Spend three nights in Athens and three nights in Istanbul with this air-inclusive package from Gate 1 Travel (tel. 800/682-3333; www.gate1travel.com).
This trip -- from $1,439 per person with airfare and six nights' hotel -- gives you a chance to immerse yourself in ancient civilizations. In Athens, you have three nights to explore the city Â? plenty of time to visit the Acropolis and other landmarks. The package includes the flight from Athens to Istanbul, where you'll spend your last three nights. Relax in a Turkish hamam (bath), or haggle for gold or an inlaid backgammon set at the Grand Bazaar -- both quintessential Istanbul experiences.
Why is this a deal? A multi-stop itinerary (New York-JFK to Athens, Athens to Istanbul, and Istanbul back to New York) starts at $1,227 on Turkish Air, according to a Kayak search. Three nights in Athens at Astor Hotel will run about $477 for two people (or $238.50 per person). Three nights in Istanbul at Hotel Yigitalp comes to about $357 for two (or ($178.50). Each person would then expect to pay about $417 for six nights' hotel. If you booked airfare and hotel separately, you'd pay at least $1,644 per person. You'll save $205 per person by booking the package.
Trip Type: Air-inclusive, independent
What the Quoted Price Gets You: Round-trip airfare from New York-JFK to Athens (returning from Istanbul); a flight from Athens to Istanbul; three nights in Athens at the Astor Hotel; three nights in Istanbul at Hotel Yigitalp; airline fuel surcharges; government taxes and fees; hotel taxes; and breakfast daily.
What Else You Will Have to Pay:Airport-hotel transfers; visa fees
Book By: As soon as possible for best availability
When: May 8 (from $1,439)
Single Supplement: $417
Other Departures: Chicago (from $1,622); Miami (from $1,964); Atlanta (from $2,092); Los Angeles (from $2,114)
Other Details:If you want to book a half-day tour of Athens, add $66 per person for a half-day tour of Athens; add $110 per person for a full-day Istanbul tour. This trip is available in the fall at the same starting price (Oct. 9, 16, 23 from $1,439) but due to fluctuating airfare, the best savings currently reflect the May 8 departure.
All prices are per person and, if lodging is a component of the package, based upon two people traveling together (unless otherwise noted). The prices listed are general starting rates; see "What Else You'll Have to Pay" for details about associated taxes and fees. Base-prices, taxes, and fees can vary based on point of departure and time of travel. Blackout dates may apply. Trip add-ons like sightseeing tours and meal plans may also increase the price. Check with the tour operator for additional gateways. The single supplement is the extra cost that a solo traveler would pay to book the deal.
This advertised package price is based on select departures and were available via the Gate 1 Travel website as of Feb. 12, 2012 and may not represent current prices. Packages are subject to availability, are capacity controlled, and may not be available on every date. Offers may be changed or withdrawn at any time without notice. Baggage and service fees may apply; please see individual airline website for details.