Ancient Greece and Roman Byzantine collided in modern day Turkey, the two great empires leaving behind mesmerizing odes to the earliest Western Civilizations. Ancient cities like Ephesus and Troy vividly unveil a Greco Roman affair. In Istanbul and Athens the heartbeats of two empires stand still, reflected in marbled pillars and resplendent domes that cascade from afar. Journey to a land where the mystery of legends and the beauty of antiquity are wonderfully preserved.
Istanbul – Traditional Hamam Welcome to Istanbul
Exotic delights welcome you to Istanbul. Fabulous domes reflect in the Bosphorus, cobbled streets smell of fresh pastry, and there's an immediate impression of being immersed in a bygone era. While Rome's Western Empire was disposed of in the 5th century, Roman Constantinople and Byzantine survived for almost another 1,000 years. Evidence of this glorious past is omnipresent and views of an empire come directly from your private terrace at your five-star hotel. Admire the antiquity that lines the corridors, settle into your deluxe suite, and soak up an exclusive hospitality once reserved for emperors.
Today is designed to be relaxed and therapeutic. The historical revelations will start tomorrow. Before then, a salubrious Ottoman treatment helps overcome any travel fatigue. Traditional hamams started to dominate the city soon after Constantinople became Istanbul in 1453. Lie back on a steaming hot stone, a tiny domed ceiling casting beams of light through the mist. Using a prodigious roll of cloth and soap, layers of dirt are scrubbed from your open pores. After the scrubbing, settle into the sauna before enjoying a cup of Turkish coffee in the cafe. Completing the exotic welcome to Istanbul, tonight's dinner is accompanied by a Whirling Dervish performance, the hypnotized Sufis spinning without pause as you tuck into a sundry meze.
Istanbul – Exploring the Magnificent Remains of the Roman Empire
Istanbul – The Vibrant Neighborhoods of Constantinople and Istanbul
Sirince – Mysterious Remains at the Ancient City of Pergamum
Sirince – Exploring Two Empires in Ephesus
Canakkale – Renowned Greco Roman Brilliance at Troy
Athens – A Therapeutic Welcome to Ancient Greece
Athens – Exploring the Birthplace of Western Civilization
Athens – Ancient Neighborhoods and Resplendent Temples
Athens – Farewell to Two Empires
- Visit many UNESCO World Heritage Sites and renowned Greco Roman cities
- Recreate and evoke the chronicles of history as you experience the relics of both ancient Greece and the Roman Empire
- Start the trip with three days in Istanbul, exploring what was Constantinople and the capital of Rome's Eastern or Byzantine Empire
- Complete the vacation in Athens, immersing yourself in the finest memoirs of ancient Greece
- Discover how the empires collided as you explore three magnificent ancient cities in Asia Minor: Ephesus, Troy, and Pergamum
- Savor a vacation that recreates the indulgence of emperors with beautiful boutique hotels, lavish traditional banquets, and therapeutic surprises
The planet's greatest two empires fought their battles in what is now Turkey. Ancient Greece expanded west, creating magnificent regional capitals and almost mythical tales as they conquered the land. A thousand years later, Rome was spreading its influence east. Battles raged and the Romans built on the architectural legacy of the land's former rulers. This unique tour to Turkey and Greece reveals the historical splendor and exquisite beauty of both ancient Greece and the Roman Empire. Start the vacation with three days in Istanbul and complete the trip with three nights in Athens, both lavish destinations that epitomize the empires' grandeur and charm. In between, three ancient cities interweave the narratives. Four thousand years of Greco Roman history is magnificently preserved and presented as you visit Troy, Ephesus, and Pergamum, each with its foundations in Greece and its final narratives in Rome.
No evocation of these empires would be complete without the opulent musings and revered indulgence of its rulers and gods. This itinerary offers a thick slice of historic luxury through carefully selected boutique hotels and a dedication to the small details. Enjoy beautiful banquets at renowned restaurants, bedrooms bursting with antiquity, and therapeutic spa treatments. Expert local guides turn ruins into real stories as they reveal the tales that escaped popular history books. And there are few more suggestive sights than lounging on a private terrace and watching the sun set over a four millennia old city. Including half a dozen UNESCO World Heritage sites, this private tour showcases some of the planet's most redolent and refined attractions.
Start the tour in Istanbul, discovering the Constantinople that was capital of the Roman Byzantine Empire until the 15th century. A traditional hamam experience helps relieve any travel fatigue before two days of guided tours open up Roman splendor. Byzantine treasures mix with Ottoman resplendence as an exotic portrait is sensually revealed. On day four you fly to Izmir and settle into the heart of Asia Minor. A luxurious village guesthouse overlooks the fertile slopes that Greece and Rome resonantly shaped. Three ancient cities are explored at a leisurely pace. Start in mysterious Pergamum and decide if it's on ode to Zeus or a throne for Satan, as St. John once declared. Spend day five in fabulous Ephesus, discovering the Ionian columns and immense majesty of a regional capital that once rivaled Rome. On day six you travel to the legendary city from Homer's Iliad and wander amongst the vast remains of Troy.
Two-thousand years ago the journey from Byzantine to Athens would have involved many days of marching. The cities are now connected by short daily flights and your arrival in Athens quickly resumes the immersion in classical narratives. Western civilization was born here, emanating from the Acropolis and historic Pantheon that shimmer beneath a glowing Mediterranean sun. Spend a day exploring the temples and landmarks of the Acropolis and Ancient Agora, each resplendently preserved as they showcase the origins of an ancient empire. On day nine you discover a scattered collection of ruins and sites, the historical journey interrupted by quaint wanders through 19th century neighborhoods of marble. Depart Athens on day ten, two empires fully explored and a succession of abiding memories spinning through your mind.
Note that this itinerary is easily extended for those with more time. Turkey is filled with Greco Roman history and destinations like Hierapolis and Aphrodisias can be easily included. For more information, visit the Turkey tours section on Zicasso.
$3,315 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
- Expert trip planning
- 24x7 support during your trip
Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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