Days
19
Price from
$7,170AUD

Delve into the depths of Ottoman history and Greek mythology on this land and sea-based odyssey

Combine Turkey’s surreal landscapes and poignant ANZAC battlefields with an island hopping adventure across the Greek Aegean Sea. This is a wonderful Mediterranean mix of antiquity, culture and some of the best cuisine you’ve ever tasted!


Start
Antalya, Turkey
Finish
Mykonos, Greece
Countries
Greece, Turkey
Style
Peregrine
Code
PEGGC
Physical rating
Ages
Min 18
Group size
Min 1, Max 12

Why we love this trip

  • Stroll the Kaleci (old city) of Antalya the jewel in the Mediterranean Crown

  • Enjoy local cuisine of Zucchini Fritters and Green Beans with a chilled glass of beer or wine and sail over a sunken city on your Mediterranean Boat Tour

  • Step back in time at Ephesus, where the Greco-Roman world still feels very much alive. This is one of the best preserved classical cities in all of Europe and yet to be completely excavated

  • Spend two nights in your Feature Stay Hotel in Turkey a rustic boutique hotel a series of old Ottoman residences renovated in an authentic and unique style

  • Spend some time reflecting on battles fought and lives lost in Gallipoli. This peaceful place has seen many atrocities due to its significant role in WW1

  • Step back in time as you explore Vamos, a 12th-century hill village steeped in tradition and medieval history

  • Enjoy a sunset picnic overlooking the caldera away from the crowds. Indulge in local cheese, ham and bread, all complimented by a local grape variety and a world-class view.

  • Take part in an Athenian feast in the pulsing Psiri neighbourhood in Greece's capital

  • Enjoy three nights of excellent Cretan hospitality at the Halepa Hotel in Chania. This gorgeous neoclassical building was used as the British Embassy in the 1800s

  • Take guided hikes through some of Greece most staggering landscapes, such as Santorini's famed caldera

  • Stopover at a local tavern in the village of Vamos and enjoy a typical Greek moment with meze, a meal shared around the table, done for centuries by the locals. Clink glasses with the locals and wash it all down with the traditional local white spirit raki.

Is this trip right for you?

  • You'll be covering a lot of land during the trip, which means a couple of long days of driving. However, these are often broken up with stops in fascinating sites.

  • Turkey can get hot in the summer months of July and August but this is normally a dry heat and is easier to cope with than humidity. Where possible, you'll be taken to sites in the early morning before it gets too hot.

  • Nighttime temperatures can be quite cool, particularly in April and October. Not all hotels will have heating so make sure you bring a few warm items with you.

  • Pickpocketing can be an issue in Athens, especially on public transport. But if you keep your valuables concealed and secure while travelling on the metro or bus, you should have no problems.

  • The included flight on Day 9 between Istanbul and Athens in unescorted

  • Summer temperatures in Greece can reach up to 40°C, so you will need to be able to cope with the heat if you're visiting at this time. Please consider the time of year and your suitability to visiting during that season.

  • Due to the current financial situation, banking services in Greece could become limited at short notice. It's important to carry several different means of payment with you, such as debit cards, credit cards and plenty of Euros in case of emergency or unforeseen circumstances.

Itinerary

On arrival you will be met and transferred to your starting hotel, which is our feature hotel on this trip. After checking in, please look for the notice in the lobby or check with reception, which has a list of suggestions for things to see and do in your free time. As today is an arrival day, there is no formal sightseeing planned. Antalya is a fascinating town with a history spanning thousands of years. If you arrive early enough, you can wander the old streets of the Kaleici district and explore the harbour. In the evening there will be a welcome meeting where you will meet your trip leader and fellow travel companions. Please check at reception for the exact time. Our hotel tonight has fantastic views of the Toros Mountains and the Marina, and is located a short walk away from Mermeli beach and Antalya Museum. 
Accommodation
  • Puding Marina Hotel or similar (1 night)
Optional Activities
  • Antalya - Aspendos Ancient City - TRY25
  • Antalya - Antalya Museum - TRY20
Meals Included
There are no meals included on this day.
Special Information
An airport arrival transfer is included. This transfer is only valid if arriving on day 1 or if you have booked pre-trip accommodation through Peregrine. Please provide your flight details at the time of booking, or at a minimum 15 days prior to travel (note - we may not be able confirm request made within 15 days of travel). Once you have provided your details a transfer representative will be booked to meet you at the airport and transfer you to your hotel.
Make your way to the region of Lycia and to the ancient Greco-Roman city of Phaselis, which flourished from the 7th century to the 12th century. The Phaselians were more concerned about preserving the affluence of their commerce than with staking any political independence, so they pragmatically accepted any conquerors that came their way. Today this place is a beautiful picture-postcard setting with bays surrounded by mountains and fragrant woods. The driving time is around two and a half hours today.Continue on to the seaside village of Kas. Here you'll see charming whitewashed houses covered in bougainvilleas as well as an ancient Greek theatre. Sample the local cuisine and enjoy the night in the town's quaint centre.
Accommodation
  • Linda Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Antalya - Phaselis ancient site visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Take a short drive to Kekova and get on a local boat for a cruise around the islands. Look out for rock formations and houses that have been submerged under the clear water. The cruise takes you to the settlement of Ucagiz and also the village of Simena, with its stone houses covered in bougainvilleas. The view from the castle is spectacular. You'll also sail from large bays to beautiful protected inlets where you can go for a swim. You boat will be captained by Mehmet and Sebahat, a couple from the small village of Ucagiz who want to share their love of the sea and their love of food. Imagine enjoying a salad of local greens, zucchini fritters, lentil soup and a cool glass of local beer or wine in Tersane bay. Here the water is deep but clear enough to see the bottom, and the shore is lined with the ruins of an ancient city long ago sunken into the clear waters. Remember to let your lunch settle before you jump into the water, and look out for the ice-cream man – call out to his boat to get some desert. Return to Kas in the evening.
Accommodation
  • Linda Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Kas - Simena Ancient Castle
  • Kas - Boat Cruise and lunch
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Lunch
Drive to Pamukkale, also known as 'Cotton Castle'. This one-of-a-kind natural phenomenon is made of terraced hot springs and pools. As the water cascades down the mountain, dazzling cream-coloured stalactites form, giving the appearance of cotton or snow. These pools are said to have healing properties for a person's circulation and digestion. You'll then make your way to the nearby ruins of Hierapolis, an important Roman bath centre. Explore the extensive ruins of Hierapolis which include a theatre, temple, holy area, monumental fountain, bath, basilica and necropolis. Return to Pamukkale for the night. 
Accommodation
  • Melrose Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
Optional Activities
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Museum - TRY5
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis Cleopatra pool - TRY35
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Get up early for a 2.5 hour drive to the traditional farming village of Selcuk. This will be your base for exploring the nearby ruins of Ephesus, the former capital of the East Roman Empire and the best-preserved ancient city in Turkey. Take an orientation walk of this a sprawling town lying at the base of the ancient fortress on Ayasoluk Hill and the Isa Bey Mosque. Those who wish can take an optional visit to the last home of the Virgin Mary, who legend says came here accompanied by St John, and lived out her days in this beautiful spot. In the afternoon you'll enjoy a atmospheric and memorable cultural experience in a place you might not expect – a Turkish Barber. For those that choose, this is more than just a quick haircut, and a shave will leave a lasting memory. Don't be surprised if you get a finger in the mouth to create the perfect angle for the blade, and beware of a lit cotton but – the scourge of unwanted nose and ear hairs. And that's not even the end of it – soon there's the facemask and massage, and for those with slightly less hair on top a bit of polish may be added! Enjoy a cup of tea and a chat, and believe it, before the week is out you'll be looking for the next Barber.
Accommodation
  • Akay Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Selcuk - Local Barber Visit
Optional Activities
  • Selcuk - Meryemana (Mary's House) entrance fee - TRY20
  • Selcuk - Basilica of St John - TRY10
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning take a guided tour of Ephesus. The city has a fascinating history that really comes alive with a local guide to enhance the experience. Considering their age, the ruins are in incredible shape, and it’s not difficult to imagine them in their full glory 2,000 years ago. You will be awed by the sophistication of this ancient city, which had running water, public toilets, a renowned medical institute, a brothel and Roman baths. The theatre is well preserved and regularly hosts concerts, but it's perhaps the magnificent library that takes most people's breath away. Also not to be missed are the tomb of the Seven Sleepers, Marble Street, and the Church of the Virgin Mary. Return to Selcuk, a culturally rich town that retains many Turkish traditions. Its relatively undisturbed nature means this is an opportunity to experience the ‘real’ Turkey. With free time, perhaps wander through the town centre and square lined with ancient aqueducts. Enjoy your meal this evening al-fresco in one of the local cafe
Accommodation
  • Akay Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Ephesus - guided archaeological site visit
Optional Activities
  • Ephesus - Terrace Houses Entry - TRY25
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today you'll make your way to the city of Çanakkale, but along the way you'll stop at the site of ancient Troy. For many years people believed that this city was merely a fable. Archaeological digs have proved that the area was settled by major civilisations, but historians are still at odds as to whether Troy really existed. Here you'll see the remnants of ancient city walls and a replica of the famed wooden horse. Arrive at Çanakkale later in the day and spend some free time wandering around the waterfront town. The driving time today is approximately six and a half hours.
Accommodation
  • Grand Anzac Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Troy - Archeological Guided Site Visit
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Cross the Dardanelles, the strait which separates the Asian and European sides of Turkey. This area played an important role for Australians and New Zealanders during the First World War. You'll visit the beach and cemeteries of Anzac Cove, then head up the hill toward the poignant memorials of Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair. Look down upon the rough and barren hills and gullies that became the graveyard for so many thousands of young men from both sides. Tour the former battlefields and encounter remnants of trenches used by the Turkish soldiers. Head back to where your adventure began, Istanbul. You'll arrive in the late afternoon or early evening and have the remainder of the evening free. Perhaps spend a final night with the group and indulge in a Turkish feast in town.

Notes: Total driving time is approximately 5 hours.
Accommodation
  • Dosso Dossi Old City Hotel or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Gallipoli - Guided visit of Gallipoli Peninsula
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you will be transferred to Istanbul airport to take your flight to Greece.
On arrival in Greece you will be met and transferred to your Athens Hotel. Welcome to Athens, Greece’s lively capital.

There are no activities planned for today and you can arrive at any time. There will be an important group meeting in the evening (this is usually at 6 pm, but please check the noticeboards at the hotel reception for the exact time and place). In this meeting, your trip leader will give you a briefing on what lies ahead. Afterwards, enjoy dinner with the group at a local restaurant in the vibrant Psiri neighbourhood.

As this is a combination trip, your group leader and the composition of your group may change at this location. There will be a group meeting to discuss the next stage of your itinerary and you're welcome to attend, as this is a great chance to meet your new fellow travellers.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Hermes or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Complimentary Arrival Transfer
Meals Included
  • Dinner
This morning travel to the town of Cape Sounion, and visit the ruins of the ancient Temple of Poseidon, the god of the sea in classical mythology. The remnants are perched on the headland and surrounded on three sides by the sea, creating spectacular views of the Greek coastline. Look closely and you'll also find the ruins have been engraved with the name of English Romantic poet Lord Byron. Return to Athens in the afternoon and enjoy the rest of the day to explore. Perhaps visit the Parthenon or the Acropolis Museum, where you can find relics from Ancient Greece. Another option is to watch the uniquely theatrical changing of the guard at Parliament, or see where the Olympics once took place at the Panathenaic Stadium. At dusk, pull up a chair at one of the local restaurants and dine on traditional souvlaki and ouzo. 
Accommodation
  • Hotel Hermes or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Transfer to the airport and take a short flight to the island of Crete, the largest and most southerly of the Greek islands. Upon arrival you will be transferred to Chania (often also spelled Hania), your base for the next three nights. Your historic hotel (the feature stay of the trip) is located a short distance from Chania's town centre, in a quieter part of town. After settling in you will take a walk into the Old Town. First stop at the agora (municipal market), then pass a number of historical churches. Discover the remains of a Venetian monastery and wander through the charming Old Harbour area, with its two Venetian shipyards and Great Arsenal building. Heading deep into the narrow cobblestone alleys of the Venetian town, discover a beautiful array of Venetian and Turkish architecture in the former aristocratic area. Afterwards, enjoy some free time before driving to the traditional village of Vamos. This area is renowned for its rich cultural heritage. Here you will take a short walk around the historical centre or the old neighbourhood with traditional old houses, ruins, ancient stone roads and secret nooks. Stopover at a local tavern and enjoy a typical Greek moment with meze, a meal shared around the table, done for centuries by the locals. Clink glasses with the locals and wash it all down with the traditional local white spirit raki. Return to Chania for the night.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Halepa or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Vamos Village Excursion
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Drive towards the White Mountains and visit the lush surrounds of the Botanical Park & Gardens of Crete. This nearly 20 hectare garden was burned to the ground in 2003, however it has since been carefully redeveloped. At the center of the park lies a burnt centennial olive tree, a constant reminder of the devastating fire. Take the time to explore the park and discover some of the 150 species of fruit trees grown here, as well as a rich variety of herbs and plants. The walking path takes approximately two hours to complete. If you work up an appetite you'll be able to take lunch at the Botanical Gardens restaurant. Afterwards you may wish to spend the rest of your day experiencing more of the township of Chania.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Halepa or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free for you to explore Crete. If you are looking to embark on a great walk on the island, there’s the chance to join an optional excursion to hike the famous Samaria Gorge (17 km; approximately 4–6 hours, depending on fitness level). Alternatively you can relax on one of Chania’s city beaches. Nea Hora is a sandy beach west of the Venetian walls – it's decked out with sun beds and is close to restaurants. If you walk to the west of this beach you will come across quieter beaches. Another option is to take a local bus to Elafonissi Lagoon on the west coast. Elafonissi is considered Crete’s prettiest beach, and a daily bus goes there from Chania in the morning and returns in the late afternoon. There is also the option of visiting the ruins of Knossos, the former capital of Minoan Crete that is considered to be Europe's oldest city. Your leader will be able to assist you with all the options available on your free day.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Halepa or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Bid farewell to Crete and travel to spectacular Santorini, the southernmost island in the Cyclades group. Firstly you will embark on a very early morning drive to the port city of Heraklion (approximately 2 hours). Here you will board a ferry and head across the Sea of Crete to Santorini (approximately 2 hours). This is a great way to travel between the islands. Upon arrival in Santorini's capital, Fira, you will be met and transferred to the hotel in Oia (pronounced ‘eeah’). Oia was built on a steep slope inside Santorini’s incredible volcanic caldera and is a quieter part of the island compared to Fira. Enjoy a free afternoon to absorb this veritable paradise. Your leader will be able to offer suggestions on what to see and do. In the late afternoon you will view Oia's world-famous sunset, which has been immortalised in many photos and works of art. Enjoy a sunset picnic overlooking the caldera away from the crowds. Indulge in local cheese, ham and bread, all complimented by a local grape variety and a world-class view.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Finikia or Agnandi Villas or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
In the morning, embark on a walk along Santorini’s legendary caldera. The island you see today is what remains from a huge volcanic explosion that destroyed the early settlements and created a geographical caldera. The spectacular natural beauty of this caldera is what makes Santorini such a special place. Your walk begins in Oia and you will continue along the north-western rim of the caldera, passing steep cliff faces and experiencing breath-taking views along the way (approximately 2.5–3 hours of walking). The walk ends in the town of Fira (Thira) where you will visit the fascinating Prehistoric Museum of Thira and learn more about the incredible history of this unique island, as well as see masterpieces from the prehistoric Aegean age. Look out for its fossilised olive tree leaves from the caldera from 60,000 years ago. The rest of the afternoon is free, so perhaps visit one of the island’s wineries. The vines here are cultivated in a very unusual way, with the plants being pruned to form a low basket shape that sits on top of the volcanic soil to protect the grapes from strong winds. The Santos Winery, a co-operative and the largest winery on the island, offers tours as well as wine tasting. It's also idyllically located, with marvellous views over the island and the sea – a lovely spot for a tipple.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Finikia or Agnandi Villas or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Santorini Caldera Hike
  • Thira Prehistoric Museum
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Today is free for you to explore Santorini as you please. You might like to simply relax on the beach, or take a boat tour to the hot water beaches and the summit of Nea Kameni (the still active but currently dormant volcano in the middle of the caldera). There is a lot to do on the island and your leader will be on hand to offer suggestions. Art Space, a local gallery, boasts wine caverns replete with an excellent collection of modern Greek painting and sculpture.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Finikia or Agnandi Villas or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
This morning you will be transported to Santorini’s port and board a ferry bound for the island of Mykonos. Mykonos, considered the most glamorous and cosmopolitan of the Cycladic islands, still holds on to its old-world charm and many locals maintain their peaceful island existence among the many foreigners who grace their shores. Upon arrival you will be transferred to the area of Tourlos, where the hotel is located. After settling in, you'll visit Mykonos’ charming Old Town, a captivating labyrinth of stone-paved laneways, traditional whitewashed houses and windmills. This evening you will make your way to the village of Ano Mera for a delicious dinner at a local taverna and taste the local Myconian delicacies mostra and louza.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Rhenia or similar (1 night)
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
  • Dinner
Today you will make an excursion to the island of Delos, a short boat trip from Mykonos. Delos has a vast and interesting history and is one of Greece's most important archaeological sites. It's considered a sacred place. You will explore the site in depth and gain an insight into the island’s intriguing history. New discoveries of the ancient world are still made here from time to time. Delos is acclaimed as the birthplace of Apollo and Artemis, and has been inhabited since around 3000 BC. The earliest shrines and temples were built around the 8th century BC. When the Romans set their sights on the island in 167 BC it became a free trading port and home to a flourishing slave trade market, with thousands of slaves being traded daily. In the afternoon you will take a return ferry back to Mykonos for your last night on this lively island.
Accommodation
  • Hotel Rhenia or similar (1 night)
Included Activities
  • Delos Archaeological Site
  • Boat Tour to Delos Island
Meals Included
  • Breakfast
Unfortunately all good things must come to an end, and your Greek Island Odyssey wraps up this morning. You may wish to take an optional boat trip along the coast so you can witness some of the scenery further afield. Another great option is to hire a quadbike and make your way to one of the famous beaches on the island's north coast, such as Paradise Beach. Your leader will be able to assist you with this. Alternatively, simply stay in town to stroll around and admire the traditional Cycladic houses, or head to one of the seaside eateries for a leisurely lunch. If you'd like to remain on the island for a few extra nights, Peregrine Adventures is able to arrange additional accommodation on request. 
Meals Included
  • Breakfast

Meals

17 breakfasts, 1 lunch, 2 dinners

Transport

Aircon bus, Boat, Ferry, Plane, Private vehicle

Accommodation

Comfortable Hotel (14 nights), Feature Stay (4 nights)

Included Activities

  • Antalya - Phaselis ancient site visit
  • Kas - Simena Ancient Castle
  • Kas - Boat Cruise and lunch
  • Pamukkale - Hierapolis & Travertines National Park
  • Selcuk - Local Barber Visit
  • Ephesus - guided archaeological site visit
  • Troy - Archeological Guided Site Visit
  • Gallipoli - Guided visit of Gallipoli Peninsula
  • Complimentary Arrival Transfer
  • Vamos Village Excursion
  • Santorini Caldera Hike
  • Thira Prehistoric Museum
  • Delos Archaeological Site
  • Boat Tour to Delos Island

Dates & availability

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Important notes

This trip can be enjoyed by just about anyone with a reasonable level of fitness.

The flight between Istanbul and Athens is unescorted (Day 9)

SINGLE SUPPLEMENT:
An optional single supplement is available on this trip. Please refer to your booking agent for further information. Please note: single supplement rooms in Turkey are smaller than double or twin rooms.

Following recent safety incidents we recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest information on travelling in Turkey before your departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas of your itinerary. We have links to prominent government travel advisories and regular updates on issues affecting this trip on our Travel Alerts page - http://www.peregrineadventures.com/en-au/travel-alerts

Essential trip information

Want an in-depth insight into this trip? Essential Trip Information provides a detailed itinerary, visa info, how to get to your hotel, what's included - pretty much everything you need to know about this adventure and more.