oven.
Overnight stay at the hotel!
The day starts after breakfast towards the most relaxing or hectic schedule, as per choice, that is the beach land! Most of the beaches have taverns and restaurants and are well equipped with deck chairs and parasols. The best beaches are on the south side of the island and sheltered from the prevailing northern wind. On the more popular beaches, it is not uncommon for people to walk down the beach selling probably goods such as DVDs, bags, clothes, jewellery and watches tavern (Nikolas).
Paradise is probably the most popular beach known for its parties hosting foot-tapping music. This exotic beach is easily reached by bus from Mykonos Town or with a regular boat service from Platys Gialos. It is engulfed with Super Paradise restaurants, beach bars and some hotels, hosting music from both the left side (Super Paradise Beach Bar Club) and the right side (Coco Club), for some guests to simpy dine and leave,and for others to party and burn the night away!Delos, a small uninhabited island close to Mykonos, is a UNESCO World Heritage area known for its important archaeological sites, and may be reached by a boat.
In awe of this glittering land, get back to the hotel to take some rest and to leave for your next destination that is Turkey!
For shopping, although a huge city, Athens has relatively few shopping malls or large department stores. Souvenirs are of course available every area that the tourists visit. Other shopping opportunities are antiques, museum reproductions, embroideries and folk art goods, Greek food and drink products.
Here is an overview of the Athens shopping scene:there are small streets which are home to incredibly low-priced shoes, bags, jewellery, gifts, homewares, and so The Golden Hall is a shopping mall at Kifissias avenue in Maroussi and includes shops with luxury brands, as well as luxury cafés, bars and restaurants. Casual silver pieces to hand-crafted gold with precious stones, gold in ancient and Byzantine motifs, contemporary designs in silver and unique gold and silver jewellery by local designers are available.Fashion for men and women, street wear, club wear, party wear, accessories, funky T-shirts, youthful women’s fashion, clothes by Greek designers and A-level designers including: Roberto Cavalli, Gaultier, Missoni and Chloe, may be found in designerwear outlets and various shopping areas. Ceramics, wood-carvings, sculpture, Aphrodite bust candles, authentic Greek folk art, trinkets,
Embroideries, crocheted iPod covers, antique ceramics and hand-crafted silver jewellery may be found in abundance! Unique metal creations, candle-sticks, small mirrors, lamps, books, are spread all around. You can go shopping or window shopping in the fabulous little boutiques which carry exclusive brands, amongst them being outstanding Greek jewellers, souvenirs, and works of art. Mykonos specifically is home to a large artists' colony, so there are a number of fine galleries offering original works.
For quick, decent and low-budget meals that do not fall into the commercialized fast food category, try a souvlaki' (pronounced soo- VLAH-kee), mainly grilled meat (pork, chicken, or your choice) vegetables (tomato and onion slices) and greek 'tzatziki' (pronounced tzah-TZEE-khee) which is yogurt enriched with garlic and cucumber. All the above (often accompanied by french fries) are wrapped inside a thin slice of pan bread, named 'pita' (PEE-tah). If you are interested in a sandwich, cheese pie, spinach pie or the equivalent of a fast snack, try Grigoris or Everest, two chains of fast food to be found in most districts of Athens and the rest of Greece. Goody's is the Greek equivalent of McDonald's and offers a fair variety of tasty meals, including pastas, different salads and burgers. Modern Greek. International culinary fare such as Greek, Seafood, Mediterranean, Italian, Chinese, Modern French, Japanese, Patisserie, including savoury and sweets, ice-creams, sundaes, are always around to satiate your appetite, as well as restaurants serving Indian dishes consisting of tandoori chicken, curry lamb, breads, appetizers, masala tikka, Kashmiri and Punjabi, cuisine is also available in some Indian Restaurants.
Greeks love to socialize and Athens buzzes after its other counterparts have laid their heads down to sleep.Cafes spill on to the streets, and the sounds of lively conversation spills around everywhere in the evenings. Have a frappé, the delicious Greek version of cold coffee and being a Greek invention, it is served sweet, medium, or without sugar, with or without milk. Delicious with Bailey's too!
Arrival at Turkey! Turkey is a contiguous transcontinental parliamentary republic with its smaller part in southeastern Europe and its larger part in Western Asia (i.e. the Balkans and the Anatolia respectively). The Ottoman Empire was sometimes referred to as Turkey or the Turkish Empire, among its contemporaries. It is a founding member of the United Nations and Istanbul as the capital of Turkey, is renowned for the Angora cat, Angora rabbit and Angora goat.
A small introduction to this Republic. The Northern Anatolian conifer and deciduous forest is an ecoregion which covers most of the Pontic Mountains in northern Turkey, while the Caucasus mixed forests extend across the eastern end of the range. The region is home to Eurasian wildlife such as the Eurasian Sparrowhawk Golden Eagle, Eastern Imperial Eagle, Lesser Spotted Eagle, Caucasian Black Grouse, Red-fronted Serin and Wallcreeper. The narrow coastal strip between the Pontic Mountains and the Black Sea is home to the Euxine-Colchic deciduous forests which contain some of the world’s few temperate rainforests.
Turkey has been at a crossroads of civilisation as long as they existed, and Ephesus is rightly acclaimed as a great historic site, with its vast group of excavated buildings. Other sites run up and down the Aegean coast with highlights like Pergamum and Ephesus containing well-preserved remains, while Troy needs a lot of imagination for the viewers to appreciate its ruins. Evidence of Turkey’s long past and importance can be found at three remarkable spots, Hattusa, capital of the Hittite Empire,
Catalhoyuk, an old Neolithic settlement, and Gobekil Tepe, where archaeologists believe in the existence of the world’s oldest place of worship
Explore the mysterious land of the Ottomans Intrepid-style. This comprehensive tour of Turkey combines history and beaches, man-made wonders and natural phenomena, as well as a vibrant and welcoming culture. Begin your trip roaming the palaces and mosques of Istanbul before journeying into the bizarre as you explore other worldly phenomena with your worries soaked away, as you feast on the region’s hidden gems!
Cappadocia. From the amazing white cliff waterfalls of Pamukkale to the bustling bazaars of Istanbul, you would feast on the region’s hidden gems and rest assured that your trip burns brightly in your memory long after you have left these crossroads of Asia and Europe. Discover historic cities and explore the ancient ruins of Ephesus, marvel at the extraordinary scenery of Cappadocia, enjoy dinner in a local family home, relax on an overnight boat trip, live like a local in a Turkish village, spreading your arms to its warmth and hospitality!
Day 7 Istanbul
Start your day after checking into a hotel and a short rest! The wonderful city of Istanbul has an incredibly rich history, amazing array of architectural styles, a delectable cuisine, vibrant nightlife, fascinating culture and oodles of style. Adorned with treasures from all periods of human history, Istanbul is not only one of the world's most fascinating places, but also adorable for its viewers.
With not much activity on the day of arrival, you could explore the Aya Sofya, though there are many important monuments in İstanbul, but this venerable structure, commissioned by the great Byzantine emperor has now been converted to a mosque. Have an optional dinner in a restaurant along with some Turkish fruit wine! Overnight stay at the hotel!
Day 8 Istanbul/Ankara
We begin our day with an orientation tour of Istanbul on foot, as during this tour, you would notice the attractions such as the Topkapi Palace, after having visited Aya Sofya. Topkapı is the subject of more colourful stories than most of the world's museums put together, as you would be visiting and hearing the stories behind many of Istanbul’s sights and discovering some of their leader's hidden city secrets. The starting walk will include a wander through the atmospheric Spice Bazaar, also known as the Egyptian Bazaar, where many of the spices were originally imported. This market was, and is the centre of Istanbul's spice trade, after which you would head downhill to the Bosphorus. The many local ferries departing from here are a great way to see the city from the water, or through the newly renovated Galata Bridge which has a great view of the Golden Horn and Bosphorus houses many bars. Wouldn’t you love to grab a cold beer while enjoying this view! Walk back towards the Sultanahmet area, where you could hear a little of the tumultuous history behind the Aya Sofya, as you are guided around, after which you would visit the Topkapi Palace, home of the Ottoman sultans , as well as the fascinating Archaeological and Ancient Oriental Museums located in a nearby park. The Istanbul Archaeology
Museum showcases archaeological and artistic treasures from the Topkapi Kariye Museum (Chora Church), a Byzantine monument, but few are as drop-dead gorgeous as this mosaic- and fresco-laden church.
You would also explore the beautiful Blue Mosque, admiring the symmetry and the internal tile work of the building In front of the Blue Mosque, the ancient Hippodrome was once the scene of chariot races and now houses monuments from various moments of Istanbul’s history. Divan Yolu was once famous amongst travellers for its western food and relaxed atmosphere. En route, you can explore some hamams, or Turkish baths, a not-to-be-missed novice discovery! Passing by various mosques and tea houses, the path would lead uphill to Istanbul’s grandest mosque complex and hilltop landmark, the Suleymaniye Camii, a fabulous piece of architecture! There are many traditionally dressed sellers in this area offering refreshing glasses of sherbet for just a few cents- worth a try to quench your thirst on a hot day. Overnight stay at the hotel!
Start after breakfast, to move towards the gala ruins! Selcuk's, claim to fame is its proximity to the amazing ruins of Ephesus, although it has its own charm with its orchards, forests and strong cultural roots. Visit the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Ephesus, the foremost city of Turkey with a strategic location on the trade route and being well-preserved, it is one of the best places in the world to get a real feeling of what life must have been during Roman times. The massive, well-preserved theatre dominates the view down Harbour Street, which leads to the long-silted-up harbour. The impressive two storey library, whose façade has been carefully reconstructed from all original pieces contains numerous scrolls. More than anywhere else, the Greco-Roman world comes alive at Ephesus as after years of excavation, the city’s recovered and renovated structures have turned it into a complete classical metropolis as the capital of Roman Asia Minor, vibrant as ever with its inhabitants. Once part of Ephesus, but now on the outskirts of Selcuk, are the remains of one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, the Temple of Artemis, where only one column remains of this ancient structure. You could then visit the remains of St.John Basilica, visit the Mosque of Isa Bey, or just wander the streets and cafes of this festive Turkish town. Try to catch a local `dolmus’ bus to the picturesque village of Sirince for some wine and authentic crafts. The beach at Pamucaki is within the reach of dedicated sunseekers. Sparkled by this experience, rest overnight at the hotel!
After breakfast, the day begins and the guests head for the charming Ayvalik’s blend of old Ottoman architecture, cobbled streets and attractive harbour. If you are itching to get back into the turquoise sea, the beach of Sarimsakli is only a short bus ride away. For those who cannot get enough of life at sea, it may also be possible to charter a boat from the harbour for a short cruise. Move on to Canakkale to spend the night for a visit to the world famous Troy in the morning!
Start immediately after an early breakfast. Troy was first made famous by the Iliad, Homer's epic poem, and more recently by Orlando Bloom and Brad Pitt in the film of the same name! For centuries this story in the Iliad, was regarded as just a myth, until the ruins of the city were found in the mid-nineteenth century. While today not too much remains, it is possible, with a bit of imagination to get a feel for what a great city this must once have been. Of course you won’t want to miss your chance to have your photo taken with the Trojan horse! You may continue further for a short stroll towards the harbour town of Çanakkale, a busy port with a thriving population. Squeeze in as much sight-seeing as you can and then get back to the hotel to collect your packed baggage to catch a flight back to your place of residence!
For shopping,Turkish paintings in the Western sense flood art galleries as they are stocked with aesthetic creations showcasing impressionists and contemporary trends such as Fauvism, Cubism and Expressionism, still very influential in Europe. There are many rugs and textile shops and recently iznik tile-making has become phenomenal, emphasizing that the town is proud of this art is as evident from the posters of tiles on display in many restaurants and hotels. There are quality hamam items on sale, including towels, robes and pestemals or bath wraps produced using certified organic cotton on old-style shuttled looms. The city’s design mavens head for the contemporary crafts shop owned by a few style icons of the country. Ozlem Tuna produces super-stylish jewellery and homewares such as top-quality cotton bed linen and towels, handspun woollen throws, felting lacework embroidery, all-natural soaps and soft toys made by some women of Turkey’s rural areas, and factories turn out yazmas which are printed headscarves traditionally worn by Turkish women. There is fantastic jewellery with gorgeous Byzantine-style rings, earrings, necklaces using gold and old coins.
For food, Turkish cuisine is often regarded as one of the greatest in the world. Its culinary traditions have successfully survived over 1,300 years for several reasons, including its favorable location and interiors. Early influence from the Chinese and Persians included noodles and manti cheese- or meat-stuffed dumplings (similar to the Italian ravioli), often covered in a yogurt sauce. Manti has often been credited with first introducing dolma (stuffed foods) into the Turkish cuisine. The milk and various dairy products that became staple foods for the herdsmen were nearly unused by the Chinese. Yogurt salads, fish in olive oil and stuffed and wrapped vegetables became Turkish staples. The Persians introduced rice, various nuts and meat and fruit stews. In return, the Turks taught them how to cook bulgur wheat. As with many things Turkish, there's a ritual associated with eating baklava. Afficionados don't use a knife and fork...Turkey’s wine scene has been taken by storm by its local outfit Suyla, the city’s establishments enjoy it menu of mezze and fish, with European-style elegance and Turkish fusion menu, modern grill restaurants.. Glitzy harbour restaurants serve dishes with lashings of olive oil and wild herbs, sea food and Mediterranean delicacies, as well as eateries all around the city and harbours also offer Indian delicacies. The Turkish delight coffee is a UNESCO listed intangible cultural heritage of the Turks, savoured and appreciated by the residents and tourists!
Accommodation for 2 nights in Athens
Accommodation for 2 nights in Mykonos
Accommodation for 2 nights in Santorini
Accommodation for 2 nights in Cappadocia
Accommodation for 2 nights in Istanbul
Day 1: Arrival in Athens
Day 2: Athens and Mykonos
Day 3: Mykonos
Day 4: Mykonos and Santorini
Day 5: Santorini
Day 6: Santorini and Athens
Day 7: Athens to Cappadocia
Day 8: Cappadocia
Day 9: Departure to Istanbul
Day 10: Istanbul
Day 11: Departure
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