TURKEY & GREEK ISLAND ODYSSEY
10 Day European Contiki Tour!
From: R27 095 per person sharing
You're about to be THAT person. The one driving the rest of the world insane with jealousy. Lulling about the mystical thermal pools of Pamukkale, sipping sunset cocktails in Santorini & loading up on silver antiques in Istanbul. With 15 spots visited on the Turkey / Greece map, you'll know this region inside out.
Your Contiki Tour
DAY 1: Arrive Istanbul
The countdown is finally over, global roamers! We're here in Istanbul and all geared up for 10-days uncovering Turkey, Greece, & their delectable island collective. Get comfortable in our swanky hotel before we meet up for our first group dinner.
DAY 2: Istanbul
20,000 hand painted tiles fill the stunning Blue Mosque; millions of trinkets line the kilometres of the Grand Bazaar; and over 1,500 years of history sit within the walls of the Hagia Sofia. This is just some of the exotic magnificence that will keep us glued to Istanbul today. Seal the day of sightseeing with an optional Turkish bath and a belly dancing Turkish evening. Day two and we're already up to our eyeballs in experiences.
The Blue Mosque, the Galata Bridge, the Spice Markets - discover Istanbul with our expert local guide
See the Hagia Sofia, Topkapi Palace and Suleymaniye Mosque
DAY 3: Istanbul to Canakkale via Gallipoli
Out of exotic Istanbul we make our way to Canakkale, taking a sobering stop at the World War I site of Gallipoli.
Visiting ANZAC Cove, Chunuk Bair & Lone Pine Cemetery today we are gifted with a special opportunity to pay tribute to the heroes of World War I right here where part of the battle took place. Afterwards, we'll brighten the mood with a drive along the Sea of Marmara en route to Canakkale.
Pay tribute to heroes at Gallipoli & ANZAC Cove
Journey along the Sea of Marmara
Visit Lone Pine Cemetery & Chunuk Bair
Shortly after ferrying across the Dardanelles (casually crossing continents into Asia) we'll arrive in the sparkling town of Canakkale. Tonight is yours to unwind and relax with your squad.
DAY 4: Canakkale to Izmir via Troy and Pergamum
A big day sits ahead of us. Down as much breakfast as you can before we jump on the road in search of adventure.
Today we discover that "Troy" means more than just a Hollywood blockbuster; so much more. Unravel the historical layers of a ten year war & what is now a mythical excavation site, and sign up for an in-depth look at the ancient ruins of the region, including a replica of the famous wooden Horse of Troy, where climbing in for a pic is essential.
Further along the Turkish coastline we arrive at Pergamum. Once a political hotspot, this town is now brimming with history. We'll take a scenic mountain drive and give you the chance to get acquainted with Pergamum's hillside ruins, tapping into the archaeologist that you surely are.
Scenic mountain drive to Pergamum, ancient capital of Asia Minor
After our day's adventures are done, we arrive in Izmir, the birthplace of Homer (no kids, that isn't Homer from Springfield). After we tuck into some Turkish dinner, head out and explore the palm-lined promenades of this, the town known as the 'Pearl of the Aegean’.
See Izmir, the birthplace of Homer
DAY 5: Izmir to Pamukkale
Buckle up & brace yourself. We are leaving Izmir and heading out to marvel at what will probably be one of the most breathtakingly beautiful natural landscapes you have ever seen, but not before a trip to see the impressive Hierapolis amphitheatre.
Ah yes, there she is. Even more spectacular than Instagram & Pinterest had ever suggested. A UNESCO World Heritage site, Pamukkale's flowing waters of arid ridges and white calcium terraces formed by mineral waters are almost too much to fathom. Treating yourself to the optional thermal pool experience with all its healing properties is not an opportunity you're going to want to miss.
DAY 6: Pamukkale to Kusadasi via Ephesus
Don't despair sweet travellers! We may be leaving Pamukkale, but we're finding one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World. Get your bucket list ready for another whopping tick!
Mark Antony and Cleopatra used to kick it in Ephesus waaaay back in the day. Now you're here just traipsing in their footsteps some 2,000 years later. Has your mind blown yet?
See one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World - a locally guided tour of Ephesus
As soon as you cast your treasure-hungry eyes on the shopping bazaar of Kusadasi, you'll be very pleased indeed that this an overnight stop. Carpets, silver, local antiques, this place is a haven for those keen to pick up some treasures to take back home.
Visit a Turkish carpet store
See Kusadasi's shopping Bazaar & promenade
DAY 7: Kusadasi to Rhodes via Patmos
Grab your last Turkish treasures before we hit the seas in search of the precious Greek Island that is Rhodes. That's right, today our ocean odyssey begins. We'll board our boat, which will be home for the next few days as we hop our way around Greece's iconic islands with a taste of luxe.
Now that we're in the spirit of being island drifters, we'll take a stop at the wild countryside droplet of Patmos this afternoon. Get involved with the history of the place with an optional excursion to Patmos’ UNESCO World Heritage sites: the 11th century Monastery of the Apocalypse and the Grotto of St. John.
After the sun sets, we arrive in one of the most sun-soaked & stunning spots in Europe. Rest up so you are raring and ready to make the most of it tomorrow.
DAY 8: Rhodes
Open your eyes a little wider than usual and marvel at the paradise found that you have landed yourself in. Hello Rhodes! The whole day is yours - see ancient Greek statues, explore the medieval Old Town, or do little more than leave the beach if you're in need of a little vitamin D. Tonight, another bout of sailing on the Aegean Sea as we drift away from one idyllic island, we quickly find another where you'll wake up tomorrow...
DAY 9: Cruising to Santorini via Crete
The biggest doesn't always mean the best. But Crete, the biggest of the Greek Islands, is pretty damn wonderful. Choose to learn the mythical history of a 4,000 year old palace or just visit the islands main town and soak up all its glory before it's back on the boat to our next amazing spot.
Visit Heraklion town
Thousands of years ago a volcano erupted - one of the largest eruptions in the recorded history of the Earth - and made what we now know as the island of Santorini. Only it didn't have its iconic blue-domed churches back then, those came a little further down the track. That's all for your history lesson, now the day is yours to potter & pout while taking happy snaps. And "happy" today will be an absolute understatement. Back on the boat tonight, we'll settle in for some cocktails on deck while watching the iconic Oia sunset and ponder what might just be the best 9 days of our lives.
Visit the main town of Fira
See the spectacular volcanic islands surrounding Santorini
See the sunset from Oia, Santorini
DAY 10: Arrival into Athens
Wipe those sad looks off your faces! Life doesn't end when you leave the Greek Islands. We have a morning in Athens to look forward to, which gives us time to discuss our plans for a reunion tour. Athens is a pretty fine place to say our final goodbyes. Have one last dose of exploration on an optional Athens sightseeing tour, or kick on to your next journey after saying your farewells to the posse.
9 nights: For 6 nights you'll be in cool, comfy hotels in twin or triple share rooms, or splash out and upgrade to single-share. For the remaining 3 nights you'll be on board a pimped-out cruise ship.
Cruise around Turkey with your new besties in the air-conditioned comfort of our coach. Once we sit the water, no need for seat belts and neck pillows when you're out at sea on a pimped-out cruise ship.
18 meals: Think fresh platters of seafood and local delights like Greek moussaka and a delicious Turkish soup known as corba. You'll be able to sample tasty treats like this each day, as all your breakfasts are included (hello buffets!), as well as 2 lunches and 7 dinners.
The greatest bits of everywhere we dock are included as standard. Explore the ancient Byzantine ruins of Ephesus, visit the blue mosque and see the famous Santorini sunset from Oia. And to keep things cool in the heat, you'll be treated to unlimited soft drinks on the cruise.
Spice up your trip even more by adding some serious entertainment to your itinerary. Be dazzled by the belly dancers of Istanbul, visit the thermal pools of Pamukkale and delve into the history of Medieval Rhodes.
You salty sea dogs will be spending balmy days and starry nights aboard cruise ships and comfy coaches.
Notes & Conditions
- Packages are subject to availability at the time of the reservation.
- Passport & visa costs (if applicable), travel insurance & items of a personal nature are also not included.
- Prices are subject to change without prior notice due to currency fluctuations.
- Rebooking and cancellations fees apply.
- All prices are per person sharing unless otherwise specified.
- Standard terms and conditions apply.