If you like the itinerary below please quote REF TURKEY 399 when enquiring for further details.
Alternatively you may like modify this trip with your own Holiday Wish List
Welcome to Turkey! You are met at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Settle in and relax, or start exploring the wonders of this glorious city, uniquely located on two continents!
Embark on a superb Highlight cruise along the Bosphorus past Ottoman palaces, old mansions and fortresses. Leaving Istanbul, take a short ferry trip and drive to Iznik. Visit the ruins of St Sophia and see the city walls before continuing to Bursa. In the afternoon there is time to haggle in the bazaar and silk markets.
Visit the glorious Green Mosque and Mausoleum complex and Grand Mosque in Bursa before driving to the charming Cumalikizik Village with its traditional wooden houses and narrow cobblestone streets. Visit Gordion, where Alexander the Great cut the famous Gordion Knot, en route to Turkey’s modern capital, Ankara.
Sightseeing includes a visit to the Hittite Museum, portraying the fascinating history of Asia Minor from earliest times. You also visit Anit Kabir, the mausoleum of Ataturk, Turkey’s greatest leader in modern times. Visit the mausoleum of Sufi philosopher Haci Bektas before heading to Nevsehir in the Cappadocia region.
In this unique region of volcanic landscapes and ‘fairy-chimneys’, visit Göreme’s rock-carved churches, and see ancient frescoes in the open-air museum. Visit the underground city of Kaymakli and see the cone of Uchisar. Dinner at the hotel is followed by a folklore show in an underground cave, featuring dances from different regions.
Visit the Caravanserai of Sultanhani before driving to Turkey’s most religious city, Konya, which was once the home of the mystic sect of Whirling Dervishes and the old capital of the Anatolian Seljuk Empire. Visit the Mevlana Museum, with its beautiful fluted turquoise dome, and see the Karatay Medrese and Ince Minaret.
Descend the Taurus mountains and drive to Aspendos to visit what is considered the best preserved Roman Theatre anywhere in the world. Drive to the Hellenistic or Roman city of Perge to visit the extensive ruins, including the great Theatre, the Stadium, and the gate-towers leading into a street where ancient chariot ruts can still be seen. As night falls, enjoy a walking tour of Antalya’s Old Town. Overnight Crown Plaza Antalya.
The day is set aside for you to relax and enjoy the leisure facilities of the hotel. Alternatively, explore Antalya at your own pace, suggestions include a stroll around the harbour area or taking a boat trip off the coast. Overnight Crown Plaza Antalya.
Pass pine forests and cross the Taurus mountains on your way to Pamukkale. On arrival, visit the ruins of Hierapolis and the beautiful ‘Cotton Castle’ – an apt description of its dazzling white limestone terraces.
Visit the Temple of Aphrodite at amazing Aphrodisias before following the Maeander River valley, (so full of twists and turns gives us the word ‘meander’) to your beautiful beach-front hotel in the lively coastal town of Kusadasi.
Tour one of the world’s finest archeological sites, Ephesus. Visit the Amphitheatre and walk along the Arcadian Way to view the splendid facade of the Library of Celsus. Visit the House of the Virgin Mary, situated above the ruins, before continuing to the Selçuk archeological museum, where many artefacts from Ephesus are displayed. Stay overnight in the pleasant Aegean port of Izmir.
Stop in Pergamon, the impressive site of an ancient kingdom, to visit the Asklepion, one of the most famous shrines and therapeutic centres in the ancient world. Drive to Homer’s Troy to see the ruins of nine cities built on top of each other, and an enormous reconstruction of the famous wooden horse. The evening is spent in Çanakkale.
Cross the Dardanelle Straits by ferry and continue to the Gallipoli Peninsula, scene of fierce fighting in World War One. Here are the battle-fields where for nine disastrous months Anzac Troops fought unsuccessfully to gain control of the strategic Straits, with the loss of over half a million lives. Pay your respects at Anzac Cove and visit the emotive Lone Pine Cemetery before returning to Istanbul.
Visit the Blue Mosque and the Hippodrome, where Roman chariot races were held. Also visit St Sophia, a former cathedral and a mosque which is now a magnificent museum. The afternoon is dedicated to the Topkapi Palace, a walled city perched above the Bosphorous and the Golden Horn. Now it’s time to test your haggling skills in the Grand Bazaar. Don’t worry, your guide will give you a full explanation of the time-honoured ritual of bargaining!
Today is sadly your last day with us with your departure airport transfer.
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