I was wondering how much time is spent at the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul? The itinerary makes it sound like we’re passing through on the way to another site. Also, I’m planning on flying to Athens from Samos at the end of the tour. Would the noon flight to Athens be reasonable or should I schedule a later flight?
After free time for lunch, we'll cap off the day exploring Istanbul's legendary Grand Bazaar and Mosque of Süleyman the Magnificent.
Sounds like more than 'passing through'.
Contact the RS office for 1st hand info about this and the flight to Athens
According to rome2rio.com, the ferry from Kusadasi to Samos takes 45 minutes, the bus ride to the airport 25 minutes. The problems would be:
1. if bad weather can interrupt ferry service
2. how often the ferries run
3. how often the bus runs to the airport. Maybe it is synced with the ferries. Maybe taxis are available.
The tour really ends on the last evening. On my tour, everyone flew out of Izmir; it was November - not much in the way of ferries. Most of us took the shuttle bus after breakfast, but a few left much earlier. So it really depends on the ferry schedule.
I went on this tour October last year. We didn’t spend a huge amount of time in the Grand Bazaar. We were able to do some wandering on our own. Personally I liked the Egyptian Spice Bazaar better. As I recall, this was a busy day with the visit to the Suleyman the Magnificent Mosque and a walk through Istiklal Street where we stopped for lunch, also, Taksim Square. We had a wonderful guide, you will love this tour.
Noon flight from Izmir, I assume you mean, should be plenty of time for you. Our bus driver took us from the hotel to the airport in Izmir early enough for everyone’s flight schedule. We hopped on an 11 am flight to Istanbul, no problem. The guide will help everyone with their arrangements at the end of the tour.
Thanks everyone for your input! We have a lot to think about and fortunately several months to sort out the details of our trip.
I would not plan to fly from Samos to Athens without first spending a night on Samos. The passenger ferry from Kusadasi departs at 9:00 a.m. daily to arrive to Samos/Vathy at 10:15 Greek time, but ferries can be affected by weather, as well as (perhaps) a Greek/Turkish attitude toward timetables.
During high season, Agean/Olympic Airlines flies directly from Izmir to Athens. Otherwise, Izmir to Istanbul is the typical flight route served by Turkish and other airlines, and connections to Athens available from Istanbul. Also try www.skyscanner.com as a search engine.