One of the best combined tour programs in the world. In 12 days, you will visit the cultural Capital of Europe; Istanbul, one of the most beautiful cities of Europe; Sofia, one of the best places to feel the cultural heritages of Europe; Athens.
Day 1 : Turkey - Istanbul - Arrival Day
Welcome to Turkey Istanbul Airport. Meet with our Turkey staff and transfer to your hotel. Transfer from airport & check in to your hotel. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 2 : Turkey - Istanbul City Tour
We pick you up at 08.30 from your hotel for the daily tour of old Istanbul City, upon breakfast.Visit to ST. SOPHIA This ancient basilica, built by Constantine the Great in the 4th century and reconstructed by Justinian in the 6th century, is one of the architectural marvels of all time.
TOPKAPI PALACE The great palace of the Ottoman sultans from the 15th to the 19th centuries housing an exquisite collection of crystal, silver, and Chinese porcelain, robes worn by the sultans and their families, the famous jewels of the Imperial Treasury, miniatures, the Holy Mantle; enshrining relics of the Prophet Mohammed.
SULTANAHMET IMPERIAL MOSQUE Across from St. Sophia built in the 16th century by the architect Mehmet, is known as the BLUE MOSQUE because of its magnificent interior decoration of blue Iznik tiles.
HIPPODROME Ancient Hippodrome, the scene of chariot races, with the three monuments; the Obelisk of Theodosius, the bronze Serpentine Column and the Column of Constantine.
We will then take you to the Grand Spice Bazaar which is a unique atmosphere with reasonable prices for your shopping on many Exotic Spices and Herbs, Turkish Baklava, Turkish Delights, Turkish Coffee, nuts and fruits, small souvenirs such as Ceramic Handicrafts, Evil Eyes totems, all naturel olive oil, soaps and many other goods in Souvenir Shops and stores. After the tour, transfer back to your hotel. Free Evening and optional Istanbul Evening Shows or Bosphorus Dinner Cruise including traditional Turkish entertainment and dinner. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 3 : Turkey - Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise and Shopping Tour
After breakfast we pick you up at 09.00 from the hotel and depart for a magical Istanbul Bosphorus Cruise and Shopping Tour.
BOSPHORUS BY BOAT a traditional excursion by boat along the waterway separating Europe and Asia.
The shore is lined with old wooden villas, palaces of marble, fortresses, and small fishing villages. During the excursion you will see the magnificent sights of the following attractions from your boat. See Dolmabahce Palace, and further along, the parks and imperial pavilions of Yildiz Palace.
On the coastal edge of this park, is Ciragan Palace, 300 meters of its marble facade faces the shore. At Ortakoy a great variety of artists gather every Sunday to display their work along the street. Ortakoy is a symbol of tolerance with a church, a mosque and a synagogue existing side by side for centuries.
RUMELI FORTRESS Built by Mehmet the Conqueror in 1452 prior to the conquest of Istanbul was completed in only four months to control and protect the infamous Bosphorus passage. It is one of the most beautiful works of military architecture anywhere in the world.
BEYLERBEYI PALACE The summer residence of Ottoman sultans exists in its original renovated glory featuring original antique furniture and magnificent gardens with the Harem on the Asian side of Istanbul.
BOSPHORUS BRIDGE enjoy a unique chance to step from one continent (Asia) to another (Europe)
CAMLICA HILL the highest point in Istanbul. At the top of it you can rest and admire the magnificent panorama of Istanbul and the Bosporus from the beautiful gardens, landscaped in traditional Turkish Ottoman style.
SHOPPING TOUR (after cruise) Experience the traditional silk weaving skills of Turkish women at the carpet weaving courses provided by The Ministry of National Education. You will get the opportunity to see jewelry, handcrafts center and a modern leatherwear show. The rest of the evening is yours to explore Istanbul. Overnight in Istanbul.
Day 4 : Turkey - Istanbul - Plovdiv - Bulgaria
After breakfast check out from the hotel and depart for Bulgaria. Arrival in Plovdiv around noon, in Bulgaria. Check in to hotel and rest of day is yours. Explore Plovdiv city, shop in the local markets, or enjoy many big party or games in Casinos. Overnight in Plovdiv.
Day 5 : Bulgaria - Plovdiv - Sofia
Departure for Sofia upon breakfast. Guided sightseeing tour of the city center including visit to Alexander Nevski Cathedral - one of the largest Eastern Orthodox cathedrals in Europe, as well as one of Sofia’s symbols and a primary tourist attraction; St. George Rotunda, St. Sophia Church, built by the Roman Emperor Justinian in the 6th century, National Theatre, former Royal Palace, today housing the National Revival Art Gallery and the Ethnographic Museum, Presidency, etc. Upon request dinner at a traditional restaurant with folklore music and dances. Overnight in Sofia.
Day 6 : Bulgaria - Sofia - Rila Monastery - Sandanski
After breakfast, departure for Rila Monastery - the most exquisite example of the monastery art and architecture in Bulgaria. Guided tour of the monastery complex. Visit to Nativity of the Virgin Church with its miracle icon of the Virgin and splendid gilded iconostasis, the old kitchen, the monastery museum where you can learn about the long and heroic history of the monastery, the woodcarved cross made for a period of twelve years by a monk called Rafael, Hrelyo’s Tower and many spectacular views from the mountain and the surrounding nature. Drive to Sandanski in the afternoon. Overnight in Sandanski.
Day 7 : Bulgaria - Sandanski – Melnik - Greece - Thessaloniki
After breakfast, drive to Melnik – the smallest town in Bulgaria famous for its excellent wines and sandstone rocky pyramids. Visit to Kordopulova museum-house. Around noon departure for Greece. Arrive Thessaloniki early afternoon. The rest of the day will be free to explore and enjoy Thessaloniki on your own, walking around, doing the shopping or relaxing in one of many cafeterias or Taverns in Thessaloniki downtown. Overnight in Thessaloniki.
Day 8 : Greece - Thessaloniki - Vergina – Thermopylae - Athens
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast, drive to Vergina, the most important remains of the monumental palace of the Kingdom of Macedonia, lavishly decorated with mosaics and painted stuccoes, and the burial ground with more than 300 tumuli, some of which date from the 11th century B.C. One of the royal tombs is identified as that of Philip II, who conquered all the Greek cities, paving the way for his son Alexander and the expansion of the Hellenistic world.
After the visit drive to Athens. On the way, make a short stop at Thermopylae where a fierce battle took place between the Persians and Greeks during the Persian invasion of 480-479 BC. The Greek force (300 strong) was very small but was determined to make a stand against the huge Persian army. Overnight in Athens.
Day 9 : Greece - Athens Sightseeing Tour With Acropolis & Half Day All in One
After breakfast, we will start the tour of the city of Athens, visiting Syntagma Square - the center of modern Athens and view the changing of the guard in front of the Parliament building. On the way to Acropolis, we will have a stop to the Panathenaic Stadium-made of white marble- where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. The impressive, work of Art, Stadium was the finish line of the Marathon Race of Athens 2004 Olympics. We will also see the Temple of Olympian Zeus - the largest Temple ever built in Greece. We will view the National Gardens, the Academy, the National Library, the University, and finally we will visit the most magnificent monument in the world - the Parthenon on the Acropolis. Then drive to Piraeus, Greece's main port and continue by the costal road to Kastella, a picturesque hill area overlooking the Mikrolimano yacht harbour, having the opportunity to see numerous restaurants and cafes by the sea.
On the way to Mesoghia and the Winery, enjoy the journey through the southern suburbs of the city along the coastal avenue of Athens riviera with its magnificent view to the sea. Arrive at the Winery* and enjoy the visit. Drive to Porto Rafti Area by the sea. Right after , drive to McArthur Designer Outlet shopping village. In continue, we drive at a Pottery workshop to see the craft of making vases and the exhibition of different products. Afterwards, drive back to hotel, passing by the facilities of the Olympic Athletic Center of Athens where the majority of the athletic events were held during the 2004 Olympic Games. Overnight in Athens.
Day 10 : Greece - Athens to Mykonos
Breakfast at the hotel. After breakfast transfer to Piraeus Port (or Rafina) for a boat to Mykonos. Arrival in Mykonos Port and transfer to the hotel. Then spend the rest of the day at leisure. Enjoy your day on this Cycladic Island known for its great night life and the town’s Cycladic architecture. Mykonos beaches a must to experience, such as Platy Gialos, Psarou, Ornos, Paranga “Paradise”, “Super Paradise”, Elia, Kalafati, Kalo Livadi. On Mykonos western shore are Agios Stefanos, Houlakia, Tourlos, Megali-Ammos. Walk through the narrow alleyways in Mykonos town and visit beautiful churches and the famous windmills. Overnight in Mykonons.
Day 11 : Greece - Mykonos
Breakfast at the hotel. Free day to explore the island on your own. Mykonos Island is the most famous and cosmopolitan tourist island in the Eastern Mediterranean amongst the Cyclades, something which is not just by chance.
Expect to experience the exquisite visuals of white-washed houses, proud windmills, a multitude of chapels, busy back streets with balconies full of flowers and a multicolour fleet of fishing boats at the port. If you’re after a bit of history and culture, the island has five museums you can visit as well as a beautiful church. The church of Panagia Paraportiani is located beyond the Delos Ferry Quay on the way to Little Venice. Overnight in Mykonos.
Day 12 : Greece - Mykonos to Athens - Tour End
Early breakfast at the hotel and transfer to Mykonos port for a boat to Piraeus (or Rafina). When you arrive at Piraeus port you will be transferred to Athens International airport for an evening flight back home.