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Welcome to Turkey! Arrive Istanbul and included transfer to our hotel. Spend the afternoon at leisure or head out to explore the city.
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.
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 takes 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 we proceed to our hotel for a little rest and relaxation.
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
Today, we enjoy a guided tour at the legendary Roman ruins of Ephesus. Positively the best-preserved classical city in the eastern Mediterranean, Ephesus, under the Romans was a vast city with a population nearing 250,000. 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. Carpet weaving has long traditions in Turkey and afterward we stop to watch a demonstration of how they are made.
Meandering through the sweeping plains and endless cotton farms we arrive at the ruins of Roman Hieropolis and the hot springs of Pamakkule. Admire this surreal landscape created by frequent earthquakes in the fault depression of the Menderes river basin. Marvel at the crystalline marble, quartzites and stalagtites, which shimmer in the sunlight. There will be time to paddle our feet as you walk the terraces or opt for a dip in the thermal baths. Later we stop at a leather manufacturing house.
Arriving at the lakeside town of Koycegiz, we embark upon a boat cruise to turtle beach and smother ourselves in mud at the local mud bath. A stop is made en route to explore the quaint Greek village of Kayakoy.
Today offers free time for your to independently explore the stunning Mediterranean coastline. Spend the day by the beach or shopping the markets of Fethiye or alternatively cruise the Med on a 12 island boat cruise.
Today we visit the stunningly beautiful Saklikent Gorge, Turkey’s longest and deepest canyon, where you’ll have the chance to go tubing down the icy mountain stream, take a walk through nature, or just relax and watch the world go by from the fig tree-shaded wooden platforms that overlook the river. Weaving our way through the Touros Mountains we arrive to Antalya.
Early morning departure for Konya, en route we visit the ancient theatre of Aspendos and naturally beautiful Tinaztepe sink hole and cave. Arriving at Konya, we tour the monastery of the Mevlana whirling dervishes and the mausoleum of Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi. A further stop is made along the Silk Road at the Seljuk - a fine example of an ancient Silk Road caravanserai.
Today we tour the stunning Cappadocia region - an extraordinary national treasure The utter improbability of the seemingly surreal landscapes have to be seen to be believed, where whole troglodyte villages, subterranean churches and fortresses have been hewn from the soft, porous, eerily eroded rock of Cappadocia. The crumbling legacy of persecuted Christians trying to escape the Muslim onslaught in 1st - 10th centuries AD by effectively heading underground is one of Turkey’s finest attractions. A guided tour of the region includes the World Heritage Listed Goreme Valley to see stunning examples of rock-cut Byzantine churches and chapels, Kaymaki Underground City and Uchisar Castle.
Opt for an early morning hot air balloon flight over lunar landscape. Via Ankara and the mausoleum of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk we arrive at the World Heritage Listed town of Safranbolu. The town boasts many graceful Ottoman homes, once the residences of royalty and artisan work shops crafting traditional Turkish wares. Tonight we stay in an Ottoman mansion home.
This morning we embark on a walking tour of the old town before returning to Istanbul with an afternoon visit to the Grand Bazaar.The remainder of the afternoon and evening offers free time.
We will transfer you to the airport in time for your departure flight.
Called Byzantium and later Constantinople, Istanbul is the only city to span two continents. It sits on the Bosphorus, the ...