This itinerary is very similar to our original "Turkey & Greece Highlights" option but instead of Mykonos & Santorini it takes you to the islands of Rhodes, Heraklion (Crete) & Santorini.  All our Turkey & Greece combinations are very flexible, so you get to choose which islands you wish to include in Greece along with areas of Turkey that would be of the most interest to you. We are here to help you put together the best itinerary according to what you would prefer to do & the amount of time you have available.

Tour itinerary

DAY 01 - Arrival to Istanbul:
Transfer from Istanbul Ataturk Airport to hotel on your international flight arrival. Overnight in Istanbul
meals: none

DAY 02 - Istanbul Sightseeing Tour:
Today visit some of the most important sights of the historical Sultanahmet area. Your guide takes you to the Blue Mosque, St Sophia, Hippodrome and Obelisk, Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace (excluding optional extra entrance to Harem room).Overnight in Istanbul.
meals: breakfast & lunch included.

DAY 03 - Cruise on Bosphorous / fly to Cappadocia:
View sights such as Dolmabahce Palace, Rumeli Fortress along with other monuments and luxury villas that line the shores of the Bosphorus during a half day morning cruise. The guided cruise tour also makes visits to the Spice Bazaar & Rustempasha. Then some free time for you to explore on your until till transfer to airport for early evening flight to Cappadocia. Overnight in Cappadocia
meals: breakfast included

DAY 04 - Cappadocia Tour with Goreme:
*Optional: add a sunrise hot air balloon ride, affording amazing views over the valleys
Full day for exploring this land of fairy chimneys, churches & monasteries carved from the volcanic rock and picturesque valleys. Guided tour visiting Devrent Valley and Monk's Valley (Pasabagi), Avanos village, Goreme Open-Air Museum and Uchisar Natural rock castle. Overnight in Cappadocia.
meals: breakfast & lunch included

DAY 05 - Red Valley & Underground City:
On this day your guide will take you for a 4km (medium grade) hike in Red Valley, exploring rock-cut churches and colorful fairy chimneys along the way. Then on to visit Cavusin (old Greek village) and Kaymakli Underground City. The day also includes panoramic views at Pigeon Valley with its famous dove cotes & Ortahisar. After the full day tour you have some free time till transfer to the bus station for departure on overnight intercity bus to Pamukkale.
meals: breakfast & lunch included
***If you do not wish to travel by overnight bus we can instead arrange by flight, please advise preference
***If you would prefer to visit Derinkuyu Underground City & hike in Ihlara Valley please advise preference

DAY 06 - Travertens of Pamukkale:
Arrival early morning (if by overnight bus) to Pamukkale and meet for transfer to a small hotel where a day room is provided for you to have a shower and breakfast. Then meet up with tour visiting the natural formation of the travertens (cotton cliffs/cotton castle) in Pamukkale along with the ruins of Hierapolis. End of day with arrival to hotel in Kusadasi. Overnight in Kusadasi.
meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner included

DAY 07 - Ephesus & House of Virgin Mary:
One of the jewels in the crown of Turkey - the Ancient City of Ephesus is a must. Walk down marble streets, view the magnificent Celsius Library and the Grand Theatre, etc. Also included are visits to the House of Virgin Mary & remains of Artemis Temple. Overnight in Kusadasi.
meals: breakfast, lunch & dinner included

DAY 08 - Kusadasi to Rhodes via Marmaris:
Check-out and transfer for departure on local intercity bus to Marmaris. On arrival make a short taxi ride to the port for passport control formalities then depart on the ferry to Rhodes (Greece). Arrival and transfer to hotel with evening free at leisure. Overnight in Rhodes.
meals: breakfast included

DAY 09 - Rhodes at leisure:
The day is free at leisure for you to explore on your own around the Old Town of Rhodes, further along the island to areas like Lindos etc, or simply just to relax. Overnight Rhodes.
meals: breakfast included

DAY 10 - Rhodes to Heraklion (Crete):
Breakfast, check-out and as per selected time transfer to the airport for departure on flight to Heraklion (Crete). Arrival and transfer to hotel. Overnight Heraklion.
meals: breakfast included

DAY 11 - Heraklion at leisure:
A full day for you to explore around the city centre with its venetian walls, harbour, museums & restaurants. Highly recommended is to visit the nearby ruins of Knossos Palace. Overnight in Heraklion.
meals: breakfast included

DAY 12 - Ferry Heraklion to Santorini:
Morning transfer to the port for departure on highspeed/seajet ferry to Santorini. Arrival transfer with the remainder of the day and evening at leisure for you to begin exploring this wonderful island. Overnight in Santorini.
meals: breakfast included

DAY 13 - Santorini at leisure:
Today relax on one of its many beaches, visit a few of its picturesque villages, stroll the scenic route from Fira to Oia. There are optional excursions available, on request. End the day watching the romantic sunset over the caldera either from your hotel or during dinner at a local taverna/restaurant. Overnight in Santorini.
meals: breakfast included

DAY 14 - Santorini to Athens:
Breakfast, check-out and as per selected time transfer to port for departure on ferry to Athens (ferry takes between 5hrs to 9hrs depending on vessel - if you prefer 1hr domestic flights are also available). Arrive and transfer to hotel. Overnight in Athens.
meals: breakfast included

DAY 15 - Athens City Tour with Acropolis:
Breakfast at hotel then join on one of the following regular group excursions (you get to choose):
a) 5hr Coach tour: visit Acropolis, New Acropolis Museum & panoramic drive through city center
b) 3hr Walking tour: visit Acropolis & stroll through the city centre
c) 5hr Walking tour: visit Acropolis, New Acropolis Museum & stroll through city centre
d) 3hr Athens Food walking tour: visiting specialty food shops with tastings & Varvakeios market
*Other alternatives available, like wine tasting etc, advise your preference in the enquiry form
Afternoon and evening free at leisure for you to further explore on your own. Overnight in Athens.
meals: breakfast included

DAY 16 - Departure from Athens:
Breakfast, check-out and as per your international flight departure time transfer to Athens Airport.

A Customer Review

I wanted to thank you for a wonderful trip you put together. It was a pleasure working with someone as professional and accomadating as yourself and would happily recommend your services to anyone. Any time I can help in any way, you have my e-mail. All the hotels were great. I would highly recommend the Aldemar in Rhodes if anyone asks. My offer stands to show you New York City if you are ever over this way. We enjoyed the trip so much we know we will be returning and I will look forward to work with you again. I know you went well beyond what could be expected and we really appreciate it. Thanks again, Fred.


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What's included?

  • Hotel accomodation in category of your choice
  • Breakfasts at hotels throughout (dinners optional)
  • Guided day tours, regular group (private on request)
  • Guiding in English, main entrances, tour transport
  • Lunches during full day tours in Turkey, drinks extra
  • Flight/ferry tickets from Istanbul through to Athens
  • Arrival & departure transfers throughout
  • Taxes and handling services


  • Available on daily basis - late April to mid October
  • Available in reverse order, start Athens end Istanbul
  • Very flexible, can be customized to suit preferences
  • Suitable for individuals and groups
  • Please note that this is not a set departure tour with the same persons all travelling together from start to end. What we do is arrange all accommodation & transport per your travel dates and then combine this with the noted sightseeing day tours in each area. This gives you the flexibility to tailor the itinerary to better suit your dates & "wish list".
  • Optional extra excursions are also available in Mykonos & Santorini, on request
  • Cappadocia offers many adventure style excursions such as horse riding, hot air balloon rides, atv safaris, bicycle safaris, canoeing & hiking. If you are interested in any of these please note which when completing "get quote" form.

Got questions?

Feel free to ask our professional travel planners any questions you might have so far. Receive reply as quickly as possible (max. 24 hours).