Aegean Encounter - Athens to Istanbul
Day 1 - Athens (Piraeus) Climb up the magnificent Acropolis and stand in awe of the Parthenon, the beautiful temples and the view over Athens stretched out before you. See city highlights including the new and old Olympic stadiums. Journey to Cape Sounion and the temple to Poseidon overlooking the sea or visit ancient Corinth and the narrow Corinth Canal cut through miles of solid rock. Shopping: Take home beautiful glassware and ceramics, unusual jewelry, embroidered pillow covers and throws, stunning icons and artwork. Dining: Indulge in mezes – plates of tempting appetizers like stuffed grape leaves and taramasalata, a delicious caviar spread, soaked up with pita bread and a cold glass of retsina.
Day 2 - Mykonos Enjoy wandering through the narrow, winding streets of this delightful seaside village with its whitewashed houses, flowers and brightly painted shutters and doors. Stand beneath the windmills on the hill. Visit the archaeological museum and an old bakery still using a 15th century wood-burning stove.
Day 3 - Santorini Visit the beautiful whitewashed hilltop towns of Oia and Fira and their breathtaking views of the caldera below. See the stunning artifacts in Fira's museum, including recent finds from the excavation of Akrotiri, thought by many to be the legendary city of Atlantis, or visit a winery. Stroll through the winding streets with fantastic views around every corner.
Day 4 - Rhodes Enjoy a walking tour of the old fortified city and stand in awe of the impressive Grand Master's Palace. See where the Colossus of Rhodes once stood and savor the charm of this remarkable walled town. Or drive along the scenic coast to Lindos. Enjoy the whitewashed little town and climb to the ancient acropolis, its temples and wonderful views.
Day 5 - Ephesus Meander through the ruins of ancient Ephesus and marvel at the famed Library of Celsus, the huge amphitheater, the marble roads with their chariot marks, the amazing mosaic sidewalks and the superb, rarely opened Terrace Houses. Or journey to three monumental cities of antiquity - Priene, Miletus and Didyma - renowned for their majestic temples and impressive, beautifully preserved stadiums.
Day 6 - Mitilini (Lesbos) Explore this bustling city's ancient roots, and visit the huge castle perched on the hill - the beautiful Greek theater that the Romans repaired and then copied back in Rome! See the impressive Cathedral and the Church of St. Nicholas, converted from a mosque. Enjoy the Archaeological Museum or one of the fine art museums with collections of important works. Venture into the old quarter near the waterfront to enjoy the old Turkish mansions or into the countryside and discover quaint villages where time has stopped.
Day 7 - Istanbul Indulge your eyes and senses in this magnificent city astride two continents. Visit beautiful Topkapi Palace, the awesome Hagia Sophia and the impressive Blue Mosque. Cruise the Bosphorus to see the city and its surroundings from another perspective. Visit one of the many museums or stroll through the spice market and the famous Grand Bazaar.
Day 8 - Istanbul Indulge your eyes and senses in this magnificent city astride two continents. Visit beautiful Topkapi Palace, the awesome Hagia Sophia and the impressive Blue Mosque. Cruise the Bosphorus to see the city and its surroundings from another perspective. Visit one of the many museums or stroll through the spice market and the famous Grand Bazaar.
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