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Greece and Turkey: The Heart of the Aegean
(with a Classical Focus)

 

Discover the most important classical sites of western civilization as we visit the birthplace of democracy and western culture. You'll experience the great treasures of Greece and Turkey, and visit such world treasures as the Acropolis in Athens, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul, and so much more.

 

DAY 1- USA/ Athens
Depart USA on overnite flight to Athens.

DAY 2- Athens
Arrive Athens, proceed through customs and meet with the agent for transfer to the hotel.

DAY 3- Athens
This morning see ancient Athens. Pass the Arch of the Emperor Hadrian, the Temple of Olympian Zeus and visit Constitution Square. At the Presidential Palace, stop to photograph the Evzones, (Republican Guards), and continue to the first modern Olympic Stadium, built for the 1896 Olympics. Later today, visit the famed Acropolis and its museum. You will also see Omonia Square, the Greek Orthodox Church, and the Monastiriki ( flea market). Overnite in Athens.

DAY 4- Athens/ Corinth/ Mycenae/ Epidaurus/ Nauplia
Early morning departure to the ancient cities of Corinth and Mycenae. On Mt. Acrokorinthos, see the Byzantine buildings and the Pelrene Fountain. Drive over the Corinthian Canal to Mycenae, of Late Bronze Greece (1700 BC), viewing the Lion’s Gate, palace and Tomb of Agamemnon. Continue to Epidaurus, visiting its beautiful theatre, noted for superb acoustics, seating 14,000. Overnite in Nauplia.

DAY 5- Nauplia/ Tripolis/ Olympia
Travel today through the Central Peloponnese, past Megalopolis and Tripolis, to Olympia, site of the Olympic Games begun in 776 BC, according to tradition. Visit the city, stadium and Hippodrome, as well as the outstanding archaeological museum. Overnite in Olympia.

DAY 6- Olympia/ Patras/ Rion/ Antirion/ Naphpaktos/ Delphi
Drive via Patras to Rion, where you will cross the gulf by ferry to Antirion, through the picturesque town of Naphpaktos to Delphi, famous for its Oracle. Spread like an ampitheatre, the twin peaks that surround Delphi dominate the valley and isolate the site from the rest of the world. Visit the many archaeological sites in and around Delphi. Overnite in Delphi.

DAY 7- Delphi/ Athens
Visit the Delphi Museum this morning, and then in a leisurely fashion drive back to Athens, arriving in the late afternoon. Overnite in Athens.

DAY 8- Athens/ The Cruise Ship/ Mykonos
Transfer to Piraeus Harbor and board your Hellenic Tours cruise ship for your Aegean Islands tour. Mykonos is the most popular of the Cycladic Islands, noted for its white-washed serenity, winding streets and shops. Explore the area on your own.

DAY 9- Mykonos/ Patmos/ Kusadasi
This island is known as the site of the apocalyptic revelations of St. John the Divine. The Monastery of St. John, founded in the 11th Century, is on the island’s highest point. It houses priceless icons and manuscripts. In the afternoon, arrive at Kusadasi, with an excursion to Ephesus, where history truly comes to life. Pass such architectural masterpieces as the Magnesian Gate, the Library of Celsus, and the great ampitheatre where Paul was arrested and cast out of the city in the 1st Century/

DAY 10- Kusadasi/ Rhodes
The beautiful "Island of Roses" has a rich and varied history. On a hill overlooking the town of Lindos is an ancient acropolis dedicated to the Goddess Athena. Below lies the Bay of St. Paul, where, according to tradition, he landed. The crusading Knights of St. John also left their mark in the medieval walled city. The Turks then occupied Rhodes for almost 400 years. Enjoy a walking tour of this diverse community.

DAY 11- Rhodes/ Piraeus/ Athens
Disembark from the ship in the morning, proceed to the bus to transfer to your hotel. The afternoon is on your own.

DAY 12- Depart on your morning flight back the USA. Welcome Home!


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