This is a detailed 17 day Turkey and Greece itinerary I did for my trip in October 2015 with my parents. This summary includes the cost of accommodation, transport details of our trip excluding food for us. I have written separate guides for all the cities we traveled to except for some.
Family trip to Greece and Turkey. Current photo location: Ephesus, Turkey.
Turkey and Greece itinerary
Day 1: Arrive in Istanbul
- Taxi from Ataturk Airport (IST)to Old Town Sultanahmet was 45 TL.
- Accommodation: Double Tree Old Town Istanbul– €151.20 per night at King Guest Room. My parents got complimentary breakfast as York and I are Hilton Gold members.
- Purchase Istanbul Museum pass from Double Tree concierge for 85 TL.
- Sight-seeing around Old Town Area.
- Lunch at Aloran Cafe & Restaurant near Topkapi Palace.
- Dinner at “The Terrace Restaurant” on the top floor of Double Tree by Hilton Istanbul Old Town.
Hagia Sophia seen outside of The Blue Mosque
Further Reading: Emirates Low Fat & Low Cholesterol Meal
Day 2: Istanbul
- Sight-seeing around Old Town Area
- Taxi to Beyoglu Area from Old Town was around 25 TL.
- Accommodation: Hilton ParkSA– 436 TL per night per room at Double Bosphorus View Room. Did get upgraded to executive lounge in both rooms with complimentary breakfast for four.
- Lunch/ afternoon tea at Hilton ParkSA Executive lounge
- Dinner at “Bar 7 Restaurant & Bars” on top floor of Hilton ParkSA.
Beautiful view of Bosphorus Strait from Suleymaniye Mosque.
Day 3: Istanbul
- Explore Beyoglu Area, Taksim
- Taxi from Hilton ParkSA to Hilton Istanbul Kozyatagi in Asian side was around 60 TL
- Accommodation: Hilton Istanbul Kozyatagi– King Guest Room but upgraded to King Executive Room and paid 391 TL per room per night.
- Did Hammam Treatment at the hotel for 150 TL (Prices for other spa treatment click here)
- Dinner at Hilton Executive lounge.
The world’s second-oldest subway line at Taksim
Further Reading: 12 Top Places to Visit @ Two Days in Istanbul & What to eat in Istanbul? (Desserts & Street Food)
Day 4: Istanbul to Denizli
Dipping our feet in cold water of the Travertines was very enjoyable in this hot weather!
Day 5: Pammukale Day Trip from Denizli
- Pammukale can be reached by taking a mini-bus from gate 76 in the central bus station for 4 TL.
- Accommodation & Dinner at Yildirim Hotel (3 course dinner was only 15 TL per set).
One of the most visited sites in Turkey: The Travertines of Pamukkale.
Further reading on “Guide to Visiting Pamukkale- The Cotton Castle of Turkey“
Day 6: Denizli to Izmir
- Daily train to Izmir via Selcuk (Total travel time around 4.5 hours). You can only buy tickets on the day, please go to the train station the day before to check the departure time. 40 TL per person.
- Our train: Denizli (8.20) à Selcuk (11.28) à Azmir Aiport (12.19) à Izmir (12.39)
- Accommodation: Hilton Izmir Double Room with view of Aegean Sea, got upgraded to executive lounge access. 283 TL per night.
- Dinner at Hilton Izmir executive lounge.
- We stayed at Izmir instead of Selcuk because we will be travelling to Greece from here and it has an International Airport. Izmir is a beautiful seaside city, it’s nice to just walk around the town and use it as a base for Ephesus.
The Celcus Library: Ephesus’s most impressive building was built in 1st Century AD in honour of Tiberius Julius Celcus.
Day 7: Ephesus Day Trip (Selcuk)
- Daily train to Selcuk from Izmir (Basmane) costs 6.25 TL per person. Bus from Selcuk to Ephesus costs 2.5 TL per person.
- Ephesus entrance fee: 30 TL per person.
- Dinner at “Windows on the Bay Restaurant” one of the top floors on Hilton Izmir.
- Accommodation: Booked for Double Guest Rooms but upgraded to Superior King Guest Rooms at DoubleTree Izmir for 225.72 TL per room. Our flight to Greece was 6.10 am on the next day. The receptionist arranged a “breakfast box” for us as we would miss out the complimentary breakfast that came with Hilton HHonours Gold.
Beautiful night view of Izmir from our room in Executive floor. Izmir is the 3rd largest city in Turkey and often served as a base for day trips to Ephesus
Have not written a separate entry for Ephesus yet.
Total spent in Turkey: around €1692 for 4 people (including accommodation/ transport/ sight-seeing/ excluding food) for 7 days.
Average €60.42 per person per day excluding food.
Day 8: Izmir to Santorini via Aegean Airline
Santorini is many people’s “dream destination” with its Cycladic charm.
Further reading on Oia and our accommodation please read “Best Place to Stay in Santorini: Oia”
Day 9 – Day 10: Santorini
You don’t get this kind of view in Fira. Beautiful old traditional windmills that are now used as either restaurants or guest houses.
Further reading on “Our Recommendations of Food in Santorini“
Day 11: Santorini to Paros
- Blue Star Ferries from Santorini (15.30) to Paros (19.15) €111.60 for four. We did not pay extra for better seats, as many people just go find their own seats at a better class (except business class requires you to show tickets).
- Accommodation: Panos Studios at Parikia on island of Paros. €35 per room per night.
On the peaceful and quiet island of Paros.
Day 12- Day 13: Paros
We probably only saw a handful of other tourists during our 3 day stay in Paros.
Have not written a separate entry for Paros yet.
Day 14: Paros to Athens
- Blue Star Ferries from Paros (10.45) to Athens (15.00) €173.25 for four of us.
- Taxi from Athens Piraeus to Central Hotel was €20 fix price.
- Central Hotel is located within the walking distance of Acropolis. It is a perfect combination of its price and quality. We loved the free breakfast it provided. The rooms costed us €100 per room per night.
These Caryatids on Erechtheion are actually replicas. Real ones are in New Acropolis Museum.
Day 15-16: Athens
- €12 for the tickets to Acropolis which can be purchased on the spot.
The Parthenon was a slight let-down with all the constructions going on.
Further Reading at Athens on a Budget: €12 to See Acropolis & Other Ancient Ruins
Day 17: Depart Athens
- Taxi from Central Hotel to Athens Airport was €30 fix price.
The columns from Temple of Olympian Zeus on the ground in pieces.
Total spent in Greece €2169.01 including accommodation, food and transport excluding food for 10 days.
Average €54.23 per person per day excluding food.
Since we did our trip during October 2015, there really wasn’t much to do on the Greek Island of Paros. If I were to plan my trip again, I would spend time in Cappadocia, Turkey instead.
We spent 3 hours on Ferry from Santorini to this beautiful relaxing island. There were barely any tourists.
Disclaimer: The above hotel links contains affiliate links, however we did not get sponsorship to stay at these accommodations.
The fees were self funded and the hotels were found by us.