25 Days Ex Istanbul Departs: Saturdays from 09 April to OctoberModerate First Class
IMPORTANT NOTE: This package does not include the flight Rhodes-Milos as this can be purchased at a more advantageous rate directly by your travel agent
Superior Tourist Class Turkey Small Group Tour, First Class Greek Island Hopping, First Class Egypt Private Touring and Nile Cruise
- From Troy to the Pyramids of Giza, from Constantinople and Thebes to Athens, uncover the treasures of civilisations past – and stand in the shadows of history
- Visit the original sites of three of the seven wonders of the ancient world
- Recount legends of the past whilst cruising on the Nile or relaxing in the idyllic beauty of the Greek islands
- Important Information
Day 1 Istanbul
Arrival transfer to your hotel. Meet your fellow tour companions.
Day 2 Istanbul (B)
Begin your small group tour of Turkey with a day exploring Istanbul’s Ottoman past. Visit the magnificent Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace, Blue Mosque, and the Grand Bazaar. Optional dinner with a Turkish show.
Day 3 Istanbul – Canakkale (BD)
Morning departure from Istanbul and travel to Anzac Cove, the Nek, Chunuk Bair, Lone Pine, and 57th regiment memorial before crossing the Dardanelles to Canakkale.
Day 4 Troy - Pergamum – Kusadasi (BD)
After breakfast at the hotel drive to the legendary Troy – site of the Trojan War and its famous wooden horse. Cross the Ida Mountains to arrive in Pergamum to visit the Acropolis before continuing to Kusadasi.
Day 5 Ephesus – Kusadasi (BD)
There is a short drive to Ephesus, one of the Great ancient sites of Asia Minor, with its temples, library, market, and spectacular Theatre. Later you will have the opportunity to discover and understand the rich history behind local handicrafts, like handmade carpets and tiles. Continue to the village of Sirince, one of the most beautiful villages in Turkey. Free time for shopping or to taste the local wines.
Day 6 Hierapolis – Pamukkale – Marmaris. (BD)
Travel through meandering plains and cotton farms to arrive in Pamukkale in time to enjoy the beauty of the lime cascade and visit ancient Hierapolis Roman health spa ruins before continuing on to Marmaris.
Day 7 Marmaris – Rhodes (B)
Depart the Coach tour and begin your island hopping programme with a ferry to Rhodes. The local representative will have your ferry ticket. Afternoon at leisure to explore this ancient city, a blend of cosmopolitan and traditional Greece.
Day 8 Rhodes (B)
Day at leisure to wander through this Unesco World Heritage City.
Day 9 Rhodes – Milos (B)
This morning transfer to the airport for your flight to Milos (via Athens), known for its beaches and relaxed Greek island lifestyle. Upon arrival transfer to your beach hotel.
Day 10 Milos (B)
Free time to explore the island's dramatic coastal landscape and beaches with amazing colourful rock formations that reflect the island’s volcanic origins.
Day 11 Milos (B)
Free time to explore the islands dramatic coastal landscape and beaches with amazing colourful rock formations that reflect the island’s volcanic origins.
Day 12 Milos – Santorini (B)
Transfer to the port for your ferry to Santorini. Depart the relaxed atmosphere of Milos and cruise through the Cycladic islands to Santorini, known worldwide for its iconic views and colourful sunsets.
Day 13 Santorini (B)
Day at leisure to explore this stunning island paradise
Day 14 Santorini (B)
Day at leisure to explore this stunning island paradise
Day 15 Santorini – Athens (B)
Take the Fast Ferry through the islands of the Mediterranean to Athens – the heart of Greek history and your home for the next 2 days.
Day 16 Athens (B)
Morning tour of Athens including Constitution Square, Hadrian’s Arch, the Acropolis. The tour will take you to see the Panathenaic Stadium where the first Olympic Games of modern times were held in 1896. Continue past Hadrian's Arch on your way to The Acropolis. Once there you will visit the architectural masterpieces of the Golden Age of Athens: The Propylaea, the Temple of Athena, Nike the Erechtheion, and finally the incredible Parthenon - described as the most beautiful building ever constructed . End the day at the new Acropolis Museum.
Day 17 Athens – Cairo (B)
Depart one ancient civilisation for another. Transfer to the airport for your flight to Cairo (not included in package price). Warm welcome, visa assistance and transfer to your Pyramids hotel. Take in spectacular views of the pyramids.
Day 18 Cairo (B)
A day to remember with your private Egyptologist! Visit the ancient capital of Memphis and the enduring monuments of Sakkara - prototypes for Ancient Egypt’s most enduring architectural legacy - the Pyramids. Explore the sand strewn temples and tombs before travelling to the incomparable Pyramids of Giza and Sphinx. The largest and oldest pyramid was built by Pharaoh Khufu over 3800 years ago.
Day 19 Cairo – Aswan (cruise) (BLD)
Fly to Aswan, the heart of Nubia, and board your cruise boat. Visit the restored Phillae Temple and Aswan Dams
Day 20 Aswan – Edfu (cruise) (BLD)
Cruise down the Nile to Kom Ombo and view its famous temple, completed during the reign of Ptolemy during 181-146B.C. This temple was shared by the two Gods Sobek and Haroeris. See the beautiful bas relief and fine views of the river. Travel to Edfu for the night.
Day 21 Edfu – Luxor (cruise) (BLD)
Visit the town of Edfu where remains from the Old Kingdom can be viewed as well as the magnificent Edfu Temple - Temple of Horus and houses of the Byzantine period. Sail to Esna and cross the lock. Continue to Luxor. This afternoon take an unforgettable excursion to Luxor Temple built by two kings Amenophis III and Ramses II. After touring Luxor Temple continue to Karnak Temple, the main centre of worship in ancient Egypt.
Day 22 Luxor (B)
This morning disembark your Nile Cruise and cross the Nile to the West Bank. Today is full of highlights including the Necropolis of Thebes and the Valley of the Kings, where you’ll find the tombs of the Theban rulers such as Ramses II and Tutankhamun. Also tour the Valley of the Queens and the Mortuary Temple of Hatchepsut. See the famed Colossi of Memnon facing the Nile. Afternoon at leisure to explore the markets and sites of Luxor.
Day 23 Luxor – Cairo (B)
Depart the ancient Egyptian capital of Thebes and return to Cairo for the culmination of your Ancient Egypt experience with a tour of the Cairo Museum where the artefacts of the eras are brought to life by your Egyptologist.
Day 24 Cairo (B)
Explore Old Cairo with its medieval Coptic and Islamic history. Wander along El Mouz Street and onto through Khan el Khali markets, experiencing the energy of the city.
Day 25 Cairo (B)
One last moment to reflect on your Journey Through Ancient Civilisations as you are privately transferred to Cairo Airport for your onward flight.
- Welcome Visa Service Inside Immigration in Egypt
- Airport Greeting on arrival in Istanbul
- Shared Airport transfers in Istanbul Greek Islands Private in Cairo
- Accommodation in Moderate First Class hotels with private facilities
- 3 Night Nile Cruise – All meals included on cruise
- Daily Breakfast Other Meals as Specified in Itinerary (L = Lunch D = Dinner)
- Activities and Entrance Fees as per Itinerary
- A/C Transportation throughout; A/C Coach in Turkey
- Group sightseeing on Turkey Coach Tour, Athens, & Nile Cruise with English Speaking Guides Private Sightseeing with Egyptologist Guide in Cairo
- Flights: Cairo – Aswan, Luxor - Cairo
- Fast Ferry Milos – Santorini – Athens
- Ferry Marmaris-Rhodes
- Visa for Egypt
- Travel Notes – issued by Innovative Travel
- International airfares
- Flight Rhodes-Milos
- Optional tours and excursions
- Port Taxes and fuel surcharges
- Tipping/Gratuities (please refer to tour notes for a recommended guideline)
- Personal Expenses
- Departure taxes
- Hotel charges for minibar or any extra charges
- Visas for Turkey and Greece
- Any other services not clearly mentioned in the inclusions above
Accommodation based on the below or similar
Point Hotel Taksim
Sonesta St George
Dress CodesModest dress is required for entrance to holy sites – Men: Long pants, Women – skirt or long pants and shoulders covered.
HotelsOn coach tours, hotels in regional areas (i.e Pamukkale) can be of a slightly lower standard than the other hotels on the tour.
SightseeingAll sightseeing tours require a moderate amount of walking around historical / cultural sites. This is particularly true in Cappadocia where walks can be up to 1 or 2 km long and where a good level of fitness will ensure you get a maximum enjoyment from your visit. On some tours you may visit a carpet or handicraft shop where the locals will show how their crafts are made. There is no obligation to buy any products at any of these places.
TransfersTransfers are operated by drivers and are not guided. Some drivers may only have a basic command of English.
Optional ToursOptional tours offered during coach tours may not be guaranteed (even if pre-booked ex New Zealand) as they are subject to a minimum number of participants.
Private Sightseeing tours (if booked)If a private sightseeing tour is booked it is important that you discuss the days arrangements with the guide as the touring programmes have a degree of flexibility. It is important to discuss with the guide so that any specific requirements can be met or addressed at the time.
Istanbul airport transfers:For coach tours: airport transfers are included on days of the tour ex Istanbul Airport, a surcharge will apply for transfers to or from Sabiha Gocken Airport. Transfers from the hotel to the Airport may be on scheduled shuttles. Late Evning or early morning flights may require private transfers at a supplement.
For independent / private tours: if included, airport transfers are applied ex Ataturk Airport, a surcharge will apply for transfers to or from Sabiha Gocken Airport.
** NEW HOTEL TAX**The Greek government has recently approved a new law (Law 4389 / 27-05-2016 article 53 Accommodation Taxation) that will be in force and effective as of 01.01.2018 regarding a tax for all Tourists staying in any kind of Hotel, Apartment, Villa, etc. in any destination in Greece. This tax will be applied locally and payable at checkin or checkout depending on your hotel. The tax is a fixed Euro amount based on the property rating.
**FERRIES**All ferry schedules may be subject to change, due to local conditions (including weather) and/or possible port congestion and the final requirements of the ferry companies. The cancellation or non operation of the ferries is a decision of the shipping company and the Ministry of Shipping. This is outside the control of our operators and Innovative Travel who confirm ferries in good faith.
If certain classes of ferries are not operating for any reason, the next best option will be used whether alternate ferries or flights. Example: If Hydrofoils are non-operational for any reason, clients booked on them may have to use alternative regular ferries in a first class seat. Any additional charges are at the clients expense.
Greek Island ferries are usually quite large, offering restaurant/cafeteria/bar facilities, though normally no swimming facilities. Porters are rarely available at ferry ports, so your luggage should be only as much as you can carry.
Ferry Rhodes / Marmaris: Unlike standard ferries connections between Greek Islands, the ferry between Rhodes and Marmaris is an international one. Our local operator in Rhodes will provide you with a voucher that you will exchange at the port where you will have to queue to receive your boarding pass and pay the Greece departure tax.
Connecting to International Flights from the Islands. We suggest client do not depart from Athens on the same day as they embark on ferries from the Cyclades or beyond. If departures are scheduled for this day we suggest flying directly into Athens airport.
*** FERRY TICKETS***The majority of ferry tickets are paper tickets. A handling fee is included in the price of the tickets when purchased with other arrangements in Athens. If clients are not using the service of our local representative in Athens a delivery and additional handling fee may be charged. ( This applies particularly when an island hopping programme begins on the islands). Ferry tickets are non-refundable and non-changeable once issued. All tickets are issued locally in Greece.
Ferry schedules in Greece are constantly changing. Final ferry tickets are generally issued 2 weeks prior departure. To avoid client disappointment tickets are purchased on the best available scheduled departure at that time. If a client wants to make changes after tickets are purchased a change fees will apply payable locally and clients will be responsible for collecting the tickets from the ferry terminal on the day of departure. Final embarkation timings will be confirmed to clients by our representative in Greece.
The local Greece representatives are available to assist clients in case of emergencies or cancellations of ferries. They will also assist to make changes to a booking – any additions or changes to service may incur charges and these must be paid locally.
*** TRANSFERS***Transfers are supplied by drivers and are not guided. Some drivers may only have a basic command of English.
*** THE ISLANDS***Traditionally the Greek Islands main travel season is from May to October. For clients arriving in April and towards the end of the season, many facilities and hotels may not be operational. The infrastructure on Santorini and Mykonos is well developed the other islands accommodation including Naxos and Paros have less developed infrastructure with accommodation generally a slightly lower standard. This is compensated for by atmosphere and charm.
**DOUBLE BEDS**Please note we have requested a double bedded room/cabin but cannot guarantee one will be available. In Greece/Turkey double room/cabin are very limited. Please ask on check-in with the hotel/cruise boat to see what is available.
*** CRUISE DEPARTURES FROM ATHENS ***We suggest that a pre nights accommodation and an arrival transfer are booked, from your Athens Hotel to the port, to connect with the correct ferry/cruise. Due to the size and congestion at the port it can be difficult to find the correct terminal and the cruise departure point often changes without prior notice. The local operator will be informed of these details to avoid potential problems.
*** CABIN ALLOCATION ON CRUISES ***Celestial Cruise Cabin numbers are confirmed generally 2 weeks prior to cruise departures. This may vary from the cabin allocated at the time of confirmation of the booking. *** CRETE SELF DRIVE ***The standard of the rental vehicles in Crete is generally lower than that of Central Europe and New Zealand. These cars are late model manual vehicles as opposed to new cars. They are well serviced, and reliable. Automatic vehicles can be requested, a surcharge applies. It is common practice that the car is delivered with a non-full (and quite often almost empty) tank. Make sure you fill in your tank before leaving town. At the end of your tour the car is expected to be returned with a similar level of fuel as when first delivered.
*** ATHENS SIGHTSEEING & GREECE MAINLAND COACH TOURS ***Scheduled tours and sightseeing are bilingual unless specified. Wifi may be available on full day tours to Delphi, Argolis and all multi day tours.
Cruising the NilePlease use cruise itineraries as a guideline only. The order of sightseeing and overnight destinations may vary and are subject to change due to the operation of Esna Lock, or at the discretion of the of the cruise company. Should a change of boat be required due to any unforeseen circumstances prior to departure, an alternative of the same standard or better will be offered if available
There are many river boats that cruise between Luxor and Aswan. They provide accommodation and transportation for the majority of tourists travelling to Egypt. Each night and whilst moored for sightseeing, it is common for 4-5 cruise boats to be parked abreast of each other. The location of your boat will vary from port to port however in many cases your view from your cabin will be restricted to cruising periods only.
Sightseeing on Nile Cruise boats is operated by the cruise company. You will be allocated an English speaking guide and small group of other English speaking tourists for sightseeing upon embarkation. The order of sightseeing may vary depending on the local port authorities. If a tomb or temple is unable to be visited an alternative will be provided where possible.
Sightseeing (non cruise)All sightseeing unless specified is on a private basis with a driver and guide. Sightseeing generally takes place in the cooler periods of the day ie early morning or late afternoon therefore on occasion some early starts may be necessary to avoid the heat
Valley of the Kings: Not all the tombs within the Valley are currently open to the public. Many are closed periodically for resting and renovation (Entrance fees to three tombs is included in tour packages. Entrance fees to Tutankhamen’s Tomb is not included. Currently EGP100pp - subject to change).
RamadanDuring the Holy Month of Ramadan Muslims fast, abstaining from eating, drinking & smoking during daylight hours (approx. 7am-6.30pm). As a sign of respect, tourists should also try to refrain eating in public during the fasting hours. Restaurants and Cafes in Hotels and Cruise boats will be open, however limited alcohol may be available over this time. In 2019, Ramadan should begin around 5 May. After 30 days, or on sighting the full moon, Eid Al Fitr is celebrated & most public and private institutions close for at least three days.
Domestic Flights in EgyptFlight times will reconfirmed by the local operator upon arrival in Egypt.Note, Flights from Cairo to Aswan and Luxor generally involve early morning starts due to flight schedules in the summer season. For flights to Abu Simbel certain flights are allocated to clients travelling for day trips from Cairo and overnight programmes. These flights are set by Egypt air and are outside of the operators control
Dress CodesModest dress is required for entrance to holy sites – Men: Long pants, Women – skirt or long pants and shoulders covered.
HotelsHotels in regional areas (i.e Abu Simbel/ Siwa/ St Catherine ) can be of a lower standard than the properties in the main tourist centres., with more basic/ less developed infrastructure due to location and surrounding conditions. The options chosen are the best available.
Trip prices and dates are correct at the time of the website going live, however all offers are subject to reconfirmation at the time of booking. Note prices usually display available discounted rates if any, (eg. Early Bird Deals if applicable). All featured tour itineraries and offers maybe subject to change due to seasonal variations without notice, or due to local conditions or other conditions. Please confirm all details at time of booking. Travel insurance is mandatory for all Innovative Travel bookings. All passports must be valid for 6 months prior to your return to your home country. Visas are the responsibility of the traveller. Special VIP meet and assist offers are valid for New Zealand passport holders, for other nationalities please check at the time of booking. For full terms and conditions, please refer to our Booking Conditions page.