I took this directly from my email. It’s an announcement from Safari Kay about her upcoming tour to Greece and Instanbul, Turkey next year. If you are interested notify her before she leaves the country for her next African Safari next week. You can use the Contact Form on this site to reach her.
|show details Nov. 6, 2009 – 8:17 AM (36 minutes ago)|
For those of you who indicated an interest, or think you might be interested in Greece for next year (between my safari groups). For everyone else that this email is going to, who has no interest or cannot go, just consider it informational.
Here is the proposed itinerary. Pass the word to anyone you think might be interested.
Here’s the Greece information that I’m planning to book. It covers everything. I don’t plan to do another tour to Greece, so I wanted to incorporate as much as possible. Most clients have told me that instead of doing a 10-day tour and seeing ONLY Greece or ONLY the Greek Isles, they would like to incorporate Istanbul, Greece AND the Greek Isles, so that is what this does. It’s 10 months away, so time flies. I know it’s not easy for everyone to think this far ahead, like I have to, in order to plan everything, but when doing a group, it is necessary to ensure the airfare availability in advance and request the space. I would most likely have to book this by early December and require a deposit by that time. Final payment would be due by June 1, 2010.
It includes the Greek Isles, three nights in Istanbul which is perfect at a hotel which will be within walking distance to the Baazar, and includes some sightseeing, as well as Greece itself and some of the most visited areas there, as well as a cruise. Sept. 1, 2010 departure, Sept. 17, 2010 return, depending on air availability. The option if you think it’s too long may be to not do the last part, which is Greece, but not sure you would want to go all the way over there and not visit any place but Athens. Of course, I would have to determine if that could be worked out.
So, let me hear back from you before I leave the country on Nov. 11th, if possible, not with a deposit, but if you want me to include you (and your roommate) on this tour.
|Day 1 – DEPART USA|
|Day 2 – ISTANBUL|
|Welcome to Istanbul – a glorious city uniquely located on two continents. On arrival at Istanbul Airport, you are met and transferred to your tour hotel to settle in. This evening, join your fellow guests for a Welcome Drink.
Hotel: Crowne Plaza Old City Istanbul
|Day 3 – ISTANBUL SIGHTSEEING|
|Commence your Istanbul sightseeing with a visit inside the famous Blue Mosque. Then it’s on to St Sophia, at one time a cathedral and a mosque, and now a magnificent museum. See the Hippodrome, site of the old city’s chariot races and round off your tour at the Grand Bazaar with its vast array of jewels, leather, antiques, brassware and carpets. How much do you pay? Don’t worry, your guide will give you a full explaination of the time-honoured ritual of bargaining! This afternoon is at leisure to explore this fascinating city at your own pace. Turkish people love to eat, drink and dance so celebrate Turkish style tonight with a highlight dinner at a local restaurant. (BB,HD)|
|Day 4 – ISTANBUL AT LEISURE|
|A full day to explore! Sightseeing suggestions include a cruise along the Bosphorus past elegant palaces and picturesque fishing villages, or sip mint tea with stall holders as you bargain in the bazaar for goods laid out before you? (BB)|
|Day 5 – ISTANBUL – CRUISING – Grade A Superior Outside Cabin|
|This morning, perhaps devote some time to another symbol of the power and wealth of the Turkish sultans, the Dolmabahce Palace. Later, board your cruise and set sail on the Sea of Marmara and along the Dardanelles. (BB,D,S)|
|Day 6 – CRUISING – MYKONOS|
|After a pleasant morning’s cruising, arrive at the pretty island of Mykonos, with its white washed windmills overlooking the harbour. Explore the maze of walkways, tavernas and shops, before setting sail again late evening. (BB,L,D,S)|
|Day 7 – CRUISING – PATMOS – KUSADASI|
|Arrive early at the island of Patmos, where St. John the Divine received his vision of the Apocalypse. Later, dock at the Turkish port of Kusadasi, – where a visit to ancient Ephesus is a must! Tonight enjoy a Greek Evening and Dinner. (BB,L,HD,S)|
|Day 8 – CRUISING – RHODES|
|A whole day is set aside for you to explore Rhodes, founded by the Ancient Greeks and then chosen by the Crusaders for their fortified headquarters. Enjoy a lazy day on the golden beaches or wander around the medieval city and hunt for bargains. Back on board, meet the Captain at dinner tonight. (BB,L,D,S)|
|Day 9 – CRUISING – CRETE – SANTORINI|
|Visit Agios Nikolaos on the island of Crete where you can stroll along the quays of the lake and fishing harbour. Depart for Santorini, one of the most spectacular islands of the Mediterranean, with it’s towering cliffs and white cuboid houses. (BB,L,D,S)|
|Day 10 – ATHENS SIGHTSEEING|
|Disembark your ship this morning and transfer to the centre of Athens to commence your walking tour of the Acropolis and Parthenon, built in honour of the goddess Athena . You also see the Agora, where Socrates taught, the Royal Palace, Temple of Zeus, Hadrian’s Arch, and the stadium built for the first modern Olympic Games in 1896. The rest of the day is at leisure.
Hotel: Ledra Marriott. (BB)
|Day 11 – ATHENS AT LEISURE|
|The day is free: relax, shop, or continue sightseeing, possibly to Delphi, to see the temple complex once considered the centre of the Greek world. Tonight, why not join a party for an optional evening out in the famous Plaka District? (BB)|
|Day 12 – ATHENS AT LEISURE –|
|Welcome to Athens, ‘City of the Gods’, and the cradle of European civilisation! There’s so much in Greece to delight you, and this Insight tour makes sure you don’t miss any of it. You are met at the airport and transferred to your tour hotel for a two night stay. Then there is time to settle in and relax or start exploring this ancient and thriving city. Later, get to know your fellow travellers and Insight Representative over a Welcome Drink.
Hotel: Metropolitan (D)
|Day 13 – ATHENS SIGHTSEEING – This day would be an overlap, so it’s at leisure or you can certainly do this tour.|
|All the glories of Athens are on display on your sightseeing tour this morning. Highlight of the tour, of course, is a visit to the Acropolis, that mighty rock formation standing 230 feet above the city and still dominating the frantic bustle of modern Athens with its serene presence. Admire the Parthenon, built atop the Acropolis to house the long vanished statue of the goddess Athena Parthenos, and still amazing in its grace, despite the ravages of time and the loss of the Elgin Marbles. You also see the Temple of Zeus, the Temple of the Wingless Victory and Hadrian’s Arch – a magnificent list of treasures from the Classical age. This evening, why not join your fellow guests for a night of traditional Greek food in a lively atmosphere, accompanied by dancing and music? (BB)|
|Day 14– ATHENS – OLYMPIA|
|Leave Athens to follow the shores of the Saronic Gulf to the breathtaking Corinth Canal, begun in the 1st century BC by the emperor Nero but not completed until the 19th century – an amazing rock-cut channel dividing the Peloponnese from mainland Greece. Now on to the ancient ruined city of Mycenae; featured in epics of Homer, its 3500 year old monuments were only discovered in 1876 by the controversial archaeologist Heinrich Schliemann. Walk through the Lion Gate and see the giant Cyclopean stones which were used to build the city walls. Visit the royal ‘beehive’ tombs where Schliemann uncovered golden treasure and hear tales of Agamemnon (hacked to death in his bath by his wife Klytemnestra!). Heading west, a delightful drive takes you through the mountains of Arkadia to arrive at Olympia, birthplace of the Olympic Games.
Hotel: Antonios (BB,D)
|Day 15 – OLYMPIA – DELPHI|
|In Olympia this morning, see the Olympic Stadium where the original games were first held in 776BC, plus the athletes’ gymnasium and the city’s ancient temples. Then head north to Patras on the tip of the Peloponnese and cross the soaring Rio-Antirrio bridge to the mainland. Follow the coast road before climbing into the foothills of Mount Parnassus. With its elevated site on the slopes of a mountain terrace and dwarfed on either side by the ominous crags of Parnassus, it’s easy to see why the ancients believed Delphi to be the centre of the universe. Ascend the Sacred Way, once lined with offertory temples and statues to the honour of Apollo. See the splendid Parian marble Treasury of the Athenians which has been recreated by modern archeologists, (though without the riches that once filled it!) Pass the superb Polygonal Wall, its stones so perfectly fitted together that even thousands of years have not harmed it. Now you approach the legendary Temple of Apollo itself, where the mysterious Oracle of Delphi breathed her enigmatic ‘words’. Stay overnight in your hotel in the centre of Delphi.
Hotel: Amalia. (BB,D)
|Day 16 – DELPHI – KALAMBAKA|
|Leave Delphi and head north into the heart of Greece. Stop at the pass at Thermopylae, famous for its heroic defence by Leonidas and his courageous Spartans. In 480BC, this was the main route from Thessaly into Southern Greece. Over several days, Leonidas and his 8,000 Greek soldiers held out to the very last man against a great invading army of Persians, believed to be some 30,000 strong. Continue through the market town of Trikala, famous in ancient times for its sanctuary to Asklepios. Your destination is the town of Kalambaka. Hotel: Divani. (BB,D)|
|Day 17 – KALAMBAKA – ATHENS|
|This morning after breakfast, visit the amazing monasteries known as Meteora, which means ‘in the air’, incredibly perched on top of pinnacles of rock. Visit one of the monasteries and enjoy stunning views over the PeneiosValley and Pindos Mountains. Afterwards, cross fertile Thessaly, once described as the ‘bread basket of ancient Greece’. Enjoy a scenic drive along the coast to return to Athens for your final night in this fascinating city. Perhaps round off your tour with a celebration Greek style dinner at a local taverna?
Hotel: Metropolitan. (BB)
|Day 18 – RETURN TO USA|
|Sadly, your tour comes to an end today. Perhaps time to buy those last minute souvenirs before transferring to Athens airport for your onward flight. (BB)|