Perhaps the jewel in Turkey’s crown, Cappadocia consists of whole troglodyte villages, subterranean churches and fortresses, all hewn from the ...
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Today we begin our tour. You will be collected in a private vehicle at the port in Kas at 10am before we continue on to Antalya. On the way visit the stunningly beautiful Saklikent Gorge, Turkey's longest and deepest canyon, where you’ll have the chance to take a nature walk, 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.
After breakfast we drive to Perge, originally settled by the Hittites around 1500 B.C., the place with the impressive colonnaded street and where most of the statues that are on display in Antalya Museum were unearthed. On then to Aspendos that bears one of the best preserved amphitheatres in the world. Finally we visit Kursunlu Waterfalls before drive back to Antalya for overnight.
Today we drive to Konya. We visit the Mausoleum of Mevlana also known as the Green Mausoleum or Green Dome. It is the original lodge of the Mevlevi Whirling Dervishes, a mystical Sufi Muslim group. It contains the tomb and shrine of the Mevlana, or Rumi, which remains an important place of pilgrimage. We continue to our hotel for overnight stay.
This morning we depart for Cappadocia, once the heart of the Hittite Empire. On the way we visit a 13th century Agzikarahan caravansary and the land of Fairy Chimneys. Nature's powers are wondrous and beautiful, one such example is the famed Fairy Chimneys. Before we arrive at our hotel, we will taste Cappadocian wine in a cave winery. Tonight enjoy dinner in a local restaurant.
After breakfast, we head off for a day of sightseeing in spectacular Cappadocia. See remnants of old churches, rock formations and visit Kaymakli Underground City - the place early Christians hid from persecutors. Stop by Avcilar and Pigeons Valley to experience the moon‐like topography of Cappadocia. We continue on to the Open Air Museum in Goreme to see the best examples of Byzantine art in Cappadocia in rock‐cut churches with frescoes and paintings (10th to 13th century).
Today we drive to Safranbolu; a charming UNESCO World Heritage Listed town, with a rich history, boasting a glorious collection of old Ottoman houses and art which represents traditional Turkish life and culture. Wander along the ancient narrow cobbled streets and see some of the traditional crafts and trades that are still practised today. Visit the old town where you can taste fine examples of Turkish Delights.
Day at leisure.
Today we drive to Bursa - the first capital of the Ottoman Empire in the 14th century and a major spa center. Visit the Ottoman complex to see the Grand Mosque and the Green Mosque, considered to be one of the finest examples of early Ottoman architecture. We visit the Green Mausoleum, the tomb of Sultan Mehmet I. This is Bursa's loveliest building, with spectacular tile work. Opt to have lunch at the lovely Kebap Restaurant before visiting the Covered Bazaar with its local cotton goods. Visit Koza Han, the silk cocoon caravanserai, with shops selling beautiful silks and brocades.
Today 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 Bair 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.
After breakfast we head to legendary Troy. Troy (the inspiration for Homer's Illiad and much more recently the movie Troy) we visit the Trojan Horse and ruins. Crossing the famous mountain Ida, we arrive to Pergamum where we visit Acropolis. Built essentially by Eumenes II, Pergamum (modern Bergama) is famous in antiquity for its library. Eumenes II was a passionate book collector and his library (said to have held over 200,000 volumes) was a symbol of the cultural and social power of Pergamum. Later, we continue to Kusadasi.
You are collected from your hotel this morning for a tour of Ephesus and Virgin Mary’s House. First, we visit the ruins of the Temple of Artemis - one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. We proceed to the Ancient City of Ephesus where you will explore some of the best preserved ruins including theatres, fountains and buildings. A definite must while in Turkey. We visit the House of Mother Mary where she is supposed to have spent her last years together with St. John.
After breakfast, we drive through the meander plains and cotton farms before arriving in Pamukkale in time to enjoy the beauty of this natural wonder. We visit ancient Hierapolis which has the biggest Nekropol with 1200 gravestones in Anatolia. The sacred pool is also one of the highlights of the site. Here, shallow thermal waters ripple over a wonderful scattering of ancient roman ruins that lie beneath. Later, return to your hotel which has a hot spring pool.
An early start today for your transfer to Denizli airport for your flight to Istanbul (08:40/09:45). Upon arrival you will be transferred to the train station. End of services.