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On The Go Tours / Europe / Turkey / Tours / Christmas Turkey 12 Days

Christmas Turkey

12 days  |  Starts/Ends: Istanbul  |  from USD $2,249  |   Guaranteed Departure 

There’s no stuffing birds or entertaining aunts! Enjoy snowflakes on fairy chimneys, legendary sites at Ephesus, Troy and Aspendos, thermal springs at Pamukkale and Christmas Eve at St Nic’s!

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Itinerary
Prices & Dates
Hotels
Inclusions
Reviews
Day 1

18th December 2015. Welcome to Turkey! Arrive Istanbul and transfer to hotel. Remainder of the day and evening at leisure.
Overnight: Istanbul

Day 2

Enjoy a tour of old Istanbul. The only city to span two continents sits on the Bosphorus - the strait of water that divides the continents of Europe and Asia. Its illustrious past leaves a rich legacy of churches, mosques, palaces and museums, complemented by the behemoth Grand Bazaar and colourful street life.

Sultanahmet, the compact old city of Istanbul, is full of parks, gardens and stunning sights. The Blue Mosque is famed for it’s blue Iznik tiles and unique 6 minarets. The Hagia Sofia, constructed in the 6th century, reigned as the grandest and biggest church in Christendom until the conquest of Constantinople in 1453, when it became a mosque.

Just around the corner is the stunning Topkapi Palace and the Underground Cistern. Rest of day free. Tonight, we are free to explore or relax in our hotel.
Overnight: Istanbul  |  Breakfast

Day 3
Gallipoli

Istanbul – Gallipoli/Canakkale. Today, we enjoy a visit to battle-scarred Gallipoli. On the 25th April 1915, under the guidance of the British Command, the combined forces of Australia and New Zealand, otherwise known as the ‘ANZACs’, mounted an assault at a beach in North-Western Turkey. The futile campaign, infamously known as Gallipoli, is poignantly etched in history due to the enormous loss of lives and the impossibly hopeless situation faced by these brave young soldiers, many of whom had left home for the first time, destined never to return. In the fierce struggle for Turkish territory, thousands perished as the odds were resolutely stacked against them. The Turks sustained terrible losses. Thousands of British, French and Indian Allied troops also died. As always in war, common men died, cruelly robbed of their potential because of actions and decisions of military leaders.
Overnight: Canakkale  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Days 4-5
Troy & legendary Ephesus

Gallipoli - Kusadasi. Step back in time as we visit the legendary Roman ruins of Pergamum and Troy - inspiration for Homer's Illiad and much more recently the movie Troy. On day 5, we explore ancient Ephesus. Exemplifying the finesse of Roman urban life, Ephesus boasts carefully restored elements including a Great Theatre, Curetes Way, the Temple of Serapis and the Library of Celsus. Stop by the ancient public toilets and public brothel! Afterward, we stop at a local leather manufacturer. Turkey produces some of the finest leather goods in the world and many are made here before branding in Italy.
Overnight: Kusadasi  |  Breakfast x 2, Dinner x 1

Day 6

Kusadasi – Pammukale. Exploring the Roman Hierapolis and the cascading calcium mineral pools of Pamukkale perhaps opt for a dip in the thermal hot springs.
Overnight: Pamukkale  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7
Xmas Eve at St Nic's

Pammukale - Demre - Antalya. The legend of Saint Nicholas (aka Santa Claus) began in Turkey! St Nicholas - a 4th century bishop gave anonymous gifts to dowryless village girls. He would drop bags of coins down the chimneys of their houses and this ‘gift from heaven’ would allow them to marry. We visit the church and tomb of St Nicholas in Demre before continuing to coastal Antalya for a top Xmas Eve dinner overlooking the Mediterranean Sea.
Overnight: Antalya  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8
Christmas Day & Roman Ruins

Kemer - Konya. Merry Christmas! En route to Konya we tour the incredible Roman ruins of Perge and Aspendos.
Overnight: Konya  |  Breakfast, Dinner

Days 9-10

Konya – Cappadocia. Day 9 we tour Konya and the Mevlana monastery before heading north east to Cappadocia. We stop en route at an ancient caravanserai and later take a short walk through the beautiful Ihlara Valley. In the evening, opt for a traditional Turkish dinner and folklore evening. On day 10, we explore the stunning Goreme Valley, fairy chimneys, amazing troglodyte villages, Uchisar Castle and Derinkuyu underground city.

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. Dinner on day 10.
Overnight: Cappadocia  |  Breakfast x 2, Dinner x 1

Day 11

Cappadocia - Istanbul. Travelling via Ankara to Istanbul, we visit Anitkabir - the massive mausoleum of Mustafa Kamel Ataturk. Arriving into Istanbul late this evening.
Overnight: Istanbul  |  Breakfast

Day 12

29th December 2015. After breakfast our tour concludes with an onward departure transfer to the airport. We hope you had a wonderful Christmas in Turkey!
Breakfast

Commemorate the brave soldiers at ANZAC day in Gallipoli

Pay tribute to those that died at the tragic campaign of Gallipoli by paying your respects at ANZAC day, with like minded companions. Whether you are short on time, or would like to see Turkey or even Egypt, we have great packages to suit.

Click here for further information on our ANZAC day tours

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.

Kolin Hotel, Canakkale
Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Looking out across the Dardanelles the modern and bright Kolin Hotel offers well appointed rooms with hard wood flooring and tasteful decor. The hotel also boasts a luxury spa, wellness centre and a number of mouth watering restaurants all set within perfectly manicured lawns. Sipping a sundowner on the Roof Bar overlooking the beautiful strait is the perfect way to end the day. The hotel is located on the water’s edge a short drive from the town centre with beautiful views out to sea.

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.

Colossae Thermal Spa Hotel, Pamukkale
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Set in landscaped gardens, the Colossae Thermal Spa Hotel has an envious location in Pamukkale. Guest rooms are spacious and tastefully decorated. The on site thermal spa offers guests a chance to relax and enjoy what this region is most famous for. Why not take breakfast on the terrace or dinner by the pool? Two of our top tips! The hotel is well located close to the travertines in Pamukkale.

Barut Hotel, Antalya
Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Built in 1997, the white washed Dedeman Park offers wonderful views of the Mediterranean coast. Rooms are modern and bright with excellent en suite facilities and some benefitting from stunning balcony views. Complementary Wi-fi is available throughout and guests also receive free access to the nearby Aquapark . Relaxing at the complimentary in house Turkish baths is our top tip for ending the day. Beautifully located overlooking the stunning Mediterranean Sea and in the centre of town.

Hilton Garden Inn, Konya
Our Category: Deluxe   |   Regional Category: 5 Star Hotel

Centrally located with excellent facilities, the Hilton Garden Inn is modern and right next door to the Mevlana Culture Centre - home to the famous Whirling Dervishes. Rooms are spacious and benefit from 24 hour high speed internet and the renowned Garden Sleep System mattresses - guaranteed to provide a great nights sleep. Discover traditionally brewed Turkish coffee and refreshing tea every morning before breakfast at the mouthwatering Sumac Grill. The hotel is is located next to the Mevlana Culture Center and within walking distance of a range of shopping and business districts.

Peri Tower, Cappadocia
Our Category: Superior   |   Regional Category: 4 Star Hotel

Renovated in 2006, the Peri Tower Hotel’s design is inspired by the region’s famous fairy chimneys. The contemporary guest rooms are comfortable and tastefully decorated with rich mahogany furniture. Guests can enjoy a delicious Turkish meal in front of the roaring fire in winter or outside as the sun sets in summer. The hotel also has full Turkish spa facilities which are a great way to relax and unwind. Perfectly located in a quiet area with great access to restaurants and shops.

Trip Highlights

Istanbul - Sultanahmet/ old Istanbul, Hippodrome, Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia, Underground Cistern and Topkapi Palace
Troy - Trojan horse and ancient ruins
Roman ruins of Pergamum and Ephesus
Demre - home of the original St Nicholas
Konya - Silk Road & Mevlana Whirling Dervish Museum and Ancient caravanserais en route
Cappadocia region, fairy chimneys and underground city
Leather and carpet manufacturing houses
Gallipoli Peninsular - ANZAC Cove, memorials, trenches and battlefields
Aegean Coast
Pamukkale thermal pools and Roman Hierapolis
Ancient ruins of Perge & Aspendos
A jolly red suited man flying overhead...calling on dasher and dancer and prancer...
Ankara - Ataturk's Mausoleum

Included

11 breakfasts and 6 dinners including special Christmas Eve Dinner in Antalya overlooking the Mediterranean Sea
Guided sightseeing of Istanbul including the Blue Mosque, Underground Cistern, Topkapi Palace, Hippodrome and Hagia Sofia
English speaking, degree qualified Turkish tour guide
Relevant transfers and transportation in private modern air-conditioned vehicles
10 nights 4 star and special class hotels, 1 night 5 star hotel
Guided sightseeing of Gallipoli, Troy, Ruins of Ephesus and Pergamum, Pamukkale and Roman Hierapolis, Perge, Aspendos, Konya and Cappadocia
Airport arrival transfer on day 1 and departure transfer (to Ataturk International Airport) on day 12.

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: $115-130 USD
International flights and visa
Tipping Kitty: $40 USD

The trip was fantastic in absolutely every respect.

1.The organisation of the trip was faultless,right down to the last detail.

2.The tour guide Kemal was friendly,knowledgeable and competent,and ensured we all left enriched and happy.

3.The food and accomodation was better than expected,and was excellent.That is a big ask as there were a lot of meals.

4.We saw and did more than the itinerary indicated.

5.The bus and its driver were of a very high standard.The driver went to the trouble of ensuring the windows were washed at least once a day,and they were so clean you could take photos through the glass.

6.The price was an added bonus.There is no way one could do such a trip independently for even double the price.

7.I am not a "tour" person, and like to travel 5 star and in style. The toilets were of a very high standard.The food was lovely fresh healthy standard.The hotels were all really excellent,many with gyms,heated pools,views,hammams etc.

I would not hesitate recommending On the Go as well as Turkey as a destination.

Ms Julie Bennett

Hi Charlie - just a quick note to let you know that our xmas trip to Turkey was amazing! Our guide was very well organised, the hotels were excellent and the scenery and sights were incredible. There were some other teachers on the trip as well so we all had a few good nights out and enjoyed some of the best Turkish food i've ever eaten - and excellent value for money!

Thanks for all your help and we're looking forward to our Egypt trip at Easter.

Best wishes - Lucy, Dianne and Eve

Lucy Blackmore

Wonderful experience! I loved the whole trip. Ephesus was definitely the highlight with the mystic statues and marble-paved alleyways. We have met some amazing people and had really great Christmas. Thank you On the Go.

Cheryl Woods

I have done a lot of travelling over the last 3 years but have never been on an organized tour. Thank you... I have discovered my new favourite way of travel, with On the Go tours!

I will be back to Turkey!

Alison B

It was our first group tour, as we have always travelled independently. I found it great having a guide to explain all the historical and cultural aspects of the country. We had loads of fun with the group + the tour was very well organized.

Great way to spend Christmas. Thank you!

Thomas M.

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.

2015
Price/Person
Single Supp.
 
USD $2249
USD $699

Supplementary Prices

 
Twin/Double
Single Supp.
Pre-Tour Accommodation
USD $129
USD $80
Post-Tour Accommodation
USD $129
USD $80
Tour Details
Starts
Istanbul
Ends
Istanbul
Departs
18 Dec 2015
Hotel Rating
4 - 5 star
Local Payment
None
Tour Guide
Yes - escorted by a tour guide
Meals
Breakfast: 11, Dinner: 6
Tour Bolt-ons
Enhance your trip with these amazing added extras and bolt-ons
Princes Islands
USD $179 / 1 day

Hi Charlie - just a quick note to let you know that our xmas trip to Turkey was amazing! Our guide was very well organised, the hotels were excellent and the scenery and sights were incredible. There were some other teachers on the trip as well so we all had a few good nights out and enjoyed some of the best Turkish food i've ever eaten - and excellent value for money!

Thanks for all your help and we're looking forward to our Egypt trip at Easter.

Best wishes - Lucy, Dianne and Eve

Lucy Blackmore
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On The Go Tours Believe age is no barrier
As it truly isn't! Our tours suit travellers of varying ages, with a mix of singles, couples and groups of friends. This means you’ll find travellers from all walks of life on any one of our tours
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Guaranteed Departures
This tour is 100% guaranteed to depart with 2 travellers.