Mykonos, Rhodes, Athens, Kusadasi, Istanbul
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Follow the path of Odysseus on this custom tailored tour of Greece and Turkey meant to give you the most amazing adventure through antiquity. From the ancient steps of the Parthenon to the sensational crumbled walls of Troy, you will stand with legends and gods, sailing through the incredible waters of the Mediterranean, and wandering along the path of history. Every adventure starts with that first step; come take it.
Athens - Greetings to Athena
Arrive in the grand city of Athens, where the marbled world of the ages shines in the mid-morning sun. The scent of marble and olive oil mixes for a rich and creamy allure along the old streets of the city. From the airport you will have a private transfer to your hotel where, after check-in, the entire city of Athens can be explored at your leisure. You can see Acropolis hill rising above the center of the metropolis with prestige. Stroll along the Plaka, one of the oldest streets in the city, where ancient mansions continue to line the cobblestone lanes and the scent of traditional dishes drift through the air.
Athens - Where Odysseys Begin
The rich aroma of Greek coffee calls you from your bed. The sun drifts over the pillars of the Acropolis giving them a pink sheen in the morning light. Venture out into the city on a tour to see the famed history of Athens, from ancient to contemporary. The Temple of the Olympian Zeus continues to sit proud against the backdrop of the Acropolis. Hadrian’s Arch frames the temple behind it, built by the Roman emperor Hadrian and connoting the city as an unofficial second capital of Rome during his reign. The pillars of the temple continue to form a solid frame around part of the foundation, giving you a sense of wonderment at its size and the intricate detail carved into the tops of the Corinthian columns like ornate leaves.
Your journey through history brings you to the steps of the Acropolis where the polished marble runs from beneath your feet and into the sky. Step in front of the Propylaea, the elaborate entrance gate that glimmers and intimidates. Once through the gate you will step into the grace of Athena, within the reach of the Parthenon. Each pillar helps project an image of perfection along the structure where once a large statue of the goddess of wisdom could be seen. The metopes continue to display myths of wars, from Giants to the Amazonians, and more. There is a wash of awe that comes from being that close to such an elegant temple that has watched over the city for thousands of years.
Athens - The City is Yours
The city of Athens is yours, given to your whim, and at your leisure. Whether you wish to explore the modern streets of Kolonaki, where the honeyed baklava beckons to passersby, or you wish to explore more of Athens’ sensational past with a visit to the Agora; like Odysseus, you could let fate guide you. You have the option of journeying to Delphi for the day to meet with the great Oracle that once advised Greece for millennia, from kings to politicians and more. Ancient Delphi was dedicated to the sun god Apollo, inhabited since Mycenaean times. You can imagine the lavish temples that once stretched across the upper echelons of the site, where now pillars and statues remain. A cool breeze brushes along the mountaintops. The scent of pine rushes through the meandering stones of the city. The ruins of the Apollo temple look out over the valley and the rolling mountains beyond. Five pillars stand in salute to the grandeur that once housed the power and beauty of Apollo, where every part of the world that was touched by light was said to be graced by the sun god.
Mykonos - The Odyssey Begins
Today you will wave goodbye to the city of Athens, where the Parthenon continues to be a beacon of knowledge for the empowerment of history and the future. Your transfer will bring you to the port district of Piraeus where you will board your luxurious cruise ship and venture along the ornate Mediterranean waters to Mykonos. The island is famed for its cosmopolitan lifestyle and pristine beaches. Five windmills run along the beachside by the port with white walls and thatched roofs. They look as though they guard the city, the wheels spinning in the light breeze repelling worries away. Whether you wish to explore the hundreds of Cycladic chapels that decorate the island or would prefer to dip your toes along the warm, glassy water of Super Paradise Beach, the day is yours to see the famed splendor of Mykonos.
Rhodes - The Only Rhodes
The morning rises over the ship and brings with it a new city to explore. Rhodes sits along the splendid waters of the Mediterranean like a storybook, where the history of Greece overlooks the architecture of Venetian, Ottoman, and Italian occupiers. Disembark from the ship and step into a city that looks almost like a dream. Let the island be your guide, giving you the opportunity to stand over the sea and look out over the apex of the horizon while on the Acropolis of Lindos. Or you could wander through the medieval streets of Rhodes City. A large castle continues to wrap around the coastline near the harbor. The old city sits inside the belly of the castle, one of the oldest inhabited medieval towns in Europe, where turrets rise around the open square, and a charming fountain rests as the centerpiece. The rich aroma of meliasti, feta cheese wrapped in filo and topped with honey and sesame, is too luscious to pass up. Venetian buildings that give way to pointed arches and ornate tile decorations are a reminder of the eclectic culture of the island and the ottoman’s rule. The Colossus of Rhodes may no longer stand along the shores of the port but the city itself is as much of a spectacle to be seen and enjoyed.
Kusadasi - Revelation and One of Wonder
In the morning you arrive on the shores of the island of Patmos. In the hills over the city you can see whitewashed buildings climbing the slopes beneath an imposing stone monastery. History claims that this is the island where St. John the Divine wrote the Book of Revelations. Whether you prefer to stroll through the city, lounge on the beach, or tour the ancient, religious sites of the island, Patmos is there for you to experience. The town’s stone streets wind along the stretch of cozy white buildings that shine in the morning sun. The lovely fragrance of bougainvillea and sweet honey drift along the paths. Within the monastery walls it feels like you have stepped into a medieval castle. The arches within the central garden support the outer walls but also add a sense of serene fragility to the interior of a fortification that from the outside looked impenetrable. Look over the hard walls and the entirety of Patmos Town that reaches to the lower hills, the harbor, and the sea.
Step onto the island of Kusadasi where the famous city of Ephesus waits for your arrival. Where one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World once stood, the ruins of the Temple of Artemis remain. The Odeon is shaped like a small theater, rising over the hill, used as both a concert hall and for the senate. The stone benches offer a stunning look into the acoustics of the ancient theater. The Fountain of Trajan continues to inspire awe in visitors with stacked pillars and porticos. The pool was over 60 feet long by 30 feet wide and surrounded by columns and statues. The marble continues to uphold some of its original integrity, with a backdrop of the hillside and strong protruding ledges. It is easy to imagine the magnitude and grandeur of Ephesus, how impressive it may have been because it still impresses people today.
Kusadasi - Along the Walls of Troy
Rising along the seaside of Izmir continues the wondrous history of the Mediterranean and beyond. Outside of the city of Izmir, where the turquoise water rushes against the shores, brings you to the ancient city of Pergamum and the steps of the Asclepion. The colonnaded pathway guides you from the entrance to the sanctuary. The base column is carved with snakes, the symbol of Asclepius, the god of medicine. The essence of the ruin gives you a sense of how the ancient people of the city lived and functioned. The Corinthian pillars continue to decorate the sky, stretched along what remains of their luxuriant past, where once doctors thrived and citizens were healed.
In the midst of the day you will arrive at the fabled walls of Troy, where Odysseus once fought, and a wooden horse gained tremendous fame; the city is known by the world within the celebrated poem of Homer, the Iliad. The uncovered layers of the city bring you to the rich depths of thousands upon thousands of years of resettlement and ruins. The base of the legendary wall continues to wrap around the city. The stone and arid landscape brings an earthen perfume to the air. Although the real Trojan horse does not stand outside of the city walls, a replica has been placed at the gates to give visitors a sense of the enormity of not only the walls but the horse and the impending united army.
Istanbul - In the Shadows of Worlds at War
From the Trojan War to WWI, the mountains and valleys of Turkey are filled with historic battles that bring legends and commemoration throughout time. A brief ferryboat ride brings you across the Dardanelles and onto the front-line of the WWI battlefield of Gallipoli, notorious especially in Australia and commemorated on their national holiday of Anzac Day. A walk around the battlefield takes you to a variety of locations, beginning at North Beach; a plateau rises on the right hand side and Walker’s Ridge on the left. The water is a pristine blue; the grass is manicured and lush. The history of Gallipoli is a troubled one but the site is as inspiring for a sense of contemporary history, as the Acropolis is for a taste of the ancient past. Later in the day you will arrive in Istanbul, considered the gateway to the East.
Istanbul - Formerly Constantinople
Istanbul was once the capital of Byzantium and the Ottoman Empire, an eclectic mix of the west and the east, where the cultures of continents collide. Today you will embark on a tour through the sensational city that will bring you within steps of Hagia Sophia Church. The church almost towers over the city, its dome vibrant and complex. What was once the largest church in the world is now a museum where the moment you step inside you can feel the immensity of history wrapped up within the breathtaking dome, vibrant frescos, and the understanding of this pinnacle of Byzantine architecture. Stand beneath the dome of the church and look up into the swirling colors and frescos of the ceiling. You are almost overcome with a sense of vertigo, from the height and the illusion of movement. The light is soft and the sound is a gentle echo of the whispers and footsteps of history.
The continuation of the tour brings you to another famous site of Istanbul, the Blue Mosque. Built to rival the Hagia Sophia, the flurry of domes and minarets immediately captivates you. It’s as if they carved a palace out of a mountain and turned it into a mosque. The variety of blues shimmers in the sunlight, giving a warm radiance against the open sky. Inside of the mosque you can hear the gentle prayers rising to the upper echelons of the dome. The colorful mosaics that decorate the interior swing into life with the shifting sunlight. The majesty of Istanbul is compelling and nothing less than magnificent.
Istanbul - Beneath the Brilliant Light
The gentle morning light flickers off of the Blue Mosque giving a wonderful cobalt hue to the day. Spend your time along the streets of Istanbul experiencing the city in whichever way you prefer. The city is alive with local flavors and customs unlike any other place in the world. Stroll along Galata Bridge where you can watch men of various ages fishing. Their fishing poles rest along the light blue rails waiting for a catch. The scent of pretzels covered in sesame seeds reaches down the way. Meander through the Grand Bazaar, one of the most famous market places in the world due to its incredible size. The boisterousness of bargaining cascades through the streets. The colorful textures of textiles are prominently displayed. Light shines through the varieties of Ottoman stained glass lamps. It feels as though the illustriousness of the bazaar will never end, filled with the most vibrant spices you have ever seen in addition to stunning woven rugs and ceramic dishes. It is almost enough to be overwhelmed by the colors and the delightful aromas of fresh flavors.
Istanbul - Odysseys and Endings
Even Odysseus’s odyssey ended, as will yours on your final day in Turkey. You will have a private transfer to the airport where you will meet your flight and venture back home. Like Odysseus, you traveled through the Mediterranean on a quest that brought you to the pillars of Athens, the walls of Troy, and the rippling domes of the Blue Mosque. Your time along the lands of Greece and Turkey may have ended but, like the Odyssey, the stories will never be forgotten.
- Journey along the footsteps of Athenian history and see the Parthenon
- Visit the Oracle of Delphi and listen to the legends that she created
- Dip your toes into the perfect beaches of Mykonos
- Venture through the medieval and ancient history of Rhodes that make you feel like you have stepped into a storybook
- Witness the grand monastery that hovers over the cave where St. John the Baptist wrote the Book of Revelations
- Explore the ancient ruins of the city of Ephesus
- See the remains of the legendary walls of Troy
- Discover the breathtaking sensation of the Hagia Sophia Church and the Blue Mosque
Experience a true odyssey on this 12-day adventure through Mediterranean antiquity. Best visited within the months of April – October, cruise through the lush waters and rich history of Greece and Turkey, where the marvels aren’t just in the past but all around you. Step within the beauty of ancient pillars and the breathtaking art of Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Listen to the whispers of legends told by the earth and the ruins. Let yourself be part of the adventure and follow in the path of Odysseus.
Your odyssey begins with your arrival in Athens. The ancient steps of the city lead to the Acropolis where the Parthenon watches over the city with pride as it has for thousands of years. Tour through the contemporary and ancient history of Athens, from the modern Olympic stadium to the marbled sensation of the Acropolis. Spend a day at leisure within Athens exploring its majesty at your own pace and, if you prefer, venturing out to Delphi to visit the famed remains of the oracle. The following day you will board your cruise ship and arrive on the unparalleled shores of Mykonos, with immaculate beaches and pristine architecture showing you the classic white of the Cyclades. Along the island of Rhodes you will be able to step back in time, whether within the old city wrapped within an extraordinary castle or along the ancient hilltop where the Acropolis of Lindos stands.
Before you reach the Turkish waters you will disembark in Patmos where a fortress-like monastery towers over the island atop the cave where St. John the Divine wrote the Book of Revelation. Continue on to a Turkish shore at the island of Kusadasi. Where the remarkable Temple of Artemis once stood now only stand the remains of the powerful port city of Ephesus. Wander through the ancient city of Pergamum where the steps of the Asclepion lay, a city known for its dedication to medicine. Stand alongside the walls of Troy and see where the Trojan horse once brought down an entire city. Along the coastline of Turkey brings you to Gallipoli, one of the most well known battlefields of the First World War. Your final days in Turkey find you in Istanbul, touring through the majesty of the Byzantine and Ottoman empires. From Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque, to the modern beauty and the enormity of the bazaar, you will not only travel along the footsteps of Odysseus, you will see what he saw and understand the majesty of the Mediterranean.
Zicasso offers a variety of Greece vacation packages. Be sure to also browse the reviews for Greece travel agencies. You can read about what other travelers experienced while in Greece, and also see why travelers continue to rely on Zicasso for their customized Greek vacations.
$2,800 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
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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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