Battle of Lone Pine - 11 days

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Pay your respects to the soldiers who gave their lives during the August Offensive at Lone Pine at the special 100th Anniversary Commemorative Service hosted on the 06 August. Retrace their footsteps by visiting important battlefields and fortified trenches, exploring poignant war museums, and strolling through hauntingly beautiful memorials. Plus take in the highlights of ancient and modern Turkey en route.

Day 1: Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey! Tuesday. Arrive Istanbul and included transfer to our hotel. Spend the afternoon at leisure or head out to explore the city. This evening our tip filled welcome meeting takes place. Overnight - Istanbul
The famous Blue Mosque in Istanbul
Day 2: Istanbul
Istanbul. This morning we enjoy a guided tour of Istanbul's old city. Our tour includes visits to the stunning Blue Mosque famed for it’s blue Iznik tiles and unique 6 minarets, the ruinous Hippodrome – now a small park of sorts and once scene of chariot races and political activities in Byzantine times, Hagia Sofia Museum - constructed as a Basilica in the 6th century by Emperor Justinian, Topkapi Palace and the Underground Cistern – an ancient underground water tank - replete with carved and fluted Corinthian columns and a puzzling head of Medusa. Visitors walk on walkways suspended above the shallow water. It’s very cool and peaceful. Overnight - Istanbul (B)
Battle of Lone Pine - 11 days Go Guide : :Check out the go guide for details of the tour, info on visas, climate, money, what to bring and more!
Day 3: Gallipoli & the Battle of Lone Pine Commemorative Service
Istanbul – Gallipoli. Early this morning, we travel to the WW1 battlefields of Gallipoli. Here, we’ll embark upon a guided tour of the region, once the site of fierce fighting and today almost hauntingly beautiful, with its wooded landscape dotted with understated memorials to the war dead. Our guided tour of the region will take in sights such as ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine Australian War Memorial and cemetery, Chunuk Blair New Zealand War Memorial and cemetery, the Nek, Johnston’s Jolly and the many fortified trenches still clearly visible amongst the scrub after all these years.

This afternoon we'll make our way to the Lone Pine to attend the official commemorative service marking (to the day) the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Lone Pine. The battle of Lone Pine saw some of the most fierce fighting of the Gallipoli campaign. Over four days, Australia suffered more than 2,000 casualties. Seven Australians were awarded the Victoria Cross for their bravery at Lone Pine. With dignitaries, current and ex-service men and women present it is sure to be a memorable, yet moving occasion.

After we cross the Dardenelles by ferry (offering panoramic views of the entire Gallipoli Peninsular) arriving at our hotel late in the evening. Overnight - Canakkale (B)
A cemetary in Anzac Cove on Rememberance Day
Day 4: Shrapnel Valley, Shell Green & boating off the cove
Returning to the Gallipoli Peninsular we visit Shrapnel Valley cemetery and walk up to Shell Green where the Australians infamously played cricket in full view of the Turks. After we'll tour some of the British landing sites such as X beach, Seddul Bair and W beach - the site of the Lancashire Landing. Later we head over to Krithia Vineyard, the war museum and nearby Redoubt Cemetery. Before visiting Kilitbaher Fort, another site that had much effect on the Gallipoli Campaign where artillery was set up to fire on the British warships as they tried to sail up the Dardanelles prior to the landing campaign. After lunch we take a boat trip off the cove to see the Gallipoli Peninsular from a different perspective before heading back to our hotel for dinner and free time. Overnight - Canakkale (B, L, D)
Day 5: Fabled Troy
Gallipoli – Kusadasi. Heading south, we enjoy a guided tour of Homer’s Troy, famed for the Trojan wooden horse and fabled Helen. Continuing to ancient Pergamum - the cultural and political capital of its time, before continuing onto coastal Kusadasi. Make the most of the hotel facilities this evening. Overnight - Kusadasi (B, D)
The Roman temple at Ephesus
Day 6: Legendary Ephesus
Today, we enjoy a guided tour at the legendary Roman ruins of Ephesus. Positively the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean, and among the best places in the world to get a feel for what Roman life must have been like. Ephesus, under the Romans was a vast city with a population nearing 250,000. It became the Roman capital of Asia Minor. We’ll have plenty of time to tour the marble ruins of Ephesus. Be sure to see the famous Library of Celcus, the gymnasium of Vedius and Stadium, the great theatre and stroll the streets in the ruins of this large Roman ruined city. It’s completely fascinating. We’ll see public toilets, a brothel, fountains and various temples.

Carpet weaving has long traditions in Turkey and after we stop to watch a demonstration of how they are made before visiting the quaint Greek village of Sirince peached mountainside within a valley of vineyards and orchards. Overnight - Kusadasi (B, D)
Kusadasi - Pamukkale. Today, after breakfast, we drive to Pamukkale visiting the region’s famed calcium rich terraced pools. Known locally as the Cotton Castles, they are a natural phenomena and gift of Mother Nature.

Pamukkale was formed when warm, calcium rich mineral water cascaded over the cliff edge, cooling and depositing in the process. The calcium built natural shelves and pools on the cliffs, known as travertines. Today, some of the pools are closed. However, areas of the travertines can be walked upon, albeit in bare feet. We can however opt to enjoy a unique and very pleasant dip in the warm waters at the Pamukkale Thermal, with its submerged fragments of fluted marble columns in the centre of the ruined spa town of Hierapolis, which was a was a cure centre founded around 190 BC by the Romans.

At approx 10:30pm this evening we bid farewell to our guide and travel by overnight bus to Istanbul. Overnight - Pamukkale (B, D)
The white calcium terraces of Pamukkale
Days 8 - 9: Fairytale Cappadocia
Pamukkale - Cappadocia. On our drive to Cappadocia, we visit some ancient caravanserais such as Sultanhani caravanserai. Tonight (day 7) why not join us on an optional and fun Turkish evening out.

On day 8, after breakfast and a good night’s rest, we enjoy a guided tour of Cappadocia - perhaps the jewel in Turkey’s crown. Cappadocia is one of Turkey’s most extraordinary national treasures. The utter improbability of the seemingly surreal landscape has to be seen to be believed with its ‘stuff of fables’ cave dwellings and phallic ‘fairy chimneys’ landscape. Whole troglodyte villages, subterranean churches and fortresses have been hewn from the soft, porous, eerily eroded rock of Cappadocia. The crumbling legacy of persecuted Christians trying to escape the Muslim onslaught in 1st-10th centuries AD by effectively heading underground is one of Turkey’s finest attractions.

A guided tour of the region takes us to the World – Heritage listed site of the Göreme Valley where you’ll see stunning examples of rock-cut Byzantine churches, chapels and temples and Zelve with its phallic-like eroded landscape. Stopping on the outskirts of Goreme Village we have the opportunity to see Pigeon Valley where century’s old pigeon houses are carved into the surrounding cliffs, the pigeon droppings that litter the area have been used as fertilizer on crops for generations. Here you will also have the opportunity to visit an Onyx shop, specialising in historic jewellery designs unique to Turkey and using local materials and craftsmen. For those not interested in shopping spend a little time relaxing and grab a drink from the local cafe. This evening, we enjoy dinner at the hotel. Overnight - Cappadocia (B:2, D:1)
Istanbul at sunset
Cappadocia - Istanbul. Via Ankara - the nation’s capital, we visit the mausoleum of Mustafa Ataturk - the father of modern Turkey, before continuing to Istanbul. Overnight - Istanbul (B)
Friday. After breakfast your tour draws to a close. Onward departure transfers to Ataturk International Airport are offered complimentary at 11am and 1:30pm today. Happy travels! (B)
Tour Details
  • Starts in: Istanbul / Ends in: Istanbul
  • Departs: Tuesday 04 August 2015
  • No local payment required
  • Breakfast:10, Lunch: 1, Dinner: 5
  • Hotel Rating: 4 star
  • Tour Guide: Yes
Special Offers
The On The Go Theatre
Highlights of Turkey and the evocative ANZAC day dawn service