18 days in Greece, Istanbul & Cappadocia Itinerary

18 days in Greece, Istanbul & Cappadocia Itinerary

Created using Inspirock Europe visit planner
Make it your trip
Fly
1
Athens, Greece
— 3 nights
Fly to Santorini, Bus to Oia
2
Oia, Greece
— 1 night
Bus to Santorini, Fly to Istanbul
3
Istanbul, Turkey
— 4 nights
Fly
4
Goreme, Turkey
— 1 night
Fly
5
Heraklion, Greece
— 3 nights
Fly
6
Vasilikos, Greece
— 2 nights
Fly
7
Athens, Greece
— 1 night
Fly to Detroit, Bus to Windsor

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Athens, Greece — 3 nights

The Birthplace of Democracy

One of the world's most ancient cities, Athens remains Europe's undisputed historical and cultural capital.
Start off your visit on the 6th (Tue): delve into the distant past at Theater of Dionysus, then steep yourself in history at Stoa of Attalos, then delve into the distant past at Ancient Agora of Athens, and finally take an in-depth tour of National Archaeological Museum. Keep things going the next day: explore the ancient world of Temple of Athena Nike, contemplate the long history of Areopagus, then examine the collection at Kotsanas Museum of Ancient Greek Technology, and finally explore the ancient world of Temple of Olympian Zeus.

To see more things to do, reviews, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Athens travel route tool.

Detroit, USA to Athens is an approximately 15-hour flight. The time zone difference moving from Eastern Standard Time (EST) to Eastern European Standard Time (EET) is 7 hours. Traveling from Detroit in September, things will get a bit warmer in Athens: highs are around 34°C and lows about 24°C. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 8th (Thu) early enough to travel to Oia.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Sep 5 — 8:
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Oia, Greece — 1 night

Every day hundreds of visitors come to Oia just to experience its sunsets.
Kick off your visit on the 8th (Thu): pause for some serene contemplation at Cathedral Church Of Candlemas Of The Lord, take in the architecture and atmosphere at Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist, explore the world behind art at MATI Art Gallery, then take in the spiritual surroundings of Orthodox Metropolitan Cathedral, and finally look for gifts at Kalipso. Keep things going the next day: view the masterpieces at Mnemossyne Gallery, then take in the architecture and atmosphere at Ekklisia Panagia Platsani, then indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, and finally learn about winemaking at Domaine Sigalas.

To see other places to visit, where to stay, reviews, and tourist information, go to the Oia visit planning app.

You can do a combination of flight and bus from Athens to Oia in 4 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of ferry and taxi. In September in Oia, expect temperatures between 32°C during the day and 24°C at night. Finish your sightseeing early on the 9th (Fri) to allow enough time to travel to Istanbul.
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Historic Sites · Shopping · Museums · Spas
Side Trip
Find places to stay Sep 8 — 9:
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Istanbul, Turkey — 4 nights

Queen of Cities

A physical and cultural bridge between Europe and Asia, the transcontinental city of Istanbul serves as a living reminder of the Roman, Byzantine, and Ottoman empires.
Eschew the tourist crowds and head to Pierre Loti Tepesi and Balat. Visiting Bosphorus Strait and Halic will get you outdoors. There's much more to do: admire the landmark architecture of Hagia Sophia Mosque, contemplate the long history of Basilica Cistern, explore the galleries of Galata Tower, and take in panoramic vistas at KIz Kulesi.

For photos, ratings, traveler tips, and other tourist information, read our Istanbul route builder site.

Do a combination of bus and flight from Oia to Istanbul in 7 hours. Alternatively, you can do a combination of taxi, ferry, and flight; or do a combination of car and ferry. You'll lose 1 hour traveling from Oia to Istanbul due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit cooler weather when traveling from Oia in September: highs in Istanbul hover around 26°C, while lows dip to 26°C. Cap off your sightseeing on the 14th (Wed) early enough to catch the flight to Goreme.
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Historic Sites · Museums · Nature · Parks
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Goreme, Turkey — 1 night

Famed for its landscape of unusually shaped stone formations and churches cut into the natural rocks, Goreme sits in the central part of the country, an area originally settled during Roman times.
Kick off your visit on the 15th (Thu): explore the striking landscape at Zemi Valley.

For photos, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, refer to the Goreme journey tool.

Traveling by flight from Istanbul to Goreme takes 3.5 hours. Alternatively, you can drive; or do a combination of train and bus. While traveling from Istanbul, expect somewhat warmer days and little chillier nights in Goreme, ranging from highs of 33°C to lows of 13°C. Wrap up your sightseeing by early afternoon on the 15th (Thu) to allow enough time to fly to Heraklion.
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Nature · Parks
Find places to stay Sep 14 — 15:
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Heraklion, Greece — 3 nights

Crete's largest city, Heraklion remains best known for its proximity to a sprawling Bronze Age archaeological site, once the center of a vanished Minoan civilization.
Kick off your visit on the 16th (Fri): contemplate the long history of Castello del Molo (Koules), get a new perspective on nature at The Natural History Museum of Crete, then explore the world behind art at Church and the Museum of St. Aikaterini, then take an in-depth tour of Historical Museum of Crete, and finally see some colorful creatures with a scuba or snorkeling tour. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the next day: indulge in some personalized pampering at some of the best spas, learn about winemaking at Domaine Paterianakis, then examine the collection at Kazantzakis Museum, then get engrossed in the history at Heraklion Archaeological Museum, and finally take in the architecture and atmosphere at Church of Saint Titus.

To find more things to do, photos, traveler tips, and more tourist information, go to the Heraklion trip itinerary builder tool.

You can fly from Goreme to Heraklion in 10 hours. Other options are to do a combination of car and ferry; or do a combination of bus and ferry. You'll gain 1 hour traveling from Goreme to Heraklion due to the time zone difference. Expect a bit warmer evenings in Heraklion when traveling from Goreme in September, with lows around 24°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 18th (Sun) to allow enough time to fly to Vasilikos.
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Museums · Tours · Wildlife · Historic Sites
Side Trip
Find places to stay Sep 15 — 18:
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Vasilikos, Greece — 2 nights

Home to just a few hundred year-round residents, Vasilikos draws thousands of daily visitors with its beaches and restaurants during peak tourist season.
Kick off your visit on the 18th (Sun): enjoy the sand and surf at Banana Beach, look for all kinds of wild species at Zakynthos Turtle Rescue Center, and then kick back and relax at Gerakas Beach. Get ready for a full day of sightseeing on the 19th (Mon): tee off at World Tour Golf, then get great views at Bochali View Point, then explore the historical opulence of Enetiko Kastro Bochalis, and finally take a tour by water with Boat Tours & Water Sports.

For ratings, traveler tips, other places to visit, and more tourist information, go to the Vasilikos road trip planning site.

You can fly from Heraklion to Vasilikos in 4.5 hours. Other options are to do a combination of ferry, bus, and taxi; or do a combination of ferry, bus, and taxi. In September, plan for daily highs up to 33°C, and evening lows to 21°C. Finish your sightseeing early on the 20th (Tue) to allow enough time to fly to Athens.
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Outdoors · Parks · Beaches · Tours
Side Trips
Find places to stay Sep 18 — 20:
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Athens, Greece — 1 night

The Birthplace of Democracy

Kick off your visit on the 20th (Tue): explore the ancient world of Acropolis of Athens, then take a stroll through Anafiotika, and then stop by Plaka. On the next day, take in the spiritual surroundings of Temple of Hephaestus, get to know the fascinating history of Philopappos Hill, and then take an in-depth tour of Acropolis Museum.

To find other places to visit, where to stay, traveler tips, and more tourist information, refer to the Athens online sightseeing planner.

Getting from Vasilikos to Athens by flight takes about 2.5 hours. Other options: do a combination of taxi and bus. Wrap up your sightseeing on the 21st (Wed) early enough to travel back home.
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Historic Sites · Neighborhoods · Museums · Parks
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Greece travel guide

4.3
Few places manage to capture the world's imagination quite like Greece, a land of sun-kissed coastlines, tranquil whitewashed villages, lively seaside towns, and well-preserved ancient sites. One of the world's top tourist destinations since ancient times, the country draws nearly 20 million visitors each year. Athens, the birthplace of Western civilization, continues to attract the biggest crowds and serves as a base for exploring the country and its 227 inhabited islands. Away from its cities, Greece features a picturesque countryside of olive groves, vineyards, and tiny settlements nestled against rolling hills and rugged mountain ranges. Explore the old mainland on foot and discover the islands on a guided boat or ferry tour.
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Santorini travel guide

4.1
Beaches · Landmarks · Ruins
Wine Island
Known for dramatic views and romantic sunsets, the island of Santorini draws visitors with its long string of black, white, and red beaches. The largest and most significant of a small group of volcanic islands located just 200 km (120 mi) southeast of Greece's mainland, Santorini boasts just over 15,000 permanent residents. Created by a massive volcanic eruption that likely destroyed a single large island, the archipelago still features an active volcano, which saw its last eruption in the 1950s. The easiest way to explore Santorini's craggy coastline is on foot. Start by visiting the archaeological sites on the island's southwestern side, which offer a chance to discover the area's ancient past with unobstructed views of the famed volcano.
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Cappadocia travel guide

4.7
History Museums · Historic Walking Areas · Geologic Formations
The region of Cappadocia reveals fascinating tales of civilizations long past with its honeycombed hills characterized by geological rarities, including two World Heritage Sites. Sedimentary rocks formed in lakes and ignimbrite deposits from erupted volcanoes left soft rock formations scattered across the land, which were then carved out to create houses, churches, and monasteries in 300 CE. Explore these rock houses on your own or on a tour, or take in the topography from above on a hot air balloon ride. Complete your holiday with a hike along the trails and marvel at the dusky orange panorama and accordion-shaped valleys.
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Crete travel guide

4.3
Great Island
The largest of the Greek islands, Crete offers travelers more than just sun, sea, and sand. Famed for its warm hospitality, outstanding infrastructure, and contrasting landscapes, the island represents one of the world's richest areas in terms of history and culture. Crete burst onto the world scene over 4,000 years ago, when it served as the center of the Minoan civilization, one of Europe's earliest organized societies. Despite the island's wealth of developed beaches, the traces of the mysterious and enchanting Minoan empire remain Crete's top attraction, drawing visitors from all over the world. The island capital Heraklion provides an ideal base for exploring a renowned Minoan palace complex, the site of Europe's oldest city.
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Zakynthos travel guide

3.9
Beaches · Nightlife · Nature & Wildlife Tours
Flower of the East
Located just off the west coast of mainland Greece, Zakynthos enjoys a reputation as both a party destination and a family-friendly getaway. Packed with foreign tourists along its eastern and southeastern coastline, the island also features numerous tranquil pockets in its central region of forested mountains and rolling hills. Avoid the overcrowded east by discovering the island's less-explored northern sections, which contain a series of deep caves that feature sun reflecting on seawater and white stones, creating a striking shade of azure particular to this part of the world. The northern capes of the island also offer the calmest waters, which lap a string of developed beaches with plenty of modern facilities.
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