Lone Pine Express - 8 days

FROM USD $2,299

Join us in commemorating the Battle of Lone Pine at a special 100th Anniversary Service on 06 August. Visit fortified trenches, crucial battlefields, and pay your respects to the soldiers who gave their lives at poignant memorial sites. Plus take in the highlights of Turkey en route, from the old city of Istanbul and fabled Troy to the ruins of Ephesus and thermal pools of Pamukkale.

Day 1: Istanbul
Welcome to Turkey! 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
Fountains in front of the 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)
Lone Pine Express - 8 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 & 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)
People paying their respects to war graves at Anzac Cove
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 imposing ruins of Ephesus in Turkey
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 afterward we stop to watch a demonstration of how they are made. Overnight - Kusadasi (B, D)
A group at a local mudbath a boat ride from Koycegiz
Day 7: Thermal Pools of Pamukkale
Kusadasi - Pamukkale - Istanbul. 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 - Overnight Bus (B, D)
Day 8: Istanbul
Tuesday. Arrive Istanbul early this morning (approx 8 - 8:30am) where our representative will be waiting to meet you. We transfer to a nearby hotel where our luggage can be stored till our airport transfer to Ataturk International Airport depart later in the day (11am and 1:30pm). Consider heading out to one of the local cafes for a hearty breakfast followed by a visit to the Egyptian Spice market or the legendary, if cavernous Grand Bazaar - boasting some 4000 shops under one immense roof. The Grand Bazaar is just the ticket for souvenir, clothing, scarves, brassware, silver and handbag purchases.

Alternatively, you could choose to extend your stay by purchasing an additional nights hotel accommodation.

Return to Istanbul by flight

Opt to upgrade from the unescorted, overnight public bus journey from Pamukkale to Istanbul on day 6 to a short evening flight and enjoy the comfort of spending your final night in an Istanbul hotel.

Includes: Economy flight Pamukkale to Istanbul, airport transfers, 1 night 4* hotel in Istanbul with breakfast. Note: must be booked at least 45 days before travel.

The relevant price for our 'Aegean Explorer Flight Upgrade' can be found under the 'Supplementary Prices' heading on our Prices/Dates page.