Drifter Sister
Small Group Tour of
Greece & Turkey

 

 

Africa

Tours to AfricaThis is a thrilling two-week safari to Kenya during the annual migration. Plus, your photos will be amazing because renowned photographer and teacher, Jeff Sink, will be along to help you get stunning photos.

 

We are also offering a 10-day pre-trip that begins in Victoria Falls, and then heads to Botswana for game drives in the Okavango Delta.

 

The 8-day Namibia post-trip treats you to the unique experience of the Sossusvlei desert featuring the famous red, and tallest, sand dunes in the world.

 

Croatia & Montenegro

Tours to Croatia-MontenegroThis small group tour combines one of the latest ‘must see’ destinations, Croatia, with a wonderful little country under most folks’ radar, Montenegro – a hidden gem if there ever was one.

 

We begin our adventure in Dubrovnik, Croatia, as we board our mega-yacht, M/S Splendid, and begin our exciting 7-Day Island Hopping Cruise through Croatia’s Dalmatia Coast

 

Week two is on land, exploring the wonders and mysteries of lovely Montenegro. Transported by deluxe motor coach, we begin our journey by climbing the scenic old mountain road to “Old Montenegro,” and each day a new adventure awaits.

 

 

Cuba

Tour Cuba

If you have been wanting to see Cuba, now is the time to do it, before it becomes spoiled by a rush of American tourists.

 

Come with me… experience the quirky, sometimes unpredictable and chaotic, yet enterprising life of the Cuban people. Witness their spirit and ingenuity. Marvel at what they can do amidst the crumbling infrastructure. Travel the nearly deserted highways through the gorgeous countryside, with cowboys on horseback, and horse-drawn carts interspersed among the classic cars, trucks and buses.

 

This is a Catch the Wind tour you won’t want to miss, especially now, before Cuba changes, and before the onrushing crowds ruin it.

 

 

France

Tours to FranceDuring the two weeks of our small group tour of France, we will discover the beautiful Minervois villages and the fascinating Languedoc region of South France.

 

This tour is a balance of relaxation and discovery. The region is rich in history (primarily Roman Colonization, and the Cathar movement, which provoked the Albigensian Crusade) and wine production.

Ireland

Tours to IrelandFor two weeks our small group tour of Ireland will explore the Emerald Isle, escorted in our luxurious and spacious motor coach.

 

We will discover the myriad beautiful, charming and mysterious sights, sounds, and tastes of the Emerald Isle, making a wide circle, primarily around the coast. ‘Must See’ locations, such as Cliffs of Moher, Kilkenny Castle, Ring of Kerry, Killarney, the ‘Quiet Man’ country of Connemara, and more will be interspersed with lesser known local gems, such as Cobh, Doolin, the Aran Island of Inish Mor, and New Grange.

Luxurious Spa

Luxurious SpaOur small group tour of a week of pampering at Ixtapan de la Sal, Mexico is an experience you don't want to miss. And it’s a great bargain!

 

This family-owned and operated Spa has been in operation since the mid 19th century and is the most relaxing and beautiful place one can imagine.

Spain

Tours of Andalucia, Spain

This small group tour of Spain is an in-depth exploration of a most treasured region - ANDALUCIA!

 

Rich in Spanish traditions influenced by the ancient Moors, sunshine, olive groves, white pueblo villages, tapas, Sangria... Spain's Andalucia contains all this and more, and we will have two weeks to enjoy it to the fullest!

 

Highlights include three guided tours, a visit and show at the famous Andalucian Equestrian School, and an authentic Flamenco Show at an intimate, locally owned establishment. Two meals are included daily, as well as rental cars, including gas.

 

Lodging will be in Haciendas and hotels, conveniently located within walking distance of historic city centers, shops and attractions. Three 4-night stays help make this an in-depth experience and adventure you don’t want to miss!

 

Tuscany

Tours to TuscanyStaying in a villa on a small group tour of Tuscany is one of the least expensive, and perhaps most rewarding, travel experiences one can enjoy.

 

We stay one week each in two villas, which are strategically chosen for convenient day trips throughout central Tuscany. First is Borgo Corsignano, a renovated medieval village in the lovely Casentino Valley. Our second villa is San Giuseppe, near Sienna, a big, old restored farmhouse with six bedrooms (all with ensuite bathrooms).

Let's Go to Greece & Turkey!

This tour has been suspended due to security issues in Turkey.

The situation will be monitored.

Perhaps it can be reinstated in 2018, or Greece only will be offered.

 

Summary

 

How exciting is this?!? Two to three weeks immersed in two of the most exotic and archeologically rich civilizations of the world. You may choose to do one week in Turkey, one week on a private cruise in the Greek Isles, or one week on land, touring the Peloponnese. Or you may wish to do two out of the three, or even all three. Whew! Such choices.

 

Mediterranean Sea yachtGREEK ISLES CRUISE

The ship for our 7-day adventure through Greece's Cyclades will be on our very own privately chartered motor sailer that accommodates 12 passengers and 4 crew. It is much like the one I have used in the past, but on a smaller scale. I have more control over the itinerary, we can go into even smaller coves for swimming, and will dock in all ports. There will be no night sailing, so we will have the time to experience the 'real' Greece, without the crowds, after the big ships leave. You will love it!

 

The MEDITERRANEAN SEA is a lovely 92 foot motor sailer, with six comfortable cabins -- three twins and three doubles. Each day we will discover a new port of call, a hidden cove with crystal blue waters to cool ourselves, a glimpse of ancient history to amaze us, in an intriguing rich cultural diversity. In addition to must-see islands such as Santorini and Mykonos, we will visit several smaller islands the big cruise ships cannot visit, such as Ios, Paros, Sefinos, and Aegina.

 

Mediterranean Sea cabin

Mediterranean Sea sun pads

Mediterranean Sea bow

MEDITERRANEAN SEA accommodates up to twelve passengers in six staterooms, and a crew of four. She underwent a major refurbishment in 2010 and her new interiors of wood and neutral hues makes for a relaxing atmosphere. A special feature is her salon which has almost 360 degree views through large panoramic windows. She has the latest technology and plenty of sea toys for maximum enjoyment and also features mini fridges, flat screen TVs, sun beds at the fore and top deck. Life on board will be casual, and center around the Bar Lounge and Dining Room on the Main Deck and on the Sun Deck where meals are served ‘al fresco,’ weather and ship location permitting. This entire vessel has been chartered for our use, with an itinerary customized to Drifter Sister's favorite Cycladic islands.

 

Mediterranean Sea yacht

Mediterranean Sea bow

CLASSICAL GREECE LAND TOUR

Private seven-day guided motor coach tour of the ancient sites of the Peloponnese, including Napflio, Delphi and Olympia, ending with a tour of the famous and mysterious cliff-top monasteries of Meteora. One night at the beginning and two nights at the end in Athens, with a full day dedicated to a self-guided visit to the Parthenon, the new Acropolis Museum, and nearby Plaka shopping area will round out the adventure. This land tour can be booked separately or added as an extension to the Greek Isles Cruise.

 

Blue Mosque, Turkey

Mediterranean Sea bow

TURKEY

Our small group tour to Turkey is one of the most exotic and exciting Catch the Wind tours ever. We visit three of the major attractions of Turkey – two full days in Istanbul (think Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Spice Market), Cappadocia (think cave dwellings, valley of fairy chimneys, and staying in a cave hotel), and Ephesus (think Steps of Paul and Cleopatra), spending enough time to do each justice, with one two-night stay, and two three-night stays. We will not spend valuable time driving between these locations, either. We will fly. Our guided sightseeing will be in private transportation. If we get 10 passengers or less it will be in a 16-seat Mercedes VIP vehicle, and if we get more than that (16 maximum), it will be in a 27-seat Mercedes or Safir mini-bus. In other words, we will be traveling in style with plenty of room to spread out.

 

Cappadocia Cave HouseHiking in CappadociaSantorini-Thira

 

You can choose one of these tours or both. The week in Turkey will be first. Those wishing to continue on to Greece will fly out of Izmir International airport, arriving at the Athens airport in time to be transferred to the marina to board our ship. Those deciding to do Greece only will arrive that morning and join us in time for the 3pm sailing. Upon completion of the cruise, those wishing to do the optional land tour extension of the Peloponnese will be transferred from Marina Zea to the hotel in Athens and begin the land tour the next morning. If you have chosen not to do the extension, you will spend one night in Athens before flying home.

 

This is truly a SPECIAL tour package you will not want to miss.

 

Hot air balloons over Cappadocia, TurkeySpice markety, Cappodocia, TurkeyStreet in Paros, Greece

 

 

Panorama of Paros, Greece

 

 

 

Itinerary

 

Although every effort will be made to adhere to this itinerary, it is subject to tweaking as conditions dictate, especially the week on the ship, as it will be subject to weather conditions.

 

You may choose from six options

 

1) both Turkey & Greece; 2) Turkey only; 3) Greek Isles Cruise only; 4) Classical Peloponnese Land Tour only; 5) Greek Isles + Classical Peloponnese Land Tour; 6) All Three: Turkey & Greek Isles Cruise & Classical Peloponnese Land Tour

 

WEEK 1: TURKEY

 

(7 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 3 Dinners, plus Welcome Reception)

 

 

Day 1 (June 12) (Reception) - Arrival

 

Istanbul, Turkey Istanbul
  • Arrive in Istanbul
  • Private Transfer from the airport to hotel
  • Welcome Reception in hotel rooftop restaurant
  • Overnight at AND Hotel

Day 2 - Istanbul (B, L)

 

Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey Mosque Ceiling

  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Meet guide at 8:45am in the lobby
  • Day tour includes:
    • Byzantine Hippodrome
    • Hagia Sophia
    • Blue Mosque
  • Lunch included
    • Private Bosporus Cruise
  • Dinner on our own
  • Overnight at AND Hotel
Curise on the Bosphorus Cruise on the Bosphorus Strait
Curise on the Bosphorus Inside the cabin

Day 3 - Istanbul (B, L)

 

Curise on the Bosphorus Spice Market
  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Meet guide at 9:00am in the lobby
  • Day tour includes:
    • Cistern
    • Topkapi Palace
    • Spice Market
  • Lunch included
  • Transfer to Istanbul Ataturk airport at 5:35 and fly from Istanbul to Cappadocia, arriving 6:50pm
  • Dinner on our own
  • Overnight at Esbelli Evi Cave Hotel

Day 4 - Cappadocia (B, L)

 

The beautiful Cappadocia area of Turkey Chez Galip Pottery
  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Meet guide at 9:00am
  • Tea break in Avanos
  • Visit Zelve Open Air Museum
  • Drive through Derbent Valley
  • Lunch at Urgup
  • Visit Ortahisar Cultural Museum
  • Visit Chez Galip pottery
  • Whirling Dervish Ceremony
  • Dinner on your own
  • Overnight at Esbelli Evi Cave Hotel
Goreme Cave House

Day 5 - Cappadocia (B, L)

 

Pigeon Valley underground houses in Turkey Cappadocia Fairy House
  • Breakfast at hotel or Optional balloon ride at sunrise with a champagne breakfast overlooking the beautiful valleys of Cappadocia
  • Meet guide at 10:00am in lobby
  • Full day tour includes:
    • Uchisar
    • Goreme
    • Pigeon Valley
    • Ortahisar Village
  • Lunch at Ayvali Village in village Home
    • Visit Synasos
    • Have wine at sunset overlooking beautiful view
  • Dinner on our own
  • Overnight in Esbelli Evi Cave Hotel
Kaymakli Underground City Lunch at Farmhouse
Uschisar Uschisar

Day 6 - Sirince (B, L, D)

 

Assisi, Italy Sirince
  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Meet your transfer person and guide at 7:00am in lobby
  • Private transfer to airport and flight from Kaysero to Izmir at 8:55
  • Meet driver at the airport for private transport to visit
  • Sirince
  • Lunch at Sirince Village included
  • Afternoon to relax at the pool or visit shops in Ephesus
  • Overnight at La Vista Boutique Hotel
  • Dinner Included
Sarihan Kervan Sarai Sirince Village
Sarihan Kervan Sarai Sirince Village

Day 7 - Ephesus (B, L, D)

 

Terrace Houses, Ephesus, Turkey Ephesus Terrace House
  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Meet guide at 8:30am in the lobby
  • 25 minute drive to Ephesus, driving past the temple of Artemis of Ephesians
  • Visit Ephesus & Terrace Houses
  • Lunch at a local Family Country House
  • Visit Mary's House
  • Overnight at La Vista Boutique Hotel

 

 

 

Ephesus Ephesus
Ephesus Ephesus - Mary's House
Ephesus Ephesus Theater

Day 8 (June 19) – Izmir to Marina Zea, Piraeus - Kea (B, L, D)

 

Harmony V Mega-Yacht Mediterranean Sea Yacht
  • Breakfast at hotel
  • Meet transfer person at 7:30am
  • Drive from hotel to Izmir International Airport
  • Depart 10:00am, arrive Athens at 2:05pm*
  • Lunch will be served on the plane
  • Transfer to Marina Zea, Piraeus to board ship

 

 

 

 

*Separate arrangements will be made for departure out of Istanbul for those not wishing to continue on to Greece. Those just doing Greece must arrive in Athens no later than noon today (June 19).

 

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WEEK 2: GREEK ISLES CRUISE

 

(Breakfast and one lunch or dinner daily)

Day 1 (June 19) – Arrival & Kea

 

Harmony V Mediterranean Sea Yacht
  • Arrival in Athens no later than noon
  • Transfer to Marina Zea, Piraeus to board our private vessel, MEDITERRANEAN SEA
  • Depart via Cape Sounion (with swim stop), to Kea
  • Dinner on board
  • Time at leisure to explore Kea’s tiny port, Korrisia, and time permitting take a taxi ride up to the island's chora, sometimes called 'loulis' to walk the path to visit the island's treasure, it's lion carved from the natural stone

 

Kea Lion Kea Lion
Kea Farmer Kea Farmer

Day 2 - Delos - Mykonos

 

Delos Lion Delos Lion
  • Buffet Breakfast on board
  • Morning sailing to Mykonos
  • Dock in port of Mykonos
  • Morning or early afternoon tour, depending on arrival time, to archaeological site of Delos
  • Free afternoon and evening to enjoy Mykonos
  • Lunch or Dinner included on board
  • Overnight on board in Mykonos harbor

 

Swim stop Swim stop
Mykonos

Day 3 - Paros, Antiparos

 

Delos LionNaousa Port, Paros
  • Buffet Breakfast on board
  • Morning sailing to Paros, with possible swim stop at Antiparos
  • Day at leisure to enjoy Paros, including the lovely sea village of Naousa
  • Lunch or Dinner included on board
  • Overnight at Paros

 

 

 

 

Santorini Paros
Santorini Paros

Day 4 – Ios, Santorini

 

RethymnonIos Church
  • Morning visit to tiny island of Ios
  • Afternoon arrival in Santorini (anchorage at Fira)
  • Free afternoon and evening to enjoy Santorini, including famous sunset
  • Lunch or Dinner included on board
  • Overnight in Fira harbor

 

 

 

 

Santorini Santorini
Santorini Ios Shop Window
Santorini Ios Windmill

Day 5 - Serifos

 

Swim Stop Swim Stop
  • Buffet Breakfast on board
  • Morning sailing to the rugged island of Serifos, arriving early afternoon
  • Afternoon and evening at leisure to visit the island's chief village, or chora, perched at the peak of a hill, or take a swim on one of its famous sandy beaches
  • Lunch or Dinner included on board
  • Overnight on board in Serifos

 

 

Day 6 – Hydra

 

Monemvassia Port of Hydra

 

  • Buffet Breakfast on board
  • Early morning sailing to tiny and picturesque island of Hydra
  • The little harbor city is lovely by day, but it becomes a jewel by night
  • Lunch or Dinner included on board
  • Overnight on board in Hydra

 

 

 

Swim Stop Hydra Shop
Nafplion Hydra Super Market

Day 7 – Aegina

Hydra Aegina Temple

 

  • Buffet Breakfast on board
  • Early morning sailing to our last island, Aegina
  • Visit the Temple of Aphaia and enjoy the harbor town
  • Lunch or Dinner included on board
  • Overnight in port

 

 

 

 
Spetses Aegina Dock

Day 8 – Marina Zea, Piraeus

 

  • Departure in the early hours for Marina Zea, Piraeus
  • Arrival and disembarkation after Buffet breakfast on board
  • Transfer to Athens hotel (one post-night in Athens included for those not doing the Greece Land Tour)

 

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Week 3 - GREECE LAND TOUR

 

(All Breakfasts, 6 Dinners and 1 Lunch included)

Day 1 – Marina Zea, Piraeus - Athens (D)

 

Marina Zea Parthenon Ruins

 

  • Departure in the early hours for Marina Zea, Piraeus
  • Arrival and disembarkation after breakfast on board
  • Transfer to Athens
  • 'Land Only' passengers arrive
  • Welcome Dinner included
  • Overnight at Athens Hotel

Day 2 - Corinth – Epidaurus - Napflio (B, D)

 

Corinth Canal Corinth Canal
  • Buffet Breakfast at hotel
  • Early departure by motor coach
  • Short stop at Corinth Canal
  • Drive to Epidaurus to visit the Theatre
  • Arrive Napflio and have afternoon and evening to explore this charming town
  • Dinner included
  • Overnight in Napflio

 

 

Epidarus Epidaurus
Epidarus Napflio Fort

Day 3 - Mycenae - Olympia (B, D)

 

Nafpaktos Nafpaktos Harbor

 

  • Buffet Breakfast at hotel
  • Depart for Olympia, with visit to Mycenae along the way
  • Dinner at hotel included
  • Overnight in Olympia

 

Mycenae Mycenae

Day 4 – Olympia - Delphi (B, D)

 

Delphi, Greece Olympia

 

  • Buffet Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning visit to the archaeological site and museum of Olympia
  • Drive via Patra to Rion, across the channel to Antirion on the new suspended bridge considered to be the longest and most modern in Europe
  • Arrive in Nafpaktos, then continue to Delphi
  • Dinner at hotel included
  • Overnight in Delphi

 

Entrance to the Olympic Stadium Entrance to the Olympic Stadium
Entrance to the Olympic Stadium Rion-Antirion Bridge

Day 5 - Delphi - Meteora (B, D)

 

Delphi, Greece Delphi

 

  • Buffet Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning visit to the archaeological site and the museum of Delphi
  • Depart for Kalambaka
  • Drive through Amphissa, Lamia and Trikala
  • Arrive in Kalambaka
  • Dinner included
  • Overnight in Kalambaka

 

Sunrise View from Delphi hotel room (2010 tour)
Oracle of Delphi Oracle of Delphi
Delphi Museum

Day 6 – Meteora - Athens (B, L)

 

Meteora Monastery Meteora Monastery
  • Buffet Breakfast at hotel
  • Morning visit to the breathtaking rocky formations and monasteries of Meteora
  • Lunch in Kalambaka included
  • Early afternoon start the drive back to Athens, passing via Thermopylae and Kammena
  • Dinner on your own
  • Overnight at Athens hotel

 

Meteora Monastery Meteora Monastery

Day 7 – Athens (B, D)

 

Acropolis Acropolis
  • Buffet Breakfast at hotel
  • Full day for self-guided sightseeing in Athens
  • Our hotel is within short walking distance to:
    • Acropolis
    • Museum
    • Temple of Zeus
    • Parliament building and changing of the guards
    • Plaka shopping area
  • Farewell Dinner included
  • Overnight at Athens hotel
Parliament Building Guard Change
Temple of Zeus

Day 8 – Athens

 

After breakfast at our hotel, our journey through historical Greece ends, we say goodbye to the friends we’ve made along the way, and depart for home and the real world.

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Inclusions

 

TURKEY

 

Included

 

  • All transfers within Turkey
    • Istanbul airport – Hotel – Airport
    • Cappadocia airport to hotel & return
    • Izmir Airport – hotel –Izmir Airport
  • 7 Nights Accommodations
  • Meals
    • 8 Buffet Breakfasts
    • 6 Lunches including a special lunch at the organic Turkish farm in Kusadasi, including local Turkish wine
    • 3 Dinners (1 in Istanbul & 2 in Kusadasi)
  • Excellent professionally licensed English speaking guide throughout the tour
  • Guide and Driver Tips
  • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in itinerary
  • Domestic Plane Tickets
    • Istanbul to Cappadocia
    • Cappadocia to Izmir
    • International plane ticket from Izmir to Athens

 

Private transportation throughout the tour will be either Mercedes VIP vehicle (10 passengers or less) or 27-seat Mercedes or Safir mini-bus (11-16 passengers). Both vehicles are fully air conditioned. Bottled water will be available in the bus fridge for everyone.

 

Not Included

 

  • Airfare to Istanbul
  • Four Dinners on your own, as shown in the itinerary
  • Hotel Bell and Housekeeping Tips
  • Balloon ride in Cappadocia
  • Trip Insurance (Highly Recommended – ~5% of trip cost – Travel Guard available)

 

 

GREEK ISLES CRUISE

 

Included

 

  • Transfers
    • Athens airport – Port
    • Port to Athens Airport
  • 7 Nights Accommodation on our ship, the Mediterranean Sea
  • 1 Night Athens
  • Meals
    • Breakfast buffet and one main meal daily
  • Regular (filter) coffee, tea and still mineral water free all day
  • Use of fishing and snorkeling equipment (subject to availability)
  • Crew Tips

 

Not Included

 

  • Beverages (except those mentioned above)
  • One meal daily (lunch or dinner)
  • Shore excursions on the islands or other land arrangements
  • Passenger personal expenses
  • Trip Insurance (Highly Recommended – ~5% of trip cost – Travel Guard available)

 

GREECE LAND TOUR

Included

 

  • Transfers
    • Port to Athens hotel
    • Athens Hotel to Athens Airport
  • Accommodations
    • 3 Nights Athens Hotel
    • First Class hotels while on land tour
      • 1 Night Napflio
      • 1 Night Delphi
      • 1 Night Olympia
      • 1 Night Kalambaka
  • Meals
    • 7 Buffet Breakfasts
    • 6 Dinners, including special Welcome & Farewell dinners in Athens
  • English Speaking Professional Guide
  • Deluxe Motor Coach Transportation
  • Guide and Driver Tips
  • Bottled Water
  • Entrance to Archeological Sites and Museums

 

Not Included

 

  • Beverages (except complimentary coffee and tea with meals)
  • 1 Dinner in Athens July 1
  • Hotel Bell and Housekeeping Tips
  • Passenger personal expenses
  • Trip Insurance (Highly Recommended – ~5% of trip cost – Travel Guard available)

 

 

 

     

Accommodations

 

 

TURKEY

 

AND Hotel, Istanbul - 2 Nights

Trip Advisor: 4 Stars (114 Excellent, 113 Very Good)

 

AND Hotel, Istanbul, Turkey

Location, location, location. Small rooms but great view. Located in the most ancient part of Istanbul. Close walking distance to Ayasofya and Blue Mosque.

 

“very pleasant stay! perfect location!”

5 of 5 starsReviewed June 17, 2014

"Polite and helpful staff, clean room, and good suggestions to go out. The location is magnificent, close to everything in the historic district of Istanbul. The hotel offers exactly what it promises If we go to Istanbul again, we will definitely book there!"

 

"We stayed four nights and were blown away by the views of the Ayasofya and Blue Mosque, by all the birds at sunrise and sunset accompanying the call to prayer, and by the pedestrian-friendly neighbourhood. Dinner on the rooftop restaurant was magical. The location is amazing: walking distance to all of Istanbul's landmarks. The breakfast buffet was great and the service was good."

 

AND Hotel, Istanbul, TurkeyAND Hotel,  Istanbul, Turkey

Esbelli Evi Cave Hotel, Cappadocia – 3 Nights

Trip Advisor: Ranked #1, 5 Stars (346 Excellent, 18 Very Good)

 

Esbelli Evi Cave Hotel, Cappadocia

A fine small inn of comfortable cave rooms hewn from the golden stone, with beautiful views of the Cappadocian landscape, and the warmest welcome you'll receive in Turkey.

 

"I have stayed at Esbelli on three separate trips and never cease wanting to return. The rooms are luxurious, comfortable, clean and cool. The bathrooms too. The many terraces and vistas are relaxing and beautiful. Breakfast is amazing and so are all the little extras that Suha provides. I wouldn't stay anywhere else in Cappadocia.”

 

“From the moment we arrived we were treated like a guest. The rooms were spacious and full of character, the service was first class. The access to beverages, personal service, internet all worked perfectly. The view from the terrace was so amazing we ordered takeaway both nights. Breakfast was perfect, by far and away my favourite hotel of all my travels last year.”

 

Esbelli Evi Cave Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey

Esbelli Evi Cave Hotel, Cappadocia, Turkey

La Vista Boutique Hotel – 3 Nights

Trip Advisor: #7 in Kusadasi, 4 1/2 Stars (133 Excellent, 48 Very Good)

 

Charisma Hotel, Kusadasi, Turkey

5 of 5 starsReviewed mid-July 2014

"We had an absolutely wonderful time at this hotel. From the front desk staff to restaurant staff to housekeeping, the service was exceptional. ... The infinity pool was facing the west and we saw the best sunsets in our lives from the pool. The food at the restaurant was tasty and added to our pleasant stay. The complimentary breakfast was delicious as well with tons of food unlike the continental breakfast served at most US hotels. The hotel was exceptionally clean and was a short walking distance from the main hustle bustle of the city and Ladies beach. Ideally located in Kusadasi!"

 

5 of 5 starsReviewed August 2014

"I can say best hotel in Kusadasi. Rooms are great. Staff are very friendly. View is great."

 

 

La Vista Boutique Hotel, Kusadasi, TurkeyLa Vista Boutique Hotel, Kusadasi, TurkeyLa Vista Boutique Hotel, Kusadasi, TurkeyLa Vista Boutique Hotel, Kusadasi, TurkeyLa Vista Boutique Hotel, Kusadasi, Turkey

La Vista Boutique Hotel, Kusadasi, TurkeyLa Vista Boutique Hotel, Kusadasi, Turkey

GREEK ISLES CRUISE

 

Our privately chartered motor sailer accommodates 12 passengers, a captain, and 4 crew.

 

MEDITERRANEAN SEA – 6 Nights

 

"Happy is the man, I thought, who [during his lifetime], has the good fortune to sail the Aegean Sea…. Nowhere else can one pass so serenely from reality to dream." ~N.Kazantzakis

 

Mediterranean Sea yacht

SS Harmony V yahtMediterranean Sea yachtMediterranean Sea yachtMediterranean Sea yachtMediterranean Sea yachtMediterranean Sea yacht

GREECE LAND TOUR

 

Parthenon Hotel, Athens (or equivalent) - 3 Nights

Trip Advisor: 4 Stars (362 Excellent, 414 Very Good) - Location, location, location

 

Hotel Parthenon, Athens, Greece

 

“The Parthenon Hotel in Athens is perfectly located at the end of the pedestrian street that runs along the Acropolis. It's only a short walk to most of the locations you want to visit. The staff is friendly and helpful, the rooms are clean and spacious (if a bit Spartan). The location is great because you have numerous restaurants all around you. There is a full service bar, … . We'd definitely stay at the Parthenon again.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hotel Parthenon, Athens, GreeceHotel Parthenon, Athens, GreeceHotel Parthenon, Athens, Greece

Hotel Marianna, Napflio – 1 Night

Trip Advisor: #2 in Napflio, 5 Stars (326 Excellent, 70 Very Good)

 

Amalia Hotel, Delphi, Greece“We arrived at the Pension Marianna with high expectations after reading numerous positive reviews, and it still managed to exceed those expectations. The setting is stunning, with quite possibly one of the finest vistas we've witnessed from an accommodation - you get an almost panoramic view of the town of Nafplio, the sea and the distant mountain ranges. Just be aware that the penalty (if you can call it that) for such a splendid sight is lots of steps to climb to reach it from the town! 
The room itself was dripping with character and very comfortable. Furthermore, the owners are very welcoming and hospitable, and provide breakfast on the bar terrace with the aforementioned killer views for you to enjoy whilst eating. 
Overall, a gorgeous accommodation in an equally gorgeous part of the world!.”

 

Amalia Hotel, Delphi, GreeceAmalia Hotel, Delphi, GreeceAmalia Hotel, Delphi, GreeceAmalia Hotel, Delphi, Greece

Amalia Hotel, Delphi – 1 Night

Trip Advisor: 4 Stars (49 Excellent, 133 Very Good)

 

Amalia Hotel, Delphi, Greece

 

“This hotel is a gem - a well designed hotel. It’s set in a beautiful location in the hills of Delphi and has a great pool. The beds were a tad hard, but everything else was great. The retro feel of the building, decor and furniture is really nice. A good buffet style breakfast was provided.”

 

 

 

Amalia Hotel, Delphi, GreeceAmalia Hotel, Delphi, Greece

Best Western Europa, Olympia – 1 Night

Trip Advisor: #1 Olympia, 4 ½ Stars (380 Excellent, 106 Very Good)

 

Best Western Europa Hotel, Olympia, Greece“Comfortable, clean, roomy. Gorgeous pool. Dining on the grass behind the pool looking out over the valley! Staff does not LET you become uncomfortable. The perfect place to stay...bar none. Simply Awesome. And quite affordable for the luxury they provide. And breakfast is an extensive and well stocked buffet style. Minutes from the modern Olympia town (charming in its own right)...”

 

Best Western Europa Hotel, Olympia, GreeceBest Western Europa Hotel, Olympia, Greece

Divani Meteora Hotel, Kalambaka (or equivalent) – 1 Night

 

 

Meteora Hotel, Kalambaka

 

“Divani is located at the end of the main street, very easy to walk to restaurants. The view from hotel is spectacular and views of the monasteries from the glass elevator on the way up to your room is a nice touch”

 

 

 

 

 

 

Meteora Hotel, KalambakaMeteora Hotel, KalambakaMeteora Hotel, Kalambaka

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Price

 

You may choose from six options

 

1) both Turkey & Greece; 2) Turkey only; 3) Greek Isles Cruise only; 4) Classical Peloponnese Land Tour only; 5) Greek Isles + Classical Peloponnese Land Tour; 6) All Three: Turkey & Greek Isles Cruise & Classical Peloponnese Land Tour

 

TURKEY & GREEK ISLES CRUISE

(6 minimum - Turkey; 10 minimum - Cruise)

TBD per person, double occupancy

- Single Supplement for Turkey only: TBD

- All cabins double occupancy for Greek Isles Cruise

(an attempt will be made to pair you with a roommate if you want, but there is no guarantee)

*Based on at least 12 passengers for each week. If <11 passengers sign up for Turkey, or <12 passengers sign up for the cruise, the price will range between $7000-$7300

 

7-NIGHT TURKEY ONLY

(Minimum 6 - Maximum 16)

TBD (6-11 passengers)

TBD (12-16 passengers)

- Single Supplement: $TBD (an attempt will be made to pair you with a roommate if you want, but there is no guarantee)

 

7-NIGHT GREEK ISLES CRUISE ONLY

(Minimum 10 - Maximum 20)

TBD (10 passengers)

TBD (12 passengers)

- Subtract $100 if doing the Classical Greece Land Tour

 

 

7-NIGHT CLASSICAL GREECE LAND TOUR TO THE PELOPONNESE including NAPFLIO, DELPHI, OLYMPIA & METEORA, plus 3 Nights in Athens

(Minimum 6 - Maximum 16)

TBD (6-9 passengers)

TBD (10-12 passengers)

TBD (13-16 passengers)

- All prices per person, double occupancy

- Single Supplement $TBD(an attempt will be made to pair you with a roommate if you want, but there is no guarantee)

 

DEPOSIT AND FINAL PAYMENT DUE DATES

$1,000 Deposit ($500 if just doing Land Tour) due January 15, 2017, or upon sign up after this date

Final Payment due April 15.

 

 

 

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Cancellation Policy: If you must cancel 120 days prior to departure (for any reason), you will receive 100% refund of any monies you have paid to Drifter Sister, less any prepaid nonrefundable purchases made by Drifter Sister. If a cancellation occurs between 119 and 75 days prior to departure, you will receive a 75% refund of any monies you have paid to Drifter Sister, less any prepaid, non-refundable purchases made by Drifter Sister. In the case of a cancellation after 75 days prior to departure, a 50% refund of monies paid to Drifter Sister, less any prepaid, non-refundable purchases made by Drifter Sister, will be allowed only if the trip is full and a replacement can be found for you. Otherwise there will be no refund.

 

 

How to Book

 

How To Book

 

  • First, review the first item on the FAQ page to check out the physical requirements for this tour.
  • Send an email of your interest to ihla@driftersister.com, or call Drifter Sister at 702-294-4365.
  • Secure your spot by sending $100 Good Faith check (made out to Drifter Sister) to:

 

Drifter Sister
P.O. Box 60042
Boulder City, NV    89006


OR

 

Pay through PayPal

 

(For your convenience we offer this credit card payment option for the Deposits. However, for the Trip Deposit, we must include PayPal's 2.9% fee.)

 

Payment Type

 

  • When the Good Faith deposit is received, sign-up paperwork will be sent to you via email. Please let me know if you would prefer it to be sent via snail mail.
  • Deposit for this trip is $1,000, and is due by January 15, 2017, or upon sign-up.
  • Final payment will be due 60 days prior to departure. A separate invoice will be sent to you for this payment (adjusted for Early Bird Discount if applicable).
  • Good Faith and Initial Deposits can be made by PayPal (see above). All other payments must be by check made out to Drifter Sister.

 

NOTE: Your Good Faith deposit is applied to the cost of the trip, and is fully refundable if you must cancel for any reason.

 

 

FAQ

 


 

 

GENERAL QUESTIONS

 

Q. Are there physical limitations for this trip?

A. There is a lot of walking required on this tour. Active adults of all ages are welcome. You will need to be able to get in and out of busses and on and off the ship, take care of your own luggage, and walk a lot. The ruins, museums, and other attractions have stairs and uneven surfaces. I am sorry, but I cannot accommodate wheelchair-bound clients.

Q. Is there a limitation on luggage?

A. I strongly suggest you not bring multiple or large pieces of luggage.

Q. What is a reasonable size for luggage?

A. One medium-sized bag and one small carry-on per person. As you pack, remember that nothing fancy is planned. If you are a couple, each should have his/her own medium-sized piece of luggage, instead of sharing one big one. The hotels will have laundry service available at a cost.

Q. What is the dress code for this trip?

A. If you are doing just Greece, it will be very casual on the ship. We will live in our bathing suits, shorts and t-shirts. You might want a loose skirt and overblouse for visiting churches on the islands. For Turkey, we will not be doing anything fancy, so casual is fine. Jeans, lightweight capris or pants, shorts, and casual tops and shirts are fine. However one or two nicer casual outfit(s) is appropriate for evening and special meals.

Churches in Greece and Turkey have very strict dress codes, especially for women. They do not allow sleeveless tops, shorts or even skirts that show any part of the legs. This applies to men as well. Women should bring a long skirt, or long shawl that can wrap around the waist. At some locations, including Meteora, they will provide skirts.

Q. What will the weather be like?

A. We will be there mid-June to early July, so we can expect it to be quite warm.

  • Average temps in June:
    • Istanbul: hi 71, low 63, Precipitation: 30mm (6 days)
    • Kusadasi: hi 84, low 68, Precipitation: 9mm (4 days)
    • Athens: hi 82-90, low 68-72, Precipitation: 10mm (1 day)

Q. Do we need airline tickets?

A. No. But remember to bring your flight e-ticket documentation to the airport with you, and keep it with you the entire trip. You will need it to do your initial check in, both coming and going. You should be able to log on to the airline web sites to print your boarding passes in advance if you like (within 24 hours of the flight). Don’t be alarmed, though, if it won’t let you; sometimes international flights must be done in person at the airport. You may also call the airline and give them your frequent flyer number to ensure you receive credit for your miles. Or be sure to have your frequent flyer number with you and do it at the airport upon arrival.

 

LODGING

 

Q. Do we all have our own bathroom?

A. Yes. The bathrooms are en suite at all locations and in the ship.

Q. Are the beds twins or doubles?

A. For the land tour, I reserve twin rooms for everyone (two twin beds). If you prefer a double, please let me know. On the ship, there are three twin cabins (reserved for paired singles), and three double cabins (for couples, or singles willing to share a bed).

Q. Do we need to bring face cloths?

A. Yes. Face cloths are not provided. They are rarely provided in Europe. (Tip: consider cutting up an old towel into wash cloth sized squares. Bring a supply along, use one for a few days and then throw it out. Your luggage will get lighter each time, and you won’t have to worry about carting a damp wash cloth from place to place.)

Q. Are there hair dryers at the places will be staying?

A. Not sure if the ship has hair dryers in the cabins. Some of the hotels may have them. Others may not. You will need to bring your own hair dryer.

Q. What about TP. I've heard the quality in Europe is not good.

A. Their TP is just like ours now

 

ELECTRONICS

 

Q. Is Wi-Fi available where we will be staying?

A. Probably not on the ship, but is included at most, if not all, of the hotels. There may be a charge for it at the hotels.

Q. Is there a computer available where we will be staying?

A. There are computers for guests’ use at some of the hotels, but we can’t count on it.

Q. Are electrical outlets different in Turkey & Greece?

A. Yes. You will need to bring an adaptor. This can be picked up at most luggage stores, and K-Mart or Wal Mart, or ordered on line through TravelSmith.com or Magellan.com. You can get some practical advice from the tip "Dealing with Electricity" on the Home page on this website, plus the website www.enjoy-europe.com. This is an excellent site. In addition to “Electricity in Europe,” check it out for articles on “Riding the Rails & Waves,” “What to Wear,” "Driving the Roads in Europe,” “Communicating as You Travel,” and more. Converters will not be necessary for your electronic gadgets, however if you are bringing an American hair dryer and/or curling iron you will need a converter.

Q. Are there TVs?

A. Many of our lodgings will have TVs in the rooms.

 

MONEY

 

Q. What type of currency do they use in Turkey & Greece?

A. The Euro in Greece, the Turkish Lira in Turkey, however they readily accept euros

Q. I heard that credit cards are not always accepted and that we should bring debit cards for the ATM machine.

A. I have never had (or known anyone who has had) a problem using their Visa card. I’ve noticed some merchants will not take American Express, though (Discover might be a problem, as well), but usually Visa and MasterCard are accepted everywhere. You will need some cash (euros) while there, and it is best to use your ATM cards to withdraw from the ATM machines. Remember to check that it is has a 4-digit pin number. Foreign ATMs won’t accept more than 4 digits.

Q. Should I get euros before I leave?

A. That’s up to you. If it’s convenient, through your bank, perhaps you might want to do so. But it’s not necessary, and I wouldn’t recommend it because there are usually fees involved.

Q. How can I get euros while there?

A. ATM’s are everywhere, so you should have a debit card that enables you to withdraw funds

    • Know your network.
    • Cirrus (Master Card) and Plus (Visa) are the most common.
    • Make sure your checking account has enough funds in it to cover your anticipated withdrawals, just in case. The ATM’s don’t give you a choice of checking or savings, and they don’t transfer funds.
    • Check your daily withdrawal limit before you go so you will know how much you can take out in a day
    • Check for fees imposed (so you won’t have any surprises). My credit union charges a 1% International transaction fee, banks may charge more. The ATM’s charge as well.
    • European ATMs accept only 4-digit pin numbers (no letters). If yours has more than that, be sure you get it changed before you go.
    • This is very important. Let your bank and credit card company know you are going. Otherwise, they may put a hold on your card and/or not allow your purchases.

Q. What can I expect to spend?

A. You will need to purchase a lunch or dinner most day, plus beverages other than those on the Itinerary, between meal snacks, and souvenirs.

Q. What is the tipping etiquette in Greece & Turkey?

A. Most gratuities are included in the price of the tour, however if you find yourself in a situation requiring tipping, you can use the following guidelines:

    • Restaurants – 10% if not included in the bill
    • Baggage Handling: 1 Euro per bag
    • Hotel Housekeeping: 1 Euro per night
    • Taxis – Just round up the fare

 

COMMUNICATING WITH THE HOME FRONT

 

Q. Are there phones in the rooms?

A. Some of the rooms will have phones.

Q. How can we get in touch with friends/relatives at home?

A.

    • You can use your mobile or SmartPhone. (You will need to talk to your carrier about coverage and charges while in Greece & Turkey)
    • I have an iPad, which can be used for emails or to make calls using Skype, and which you are welcome to use when I am not using it. It must have a Wi-Fi connection available for this.
    • Skype is a very good way to communicate. If the recipient also has Skype, you can call from or to anywhere in the world for free. If they do not have Skype, there is a small per minute charge.

 

NOTE: Please be advised that if you have important business to conduct while on this tour, it is your responsibility to make arrangements for communications.

 

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Testimonials

2013

 

"Our trip to Turkey started out as a footnote; accompanying a trip to Greece.  It ended up being the most wonderful part of our adventure.  The dwellings at Cappadocia (one of the most unique-mystical experiences we've ever had); now rates as one of our favorite places in the world. 
"The people we met all over Turkey were gracious and kind.  The food . . . well, it was amazing.  What a treat.  Another wonderful surprise: the Greek and Roman ruins.  They were more complete and fascinating than anything we saw in Greece.  Thank you, Ihla - for a wonderful (and surprising) addition to a lifetime of awe-inspiring travels."
- Joanie and Bill G (Turkey)

 

"My second Greek islands cruise [with Ihla] was just as great as the first!  The mega-yacht was just the perfect size to roam around the islands.  The beauty of a small boat cruise is that you can explore as much as you want on the islands, with your own mega-yacht awaiting your return to take you to the next island and adventure!" - Stephanie S. (Greece)

 

"Trip was well planned and lots of fun." - Anne P. (Turkey, Greece)

 

"Touring the Greek Isles on a beautiful yacht for one week?  Sounds like the good life?  It was.  The food was delicious; and being on a ship, small enough to dock next to each town, was a treat.  It gave us lots of time to explore the islands.  The best part of our trip . . . Ihla.  She was the perfect guide (friend!): helpful, supportive, knowledgeable, and soooooo nice!  Thank you for setting up a wonderful adventure." -        Joanie and Bill G. (Greece)

 

"Ihla does it again!  Turkey was a remarkable trip and we had the opportunity to see the sights and visit with locals to learn about their amazing country.  Everything you could hope for!" - Stephanie S. (Turkey)

 

"One of the best compliments we can give - is that the three-week trip went by so incredibly fast.  We had an amazing time.  Ihla's organization of the itinerary was masterful: from the accommodations; to the amazing adventures; to the jam-packed "fun" stuff to do and explore; beautifully accompanied by her respectful and nurturing manner.  It was a perfect blend: of opening up amazing experiences in unique places around the world; and guiding/celebrating our adventures (that we set out on - by ourselves).  We got our money's worth by the first week of the three-week trip.  Everything from then on was "icing on the cake"; and it sure was delicious!  Having traveled all over the world - this was the most relaxing, fun-filled adventure we've ever had.  Ihla was our safety net for every little detail.  We just sat back and enjoyed the ride of a lifetime.  We can't wait to travel with the "Drifter Sister" again.  We are fans of Ihla's.  Sign us up!!" - Joanie and Bill G. (Greece, Turkey, Peloponnese Extension)

 

2010

 

Testimonial from one of our clients“Before going on this trip I would not have considered myself to be a tour type person … Now I look forward to being able to join Ihla on one of her future trips.” – Wendy I.

 

 

 

Testimonital from one of our clients“This is my second trip with Ihla! She takes all the worry out of traveling, and never misses a beat. You will always get more than what you paid for during the trips.” – Judi A.

 

 

Drifter Sister Catch the Wind Tours Clients“If Ihla goes where we want to go we’ll go at the drop of the hat!” – Ron & Sharon K.

 

 

Testimonial from our clients“This was hands-down the best trip we have ever taken. The gorgeous islands, the amazing turquoise Aegean sea, the beauty of the Peloponnese, and standing in the ORIGINAL Olympic stadium was more than we ever expected. We can't wait to go again!” – Steve & Nancy C.