Central Holidays

Welcome to Istanbul's Ataturk International Airport, here you'll be met and transferred to your hotel. Balance of the day is at leisure to explore a city that has always been at a crossroads between Asia and Europe, and history and modernity.

This morning we visit the impressive Topkapi Palace, the residence of mighty Ottoman Sultans, and Hagia Sophia, once a church, later a mosque, and now a museum. After time for lunch on your own, you will be taken to the Blue Mosque. Here, you will be impressed by the beauty of its six minarets, unique architecture, marble latticework, and inside, by the high ceiling lined with 20,000 blue tiles that give the mosque its popular name. Stop by the Hippodrome. Center of the Byzantine life for 1,000 years, this is where chariot races and competitive athletic events took place. Your tour ends with a visit of the Grand Bazaar, the world's biggest and oldest shopping venue. (B)

Drive along the shores of the Sea of Marmara to the peninsula of Gelibolu, better known in the west as Gallipoli. Here are the battlefields where, for nine disastrous months during the Great War, Anzac troops fought unsuccessfully to gain control of the strategic Dardanelle Straits. Visit Anzac Cove and Lone Pine Cemetery. After crossing the Dardanelles, we drive to ?anakkale. Dinner and overnight at hotel in ?anakkale. (B,D)

Drive to Homer's legendary city of Troy, where archeological excavation has established nine levels of habitation, including the great city captured in 1200 BC by means of the renowned Trojan Horse. A huge replica of this horse stands beside the city's ancient walls. Continue to Pergamum, the seat of an ancient kingdom. Visit the Asklepion, one of the most famous shrines and therapeutic centers in the ancient world. Drive to Kusadasi for dinner and overnight at hotel. (B,D)

This morning we drive to Ephesus, perhaps the best preserved archeological site on Earth, where one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World - the Temple of Artemis - is located. We end our tour with a visit of the house where the Virgin Mary is believed to have lived the final years of her life. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Kusadasi. (B,D)

Morning transfer to the pier for embarkation on your cruise ship. This afternoon sail to Patmos, site of the Monastery of St. John the Divine and the Grotto of the Apocalypse. Optional excursion to visit these sites is available. Evening departure for Rhodes. (B,L,D)

A day on the Island of Roses, famed for its Medieval Old Town, great shopping and ancient site of the Colossus of Rhodes. Optional visits to the Temple of Athena on the majestic Acropolis of Lindos, overlooking the Bay of Paul or the Old Town and Philerimos. Sail in the evening. (B,L,D)

Morning call at Greece's largest island, Crete. Here you have an optional visit of Knossos and the Palace of King Minos or enjoy a taste of Crete. Later you sail for the volcanic island of Santorini. Some of the villages are perched on the rim of the volcano and believed by many to be the site of the Lost Continent of Atlantis. (B,L,D)

Your cruise ends in Athens. Transfer to your hotel and rest of the day is at leisure. (B)

Half day morning city tour includes highlights of Athens and the Acropolis plus the new Acropolis Museum. Afternoon and balance of day is at leisure. (B)

Today say ''kali antamosi'' to Greece or extend your stay. (B)

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