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Medieval 16th Century Forts

CRUSADER CASTLES

Kos. Nyseros. Bodrum Turkey. Rhodes. 

DESCRIPTION

Rhodes  When the Knights of St. John Crusaders were evicted from Jerusalem in the late 13th century, they set up headquarters on the island of Rhodes. Today medieval Rhodes is a World Heritage Site, a car-free community with cobblestones, drawbridges and high stone walls. It is exceedingly charming. An early morning walk around the dry moat will leave you wondering what era you’re in.

Kos also has a Crusader castle but less imposing than Rhodes.  It is perhaps more famous as the birthplace of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine.  You can visit the site where his clinic operated.  There are also thermal springs in the water.  In the evening traditional folk dancing at Zia.

A day boat from Kos to Bodrum Turkey allows you to visit one of the finest Crusader castles in the region because it was converted to an underwater archaeology museum.  You see a ship’s cargo exactly how it was discovered by divers.

Also on the itinerary is nearby tiny Nyseros island, a mere 50 square kilometers.  The Crusaders made a cameo appearance there in the early 14th century.  The island has a small volcano you can walk down into, and though dorman, you can see and smell the sulfur fumes emitting.

Rhodes and Kos have superb beaches, a variety of resort hotels and a service industry quite accustomed to the English speaking foreign guest. The Dodecannese region is a smart choice for a relaxing, leisure vacation.

ITINERARY

We can customize this itinerary to suit your travel profile!

Day 1: Kos
Welcome to Kos island, home of Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. First things first – tour the the 15th century Castle of St. John and spot all the Crusader emblems in the fort.  Enjoy your welcome dinner at an outdoor taverna specializing in Eastern Mediterranean food.

Day 2: Kos
Visit the ruins of Hippocrates’ medical clinic where dream therapy was used to heal patients! Relax at Therma – as you sit outdoors in the sea natural thermal hot springs flow directly into the cool waters. Don’t miss dinner and traditional Greek folk dancing in Zia, the highest point on Kos.

Day 3: Kos – day trip to Turkey
Get your passports ready for a day across the waters to Bodrum Turkey. The restored Crusader fortress holds an amazing museum of underwater archaeological exhibits which replicate the discoveries exactly as they were found by Texas A & M University archaeologists.

Day 4: Kos – day trip to Nyseros
Experience the calm and tranquility of tiny Nyseros island, population 950. Take a short walk down into a dormant volcano that smells of sulfur and you can see the smoke rising from the yellow earth. Swim at the local black sand beach.

Day 5: Rhodes
Transfer to Rhodes by high speed ferry boat. The old medieval town is car-free which means it is quiet, safe for walking and convenient for shopping. Tour the Castle of the Knights of St. John, the Grand Masters Palace, the Roloi Clocktower, the old Jewish and Moslem neighborhoods.

Day 6: Rhodes
Visit lovely Lindos, another car free town. It has an ancient Acropolis which you can ascend by stone steps or atop a donkey. Terrific views of the sea for miles around. Swim in the underwater sea cave! Lindos has beautiful hand-laid pebble mosaic terraces and distinctive home doors.

Day 7: Rhodes
Visit Valley of the Butterflies, the beautiful park that is a refuge for these unique moths with vibrant wings. Continue westward to Embonas for a wine tasting experience. Accompany your farewell dinner with live bouzouki music.

Day 8: Departures
Daily flights from Rhodes with early morning flights to Athens Airport for connections to overseas flights.

DETAILS

TRIP DURATION 7 nights, 8 days, departure on morning of Day 8

START & END POINTS
Start: The tour starts on Kos.  Daily flights from Athens, only 50 minutes.
End: The tour ends in Rhodes.  Daily flights to Athens.

DRIVER-GUIDE VERSUS SELF-DRIVE

There is not a lot of driving on the Crusader Paths tour.  Kos is fairly small and although Rhodes is larger, the old city is car-free.  If you want to fully focus on the scenery, never get lost, avoid using quality holiday time to study maps, risk reading road signs in Greek script when English signs occasionally are missing and prefer being taken straight to each destination without the stress of driving in a foreign country, we recommend you opt for a company driver-guide.

Our driver-guides put your safety first. They are amiable, reliable, convenient, and totally helpful in translations, luggage, hotel intermediary and just a general overall trouble shooter to ensure that everything runs smoothly and all you do is relax and enjoy the tour. They are there when you need them and linger in the background when your party seeks quality time alone.  The guide also accompanies you to Bodrum and Nyseros, although no vehicles are used there.  You will have one guide in Kos and another guide in Rhodes.

The self-drive option is less costly. Another important factor for self-drivers is the freedom and adventure to get around on your own in a foreign country. If you enjoy studying maps and orienting and navigating routes, opt for self-drive. You would also prefer self-drive if you simply love to drive! 

SELF-DRIVE LOGISTICS

We arrange for your use of a vehicle with a rental car company we patronize. We forward your credit card to the rental company for security purposes. You sign the rental car contract not for the basic rental cost but for liability purposes in the event of accidents or damages. The fee for the rental car is included in your tour cost.

On the Crusader Paths tour, the rental car agent will meet you at the airport with your vehicle.  You will leave the vehicle in Kos.   You board the ferry to Rhodes where a second vehicle is waiting for you.  Leave that vehicle in Rhodes upon your departure.

To drive in Greece, you must have an international driver’s permit. For Americans, an AAA branch can issue a permit upon presentation of a valid driver’s license and two passport photos. After filling out an application, within 15-20 minutes for a cost of $15 you will have your permit. If you are not able to go to an AAA office, the permit can be obtained by mail.

PROFESSIONAL GUIDES AT ARCHAEOLOGY SITES

We strongly recommend adding professional archaeology guides to your tour itinerary. Without them, walking through an ancient site is like watching a movie with the sound turned off. See Extras tab for rates.

BOOKING AGREEMENT Participants are required to sign our company Booking Agreement as a condition of the tour.

WAIVER Participants are required to sign our company Waiver as a condition of the tour.

COST & INCLUSIONS

COST PER PERSON

Participants Driver-Guided Self-Drive
1-2 3070 euros per person 2290 euros per person
3-4 2500 euros per person  2080 euros per person
5-6 2300 euros per person 2050 euros per person
7-8 2200 euros per person 2000 euros per person

Tour cost is based on double occupancy.

Children under 12 enjoy a 20% discount.

For daily exchange rates, click here.

INCLUSIONS

Driver-Guide Inclusions Self-Drive Inclusions
7 nights accommodations in 3-4 star hotels – see Accommodations tab 7 nights accommodations in 3-4 star hotels – see Accommodations tab
Daily breakfast at each hotel
Daily breakfast at each hotel
Driver-Guide and Vehicle – see details below Vehicle akin to 4 Door Nissan Note or Nissan Prima Star mini-van for 5-8 persons, manual steering
 Airport transfers GPS for Automobiles
 Boat to Bodrum  Boat to Bodrum
 Ferry Kos to Rhodes Ferry Kos to Rhodes
Boat to Nyseros mobile phone with 10 euros card
Entry fees to Kos castle, Rhodes castle, Bodrum castle, Bodrum Mauseleum, Hippocrates site
 Maps of the region  Maps of the region
Trip packet with useful information: what to see and do in each region,  recommended tavernas, packing tips, phone numbers, etc. Trip packet with useful information: what to see and do in each region,  recommended tavernas, packing tips, phone numbers, etc.
Gratuities, tips, VAT Gratuities, tips, VAT

EXCLUSIONS

Driver-Guide Exclusions Self-Drive Exclusions
 Airfare to/from Greece Airfare to/from Greece
 Airfare to Kos Airfare to Kos
Airfare from Rhodes Airfare from Rhodes
 Meals except breakfast Meals except breakfast
 Travel Insurance – see Extras tab Travel Insurance – see Extras tab
Vehicle gas and tolls
Automatic steering (extra cost)

VEHICLE WITH DRIVER-GUIDE

Guests on Driver-Guide tours are transported in a mini-van akin to a Nissan Prima Star with seating for up to eight passengers.   For more than eight participants see Groups tab.  Our company driver-guides are focused on your safety, your comfort, your pleasure, your convenience.   They work a basic eight hour day and are not needed at night because almost all eating choices are within walking distance.  Driver-guides assist with your luggage, interface with the hotels, help with translations, lead you on walks or hikes, introduce you to all activities, and in general they are all around trouble shooters.   They take care of all their own meals.  It is in your discretion if you wish the driver-guide to join your party at dinner but he pays for his own meal.

EXTRAS

Travel Insurance  For U.S. citizens, we are official agents of Travel Guard travel insurance and can book your trip insurance or provide you a policy quote.

Airport transfer   A company driver transfers your party from Athens Airport to your Athens hotel.  170 euros per group for up to 8 passengers.

Athens hotel   We can book your pre- and post-tour accommodations in Athens with a choice of fine hotels we patronize in the Plaka or Psirri neighborhood.

ACCOMMODATIONS

Kos Imperial ThalassoAn indicative hotel for the Crusader Castles tour is Kos Imperial Thalasso hotel which is a five star resort.

We select the accommodations based on quality, comfort, cleanliness, hospitality, location and charm. Most of the hotels on this tour are family owned and operated.

Hotels are included in the tour cost based on double occupancy. A single room entails an additional cost. Standard double rooms are provided but upgrade options are available.

All hotels are dependent on availability. In the event of no occupancy, we patronize comparable accommodations in the same location.

Request Links to Accommodations for Crusader Castles

MAP
GROUPS

This tour is also available for groups of more than eight persons. You can take the tour with the itinerary as listed or we can customize the tour’s destinations and activities to suit your party.

A group of eight participants travel in a company vehicle with staff driver who also acts as your guide. A group of 10-16 participants travel in either two company vehicles with staff driver/guides or one mini-coach. Groups larger than 16 participants travel in coaches or mini-coaches, led by a company tour leader who handles all logistics.

We offer innovative tours to large groups attending a congress, conference or corporate event.

See more information on the Groups page.

Contact us directly for price quotes and itineraries for your party’s special stay in Greece.

Driver-Guide

versus

Self-Drive

Which to choose?
PROS and CONS of each.

See Details tab for details!

HIGHLIGHTS

  • Visit Hippocrates’ healing center in Kos
  • Day trip by boat to Bodrum, Turkey
  • Walk into a dormant volcano on Nyseros
  • Donkey ride up to the Acropolis in Lindos
  • Join traditional Greek dancers in Zia, the highest village on Kos
DAY TOURS
DAY TOURS
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