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Welcome to Turkey and the start of your romantic honeymoon! 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!
It’s all aboard for a cruise on the Bosphorus Strait which links the Sea of Marmara with the Black Sea. This is one of the world’s busiest waterways with stately cargo-ships plying their way up the main channel, while ferries constantly dash across their path to link the villages on the European and Asian sides of the water. Cruise beneath the spectacular modern suspension bridges, past elegant palaces and picturesque fishing villages where life seems unchanged since ancient times. Back on dry land, leave Istanbul, for the 14th-century Ottoman capital of Bursa.
Today we 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 very narrow cobblestone streets. Move on to Gordion, where Alexander the Great cut the famous Gordion Knot, en route to Turkey’s modern capital of Ankara. (OVERNIGHT MOVENPICK HOTEL)
Today our exploration 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 your hotel in Cappadocia. (OVERNIGHT TAFONI HOTEL)
Spend the day exploring this fantastic region. We will explore Göreme’s rock-carved churches and see ancient frescoes in the open-air museum. Visit the volcanic landscapes and mushroom shaped ‘fairy-chimneys’ of the Pasabag Valley, the underground city of Kaymakli and see the cone of Uchisar. Dinner at the hotel is followed by a folklore show in a cave setting, featuring dances from different regions. (OVERNIGHT TAFONI HOTEL)
Today we drive onward to Konya via the 13th century Seljukian masterpiece of Sultanhan Caravanserai and Konya. In Konya visit the 13th century Mevlana Museum; the original lodge of the Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes, a mystical Sufi Muslim group. It contains the tomb of Mevlana, a leading philosopher and mystic of Islam, which remains an important place of pilgrimage.
Heading to the coast we drive to Antalya. Along the way, stop to explore 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.
Spend today relaxing in the Sun, Sand and Sea.
After breakfast we drive to Pamukkale and visit the incredible white calcium terraces of Pamukkale and ancient Hierapolis, with its Necropolis graveyard of over 1200 graves. The Temple of Apollo, the Plutonium, dating back to third century BC and the sacred pool are some of the highlights of Hierapolis. The shallow thermal waters ripple over a wonderful scattering of ancient roman ruins that lie beneath.
After breakfast, visit the Temple of Aphrodite at amazing Aphrodisias, and be seduced by the collection of sculptural treasures, Graeco-Roman statues and ceramics. Then follow the Maeander River valley, to your beautiful beach-front hotel in the lively coastal town of Kusadasi. Relax by the pool and soak up the sun.
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 archaeological museum, where many artefacts from Ephesus are displayed. Stay overnight in the pleasant Aegean port of Izmir.
Today we 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.
Today we 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!
Sadly your tour has come to an end, we will transfer you to the airport in time for your flight home.
The earliest settle of Kusadasi dates back to the Leleges people in 3000BC and all through the ages, Kusadasi was ...