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Classical Greece & Turkey

> DAY 1: Athens

Arrival in Greece, the land of the mythical Gods and ancient civilization. At Athens International Airport you will be welcomed by your private driver and taken to your five-star hotel. Enjoy your afternoon and evening exploring the vibrant culture and nightlife of Modern Athens. Ask your Leisure Travel Consultant for their favorite Athens restaurants, cafes and entertainment.

> DAY 2: Athens - Half Day Athens Walking Tour

After breakfast, your licensed English speaking guide will meet you at your hotel lobby. Begin your tour at the new Acropolis Museum and then visit the Acropolis itself and its timeless temples of Parthenon, Erectheion and Athena Nike. A short climb up to the Hill of Philopappus brings you to the imposing Roman period funeral monument and extensive views of Athens and Piraeus. You then descend to the hill of the Pnyx, the area used in Classical Athens as the meeting place for the democratic assembly. You enter the historical Plaka area close to the Thiseion temple, dating back to the 5th century BC, meandering past the ancient Agora with the impressively restored Stoa of Attalus, Hadrian’s Library, and the picturesque Tower of the Winds. The route back leads up over the Areopagus, or Hill of Mars, directly below the Acropolis. Here, in 54 AD, Saint Paul preached his Sermon on an unknown God, as recorded in the Acts of the Apostles. Finally, you pass the Roman period Odeion of Herodes Atticus, which is still used as a summer venue for open-air concerts and theatrical performances. Your tour will end at Syntagma Square where you can enjoy the changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. (B)

> DAY 3: Athens, Delphi, Kalambaka/Meteora

After breakfast, meet your private driver to begin your 2-day tour of Mainland Greece. The tour beings with a drive past the fields of cotton en route to Levadia where we will make a stop at the Spring of Kria.  Here is where the mysterious oracle, Trophonious performed.  We drive on and take a break for a snack - traditional yogurt with honey and homemade tiropita (cheese pie) will hit the spot in Zemeno before we reach Arahova.  We arrive in the scenic village of Arahova where you may like to do some shopping.  Then it's on to Delphi, once considered to be the center of the universe.  Delphi is probably best-known for the oracle at the sanctuary that became dedicated to Apollo during the classical period.  You will visit the archaeological site dedicated to the god Apollo and will also see the impressive museum there.  We make our way to Kalambaka with a stop at Gravia.  This is where Odysseus Androutsos, with about 100 men, stopped 8,000 Turks.  Over 400 of the Turks died, while Androutsos lost only 2 of his men.  Now, it's on to Kalambaka, driving through Lamia.  We make a stop in Domokos for coffee and we end the day at your hotel in Kalambaka. (B)

> DAY 4: Kalambaka/Meteora, Athens

After breakfast begin your day by seeing Meteora; a unique and impressive place with ageless monasteries that are perched on top of huge, monolithic granite rocks. Visit the monasteries that seem to be suspended between earth and sky containing priceless historical and religious treasures. Many pieces of Byzantine art are also found here.  The view from the monasteries is something that you will never forget.  Making our way back to Athens, we will stop again in Domokos for coffee or lunch.  You will also see the giant statue of Leonidas in Thermopiles made popular recently with the movie - 300.  For 3 days the Persians battled against the vastly outnumbered Greeks.  Although it was clear that the Persians were going to win, Leonidas stayed and fought the final battle with only 300 men from Sparta.  Our last stop is in Arkista, on the waterfront, for a little rest before reaching Athens. Enjoy your last night in Greece experiencing the delicious cuisine and soaking up the vibrant atmosphere of Athens. (B)

> DAY 5: Athens, Istanbul

After breakfast meet your private driver in the hotel lobby your transfer to Athens International Airport to board your flight to Istanbul. After clearing customs and immigration in Istanbul, your representative will meet you and assist you to your private transfer to your luxury hotel. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure in Istanbul. (B).

> DAY 6: Istanbul – Istanbul Classics Tour

After breakfast enjoy a half-day tour of the classical sites of Istanbul. Begin at the magnificent Hagia Sophia. This marvelous Byzantine basilica was built in the sixth century and today is sometimes called the Eighth Wonder of the World. Continue to the Blue Mosque, one of the best examples of classical Turkish architecture, this 17th-century Ottoman mosque is famed for being the only in the world with six minarets. You will visit the Hippodrome, the former centre of sporting and political activities in Constantinople. During the visit you will be able to see the Obelisk from Egypt, the Serpentine Column from Delphi and the fountain of Willhelm II. Your tour will end at the Grand Bazaar, which in addition to its historical importance, is a bazaar that will tempt you with its rich collection of precious handmade carpets, jewelry, leather and souvenirs. (B)

> DAY 7: Istanbul

Spend a day at leisure exploring the amazing sites and vibrant atmosphere of Istanbul or take an optional Bosphorus Cruise. Ask your Leisure Travel Consultant about their favorite sites and activities in Istanbul. (B)

> DAY 8: Departure

After breakfast, transfer to Istanbul Ataturk International Airport to meet your departure flight. (B)

Happy Travels! travelive™

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