Jewish heritage Turkey-Greece 9 days
The tours takes you step-by-step through the Jewish (or formerly Jewish) neighborhoods of Istanbul, Edirne, Thessaloniki, Athens. Some of non-Jewish sites of importance in the same neighborhoods are also mentioned.
Day 01 Istanbul
Arrive in Istanbul, assistance and transfer to the hotel. Overnight in istanbul.
Day 02 Istanbul (B-L)
Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, visit the neighborhood of galata where many of the jews fleeing from spanish inquisition in 1492 settled. Visit the Galata tower, built by the genoese in 1303. Continue to Neve shalom synagogue, the biggest one in Istanbul, bulit in 1951 for the sepharadic jews. In the afternoon, visit the Hippodrome, Blue mosque and Topkapi palace. Overnight in istanbul.
Day 03 Istanbul (B-L)
Visit of Balat district which has been the earliest neighborhood of the Jews from 1492 and on. Star of David can still be noticed on the facades of some of the buildings. Then visit Ahayim Jewish Hospital (also called the Balat Jewish Hospital), built in 1897; continue the tour with Ahrida Synagogue built over 500 years ago. In the afternoon, visit of Covered Bazaar
Day 04 Istanbul - Edirne - Thessaloniki (B-L)
Early breakfast at the hotel and check-out. departure for edirne, the second capital of ottoman empire situated in the northwest of turkey with borders with greece and bulgaria.visit the great synagogue of edirne restored by the prime ministry general directorate of foundations (opened on thursday, 26 march 2015) the great synagogue is one of the most important faith centres of edirne, hosting the houses of worship of three sacred religions. it was built with the permission of the ottoman government and the edict of abdulhamid ii in january 1906. it is the largest synagogue in balkans, and the third largest in europe. the restoration of the synagogue was initiated in 2010 in the scope of the reforms addressing the religious freedom and social life requirements of various religious groups in turkey. the synagogue is opened for service after five years of effort.possibility to visit selimiye mosque, the symbol of edirne. carrying the name of the then reigning sultan selim ii, the mosque was built by famous architect sinan. architect sinan finished the construction in 1575, when he was 85 and considered selimiye mosque to be his “master piece”. its huge dome is even higher than that of hagia sophia. selimiye mosque is the crown of edirne with its simple but glorious existence. unesco added selimiye mosque and its social complex to its world heritage list on june 27, 2011. Departure for Thessaloniki. Overnight in Thessaloniki .
Day 05 Thessaloniki (B-L)
Thessaloniki Sightseeing, the tour includes the main spots and buildings in the city related with Thessaloniki's Jewish community : the Yad lezikaron and the Monasteriot synagogues, both active in the city center, the jahudi hamam and the Modiano market, monument of the Holocaust, the mansions of important for the history of Thessaloniki of the Allatinis, Modianos and Fernando Dias, the Allatini industry and the Uziel quarter, optional visit to the Yeni cami of the converted Sabbetian Jews, the place of the old Jewish cemetery, the Molho old book store and the Gatenio superb building, the Freedom sq (black sabbath July 1942 , the old railway station (deportation March 1943 ) etc. Overnight in Thessaloniki .
Day 06 Thessaloniki (B-L)
Visit to Berea with the famous mosaics and Jewish Synagogue. After stopping for some time at the road for pictures, l return to Thessaloniki, Overnight in Thessaloniki .
Day 07 Thessaloniki - Athens (B-L)
Transfer to the airport for flight to Athens Experience Athens’s Jewish culture on a fascinating tour specifically designed for those who are interested in both the history of the Jewish community of Greece and the must-see sites of ancient and modern Athens. Visit the old Synagogue of Athens, Etz Hayyim, which was built in 1904 and is used today only during the High Holidays. Right across the street is the newer and larger Beth Shalom Sephardic synagogue, built in 1935, renovated in the 70’s, and the one fully used today. Its exterior is in white marble with neoclassical elements, while the spacious interior bears not much resemblance to the Greek tradition regarding synagogue design. Visit to the Jewish museum. This museum was founded in 1977 in order to collect and exhibit the material evidence of 2300 years of Jewish life in Greece. The collection contains more than ten thousand artefacts (some of which are unique) pertaining to the domestic and religious life, as well as the history of the Greek Jews. The Jewish museum is under the slopes of the Acropolis, so you will have the opportunity to have a nice walk to Acropolis hill, the Acropolis is an UNESCO’S world heritage monument. visit the Propylae, the monumental entrance to the Acropolis which blends Doric and Ionic building principles, and the small temple Athena Nike, which stands on a protruding mass of rock, protecting the gate to the citade and of course the Parthenon, and Erechtheion with its porch of Maidens. .
Day 08 Athens one day cruise (B-L)
Transfer to the port for 1-day cruise to the islands of Aegina-Poros-Hydra including lunch on board. Optional visit to the remains of a synagogue in Aegina
Day 09 Athens - airport (B)
After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight back home.