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Athens, Greek Islands & Istanbul

Tours
Athens, Greek Islands & Istanbul
DATES

06 OCT 2019 - 22 OCT 2019


RATES
from NZD$9500 per person
Single rate from NZD$11600

Hover over rates for other currencies.



*Rates are per person based on Twin Share or Single Room.
*Prices are subject to change until paid in full.
*A 'Willing to Share' is possible on this tour.
*International Flights are not included in the Tour Rate. PLEASE ASK US FOR A QUOTE. 


Athens, Greek Islands & Istanbul Athens, Greek Islands & Istanbul Athens, Greek Islands & Istanbul Athens, Greek Islands & Istanbul Athens, Greek Islands & Istanbul
Athens, Greek Islands & Istanbul

ATHENS, GREEK ISLANDS & ISTANBUL

 

On this incredible tour, we visit two very different, yet fabulous countries. Greece is a land of legends, mythological creatures and gods and goddesses. Lovers of history, archeology and mythology are inspired and awed. It is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, Western literature, political science and Western drama. Nestled between Asia and Europe, Turkey is an entrancing mix of cultures, historical and modern-day attractions and culinary influences that range from regal to contemporary. Once the capital of the Christian and Islamic empires, Istanbul amazingly spans two continents.
 
Athens is arguably the master of juggling the old and the new. The mighty Acropolis watches over the city, keeping a protective eye on the Athenians who like to eat, drink and party with an incredible lust for life. The museums and ancient sites are well-known. In Santorini, white washed villages tumble down the hillsides to beautiful beaches and mirror-flat cerulean seas and we drink raki at fish taverns by the sea. In Naxos, we see Mediterranean ease in full force where boats offer an alternative to cars, small restaurants serve retsina against a backdrop of fishing nets, and men cluster around harbour front bars playing dominos. Crete is even older than the mainland, where we visit the ruins at Knossos Palace and explore peaceful villages and countryside. 
 
Istanbul is crammed with dazzling historic buildings, museums and art galleries. It is a rich melting pot of the finest influences from around the globe. We will indulge in its culinary brilliance and marvel at the exquisite craftsmanship of ancient palaces, mosques and churches. Discover Topkapi Palace; the main residence of the Ottoman sultans for 400 years, and cruise along the Bosphorus and take in views of mosques and palaces. Lose yourself in the kaleidoscope of scents and sensations of Istanbul’s colourful Grand Bazaar, filled with Ottoman jewellery, beautifully handcrafted ceramics and the heady aroma of Turkish coffee. In Sultanahmet, we visit the stunning Hagia Sophia, said to have changed the history of architecture, and we will definitely indulge in a fabulous Turkish Hammam… And why not? This is Istanbul after all….
Tour Overview
Duration
16 Nights - OCTOBER 2019
Start Point
Athens, Greece
Finish Point
Istanbul, Turkey
Tour Style
Escorted Tour
Accommodation
Boutique Accommodation
Meals
As per itinerary
Transport
Private Mini-Van, Domestic Flight, Ferry
Max Group Size
Min 8, Max 10 Guests
Tour Inclusions
  • Fully escorted from Athens by Jemma Wilson - Owner of Mai Journeys
  • 4 nights' at Herodian Hotel, Athens
  • 2 nights' at Polis Boutique Hotel, Naxos
  • 3 nights' at Panorama Hotel, Santorini
  • 1 night at Olive Green Hotel, Heraklion
  • 2 nights' at Porto Veneziano, Chania
  • 4 nights at Sultania Hotel, Istanbul
  • Arrival / departure transfers airport to Hotels / Hotels to airports in private van
  • Welcome Dinner & Cocktail at Herodian in Athens
  • Farewell Dinner in Istanbul with wine
  • Breakfast daily
  • x5 dinners in local restaurants - Athens (Plaka), Naxos, Santorini, Heraklion & Istanbul
  • Other meals as per itinerary - a mixture of lunches and dinners (includes foodie walking tour & cooking class)
  • Fast ferry tickets - Economy Class - Piraeus/Naxos, Naxos/Santorini, Santorini/Heraklion
  • Domestic flight Chania to Athens - Economy Class
  • Athens half day city tour by deluxe A/C minibus with English-speaking professional guide
  • Athens half day walking Food Tour with tastings and expert guide
  • Wine tasting in Santorini
  • Wine tasting and cooking class at Vamos Village, Crete
  • Visit to the Palace of Knosses
  • Istanbul full day city tour by deluxe A/C minibus with English-speaking professional guide
  • Istanbul Food Tour with lunch, expert guide and transportation
  • Bosphorus cruise by private boat
  • Istanbul half day Shopping Tour to the Egyptian Bazaar (Spice market) and Grand Bazaar including lunch at a local restaurant, expert guide and transportation
  • Reservations at Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hammam (Guests to Pay Direct)
  • Specialist Guides throughout
  • Entrances to museums & ancient sites as per itinerary 
  • Any other included sightseeing activities specified in the itinerary and entrance fees where required
  • Private transport throughout as per itinerary
Tour Highlights
  • Culinary walking tour of Athens
  • Culinary walking tour of Istanbul
  • Athens City Tour including visit to Acropolis
  • The Plaka area of Athens
  • Naxos & Santorini islands
  • Wine tour in Santorini
  • Cooking Class on Crete
  • The Grand Bazaar in Istanbul
  • Cruising the Bosphorpus
  • Turkish Hammam
  • Knosses
  • Greek food
  • Turkish food
  • Great hotels
  • Great company....

Tour Itinerary

Open all
Day 1 - Arrive Athens
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Welcome to Athens. You will be met on arrival and transferred to our hotel, The Herodian. Take time to settle in relax and explore your surrounds.

Tonight we will meet on the rooftop bar for a drink overlooking the Acropolis. A Welcome cocktail is included this evening, before dinner at the hotel.

Overnight Herodian Athens. (Welcome Cocktail / Welcome Dinner)

Day 2 - Athens
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This morning after breakfast we will be met by our Guide to enjoy a half day city tour, giving us the opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. From the Acropolis to Omonia Square, you'll see all the famous sites of ancient and modern Athens. Depart for Panathinaikos Stadium, cradle of the first Olympic Games that took place in 1896. We pass by the Prime’s Ministers residence, the ex Royal Palace, (guarded by colourful Evzones) & Zappion (Conference and Exhibition Hall). 

We will see/visit the Roman Temple of Olympian Zeus, the National Garden, Hadrian’s Arc, St. Paul’s Church, Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown soldier, Schlieman’s House (Nomismatic Museum), the Catholic Cathedral, the National Library, Old Parliament, Constitution Square & the Russian Orthodox Church.

We will see the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. We visit the Architectural Masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally "the harmony between material and spirit", the monument that "puts order in the mind", the Parthenon. Continue to the new Acropolis Museum where the main attractions such as votives, artefacts of everyday life, statues from archaic period, Caryatids, and of course the Parthenon hall with the metopes, the pediments and the frieze will impress you. 

We will then be taken back to our hotel and the rest of the day is at leasure for relaxation or further sightseeing.

Tonight we'll regroup for dinner in the vibrant and popular Plaka Area.  

Overnight Herodian Athens (B / D)

Day 3 - Athens
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Today is a walking and tasting tour! We will visit various specialty food shops, colourful and alluring delicatessens, aromatic and tempting bakeries and sweet shops, restaurants, dairies and spice shops. 

Our guide will lead us through the bustling Athens Central Market, a historic food market unlike any other in Europe. Here, colourful & fragrant food stalls set the stage among animated food sellers, fishmongers & butchers whelping for sales as locals bargain them down. We’ll also walk the city’s quaint spice street, browse through mom-and-pop specialty shops selling local wine, olive oil, cheese or olives. The aromas of fresh, out-of-the-oven savoury pies, the tempting displays of Greek pastries & sips of Greece’s strong & tasteful spirits round out the tour. At the Acropolis area, we will discover true Athenian Food Culture, by learning how to prepare and then tasting Greek specialties like gemista, tzatziki, spanakopita with feta cheese and mpougatsa.

We return to the hotel for rest.
Remainder of day & evening at leisure.

Overnight Herodian Athens (B / L)

Day 4 - To Naxos
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Early departure!
This morning we transfer to Piraeus Port for our ferry to Naxos. Times approx. 7.25-10.30am.

On arrival, we transfer to our hotel - The Polis Boutique Hotel.

Check in and freshen up.

Naxos is the gem of Greece, a happy and delightful jewel shining on the waters of Aegean Sea. Being the biggest and greenest island in the Cyclades, Naxos is infused with lively villages, proud historical monuments and sandy beaches.

Naxos town is the main village of the island and there is plenty to explore in this lovely village; from the authentic structures to beautiful landscapes and stroll-worthy waterfront, full of bars, cafes and restaurants. The Kastro, or castle district of Naxos is a fortified area of the town that was once a castle. It’s one of the oldest parts of the town itself, and it’s very different to the architecture you’ll find towards the bottom.

We can take an afternoon trip to Portara to soak in the gorgeous view. Portara (the great door) is a name that the residents have allocated to this marvellous marble doorway. This monument is a short walk from the Naxos town harbour, standing proudly on a small island. This ramrod landmark, which is 2,500 years old, marks a doorway that “leads nowhere” and was once a temple devoted to the god Apollo. The temple was constructed when Lygdamis was reigning, and Naxos was a prominent cultural centre.

This evening we will dine at a local restaurant. (own account) 

Overnight The Polis Boutique Hotel (B)

Day 5 - Naxos
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We have the opportunity to get to know Naxos in a short time.

Starting from Naxos town, our first stop is in Damalas village, where we can visit a traditional ceramics workshop and a restored traditional olive press.

Through the valley of Tragaia, we stop at the village Halki with its mansions, the Byzantine church of Panagia Protothroni and the citrus distillery.

Then we visit the Byzantine church of Panagia Drosiani, near the village of Moni, which is considered to be one of the oldest in the Balkans.

Next stop is Apiranthos village with its marble paved alleys. Apiranthos has 4 small museums.

One the way back to town, we visit the lush settings of Flerio, Melanes. The area was very important during antiquity. There lies the impressive statue of Kouros, so called the “Greek”, 6,4 meters long, dated from the 7th century BC.

This evening is at leisure. 

Overnight The Polis Boutique Hotel (B)

Day 6 - To Santorini
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This morning is free time to roam until we board our ferry.

Transfer to the port for our ferry to Santorini. Times approx. 2.50-4.50pm. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel, the Panorama Boutique, where we will stay for three nights. Our hotel is in Thera, or Fira, the main town, which lies on the curve of the caldera, facing west. The ferries arrive into the port that lies south of the main town. Its' picturesque white washed buildings cling to the sides of the cliffs.

'Santorini' conjures up mental images of whitewashed buildings with bright blue roofs built precariously above a sparkling sea and black sand beaches. Picturesque and full of everything Greece is known for, Santorini will take you right to Greece's heart and soul.

We will check in and refresh, and meet for dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight Panorama Boutique Hotel (B / D)

Day 7 - Santorini
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This morning is Oia, wine tasting and lunch tour.

We transfer to Oia, one of the most beautiful villages situated in the northern side of the island where after a walk with our escort, we will have some free time for shopping.

We then visit the vineyards for a wine tasting tour of the island. Santorini has a long tradition in the winemaking and it is renowned for its outstanding crisp dry white wines and elegant sweet dessert wines. Wine production on Santorini dates back at least 5000 years. Greek wines are refreshing and delicious, thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate; however, the arid atmosphere posed some challenges to the early vintners. You’ll have the chance to speak with the vintners, who explain how the grapes adapted to a dry, volcanic environment. Popular wines in Greece include Assyrtiko and Mandilaria.

We will end in a traditional restaurant in Megalochori or Pyrgos where we will enjoy a fabulous Greek menu ie cheese or spinach pie, Greek salad or tzatziki, Kleftiko or tomato balls and baklava or galaktobureko.

Return to our hotel and remainder of day and evening is at leisure.

Overnight Panorama Boutique Hotel (B / L)

Day 8 - Santorini
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Free day in Santorini.
We will offer a plethora of optional excursions for you, from the adventurous to the sedate and sublime. Or you may wish to simply relax, eat, swim and shop!

Overnight Panorama Boutique Hotel (B)

Day 9 - Heraklion
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This morning is at leisure until we transfer to the ferry for our departure to Heraklion.

Located on the Greek island of Crete, Heraklion is the island's largest city and is one of the main urban centres in Greece. The city can trace its history back to at least the 9th century AD when its development began and then later came under the influence of the Arabs, the Venetians and the Ottomans.

We check into our hotel, refresh and meet again in time for dinner. Dinner is at a local restaurant. 

Overnight Olive Green Heraklion (B / D)

Day 10 - Knosses & Chania
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This morning we have a guided visit to the Archaeological Museum. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the largest & most important museums in Greece & among the most important museums in Europe. It houses representative artefacts from all the periods of Cretan prehistory & history, covering a chronological span of over 5.500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times.

We then retrace history at Knossos – this is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and is considered Europe's oldest city. It is the birthplace of the Minoan civilisation, and the origin of the myth of labyrinth. It contains the largest of the Minoan palaces - that has been partially restored - which dates back to 2000 B.C. It was excavated in the early 20th century by the great English archaeologist Arthur Evans. The ruins belong to the last - and largest - Minoan Palace, the labyrinth of Knossos. Built 3700 years ago, it has over 1000 pieces. It is decorated with impressive murals and the throne of King Minos is still intact. 

We continue to Chania, where we stay for 2 nights. It is easy to fall in love with Chania. This Cretan harbour town has a lot going for it: small local shops, waterside restaurants and lots of little alleys to get lost in. The best part is the historical old town as most of the sights are located there.

On arrival in Chania, we check in and refresh.

Overnight Porto Veneziano (B)

Day 11 - Chania
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Today we will cook, taste and enjoy local recipes and prepare delicious dishes with the guidance and assistance of our professional cook, Mrs. Koula.

Mrs. Koula, born and raised in a Cretan village, bears all the knowledge of her family and shares it with us with love and integrity. She is the author of the cookery book ‘Foods of Crete", published in Canada and U.S, where she lived for many years. All the dishes are made of genuine pure Cretan products such as olive oil, vegetables, cheese, meat, wine, etc. and of course all the ingredients are fresh and local. In addition, useful information about the herbs, olive oil and other ingredients is given, together with explanations of their nutritional value and usage. 

After cooking, we will all eat together on a long monastery-style table, enjoying the fruits of our creativity with local wine and bread, Greek music and a few nice stories. 

The lesson takes place in a unique place called ‘Fabrica’, in the heart of the old neighbourhood of Vamos. It is an old olive press dating from 1846 with Venetian arches & large millstones in the centre. This unique setting will enliven our journey into the aromas & tastes of traditional Cretan Cuisine.  

We return to the hotel where our evening is free.

Overnight Porto Veneziano (B / L)

Day 12 - To Athens (for overnight)
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Transfer (Time TBC) to the airport for our flight to Athens. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel for overnight. 

Evening at leisure. 

Overnight Herodian Athens. (B)

Day 13 - To Istanbul
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This morning after breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight to Istanbul.

On arrival we will be met and transferred to our hotel. 

The magnificent city of Istanbul sprawls across two continents connected by two slender bridges. It is the former capital of two great empires & leads an intricate dual life, both ancient and modern. The narrow streets of the Sultanahmet district with its ancient Christian and Islamic monuments eventually lead to regions populated with tall office buildings and modern shops. Ocean-going ships sail through the historically much-coveted Bosphorus strait, and the Islamic call to prayer seems to travel from minaret to minaret at sunup and sundown. First named Byzantium, the city was renamed Constantinople by Roman Emperor Constantine, who moved the capital here in 330 AD. The Roman Empire evolved into the Byzantine Empire, profoundly influenced by the area’s Greek speaking inhabitants. The Byzantine Empire reigned for over a thousand years until the Ottoman Turks, originally from Central Asia, conquered Constantinople in 1453 and renamed the city yet again. 

After check in and refresh, we can meet in the hotel bar for drinks. Evening at lesiure. 

Overnight Sultania Hotel (B)

Day 14 - Istanbul
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Today is a full day tour of Istanbul. We will plunge into the heart of the history of Constantinople/Istanbul and discover its principal Byzantine and Ottoman monuments. 

Visit Topkapi Palace and its Treasury, St Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Underground Cistern. 

Topkapi Palace - Overlooking the Golden Horn stands the mass of buildings that was the great palace of the Ottoman Sultans – Topkapi Palace- from the 15th to the 19th Century. Today it is one of the richest museums of the world. Topkapi was not just the private residence of the Sultan and his court but as the home of the Divan (the Cabinet) was the seat of the Supreme executive and of judicial control of a great empire. It houses the best astonishing collections of rare objects which once belonged to the Sultans (The harem section is not included)

St. Sophia Museum - Built by Justinian in the 6th Century. In this extraordinary masterpiece of byzantine architecture, you will admire the remarkable cupola and the galleries covered by the splendid mosaics dating back to the 11th and 12th Centuries. 

Dubbed the "Blue Mosque" by Europeans because of its beautiful interior tiles with flower and tree motifs manufactured at the end of the high period of the great Iznik workshops. This is the only mosque in the world with six minarets and is probably the most famous landmark of the city. Named for its marvellous interior & decoration of turquoise tiles. The harmonious grandeur and the elegance of its six minarets of this admirable mosque, built at the beginning of the 17th Century. 

The Basilica Cistern; the mysterious and surreal 6th-century cistern under the streets of ancient Constantinople. Supported by over 300 Corinthian Columns and still filled with water. After the conquest of the city by the Ottoman Turks, it was forgotten and nobody knew that it existed. Rediscovered in 1545, it was used to water the gardens of Topkapi Palace. Today it has a rather eerie and mystical ambiance. Clever spotlighting makes the water shimmer with coloured dancing lights and the water ripples from an occasional fish swishing its tail in exuberance.

The Ancient Hippodrome of Septimus Severus (2nd Century) where The Obelisk of Theodosius, The Serpentine Column and The Column of Constantine stand.

Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

We return to our hotel. Our evening is at leisure.

Overnight Sultania Hotel (B / L)

Day 15 - Istanbul
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This morning is a culinary tour of Istanbul with our expert guide. We will explore the regional cuisine of Turkey by visiting and tasting from the colourful open marketplace, located in Kadikoy on the Asian side of Istanbul. In this marketplace, you will discover specialty shops that sell all kinds of ingredients, from fish to candies, and you can even shop for some goodies. 

We will have lunch at a famous restaurant that serves regional Anatolian cuisines with its unique menu of local food, deserts and drinks.

At the conclusion of our fabulous foodie tour, we embark on a private boat for a two hour Bosphorus cruise. The Bosphorus strait, a marvel of nature, is a bit longer than thirty km and is located between the hills of Asia and Europe, connecting the waters of Black Sea and Marmara Sea. From our cruise boat, we can view the dramatic sights lining the Bosphorus’ shores: mosques, a bridge that for a time was the world’ s longest and Rumeli Hisar, a massive fortress built by Mehmet the Conqueror in just three months as he prepared to take Istanbul. Also noteworthy are the 19th century mansions of the Ottoman elite and the Sultans’ fanciful gingerbread palaces and hunting lodges - the Yalis or seaside mansions. 

We return to our hotel. Our evening is at leisure.

Overnight Sultania Hotel (B / L)

Day 16 - Istanbul
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Our final day concludes with a guided visit to the Grand Bazaar - the largest covered bazaar in the world with more than 4000 shops - for a shopping experience that’s truly a world apart. Made up of a vast maze of interconnecting passages, the bazaar has its own banks, baths, mosques, cafés and restaurants, a police station, a post office, not to mention the thousands of shops, all glittery and fairy-lit in the absence of natural light. It’s no longer the biggest shopping centre in the world, but it can still claim to be the oldest. 

Lunch will be at a local restaurant near the Egyptian Bazaar which is famous for its’ Turkish specialty dishes. 

After lunch prepare to be born again with a traditional Hamman package worthy of the Sultans…This is an optional experience, but one we highly recommend! We will have a hammam reservation at Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hammam for a treatment of traditional body scrubbing, relaxing bubble wash ritual or other massage options. This meticulously restored twin hamam dating to 1556 offers the most luxurious traditional bath experience in the Old City. There are separate baths for males and females, both witha handsome so?ukluk (entrance vestibule) surrounded by wooden change cubicles.

We return to the hotel, completely invigorated, and prepare for our final evening. We will meet in the bar of the hotel and then continue for our special farewell meal. 

Overnight Sultania Hotel (B / L / D)

Day 17 - Depart
View

We end our tour this morning. 

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight (B)

 

About this tour

Herodian Hotel, Athens Herodion is situated in the heart of Athens on the doorstep of the new Acropolis Museum. It is surrounded by small art museums, galleries, jewellery museum, cafes and restaurants. You will be at the heart of the beautiful and historic neighbourhoods of Plaka and the New Acropolis Museum, right under the gaze of the Acropolis rock, in the throbbing heart of Athens. Run by the same family for more than four decades, Herodion has quietly transformed the Greek hospitality industry by combining efficiency and friendliness. Every one of the eighty-six guest-rooms and four mini suites of Herodion Hotel are designed with great attention to detail, offer high aesthetics, functionality and comfort. For total relaxation, head to the Roof Garden. Amidst an olive tree garden and with breathtaking views of the Acropolis, you can soak in one of two Jacuzzis or have a drink at Point; phenomenal view, sensational cocktails, superior gastronomy.

Polis Hotel, Naxos - Located in Naxos Town, 200 meters from the sandy beach of Saint George, Polis Of Naxos Boutique Hotel offers minimal Cycladic style guest rooms which include the latest and finest amenities; contributing to your calm and relaxing stay on Naxos island. Polis offers a variety of services that will transform your holiday into a memorable experience. The reception area includes a sitting room and provides services such as car and motorbike Rentals, free luggage deposit after check-out, daily excursions and mini library. Within walking distance you can reach the seafront promenade of Chora with many traditional tavernas, cafes, wine bars and all kind of shops. Polis also offers a range of massage and spa services.

Panorama Hotel, Santorini Panorama Santorini Boutique Hotel is a luxury property located in the heart of Fira offering spectacular views of the Aegean sea, Santorini’s world famous sunset, Caldera and Volcano. The hotel combines traditional Cycladic architecture with modern facilities. Just a stone’s throw from Fira’s bustling centre and surrounded by some of the island’s best restaurants, vibrant cafes and night venues. There are shops, banks, bus and taxi stations, as well as the Archaeological Museum all on your doorstep. Upon arriving in Panorama Hotel you stepped into a luxurious world where the staff takes great pride in their ability to assist and meet every conceivable need of their guests.

Porto Veneziano, Chania Porto Veneziano Hotel enjoys a privileged location on the waterfront of the Old Venetian Harbor of Chania, just 300 meters away from the city center and the Old Town. Porto Veneziano has 51 rooms & 6 suites, and has unforgettable views of the harbour, the sea, the Old Town, the White Mountains and the private garden. In the hotel's restaurant, start off your day with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and indulge in a Greek Breakfast, full of fruits, local products and homemade delicacies. At the end of the day, enjoy drinks at the hotel's Bar, catch up with family on our free WiFi access and enjoy the traditional fishing boats bathe in the sunset.

Olive Green, Heraklion - In the heart of Heraklion, Olive Green Hotel stands out with a distinct character. The name consists of two words that interpret the philosophy and personality of the hotel. The Olive stands as a symbol of power, eternity, tranquility and prosperity. The Olive is embedded in the entity of Crete, through its purity and wildness. The colour Green represents the ecological and contemporary character of the hotel which implements international sustainability criteria. Olive Green is an intelligent, conscious, eco-friendly hotel. In the heart of the Old town, Olive Green is located within walking distance from the main points of interest and the central market. Wander the streets around Olive Green and uncover some of the most attractive corners in the city. Liberty (Eleftherias) Square is an excellent vantage point from which to explore Heraklion. Korai and Dedalou streets are two vibrant streets full of shops, boutiques and some of the most unique café and ouzeri (traditional small restaurants serving finger food and local drinks) you can find. 

Hotel Sultania, Istanbul Hotel Sultania is a deluxe boutique hotel with a harem design and located at the heart of the old city and within walking distance to Saint Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Bosphorus. It has 42 luxury rooms, each with a traditional Ottoman touch. The hotel rooms have been given the names of the Ottoman Empire’s most important Sultan’s wives. Among the many facilities you will find an indoor swimming pool, a wellness center, Olive Restaurant with its gourmet cuisine, and impeccable service. Unique among Istanbul boutique hotels, Sultania inspires with its luxurious design and its landmark Sultanahmet location. The hammam offers a traditional experience that is relaxed, luxurious and comfortable enough for Western tastes. You can enjoy the scrub and foam massage in this traditional atmosphere everyday between 08:00 and 22:00.

Practicalities

Weather: October is one of the best months of the year to visit Greece, when the temperatures are not as hot as the blistering summer months of July and August, but the weather is still warm enough to go to the beach. The best time to visit Greece is either side of the peak months of July and August, which see soaring temperatures and crowds. October can enjoy something of an Indian summer and some wonderful light.

In Istanbul, October sees an average daily temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius. The low temperatures throughout the month can dip down to 14 degrees Celsius or swing as high as 26 degrees Celsius. The Mediterranean Sea remains warm enough to swim in during October. The temperate autumn weather make the city one of the most ideal places to visit during this season.

Currency, Credit Cards & ATM's: 
*In Greece, the currency is the Euro. 
*ATMs - ATMs are found in every town large enough to support a bank and in almost all the tourist areas. If you have MasterCard or Visa, there are plenty of places to withdraw money. Cirrus and Maestro users can make withdrawals in all major towns and tourist areas. Be aware that many ATMs on the islands can lose their connection for a day or two at a time, making it impossible for anyone (locals included) to withdraw money. It's useful to have a backup source of money.
*Cash - Note that Greek shopkeepers and small-business owners have a perennial problem with having small change. When buying small items it is better to tender coins or small-denomination notes.
*Credit Cards - Credit cards are an accepted part of the commercial scene in Greece, although they're often not accepted on many of the smaller islands or in small villages. In larger places, credit cards can be used at top-end hotels, restaurants and shops. The main credit cards are MasterCard and Visa, both of which are widely accepted. They can also be used as cash cards to draw cash from the ATMs of affiliated Greek banks. Daily withdrawal limits are set by the issuing bank and are given in local currency only.

Turkey's currency is the Turkish Lira. The lira comes in notes of five, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200, and coins of one, five, 10, 25 and 50 kuru? and one lira. Lack of change is a constant problem; try to keep a supply of coins and small notes for minor payments. 
*ATMs - ATMs dispense Turkish lira, and occasionally euros and US dollars, to Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro card holders. Look for these logos on machines, which are found in most towns. 
*Credit Cards - Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted by hotels, shops and restaurants, although often not by pensions and local restaurants outside the main tourist areas.

Visas: Visas are not required for New Zealand passport holders. Australian passport holders need a Visa for Turkey.

The facts

Not Included:

  • International Airfares - PLEASE ASK US FOR A QUOTE
  • Travel insurance - PLEASE ASK US FOR A QUOTE
  • Transfers unless stated in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Phone calls
  • Passport and visas
  • Laundry
  • Tips - a suggested Kitty will be available
  • Excess baggage
  • Meals not specifically mentioned in the itinerary
  • Beverages unless specifically described. 
  • Optional excursions or activities that may be offered but are not included in the tour price.
Travel advice / FCO

We constantly monitor the advice posted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At the time of writing the FCO does not advise against travel to any of the places visited on this tour. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns. Furthermore, you should be aware that any travel warnings or advisories may affect the validity of your travel insurance. Therefore, at the time of booking your tour it is essential you check any restrictions on cover with your insurance provider.

DATES

06 OCT 2019 - 22 OCT 2019


RATES
from NZD$9500 per person
Single rate from NZD$11600

Hover over rates for other currencies.



*Rates are per person based on Twin Share or Single Room.
*Prices are subject to change until paid in full.
*A 'Willing to Share' is possible on this tour.
*International Flights are not included in the Tour Rate. PLEASE ASK US FOR A QUOTE. 


Tour Itinerary
Day 1 - Arrive Athens

Welcome to Athens. You will be met on arrival and transferred to our hotel, The Herodian. Take time to settle in relax and explore your surrounds.

Tonight we will meet on the rooftop bar for a drink overlooking the Acropolis. A Welcome cocktail is included this evening, before dinner at the hotel.

Overnight Herodian Athens. (Welcome Cocktail / Welcome Dinner)

Day 2 - Athens

This morning after breakfast we will be met by our Guide to enjoy a half day city tour, giving us the opportunity to observe the striking contrasts that make Athens such a fascinating city. From the Acropolis to Omonia Square, you'll see all the famous sites of ancient and modern Athens. Depart for Panathinaikos Stadium, cradle of the first Olympic Games that took place in 1896. We pass by the Prime’s Ministers residence, the ex Royal Palace, (guarded by colourful Evzones) & Zappion (Conference and Exhibition Hall). 

We will see/visit the Roman Temple of Olympian Zeus, the National Garden, Hadrian’s Arc, St. Paul’s Church, Parliament, Tomb of the Unknown soldier, Schlieman’s House (Nomismatic Museum), the Catholic Cathedral, the National Library, Old Parliament, Constitution Square & the Russian Orthodox Church.

We will see the Acropolis and the Acropolis Museum. We visit the Architectural Masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylaea, the Temple of Athena Nike, the Erechtheion and finally "the harmony between material and spirit", the monument that "puts order in the mind", the Parthenon. Continue to the new Acropolis Museum where the main attractions such as votives, artefacts of everyday life, statues from archaic period, Caryatids, and of course the Parthenon hall with the metopes, the pediments and the frieze will impress you. 

We will then be taken back to our hotel and the rest of the day is at leasure for relaxation or further sightseeing.

Tonight we'll regroup for dinner in the vibrant and popular Plaka Area.  

Overnight Herodian Athens (B / D)

Day 3 - Athens

Today is a walking and tasting tour! We will visit various specialty food shops, colourful and alluring delicatessens, aromatic and tempting bakeries and sweet shops, restaurants, dairies and spice shops. 

Our guide will lead us through the bustling Athens Central Market, a historic food market unlike any other in Europe. Here, colourful & fragrant food stalls set the stage among animated food sellers, fishmongers & butchers whelping for sales as locals bargain them down. We’ll also walk the city’s quaint spice street, browse through mom-and-pop specialty shops selling local wine, olive oil, cheese or olives. The aromas of fresh, out-of-the-oven savoury pies, the tempting displays of Greek pastries & sips of Greece’s strong & tasteful spirits round out the tour. At the Acropolis area, we will discover true Athenian Food Culture, by learning how to prepare and then tasting Greek specialties like gemista, tzatziki, spanakopita with feta cheese and mpougatsa.

We return to the hotel for rest.
Remainder of day & evening at leisure.

Overnight Herodian Athens (B / L)

Day 4 - To Naxos

Early departure!
This morning we transfer to Piraeus Port for our ferry to Naxos. Times approx. 7.25-10.30am.

On arrival, we transfer to our hotel - The Polis Boutique Hotel.

Check in and freshen up.

Naxos is the gem of Greece, a happy and delightful jewel shining on the waters of Aegean Sea. Being the biggest and greenest island in the Cyclades, Naxos is infused with lively villages, proud historical monuments and sandy beaches.

Naxos town is the main village of the island and there is plenty to explore in this lovely village; from the authentic structures to beautiful landscapes and stroll-worthy waterfront, full of bars, cafes and restaurants. The Kastro, or castle district of Naxos is a fortified area of the town that was once a castle. It’s one of the oldest parts of the town itself, and it’s very different to the architecture you’ll find towards the bottom.

We can take an afternoon trip to Portara to soak in the gorgeous view. Portara (the great door) is a name that the residents have allocated to this marvellous marble doorway. This monument is a short walk from the Naxos town harbour, standing proudly on a small island. This ramrod landmark, which is 2,500 years old, marks a doorway that “leads nowhere” and was once a temple devoted to the god Apollo. The temple was constructed when Lygdamis was reigning, and Naxos was a prominent cultural centre.

This evening we will dine at a local restaurant. (own account) 

Overnight The Polis Boutique Hotel (B)

Day 5 - Naxos

We have the opportunity to get to know Naxos in a short time.

Starting from Naxos town, our first stop is in Damalas village, where we can visit a traditional ceramics workshop and a restored traditional olive press.

Through the valley of Tragaia, we stop at the village Halki with its mansions, the Byzantine church of Panagia Protothroni and the citrus distillery.

Then we visit the Byzantine church of Panagia Drosiani, near the village of Moni, which is considered to be one of the oldest in the Balkans.

Next stop is Apiranthos village with its marble paved alleys. Apiranthos has 4 small museums.

One the way back to town, we visit the lush settings of Flerio, Melanes. The area was very important during antiquity. There lies the impressive statue of Kouros, so called the “Greek”, 6,4 meters long, dated from the 7th century BC.

This evening is at leisure. 

Overnight The Polis Boutique Hotel (B)

Day 6 - To Santorini

This morning is free time to roam until we board our ferry.

Transfer to the port for our ferry to Santorini. Times approx. 2.50-4.50pm. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel, the Panorama Boutique, where we will stay for three nights. Our hotel is in Thera, or Fira, the main town, which lies on the curve of the caldera, facing west. The ferries arrive into the port that lies south of the main town. Its' picturesque white washed buildings cling to the sides of the cliffs.

'Santorini' conjures up mental images of whitewashed buildings with bright blue roofs built precariously above a sparkling sea and black sand beaches. Picturesque and full of everything Greece is known for, Santorini will take you right to Greece's heart and soul.

We will check in and refresh, and meet for dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight Panorama Boutique Hotel (B / D)

Day 7 - Santorini

This morning is Oia, wine tasting and lunch tour.

We transfer to Oia, one of the most beautiful villages situated in the northern side of the island where after a walk with our escort, we will have some free time for shopping.

We then visit the vineyards for a wine tasting tour of the island. Santorini has a long tradition in the winemaking and it is renowned for its outstanding crisp dry white wines and elegant sweet dessert wines. Wine production on Santorini dates back at least 5000 years. Greek wines are refreshing and delicious, thanks to the mild Mediterranean climate; however, the arid atmosphere posed some challenges to the early vintners. You’ll have the chance to speak with the vintners, who explain how the grapes adapted to a dry, volcanic environment. Popular wines in Greece include Assyrtiko and Mandilaria.

We will end in a traditional restaurant in Megalochori or Pyrgos where we will enjoy a fabulous Greek menu ie cheese or spinach pie, Greek salad or tzatziki, Kleftiko or tomato balls and baklava or galaktobureko.

Return to our hotel and remainder of day and evening is at leisure.

Overnight Panorama Boutique Hotel (B / L)

Day 8 - Santorini

Free day in Santorini.
We will offer a plethora of optional excursions for you, from the adventurous to the sedate and sublime. Or you may wish to simply relax, eat, swim and shop!

Overnight Panorama Boutique Hotel (B)

Day 9 - Heraklion

This morning is at leisure until we transfer to the ferry for our departure to Heraklion.

Located on the Greek island of Crete, Heraklion is the island's largest city and is one of the main urban centres in Greece. The city can trace its history back to at least the 9th century AD when its development began and then later came under the influence of the Arabs, the Venetians and the Ottomans.

We check into our hotel, refresh and meet again in time for dinner. Dinner is at a local restaurant. 

Overnight Olive Green Heraklion (B / D)

Day 10 - Knosses & Chania

This morning we have a guided visit to the Archaeological Museum. The Heraklion Archaeological Museum is one of the largest & most important museums in Greece & among the most important museums in Europe. It houses representative artefacts from all the periods of Cretan prehistory & history, covering a chronological span of over 5.500 years from the Neolithic period to Roman times.

We then retrace history at Knossos – this is the largest Bronze Age archaeological site on Crete and is considered Europe's oldest city. It is the birthplace of the Minoan civilisation, and the origin of the myth of labyrinth. It contains the largest of the Minoan palaces - that has been partially restored - which dates back to 2000 B.C. It was excavated in the early 20th century by the great English archaeologist Arthur Evans. The ruins belong to the last - and largest - Minoan Palace, the labyrinth of Knossos. Built 3700 years ago, it has over 1000 pieces. It is decorated with impressive murals and the throne of King Minos is still intact. 

We continue to Chania, where we stay for 2 nights. It is easy to fall in love with Chania. This Cretan harbour town has a lot going for it: small local shops, waterside restaurants and lots of little alleys to get lost in. The best part is the historical old town as most of the sights are located there.

On arrival in Chania, we check in and refresh.

Overnight Porto Veneziano (B)

Day 11 - Chania

Today we will cook, taste and enjoy local recipes and prepare delicious dishes with the guidance and assistance of our professional cook, Mrs. Koula.

Mrs. Koula, born and raised in a Cretan village, bears all the knowledge of her family and shares it with us with love and integrity. She is the author of the cookery book ‘Foods of Crete", published in Canada and U.S, where she lived for many years. All the dishes are made of genuine pure Cretan products such as olive oil, vegetables, cheese, meat, wine, etc. and of course all the ingredients are fresh and local. In addition, useful information about the herbs, olive oil and other ingredients is given, together with explanations of their nutritional value and usage. 

After cooking, we will all eat together on a long monastery-style table, enjoying the fruits of our creativity with local wine and bread, Greek music and a few nice stories. 

The lesson takes place in a unique place called ‘Fabrica’, in the heart of the old neighbourhood of Vamos. It is an old olive press dating from 1846 with Venetian arches & large millstones in the centre. This unique setting will enliven our journey into the aromas & tastes of traditional Cretan Cuisine.  

We return to the hotel where our evening is free.

Overnight Porto Veneziano (B / L)

Day 12 - To Athens (for overnight)

Transfer (Time TBC) to the airport for our flight to Athens. On arrival, we transfer to our hotel for overnight. 

Evening at leisure. 

Overnight Herodian Athens. (B)

Day 13 - To Istanbul

This morning after breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight to Istanbul.

On arrival we will be met and transferred to our hotel. 

The magnificent city of Istanbul sprawls across two continents connected by two slender bridges. It is the former capital of two great empires & leads an intricate dual life, both ancient and modern. The narrow streets of the Sultanahmet district with its ancient Christian and Islamic monuments eventually lead to regions populated with tall office buildings and modern shops. Ocean-going ships sail through the historically much-coveted Bosphorus strait, and the Islamic call to prayer seems to travel from minaret to minaret at sunup and sundown. First named Byzantium, the city was renamed Constantinople by Roman Emperor Constantine, who moved the capital here in 330 AD. The Roman Empire evolved into the Byzantine Empire, profoundly influenced by the area’s Greek speaking inhabitants. The Byzantine Empire reigned for over a thousand years until the Ottoman Turks, originally from Central Asia, conquered Constantinople in 1453 and renamed the city yet again. 

After check in and refresh, we can meet in the hotel bar for drinks. Evening at lesiure. 

Overnight Sultania Hotel (B)

Day 14 - Istanbul

Today is a full day tour of Istanbul. We will plunge into the heart of the history of Constantinople/Istanbul and discover its principal Byzantine and Ottoman monuments. 

Visit Topkapi Palace and its Treasury, St Sophia, the Blue Mosque and the Underground Cistern. 

Topkapi Palace - Overlooking the Golden Horn stands the mass of buildings that was the great palace of the Ottoman Sultans – Topkapi Palace- from the 15th to the 19th Century. Today it is one of the richest museums of the world. Topkapi was not just the private residence of the Sultan and his court but as the home of the Divan (the Cabinet) was the seat of the Supreme executive and of judicial control of a great empire. It houses the best astonishing collections of rare objects which once belonged to the Sultans (The harem section is not included)

St. Sophia Museum - Built by Justinian in the 6th Century. In this extraordinary masterpiece of byzantine architecture, you will admire the remarkable cupola and the galleries covered by the splendid mosaics dating back to the 11th and 12th Centuries. 

Dubbed the "Blue Mosque" by Europeans because of its beautiful interior tiles with flower and tree motifs manufactured at the end of the high period of the great Iznik workshops. This is the only mosque in the world with six minarets and is probably the most famous landmark of the city. Named for its marvellous interior & decoration of turquoise tiles. The harmonious grandeur and the elegance of its six minarets of this admirable mosque, built at the beginning of the 17th Century. 

The Basilica Cistern; the mysterious and surreal 6th-century cistern under the streets of ancient Constantinople. Supported by over 300 Corinthian Columns and still filled with water. After the conquest of the city by the Ottoman Turks, it was forgotten and nobody knew that it existed. Rediscovered in 1545, it was used to water the gardens of Topkapi Palace. Today it has a rather eerie and mystical ambiance. Clever spotlighting makes the water shimmer with coloured dancing lights and the water ripples from an occasional fish swishing its tail in exuberance.

The Ancient Hippodrome of Septimus Severus (2nd Century) where The Obelisk of Theodosius, The Serpentine Column and The Column of Constantine stand.

Lunch will be at a local restaurant.

We return to our hotel. Our evening is at leisure.

Overnight Sultania Hotel (B / L)

Day 15 - Istanbul

This morning is a culinary tour of Istanbul with our expert guide. We will explore the regional cuisine of Turkey by visiting and tasting from the colourful open marketplace, located in Kadikoy on the Asian side of Istanbul. In this marketplace, you will discover specialty shops that sell all kinds of ingredients, from fish to candies, and you can even shop for some goodies. 

We will have lunch at a famous restaurant that serves regional Anatolian cuisines with its unique menu of local food, deserts and drinks.

At the conclusion of our fabulous foodie tour, we embark on a private boat for a two hour Bosphorus cruise. The Bosphorus strait, a marvel of nature, is a bit longer than thirty km and is located between the hills of Asia and Europe, connecting the waters of Black Sea and Marmara Sea. From our cruise boat, we can view the dramatic sights lining the Bosphorus’ shores: mosques, a bridge that for a time was the world’ s longest and Rumeli Hisar, a massive fortress built by Mehmet the Conqueror in just three months as he prepared to take Istanbul. Also noteworthy are the 19th century mansions of the Ottoman elite and the Sultans’ fanciful gingerbread palaces and hunting lodges - the Yalis or seaside mansions. 

We return to our hotel. Our evening is at leisure.

Overnight Sultania Hotel (B / L)

Day 16 - Istanbul

Our final day concludes with a guided visit to the Grand Bazaar - the largest covered bazaar in the world with more than 4000 shops - for a shopping experience that’s truly a world apart. Made up of a vast maze of interconnecting passages, the bazaar has its own banks, baths, mosques, cafés and restaurants, a police station, a post office, not to mention the thousands of shops, all glittery and fairy-lit in the absence of natural light. It’s no longer the biggest shopping centre in the world, but it can still claim to be the oldest. 

Lunch will be at a local restaurant near the Egyptian Bazaar which is famous for its’ Turkish specialty dishes. 

After lunch prepare to be born again with a traditional Hamman package worthy of the Sultans…This is an optional experience, but one we highly recommend! We will have a hammam reservation at Ayasofya Hurrem Sultan Hammam for a treatment of traditional body scrubbing, relaxing bubble wash ritual or other massage options. This meticulously restored twin hamam dating to 1556 offers the most luxurious traditional bath experience in the Old City. There are separate baths for males and females, both witha handsome so?ukluk (entrance vestibule) surrounded by wooden change cubicles.

We return to the hotel, completely invigorated, and prepare for our final evening. We will meet in the bar of the hotel and then continue for our special farewell meal. 

Overnight Sultania Hotel (B / L / D)

Day 17 - Depart

We end our tour this morning. 

Transfer to the airport for your onward flight (B)

 

About this tour

Herodian Hotel, Athens Herodion is situated in the heart of Athens on the doorstep of the new Acropolis Museum. It is surrounded by small art museums, galleries, jewellery museum, cafes and restaurants. You will be at the heart of the beautiful and historic neighbourhoods of Plaka and the New Acropolis Museum, right under the gaze of the Acropolis rock, in the throbbing heart of Athens. Run by the same family for more than four decades, Herodion has quietly transformed the Greek hospitality industry by combining efficiency and friendliness. Every one of the eighty-six guest-rooms and four mini suites of Herodion Hotel are designed with great attention to detail, offer high aesthetics, functionality and comfort. For total relaxation, head to the Roof Garden. Amidst an olive tree garden and with breathtaking views of the Acropolis, you can soak in one of two Jacuzzis or have a drink at Point; phenomenal view, sensational cocktails, superior gastronomy.

Polis Hotel, Naxos - Located in Naxos Town, 200 meters from the sandy beach of Saint George, Polis Of Naxos Boutique Hotel offers minimal Cycladic style guest rooms which include the latest and finest amenities; contributing to your calm and relaxing stay on Naxos island. Polis offers a variety of services that will transform your holiday into a memorable experience. The reception area includes a sitting room and provides services such as car and motorbike Rentals, free luggage deposit after check-out, daily excursions and mini library. Within walking distance you can reach the seafront promenade of Chora with many traditional tavernas, cafes, wine bars and all kind of shops. Polis also offers a range of massage and spa services.

Panorama Hotel, Santorini Panorama Santorini Boutique Hotel is a luxury property located in the heart of Fira offering spectacular views of the Aegean sea, Santorini’s world famous sunset, Caldera and Volcano. The hotel combines traditional Cycladic architecture with modern facilities. Just a stone’s throw from Fira’s bustling centre and surrounded by some of the island’s best restaurants, vibrant cafes and night venues. There are shops, banks, bus and taxi stations, as well as the Archaeological Museum all on your doorstep. Upon arriving in Panorama Hotel you stepped into a luxurious world where the staff takes great pride in their ability to assist and meet every conceivable need of their guests.

Porto Veneziano, Chania Porto Veneziano Hotel enjoys a privileged location on the waterfront of the Old Venetian Harbor of Chania, just 300 meters away from the city center and the Old Town. Porto Veneziano has 51 rooms & 6 suites, and has unforgettable views of the harbour, the sea, the Old Town, the White Mountains and the private garden. In the hotel's restaurant, start off your day with a glass of freshly squeezed orange juice and indulge in a Greek Breakfast, full of fruits, local products and homemade delicacies. At the end of the day, enjoy drinks at the hotel's Bar, catch up with family on our free WiFi access and enjoy the traditional fishing boats bathe in the sunset.

Olive Green, Heraklion - In the heart of Heraklion, Olive Green Hotel stands out with a distinct character. The name consists of two words that interpret the philosophy and personality of the hotel. The Olive stands as a symbol of power, eternity, tranquility and prosperity. The Olive is embedded in the entity of Crete, through its purity and wildness. The colour Green represents the ecological and contemporary character of the hotel which implements international sustainability criteria. Olive Green is an intelligent, conscious, eco-friendly hotel. In the heart of the Old town, Olive Green is located within walking distance from the main points of interest and the central market. Wander the streets around Olive Green and uncover some of the most attractive corners in the city. Liberty (Eleftherias) Square is an excellent vantage point from which to explore Heraklion. Korai and Dedalou streets are two vibrant streets full of shops, boutiques and some of the most unique café and ouzeri (traditional small restaurants serving finger food and local drinks) you can find. 

Hotel Sultania, Istanbul Hotel Sultania is a deluxe boutique hotel with a harem design and located at the heart of the old city and within walking distance to Saint Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and Bosphorus. It has 42 luxury rooms, each with a traditional Ottoman touch. The hotel rooms have been given the names of the Ottoman Empire’s most important Sultan’s wives. Among the many facilities you will find an indoor swimming pool, a wellness center, Olive Restaurant with its gourmet cuisine, and impeccable service. Unique among Istanbul boutique hotels, Sultania inspires with its luxurious design and its landmark Sultanahmet location. The hammam offers a traditional experience that is relaxed, luxurious and comfortable enough for Western tastes. You can enjoy the scrub and foam massage in this traditional atmosphere everyday between 08:00 and 22:00.

Practicalities

Weather: October is one of the best months of the year to visit Greece, when the temperatures are not as hot as the blistering summer months of July and August, but the weather is still warm enough to go to the beach. The best time to visit Greece is either side of the peak months of July and August, which see soaring temperatures and crowds. October can enjoy something of an Indian summer and some wonderful light.

In Istanbul, October sees an average daily temperature of about 20 degrees Celsius. The low temperatures throughout the month can dip down to 14 degrees Celsius or swing as high as 26 degrees Celsius. The Mediterranean Sea remains warm enough to swim in during October. The temperate autumn weather make the city one of the most ideal places to visit during this season.

Currency, Credit Cards & ATM's: 
*In Greece, the currency is the Euro. 
*ATMs - ATMs are found in every town large enough to support a bank and in almost all the tourist areas. If you have MasterCard or Visa, there are plenty of places to withdraw money. Cirrus and Maestro users can make withdrawals in all major towns and tourist areas. Be aware that many ATMs on the islands can lose their connection for a day or two at a time, making it impossible for anyone (locals included) to withdraw money. It's useful to have a backup source of money.
*Cash - Note that Greek shopkeepers and small-business owners have a perennial problem with having small change. When buying small items it is better to tender coins or small-denomination notes.
*Credit Cards - Credit cards are an accepted part of the commercial scene in Greece, although they're often not accepted on many of the smaller islands or in small villages. In larger places, credit cards can be used at top-end hotels, restaurants and shops. The main credit cards are MasterCard and Visa, both of which are widely accepted. They can also be used as cash cards to draw cash from the ATMs of affiliated Greek banks. Daily withdrawal limits are set by the issuing bank and are given in local currency only.

Turkey's currency is the Turkish Lira. The lira comes in notes of five, 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200, and coins of one, five, 10, 25 and 50 kuru? and one lira. Lack of change is a constant problem; try to keep a supply of coins and small notes for minor payments. 
*ATMs - ATMs dispense Turkish lira, and occasionally euros and US dollars, to Visa, MasterCard, Cirrus and Maestro card holders. Look for these logos on machines, which are found in most towns. 
*Credit Cards - Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted by hotels, shops and restaurants, although often not by pensions and local restaurants outside the main tourist areas.

Visas: Visas are not required for New Zealand passport holders. Australian passport holders need a Visa for Turkey.

The facts

Not Included:

  • International Airfares - PLEASE ASK US FOR A QUOTE
  • Travel insurance - PLEASE ASK US FOR A QUOTE
  • Transfers unless stated in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature
  • Phone calls
  • Passport and visas
  • Laundry
  • Tips - a suggested Kitty will be available
  • Excess baggage
  • Meals not specifically mentioned in the itinerary
  • Beverages unless specifically described. 
  • Optional excursions or activities that may be offered but are not included in the tour price.
Travel advice / FCO

We constantly monitor the advice posted by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. In particular we will always advise clients of any travel warnings. At the time of writing the FCO does not advise against travel to any of the places visited on this tour. Please feel free to contact us should you have any specific concerns. Furthermore, you should be aware that any travel warnings or advisories may affect the validity of your travel insurance. Therefore, at the time of booking your tour it is essential you check any restrictions on cover with your insurance provider.