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Aegean Explorer

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7 Days  |  Starts/Ends: Istanbul  |  from USD $1,279  |   Guaranteed Departure 

Kicking off in the powerhouse of the Ottoman empire, discover exciting Istanbul, embrace Gallipoli, impressive Roman ruins, the Aegean Coast and Pamukkale's beautiful cascading mineral pools.

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Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Inclusions
Reviews
Day 1

Saturday. 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

Day 2

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  |  Breakfast

Day 3
Gallipoli

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.

Crossing the Dardenelles by ferry (offering panoramic views of the entire Gallipoli Peninsular) we proceed to our hotel for a little rest and relaxation.
Overnight: Gallipoli region  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4
Troy & Kusadasi

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  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5

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  |  Breakfast

Day 6

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: Public bus/coach  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7

Friday. 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.

Note: Please ensure you book an international flight departing Istanbul after 1pm, allowing for bus delays and time travelling between the bus station and the airport. 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.

The hotels listed below are ones which we frequently use on this tour. We reserve the right to substitute these hotels to ones of a similar standard when necessary.

Accommodation on Tour

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.

Simple
Basic hotels and simple accommodation is a no frills option with an adventurous authentic feel.

Standard
Standard accommodation equates to a Western 3-star standard, always featuring en-suite rooms and usually a restaurant.

Superior
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
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
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!

Kent Hotel, Istanbul
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Renovated in 2009, the charming Kent Hotel offers is a great example of contemporary design and a friendly atmosphere. Guest rooms are superbly equipped with modern facilities including Wi-Fi connectivity, state of the art technology and bright marbled bathrooms. Enjoying a delicious Turkish meal at the in house Calcedoine Restaurant after a hard days sightseeing is highly recommended. Fantastically located within 10 minutes walk of the Grand Bazaar and Old Town in the Bayazit area in the European side of Istanbul.

Tusan Hotel, Canakkale
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

The family run Tusan Hotel offers modern facilities in a tranquil setting. Rooms are comfortable and well equipped and offer guests beautiful forest or sea views. The hotel benefits from a private beach and an indoor and outdoor restaurant. A refreshing pint of beer in the English Pub whilst challenging the bar staff to a game of pool is a great way to spend the evening. Set within a beautiful pine forest looking across the Dardanelles with a private beach exclusively for guests.

Marina Hotel, Kusadasi
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Marina hotel is a modern hotel with a sea view and balcony from nearly every spacious room. It has recently been renovated and features an indoor and outdoor pool and you may also use the facilities and beach of 5-Star Pine Bay.

Trip Highlights

Istanbul - old city, Istanbul, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Basilica Underground Cistern and Topkapi Palace
Troy - ancient ruins, 9 cities, one on top of the other, dating back to 3000 BC & replica Trojan horse
Roman ruins of Pergamum and Ephesus
Turkish carpet weaving and leather manufacturing houses.
Gallipoli Peninsular - ANZAC Cove, Lone Pine and Chunuk Bair memorials, trenches and battlefields
Aegean Coast
Pamukkale thermal pools and Roman Hierapolis

Included

5 breakfasts and 3 hotel dinners
1 overnight public bus journey - Pamukkale - Istanbul
Guided sightseeing - Istanbul, Gallipoli, Troy, Ruins of Ephesus and Pergamum, Pamukkale terraces and Hierapolis
All relevant transfers and transportation (excl overnight bus)in private modern air-conditioned vehicles
5 nights 4 star hotels
Airport arrival transfer on day 1 and departure transfer (to Ataturk International Airport) at 11am and 1:30pm on day 7
Escorted by an English speaking, degree qualified Turkish tour guide

Not Included

Tip for your tour guide and driver. We recommend you allow $3 - 5 USD per day, per traveller as a tip for your guide and $2 USD per day for your driver. Tipping your guide and driver is an entirely personal gesture.
Entrance Fees: $85-95 USD
International flights and visa
Tipping Kitty: $40 USD

We have had a wonderful experience touring with on the go. Our guide Esra had exceptional local knowledge of Turkey and our destinations. Hotels were all very good standard.I found the pace of the tour was excellent and the size of the tour a bonus.Never for a moment did i feel unsafe with Umit driving. He was always welcoming as we loaded the bus. Esra did a wonderful job of keeping our group together- always happy with a infectious laugh.

Jennifer Nogare

The tour guide Oguzhan was excellent and made the trip even more enjoyable! Thank you.

James Mcelhinney

This has been an enjoyable and fascinating tour. Oğuzhan was a great guide mixing history with humour. He explained to us all important site information, geographical information and the history of Turkey. His organisation was also excellent.

Sean Mcelhinney

Mehmet was a wonderful tour guide. He was very professional and friendly. He made everyone feel welcome and relaxed.

Cathy Bateup

Very knowledgeable and helpful guide, Mehmet. I would definitely recommend him to future travellers to Turkey. The bus driver, Messut, was pleasant and an excellent driver.

Adele Dorasamy

Prices shown are per person travelling. 'Twin/Double' prices per person apply when there are 2 people travelling, sharing a room. The 'Single supplement' applies for single travellers who require their own room and needs to be added to the 'Twin/Double' price. If you are happy to be paired up with another single traveller of the same sex on your tour, this can be arranged, thus avoiding the single person supplement.

Easter departure, book early!
Easter Departure
New Year Departure
2015
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $1499
USD $599
10% off
USD $1729
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Easter departure, book early!
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USD $1499
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Supplementary Prices

 
Twin/Double
Single Supp.
Pre-Tour Accommodation
USD $129
USD $80
Post-Tour Accommodation
USD $129
USD $80
Aegean Explorer Flight Option
USD $489
USD $129
Tour Details
Starts
Istanbul
Ends
Istanbul
Departs
Saturdays
Hotel Rating
4 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 5, Dinner: 3
Tour Bolt-ons
Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons
Princes Islands
USD $179 / 1 day

We have had a wonderful experience touring with on the go. Our guide Esra had exceptional local knowledge of Turkey and our destinations. Hotels were all very good standard.I found the pace of the tour was excellent and the size of the tour a bonus.Never for a moment did i feel unsafe with Umit driving. He was always welcoming as we loaded the bus. Esra did a wonderful job of keeping our group together- always happy with a infectious laugh.

Jennifer Nogare
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On The Go Tours Adventure in style
We know that adventure feels better with a chilled beer poolside or a soft pillow at the end of each day and we search out comfortable hotels and boutique properties for your stay
Travel with us, adventure in style!
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Guaranteed Departures
This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.