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Welcome to Istanbul. You will be met upon arrival at the airport by one of our representatives and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is free.
After breakfast enjoy a full day tour of the magnificent city of Istanbul. Explore Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sofia, the Blue Mosque and the Roman Hippodrome; once home to chariot races, gladiatorial battles and public executions, before trying your hand at a spot of haggling in the Grand Bazaar. Tonight there is an optional Turkish dinner with traditional Turkish entertainment
Driving to Ankara we visit the mausoleum and museum of Kemal Ataturk, one of Turkey’s most revered leaders, famous for his progressive reform of Turkish society and his incredible strategic command during World War I, thwarting the Allied attempts at invading Turkey. You will then enjoy a picturesque journey through the Lakeland before arriving in Cappadocia
This morning opt for a hot air balloon ride over the incredible landscape of Cappadocia, before embarking upon a full day sightseeing tour of the region. Discover the surreal landscapes of Cappadocia, visit the Kaymakli Underground City where early Christians took refuge from their persecutors and the Open Air Museum in Goreme - where you can view some of the best examples of Byzantine art in the rock cut churches with frescoes and paintings dating back to the 10th century. You will also visit the natural fortress of Uchisar before being given a demonstration of the local handicrafts of hand-made carpets, Turkish tiles, onyx and potteries.
Today we drive onward to Pamukkale 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. Afterwards continue your journey onward to Pamukkale.
After breakfast 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. This afternoon, en route to Kusadasi we visit the ruins of the great Temple of Artemis (one of the Seven Ancient Wonders of the World), which is situated in a marshy basin between Selcuk and Ephesus.
This morning you will drive to the ancient and magnificent city of Ephesus, one of the largest and most well preserved ancient city’s in the Mediterranean, with Roman theatres, fountains, buildings, churches and temples. Ephesus was originally built on the north slope of Mount Pion in 1000 BC but was later relocated to its current location in 4th century BC. This afternoon you can visit a Turkish leather manufacturing house where products are available for sale.
This morning, departing early we visit Bergama, the site of the ancient city of Pergamum which remained hidden from the modern world until 1871 when the German engineer Carl Humann rediscovered it when some locals showed him an interesting and strange mosaic that turned out to be the Altar of Zeus. You will have the chance to visit the ancient acropolis situated on top of a steep hill and the aforementioned Altar of Zeus. We continue to Troy, the ancient city made famous by Homer’s Odyssey and the fable of Helen, Achilles and the Trojan horse. Afterwards drive on to Canakkale.
After breakfast cross the Dardanelles to visit the evocative battlefields of Gallipoli. In World War 1 the Allies tried in vain to capture Turkey in order to better supply troops in Europe via access to the Black Sea and also open up better supply routes to Russia. It was on the beaches of the Gallipoli peninsula where the Allies landed and over 11,000 Anzacs lost their lives. Visit key sites such as Anzac Cove, Lone Pine, Chunuk Bair, The Nek and other Turkish and Allied trenches. Later travel back to Istanbul.
Your tour arrangements end after breakfast. Onward transfer to the airport.
Perhaps the jewel in Turkey’s crown, Cappadocia consists of whole troglodyte villages, subterranean churches and fortresses, all hewn from the ...