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15 Day Highlights of Turkey & Greece with 3 Day Iconic Aegean Cruise -Cabin IB Inside

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Gate1
Days
15
From
USD $3,649
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Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

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Itinerary

Tour Itinerary

Countries Visited

Greece , Turkey

Cities Visited

Athens , Istanbul , Kavala , Thessaloniki

DAY 1, Monday - Depart for Turkey
Depart for Turkey

DAY 2, Tuesday - Arrive in Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul, at the crossroads of Europe and Asia and transfer to your hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure. Your tour will begin with an orientation meeting with your Tour Manager at approximately 7:30 PM, followed by a light dinner. We recommend that you select flights which arrive no later than 4 PM
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Dinner

DAY 3, Wednesday - Istanbul City Tour
Embark on a city tour of Istanbul, the only city that straddles two continents. Begin with a visit to the Hippodrome, the place where chariot races and competitive athletic events took place during the Roman period. Continue on to the newly renovated Blue Mosque, showcasing an impressive combination of blue Iznik tiles and intricate stonework. Afterward, head to Basilica Cistern, an extensive underground cistern commissioned by Emperor Justinian and built in 532. Then, tour St. Sophia, the great Byzantine Basilica built in the 6th century and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Later, take a relaxing cruise along the Bosphorus, the winding strait separating Europe and Asia. View fishing villages, wooden Ottoman villas and contrasting suspension bridges set against the dramatic outline of the Strait
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 4, Thursday - Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar, Spice Market
Begin with a visit to Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans between the 15th and 19th centuries, including the Harem section. The jeweled turban crests, silken caftans and priceless Chinese porcelains of the palace bear witness to the grandeur of a bygone era. Continue to the Grand Bazaar in the Old City, a favorite place for shopping. Following a carpet weaving demonstration, wander the labyrinth of streets and passages with more than 4,000 shops displaying jewelry, leather goods, carpets and more. Afterwards, explore the Spice Market with its unforgettable aromas
Overnight: Istanbul
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 5, Friday - Explore Edirne
Depart Istanbul early this morning and travel to Edirne, an important gateway between Europe and the East. On arrival, visit Üç Serefeli Mosque with its four strikingly unique minarets. Explore the Complex of Sultan Bayezid II Health Museum, Grand Synagogue of Edirne and browse the shops at Ali Pasa Covered Bazaar. Then, visit the old train station with its maginficent architecture. The station also houses a small museum, showcasing artifacts and memorabilia from the railway's heyday. Later, check into the hotel for dinner and overnight
Overnight: Edirne
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 6, Saturday - Border Crossing to Greece, Kavala
This morning, leave Edirne behind and cross into Greece, stopping along the way for lunch. After border formalities, continue on to Kavala. Arrive and check into the hotel
Overnight: Kavala
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 7, Sunday - Archaeological Site of Philippi, Thessaloniki
Begin the day with a visit to the archaeological site of Philippi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Explore the ancient site and view monuments representing Hellenistic, Roman and Early Christian periods. Highlights include the acropolis, Hellenistic theater, agora, octagonal church, dedicated to St Paul and Roman cistern, where Apostle Paul was imprisoned. Later, travel through the scenic Greek countryside, past charming villages to Thessaloniki. On arrival, check into the hotel and spend leisure time before dinner tonight
Overnight: Thessaloniki
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 8, Monday - Thessaloniki Walking Food Tour
Embark on a walking food tour, where you discover Thessaloniki's distinct local flavors and historic landmarks. Learn about the regional cuisine and sample Greek meze dishes and freshly baked goods. Visit the open-air market, with its charming paved alleys, stalls filled with fresh produce, fish, meat, spices, dairy products, and many local specialties. After lunch at a taverna, spend free time at Aristotelous Square. In the evening, take a boat tour around Thermaikos Gulf and admire views of Thessaloniki and the beautiful coastline. Afterwards, have dinner at a local restaurant
Overnight: Thessaloniki
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 9, Tuesday - Archaeological Site of Vergina
Depart Thessaloniki this morning, and head to the archaeological site of Vergina in Central Macedonia. Considered one the most extraordinary finds of the 20th century, Vergina was the first capital of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia. Visit the Royal Tomb of King Phillip (father of Alexander the Great) and view the famous "Vergina Treasures" including gold urns, jeweled wreaths, unique art, ivory, and armor. Continue to Kalambaka or Larisa for overnight
Overnight: Kalambaka or Larisa
Meals: Breakfast

DAY 10, Wednesday - Meteora Monasteries, Travel to Athens
Visit Meteora, meaning "suspended in the air", with its mystical Eastern Orthodox monasteries incredibly nestled perilously close to the edge of massive rock formations. Admire the exquisite specimens of Byzantine art and stop at a workshop of Byzantine icons and souvenirs. Enjoy the panoramic vistas over the Peneios Valley. Following lunch, embark on a scenic drive that takes you along the coast, past Thermopylae to Athens. Arrive and check into your hotel
Overnight: Athens
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 11, Thursday - Athens City Tour
The exploration of Athens begins with a panoramic drive through the city center. View the Panathenian Stadium and the ruins of the Temple of Zeus and Hadrian's Arch, built to celebrate the arrival of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. Continue on to visit the Acropolis, the ancient architectural masterpiece built during the Golden Age of Athens and the new Acropolis Museum, a striking modern building built at the base of the monument where many of the original statues from the Acropolis are now displayed. The rest of the day is at leisure. Be sure to walk to Constitution Square, where you might catch a glimpse of the colorfully-costumed Evzone guards, outfitted in the traditional Greek style. Tonight at dinner, bid farewell to your Tour Manager
Overnight: Athens
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

DAY 12, Friday - Cruise Embarkation, Arrive in Mykonos
Morning arrival at the pier for embarkation. Set sail at 11:30 AM, and sit back as you take in the spectacular scenery of the beautiful turquoise waters of the Aegean. Arrive at 6 PM in the ultra-popular and chic jet-set island of Mykonos with its whitewashed houses, iconic windmills and sophisticated town with trendy cafes and boutiques. Find a table at a harborside taverna and gaze at the bustle of Cycladic island life and the gorgeous views. Perhaps visit one of the island's popular bars before returning to the ship departing at 11 PM for Kusadasi, Turkey
Overnight: Aegean Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13, Saturday - Arrive in Kusadasi (Ephesus), Evening in Patmos
Today, arrive at 7:30 AM in Kusadasi, Turkey. This splendid city is renowned for its significant historic and religious sites, including ancient Ephesus, one of the most exquisite cities in antiquity. Tour the magnificent archaeological site of Ephesus, home to the Library of Celsus and Fountain of Trajan. Continue to the House of Virgin Mary, believed to be the place where Virgin Mary spent her final days. Enjoy free time in Kusadasi before returning to the ship in time for lunch and departure at 1 PM. At 5 PM, arrive in Patmos. This small island is steeped with an intense spiritual character, which inspired St. John the Divine to write the Book of Apocalypse. A large monastery in his name dominates the landscape above Chora, the island's capital, surrounded by strong fortress-like walls. Follow the picturesque narrow lanes in the port of Skála and discover cafés, shops and bakeries selling traditional honey and nut pastries. Time to linger until sailing at 9:30 PM to Crete
Overnight: Aegean Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14, Sunday - Arrive in Crete, Evening in Santorini
At 7 AM, arrive in Crete, largest of the Greek Islands. Crete's remarkable history is highlighted by the ruins of the great Palace of Knossos, ceremonial and political center of the ancient Minoan civilization. At 12 PM, have a leisurely lunch on board as the ship sets sail. At 4:30 PM, cruise into Santorini's caldera as you marvel at the sapphire blue water, snow-white architecture and multicolored cliffs that characterize this enchanting getaway. The streets of bustling Fira, the island's capital city, are a vision of pristine whitewashed buildings. Relax at a cliffside café or wander the narrow footpaths before the ship sails towards Athens at 9:30 PM
Overnight: Aegean Cruise
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 15, Monday - Depart Greece
Disembark at 7 AM and transfer to the airport in Athens for your departure flight
Meals: Breakfast

Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

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Inclusions

Please Note: Land Price does not include airfare, departure or arrival transfers, airline taxes and fuel surcharges.

Escorted Package Includes

  • Flights New York-Istanbul, Athens-New York
    Other departure cities available.
  • Airline taxes & fuel surcharges
  • 13 nights accommodations
  • 3 nights Istanbul
  • 1 night Edirne
  • 1 night Kavala
  • 2 nights Thessaloniki
  • 1 night Kalambaka
  • 2 nights Athens
  • 3 nights
  • Cruise gratuities & porterage
  • All transfers included only with airfare purchase on package arrival & departure dates†
  • 27 meals: 13 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 8 dinners
  • Wine and beer with all meals on board the cruise
  • Sightseeing per itinerary in modern air-conditioned motor coach
  • Services of English-speaking tour manager
  • Entrance fees per itinerary
  • Comfortable wireless earphones for enhanced touring
  • Special Features

  • Visit Topkapi Palace, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans, including the Harem section
  • Discover Istanbul's sights including St. Sophia, the Hippodrome, Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar
  • Embark on a cruise along the Bosphorus, the winding straits separating Europe and Asia
  • Explore Edirne, an important gateway between Europe and the East
  • Tour the archaeological site of Philippi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Take a walking food tour, where you discover Thessaloniki's distinct local flavors
  • View the Royal Tomb of King Philip and the famous "Vergina Treasures"
  • Visit Meteora with its mystical Eastern Orthodox monasteries perched in mid-air
  • Explore the Acropolis, an ancient architectural masterpiece and visit the Acropolis Museum
  • Tour the archaeological site of Ancient Ephesus and the colorful town of Kusadasi
  • Cruise Features & Amenities

  • English speaking cruise director
  • 7 bars & 4 restaurants
  • Spa and wellness center
  • Swimming pool
  • Beer & wine with all meals
  • Fitness center
  • Extensive sun deck
  • †Transfers are available for purchase for land only or on alternative flight dates

    Not Included:
    Port charges of US $149, optional and gratuities.


    Additional Information:
    Land only price does not include arrival/departure transfers. As taxis are difficult to find upon disembarkation, we suggest that the departure transfer is pre-booked.

    Passengers returning from Athens on day 15 should select flights that depart no earlier than 12 PM.

    Your cruise package includes the following excursions: House of Virgin Mary & Ancient Ephesus (KUS-01). Please note that shore excursions can only be purchased locally.

    While sailing with Celestyal Cruises, passengers are subject to the cruise line's Terms & Conditions which can be viewed at:

    Visas are not required for shore excursions to Kusadasi.

    Passport information for all passengers traveling on Celestyal Cruises must be submitted 60 days prior to departure.

    During Ramadan (Mar 10 - Apr 9, 2024), historic and cultural sites may close early and operate with minimal staff. The order of sightseeing may be changed to accommodate the holiday observance. Traffic congestion is common during Ramadan. Some hotels and restaurants may not serve alcoholic beverages. Entertainment may be limited to be respectful of the holiday observance. Modest dress is suggested during Ramadan (no shorts, short skirts, or sleeveless tops). Use discretion when drinking, eating, and smoking in public between sunrise and sunset.

    Health and Safety Protocols for Gate1 Tours

    At Gate 1 we take your safety and security very seriously. We have a strong network of tour managers, local offices, ground operators and colleagues which help us stay informed in all the destinations that we operate. We closely monitor local situations which enable us to make the operational decisions necessary to keep our tours running safely. Millions of people travel the world each year and experience enjoyable and safe trips but crimes against people and property are sadly a fact of life. It is very important to be aware of your surroundings and avoid drawing attention to yourself. Please remember that you have the same responsibility for your personal safety and possessions as you do at home. It is essential to prepare for a safe and healthy travel abroad. Therefore before you travel, we strongly recommend that you visit the website of the US Department of State at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html for up-to-date travel advice on the countries that you are visiting. The website provides useful information on subjects such as safety and security information, health precautions and medications, health insurance and additional tips for traveling abroad. If you do not reside in the United States, we recommend you check your government's travel advisory website for any country you will be visiting. We recommend that you review the safety guidance that may be provided by us, our agents or suppliers, either before you go or when you arrive in your destination. You can also find helpful tips on our website in the "Trip Preparation" tab of each of our tour packages. We do know that in-spite of careful planning, things can sometimes still go wrong, so rest assured, we will be there to help and support you.

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    Accommodations

    Occidental Taksim Hotel
    This first class hotel is located in Istanbul's Beyoglu district, just a five minute walk from Taksim Square.

    Occidental Taksim Hotel
    This first class hotel is located in Istanbul's Beyoglu district, just a five minute walk from Taksim Square.

    Port Bosphorus Hotel
    This first class hotel is a fifteen minute walk from the Galata Tower.

    Margi Hotel
    This deluxe hotel is located in Edirne, next to Margi Outlet mall.

    Lucy Hotel
    This first class hotel is located in the city of Kavala, near the sea.

    Capsis Hotel
    This first class hotel is located in the heart of downtown Thessaloniki.

    Divani Meteora Hotel
    This first class hotel is situated at the foot of the rocks of Meteora at the small village of Kalambaka. It is surrounded by beautiful gardens, and has stunning views of the mountains.

    Divani Caravel
    This deluxe hotel is located in the heart of Athens, near to the Embassy district.

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    Questions & Answers

    Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

    Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

    Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

    Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

    Gate1 Tours Customer Reviews

    Overall Rating
    4.3
    Accommodations
    4
    Itinerary
    4.4
    Professional Staff
    4.5
    Repeat with Operator
    4.4
    Value for Money
    4.2

    Ratings based off 6650 reviews about Gate1 Tours - currently showing 15 reviews with comments only

    I cannot say enough about Gate 1! Gate 1 is the only travel operator I travel with.

    The Radisson Hotel was way above expectations and all others were very nice. The bus with wifi and charging ability was very nice and allowed me to share the trip with others while traveling. The food was extremely good and many more choices than expected. All flights, pickups and delivery were accomplished on time and with ease. The bag handlers were always there and made everything run smoothly with little effort on my part.

    Gate1 trips match their advertisements Their Tour Managers are always very attentive and helpful.

    Gate 1 always provides a wonderful service. It is just as they say it will be. So much to see.

    I did not worry at all before and during my trip because I always have good experience both with Affordable tour and Gate 1.

    We love Gate 1 tours. Excellent quality and value. Perfect itineraries.

    I have found Gate1 to be very reliable and a company that offers a variety of itineraries.

    This is our 7th or 8th trip with Gate 1. We have never been disappointed. Our guide, itinerary and travel experiences are outstanding!

    Gate1 was exceptional in every way. From the itinerary to the tour Director, everything was exactly as advertised, or better. Would definitely go with Gate1 again and highly recommend.

    Best trip ever Gate 1 exceeded my expectations

    We have traveled with Gate One 8 times and always had a good experience.

    Terrific guide, wonderful itinerary, another reason we continue to book with Gate1.

    The Gate 1 Discovery tours are very good and well worth the extra cost. We had only 16 participants on the trip and everyone got along well. They used the large bus and everyone had their own seat if they wanted it. The hotels on trip were above average.

    Great trip for those that want to visit Normandie and the Mediterranean Coast of France. Plenty of time for lunches and shopping at most stops. Nice to have two nights at each stop.

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