Sunday 19 April 2015. Welcome to Istanbul! After being met at the airport you will be transferred to your hotel. Spend the rest of the day at leisure. Tonight a welcome meeting takes place where you'll meet your guide and the rest of the group.
If you've arrived early you may wish to join our 'Backstreets Tour', further details relating to the excursion can be found in our trip notes.
Today we get to tour the amazing city of Istanbul, exploring all the city has to offer starting with the iconic Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia (exterior only as it is closed on Mondays), Topkapi Palace and the ancient underground cistern. After a break for lunch we relax on a cruise up the Bosphorus Strait before heading over to the lively and colourful Egyptian Spice Market and the famous Grand Bizarre, here you will be able to put your haggling skills into practice.
This evening we enjoy dinner together at a local restaurant.
Overnight: Istanbul | Breakfast, Dinner
Istanbul - Pamukkale. This morning we leave the city of Istanbul and travel south to Pamukkale. On the way we stop by a traditional Turkish carpet weaving and manufacturing house where we will have the opportunity to learn more about the history and importance of Turkish carpets. We spend the night in Pamukkale.
Overnight: Pamukkale | Breakfast, Dinner
Pamukkale - Kusadasi. Pamukkale is a unique site famous for its cascading, calcium thermal pools. This morning we can paddle through the travertine pools and experience one of Turkeyâ€™s best natural wonders. We also visit the ruins of the Roman Hierapolis which sit above the pools.
From Pamukkale we travel on to Ephesus, one of the most well preserved classical cities in the Western Med. Under the Romans Ephesus was a vast city with a population nearing 250,000, revelling in prosperity. Later on we visit a high grade leather garment house before spending the night in beautiful coastal Kusadasi.
Overnight: Kusadasi | Breakfast, Dinner
Kusadasi - Edremit. This morning we travel north to Edremit, stopping en route at the Roman ruins of Pergamum, which was once the capital city of the Asian province of the ancient Roman Empire. Home to one of the steepest, vertigo-inducing amphitheatres in the classical world, Pergamum was also famous for its Asclepion (medical centre).
Overnight: Edremit | Breakfast, Dinner
We are up bright and early this morning as we begin our final drive towards Gallipoli, stopping en route for a visit to the famous wooden horse of Troy. Next we jump aboard the ferry and cross to the Gallipoli Peninsular before travelling to ANZAC Cove. Be sure to wrap up warm this evening as we settle down for the night at the atmospheric ANZAC Eve vigil.
Overnight: Anzac Cove | Breakfast
Gallipoli - Istanbul. First light heralds the start of the Dawn Service, then youâ€™ll have plenty of time to independently explore the many trenches and memorial sites as you make your way up to Lone Pine or Chunuk Bair for the Australian or New Zealand National services. The service at Chunuk Bair starts 45 minutes after the Australian service at Lone Pine. If youâ€™re a New Zealander, you will need to head straight to Chunuk Bair. This afternoon, we return to Istanbul, arriving very late in the evening. Hotel check in and a well-deserved rest, after an emotion-filled day at Gallipoli.
Sunday 26 April 2015. Our tour ends after breakfast and hotel check-out today.
For all our tours and tailor-made holidays we provide you with a clear categorisation of all hotels we use. The REGIONAL CATEGORY indicates the local rating of each hotel in each respective country. We have also rated each hotel using OUR CATEGORY, which will be in line with generally accepted western hotel grading standards.
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.
Superior accommodation equates to a Western 4-star standard, featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant and often a swimming pool and/or a fitness centre.
Deluxe accommodation equates to a Western 5-star standard, usually featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, excellent service and customer care.
Lavish accommodation equates to a Western 5-star plus standard - the creme de la creme. Featuring spacious, en-suite rooms, a restaurant, swimming pool and fitness centre and an array of amenities, this accommodation is a cut above the rest. Sheer opulence!
The recently renovated Ibis in Istanbul is modern with excellent facilities. Rooms are comfortable with good sized beds and contemporary design. The outdoor pool is great for a refreshing dip (though it is only available in the summer) The massive all you can eat buffet breakfast come well recommended and is a great way to start the day. Located on the shores of the Sea of Marmara, midway between the airport & the old city.
Just a short drive from the famous travertines and terraces, the huge Lycus River Spa Complex is a travellerâ€™s thermal paradise. The fantastic facilities include interlinking indoor and outdoor thermal pools, complimentary Wi-Fi and excellent dining. The leisure facilities are endless and rooms are bright, comfortable and all come with a private balcony. Well located just a short journey from Pamukkale and Hieroplis.
Sitting along the magnificent Aegean Coast, the Grand Belish is impressively designed hotel. Offering guests a fantastic service and rooms with quality amenities and a private balcony overlooking the grounds. The delightful outdoor pool is great for lazing by during the day and at night a trip to the Terrace Bistro Bar for a delicious cocktail whilst looking out across the magnificent sea views is a must. Located just outside Kusadasi on a gorgeous stretch of beach along the Aegean Coast.
Perched on the seafront, the Adrina Hotel de Luxe is a modern hotel offering excellent accommodation. Guest rooms are well appointed and comfortable. The expansive outdoor pool is a great place to relax by or take a dip in. A number of restaurants are at the resort including Italian, Turkish and Seafood specialities. Those who want ultimate relaxation should head to the Spa where you can indulge in Turkish baths ad other excellent spa facilities. Located right on the shores of the Aegean Sea near Edremit.
Tipping is not a natural part of many Western cultures and many of us feel uncomfortable, or unsure, about when, or how much, to tip. However, in Turkey, tipping makes up a significant part of many people's wages so it's important that we get it right. For this reason we've developed a very simple system to take all the hassle out of tipping. With our 'tipping made easy' policy, a nominal pre-determined amount is collected from all group tour participants to cover tips en route. This then saves you the hassle of when and how much to tip bellhops, luggage handlers, local guides and other support staff through the tour. Our 'tipping made easy' doesn't include a tip to your group tour leader. Naturally, though, the amount is up to you as tipping is an entirely personal gesture.